Pace of movements

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    I have completed the 10 week course and have started working back through the set with the additional material from Bruce online and his book. I am trying to incorporate breathing and movement refinement into moves 1 and 2. Bill stated at some point in the course that you shouldn’t do the movements too slowly and I don’t know how to reconcile this statement, and the pace of his demo set, with the instructions regarding breath in Bruce’s vol. 1. If I do movements 1 and 2 at Bill’s pace, I am either ignoring my breath or breathing shallowly to keep up.



    You will use different speeds depending on whether you are training something new into the movements or doing the set.

    When you are training something new, you’ll need to go as slow as you need to, in order to engage the new challenge. You usually train not by doing the whole set, but by working on pieces of moves or supplementary exercises. For example, in Volume 2 of the Dragon & Tiger books, Bruce in some chapters presents various physical and energetic exercises, and then specifies in other chapters that follow how when you can do those exercises fairly easily you put them into the 7 movements of D&T.

    There is an old phrase we use a lot – you have to lose in order to gain. You may have to lose going at the “proper” speed in order to gain proper breathing capacities. This is something that you do when you are training a new piece.

    But when you are doing the whole set, you want to be sure to gain the key benefits of doing so, and that means not going too slow or too fast. You don’t want to go so slow that your chi stops flowing smoothly and continuously. Yet you don’t want to go so fast that you can’t feel what you are doing.

    So if you are trying something relatively new while doing the whole set, and you realize you have slowed down so much you aren’t moving smoothly and continuously chi-wise or physically, then that means you’re not ready to do the whole set and play with that new thing. Instead do the whole set with a focus on something else that is easier for you, and leave that new challenge to when you are training supplementary exercises, pieces of movements, or many repetitions of a single movement.

    And after you do so, be sure to end your practice with a full set, to ensure that you end in a balanced state, physically and energetically.

    By the way, whenever you do the full set, we generally recommend that
    you take one principle and focus just on it through the whole set. Don’t
    jump from one focus to another to another, etc. You won’t get the
    benefit of doing any of those if you attempt to do too many.

    I hope this all makes sense.

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