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Yesterday I practiced Chen Style with my teacher, Lu Sensei, in Meguro. It’s a very ancient Tai Chi style, with a lot of jumping, kicking and a pace faster than you would expect from Tai Chi. Unlike Yang Style, it has a rhythm, determined by accelerations and fast releases of energy; it’s a continuous alternation of engaging and relaxing, of contracting and expanding, very hard to master. Yesterday we practiced “Cloud Hands”, and even if it has the same name, this walk is totally different from Yang Style; you cross your feet, moving diagonally instead of laterally, you step out putting down your heel instead of the toe, your knees are bent and your palms switch from “giyakukenshi” to “junkenshi” every step. There are so many things to keep in mind…I totally understand my students that are learning “Cloud Hands”, Yang Style. I am a student and a teacher at the same time, and this makes me see things from different perpectives: I am a better student to my teacher and I am a better teacher to my students.

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