Friday, April 24, 2020

Little things of Taiji

Am I practicing it right? Below are the things I take note of when practicing. In no order of importance.

1) Transfer/Shifting of weight through the ground. Do not move the upper body to transfer weight.

2) Knee cap pointing same direction as feet. Especially when one foot is in front of another, the back foot keen cap is frequently pulled inwards.

3) Sole of feet flat on ground. Feel the whole sole of the feet including the toes to be in contact with the ground. Keeping knee cap in same direct as feet helps.

4) (Relax) (Sink). The magic words. Comes with practice and feeling. This phase helps me a lot - 沉 (sink) is not 跪 (kneel). Sink does not equal to Kneel. Imagine the kneeling action, the force is at the knee cap. Your thigh muscle will be tighten. This is bad practice and will hurt the knees.

松 (Relax) the heel/ankle, small cafe muscle, back of knee, back of thigh, 胯 (kua), tail-bone in and anchored down. As you 松 (relax), the 沉(sink) will take place naturally as the channel is now open. Imagine the feeling of filling the inside of your legs with water from bottom up, At this time, there will be a downward force exerting from the sole into the ground. At the same time, there is a upward force as the water (chi) level raise up.

5) Upper body never move on its own. It moves because the waist move. But the waist does not move on its own either. It moves due to the shifting of weight, the 松 and 沉.

6) Do not drop the weight abruptly. Once (relax) and 沉(sink) improperly done, there will be minimum change in height.

7) The next point is abstract. Be aware but not focus of your body. To lead but not control the chi. Breath naturally, do not control breathing.

8) Do not control your thoughts but bring your thought back when it wonder off.

9) Imagine a the head is hung by a hook at the base of the skull to straighten the neck bones. Instead of tucking in the chin. (虚灵顶劲)

10) 虚实分明 - For most (all?) of the steps, try to archive clear substantial and in-substantial in the legs before going to the next steps. Again 虚实 is archive by 沉.

11) Tip of tongue is always touching the upper plate of the mouth, just behind the teeth. This is to complete the circuit flow of the chi though the body.

12) The center of gravity should always be at the 丹田 area. Do not let the center of gravity raise to the upper body, then it becomes floating. Like a tree/bamboo, the lower body is trunk and root, the upper body is the branches and leaves. Archive by 沉.

13) For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. Find/feel the opposite force. It is necessary to find this opposite force, so that the Ying and Yang force is complete. Start exploring the bigger action such as (gong).

14) Like the Taiji Symbol.
- It is round
- The bigger white area flows into the smaller black area, and vice-versa
- There is a black dot in the white area and vice-versa

How do you interpret them in the 太极 (Taiji) practice?

Below is the documented 10 Principles for practicing 太极.

1 虚灵顶劲
2 气沉丹田
3 含胸拔背
4 松腰敛臀
5 圆裆开胯
6 沉肩坠肘
7 用意不用力
8 尾闾中正
9 上下箱随
10 虚实分明


十三势行功心解 武禹襄
精神能提得起,则无迟重之虞;所谓头顶悬 也。
运动 如百炼钢,何坚不摧。
又曰:“先在心,后在身。腹松气敛 入股。”
全身意在精 神,不在气。


十三势歌 - 明朝万历年间山右 - 王宗岳
长拳者,如长江大 海,滔滔不绝也。
十三势者,掤、捋、挤、按 采、挒、肘、靠。进、退、顾、盼、定也。
掤、捋、挤、按、即 坎、离 震、兑,四正方也。
采、挒、肘、靠,即 乾、坤、艮、巽,四斜角也。

进步、退步 左顾、右盼、中定,即金、木、水、火、土也。此五行也。



Wednesday, October 9, 2013

First Realization

During last evening class, we managed to get our first real taste of "pushing" effortlessly.

The critical point I realized is the "song" before the "fa jin".

It had been repeatedly shown to us by Master Chow, but I guess during the early stage we are not "song" enough to have the understanding of this.

I guess the effort put in into the basic fundamental exercise pays off.

Master Chow further emphasis the timing of the "song" and "fa jin". 

Thursday, August 22, 2013



2。身不動。身動不能把气集中在下丹田,虚實不能更換。必须有上下, 左右,和前後的虚實的轉動。


Sunday, August 11, 2013

Why Taiji had to be practice so slow

Ever since I took up Taiji, this question had always come across my mind.
Why Taiji had to be practice so slow?

I had gathered many answer, no right or wrong, but it does make sense.

1) Walking/Moving mediation. Practice Taiji as a form of moving mediation.
No other thoughts and no distraction, just you and your body.

2) Slowness and repetitions let your body remember the finer points sub-consciously.
Many Taiji passages talk about the body like a threaded pearl, each section connecting
to the next. It also mentioned about the mind (yi) leading the energy (chi). 
Hence, though slowness and repetitions, the body remembers how it should move. 
When it comes to real application, the movement may be fast, but the body moves correctly
to channel the energy (chi) to the desalinated area.  

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

秋风落叶乱为堆,扫尽还来千百回,一笑罢休闲处坐,任他着地自成灰 (南懷瑾)

秋风落叶乱为堆,扫尽还来千百回,一笑罢休闲处坐,任他着地自成灰 (南懷瑾)

The below is a very crude translation by me :)

The autumn leaves fall and gather on the ground.
No matter how much you sweep, it gathers back.
Why not take a rest and relax,
and let the leaves falls and decompose to dust.

I do not understand what these phases mean, until my master (Master Chow)
explained to us.

The phases are used in context when doing meditation.
The autumn leaves are like the thoughts and distraction coming into your mind, 
and you try to stop these thoughts like "sweeping" the autumn, whereby it will
reform again. Why not leave the thought as it is and let it turn to dust.

This describe the state of mind we should have when doing meditation.