Friday, December 20, 2013

Gentle Comes from Strong

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T'ai Chi Builds Your Inner Superhero

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Friday, December 13, 2013

Cheng Man-ch'ing Anticipates Attack

This is older footage of Chen Manching with commentary from Robert W. Smith.
original source: Martial Arts: The Real Story produced by DISCOVERY NETWORKS, filmed by PACIFIC STREET FILMS.
Cheng Man-ch'ing was the softest of the soft.  Absolute softness, complete relaxation.  These were lessons we learned, over and over, class in and class out.  He hated fighting, yet he had an uncanny ability to anticipate an attack.  He did so by relaxing and shifting your energy into his body and into his rooted leg.

These are abilities that are years in the making.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cheng Man-ch'ing Senses Energy

Cheng Man Ching, push hands class
1960s at the New York School.from some old 8mm film given to me by Stan.
There is no sound to this video, but it is still quite previous footage of a T'ai Chi master I had come to revere in the early years of my study and practice.

Push Hands (i.e., Tui Shou) is about sensing energy.  We build our ability to sense the other person's energy by circulating and extending our own chi.  Then it is about adhering and following energy, as Tui Shou works at the granular levels of self defense.  Finally it is about expressive, even explosive energy (fa jin), where we release chi to uproot, upend or topple the other person.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Cheng Man-ch'ing Uproots Weakness

Cheng Man Ching, New York Push hands class with Stan Israel, Lou Klinesmith and Mort Raphael, Mid 60s.
This video is precious.  We revered Cheng Man-ch'ing, especially in the early years of my T'ai Chi studies and practice - late 1970s and early 1980s.  But we didn't have easy access to videos back then.

In this brief segment, Cheng Man-ch'ing teaches an integral principle of T'ai Chi and Taoism as a whole: Do not push against your opponent's strength.  Once you sense his energy and center, you might have to Roll Back, that is, away from his strength, to uproot him.

Friday, December 6, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites (5) Tone the Body

This rite is an overall body toning and strengthening exercise. This posture stretches the shoulders, legs, spine and whole body; It builds strength throughout the body, particularly the arms, legs, and feet. It also relieves fatigue and rejuvenates the body while improving the immune system, digestion and blood flow to the sinuses. It calms the mind and lifts the spirits.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites (4) Bring Clarity

The fourth rite works on the Swadisthana or Sacral Chakra associated with our re productive organs. It activates our lower abdominal and pelvic area, thereby awakening our sexual energy, and general state of pleasure. It also strengthens the lower back. When this Chakra is harmonized it brings clarity and development of a strong personality. This rite also helps weed out our negative base qualities that hinder our development.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites (3) Feel Joyfulness

This rite energizes the Vishuddhi or throat Chakra which activates the pituitary & thyroid glands. Harmonization of these two major glands regulates the metabolism rate, controls water balance in the body via the control of re absorption of water by the kidneys & optimizes the functioning of our sexual organs. On an emotional level it fills one with a feeling of unlimited happiness and freedom that allows our abilities and skills to blossom. It also alleviates anxiety and suppressed fears.  This rite also strengthens the spinal column and makes one more flexible.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites (2) Improve Vitality

The second rite works mainly on the Manipura or Solar plexus Chakra, situated in the abdominal region. This Chakra is the centre of Vitality and Vigour. It also regulates the functioning of the pancreas and digestive organs. As a result it's curative in curing digestive disorders, diabetes and fluctuations in blood pressure. This rite also strengthens the abdominal muscles and acts as a powerhouse by constantly supplying vitality and bestowing balance and strength.

Monday, December 2, 2013

5 Tibetan Rites (1) Slow Aging

The Speed of the Chakra spin is a key to vibrant health. The first rite works on all 7 Chakras by coordinating their spin so they are in complete harmony. It distributes pure Prana energy to the endocrine system, and in turn to all organs and processes in the body which is one of the major requirements for vibrant health, rejuvenation and youthfulness. It is the key rite to reset one's body to optimum functioning.