The Understanding of the Thirteen Postures

1. The Xin (mind/heart) motivates the qi, directs it to sink, so that it can be stored and concentrated into the bones.

2. Let the qi motivate the body without hindrance, so that it will effortlessly follow your xin (mind/heart).

3. If the shen (spirit) is raised, there will not be any sluggishness. This is the meaning of the crown being suspended from above.

4. There should be agility in the interaction of the yi (mind intention) and qi, so that it [the qi] will be circular and lively. This is what is meant by, ‘changing substantial and insubstantial’.

5. When executing fajin (releasing the force) the body should relax and sink. Focus on the one direction.

6. When the body is upright, loose and tranquil, the feet will support all eight directions.

7. Direct the qi like threading the ‘nine bend pearls’, by flowing continuously it reaches everywhere unrestricted.

[When the qi flows throughout the body] the jin (relaxed force) is like tempered steel, overcoming all solid defences.

8. Have the appearance of a falcon preying on a hare. Concentrate the shen (spirit) like a cat stalking on a mouse.

9. Be calm like a mountain and move like a river.

10. Store up the jin (relaxed force) like drawing a bow, discharge the jin (relaxed force) like releasing an arrow.

11. Seek the straight in the curve, first store then discharge.

12. Force is released through the back, the steeps change with the body.

13. To receive is to release, if it disconnects then reconnect.

14. In moving forwards and backwards, there should be folding. In advancing and retreating, there should be changes of direction.

15. Extreme softness yields to extreme firmness and tenacity.

16. Only with the ability to inhale and exhale, will there be agility.

17. When qi is cultivated naturally, there is no harm. When jin (relaxed force) is stored, there will be a surplus.

18. The xin (mind/heart) is the commander, the qi is the flag, and the yao (waist) is the banner.

19. First seek exspansion while opening then seek contraction while closing. It will lead to perfect refinement.

20. Its said: “If the other does not move, I do not move. If the other has the slightest movement, I move ahead”.

21. The jin (force) seems song (relaxed), however it is not song (relaxed), it is about to expand, although it has not yet expanded. The jin (relaxed force) might disconnect, but mind must not.

22. It is also said: “First the xin (mind/heart), then the body”.

23. When the abdomen relaxes, the qi sinks into the bones. When the shen (spirit) calms, the body becomes tranquil.

24. Keep this in xin (in your heart). Remember; when you move, every part moves. When you settle every part settles.

25. When moving forwards and backwards, the qi sticks to the back and permeates into the spine.

26. Internally be acutely aware of the shen (spirit), externally appear calm and relaxed.

27. Step like a cat. Transmit the jin (relaxed force) like reeling silk from a cocoon.

28. The yi (intention) should be on the jingshen (spirit), not on the qi, otherwise the qi will stagnate. With qi, extra-ordinary power will develop. Without qi there will only be li (brute strength). Qi is like a cart wheel and the yao (waist) is like the axle.

Reference: Taijiquan Wuwei: A Natural Process translation by Wee Kee Jin 2003
ISBN: 0473097818

p. 104 – 112

Chen Style Silk Reeling of Liu Hong Cai

Liu Hong Cai Chen Style Silk Reeling: Basic Exercises and Demonstrations
Master Liu describes two types of silk reeling, a wrapping type of energy ‘doing’ the movement and ‘using’ it to affect another. He stresses that you have to understand energy to apply silk reeling. Silk reeling is a gathering and closing of energy, or power in spiraling movement. Energy manifests itself differently in different people. Whatever form it takes you must learn to maintain the feeling and gain control of it as it happens to you when you’re doing the form. Circulate qi through body so that it passes through the body to apply. He shows how doing single whip. The feeling, or the energy, has to arrive at the exact point (da wei) not just the body.

The Seven Basic Skills of Dachengquan

1. Jijizhuang (Combat skill pile-stance):
Feet assume a Dingbabu shaped step,
Arms form a circle like holding a child.
Stand upright, feeling light and nimble,
Mind is intense
but posture easy and comfortable.

2. Trial of Strength:
Strike out the hand is like a steel file,
Pull back, the hand is like an iron hook.
The intent aims at the surroundings of the body
Yet never goes away from it.

3. Mocabu (friction steps):
With the body erect and head upright,
He walks like a chicken but with the torso a bit inclined.
Advance or retreat at will as the hip and shoulder move,
Waves rise and fall as the leaps and the foot circles.

4. Fali (excerting force):
The whole body as soft as cotton,
The intend reaches finger tips.
Explosive force is discharged continuously,
Like a catapult shooting out pellets.

5. The trial of Breath:
Sound is produced from “Dantian” ( a spot 1,968 inches beneath the umbilicus.),
But comes out the mouth,
While the cheast is free and relaxed,
The sound is like that of a ringing bell is a quiet valley.

6. Tuishou (push-hands):
Single Hand
Attaching forearms they act as in trial of strength,
Touching, slicking, connecting, following,
all are guided by intention.
Rolling and turning the perform with “point of force” as the axis;
Jerking and discharging, an elastic force is produced and threatening.
Double Hand
With four arms closely attached,
The two turn and shift following steps.
Try to control the other side as if to bind him with a robe,
Be natural in all moves,
whether it be wrestling, shriving, striking or releasing.

7. Actual Manoeuvring:
When actual confrontation begins,
See that you have an easy posture.
With space appropriately set,
You hit out surely, accurately, relentlessly and severely.
Meeting attacks from all directions,
You must respond with alert and flexibility.
Advance, retreat or intercept,
All depends on circumstances and opportunity.
What’s the use of fixed postures and methods?
As under such circumstances everyone acts on his instinct.

Reference:
Dachengquang
by Wang Xuanjie
ISBN 9622381111

p.  46 – 54

Sole contraction Relaxation activity in Yiquan

In Zhan zhuang nothing but your sole movement,

Upward, downward, leftward, rightward, forward and backward movement.

Rapidly, slowly and perduring movement.

Running, jumping, trampling, rubbing, contraction relaxation movement.

Expanding, pronating, sliding, filing and peeling off bone movement,

Hand and foot are combining in stretching tendons movement,

Pulling powerfully as body unified movement,

Amazing springs, hooking pulling: mental kinetics move

Reference:
Zhan zhuang and the Search of Wu
by Yu Yong Nian

p. 210

Linking Activity in Yiquan

Local parts of body request:
Sole stepping onto the ground,
heel slightly lifted,
sole like a spring,
avoid ankle from shaking otherwise body will quiver.

Both knees expanding,
buttock tight and leg twisted,
anus and belly (retracted as in) inspiration,
hip twisting and crotch wrapping.

Back and waist keep vertical,
chest slightly withdrawn,
shoulder expanding and elbow horizontal,
wrist hooking and finger pointing.

Head and neck all erecting,
mouth open and jaws withdrawn,
hair like pointing up,
teeth like chewing.

Whole body request:
Whole body swelling,
force rushing to a distant place,
linking with all-around,
each hair pointing as a halberd.
Form is bending then force is straight,
Form relaxing then mental should keep contracting,
Relaxing but not slacking off,
Contracting but not stiffening.

Mental request:
Spirit of raging tiger,
Mental of evasive snake.

Spiritual verve:
As a rooster in combat, spreading wings.
As a fish fighting meeting it opponent, turning its gill and erecting.
As a winning cricket relaxing wings, grasping claws and shaking
body.

As a wild horse galloping, its body burnt by a raging fire.
As a cyclone blowing off trees, raising them from ground and then
them spreading out.

Under the slightest touch, bursting immediately, explosive power
undisrupted from combat posture.

Reference:
Zhan zhuang and the Search of Wu
by Yu Yong Nian

p. 198 – 199

Pushhands with Adam Mizner

“Mindful awareness is the supreme tool in training, and is the essential energy of taiji. This energy is classically known in taiji circles as ting jing or listening energy. So what is it that we listen to? Through mindfulness we direct our awareness to the knowing or listening to form, feelings, mind and phenomena. First is form or the material body. Starting with our own body in our taiji forms practice and moving on to the bodies of others in our taiji push hands practice. One directs their awareness to the knowing of the aspects of the body. Structural alignment (alignment of the 9 pearls) weight distribution, relaxation, the stretching and unstretching of the tendons and the presence and placement of the physical centre of gravity. This knowing of ones body when nurtured can be projected to knowing the bodies of others in push hands and martial practice. The mind controls and directs the physical body so there is a mind body connection. Most so called internal arts stop at this level of refined awareness of the body led by mental intent.

Second is mindfulness of feelings, it is at this stage that we work with the chi or fine material energy. The chi is most easily perceived through feelings and this path of practice helps one to bypass the common pitfall of relying on imagination and visualization of the internal energy as this can quickly become a fabricated fantasy rather than a direct knowing of reality in the present.

The student trains in mindfulness of the feeling of the chi as it moves up and down the body or is projected from the body through intent. It is from this relationship between mindful awareness, feelings and body that the saying “mind leads chi, chi leads body” finds its meaning. Moving waves of relaxation through the body with the intent moves the chi through the body, the relaxation acts as a pump to move the chi and makes the body more sensitive to the feeling of the chi, the deeper ones ability to relax the higher the potential for the movement and cultivation of the internal energy. Once again this process starts within oneself and progresses to encompass ones training partner as well.

Third is the training of mindfulness of mind, once again both of oneself and of our training partners. Mindfulness of the mind starts from the courser aspects of mind and moves to the refined. The thought formations in the mind are observed and trained to act in a skilful way, perceptions are observed and purified. This help the martial artist in many ways as our perceptions govern our subconscious reactions. Unskilful mental states such as aggression and fear can be known directly in the mind and let go of and replaces with clear awareness. In this stage of training we a working heavily with the mental intent and how it leads the internal energies and the body. Finally we have mindfulness of phenomena. This stage refers in general to the awareness of the workings of cause and effect in relation to the training of the first three foundations of mindfulness and specifically to the realization of emptiness through direct experience. One trains in mindfulness of body, feeling (chi) and mind. Through direct experience we begin to realize that body, feelings, perceptions, mental formations and sense consciousness are all inherently empty and thus release attachment to them. This is the goal of the training, in this emptiness the duality of yin and yang, yield and issue, self and opponent, taiji and non taiji cease to remain. Everything becomes an aspect of your own mind which in itself is empty. This is the realization we aspire towards.”

Reference:
andymach33’s Channel youtube.com
www.heavenmanearth.com

Taiji Article with Sifu Adam Mizner, BLITZ Martial Arts Magazine Vol. 22 No.11 Pg. 32-35 www.thetaobums.com

The concept of Space and Time in Yichuan

Master Master Cheuk Fung talks about Hun Yuan strength, space & time in Yichuan

“Hunyuan strength refers to oneness, whole body strength or six surfaces strength. It is different from regular strength. The easiest way would be to show you, but, since you’re writing this down the best we can do is compare it with regular strength. In contrast to Hunyuan strength, regular strength would be called sectional, broken or one-sided strength. It is not to say that regular strength can’t be strong and forceful, only that the entire body is not contributing to whatever function the strength is required for. With regular strength the majority of the load is born by the local muscle groups in the limbs. With Hunyuan strength, the majority of the load is carried by the legs, waist and back. Regular strength is delivered directly, like a ram where the force is the inertia of the weight moving forward. Hunyuan strength is delivered indirectly… the inertia of the weight moving away from the target is more than that moving into it. Regular strength dissipates with movement. Hunyuan strength is stored within movement. This stored strength results in torque or martial velocity in each movement. That’s why it’s called oneness or whole body strength because the entire frame supplies torque to the limbs within each gesture.”

“Sensing Strength is an aspect of Yi Chuan training where practitioners take the linkages and feeling states cultivated through standing and learn to maintain and use them in movement. This begins with “searching for strength” within a new orbit or route by using imagery to align the body with space and gravity. When done properly a sensation that feels like magnetic force or pressure appears within the movement. Overtime practitioners will elongate the range of motion within which this feeling can be maintained before condensing it back down into an orbit that subtle enough to be hidden yet actually involves the entire frame.”

“Explosive Strength training teaches the Yi Chuan practitioner to condense his or her expression of Hunyuan strength into a single explosive and spontaneous gesture. In a split second the body preparation learned in standing must combine with the orbits forged in sensing strength, the control of distance gained through footwork practice and the intuitive timing cultivated in push hands. Explosive strength training helps make the strength and skill developed in the other chapters available even under duress or surprise.”

“Sensing Sound practice use tones and sounds to vibrate the body and helps to bring relaxation and awareness to a deeper level. Eventually these tones can also be used as triggers to help link the body and activate Hunyuan strength.”

Reference: www.yichuankungfu.com