Monday, January 06, 2020

Cloud Hands Blog Title

Cloud Hands Blog Name??

Why call this blog "Cloud Hands"?  What does "Cloud Hands" mean?  

The title phrase "Cloud Hands" comes from Tai Chi Chuan practices.  One movement sequence in Tai Chi Chuan is called "Cloud Hands."  Variations of the name include "Waving Hands Like Clouds" or "Moving Hands Like Clouds."  

Cloud Hands    云手  Yun Shou 

The movement sequence (e.g. #10 in 24 Form) is from the right side to the left side, flow left to 3:00, done three to four times, with both legs and arms moving fluidly, slowly, gracefully, in coordination, on form, and expressively.  

The ability to use the hands creatively, gracefully, beautifully, skillfully, precisely and artistically is essential to nearly all fine and applied arts.  The whole subject of the uses of our Hands is hightly interesting to me.  

Clouds can form dramatic and changing sights in the sky.  They can be calm and beautiful, or awesome, or frightening.  The cloud cover changes throughtout the four seasons provides endless variety.  

Rolling clouds and rolling hands.  Legs quietly moving in steps, like smaller waves at low tide.  Flowing clouds, rivers of air and water, out of reach, out of hand.  And we enjoying pretending, playing, mimicking, and imitatating moving clouds with our hands and feet.  We are playing hands like clouds. 

Is drawing or painting clouds on paper a form of moving hands like clouds?  

Clouds and hands are in two different categories.  However, it is category mistakes (Gilbert Ryle), Freudian slips, muddled concepts, boners, fallacies, contradictory ideas, gaffes, verbal mistakes, and bumbling that make for laughter, awkwardness, interesting imaginative thinking, weird impressions, and new awareness.  Clouds and hands don't go together in normal discourse.  Of course Air is in Space, empty space, in which we move our hands; but clouds and hands are like apples and aluminum.  So, "Cloud Hands" is a little offbeat, weird, on the border.  

I first learned to perform, on my own, the "Cloud Hands" movement sequence in Yang Style Taijiquan at the age of 40.  Exercise, relaxation, dance, and performance art are all combined in Taijiquan.  

One martial interpretation of mine, of the Yang Syle Taijiquan Cloud Hands (palms face inward to you), is they are back hand strikes to the face of the opponent.  Kind of like the backhand slaps of wrestler Ric Flair, or the flourishing moving confusing hands of Aikidoist Steven Seagal.  In Chen Style Taijiquan Cloud Hands the palms face out from you, and the overall movement seems more like a two handed sideways push of the opponent.  A way to redirect the opponents energy and direction, and shove them away.  Just brush those foggy clouds from your jacket, just fling opponents away.   

That is how this Cloud Hands Blog got its name in 2005.  I was teaching 6 classes each week in 2005 at the Tehama Family Fitness Center in Red Bluff, California.   I taught Taijiquan and Yoga classes each week from 2002-2016, from age 56 to70.  

I have always used Blogger from Google since it is free and fits with how I work.  I have probably underutilized some Blogger features in the last 15 years.  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous2:08 AM PDT

    Hello: John Billings herHowever, actually I am no one in particular. I am really only a swirling mass of non-John elements, which together give rise to this illusion of my self. What a relief! Now since I cannot peg myself anywhere, obviously I also cannot and will not pretend to judge others. This would include Pattabhi Jois and Vladimir Putin.

    I began spiritual practice with Tai Ji Quan and Gong Fu ( northern tang lang style) back about, oh, 1973. Guess that's a lifetime, and right now I do feel every moment of it. I have received an RYT-200 yoga teaching cert (ca., 2005), although I discovered recently that it does not matter; I would have to be re-certified with the Yoga Alliance anywayn. Faugh! I will do no such thing.