Sunday, December 31, 2017

2017 In Summary

I didn't blog much in 2017 -  just too much going on - but it wasn't because I wasn't training (on the contrary, training took precedence over writing).

I can't pack all of the year's experiences into one post so instead I'll do my best to summarize what I worked on and some of the highlights from the year.

Wu-Style Training

Last winter and spring, I learned the Wu 45 Form as a follow up to the Wu 13 Form I learned the previous fall (described here).

Sifu Amin Wu spent two months in the summer visiting Beijing and during that time I practiced the form and prepared to participate in a group competition with some other students from the school. At the end of the summer, Sifu Wu helped the group polish the form and we won for both the 45 Form and best group overall.

In the fall, Sifu Wu taught a class on refining the Wu 45 Form, which clarified a number of details in the form for me. She also taught a Wu 13 Form class at Google that helped me improve many of the fundamental Wu-style moves.

I'm still not as comfortable with Wu-style as I am with Yang-style but recently I've experienced having the form flow, so that's progress. This year, I'll continue to work on improving the 45 Form.

Wu 45 Group Competition Medal

Yang-Style Training

For Yang-style, in 2017 I focused on improving the 32 Form. In the winter and spring, I took Sifu Wu's Tai Chi Flow (Yang-style fundamentals) and Yang 24 Form classes. While these classes are not directly the 32 Form, they form the basis of many of the moves in the 32 Form and helped me to improve my form.

In the spring, Sifu Wu gave a 2-day workshop on Refinement and Applications of the 24 Form, which was fantastic - having 2 days of focused instruction on the advanced parts of the form gave me the opportunity to pick up a lot of details that I hadn't seen before (particularly the applications).

In the fall, Sifu Wu taught a 32 Form class, which was great opportunity for me to understand the form deeper now that I've been practicing it for almost 2 years - it was certainly a much different experience than when I learned the form in the winter/spring of 2016.

With Yang-style, over the last year the movements of my upper and lower body have become more coordinated and flow a lot better, which makes doing the Yang-style forms a lot of fun and I particularly enjoy the 32 Form now. I've also been working on stretching to increase my flexibility so that I can lower my stance - progress is slow but I have made improvements.

This year, I'll learn the 48 Form and, once I've learned enough of it, I'll stop practicing the 32 Form on a regular basis. I'm going to miss the 32 Form, I've really came to enjoy it, but I've been told that the 48 Form is even more fun.

2017 Amin Wu Spring Workshop

I Liq Chuan

Between Yang-style and Wu-style training, it's been difficult to find time to train I Liq Chuan as much as I'd like to, particularly solo-training. Still, I've been able to meet up with my ILC training partners fairly regularly and to continue my Student Level 4 training with them and by attending workshops with both Ashe and Katya Shestakova. In December, Sifu Chin came to Oakland for a workshop and I successfully graded Student Level 4.

This year I will start training Student Level 5 (fixed-step spinning hands). I'm not sure how well that will go, trying to train both Tai Chi and ILC. I've been able to manage it so far but push hands and spinning hands training emphasize different things, so I'm just going to have to see how things work out.

ILC Student Level 4 Sash

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