Had a nice visit to captiolhilltaichi.com in Lincoln park, Washington D.C. Had a brief discussion with a student on my recent training in Yang Taijiquan and structural integrity testing of the postures with Coach Pei at USWA and also Yiquan post standing drills with Rick Smith from Capitolqigong.com
Internalizing Taijiquan standing method he uses:
1. Holding the post posture and visualizing the 3 jin lou channels (jin lou, path of force, not jing lou or meridian path in acupuncture): hold tree posture, “Wu Ji” standing, ect. use of static standing postures.
2. Slowly sinking and rising drill with hands (similar to the sinking/rising drill from William CC Chen seminar).
3. Using holding Taijiquan postures: examples- ward off left, Pipa, etc. visualizing the three channels. Example: if weight is sinking into left leg, visualize the left channel going through body and down through the leg (inner and outer portion of leg).
4. Begin Slow movement using a singular fundamental posture: push, brush knee, etc. shifting weight to and fro.
While the 3 channels is something I have heard of in Esoteric Buddhism and Yoga, I have not heard them used in standing, but can see them as valuable. In regards to Taiji and standing, they obviously are not used the same way as in yoga. Standing, the channels are visualized as a feeling for rooting, stability, and structural awareness/integrity.
standing qigong/Channels video from Fernando Bernall:
Left channel (ida nadi) The left channel (moon channel) corresponds to our past, emotions and desires. Its pure state represents the qualities of deep joy, love, compassion, music and art. However, we are prone to left side problems such as emotional attachments, depression, low self esteem and feelings of guilt.
Right channel (pingala nadi) The right channel (sun channel) corresponds to our actions and planning. However, we are prone to right side problems such as egoistic behaviour (selfishness), arrogance, pride, anger (violence) and hatred.
Central channel (sushumna nadi) The Central Channel is the balance of the other two channels. The central channel is the channel of ascent, it is the power which sustains our evolution and guides us, consciously or unconsciously, towards the higher awareness of the Sahasrara (seventh chakra). Daily meditation leads to a cooling of the sun channel and a warming of the moon channel, which restores the inner balance of our emotional, mental & physical beings.
we do not visualize anything and the purpose is to: 1. relax, 2. be natural (nothing forced), and 3. gong (do the hard work). prep for standing:
drill 1 is a small movement to get body to relax, feeling air between fingers and relaxing.
drill 2 is another small movement to feel the body to relax like water between the fingers, like wading in water- smoothing out the “rough waters” to “flowing waters” in and outside the body.
drill 3 and 4 are moving energy in or out of the “3rd eye” and around the body in a figure 8 pattern down to the ground using guiding energy.
drill 5- washing from head down to feel with arm movement.
drill 6 is deep relaxation from head to toe in Wu Ji standing. (Almost exact to a Fu Zhong Wen, Yang Taiji standing that was taught to me in Shanghai)
drill 7 and 8 and basic “silk reeling-like” movements, lifting box and Chen taiji roll back movement.
Standing: then we go into 40 minutes of Post standing choosing from 5 holding postures.: no thoughts or visualization just sense what happens with “qi” or energy, being natural. Not trying to force qi to happen or what Rick says, “you can have all the right fishing gear, but that doesn’t guarantee you will catch a fish that day.”
Ending: with a closing with a small movement to adjust energy.
from there we might do the Yiquan variation of “push hands”
6/18/2013: On Ben Lo’s Camp and his practice of standing gong:
Both Julian and Dr. David Walls-Kaufman (disciple of Ben) had some interesting testimonials of some of the training that went on at the camp. In particular the morning standing training at the camp.
Ben had been practicing standing for the last 4 years and nobody could push him over while he just stood, even when more than one person ganged up on him. It was a testimonial to how important standing is. Dr.David, whom I train with a lot, always does a ton of standing in his class, can really toss people effortlessly in push hands based on his years of standing gong training. He says he is nowhere near the level of what Ben Lo has attained through hard work (gong fu). They said that originally the Taijiquan was trained as standing postures and eventually they became strung together.
Julian and David both spoke about their experience with Ben Lo and the
importance of standing. Standing Gong requires 2 very important factors:
1. Empty mind- thoughtless mind, Wu ji mind- mind has to be in the here and now,
no extraneous thoughts, “monkey mind”, or internal chatter. You can not do
standing gong with mind distracted without clarity. If you can’t do this then
part 2 is useless.
2. Once mind is under control you can begin to make self corrections, small
adjustments, and refinements of your standing postures. Once that is done, you
can do your neigong work.
Here is a blog/journal entry of some standing we do in the park. We spend a
great deal of standing time in this class. 5 postures:
wu ji, left ward off, right ward off, pipa, raised hands.
I first started with CMC style. in that style we did a lot of holding postures in the taiji form.
our teacher would say to do 20x cycle breath in each posture then move to the next.
So basically a cycle is inhale/exhale long and deep naturally at dan tien.
Later when I trained with Weiqi, we did a standing with visualization in one of our warm-ups,
I added it here near the end of video:
I made this up:
to help students with stillness and standing.
-when it comes to doing rows of walking forward, backward, left and right.
- do a 3x cycle breathing (dan tien breathing)pause with standing wu ji w/arms down at sides,
-then change to standing taiji ma bu arms rounded at chest,
-then 3x cycle breathing , then do the walking.
after walking then stop:
- do the same taiji mabu, then finish with wu ji standing with the 3x cycle breathing for each (total of 6x).
- do the same when adding walking rows with hand movement: brush knee, part horse mane, cloud hands, repulse monkey, etc.
Notes from the Book: “Universal Law of Cosmic cycles” Chinese Zodiac, Astrology, and Feng Shuai.
Year of the Snake is a year of revolution, financial depression, and upheaval due to “over spending”.
It is precarious to all financial endevours, so you must take heed and try to be neutral in financial matters and not build up debt.
On the positive side, you still have your health, and the year of the snake is a year good for the heart and health. When you are at a high point, you should strive to build money and deal with finances. Your health and diet should consist of getting good rest, eating beef, citrus fruits, carrots, spinach, leafy greens, and get enough iron and vitamin C.
This is a year to reach out to your Oracle. Your Oracle is like your “Guardian spirit”, higher power, Deity, or God, etc.
1st meditation with your Oracle in the year of the snake is asking for balance, asking people who have wealth to share it towards your direction.
Prosperity “Dream Machine”
1. Sit in a quiet place free of all distractions.
2. Repeat chant 2x: “My subconscious mind now contacts the mystical vibration of the snake. The zodiac responds to my every wish and command. I do not wish to take from those in need, but to receive from those who have more than they have need of. I command that the zodiac snake reveal to me, during my sleep this night, how I might acquire (state your desire) from (name). I know that (name) will happily and freely fulfill this desire, and so it is.!”
3. Emit this energy into the cosmos.
4. Return to a normal state and go back to daily life. Try to pay attention in your dreams.
Psychic X-ray vision- become your own inner doctor. (not to replace a real doctor if you have real health problems).
“let your inner doctor peak inside your body, view your organs, bones, muscles, nerves, cells.”
1. Sit in a quite dark room away from distractions.
2. Use a “red light” like a Christmas light for this dark room. It must be red color.
3. Build the desire to help others and all beings suffering.
4. Repeat the chant: “I address my request to the cycle of the snake and to the great universal power that guides and directs the mystic zodiac. I approach the alter of the great cosmos with a humble heart and a clean, clear mind. My request is made only out of the desire to do good for others and without material reward for myself. I now ask that the cosmic vision of the snake be revealed to this child of the zodiacscope. I now give thanks for the revelation that will be mind.”
5. Close eyes, meditate and with your mind’s eye “third eye” seeing inside your body, seeking and finding dis-ease and places of abnormalities and discomfort.
6. Close your meditation.
About peoples auras: with the Psychic “x-ray” vision. People typically have either a white or dark aura to them. With this practice you may be able to see auras in people. Sense the two main colors (white/black) or other colors a person might be emitting. Usually disease and abnormalities in a persons aura appear as dark spots at the problem areas.
I have found some old video footage that I transferred from old VHS tapes to digital of my Coach Weiqi He.
Coach Weiqi was President of the USA Yongnian Taiji Association founded by Taiji Grandmaster Fu Zhong Wen.
by John Kang Sr.
He Wei Chi, a national champion of martial arts in China in the 1960’s was born in a very artistic family. She was deeply involved in literature, drama, and dancing at a very early age. As a young girl in gymnastics she was asked if she wanted to learn “monkey boxing” without knowing the hard training that comes with wushu. Her parents enrolled her for professional training by the Shanghai Martial Artists. Since then she has been devoted to the martial arts for more than four decades.
Wei Chi recalls the curiousness of being a 13 year old chosen to be a member of the famous Shanghai martial artists, but after regular training in stretching and basics of taijiquan and wushu, lack of interest lay in wait. Training day after day brought on aches and pains of back and leg. She remembers losing all the sense of curiosity and mystery, ready to give up for all the tiredness and misery. Fortunately during this initial period of enlightening she remembers such mentors as Cai Long Yu, Fu Zhong Wen, and Wang Ju Rong helping he realize that the meaning of martial arts is not for personal gratification, but for the inheriting and passing on from generation to generation the treasure of the Chinese civilization.
In recollecion of her masters she mentions the following:
Wang Xiao-Rong- known as the “hero from Guandong,” was an expert in the xingyiquan sect of internal arts, as well as the Spring-autumn cleaver, nine section whip, xingi was his most common demonstrated in his repertoire. Wei Chi learned Gong-fu basics and the 10 route leg kicks from him.
Fu Zhong Wen- the direct heir of Yang taijiquan, served as teacher of the Shanghai martial artists from June 1961 to may 1966. Wei Chi learned Yang style taijiquan, Sword, push hands, staff, and basic gong exercises from him.
Cai Hong-Xian- Deputy Head of the Shanghai Hall of Martial Artists excelled in the Shaolinquan arts. His style was graceful and postures wonderful. Wei Chi owed this master her Changquan, Sword, and double weapon.
Lu Zheng Tao- was the inheritor of the Mitsung (tractless) sect. His artistic level was unsurpassed, unfortunately he died young as a victim of the cultural revolution. Master Lu excelled in Yen tsin Ja, Mizhongquan, Lohanquan,, Fu chen sword, six route tsin ping sword, Golden Rooster Struggle, and Peach Blossom fan. Wei Chi said she was relatively more influenced by him.
Chuguei Ting- was well respected authority in Tajiquan, Baguazhang, and xingyiquan, he died at the age of 99.
Wang Jurong- the famous daughter of Wang Ziping and practitioner of Cha quan. Was well versed in all aspects of martial arts.
Before the Cultural Revolution these famous martial artists would on weekends or fortnightly make presentations of “18 varieties of martial arts” to the public. These included Tan Tuei, Tao-lu quan, Double rings of Chien-kuen, Pure Yang sword, spear, Hua chuan confrontation, spear vs double daggers, opposing spears, ect. With such a comprehensible list, these shows were really spectacular.
Wei Chi explains that while these master were teaching martial arts, they also emphasized the importance of martial ethics. They taught that “cultivate the man before you teach him martial arts”, and “to learn martial arts is to practice martial ethics.” Now that having become a teacher, she lives by these mottos and vowed to pass down the truths to the younger generation.
Wei Chi began to distinguish herself in 1963 after two years of diligent practice. The first time she went to the national competition, she won recognition for her excellence in swordsmanship and was nicknamed one of the “three swordswomen of China” together with Chen Dao-yuin and Zhang Ling-mei. Being exceptionally artistic, with a beautiful figure achieved through years of physical training, quck reflexes, graceful in movement and charismatic in actions, wei chi was admired and envied. No wonder some older athletes in the 1950’s considered her a threat in spite of her young age.
The real threat however came from the calamity of the cultural revolution in which the chinese martial arts were denigrated as never before. In the past as “national treasure and heritage”, they were now cursed a “remnants of a feudal past”. All regular training was stopped, athletes scattered, and wei chi had to bid farewell to martial arts at the zenith of her fame and development.
In this stormy era, Wei chi was made a laborer in factories and docks. Because of her background as a performer, she was then asked to join the “Red morning cloud performing troupe” in Beijing, a city permeating with gun powder smoke and danced in a play titled “Red-lamp Glow.” At one time she performed in front of Chairman Mao with the group. The misery of that kind of existence is hard to comprehend for people who live in a free society, WeiChi explains. It wasn’t until 10 years when it was over that she returned to the Shanghai Athletic Palace, there she began her career of coaching martial arts for the youth at the school of amateur athletes. She was also able to travel abroad to the United states, Japan and Mexico to demonstrate Taiji and Wushu with such greats as Li Lin Ji at the White House in D.C. in front of President Nixon when relations with China began to increase.
It was here that the significance of the work she was embarking on would develop a comprehensible training method of martial arts through trial and error. Based on child psychology, this method let the pupils play and dance to the accompaniment of music at the beginning of aa training session to allow their muscles to relax and their senses to become comfortable. She then devised a series of drills on three levels of difficulty in which the students will design their own routines. If the routine is good they will receive much applause if its enjoyed by all. This resulted in a lively class. In addition she maintained close contact with each students school and parents, checking on grades at school as to not allow martial arts to be at the expense of education. Through this effort many of the pupils were admitted into “emphasized middle schools.”
In 1979 Wei Chi was invited by the Hong Kong Phoenix Movie studios to be its martial arts coach in the filming of “Fight for treasure in the West,” and “Stand Up,Man!” directed by Wu Bin, teacher of the hero in the movie and also one of Wei Chis swordsmanship coach. WeiChi for the first time was in films with other well known martial artists like Sun Gen Fa, Guo Liang, Dong Honglin, and Yen Ping.
As her filming experience came to a close she returned to Shanghai Athletic Palace to train her students. This time the training was intense and the students highly motivated and older. The fame of this Young Martial Artists Group began to spread even to national television. Children’s martial arts eventually became an acceptable and respectable branch of athletics and employed by the government as a key entertainment for the visitors to China.
Since 1980 Wei Chi and her group have made more than 100 presentations. 60% of these have been to foreign dignitaries including the King of Sweden, King of Denmark, King of Jordan, President Mitterrand of France, Chairman of the Olympic committee,ect. These young artists who excel both academically and athletically live up to their reputation.
Twice in the Pan China Martial arts Learning and Exchange meet, five out of the six represented sent by this amateur group distinguished themselves and won the first place team award for six consecutive years.
Wei Chi came to the United States in 1989 to join her husband a successful swim team coach for the University of Tennessee. Later in 1991,they were invited by Richmond Virginia City Manager Robert Bob to be apart of the Parks and Recreation Department. Coach Xu (wei chis husband) developed a first place city swim team and qigong research group, while Wei Chi developed award winning Taiji and Wushu competitors. In 1997 she was invited by the Ross school in Long Island New York to teach for the Physical Education Department.
Life in the USA she observes is on a very fast track. People work very hard, fight the traffic in the morning and evening, work on the house or garden, taking the kids places for various activities. There is little time to rest. When in middle age, people begin to complain about various aches and pains, and all sorts of illnesses. Wei Chi believes that Taiji qigong is an excellent remedy for all kinds of maladies. She has collaborated with Master Lin Hou of the Shanghai Institute of Qigong in writting a book entitled “18 modes of Taiji qigong.” She has given classes on martial arts one after another without knowing that she has activated and enlivened the life of many people.
My training for past few years has been very rich in terms of coming full circle with Chinese fighting systems: I trained at Coach Pei’s school for San shou sparring and Taiji. His taiji: Yang Taiji of Yang Zhen Jie. I got a lot of details to the form and the how and why it is that way. Structural integrity testing, applications, two person drills, sword techniques, striking hands, and more. 2012 notes on Yang Taijiand more notes. The sparring classes were good with lots of techniques sparring and shuai chiao.
Many of the 2012 sparring clips are on my youtube at: videos We film sparring to see strengths and weaknesses, develop good habits and improve. Sadly they don’t really allow video camera at USWA which had some really good sparring fundamentals and technique sparring.
I still did my rounds with the “Cheng man ching” push hands groups in the DC metro area (Dr. David Walls-Kaufmann’s Lincoln park, Flemming park group, Wu shen Tao push hands, David Chen Memorial park). I started a sparring group at Mainstreet Crossfit gym,
and helping the next generation of fighters at CMAI (chinese martial arts institute) with their sparring program and curriculum at my old al mata with Sifu Burris.
I dabbled a little with Mark Li’s Xingyi Dao group and got the benefits of some of the Dai Xingyi qigong of squatting monkey and drill some linear basic lines of Pi and Beng. Spent some time in training with Nick Masi at his Northern Virginia Shuai Chiao club as well, doing all sorts of fight training and sparring drills for my Lei Tai event.
This was def a good year of sparring and progression as a fighter, despite some injuries here and there. During injury time, I went back and video recorded many of the Taiji warm-up, qigong, and supplementary trainings I picked up from the Yang Taijiquan lineages I am associated with. blog here They are on my Youtube, but some are private and available upon request. That was part of my injury rehabilitation along with my inversion table that did wonders.
I continued with some Muay Thai/Boxing at Vivek’s to help support his new gym called Pentagon MMA link here. Did some cleansing with Bikram yoga, and got some Boxing training at Title Boxing gym as well with my wife Patcharee.
Most importantly I Integrated Yiquan standing meditation at Capitol Qigong again with Shuren Ma’s student Rick Smith. I went there and tried it with Master Ma back in 1998. I respected it and understood standing meditation was the essence to develop real kung fu. The 45 minutes or so wasn’t pleasant. Burning in the legs, aches and pains, here and there holding a posture. I dropped out and opted on my own standing, alone or with other various groups on occasion, but as a discipline, I really was not ready for the stillness and deep standing back then. I wanted to move and train in forms and sparring! The 180 degree flip side of wushu kung fu training of my youth. As I hit 40, I can really value and appreciate the art of standing meditation now more than ever.
“”The history of Capital Qi-Gong has its roots in the Chinese martial arts. The “external” styles of the Chinese martial arts have recognized for centuries that a high level of qi development is the means for vast internal and external power. However, few practioners achieved the desired level of development even after years of effort.
It is in resolving this problem for the martial arts practitioner that a revolutionary approach was developed by Dr. Yu Peng Si, physician and Qi-Gong master.
Dr. Yu Peng Si was the head of the dermatology division of Shanghai’s Number One People’s Hospital as well as a professor at Shanghai’s Number One Medical College. He also studied under the famous xing yi quan master Wang Xiang Zhai,
image:Wang Xiang Zhai.
who had developed an innovative “formless” version of xing yi quan which Wang labeled “yi quan” (also called dacheng quan).
A devout Buddhist, Dr. Yu combined the standing meditative postures and physical exercises of yi quan with the qi-channel opening methods of Tibetan Lamas. The resulting achievement was the formation of a highly successful system for teaching qi cultivation, which yielded one of the most elevated forms of Qi-Gong: The ability to project strong Qi at a distance. This ability is called Kong Jing or “empty force” .
Dr. Yu and his wife, Madam Ou-Yang Min came to the United States in 1981 to participate in a QiGong study at Stanford University. After Dr. Yu died in 1983, Madam Ou-Yang stayed in San Francisco where she still continues to teach Qi-Gong. This is the QiGong lineage of our school’s head instructor, Mr. Shuren Ma.
Mr. Ma, the nephew of Dr. Yu and Madam Ou-Yang, started his Qi-Gong practice in China in 1955, when he was 5 years old. Now a Qi-Gong master with over 40 years experience, Mr. Ma proudly brings us this art through Capital Qi-Gong.
image:Shuren man and Rick smith courtesy of www.thecenterforqigong.com.
Our Qi-Gong meditation style, the heart of our training program, can be defined as a “purifying internal experience”, during which an individual learns to relax and be natural in the process of building qi. This means that a student of qi does not merely relax the body musculature, but relaxes both mind and body — what we refer to as the whole body. This meditation is called “internal” because the process originates from within and its effects emanate outward to benefit the whole body. It is considered “purifying” because we attempt to clear our minds and cleanse our bodies of blockages; we also call this “natural” or “nature’s way.” This kind of internal exercise yields good health, balance, body wholeness, and improved qi.”"
This is probably one of the more powerful practices I have ever done, comparable to even Tibetan deep sitting meditation like Dzogchen and Tummo, Buddhist Zazen and Vipassana, and including various esoteric Indian yogas like TM, Sahaja, and Kundalini.
My current Taiji teacher Coach Christopher Pei talked intimately about why he chose Yang Zhen Ji as his teacher. Coach Pei was influential in bringing Yang Zhen Ji, Yang Zhen Dou, and Yang Jun to America in the late 80’s early 90’s. Coach Pei also studied with Fu Zhong Wen as well. Coach Pei spent a lot of time with Yang Zhen Ji in China and America as Yang Zhen Ji stayed at his home during visits. He got to ask many questions at tea and during training. Here I will mention some of the things he discussed with us.
Yang Zhen Ji was forced to live in a small home (10”x10”) with low wages as a factory gate keeper for
over 40 years for not denouncing his brother Yang Shou Zhong who defected to Canton and Hong Kong. Even while other got pay raises over time, Zhen Ji still got paid low wages.
During his lifetime he taught for free for no fee. As his younger brothers prospered, he live poor but happy.
He lived a humble lifestyle. While other brothers would say their posture were like their dad Yang Chen Fu,
Yang Zhen ji would simply say “I was not taught that way”, “This is how i do”. He would not suggest corrections, just say “this is how I do”, and that “There are other ways of doing it.”
Yang Zhen Ji explains his great Grandfather Yang Lu Chan mastered the Chen taiji, and was able to beat the Chen Taiji masters. Yang knew the study of Chen Taiji was low and went downward,
he mastered and defeated its techniques by understanding the horizontal. He says that Yang Lu Chan made Taiji famous as it was hidden in Chen village for over 400 years. To brake away from the Chen’s, he made his Taijiquan unique as his own style, higher stance, slow even motion, and using the power of soft overcoming hard. Yang Lu Chan and his son Yang Banhao made it famous with defeating fighters from various martial arts.
Taiji warm-up supplementary exercises with loosening, stretching, and prepping the body for the harder work to come. Here are samples I have picked up from Cheng Man Ching (Yang Chen Fu student) teachers, Fu Zhong Wen’s group (Yang Chen Fu disciple), Jiang YuKun (disciple of Yang Chen Fu), Xiang Yang-He’s (student of Yang Chien Hou and Yang Shao Hao) group. Enjoy the variations and exercises.*Always consult a doctor before starting any health regimen, these exercises are meant for serious students with prior experience. Beginners should take a class with a professional master of Taijiquan. Posted for posterity.
Cheng Man Ching (CMC) warm-up: (1990-1993)
Cheng Man Ching’s 37 Yang short form was the first taste of Taiji for me. I started with a few teachers and free park classes. There was never really a warm-up set at all of the CMC Taiji schools I have been to. The usual saying was, “it’s all in the form”. While standing, holding, and molding of postures is key to their training along with push hands. There just was not any loosening or stretching at the places I went to. If there was…. it usually was imported from somewhere else. I would add that often just doing the 1st 1/3 of the form 3 to 12 times often was considered the “warm-up” along with holding postures. One teacher, Larry Mann of Tidewater Taiji in Virginia Beach taught this as his warm-up to class: 3 parts:
1.) Shifting weight slowly between the left and right leg, 2.) speed up to swinging arms, 3.) slow down back to shifting weight slowly to a point of separating the weight.
Another teacher of CMC style teacher Wilson Pitts taught a Baduajin variation (video here) as his warm-up in the park.
Taiji Warm-ups: Fu Zhong Wen (Shanghai Yongnian) and Weiqi He (USA Yongnian) version (1993-1997)
These were warm-ups that Weiqi (disciple of Fu Zhong Wen) typically taught in her classes at Richmond Va. Parks and Recreation. They were also done by Fu Qing Quan grandson of Fu zhong Wen. Most are in the right order. There might be one or two missing, I also added the stretch kick, front and outside slap kicks as these were sometimes done. The drop stance was normally done across a gym floor and not stationary.
Jiang Yu Kueng (fourth generation) was quite fortunate to have been apart of Yang Chen Fu’s teaching in Nan Jin Chinese Central Martial arts Academy in 1930-34. Jiang Yu Kueng was given inner student teachings. Thus becoming famous in China for his fighting in competitions for his Lao shir (respectable master) Yang Chen Fu. He graduated from the academy, where the students were very eminent in martial arts. Most of them ended up becoming famous martial arts instructors in China. the 8 exercises come from when Yang Chen Fu taught at the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou China. i learned this from Xianhao Cheng in Norfolk Virginia when I lived down there.
1. Cross arms over head center left and right.
2. Flex the Back, forward and back.
3. Stretch the heel.
4. Wave hands like clouds
5. Circle the leg in balance stance
6. Pu bu- Drop stance
7. Rotate the waist and body.
8. Carry tiger to Mountain in sitting stance center, left, and right.
extra (from Hangzhou Taiji Qigong)9. Taiji lotus leaf palm strikes.
Taiji warm-up of Xiang Yang He: (1998-2002)
Xiang Yang-He was a disciple of the Yang Family through Yang Chien Hou and Yang Shao Hou. He had influence on Tien Shan Pai teacher Wang Cheuh jen (Nanjin’s Central martial arts academy and later on to R.O.C. China Taiwan), who transmitted the teachings to Willy Lin and C.C. Liu who both reside in Washington D.C. area. I learned this set Johnson Thomas disciple of C.C. Liu, Johnson was a Taiji coach at Omei Wushu school, later at Chinese martial arts Institute in Fairfax Va. from Sifu Burris disciple of Willy Lin.
1. circle waist
2. elbow to toe
3. drop stance
5. wide stance stretching lft and rt
6. Knee circles, wrist and ankle circles
7. bow stance arm circles and forward and back bend
8. waist circles into push
9. neck bending, sacrum bending
10. head turning and twisting
11. Drop hands
12. Alternately Swing arms
13. Twist waist, pivot heel
14. Swing arms
15. Rotate waist and push.
There was also a Taiji stance form that was done holding the postures: This video only holds for a brief period, but you can hold for longer times.
Taijiquan stance form
2. Slant fly
3. Strum lute
4. Dragon sit stance
5. Shoulder strike
6. Strike tiger
7. Snake drops
8. Rooster balance
9. Fist under elbow
10. Horse Iron shirt training
All season triple warmer and Coiling set- These sets were taught to me at Qi Elements school of Taiji, Shaolin, and Massage (2004-2006).
The All season triple warmer is a general warm-up it was usually taught and a second set (Coiling set, Season qigong, or Taiji qigong) done after, then followed by taijiquan training.
From the schools handout on Coiling Set:
The main purpose of this set is to lead Qi to the surface of the skin and into the bone marrow through the use of breathing and coiling motion. The set is designed to strengthen the Guardian Qi (Wei chi) and to increase the sensitivity of the “Skin Listening Jing,” which is required for Pushing Hands and Taijiquan fighting.
In these exercises, your muscles are tensed by the twisting of your limbs and body, and then relaxed. The Qi that is generated in these tensed areas is led by the mind to coil out to the extremities and spiral out to the skin. This coiling motion helps to increase the penetration of your Jing and brings the Qi out to the skin, opening all the little Qi channels (Lou). This slows degeneration and increases the efficiency of your muscles.
Although the Coiling Set was designed for martial artists to train their Qi and increase their listening Jing, it is a very good health exercise. The twisting movements help to loosen the joints and strengthen the tendons and ligaments. Leading the Qi into the bone marrow helps keep the marrow health, and that is a vital requirement for health and longevity.
Taiji Warm-up: All season triple warmer:
Future addition: Michuan Yangjia warm-up set from Zhang Qilin (Yang Chien Hou/Yang Chen Fu disciple) :
This year I have been studying Yang Taijiquan deeply with Coach Chris Pei of United States Wushu Academy in Falls Church Virginia. Some of the classes have involved taking a theme from the 10 essences and apply it in Long form study. We are also to memorize the 10 Essences, it comes to make for a great story. Here is how I describe it. Please note the Chakras (Psychic channels in Esoteric arts like Tantric yoga) are my own additions based on my experience and I use them to help remember the 10 Essences. The first 5 essences are physical while the last are mental.
It all starts at the crown (chakra) where you need to relax and feel a pull from the top of your head. *you can click on the images to enlarge
Once you are able to do so, (throat chakra) you can next feel a natural pull downward in the opposite direction as the shoulders and elbows sink down.
After that is achieved (Heart Chakra) sink the chest and raise the back can be attained. This will allow the breath to begin to sink toward Dan tien.
Relax the waist (Solar Plexus) is possible when the first three are understood, the Qi can collect in Dan Tien.
From the prior 4 principles the next (root chakra) the legs will be able to understand the substantial (yang) and insubstantial (yin) weight separation.
The second half begins the mental training once you are able to master the first 5. Once you begin to understand the separation of weight you can begin to move and practice coordination of the upper and lower parts of the body with stepping. Continuity of movement is achieved when you can separate the weight, coordinate the upper and lower body without interruption as a connected whole. The quality of the continuity must be harmonized from the inside with a soft pliable internal energy (qi) and physical frame (external) is performed without too much hard and tense strength (Li). The inside of the frame must be coordinated with the outside of the frame (balance/middle path). Using the mind (Yi: will and intent) (third eye) you will be able to achieve stillness in movement and movement in stillness when all 10 of these principles are harmonized in your Taijiquan practice.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) believes to live in harmony with the changing season. Below you will find some descriptions of some Chinese medical theory and some qigong practice to try during the changing seasons. Posted for posterity.
Here is the set that my Qigong teacher taught when I was at Qi Elements school of Taiji, Qigong, and Massage. All the massage students had to learn the qigong sets that were taught by Roger Blough who is one of Dr. Yang Jwing Ming’s top Qigong students. This set always starts with the “All season triple warmer”, then the current season is performed. If you want to extra practice you can do then following season as it gets closer. Each exercise as a nourishing effect on the season’s corresponding organ.
*Always consult a doctor before starting any health exercise regimen.
Spring’s rhythm is full of life and movement. The earth becomes warmer and the days have more light. with this new warmth and light, sparks of inspiration ignite and much can be accomplished.
The color is green, the most abundant color on the planet and it generates life.Green is usually associated with describing someone who is very new at what he/she does.
Wood is the element of this season. during the spring we should take care to clean the liver and detox the entire system through fasting with vegetables either steamed or in soups and eat more fruits.
The body changes from extreme yin (winter cold) to yang (warm spring). The yin organ, the liver, is in a yin state and needs to change to yang. The bod’s guardian qi, which surrounds the body like an aura, protects it from disease, begins to grow. The spirit is raised, emotions start to rise. Use deep breathing to help maintain a peaceful mind. You can use reverse abdominal breathing with exhalation long than inhalation. Massage the liver and the liver channel.
Summer rhythm is rapid and random. Youth and playfulness abound and feelings of joy are predominant during this time. summer color is red. this color is used to describe passion and love. Red hearts, red roses, and red summer skies all invoke the body to be creative and passionate.
Fire is the element of the season. During the summer you should do things that cool the fire. Resting under shady tree, dipping in the cool streams , lakes and oceans, drink lots of water to balance the fire in the heart of summer.
The body changes from weak yang to strong yang. Heart is the yin organ, but its Yin lessens during summer and emotional excitement grows. Excessive emotion can make heart to yang also. The bodys guardian Qi grows strong to release excessive Qi from the internal organs. The main purpose of summer qigong is to keep the heart in the proper yin state.
you can use normal abdominal breathing with inhalation longer than exhalation to maintain peaceful mind and lead excess Qi away from the heart into the lungs. massage the heart from the center outward and the heart and pericardium channels. Keep the mind away from the heart, qi goes where the mind leads it.
Indian summer’s rhythm is grounding and centering. A time of balance and preparing for the cold weather causes one to let go of the playfulness of summer, and get serious of the necessities of life.
Indian summer’s color is yellow. This is associated with the organ spleen. during this time it is good to cleanse the entire immune system with fasting, drinking fresh juices, and vegetable juices.
Earth is the element of this season. This is a good time to set root into a new job or home. Earth is stable and solid. Decisions usually made in late summer prove to be beneficial for one’s job or home. The spleen is very active in late summer. Eating the fruits and vegetables of summer’s bounty will help keep the spleen clean and working at optimum performance.
Fall/Autumn’s rhythm embodies completion. Peace and contentment flow freely during this season. Autumns color is white. This color represents a void of judgment and acceptance of what is. Metal is the element of this season. “Strong as Steel” is a term that describes someone who masters this element. One who understands this element has the ability to change and endure the challenges that bring wisdom and perfection. Temperance is the virtue necessary to master the mind and balance the spirit.
In Fall, the body changes from extreme yang to yin. The seasonal yin organ, the Lungs, are the first organ to experience autumnal changes, and their condition may already be aggravated by late summer pollen. This can change the lungs from greater Yin to lesser yin. To maintain the proper Yin state, drink more water! Use reverse abdominal breathing to lead the Qi from the internal organs to the skin to strengthen the guardian qi. Massage the chest from the center outward and massage the lung channel.
Winters rhythm embodies the seed, the embryo, and potential. This time of long nights and little light tends to draw one into more solitary life allowing plenty of time to reflect on dreams and plan for the future. Winters color is blue. People often associate blue with a feeling blue. This can be a misunderstanding of going within or just plain taking a break from the hustle and bustle of life.
Water is the element of this season. During winter we must take extra care to drink more water to prevent dry skin and lung problems from dry heat inside homes and dry freezing weather.Drinking plenty of water nourishes the kidneys and helps keep them clean.
The body changes from weak Yin to extreme Yin. Qi deficiency occurs in the Kidneys. Guardian Qi shrinks to the center of the body. The spirit sinks and depression increases. Use Reverse Abdominal Breathing with exhalation longer than inhalation to expand and strengthen guardian qi. Focus the mind on raising the spirit and being more physically active. Massage the ears, kidneys and the yongquan cavity (k-1 :bubbling well).
The seasonal Qigongs always start with the All Season Triple Warmer set. For instance. If it is Fall. Start wit the All season triple warmer, then the Qigong set for Fall.
All-Season Triple Burner
1. Both Hands to Hold the Heavens
Interlock fingers, lift hands over head pushing palms up, do not tense muscles because it will constrict the body and prevent you from stretching. Mentally tell the body to relax and try to stretch further. Stretch for 10 seconds. Twist your upper body to one side to twist the trunk
muscles. Stay there for 5 seconds. Repeat to alternate sides for a total of 3 repetitions to each side. Tilt the body to one side and stay there for five seconds. Repeat three times to each side. Bend forward gently until fingers touch floor. Use the pelvis to wave the hips from side to side to loosen up the lower spine. Do this for 10 seconds. Squat down with your feet flat on the floor to stretch your ankles. Then lift up the heels to stretch the toes. Repeat the entire exercise three times.
Points to watch: Do not hold your breath. How far you should stretch depends on your feeling. Proceed cautiously and gently, try to go a little farther each time. Try to progress, but without feelinguncomfortablepain
2. Large Dragon Loosens its Neck
Goal is to stretch the four large muscles of the neck. To stretch front neck muscles, turn your head slightly backwards diagonally while pressing your shoulder backwards. Start the stretch gently for 20 seconds then shift to focus on the rear neck muscles. Press your head downward and to the side. After stretching each of the four muscles, repeat from the beginning, this time for 30 seconds. Repeat entire exercise a third time.
3. Buddha Explores the Sea
Goal is to stretch the ligaments of the neck. Tilt the head forward so that it is parallel to the floor and the four neck muscles are evenly stretched. Gently push both shoulders back if you wish to accentuate the stretch. Do this for 20 seconds, then slowly turn the head from side to side while keeping it parallel to the floor.
4. Circle the Waist Horizontally
In a moderate horse stance, circle the abdomen horizontally trying not to move the thighs or upper body. Holding one hand on the Dan Tien and the other on the Ming men can help you focus the exercise. The Qi can flow easily only when the abdomen is loose and relaxed.
5. Regulate the Middle and Lower Burners (Waving the Spine and Massaging the Internal Organs)
Create a wave-like motion up the spine to the diaphragm. Putting one hand on the solar plexus and keeping the other on the Dan Tien may help you feel this movement. Feel that your spine is moving like a soft, slow whip. Try to feel the vertebrae moving section by section. Repeat 10 times. Then slowly turn the body to one side and then the other.
6. Loosening the Upper Burner [thrust the Chest and Arc the Chest]
Extend the wave-like movement up to your chest. Hold one hand on the Dan Tien and one lightly at the throat to help you feel the movements. Coordinate your breath with the movement of your shoulders, breathing in when your shoulders are back and breathing out when they are forward. Try to move your spine so that you feel the movement section by section. Repeat the movements 10 times, then continue the movements as you slowly turn the body to one side and then the other.
7. White Crane Loosens Its Wings
Extend the motion to your arms and fmgers. Feel that this motion is now being generated in your legs and waist, being directed by your hips, and finally being manifested by the hands and arms. You should feel that your whole body is connected from feet to finger tips. Place your mentalfocus inside your body, moving just ahead of the wave-like motion and imagine that your mind is leading your Qi in synch with the motion from your Dan Tien, up the spine, across the shoulders, and down your arms to reach slightly beyond your fmger tips. Repeat the movements 10 times. At this stage you are employing the three essential elements of qigong exercise- body, breath, and mind.
8. White Crane Shakes Its Wings
Perform the movements with one arm at a time, twisting the body slightly to direct the arm movements. Repeat 10 times with each arm.
When you complete these exercises, you should feel that every joint and muscle in your body from waist to fingers is relaxed and loose. The relaxation ofjoints and muscles is essential to the movement of Qi and is the foundation for the manifestation of jing power in Taiji.
1. Two Hands Hold the Toes. (from the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong)
With feet shoulder width apart, bring your hands to waist level palms facing up. Raise the hands straight up and overhead, turning the palms to face upward. As you extend your arms over your head, feel as if you are pushing a weight, but do not tense your muscles or lock yourjoints. Hold this position for three seconds while you focus your mind on your Mingmen cavity. Keeping the arms extended, bend forward at the waist and grab your toes. Pull upward to put a gentle stress on your whole body. While holding your toes, focus your mind on the Bubbling Well cavities. Hold this position for three seconds. Do at least six repetitions.
2. Phoenix Spreads Its Wings
Bend forward from the waist. Grab your left knee with your right hand. Inhale. Then while exhaling, swing your left arm up with the palm facing to your right, and turn your head to look at the upraised arm. Pull gently with the right hand to accentuate the twisting of your waist and torso. While holding this position, perform one breath cycle. Then on the next inhalation, lower the arm and return to a centered position. During the next exhalation, perform the movements to the other side. Repeat at least three times to each side.
3. Turn the Head to See the Moon. (From the Taiji Coiling Set Qigong)
Part 1. While inhaling, turn both palms upward and raise them to chest level. Then while exhaling, move your right hand upward and your left hand downward. As your left hand descends, thread it behind your back and press the palm down. At the same time, push the right palm up, twist your torso to the left side, and turn your head to the left to look behind you The palms should feel like they are pressing against resistance, but do not tense your muscles. Hold this position for one breath cycle. On the next inhalation, return to the center position, crossing your arms in front of your chest. During the next exhalation, perform the movements to the opposite side. Do at least three repetitions to each side.
Part 2 Perform the same movements with a wider stance and with your torso leaning more to the sides Do at least three repetitions to each side
4 Large Bear Softens the Waist
Press your right kidney with the back of your left hand as you perform the Taiji Qigong spinal exercise Do at least twelve repetitions, then place your right hand on your left kidney and repeat the exercise Tap both kidneys with the backs of your hands Then tap the Mmgmen, sacrum, and buttocks.
1. Left-Right Single Lifting of Hands. (From the Eight Pieces of Brocade)
With feet shoulder width apart, bring your hands in front of your chest, palms facing toward you. Inhale. Then while exhaling, extend one arm up and turn the palm toward the sky. At the same time, lower your other arm down and turn the palm toward the earth. Your palms should feel like they are pushing against resistance, but not so much that your muscles tense. While inhaling, return to the starting position with arms crossed in front of your chest and palms facing you. While exhaling, repeat the movements, now raising and lowering the opposite hands.
2. White Ape Plucks the Peach.
Maintain the same stance as in the first exercise. Hold your hands in front of your waist with your palms facing each other, right hand on top. While inhaling, turn your body to your left. While exhaling, circle your right arm up, over your head, and down to your right side at waist level with palm facing up. At the same time, turn your body to your right and move your left hand to your right side, keeping it at waist level but turning your palm to face upward during the movement. Now you should be standing with your torso turned to your right and your palms facing each other on your right side with your left hand on top. Inhale. Then while exhaling, repeat the exercise in the opposite direction with your left arm circling up, over the head, and down to your left side.
Stand with feet hip width apart. While exhaling, turn your right hand palm up and press your right forearm into your abdomen just below your rib cage. At the same time, raise your left hand over your head with the palm facing the sky. Bend to your right side while using your forearm to squeeze and massage the area of your liver and your left arm to accentuate the bend. While inhaling, return your body to the center position. Then while exhaling, repeat the exercise to the opposite side.
4. Zhong Wan Up and Down (or Yum Yum)
(Two Parts) Part 1. Cup your hands one atop the other, palms facing up. Now massage your abdomen between your rib cage and your pelvic bone with your cupped hands pressing them in a scooping-like motion in, up, and out. Work them up your right side across you middle and down your left side (counterclockwise and m the direction your large mtestine flows) Part 2 Place one hand atop the other and massage your abdomen with the flat surface of your palm m the same direction.
Summer and Fall
Place feet shoulder width apart except for number 7.
1. Swing Arms Forward and Backward. While doing normal abdominal breathing, swing both arms loosely to the front and then to the back making a large arc.
2. Windlass Turn (like rowing a boat). Form the fingers and thumb of each hand into the shape of the letter C. Then move the arms and stretch the back in a circular motion like rowing a boat. Repeat the rowing motion in the opposite direction.
3. Feudal Lord Pulls the Bow. With hands in front of your face, forearms perpendicular to the ground, inhale while drawing the elbows to each side, stretching the chest and flexing the upper back and shoulder muscles and clenching the fists. While maintaining this extended position, do a full breath cycle (exhale and inhale). Then during exhalation, return to the starting position allowing the fingers to relax and straighten as you go. Feel the Qi flow into the hands and fingers as you unclench them.
4. Immortal Pushes the Stone Tablet. Begin with hands in front of the chest. During exhalation, push the left hand forward and sink the wrist as though striking with the edge of the hand. At the same time, move the right elbow backwards creating a strong stretch of the chest and shoulder muscles both forwards and backwards, and turn the head to look in the direction of the right elbow. Inhale while returning the hands to the starting position. Repeat to the opposite side.
5. Large Roc Arcs Its Wings. Start with arms hanging down at your sides. While inhaling, raise the hands m front of the chest to shoulder level, turning palms up as you go Round out the upper back and shoulders, but do not raise the shoulders. While exhaling, arc the arms out to front, turning the palms outward. Inhale while drawing the hands back to the chest and exhale while lowering the arms to the starting position.
6. Large Roc Spreads Its Wings. Similar to number 5 but bend the waist and push the arms out at a 45-degree angle to the ground. Round the lower back. Keep the chin down and do not raise the shoulders.
7. Shake the Head and Sway the Tail. (From the Eight Pieces of Brocade Qigong Set). Take a wide horse stance. Place each hand above the knee with the thumb pointing outward. Round the back. During exhalation, stretch to the left, shifting 70 to 80 percent of your weight to the left leg, turning the head to look rearward, and pressing down firmly with the left hand on the left leg. While inhaling, return to the starting position. During the next exhalation, repeat the movements to the opposite side.
Here are some Wudang exercises and Neigong I learned. This was taught to me from the folks at TCCII.com at a seminar. *Always consult a doctor before starting any health exercise regimen.
shaking body/arms- front, sides, up
clasped hands wrist circles
wrist circles with palm to inside/outside
elbow circles with palm, hand to inside/outside
shoulder rolls with thumbs at L1
rotate arm- both directions left arm then right arm with hip turn
Swinging arms- hitting body
hitting shoulder and under opposite arm/lat with turning head
back bend forward bend- slow rising up.
rotate waist-both directions
rotate hips- both directions
Phoenix nods head-
1. Head/eyes and body move in spinal wave
2. Reverse spinal wave
3. Head/eyes move clockwise while body sways side to side
4. Reverse direction
rotate knees- both directions
rotate ankles- both directions
- Snake- snake hand in horizontal circle both directions
- Turning tea cups- single and double palm changes
-1. Bear: curling fingers into fists: hands up front body and push down front of body
-2. Dragon: curling fingers into fists: hands up side of body and push down front of body
- add Liver sound SHUUUU to #1.
-Falcon: Cross hands and expel toxins with forceful HAAA sound.
-8 mother palms: Lu and Gao variations. In no particular order: monkey, lion, unicorn, snake, bear, dragon, falcon, swallow, single palm change.
Xingyi 5 elements Neigong-
In no particular order: Pi, beng heng, tsuan, pao.
Patting massage/Self hitting- detailed: clap hands
1. Shoulder- front, top, around joint (left and right)
2. Arm- top, bottom, outside, inside
4. Lower back and bottom
5. Legs- back, front, outside, inside
7. Face, scalp
9. End with forceful heng sound
Ending: rub hands- eye/face/scalp.
Taoist yoga: teeth clasping, tongue along gums- swallow pearl 3x.
This Taoist Yoga Set was taught by Kayla at Circle of Friends in San Diego to help balance long hours of sitting meditation at a Buddhist retreat. She recommends natural non-forced breathing. If you feel discomfort from the breathing drills, just stop and do something different like walking. *Always consult a doctor before starting any health regimen.
Set I: Awaken higher energy centers
Swallow pearl 3x
Teeth clasp (3)
Rub face (3)
Set II: Healing breaths transforming emotions
Whooo (like wind) stomach , worry into relaxation
Shoo-weee (force whisper) liver/gallbladder, anger into kindness
Sheee (lower jaw in front) spleen/intestines, insecurity into confidence
Hurrrr (tongue on palate) heart , selfishness into compassion
Chai- yeee (force whisper) kidneys, fear into courage