Because he saw that I knew the basics of Ba Gua and the stepping and all of that, and obviously had
Kent Howard with his teacher, Huang Jin Sheng, and a few of Huang'a other students at Pa Kua Ch'an
Buddhist Temple, the group's usual morning workout spot practiced the form I was doing for many years, he started me right into the lian huan zhang (continuous linking palm) form, which is the first form in Wang's system. We started right into the single palm change and the double palm change and on through the rest of the form.
He taught me pretty fast - one change a week. I actually missed one week so it took me nine weeks to learn the form the first time through.
When I met Huang Jin Sheng during one of my trips to Taiwan he showed me a nice set of Qi Gong warm up exercises. Did you work with those right away? In other words, was there any other training supplemental to the form?
Yes, for the first two weeks I was there, he should me the warm up set. After that we started learning the form, one change a week. He also had some static standing practice. He taught me several of the standing postures from Wang's system, but there was one posture in particular that he liked to use more than the others. It was with the two palms pointing down toward the floor and the fingers pointing in toward each other and held near the dan tian It was one of
Wang Shu Jin's posture which my teacher felt was the most useful.
Standing practice has become quite popular in the U.S. What were some of the principles your teacher emphasized in the standing practice which might help those that are out there practicing it?
Actually, the write up Tim Cartmell gave in the Xing Yi Nei Gong book you guys published was excellent. It touched on all of the points my teacher emphasized and is written very clearly. In fact, I have photocopied that section of the book and given it to my students who are learning the standing practice.
When you first started learning the forms with him, what kind of general principles did Huang Jin Sheng emphasize?
He was constantly correcting posture trying to ensure I was consistent with Wang Shu Jin's eight points of posture throughout the form. Wang had eight points of posture and three points of the body that the eight points pertained to. One point, or "word," is the character for "drop." This pertains to dropping the shoulders, dropping the wrists, and dropping the elbows. Another of the points pertains to the character meaning "round." You round the shoulders, you round the arms, and round the waist. Huang would go over each one of those and constantly correct the postures. (For a description of all eight of these principles see page 22.)
The points were used as guidelines for every posture you transitioned through. He said every posture had to be yi guan (~~it), or internally connected, and permeate the body. From head to toe it had to be yi guan. One of Wang Shu Jin's main focuses in teaching was this idea of yi guan, Wang Shu Jin used this phrase in his books quite frequently.
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