( tai chi, principles, head, posture, structure, energy, unification of body )
Technical Methods and Postures
To prop up the head is to raise the crown of the head properly. In Taiji Quan, make sure that the head is upright, the crown flat, the neck straight and the chin drawn in. It is required that the baihui acupuncture point at the crown of the head is propped up gently as if lifted up by a robe. At the same time, the crown of the head must be kept so flat that a bowl of water placed on it would not spill. To keep the head upright and the crown flat, the neck most be straight and the chin drawn in. But if overdone, this position will make the neck stiff and the movements unnatural. Therefore, in propping up the head, excess effort should be avoided. It most be natural. Once the crown of the head is raised properly, the energy will be summoned and the movements will become steady and sturdy.
Basics of Taiji Quan by Li Xingdong
Foreign Language Press, Beijing Jan 2000
Directions in verse for Great Achievements Shadow Boxing
Integrated with spirit and mind,
This boxing is named Dacheng.
With plain truth easy to understand,
It is both interesting and enlightening.
It has no method yet every method,
for in boxing all methods are of no avail.
With profound knowledge it helps to mould your temperament,
Cultivating you in faithfulness, sense of justice, benevolence and bravery.
Propelled by natural strength,
you are as strong as a dragon.
Inhaling and exhaling naturally and quietly,
You perceive the mechanism of all movements.
Be neither too familiar nor too distant towards others,
Show them courtesy, modesty and respect.
Avail yourself of the force of the Universe,
And bring your instinctive ability into full play.
Stand at the centre holding the key,
Act according to circumstances without a trace.
Eyes seeing nothing and ears hearing only your breathing sound,
You train your mind and regulate your nerve system.
In motion you are like the angry tiger,
In quietness you are like the hibernating dragon.
Your expression is as awesome as the leopard,
Your strength is as powerful as that of a rhino.
Preserving the heavenly wisdom and maintaining the state of meditation,
You are ready to act in response to all possible situations.
by Wang Xuanjie
Hai Feng Publishing Co. May 1988