Yesterday we had the wonderful opportunity to do some tai chi work with a handful of women from the Flat Track Furies. Some sticking, some kao jin*, some hip & waist work, some joint range practice…and a lot of laughter. They’re a great group of serious athletes – and an absolute blast to work with.
The Furies are one of the Emerald City Roller Girls teams – next bout: next Saturday (April 21) at the Lane County Fairgrounds, vs the Andromedolls.
Check out the schedule here, and if you haven’t seen them in action…plan on a trip to the fairgrounds. You’ll be glad you did.
* kao jin ( 靠 勁 ) is usually translated various ways in the tai chi world. It’s usually seen as shouldering energy, but I like Dr Yang Jwing-Ming’s translation of kao as bump.
My Chinese dictionary program defines kao as “lean on; rely on; keep close to; come up to; near”. In the book T’ai Chi Qi & Jin, Stuart Olson writes that “The character (靠) originally meant to rebuke the wrongdoings of another, but why the meaning changed is unknown.”
All definitions aside…the best way to understand kao jin is to feel it. And after feeling it a few times, the phrase “rebuke the wrongdoings” seems like a reasonable description of the energy.