Thursday, November 8, 2012

What I'm Not Doing: Journal Notes #106

Notes from my September 2012 Zhan Zhuang Training Journal. I train with The School of Cultivation and Practice which practices Wujifa zhan zhuang. (My current reflections are added in italics.)

* I haven't done any Wujifa zhan zhuang training since April 3rd. I've only been doing some of the Wujifa adjunctive exercises and my Tai-chi form making this six straight months of not doing any core zhan zhuang training.
(It sure is embarrassing to post that I'm not training. What then is there to post about? Where's the conquering your fears, eating bitter and all that jive? For me, it's not always there. There's highs and there's lows. I'm in a stretch of being on the low side now. Just saying... Speaking honestly... )

* Pretty depressed. No mood for class. I attended class but since I haven't been regularly practicing  zhan zhuang, I had no questions and I wasn't in the mood for taking notes, so no notes. Don't know why I even bothered going to class, maybe just to stay in touch and not run away entirely.

* Our school brother Trevor is now attending the Rolf Institute of Structural Integration working on getting his certification. We all had a long discussion regarding Rolfing, fascia and connective tissue systems and models and we looked at some really amazing videos of fascia.

* The model must match the purpose or else the model is useless.
(This discussion later became my blog article, How Beliefs Can Inhibit Internal Martial Art Skill Development, and so I won't re-write these notes here. Go read this article.)

* I hung back and listened to a class discussion about a couple different ways that people walk in reference to the motion of the lower spinal vertebrae, L1-L5, and the pelvis. If the muscles are free to move (no chronic tension and no fascial adhesions 'gluing' the muscles together), then L1-L5 tends to remain on a vertical line and twist horizontally while the pelvis moves in a figure eight motion. However, if the muscles around the L1-L5 vertebrae and the pelvis are chronically tight resulting in fascial adhesions 'gluing' these tense muscles together, this effectively makes the pelvis and L1-L5 a single unmovable unit. When this happens, then  the pelvic motion during walking is transmitted up the spine and the lower spine moves more like a pendulum, swinging from side-to-side with the motion of the pelvis.
(Because everyone thinks that their way of standing or moving is normal, a frequent comment is that structural/postural adjustments range from feeling weird to feeling mildly painful. Some people embrace the discomfort and others fight against it and yet others withdraw from it.)

* My instructor talked with me about this withdrawing phase I've been going through. He helped me examine how and why I get stuck and shut down and how noticing these "sticky points" can lead to change. He again suggested that I read the book Radical Honesty: How to Transform Your Life by Telling the Truth by Brad Blanton (2005). He insisted that this is required reading for all Wujifa practitioners to understand where and how we are hiding from being fulling present, connected and engaged.

Further reading:
Introductory article explaining this "Journal Notes" series: Zhan Zhuang Training Journal
Previous article in this series: Working the Lower Back: Journal Notes #105
 Next article in this series: - Back To Where I Was Six Months Ago: Journal Notes #107

Make sure to visit Wujifa.com and the Wujifa blog.
And stop by The School of Cultivation and Practice.  

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