The annual international Baji seminar with Lü Baochun was held in London this year. Last year the gathering was held in Stockholm and the first one two years ago was in Helsinki. The event is a great chance for all of master Lü Baochuns Baji students from all over the world to gather and exchange skills and ideas. The seminar is also open for anyone looking to learn from one of the great masters of our times. The schedule, as previous years, contains long days of training ending with dinners, drinks and intense discussions on martial arts and life.

The event started officially on Friday 15.5, with a bit shorter training session starting after noon to get everyone warmed up for the weekend. The training consisted of small form movement training, with ideas for power generation and applications. More directed towards giving everyone a clear view of how to train the basics in Baji. The core of Baji is a small number of techniques, which are used for training body movement and power generation, but also acts as basic applications from which the practitioner starts to develop fighting skill. Also the subject of grounding power was touched upon, one the first kind of attributes that should start to develop from Baji training. Grounding power creates a steady and rooted generation of movement and power. The day was ended with a lovely meal at a Mongolian grill restaurant, where everyone ate their bellies full Mongolian style.

This years specialty was a day of Chen Taiji, which was on Saturday 16.5. Master Lü presented Taiji as it is trained for fighting and also gave a glimpse of deeper levels of training. The day started with silk reeling exercises, which are trained to develop body usage of Chen Taiji. Activating the whole body for the movement, top to down, left to right and back to front. After getting started with the movement required for Chen Taiji we trained the beginning part of yi lu form and the applications for the movements. We are usually presented with the image of Taijis health and meditation side, but today everyone got a clear picture of Taijis fighting applications. Chen Taiji includes techniques and tactics which consists of ways of controlling the opponent and dealing out punishment with fists, palms, shoulders, elbows and knees while he is out of balance. Taiji can not be talked about without going into the deeper aspects of it’s training, at the end master Lü talked about how Taiji can be done as meditation with the same energetic internal processes as any sitting type of meditation.

Sunday was the last day of the seminar. On this day we went back to Baji, but with more training of fighting tactics and applications. We started with going through applications from the small form and then moved into more free type of pair training. Master Lü gave us ideas how to train for real fighting, with regards of not stopping the application short and developing bad habits. Baji techniques needs to be executed with strength and resolve, the previous movements preparing the next and finally leading to the opponent being dropped to the ground. Techniques need to be hit through the opponent, with the intent of punching him down. ”Don’t stop!” was the slogan of the day.

The weekend gave much for beginner and senior students alike. Not only by the teaching of master Lü, but also the exchange between students. A big thank you for everyone involved!

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