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To Jeffrey Segal- a question on how to perform Cloud Hands

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  • To Jeffrey Segal- a question on how to perform Cloud Hands

    Jeffrey Seagal,

    I have read Sifu Wong Kiew Kit's book on Taijiquan thoroughly now. However, he does not seem to mention in detail on how to perform Cloud Hands for building internal force. Three Circle Stance and Lifting Water are the two main exercises mentioned in detail. Would you kindly tell me how to perform Cloud Hands to build internal force? Can the pattern be performed stationery? Thank you very much.

    Best wishes,
    Stephen
    Last edited by Jeffrey Segal; 9th January 2006, 01:02 AM.

  • #2
    Hi Stephen,

    You know, I thought of you last night while I was practicing Cloud Hands!

    If there isn't a detailed explanation in Sifu's book, I'd guess that there is a good reason. It's not all that easy to explain in words and even an accurate explanation could easily lead to errors and blockages.

    I can however answer your question about Cloud Hands. The pattern can of course be performed in a stationary goat riding stance. That's how we learn it first of all. Then, one can train it in any of the other stances and at all speeds from very very slow, to very very fast.

    Personally, I love Cloud Hands.

    Oh, and please call me Jeffrey, or leave out that extra "a" in Segal

    Best wishes,
    Jeffrey Segal

    Comment


    • #3
      "Chi Kung for Health and Vitality" has a description of Circulating Hands on page 142. Isn't that similar to Cloud Hands?
      Sifu Anthony Korahais
      www.FlowingZen.com
      (Click here to learn more about me.)

      Comment


      • #4
        Well spotted Anthony!

        I'd suggest not worrying about either the abdominal breathing or the visualization and just enjoying the movement, making sure that you are in a relaxed Goat Riding Stance.

        Or, you could try performing the exercise with and without visualization just to see if you notice any difference.

        I'm tending in my training these days to visualize much less and to just notice what happens, without getting attached to any sensations that may arise. I think that visualization in itself would make for a fascinating thread.
        Jeffrey Segal

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        • #5
          Thank you very much Jeffrey for your reply. Oh my goodness, I did add an "a" by accident to your last name. My apologies! Again, thanks. When I practiced Cloud Hands, I usually tend to stay in just one position to get the form correct. Only after a while did I actually start to move my leg and position. I thought I was doing the form wrong by doing this, but now I know it's fine. Thank you very much for the clarification!

          Best wishes,
          Stephen

          Comment


          • #6
            Dear friends,
            Since we are on the subject of cloud hands I was wondering what are the combat applications of it. I think there is more to cloud hands than a blocking motion.

            Thank you for your kind attention,

            Sincerely,

            Ray Chang
            "Om"

            I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

            Comment


            • #7
              blocking no but deflecting, absorbing, striking, gripping, felling etc certainly

              Hi Ray,

              You’re right, there is a lot more to cloud hands than blocking. Indeed, Cloud Hands can be used for a myriad of martial, health and spiritual applications (separated in this sentence but more often than not, overlapping in our training).

              Actually, I don’t think of Cloud Hands as a blocking movement at all. In Taijiquan we prefer to deflect, absorb or strike rather than block.

              Best regards,
              Jeffrey Segal

              Comment


              • #8
                Dear Sifu Jeffrey,
                Could you please tell us more? I am practicing Cloud Hands right now and I would love to take it to a higher level.

                Best,

                Ray Chang
                "Om"

                I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

                Comment


                • #9
                  where is our starting point?

                  Dear Ray,

                  It would help if you could describe how you train Cloud Hands. That way I may be able to offer some suggestions to help deepen your practice.

                  Best regards,
                  Jeffrey Segal

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Dear Sifu Jeffrey,
                    I sit in a goat riding stance after doing Lifting Water as many times as feels right and perform it stationary although my old teacher in China also taught me how to do it while stepping from side to side paying attention to empty and apparent. I found out that by focusing on my breathing and the energy flowing to my hands is good and also that by lowering the shoulders and raising the back I won't be out of breath. Evening sessions tend to be better than morning sessions though. I also realized that for some reason when I tried to do cloud hands in a lower stance imitating Chen style it didn't seem to work as well.

                    Thank you for your wise guidance,

                    Sincerely,

                    Ray Chang
                    "Om"

                    I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      important questions

                      Dear Ray,

                      A couple more questions (which will come as no surprise to our Shaolin Wahnam instructors and students):

                      Do you train Cloud Hands in a Qigong state of mind?

                      After you finish training the form of Cloud Hands, do you enjoy a qi flow (gentle or vigorous) and Standing Meditation before completing the exercise?

                      Best regards,
                      Jeffrey Segal

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Dear Sifu Jeffrey,
                        I am able to practice in a qigong state of mind (if I understand the term correctly) sometimes, othertimes my mind is too distracted.
                        When I stop and go back to Wuji stance my body shakes and sways fairly violently forward and backward. At first I was a little confused what was going on but I've learned to let go and flow with it. If this is chi flow than the answer is yes.
                        I do go into Standing Meditation but due to the cleansing and transitional stage of life I am in it is hard to return to that peace.

                        Thank you for your kind attention,

                        Best,

                        Ray Chang
                        "Om"

                        I pay homage to all the great masters of the past and the present

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Something to try

                          Dear Ray,

                          After reading some of your posts elsewhere on the forum, I realise that you are going through some “interesting” times in your training. You have received lots of advice from various forum members, some of which I agree with and some of which, from my perspective as a Shaolin Wahnam Instructor, seems less suitable. In the end, I believe that you are mature enough to follow your heart and enjoy your training as Qigong (which means “Enjoy your training and Let Go!). My impression of you, based on your posts on our forum is that you are a sincere person and I wish you well in your training and in your life.

                          So to Cloud Hands…

                          Basically I think that your way of training Cloud Hands is good. I’d have to see you perform the pattern to make any comment on your form but let’s assume that you are doing it correctly. I suggest that you experiment with the concept of taking Ray out of the equation. By that I mean next time you are training Cloud Hands, instead of you performing the pattern, let the pattern be performed. Can you see the difference?

                          It’s as if while you are training Cloud Hands, a great master says to you “You are not Ray training Cloud Hands, you ARE Cloud Hands!”

                          Try this and let me know what you think.

                          Another approach would be to transform your focus while training Cloud Hands. Instead of focusing on your breathing and the energy flowing to your hands, see what it’s like to notice how the energy is moving your hands. It’s a lovely cycle. The energy moves your hands generating more energy which moves your hands. Stay relaxed. I find it useful to every now and then remind my shoulders and back to relax.

                          These two approaches are similar but also different. I’m interested to hear how you get on trying them.


                          From the Heart,
                          Jeffrey Segal

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