Archive for March 2010

Tiger Mountain Taiji Gong   9 comments

Tung Hu Ling Photo from Chip Ellis web site

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.

Dong Zeng Chen does this form a little differently but I chose to publish the “original version” at this time.   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 fun little poem to remind practitioners of the postures and their sequence.

In the beginning
From the clouds
She wove
Heaven and Earth
Then the tiger
Brought the horse
To its knees
Between two peaks
Across
And push, (and hold) to the end.

The corresponding Taiji postures are:

Beginning
Cloud Hands
Fair Lady Works the Shuttles
White Crane Spreads its Wings
Strike Tiger
Parting the Wild Horses Mane
Brush Knee and Push
Twin Fists Strike the Ears
Cross Hands
Push
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 turning more, Dong Zeng Chen’s version is done like this.  You can also add intensity by sitting lower in a horse stance, Tung Kai Ying’s version is done in this manner, but with out the waist turns of his brother’s.  I like to play around with  learning to flow through the main Taiji stances as I 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.

Read also: “Taiji Gong”

Copyright Cory Williams 2010

See the related video on the sidebar.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWPTt1ZfR5Y

The Way to be Followed Alone   3 comments

The Greatest Samurai circa 1645

Of the many things that can be learned from the martial arts perhaps the most poignant are the philosophies of some of these warriors.  These men were faced with a constant struggle with death always looming in the background.  The coping mechanisms they used can be an inspiration for us all to make peace within ourselves.

One of my favorite warriors of the ancient world,  Miyamoto Musashi was the greatest samurai and author of the classic book “The Book of Five Rings”  Musashi had a long career that included winning over eighty sword duels with other adepts. Later in his life, he turned to meditating and Zen studies. In his last days, in the year 1645, he sat down and penned this short list of precepts.
A few days later he died…..Leaving this profound list of guiding principles known as “Dokkodo” “The Path of Aloneness”

1.  Do not stubbornly rebel against the ways of the world.
2.  Do not seek pleasure for its own sake.
3.  Do not rely upon any half-hearted feelings.
4.  Think lightly of yourself and think deeply of the world.
5.  Remain detached from desire.
6.  Do not regret what you have done.
7.  Never be jealous of others.
8.  Never let yourself be saddened by a separation.
9.  Abandon resentment and complaint.
10. Do not let yourself be guided by the feeling of love or lust.
11. Disregard your personal preferences.
12. Accept your dwelling and living conditions.
13. Do not pursue the taste of good food.
14. Do not hoard ancient treasures intended for future generations.
15. Do not mindlessly follow the ways of the world.
16. Do not become obsessed with weapons or fighting.
17. Do not run from death.
18. Do not accumulate goods and riches for your old age.
19. Respect the gods, without relying on their help.
20. You can abandon your own body, but never let go of your honor.
21. Never depart from the way of strategy.

These ideals are presented by Musashi to encourage us all to cultivate the only thing of this world that lives on after we leave it….Character

Posted March 23, 2010 by The Maui Taoist in Buddhist, Philosophy

Tagged with , , ,