Ok, I guess I'm ready to talk about the DGS "8 Powers" videos. I've been working with it for some months (4?) now, enough to establish some basis and - of course - it is still going deeper. That's the cool thing with authentic methods of the internal arts: just keep going deeper.
Sifu Matsuo is offering an 8 Powers 2-for-1 for $108 (order as usual, via paypal to DragonGateSanctuary@gmail.com):
1. 8 Powers ChienPi version w/ Mark Saito narrating. This one is about 25 minutes long, has been mentioned earlier in this thread... It doesn't offer much detailed teaching but just simple run throughs of the form with some commentary.
2. 8 Powers at the Lotus Center. This one is a workshop that was given at a store and runs about an hour and a half. It covers the same material as above (plus a few extra qigong moves) but in detail.
The basic material of these videos is the 8 basic palms that you see everywhere (monkey offers fruit, heaven & earth, etc.). However, as usual, Sifu Matsuo gives inner teachings: how it works on the inside. Where to focus and how that holds the posture together and lets energy flow through it. The 8 palms flow one into the other, starting from the base chakra and ending at the crown ... a very natural flow that you can feel and the energetics are clear, working in a vertical progression from bottom up... emphasizing key points to focus energetically on, at least somewhat related to centers, at least somewhat related to eight extraordinary vessels... all very palpably coherent with the postures. It works; you can feel it, and it is evident in stronger body integration.
Additionally, there is "sacral pump walking". My one-liner on this one is that the sacral pump walking alone could be sold for 10x the price and it'd still be a bargain. The details on "sacral pump walking" (and on the palms, and on some additional preliminary qigongs) are in the longer video.
My personal experience with the DGS 8 Powers is that - for me - it has been the most painful to learn and also one of my most favorite DGS teachings.
First the painful parts.
1. The video and audio quality on the longer video is poor, consistently throughout the video. I watch the videos on my iPad and wear high quality blue-tooth headphones. The video is small and grainy on this one, and the audio is distractingly rough. You are forewarned.
2. Learning sacral pump walking was a big deal for me, produced *big* internal body changes that were difficult for my body to take in at first. Didn't cause injury or anything like that, just a lot to take in. It's a very strong method.
Why one of my favorites?
1. Sacral pump walking did a *lot* to change my body. My legs and feet are more articulate, and considerably more rooted. I can feel it even just walking around town, and lots of different times in daily life. Both physically and energetically. EVERY. SINGLE. TIP. was killer, spot-on, made big differences. My experienc of kidney-1 (bubbling spring) is greatly enhanced. I could go on and on. Like I said, that exercise alone, at 10x the price: still a bargain.
2. The palms. I always felt when circle walking before with just 1 palm that it should change into things, that there was probably a progression. There is, and they work together, interwoven, in sequence. Like I said earlier, Sifu Matsuo's version gave the internal tips that allowed that to work for me, the internal stuff. *Really* enjoyable. Feels good, balanced, progressive.
And I'm getting *stronger* and more *integrated*... from these exercises that, on the outside, you'd not suspect would produce those kind of changes.
I also have Liu Jingru's dvd of the basic 8 palms. Similar base material, but to compare... I appreciate Liu Jingru's presentation... My impression is that in his dvd I am getting standard detailed instruction of those 8 palms, really appreciated and worth the time, effort, etc. Sincere gratitude and bow to Liu Jingru.
HOWEVER, with Sifu Matsuo's videos ... well, the *inner* stuff is there that (in my experience) makes it all work, that makes me *feel* (and think) THIS is what I got into this for. And then there's the sacral pump walking, which is in Sifu Matsuo's videos and I've not seen at all elsewhere. All just frickin' dazzling and progressively deepening, integrating, and that I want to practice over and over.
~ later edit ~
A couple of notes regarding just my personal process...
The internal arts really make me feel like an idiot sometimes... not just sometimes, but over and over again. I get shown a simple exercise and then it takes me months (usually about a season, 3 months) to feel like I have it on a basic level (and then, of course, it keeps going deeper). I know that this happens, yet it continues to surprise me. Compare it to learning push-ups, or how to work a weight machine: a few minutes and you've got it, then of course you get stronger, but to "get" the basic exercise: just a few minutes. Internal arts methods that, on the outside, look fairly simple: 3 months. Sometimes that's just for one exercise from a video full of exercises. ... or for the most basic part of an exercise that provides foundation for more complicated maneuvers further into the video.
Also, I find that I really need to go through the videos in detail, repeatedly. I go so far as to make detailed written notes of the whole video. If I don't do that, I tend to miss a lot.
Edited by Trunk, 13 April 2016 - 06:00 AM.