Zhan Zhuang Journal

Welcome to the complete list of the Internal Gong Fu Wujifa Zhan Zhuang Training Journal articles!

Back in 1999 when I first started journaling my training with Rick, the founder of Wujifa, I never imagined I'd be looking back on over fourteen years of class notes! What an amazing experience! I've learned and grown so much in my understanding and abilities that words cannot express how much I value his masterful teaching and the warm friendship we have developed.

Each article listed here contains tons of tips, insights and Q&A (my questions, Rick's answers). I hope the Wujifa teachings embodied in these notes contribute as much to your training and development as they did and continue to contribute to mine.

Oh, and if you haven't seen my introductory article, Zhan Zhuang Training Journal, be sure to check that out too! It gives you a quick frame of reference for these notes.

So get yourself a cup of tea, sit back, and join me on my journey. And if you have questions or comments, send me an email.

I Can't Feel Anything: Journal Notes #1 (November 1999)
Despite all the "sensitivity" I thought I had developed from years of Tai-chi and push-hands, I discovered that I never developed an ability to feel deeply inside my own body until I started Wujifa zhan zhuang.

What A Mess: Journal Notes #2 (December 1999)
I can talk about activities, but don't know how to talk about feeling. Head-smart, body-dumb. I'm afraid to feel, I don't have words. Where do I start? How to change?

Half Hour Getting Easier - Journal Notes #3 (January 2000)
Letting go hurts. Why continue this craziness? Standing for 30 minutes is getting easier. One night, I felt my chest open. I felt very open, even vulnerable.

Simple Lessons: Journal Notes #4 (February2000)
From these experiences I learned the simple lesson of blocking, releasing and feeling.

This Is A Feeling Art: Journal Notes #5 (March 2000)
The oral tradition has more to do with the transmission of feeling than with teaching proper posture.

Some GroundPath Stuff: Journal Notes #6 (April 2000)
Intention is the key and is the more subtle and misunderstood point to the novice.

The Keys To Something: Journal Notes #7 (June 2000)
Listen to the feeling! Listen to all the different feelings. From the feelings, like pieces of a jigsaw puzzle, you may hypothesize how the pieces fit together. Don't get stuck on over-analyzing feelings.

A Little Honesty: Journal Notes #8 (July 2000)
Tai chi is an internal art which means feeling! Two types of introspection: thinking introspection and feeling introspection. Need to develop the feeling side fully in zhan zhuang and in all of life.

The End of the Road: Journal Notes #9 (August 2000)
I quit training because I thought I learned all I wanted to learn. Actually, I got overwhelmed with all the feeling and ran away. This is fairly common in these deeper practices.

Gary Torres: Journal Notes #10 (January -September 2000)
I thought I knew exactly what I wanted to learn and discovered I didn’t know even half of what I thought I knew about Tai chi.

Three Years Away: Journal Notes #11 (Sept. 2000 - October 2003)
I shut down and tried to get back to being "normal" like the others in my social circle at that time; very cerebral and not very feeling.

A New Beginning: Journal Notes #12 (November 2003)
During all my years of learning forms, I was stuck at the level of mechanically imitating whatever the teacher demonstrated or said. Now, changing how I approach practice.

Looking at the Finger: Journal Notes #13 (December 2003)
Use imagery as a trick to get the intention to move. Don’t get stuck in the make-believe world of the imagery which re-enforces the dis-connect between body and mind.

Big Things Little Packages: Journal Notes #14 (January 2004)
There weren't a lot of notes for this month, however, don't let the shortness fool you. There's a ton of stuff here that can guide your entire practice IF you pursue the depth of these ideas!

An Early Lesson in Learning: Journal Notes #15 (February 2004)
Relying on a teacher to "show me" is one habit that becomes an impediment to learning internal connectedness and must be surpassed. There is an entirely different way to learn.

Body Changes: Journal Notes #16 (March 2004)
I felt the inside of my musculature of my vertebra from shoulders down. I felt my thickness and could differentiate front and back. I feel how I keep my lower back contracted and pulled in almost always.

Bio Questions: Journal Notes #17 (April 2004)
Beware of the psychodrama. Keep it simple. What do you feel? "I feel hot and sweaty. I feel my legs trembling. I feel my shoulders hurt." Leave it at that.

Relaxation Riddles: Journal Notes #18 (May - June 2004)
The old masters and teachings speak in contradictions because if a teacher said "X" then the mind would go to "X" and get stuck there. Contradictions like riddles fry the brain and create an opening for what... Yes !

Practical Non-Attachment: Journal Notes #19 (July 2004)
A "theme" in this month's journal entries seems to revolve around how to practice not getting stuck on an idea of the feeling; why "not knowing" can lead to a step in the right direction.

Chen Xiaowang Seminar 2004: Journal Notes #20 (July 23-28, 2004)
Although I could not "see" what he was doing internally, his teachings shaped my views on Taiji and internal martial arts. The more I learn, the more I understand what he shared.

Living Puzzle Anxiety: Journal Notes #21 (August - October 2004)
Want to know how zhan zhuang works?  Knowing how it works is not enough. If you can't demonstrate it, then you really don't know how it works.  Stood for 80 minutes in class for the first time!

What is the Fulcrum: Journal Notes #22 (November 2004)
Yin-yang is mechanistic thinking. Wuji is the fulcrum upon which yin-yang rests. It is best to be the fulcrum. Maintain Wuji in everything. Stood for almost two hours in class!

Monkey and Stallion: Journal Notes #23 (December 2004)
Focus and concentrate to not be distracted but not 100%. Leave some attention to be aware of what else is going on in your body.

The Zhan Zhuang Recipe: Journal Notes #24 (January 2005)
The method or recipe for learning or teaching zhan zhuang can only be followed to a point, after which,  you simply must develop a feel for it.

More Pelvic Work: Journal Notes #25 (February 2005)
If you can't feel your body, then what's the point of having a body? I felt the muscles of my pelvic floor tighten in response to an emotional reaction.

Mechanistic or Organic: Journal Notes #26 (April 2005)
Example "A" was done mechanistically, automatically, like you've done hundreds of times before. No thinking. No feeling. No presence. Example "B" was done organically with mindfulness, purposely, noticing and feeling at each "step". Do everything organically starting with zhan zhuang.

Still Confused About Feeling: Journal Notes #27 (May-June 2005)
Thinking “the feeling” must conform to my concept of it, I could not notice the feeling of "letting go" when my legs couldn’t hold me up any longer and I collapsed to the floor during stance class.That's it! You just had it! Had what?

Yan Gaofei Tai-chi Spear Seminar: Journal Notes #28 (June 25-26, 2005)
I really like the way Yan taught spear, demonstrating one element at a time and having us practice basic, elemental drills with a partner and building one component upon the other and showing how a simple "form" can emerge from these components. The basics. Train the basics...

Xing-Yi Quan Five Element Seminar: Journal Notes #29 (July 9, 2005)
Notes from the July 9, 2005 Xing-Yi Five Element seminar held at Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA as taught by Dr. Gary S. Torres of the Phoenix Dragon Kung Fu Academy.

Practice Non-Polarity: Journal Notes #30 (August 2005)
Practice under-ware. Not a-ware, and not un-aware as these are terms of polarity from the yin-yang paradigm. Focus on the fulcrum at ever increasing magnifications.

Yin-Yang Wuji Fulcrum: Journal Notes #31 (September 2005)
People tend to see through the dualistic (yin-yang) "rose colored" glasses and by being so focused, they can't see the underlying Wuji fulcrum on which the yin-yang is balanced. How does this feel?

Zhan Zhuang Practice Time: Journal Notes #32 (October 2005)
Must stand for one hour minimum. It takes 30-45 minutes for the mind to calm down. After you get through "the wall", you enter a different place where the body changes and real progress is made.

Discover Your Power: Journal Notes #33 (November 2005)
I've discovered that I am comfortable with being powerless. If stance is to develop internal power, then my core attitude is in contradiction to my practice. A wonderful gift of understanding.

Training Spirit (神;shén): Journal Notes #34 (December 2005)
Not spirit in the mystical sense, but rather, spirit as attitude. What attitude drives your zhan zhuang practice?

Revealing Grandfather's Face: Journal Notes #35 (January 2006)
"What is the face of your grandfather before you were born?" As I release patterns of chronic muscular tension (armoring), I begin to understand. Armoring is handed down through generations.

Walls, Heads and Hearts: Journal Notes #36 (February - March 2006)
I wasn't able to distinguish concept-based questions from feeling-based questions until I myself shifted from asking "head" based questions to asking "body" based questions. I'm beginning to notice the feeling behind the words.

Ten Year Practice: Journal Notes #37 (April 2006)
The mouth is very good at lying but the body is not. In real estate, it's location, location, location. In zhan zhuang and developing internal strength it's, Read the body! Read the body! Read the body! It only took me ten years of practicing internal feeling to get here.

Hiding Secrets in Plain Sight: Journal Notes #38 (May 2006)
But I am still looking for “the answer” in rules and concepts. The answer lies in feeling. It’s like I’m looking at the answer through a belief/concept filter and can’t see what’s right there in my face. Seeing lies in feeling.

Let Go. Got it? Ahhhhh: Journal Notes #39 (June 2006)
I can't get more until I let go of what I've got now. A paradox? Shift paradigms. The more chronic muscular tension patterns I release, the more I feel fascial connection, internal strength.

My Introduction to NLP: Journal Notes #40 (July - August 2006)
In Wujifa zhan zhuang class, I've seen and experienced how the concepts from NLP can be applied to create openings for learning and developing internal strength.

Not the Usual Child's Play: Journal Notes #41 (September 2006)
After a certain point, getting deeper into finding the feeling of internal connectedness requires playing like a child; no shoulds, no can’ts, no rules. Play like a child. Explore… but with a purpose.

Changing My Diet: Journal Notes #42 (Nov. - Dec 2006)
Changing my diet of food contributes to body health. Changing my diet of thoughts contributes to deepening my feeling and understanding. If you look for data, you will find data. If you look for feeling, you will find feeling.

Circle of Influence: Journal Notes #43 (January 2007)
I have a tendency to want to develop outside the range of what my current capabilities allow. Learning to focus on practicing what I can truly influence is a huge lesson!

Match and Mismatch: Journal Notes #44 (February 2007)
When I learn something new, I look for similarities between the new and existing. This strategy is helpful  in conceptual settings but not when it comes to learning an internal kinesthetic practice like zhan zhuang.

Getting Up and Down: Journal Notes #45 (March 2007)
Learning how to sit down while standing is only half the equation. How do you get the top to feel full without going limp or staying tense?

Shifts Happen: Journal Notes #46 (April 2007)
When practicing, I never know when my body will release a long held tension pattern. These changes or shifts happen naturally. And then my whole practice changes.

Levels of Noticing: Journal Notes #47 (May - June 2007)
I have received the "same" adjustment over the years of practicing zhan zhuang. The "same" adjustment continues to guide me to deeper and deeper levels of noticing and refinement as my body continues to unwind.

No Shortcuts: Journal Notes #48 (July 2007)
I'm frustrated that this is taking so long. Don't look for shortcuts. There aren't any. Stick with the basics. Stand and relax and notice.

Appreciation and Thankfulness: Journal Notes #49 (August 2007)
Thankfulness. Focus on the relaxation you do have and not on the tension spots or frustration at what you don't have. Be thankful when nothing happens. Something doesn't have to happen.

You Can't Force Relax: Journal Notes #50 (December 2007)
But I still want to figure out how to relax faster. You can't make yourself relax. Just relax and the body will relax at its own pace. Enjoy the journey of watching your body change.

Noticing To Help You Notice: Journal Notes #51 (January 2008)
As my practice deepens, I notice my zhan zhuang teacher really can’t make my body do what it needs to do. I have to figure out how to make the changes in myself. The value shifts to helping me notice what I can’t notice on my own and point that out to me.

Follow the Feeling: Journal Notes #52 (February 2008)
Big break through! You say, "The method is not the truth. Once you get the feeling, get rid of the method." So when I ask, "What is the feeling?" that question is self-limiting because my practice today opens opportunities to feel more and deeper tomorrow. So there is no single be-all-and-end-all goal, no single, "the feeling". Rather, the saying should be more like, "Once you begin feeling, follow that feeling."

Contradictions: Journal Notes #53 (March 2008)
I still like to label things. Definitions. Explanations. Logic. However, to access presence and feeling, contradictions work best to short-circuit the mind creating an opening to feeling.

Don't Do Stance, Just Stand: Journal Notes #54 (April 2008)
I still believe I’m not “getting it” because I’m not doing something right. What's the right way to do stance?  Don't do stance and all its rules, just stand. I’m holding myself back by holding onto my underlying patterns.

Backlash: Journal Notes #55 (May 2008)
I find that as I relax “deeper”, that I get muscle spasms in response. Maybe the body is readjusting to new muscular patterning?

Teaching Internal Strength: Journal Notes #56 (June 2008)
Here’s some more ideas about a functional way to teach vs. teaching the way you learned.

Stance Is Life and Life Is Stance: Journal Notes #57 (July 2008)
I’m beginning to experience that there are no boundaries between zhan zhuang practice and daily life. The two cannot be compartmentalized or separated. This is scary!

Opening to Learn More: Journal Notes #58 (August 2008)
I'm eager to apply my skills but I did not get the anticipated results. Feeling frustrated and closing to opportunity. Must learn to stay open.

Feels Like Nothing: Journal Notes #59 (September 2008)
Whenever I get adjusted to just that right spot, like where I can ground a push without effort, it feels like I'm not using any muscular strength at all. Is that right to think that internal strength/connectedness feels like nothing?

Internal vs External Martial Arts: Journal Notes #60 (October 2008)
A very different way to view this old dichotomy. Some other training goodies.

Beyond the Monkey Mind: Journal Notes #61 (November 2008)
I'm now noticing a constant churning of feeling/emotion a layer below the voice-in-the-head. The monkey mind can be a distraction AND it can be a teacher and provide insights. There are no layers.

Mind-full-ness and Zoning Out: Journal Notes #62 (December 2008)
Much more aware of when I’m dissociating and staying present. Zoning out during zhan zhuang practice is a form of psychic armor to not feel too much too soon.

Goals and Questions: Journal Notes #63 (January 2009)
I learned how my habit of approaching goals and asking questions in daily life shows up in zhan zhuang practice. When I only relax within my comfort zone, then I’ll never achieve the level of “sung” needed.

Zhan Zhuang Medicine: Journal Notes #64 (February 2009)
Methods are much like a medicine and can assist or hinder one’s progress depending on the usage of various methods and when they are used.

Keep the Plates Spinning: Journal Notes #65 (March 2009)
I’m really noticing how I’m stuck in my behavioral and muscular patterns and I’m afraid to make changes that will propel me to feel more connectedness in zhan zhuang and daily life. I know what I have to do and yet, I'm afraid of the implications and consequences.

Connecting Intention and Body: Journal Notes #66 (April 2009)
How can you know where my mind is just by looking at me? Your mind is only paying attention to the level of detail you have built in to your body and can naturally demonstrate.

Feeling and Data: Journal Notes #67 (May 2009)
As a guy so deeply wedded to data knowledge, I'm slowly coming to appreciate the beauty and volatility of the kinesthetic transmission of this feeling-knowledge.

Wujifa Kua Movement: Journal Notes #68 (June 2009)
A lot of notes on the inguinal crease or kua.

Developing Presence: Journal Notes #69 (July 2009)
The source notes for my "Breaking Stance Trance" article. Bringing my pictures into my body. Building more connections.

How Do You Know: Journal Notes #70 (August-September 2009)
Really? You feel "x" during your zhan zhuang practice? How do you know? And clarification on "the feeling".

Building Internal Community: Journal Notes #71 (October 2009)
More details on "How to" develop the mindset to a deeper understanding of Wujifa zhan zhuang. The P.I.D. control loop.

The Middle Path: Journal Notes #72 (November 2009)
Practicing Yin-Yang vs practicing Wuji. More notes on fa-jing and the difference between describing what you feel and imagining you are feeling what someone else describes!

Victor Chao Internal Martial Arts Training: Journal Notes #73 (December 2009)
Finding your calibration points. If you don't go to suffering, you'll never get it.

Where Is Your Focus?: Journal Notes #74 (January 2010)
Focus on expanding. Developing a questioning mindset. Blindspots in practice.

Sitting Back and Down: Journal Notes #75 (February 2010)
Focus is on intentions in zhan zhuang. Also, trance dance.

From Method To Feeling: Journal Notes #76 (March 2010)
Transitioning my zhan zhuang practice from a method-based practice to a feeling-based practice.

Toward a Feeling-Based Understanding: Journal Notes #77 (April 2010)
More details on transitioning my zhan zhuang practice from a method-based practice to a feeling-based practice.

Methods, Feeling, Thinking: Journal Notes #78 (May 2010)
Learning the most functional way to think to continue progress in relaxing, feeling, connecting.

Deeper Insights into Zhan Zhuang Foundations: Journal Notes #79  (June 2010)
Notes on zhan zhuang feet, side-to-side, fa-jing, and finding balance between wanting and letting go of wanting and discovering what shows up.

Beginning How to Feel Connection: Journal Notes #80 (July 2010)
Now that you've come this far, now you're ready to begin. Beginning tips on how to feel, notice and build connection.

Zhan Zhuang Questions: Journal Notes #81 (August 2010)
What's the best way to ask questions about your zhan zhuang practice? And other goodies!

Feeling Letting Go: Journal Notes #82 (September 2010)
Getting some deeper understanding of relaxing, letting go, peng, bracing, internal strength, and more.

Compartmentalization Compromises Connection: Journal Notes #83 (October 2010)
A great discussion of why "holding to the center" or "focusing on the Dan-Tian" will not lead to whole body connectedness.

Principle Driven Training: Journal Notes #84 (November 2010)
A look at principle, feeling, noticing meta-processes, real knowledge of internal martial arts practice.

Another Level of Practice: Journal Notes #85 (December 2010)
Wujifa Zhan Zhuang is a practice of depth. Here is an example of another layer of zhan zhuang practice.

Body Mind Sticky Spots: Journal Notes #86 (January 2011)
Where zhan zhuang and daily life merge. How being stuck in one gets you stuck in the other.

Ph.D. Level Gong-fu: Journal Notes #87 (February 2011)
Beginning martial arts classes are largely about imitating what the teacher is doing whether it's forms, techniques or applications. At this level, you must be more independent in your approach...

Noticing the Emotional Wall: Journal Notes #88 (March 2011)
The level to which I can feel and connect emotionally is the level to which I am able to relax and feel fascial connection. Feeling is feeling is feeling.

Setting Your Intention: Journal Notes #89 (April 2011)
Tips and pointers on how to write a real Zhan Zhuang Training Journal. Staying on the path is the goal.

Zhan Zhuang and Quality Control: Journal Notes #90 (May 2011)
Ramp up your zhan zhuang training by following a quality control perspective: Plan, Do, Check, Act.

Zhan Zhuang Craftsman: Journal Notes #91 (June 2011)
At what level are you practicing you internal martial arts now? What is the next level for your practice? What do you need to do to take your practice to the next level?

Intention, Process, Results: Journal Notes #92 (July 2011)
A Quality Control Approach to Training Zhan Zhuang: (What do you want? What are you doing? What results are you getting?) - (Intention- Process - Results)

Faux Feeling, True Feeling: Journal Notes #93 (August 2011)
A feeling that may be true at one level is actually a pointer to you where you need to go, and so is not true at the next level.

What I Never Understood: Journal Notes #94 (September 2011)
Sometimes the truth can be staring me straight in the face and I don't even see it.. as if I were trying to understand another paradigm through the prism of my current paradigm...

Discovering How to Fail in Zhan Zhuang: Journal Notes #95 (October 2011)
After years of wanting to "do it right", changing to not being so uptight about "doing it right". Relax. Let go.

Perturbation and Internal Martial Arts: Journal Notes #96 (November 2011)
Perturbation is just a word. One way to consider perturbation is anything that challenges your purpose. While practicing zhan zhuang, the thought to get a drink is perturbation.

Whole Body Relax: Journal Notes #97 (December 2011)
Relax means to use the minimum muscle needed to maintain structure. I wonder how many people really work hard at relaxing the wrong way?

Lessons From the Shoulder: Journal Notes #98 (January 2012)
Lots of insights into the functioning of the shoulder which can be applied to silk reeling and push hands.

Zhan Zhuang Training Conundrum: Journal Notes #99 (February 2012)
If we have trouble feeling, then we tighten to feel. We can't feel because what we need to feel is tense.

Finally! The Beginning: Journal Notes #100 (March 2012)
After months of hearing, "You're using too much muscle.", I finally found the level at which I can begin training correctly.

Training Submission: Journal Notes #101 (April 2012)
How much do I want to use force to get a result that is within my range to notice instead of quietly waiting, observing with intention, submitting to simply noticing, and then acting on what I notice... ?

Not Practicing: Journal Notes #102 (May 2012)
Even though I've succumbed to life circumstances, I learned a very useful method to help me feel and develop the "kua in" feeling in a Wujifa class this month.

Learning From Myself: Journal Notes #103 (June 2012)
I'm learning the value of journaling my training experiences and questions and answers. Reading old zhan zhuang training material can provide new training insights.

Holding to Routines: Journal Notes #104 (July 2012)
Some routines are good to hold to, others can hold you back.

Working the Lower Back: Journal Notes #105 (August 2012) 
Some goodies on lower back and a note on the cycles in my practice.

What I'm Not Doing: Journal Notes #106 (September 2012)
Avoiding honesty under the guise of being honest. Getting real about internal training may be the toughest part of it all.

Back To Where I Was Six Months Ago: Journal Notes #107 (October 2012)
Adhering to an identity is secure. Developing gongfu changes your identity. Do you want security or growth? There is security in not addressing your fears. I am so stuck...

Habits, Patterns, Blockages: Journal Notes #108 (November 2012)
Going to class out of habit... not being confused... being afraid to really get it...

Submitting to the Experience: Journal Notes #109 (Dec 2012 - Jan 2013)
What if I accepted where I'm stuck, stop fixating on the fear and simply work with where I am now? Feeling without words to describe what I don't know. Not knowing and accepting. Feeling. Experiencing.

Feeling In the Eyes: Journal Notes #110 (March 2013)
I engaged an area of life I had long denied engaging and just like that, something noticeably shifted in my practice. I can feel my eyes are lifeless when I'm being mechanistic and when they are alive when I'm feeling the stretch.

Too Tense for the Next Level: Journal Notes #111 (April 2013)
I get stuck in a tense-relax loop. It's like I'm stuck in a loop of feeling a superficial level of relax and I'm not jumping out of that superficial, "known" level of relax to a more relaxed level of relax that's a deeper level of relax than the loop I'm in.

Experimenting or Avoiding Feeling: Journal Notes #112 (May 2013)
How can I discover my subconscious  resistance to feeling?  How can I discover my armors? Experiment. But I don't want to. And this is why so few people "get it".

My Training Rollercoaster: Journal Notes #113 (June 2013)
I'm getting stuck in a tense-relax loop. I alternate between my habitual level of tension and my habitual level of relaxation.

Going Places and Coming Home: Journal Notes #114 (July and August 2013)
Learning to distinguish a faux feeling of being in-my-body from the real deal. There are many ways to dis-associate and believe I'm not. A major ah-ha moment for me!

Questions About Dan-Tian Rotation: Journal Notes #115 (September 2013)
If you don't fulfill the pre-requisites, how can you graduate to upper-level coursework?

Wujifa Mini Breathing Squats: Journal Notes #116 (October - November 2013)
Beginning to get into using breath as a method. Remember, basic Wujifa warm-up exercises can reveal great depth when practiced correctly over time.

Trying vs. Trying Too Hard: Journal Notes #117 (December 2013)
You have to try. Some people don't try hard enough. But trying too hard can be a resistance too in the sense that you're not letting go and simply noticing/being with what is there.

The End of the Road: Journal Notes #118 (January 2014)
My mechanical, technical, logical approach to learning can only take me so far. What's next? I don't know but something has to change...

Noticing vs Analyzing: Journal Notes #119 (February 2014)
Noticing involves being with the moment and letting it pass. Analysis is dead-like, cut off from that aliveness. Connect with the emotion more and more as a way to connect with more and more subtle kinesthetics.

Be More Humane with Yourself: Journal Notes #120 (March 2014)
Relaxing, letting go, and opening can bring unintended consequences, being more relaxed, alive and open. Do you notice a tendency to squelch that amount of aliveness in daily life?

The Door Into Wujifa: Journal Notes #121 (April 2014)
Freedom of movement must precede the feeling of connection.

Resisting the Simple: Journal Notes #122 (May 2014)
Many "internal" martial arts teachers and practitioners don't figure out and focus on the simple, elemental, functional methods that can lead to developing internal strength. Instead they value complexity and diversity and hence engage a wide variety of sometimes very complex practices which ultimately do not lead to internal strength.

The Self Delusion of Beginner's Mind: Journal Notes #123 (June 2014)
I now realize that I used my self-belief of having a "Beginner's Mind" as a veil of self-delusion to conceal a deeper, internal resistance to learning; I will submit to your instruction (external perception) but only to this point (internal reality). In the end, that point became the point where I got stuck.

The Intention to Roll Over: Journal Notes #124 (July 2014)
Like a baby, only use your intention of reaching to pull the body over. All these various exercises are meant to purify and refine the intention.

What's Sex Got To Do With It?: Journal Notes #125 (August 2010)
Something has shifted in my practice recently and I don't feel compelled by the same inhibition. And so beginning with this Journal Notes entry, I will begin providing notes that discuss the role of sexual expression in developing connection.

Exercise for Kua Freedom of Movement: Journal Notes #126 (September 2014)
The exercise explained in detail this month might reveal just how little range of motion you have and how you can painstakingly train to improve this.

Remember, The Moon Is Round: Journal Notes #127 (October 2014)
Remember, the moon is ROUND. And ROUND in Chinese is kind of a cultural code word for "connected"! Methods (the pointing finger) guide you to feeling connection! The full, round moon is a symbolic reminder of what you are striving towards; striving to develop the feeling of completeness, fullness, connection.

Vertical Kua Exercises: Journal Notes #128 (November 2014)
In Wujifa, the "dan-tian" is the entire area from the bottom of the ribs to the mid-thigh. This area is the most difficult to let go, to release, to stretch, to pressurize and to feel connection in and through. It is the area which holds the most challenge and demands the greatest amount of focus and work.

Gaining Clarity on the Training Methodology: Journal Notes #129 (December 2014)
Finally! I understand what he means by "experiment". A subtly nuanced difference from other training methodologies.

Preconceived Movement Patterns: Journal Notes #130 (January 2015)
If the body automatically performs according to its preconceived movement pattern, how do I even get a chance to notice this on my own? Practice non-practice. Have no intention to do what you think you should do. You're messing yourself up doing what you think you should be doing.

Stop Expecting the Feeling to Be Like Something: Journal Notes #131 (February 2015)
If you've never felt connection, you really don't know what it feels like so stop wasting your time doing an exercise that you think is developing your "idea" of the feeling of connection. Just do the exercise and work to feel and notice a little more each time. One day the feeling will be there and you won't even know it because the feeling of connection is beyond what you can imagine. 

An Rx for Progress?: Journal Notes #132 (March 2015)
This month I stepped out of my rigid little box in which I believe I'm relaxed and tried an anti-anxiety medication before each class. The result is that I remained focused and present and did not (could not?) "space out" and mentally "disconnect".

Tension Blocks Connection: Journal Notes #133 (April & May 2015)
If your intention is to lift with your chest or back, this intention, however subtle it may be to you, engages the body differently than if your intention is to relax the torso and allow the torso to "go along for the ride" by letting the hips and legs do the work of raising or lowering the torso.

Letting Go of Wanting to Get It: Journal Notes #134 (June 2015)
I found myself letting go of the wanting to "get it". In that moment, I felt relaxed. In that moment, I didn't care if I ever got it or not. In that moment, it simply did not matter. How can I not care about practice and continue practice?

Unstable Foundations: Journal Notes #135 (July 2015)
If you're pursuing a goal then you're always pursuing a goal and not appreciating what you encounter on the journey.

There is Nothing to Understand: Journal Notes #136 (August 2015)
I intellectualized the material and could not understand that understanding was my self-defeating behavior and this is what was in my way. Do or do not! There is no understand!

Underlying Attitude: Journal Notes #137 (September 2015)
Intention is applied to tending and weeding the garden and not in forcing an artificial seedling to breakthrough. Fixing a problem vs exploring and experimenting.

Say Hello to Your Pelvis: Journal Notes #138 (October 2015)
 The pelvis is the seat of sexuality. Depending on how this sexuality is expressed or repressed and the emotions associated with this expression or repression hugely influence the muscular holding pattern around the pelvis.

A Little More Pelvic Progress: Journal Notes #139 (November 2015)
Due to the angle change between pelvis and trochanters, the trochanters turn more upward as if the pelvis were sinking between the two.

Unknowingly Lucky: Journal Notes #140 (December 2015)
I got angry because I repeatedly re-experience "letting go" without being able to maintain it. "How lucky you are to have this experience. Many people never get this experience even once in their lives!"

Huge Breakthrough! Part One: Journal Notes #141 (January 2016)
Wow! So I finally understand the difference between the connected-present feeling and my disconnected "robot trance" feeling. The challenge is not how to develop that state, but to how flip into it on my own without relying on another person to get me there.

Huge Breakthrough! Part Two: Journal Notes #142 (February 2016)
I've been told that some people are uncomfortable with me recently (being more open and present). So my initial reaction is to pull back and "be seen but not heard". This might assuage their discomfort but it is probably not helpful for me. How do I navigate this change?

Wujifa and Iron Shirt: Journal Notes #143 (March 2016)
Some systems train to numb the body to pain, others train to harden the body against pain. The internal Wujifa way is to relax with structure to allow the impact energy a clear path to ground.

(Last updated: April 14, 2016)