Taiji Gong… “Tiger Mountain”
This simple qigong can help form the foundation to high level Taiji skill.
Dong Hu Ling was my teacher’s father and the first Dong family member to carry on the family tradition started by his father, the famous Dong Ying Jie. Dong Hu Ling had two sons, Zeng Chen, and Kai Ying. Dong Hu Ling was a world-renowned Taiji master.
Master Dong’s first name, Hu translates to “Tiger” and his middle name, Ling translates to “Mountain”. This qigong exercise was conceived by Master Hu Ling and based on some common Taiji postures; designed to be done standing or sitting.
A student of Master Tung Kai Ying first taught this Qigong set to me. Sometimes referred to as “Taiji Gong”, most of us know it by Master Dong Hu Ling’s name, Tiger-Mountain.
Tiger Mountain is comprised of ten Taiji postures each repeated as you rotate your upper body from side to side while standing or sitting in one place and expanding and contracting as one would if actually performing the Taiji form. Alternate the hands and subtly sift your awareness to whichever hand is on the leading side.
Master created a little poem to remind practitioners of the postures and their sequence.
In the beginning
From the clouds
Heaven and Earth
Then the tiger
Brought the horse
To its knees
Between two peaks
And push, (and hold) to the end.
The corresponding Taiji postures are:
Fair Lady Works the Shuttles
White Crane Spreads its Wings
Parting the Wild Horses Mane
Brush Knee and Push
Twin Fists Strike the Ears
Hold the last push and then end as if doing the Taiji form.
This easy to remember, simple to practice, and enjoyable Qigong takes about only 5 to 15 minutes to do and can be done at any speed you wish. Initially, move slowly and smoothly (concentrating on perfecting you movements) while keeping your feet straight, but as you improve you can turn your feet slightly to get a bow stance and add some more speed and energy.
Advanced students can adapt this exercise into a high level skill. By learning to flow through the main Taiji stances as they turn from side to side. Turning from a bow stance and turn-into a side horse stance and then into a horse stance and then repeat as they turn out to the other side
Repeating: bow—side horse—horse—other side horse—other side bow
When transitioning through the different stances slightly turn the feet and sink down each time you move through the “horse stance” This method will totally rebuild your hip joint and help students “Open the Kwa”. Be sure to use proper Taoist breathing techniques, don’t force anything.
After you have mastered the timing and the flow and of course the softness, you can try it faster. Eventually adept students can learn to use to add in “Fa Jin” to their movements. If you can master turning through 5 different stances fluidly and then deliver quality Fa Jin strikes you you will have a tool to help you take your Taiji to the next level.
This simple, soft, easy, and basic qigong practice can also show you the way to high level form practice. Helping to build power and energy for your health and for powerful martial arts performance.
See the related video on the sidebar.