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Craig

In the Hall of the Mountain King

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"Having a Daoist master at my house for a week teaching me all day every day is going to be fun!" 

 

Having the Teacher stay in One's home is a most virtuous and interesting of experiences. I highly commend this action.. t-minus 10. 9 . 8. 7. 6... !

 

Does staying in your teacher's house count?

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Monday

- 12 breath nei gong (~45 - 50 minutes....this was brutal)

- basic hands (~45 minutes or so)

- pike and hovercraft pancake ballistics (3 x 108)

- nei dan (30 mins)

- lying shen gong (10 - 15 mins)

 

Tuesday AM

- Shi Da Pan

- Wushu Kicks

- Cartwheels

- Handstands

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Tuesday PM:

- Nei gong static postures (9 breaths)

- resting transitions

- rolls

- cartwheels

- crawling/pushups

- kip ups

- bounding and jumping

- internal and external rotations

- nei dan

 

Got a good bit of DOMS in the psoas today, it is definitely opening up and working in new ways, which is also leaving it quite tender.  In particular, I've managed to relax myself during broadjumps enough that the movement feels really quite soft, however it tugs quite a bit on the psoas which is still holding a lot of unnecessary tension. Nei dan and nei gong all feeling fantastic, I feel a big change is near.  Getting interesting bubbles starting to occasionally ripple through the abdominal area.  Upper legs and pelvic area are in a state of constant simmering, feeling like they are bubbling away all the time, however not as strongly as the ripples through the abdomen were.

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The books that you recommended on Daoist practices cover mind training what would you say is a good resource for learning more about Nei Gong and Qi Gong?

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Results of 100 days Virgin boy predictions: dick shirting increases immensely.

I have all of damos books. While daoism isn't a practice of mine or goal as of yet. I found them all to be very straightforward explained clearly and not sugar coating the time and elements required to achieve.

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Interesting... I do believe it is hard to develop movement skills from a book because of the little intricacies. The main reason I am curious is because in White Moon over the Mountain Peak, Damo really puts a lot of emphasis on Qi Gong before embarking on the journey through NeI Dan. He stated several years of Nei Gong and Qi Gond training should be done before attempting Nei Dan. 

 

Going back to Serge's book he seems to not believe that to be necessary. I guess this is why it can be a challenge without a teacher. For me it's just trying to understand what is happening. It wouldn't be to horrible to do the 100 days a virgin while traveling except for the suggestion to not eat meat and spices, because I want to experience the food everywhere.

 

Thanks for letting me hijack the thread a little.

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Interesting... I do believe it is hard to develop movement skills from a book because of the little intricacies. 

 

This is an interesting point I feel. Personally I think it varies on the person background. Someone like me, ie a very long background of different practices, can do quite well learning stuff from books, photos and video but I suspect I'm in the lesser side of things. But I suspect people with dance background would get the same.

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This is an interesting point I feel. Personally I think it varies on the person background. Someone like me, ie a very long background of different practices, can do quite well learning stuff from books, photos and video but I suspect I'm in the lesser side of things. But I suspect people with dance background would get the same.

I agree, my experience has shown me that if I have video and good text explanations of then I can develop a movement quite well. I used slow motion videos along with good explications to develop a somewhat solid technique in Olympic weightlifting and have a very extensive sports background(Lacrosse, Hockey, Soccer, Football, Basketball, Pole Vaulting, Baseball). The thing I lack is dance or martial arts training which would be the biggest help to trying to develop these skills without the help of a teacher.

 

It'd be interesting to get Serge's opinion on this because it seems he does online coaching through his distance learning.

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Wednesday:

Nei gong

Nei dan

A little stretching

Thursday

Nei dan

Nei gong

Hanging

Swinging

Balance

Awakening segments of torso (ribs, soft tissue, hips in 3 axis)

Spinal waves

Arm raising

Relaxation postures

Qi gong

Nei dan again

Friday:

Had a total day off training! This is the first day of nei dan I have missed in 156 days. Also turned 30 on this day. Other important things happened that I won't share here. Had dinner with some of the best people around to celebrate 30 years of life. Thanks everyone for coming!

Saturday:

Made up for Friday's no training with:

Nei dan (30 mins)

Brunch with more awesome people

Hanging out with Jon Valentine talking the talk and walking a lot.

Evening alchemy with the crew in DWs studio:

Misc handstands

Emperor pigeon

Hovercraft pancake

Siesta pancake

Chariot of fire (3 partner HF stretch)

Sissy squat backbend twist things (need a name for these)

Human crossbow plus fascial release on chest by DW mid stretch

Side splits ISO

1 minute #sfvaf pu by each side

Back at the hotel:

Nei gong (35-40 minutes)

Second round of nei dan (40 minutes)

Osssssuuu!

Pictures to come from DW soon, he might post them in his log instead of here, you should be reading his log at any rate.

Sunday to come!

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Reminds me of a podcast I listened to a while back. The guy was talking about how he's found that most people store a lot of tension and emotion (particularly) in their psoas. My traps are a bundle of tension right now. It was either the V-sit/manna progression work or my tuck planches from last workout. V-sit would make more sense, but I have a feeling it's actually an issue of relying on the wrong muscles for planche.

 

Bet you're super excited!

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Some thoughts I wanted to write down for my own benefit:

 

  • Tissues exists with what appears to be two basic continuums: totally relaxed to totally contracted, and shortened to lengthened.
  • It appears to be the case that if you learn to relax in the lengthened state, that the capacity to relax will carry on to the shortened state (what people around here are calling "suppleness"). This may only transfer in the long -> short case, and not the other way around? Not too many people doing suppleness training in the extreme short position so its hard to say.
  • It also appears to be the case that capacity to contract effectively is tissue length dependent, i.e. just because you can contract it in a shortened state does not mean you can contract in a lengthened state and vice versa.
  • capacity for isometric contractions (i.e. contracting tissue in a particular position) does not necessarily give capacity to dynamically contract (contracting tissue from a lengthened position to a shortened position or vice versa)
  • Even if the body is supple in particular postures, if effective patterns of coordination do not exist in the body, as soon as any movement occurs, excessive/unnecessary tension will be reintroduced for the duration of the movement. It seems the wider variety of coordination patterns that are trained, the easier it is for the system to apply suppleness to new coordination patterns.
  • The level of suppleness available through practice is very open ended.  I am now capable of holding my arms out at shoulder height for >30mins with no discomfort. In fact it is quite pleasant.  I am also getting closer to replicating this pleasant state across a variety of movement patterns.
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  • the practice of soft movement arts seem somewhat necessary to maintain suppleness through movement (for the quality that I am seeking). high repetitions of basic patterns, in particular ipsi-lateral and contra-lateral stepping patterns, seem to be common practice to the people I have met who have obtained this state. By high volume I mean 30 minutes per day or more of some kind of stepping practice.  In xin yi liu he which I trained it appears as rooster walking (with upper body variations), in bagua it is circle walking, in taiji it is either the long forms (which are great because they provide large variations, but can create left right imbalances if the form is not symmetrical) or repetitions of the 'basic" elements such as brush and push or cloud hands.  A few SE Asian martial arts seem to have this quality also, but I am unsure of the particular practices they engage in to acquire this quality.
  • I have met many practitioners with the supple quality I talk about above, who do not have the capacity to coordinate strong contractions/express strength, and the capacity seems to disappear outside of their particular patterns from their art (for example if they were to do crawling or climbing it would not be present).  The most notable examples of having both qualities that I have met are my previous teacher Dapeng, and his brother Xiaopeng. The quality of Dapengs muscle is like that of a cat, throughout his entire body, but can also turn completely solid if he wishes.
  • zhan zhuang (standing meditation) of some variety is also a common practice among people I have met with this quality.  It is also something that is providing significant advances in my own training, I think it is absolutely essential to progress towards this quality.
  • unfortunately both high volume walking patterns and standing practice are both extremely boring in the beginning, and also very difficult and uncomfortable in the case of the standing practices. Not many people will engage with these practices in a volume that is high enough to create the catalyst for deep supple movement.
  • To relate it to my previous post, it seems that the quality is gained through two practices, zhan zhuang which removes inhibition and practices harmonious coordination in static positions, and stepping which is the refinement of harmonious coordination through movement.
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One last observation:  adding partner/repatterning stretching in combination with zhuang is highly auspicious.  The repatterning stretch acts like a spotlight which shines on a particular weak point and brings it to the forefront of the experience.  The practice of zhuang and stepping, in particularly immediately after release via repatterning stretch, allows integration of the previously dark area into the whole system, rather than just keeping it isolated if I were to just do the stretching. I will experiment more with this particular mode of practice and report back.  My first impression is that the partner stretches act like a supercharger, speeding up the process in some way (although they are not necessary for the process at all, all the people I know with this quality have not engaged in this kind of practice). Breakthrough territory might be near! To the laboratory with this! Anyone care to joint this experiment?

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Yah, the times we have done this have been exceptionally interesting..  let us continue with these experiments (and others).  Especially when bubbling dan tien mobilizes additional resources. 

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Reminds me of a podcast I listened to a while back. The guy was talking about how he's found that most people store a lot of tension and emotion (particularly) in their psoas. My traps are a bundle of tension right now. It was either the V-sit/manna progression work or my tuck planches from last workout. V-sit would make more sense, but I have a feeling it's actually an issue of relying on the wrong muscles for planche.

 

Bet you're super excited!

 

This would be my experience too. In my seminars we do a lot of intense and deep stretching and only the psoas brings people to tears/ giggling/elation. I had to move the psosa's to the last thing we do as otherwise tis too difficult to settle the group again.

Traps should be active in planche its the other side of the force couple that balances the depression and gives you the rotation to press into planche.

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Thanks Emmet. I actually just finished today's workout and it appears that it was actually my front lever pulls (from hang to inverted and back) that were the culprit, because the area that was a bit sore totally lit up in the middle of the movement. I'm kind of worried because I've got a flight to Melbourne on Wednesday and a neck tweak not too long ago had me mostly laid up in bed for a couple weeks. Really hope this doesn't destroy my trip!

 

And sorry to derail your log, Craig. The first Tai Chi form that I started with was the Yang 108, and one thing that I really liked about it is that it branches out in all of the directions but also comes back so that it remains mostly symmetrical. One thing that our teacher encouraged us to do was walk for distance using the bow and arrow step. I suppose it would be basically be the ward off to push repetitions you mention for distance without the hand work, now that I think about it.

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haha Cherie has been saying I've been extra grumpy recently.  Pretty sure its coming out of the psoas.

 

Nathan: no stress, I like the discussion!  yes we do lots of stepping with no upper body movements as well, also upper body movements with no stepping.  The quality of movement is the same in all though!

 

Monday (today):

- nei gong (9 breaths static postures, 40 mins)

- sensing palms

- basic hands (~30 mins)

- more sensing palms

- wrist prep

- tuck  handstands

- active hangs

- ultra wide grip pullups

- hovercraft pancake in between pullup sets

- downward dog overhead pushups on pbars (I think im going to call this particular variation pyramid pushups)

- 1 min pu bu on each side between sets, #sfvaf

- shoulder stands

- daoist medicine study

 

still to come:

- more sensing hands (after i finish writing this post!)

- nei dan

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