When you talk of health exercises, most of the time you will only consider movements. However, if you follow the principle of yin and yang then stillness should also be good for your health, i. e. meditation. It is not easy to find masters of meditation who can prove how beneficial it is but when you do find them, you will be amazed…
Two years ago, I went to Foshan, China, with my Wing Chun Sifu Yip Chun. He is originally from Foshan, and since China has be come more open many people are able to go back to their home villages to visit their families and friends, and renew their childhood memories.
For me personally, it was good to go with my Sifu to find out more about the source of Wing Chun and its culture.
During the trip we went to see many of his friends. Then on one occasion Yip Chun asked one of them about an old colleague of his named Zeng Chao Sheng.
The first thing he said was “Why did Zeng Chao Sheng die?”. His friend was very surprised and so was I. You never asked why someone had died unless you really hated them.
However, the friend replied, “What? Why do you say that? Zeng Chao Sheng isn’t dead!”. Now it was my Sifu, Yip Chun, who was surprised. All of us were now confused, so Yip Chun explained.
Liver, Gall Bladder, Green, Shouting, Anger, Deer, Sour, Rancid, Spring, Tendon, Eye, Life, East, Birth, 3, 8
Heart, Small Intestine, Red/Orange, Laughing, Joy, Bird, Bitter, Scorched, Summer, Pulse, Tongue, Gas, South, Growth, 2, 7
Spleen, Stomach, Yellow/Brown, Singing/Talking, Over thinking, Monkey, Sweet, Fragrant, Long Summer, Muscle, Mouth, Compound, Centre, Conversation, 5, 10
Lung, Large Intestine, White/Gold, Weeping, Sorrow, Tiger, Spicy, Rotten, Autumn, Skin & Hair, Nose, Solid, West, Gathering, 4, 9
Kidney, Urinary Bladder, Blue/Black, Groaning, Fear, Bear, Salty, Putrid, Winter, Bone, Ear, Liquid, North, Storage, 1, 6
To be able to predict the future using the Yijing takes a great deal of skill and a lot of experience. If you can do it, you could become very powerful! However, nature tends to balance everything, don’t think all your dreams will come true.
When we study the Yijing, our knowledge of the Five Flements must be very clear. First of all we must understand which element creates which element and which element controls which element, since these are the basics. If not we cannot understand the whole philosophy of the Yijing.
For example, if you see a lump of stone, you should know it belongs to the element Earth, if you see a wooden table you should know it belongs to the element Wood and there should be no confusion. So the chart of the Five Elements is very important: you should know it off by heart.
As another example, suppose you see a car; this is not on the chart and so it does not seem to belong to any element. However, since it was made by a machine means it belongs to the Metal element – this is correct. Many of the things we see at first do not appear to belong to any element, or might belong to more than one element. If you see a car parked in a garage you can say it belongs to Metal, but if you are walking along and a car drives by you, it might belong to Fire or Wind, you have to understand the situation. The car shoots past you like fire, creating a rush of wind.
When practising Taji Quan we are often told to straighten the posture by lifting the head or move slowly as if moving underwater etc., but I do not hear a great deal of information on the fundamental principle of ‘spheres’. Discovering the spheres of Taiji Quan is both enjoyable and enlightening, they are categorised as internal and external, however for this article we will only examine the external.
But first, let’s spice up the topic with a great classic Taiji clip.
Now back towhat we started off with.
Bagua Zhang on the other hand is more widely recognised for its spheres as they are blatantly obvious when you see it performed, but compared to Bagua Zhang, Taiji spheres are not so obvious although they are there.
When asked what makes Taiji Quan unique amongst other health/martial arts I always reply “It trains you to become round like a ball”, therefore let us examine some characteristics of an inflated ball:
1. Pressure inside is greater than that on the outside:
This is what gives a ball its shape, the outward expansion of air pressure pushing on the inside skin of the ball forms its spherical shape. (more…)
Taiji martial art skills have a significant foundation and it is called “Pushing Hands”.
There still appears to be some confusion about Pushing Hand, as a practioner we should often come across at least one of these questions about such technique :
So let’s examine the first question:
1. What Is It Used For?
The first thing to establish is that it is not a complete system that operates separately from Taiji form and sparring but is an integral training link between the two.
There are numerous competitions/festivals held throughout the world that include Pushing Hands as a separate stand alone event which leads the viewing public to believe that this is how Taiji practitioners defend themselves. (more…)