Andrew Plack Yiquan Visit 2021-10-03

Unfortunately I was only able to attend one day of Andrew Plack’s 3 day Yiquan training this time around. My shoulder, nerve and arm injuries are starting to heal but I wanted to be careful not to overdo it. That said, there were some great tiny insights – little pointers in the right context and in the right moment that can be the key to new experiential ah-ha moments. Some of these notes are very similar to notes I took during his last visit.

Be like a child playing

Let yourself swing your arms too far, too little. Extend too much, too little. Avoid overthinking and let your body play its way to the right place by playing like a child.


To try to imitate the trainer is to fail. To not imitate at all is also to fail.

Middle Space

Always the middle space. In this case, I was fiercely focused on ju long, with my arms completely loose – loose with no connection. The only alternative felt like tightening up. What is the middle space between body and muscles completely limp and too tight? Between being tense and relaxed?

Only the Hands

Try putting all intention in the fingertips, and just beyond. Relax shoulders, arms, elbows and let them vanish.

Zhuang Tai vs Ju Long

I still can’t seem to find the characters or pinyin for these words, but they are repeated endlessly in practice. From my very weak understanding so far: Zhuang Tai is the state of effortless readiness. Being like an animal in the wild – the way a squirrel is always alert, ready, can move instantly at any moment. The state we are in when we are about to run and someone says, “ready… set…” and we in the state that second before movement. Ju Long is the movement that is happening at the center, that can be tested by quickly lifting the feet, ready to move at any moment, like a little walking person at your core – “movement in stillness” because this is happening as we appear to be still. With both(?) there is a repeated reminder of going up and down at the center at the same time, or sometimes called “condensing” at the center.

Energy Never Out

The energy during the movements is never “out” – going forward. Example of gesture where we go from bao to tui – it is a continuous flow, and energy goes from bao (hug, drawing in) to extending slighly upwards. Rather it is upwards. How do we ever make contact with another person? By moving our whole body.