Karin feels exceptionally fortunate to have been trained by Sam Masich in the full ‘Yang Style Traditional Curriculum’ as well as Sam’s signature, the ‘5 Section Taiji Curriculum’.
The full Yang Style Curriculum includes basic practices such as Standing Meditation, the 108 Solo Form, Push Hands (Four-Hands, the Da Lu etc.), the ’88’ or Sanshou ‘Attack & Defend’ 2 Person Bare-Hand Form and weapons (sabre, straight sword and spear.) Karin completed her full curriculum intensive with Sam in 2009.
The 5 Section Taiji Curriculum is intended to allow easy access to a full range of Taiji practices through shorter versions of traditional Taiji forms. For example, the 5 Section Solo form consists of 20 movements rather than the traditional Yang Style Long Form which is 108 movements; a 2 Person Bare Hand Form (a choreographed set to learn Core Principles of Sensing Hands & Push Hands); a Solo Straight-Sword Form (Yang Style, 27 movements); a 2 Person Sword Form (a choreographed set to learn ‘Sticking’ in sword play); and the 5 Section Chen Form (this 23 movement Chen Style shows the historical connection between Chen & Yang Styles of Taijiquan). Karin completed her 5 Section intensive with Sam in 2007.
Yang style is characterized by its slow, steady pace. It is an ideal way to find your ‘inner tortoise’ while working your legs hard, softening chronic tension patterns and coaxing the mind to give you a break from the constant chatter of a hectic life. Well-known for its health benefits, starting a practice of Taiji is best—younger than older, sooner rather than later and practiced more often than less!
5 Phases Drills for Taiji:
These drills are incorporated into all Taiji classes as preparation for form study. They provide basic drills that may be practiced immediately to support learning form. Based on 5 Element Theory in Qigong & Chinese Medicine, we study the nature of the elements—Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water—and how they relate to the cycles inherent in life, the change of the seasons, the fluctuations of Yin & Yang, and the phases of energy in the body. In physical practice, we use the element names as shorthand for 5 distinct upper body positions that may then be applied directly into learning the upper body positions in seamless form. Additionally, we can add in the traditional ‘Wu Bu’ or 5 phases of the Taiji Stance to deepen our foundation as well as add to the specific drills.
Traditional Long Form (108 movement) Solo Taiji Form + The “88” San Shou Form:
This Advanced class works on the longer, slower, deeper 108 form. If you’ve had experience previously with this form you are welcome to join anytime! We also spend time working on the 2-Person interactive form, the San Shou or the “88” with an emphasis on the principles of Push Hands play.
Sensing Hands ~ Push Hands
Any practitioner is fortunate to be presented with the moving application principles of Taiji ~ known as Push Hands. Make sense of this Martial Art with fun, interactive & engaging drills that are the natural extension of solo form study & help support one’s true understanding of centering & connecting within a non-competitive, totally non-aggressive context. Seriously, we mostly laugh a lot! Learn how to listen to your partner & stay centered at the same time. Through basic drills & moving step pattern we study how to ‘Stick,’ ‘Listen,’ ’Understand,’ ‘Receive’ and ‘Neutralize’ while staying connected our partner and keeping the nervous system in balance. Tools EVERYBODY needs for daily life not just in a Taiji class. This study has the potential to change how you think & what you do ~ it is that good!
5 Section (20 movement) Solo Taiji Form:
This Short Form is great for beginners! You learn the architecture of the progressive movements while learning Core Principles that will be true for Taiji as a lifelong practice. Each week we add to basic drills that may be practiced immediately as well as explore adding new sequences to the 20 movement form. Join anytime!