Archive for the ‘Gong Fu’ Tag

Taiji Applications: Open Right and “Ward-off Left”   Leave a comment

“The peacock spreads its wings” is the second and third move in the Yang (Dong) Style. Here are some photos of the posture and two common applications.

First, neutralize the incoming attack by circling your arm to the right.

Next pull down to the jade table...this will pull the attacker off balance towards their "front door" forcing them to decide whether to be pulled down or to pull back.

Most people will instinctively pull back, so you step in blocking their retreat and then...

Finish by throwing them out the back door using "Left ward-off" by turning your waist and shifting your weight forward, tripping them over your leg. See how much fun Taiji is!

Alternatively, if your opponent does not pull back, you can follow up the original movement with your left hand, keeping them from closing in on you with a shoulder strike...

and apply "Brush knee and push"

Finish them off out their front door in the original direction that they were moving.

Thank you to Wanda for assisting in this project.

Wudang on Maui   3 comments

Wudang Taiji On Maui  Workshop 2011

Zhou, Xuan Yun will come to Maui in April!

Remember the movie “Crouching Tiger Hidden Dragon” and how amazed the world was with the Wudang arts?  Now you have a chance to work with a genuine disciple of Wudang. I have been in communication with Zhou, Xuan Yun and he has agreed to come here to Maui for a workshop in April.

Xuan Yun was raised on Wudang Mountain, the spiritual center for all Taoists.  The monks from Wudang spend their lives training in the Taoist arts including meditation, qigong, taijiquan and gong fu.  The wealth of knowledge embodied within these arts and carried forward by people like Xuan Yun is beyond the imagination.

Xuan Yun and I have put together a workshop for the week of April 17th.  The schedule is for four days in April; 17, 18, 19 & 20th.

We will be at the Filipino Community Center, a large and beautiful hall located in Kahului. We will start out with some basics and by the fourth day we will be going over the details and martial art aspects of Taijiquan. This workshop will be great for any level of Taiji player.

For more info on Xuan Yun, and to book your space at the Wudang Taiji on Maui Workshop, go to:  http://daoistgate.com/

If you are interested or want more details,  just e-mail me at corygw57@yahoo.com with “Wudang On Maui”  in the subject line. You can see the whole schedule and prices at http://www.daoistgate.com you can even book and pay there too!

Xuan Yun’s Bio: http://daoistgate.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=46&Itemid=29

This is an incredible opportunity to learn directly from the source of Taoist thought. There are only a handful of people in the entire world that can even get close to doing something like this, and you may be so blessed.

Zhou, Xuan Yun will teach a four-day workshop at the Filipino Community Center on Onehee Street in Kahului, April 17, 18,19th and 20th

Posted December 28, 2010 by The Maui Taoist in News and Events

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Yiquan Club in Kihei   9 comments

Yiquan friends doing some Yi Jin Jing Qigong

Come and play with our Yiquan club every Thursday morning.  Since Sifu Fong Ha comes here every September, a group of six or seven dedicated practitioners has began meeting every Thursday to continue working on his (and others) teachings. Since then it has become a great free-form “Internal Arts Day”

This is not a “class” because it is at Kamaole III Beach Park and the county will not allow a formal class: so I call it a club, there is no charge we just play.

Yiquan means “Mind (intention) Boxing” and it is a simple way to train martial arts and meditation skills. One of the main practices is just standing.  There is a huge variety of postures used in standing work, also known as “Zhan Zhuang” lit. “standing like a post”.  In Yiquan, there are eight main postures, you just stand and hold a posture, it is very simple.

Every Thursday morning starting at 6:30 AM with zhan zhuang, Qigong and Taiji walking, sometimes we take a break about 7:50 or so, look for us at a table at that time, then at  8:15 AM, we continue with Taijiquan until we are done.

The pre-dawn standing part is simple; just stand (or sit) in Wuji and if you want to, hold some postures or do whatever you want to! Try doing some “spontaneous qigong” also known as “Zi Fa Gong” or do the Yiquan postures.

The qigong that we originally did here consists of two sets and some “Taiji walking”.  The first set is called “Yi Jin Jing” this is the famous “muscle and tendon changing classic” invented by Bodhidharma in about 520 AD.  The second set is another classic qigong set known as “The Eight Brocades” or “Ba Duan Jin“.   Most likely though, whatever we we do here now is pretty random, so many things we could do, it is never the same qigong at this practice session. “Taiji walking”  in the sand is a favorite!

The Taijiquan part usually consists of doing the Dong (Yang) Long Form, we often do all three sections of the form or whatever we decide!

Come and play but know this is not a class…. I don’t do any real “teaching” I want to have fun with my friends, build some push hands connections, and keep the spirit of all of our teachers training active at Kamaole III

Overview:

6:30 AM to 7:50 AM
Wuji, Zhan Zhuang, Yiquan

Zi Fa Gong

Yi Jin Jing, Ba Duan Jin, or “Whatever Qigong”

Taiji walking

7:50 to 8:15 AM Break…

8:15 AM
Taijiquan
Tui Shou

See All Classes Here:

https://taijionmaui.wordpress.com/category/schedules/

Devotion to Spirit   3 comments

 

Zhong Xue Chao, (Bing), is a Taoist monk and grew up training on Wudang Mountain. He is the purveyor of wudangdao.com, and he exemplifies the essence of Tao

Devotion to training is its own reward.  Making love to the energy that sustains you nurtures your soul.  Embracing the feeling that moves us is simple. Why would anyone not keep training; I am not sure I could relate to that?

Master Dong was just here, and I spent 18 hours with him over a weekend, that week I also had 11 classes and spent an additional few hours training on my own….the result of over 30 hours of Taiji and Qigong training in one week?  I want more!

I just added two new weekly classes (soon to be announced) and I am doing a series of Qigong seminars with Kaiser October 14th, 21st and 28th.  I also have renewed energy for my personal training showing up one hour early to all my regular classes to train on some new and some old forms.  Therefore, I will be stepping up my training to about thirty hours every week.  My point is this, the more you feel your Qi the more it will provide for you that which you know in your heart is the best thing for you.

Once you learn the secret of the energy, that being the fact that YOU are made of energy, know that, cultivate that, and fully embrace that concept, your life will completely change.  What you thought “life” was will be redefined.  Life is Energy! It lives in you, you control this energy, and it will heal you from within if you let it.

Have you ever noticed how much energy you have when you feel inspired, like if you fall in love…? You can clean house, go to work, and never get tired? Energy comes to you from a mysterious place, we have all have had these feelings…..Would you be “depressed” if you won the lottery?  Would you be “bored” if you had a million dollars in your pocket?

The winning lottery ticket is as simple as devotion to Qigong training.

Basic Taiji Principles, Overview   1 comment

Like a stepped pyramid, we lay down a foundation, taking us higher as we go.

Taoist physics, the laws of energy.

This article is about outlining some of the basic Taiji principles that I have discovered through the years, and some taught to me by Master Dong. I will explain each one in time. These are not the “Classic Taiji Principles” that other authors have written about through the ages, but a pragmatic look at the common sense of practical Taiji.

These are not the only principles that I will discuss, many esoteric principles can be inserted in between and after the ones on this basic list, yet they are most basic and important ones. Understanding the physics of the human energy system and codifying, and sharing these principles is my life’s work.

Staying on your feet is an important skill that can save your life, whether talking about martial arts, or walking down a flight of stairs. There are many obvious gains from assimilating these principles into our lives but know that these principles go far deeper than Taijiquan.

The entire human energy system uses these same principles, not just your body, but also the mind, emotions and spirit. I am taking about the laws of physics; nothing is exempt from these basic principles of the universe.

For example, energy follows the path of least resistance; therefore reducing the resistance to energy increases the flow and the apparent volume of energy. The best way to remove resistance is to remove blockages. These blockages can be from misalignment and (muscle) tension. Again these principles are not necessarily only about your body, keep in mind the “big picture”.

The way to remove obstructions is to align and relax…. Know that aligning will facilitate relaxation. It is easier to relax when we have good alignment, like in the physical attribute of structural integrity.  A strong frame requires less reinforcement; look at an “earthquake resistant” building, a proper frame, allows for a flexible, less ridged, relaxed structure.

Likewise, in relationships, having the same values and interests with another is “alignment” with this alignment a person will be more relaxed. Being aligned and relaxed leads to balance, and with a little give and take (counterbalance) we can achieve a harmonious relationship. Understanding energy is about a relationship with it and it applies to all things accordingly.

While keeping the big picture in mind and realizing that there is a hierarchy to these principles and also that Taijiquan is a method of training and understanding energy, we need to start with the most important principles first. Layering principles overtime will bring enlightenment.

To get started, to keep things simple here is a basic outline to these principles. Each principle will require further explanation, so be patient, and check back to the “Taiji Principles” category here on this blog.

To make comprehending and learning these principle easier, I have organized them into three sub-groups of three principles each. Beginners should mostly be concerned with the first three. Intermediate students focus on the first six and as students progress keep layering principles until all nine are understood.

Principles:

Align
Relax
Root
Balance
Harmonize
String of pearls
Not too much not too little
Open and close
See all things

Tiger Mountain Taiji Gong   4 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

Qigong Lesson #2 “Wuji” A Physical Reality   6 comments

You need to know where you are in order to find your way.

Your place in the universe is often twisted away from the ideal; it may be physical, mental, emotional,and/or spiritually misaligned.

Let me first explain that in the “physical world” you can be  physically, mentally, emotionally,and/or spiritually misaligned  and you can also be misaligned in the “celestial world”. This is because all things have Yin and Yang elements to them. Our goal is harmonizing Yin/Yang, not just balancing Yin and Yang .

To keep things simple, my objective in this article is just to start with the body, the physical within the physical.

The most important overriding principles in Qigong and Taiji and Meditation for that matter revolve around alignment. As stated in the second paragraph of this page, alignment could mean spiritual, emotional. mental, or physical.

As we work ever inward to the higher levels of understanding we need to start somewhere. The starting point is the physical alignment of your body, starting with your feet. When we learn this basic skill called “Wuji Stance” we will have a working model of alignment that we can “clone” into our thinking to restructure our bodies, minds, emotions, and ultimately our spirits.  Then we can keep feeding back that spiritual energy to continually strengthen our bodies, minds, emotions. The cycle continues until we have the “rarefied qi” of original Spirit known as “the gold pill” a spiritual embryo that grows within us until such time as it “becomes” us and we are reborn into Tao.

It is simple really. Just start under your feet.  We want a totally natural alignment of our skeleton so we can relax all of our muscles. The following list is an example of what I tell my students. I probably say this list fifty times a week in my classes…..

1.     Feet parallel and shoulder width apart

2.     Knees slightly bent

3.     Tailbone tucked in so your lumbar spine is vertical

4.     Relax the hips and “sit” into your legs

5.     Let the “golden thread from heaven” lift your head

6.     Tuck in your chin so that your cervical spine is vertical

7.     Relax your shoulders, let your arms dangle at your side

8.     Contain your chest, don’t “puff out” your chest

9.     Bring your breath  to your dantien, just below the navel

10.   Bring your mind down to your dantien

11.    Put your tongue at your palate

12.    Keep your eyes soft, don’t strain your eyes

In addition I tell students to:  keep their hearts open, explaining that there is no need for any emotional energy, and to keep their mental energy redirected inward,  reviewing the 12 points on the list.  Then I repeat the list….

Now you can start right away by learning to Tune your Breath

Copyright Cory williams 2009

more here: Qigong lesson #3