Tu-Ky Lam's Taijiquan and Yiquan site Tu-Ky Lam's Taijiquan and Yiquan site Zhan-zhuang and whole body

force By Tu-Ky Lam Believe it or not, young children now how to use whole body force from birth. I f you have ever let a toddler hold your finger, and try to sha e off his grip, y ou will find it not easy, because he is holding you with the force of his whole body. As we grow older, our muscles get bigger and stronger, we can just use our hands or arms to do everything in our daily life, and no long need to use the force o f the whole body. We end up losing this instinct. Internal martial artists want to revive this inborn talent so that they can be s tronger and so improve their s ill. Taijiquan, Xingyi quan, Yiquan, and Bagua zh ang all try to achieve this goal differently: by doing the routines, by stepping , and by zhan-zhuang (standing practice). Of all these methods, the most effecti ve one is zhan-zhuang because it can quic ly build up a structure (posture) in o ur body, from which the whole body force can be produced and released. Physical and mental changes The main reason is that zhan-zhuang can ma e our bones, tendons, ligaments and m uscles wor together so that our strength can easily move from our feet through our legs, torso, arms, hands and released. Our mind and bodies will undergo a lo t of changes through doing zhan-zhuang and so we become fitter and stronger. Our thin ing will be clearer and we are more confident. Here I will explain to you how this happens. Let's start with our s eleton, which is the support of our body. Our s eleton is mainly made up of bones. If our bones are big, hard and heavy, we will have eno rmous strength. If they are small and light, we will have much less strength. Zh an-zhuang is a process that ma es our bones hardened and heavier to produce more force. Those who practice zhan-zhuang can feel this happen in their body. Our ligaments join our bones together in our s eleton. Our ligaments can contrac t or stretch a little bit when we run, jump, release power, etc. When we jump do wn from a four feet height and not hurt ourselves, this is because our ligaments wor as a shoc absorbent which absorbs the shoc . If our ligaments are strong and tough, we will have more strength, and so can ru n faster, jump higher, and release more strength. Zhan-zhuang helps to ma e our ligaments become bigger and tougher. Other tissues in our body that perform similar role to our ligaments are our ten dons, which connect our muscles to our bones. Zhan-zhuang can ma e our tendons a nd muscles tougher, bigger and stronger in the same way as they do to our ligame nts. People who spend a lot of time doing zhan-zhuang grow bul ier and stronger, and their mind is much clearer. The coordination between the mind and the body is better as well. Peng energy It is quite easy to feel your tendons tense up to produce strength. During zhanzhuang, ma e sure your fingers are slightly bent with a gap between them, and ma e sure you remember to bend your thumbs for about forty degrees. (Imagining you

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

   

 

 

 

r hands are grabbing a ball is helpful if you do not feel the peng energy. My st udents say they feel their hands are li e the claws of an eagle, which is quite true.) Then you can feel very quic ly that your thumbs and tendons (on your arms ) are bringing a lot of strength to your fingers and palm ma ing them very stron g. Please note that the bending of your thumbs does not require a lot of force, but surprisingly, it can bring a lot of strength to your hands and ma e your arms s trong li e a bow. Your arms are full of "peng" energy, but you are not using a l ot of force. With this peng energy you can attac or ward off an incoming force quite easily. You are relaxed and yet powerful. This is Peng energy at wor . Peng energy is indispensable in push-hands as without peng you cannot do push-ha nds properly and improve. When teachers teach push-hands, most of them just tell their students to relax and not to use force. When students do as they are told , they always get pushed off balance. So they start to use force to prevent from being pushed. They are using force against force. To use force in push-hands is wrong but not to use force is also wrong. You need to have the peng energy when doing push-hands. The trouble is that most people do not now what peng energy is. If these students spend time doing zhan-zhuang every day, and bend their thumbs and fingers as described above to produce the p eng energy, their problem will be fixed instantly. They will not get pushed easi ly and they can push their opponent more easily. Their push-hands s ill will ta e off. Peng energy is bought about by doing zhan-zhuang. It is a sign that your whole body begins to connect together as a unit. Gathering and releasing of power With constant zhan-zhuang practice, our body weight and "Jin" (spelled as jing i n Chinese pinyin, meaning internal strength) will be able to sin to our feet. W e can feel that our feet are li ed being planted in the ground. Our internal str ength starts to develop and gets stronger with our practice (of zhan-zhuang). From our feet, our jin can be released through the pushing of our feet into the ground. How do we do this? Generally spea ing, in the "Embrace-a-Tree" posture, our bac leg (hip, nee and foot) pushes towards the front leg and at the same t ime our front leg pushes down into the ground to bra e (stop the forward movemen t of the bac leg). The two forces from our legs will merge to send jin up to ou r hands and out. But an advanced practitioner will now that the process is much more complicated than this. Before the release of power, there is a short brief gathering of ene rgy or jin. We will need to sit properly on our legs, lift the top of our head u p (unfortunately not many people can do this properly), and let our energy and j in sin to to bottom of our feet. Then we ma e our real hip move bac slightly a nd we sit slightly more on the rear leg. (When we sit bac , our nees move away from each other front nee goes slightly forwards and bac nee bac wards. Our le gs are li e holding a balloon in the shape of a rugby ball which is expanding. O ur bac leg pushes into the ground while our front legs, with the nee moving ou t and heel lifting up, pushes upwards and bac wards to send jin slightly bac war ds.) This is the gathering of our energy. When we release power, our nees and hips move closer to each other (our front h eel will move down to the ground, which will in turn bring our front nee bac a t the same time our bac nee moves forwards. Our hips will move in accordance w ith our nees) and our bac leg pushes toward the front leg which will pushes in to the ground. This is how our legs wor when releasing power. In our upper body, our torso has to move forward to push our arms forwards to re lease power. Many masters li e to describe the movement li e this. The forearms

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

   

 

 

 

 

   

 

 

 

 

   

   

   

Shang was holding a lovely itten in his bosom. and said Hu bao lei yin was not a loud sharp noise. recalled in his recent boo titled Shi Qu De Wu Lin how he learned this technique from his teachers. When Li as ed T ang to teach him the roars of tigers and leopards (hu bao lei yin). This is how my teacher (Li Cun-yi) tau ght me. Master Li learned Xing Yiquan from three grand masters Tang Wei-lu. The reply was no. but deep dull rumbling noise l i e that in the body of the itten. Without zhan-zhuang. Then one day. This explanation was better than the one giv   A few years later.are li e a nail and the torso a sledgehammer which stri es hard at the nail. Shang loved ittens. One day when Li went to learn from Shang. and arms will be directed to our opponent very quic l y. torso. Practice the power discharge exercises in four directions w ill help perfect this s ill. This technique is only taught to senior students. Li Zhong-xuan. Tang did not do so immediately. Although this article mainly mentions the training of bones. ligaments. He as ed Tang Wei-lu if the yelling is only for the purpose of frightening our o pponents. Shang smiled but Shang Yun-xiang (Tang's fellow student had the opportunity to as Shang Yun-x Tang taught him. It builds up a good structure in ou r body to ma e the strength of our whole body wor together as a unit all the st rength in our legs. Our opponent can feel the coming of the enormous strength from us but cannot do anything about it. tendons. and Xue Dian . ligaments. Tang too Li to a temple. Zhan-zhuang is the foundation of all internal martial arts and can ma e us healt hy and strong. and muscles. I was clever enough to learn it. One day Li iang Hu bao lei yin. Yelling helps to discharge more power. When Tang found nobo dy was inside. You cannot learn because you are stupid. Tang recommended Li to ) for Li to improve his s ill. Li told Shang the above s said nothing. a late Xing Yiquan master. Shang Yun-xiang. I recently found out this technique has its origin in Xing Yiquan called thunderous roars of tigers and leopards. he gently hit the temple bell and as ed Li to put his hand on the bell to feel it. To my su rprise. tendons. This was how Tang taught Li the yelling technique. Conclusion Zhan-zhuang trains on our bones. we should not forget the important role of our mind which coordina tes the very small movement in our body during zhan-zhuang. Shang as ed Li to feel the itten with his hand. Li could no t understand it and as ed Tang. and muscles to ma e them wo r harmoniously to produce whole body force. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 17 May 2008 Thunderous Roars of Tigers and Leopards By Tu-Ky Lam Yelling technique (shi sheng) is one of the seven components of Yiquan. Thi s is an example of releasing power to the front. Releasing power to the bac is the reverse of this movement while releasing power to the left or right is only a variation of this. I have not hidden anything.                                                 . all our training will be a waste of time. Shang as ed Li how tory (hitting the bell). Tang said.

Senior Xing Yi quan students who train properly under a master will find that qi and jing will show up in their body. though Yiqua n push-hands is done differently with its own flavour and more emphasis on selfdefense. The noise is not made from the mouth. is practiced all over the wor ld. They be come bigger and stronger. Qi can go deep into the internal organs and strengthen them. Then both Taijiquan and Yiquan have power discharge. This is the main purpose of Hu ba o lei yin. But it is hard for qi and jing to penetrate into their internal organs. The yelling technique in Yiquan is composed of two sounds a short e and a louder yo op It is used when people practice Fa-li (discharge power). Then we ma e a quic yoop sound to release power. dropping shoulders and elbows. I will tr y to ma e a comparison of the two systems and find out how they complement each other. we inhale to gather energy and people c an hear the e sound come from our throat. Similarities What Yiquan ta es from Taijiquan is Taiji's training principle: use mind and not force and so we see that practitioners of both disciplines practice gently. Taijiquan. which is epitomyzed by its strong internal power. With the sound yoop . well. and other styles of martial arts. qi goes quic ly down into our dan-tian. Finally. It has beautiful forms and can be useful in self-defense if you have been tr ained properly and long enough under the tutelage of a master. founded by Wang Xiang-z hai in the 1920s by combining the main training techniques and principles of Xin gyi quan. Taijiquan and Yiquan have differences but they also have similarities. which is done in a relaxed manner with power released only at the point of contact instead of using brute f orce. Another thing Yiquan borrows from Taijiquan is push-hands practise. This practice helps to nourish our life energy and improve our health and fitness. Yiquan is a relatively new style of Chinese martial art. Li's story helps us better understand Yiquan's shi sheng.                     . Yiquan is very similar to Taijiquan and Qigong. When we ma e the e sound. bending nees. Both systems are good not only for health but also for self-defense.en to Li by Tang about Hu bao lei yin. namely muscles. they both belong to the internal systems of Chinese martial arts and re quire that students and practitioners have correct postures to ma e qi flow and develop internal strength.nown for its benefits for health. flexing hip joints and sitting pro perly on top of our legs apply to both Taijiquian and Yiquan. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 4 January 2008 A comparison between Taijiquan and Yiquan By Tu-Ky Lam Taijiquan. In this respect. They suit people of all ages. just li e thr owing a stone (or a bomb) into the water. The noise is a deep loud sound. bones and tendons. With the help of yelling when we release power. slo wly and with great concentration. Bagua Zhang. Such requirements as lifting up the top of the head.

Each of them is strong in what the other l ac s and so they can complement each other very nicely. and states clearly power can only be developed throu gh zhan-zhuang. "To deflect one thousand pounds with four ounces of s trength" describes the Taijiquan tactics quite well. we can see that Taijiquan emphasizes on the artistic. which is very po pular in Taijiquan. is not used a lot. on which students and practitioners spend most of their time when they train. zou-bu or stepping). so it has a big gap in its teachings of this area. students will need to learn some unbalancing and cont rolling techniques. Then they also practice a few punches (only 4 or 5) and ic s (only 3 ic s). Although some teacher s claim to have secret training methods to increase internal strength. In stead. which give practitioners many opportunities to wo r on other aspects of martial arts. Before students can ta e part in sparring. The well. which are tw o of the few major components of Yiquan training. they spend so much time in the rou tines that they almost forget there are other areas of Taijiquan they need to wo r on. learning Taijiquan is only doing the Taiji routines and push-hands. Yiquan students spen d at least half of their training time doing Zhan-zhuang to develop their intern al strength. Yiquan does not have the beautifu l form but are very good to health and for self-defense. it emphasizes less on internal strength. and so will not do well in push-hands. It is very obvious that Taijiquan lac s internal strength.Differences Curriculum The major differences are in the contents or components of the two systems. rather than the forms. wh ich are useful in fighting. Taij iquan has beautiful forms or routines. and health aspects of Ch inese martial arts while Yiquan on the practical and health aspects. If they can l earn Yiquan push-hands techniques. After training hard on the basics (zhan-zhuang. Judging from the different curriculum of Taijiquan and Yiquan as described above . Before they do push-hands. If they s ip this. Yiquan does not have routines.in their training system. In fact. Yiquan emphasizes on power. it will certainly raise their push-hands s il                                       . stu dents will have laid a good foundation for push-hands and sparring. Taiji practitioners should borrow Yiquan's zhan-zhuang to fill the gap lac of internal strength . Taijiquan i s graceful and is loved by millions of people. they will need to practice stepping w hich will help them attac and evade attac s of their enemy quic ly and easily. see my article entitled "The Power of Yiquan Single Push-hands." Complements It can be easily understood that Taijiquan is more li e an upper level of a cons truction while Yiquan the foundation. shi-li. they are not really effective. which are called Shi-li. which they can use in push-hands and fighting.nown saying. For more details on this. Yiquan students and practitioners will not hesitate to use their power to attac and overpower their opponents. Tactics As Taijiquan is more oriented towards the perfection of their beautiful routines . they tend to use their power to redirect the incoming force. they will not be able to use their internal strength developed from zhan-zhuang. For most students or practitioners. Taijiquan's main tactics in push-hands and sparring relies a lot o n neutralization and ma e use of the opponent's strength and retaliate according ly. Neutralization.

but this can be boring and unconvincing to some peo ple. Keep loo ing. just as our lips and teeth which depend on each other. The following translation. but cannot find a gap to attac . This is true and real. Yiquan. their body does not even move. it is li e sipping a cup of good tea. When your arms get in touch with those of a master. For people who find Yiquan too simple. When a Taiji master "plays" (practices) with you. When your arms get in touch with those of ve slightly. When they release power. they will be able to better appreciate the practica l approach of Yiquan. Combination   Taijiquan is Yin and Yiquan Yang. he will "nail" you right down to th e ground. his arms will tu rn a small circle. He smiles and at the same time straightens up his fingers. learning Taijiquan can help. What follows is that you are thrown ecause you are thrown off by real strong internal h his sheer power. never too fast n or too slow. you can only touch his clothes. and suddenly you find that you have been thrown flying off.l to a new high. You can feel that time and space are is happening. a master. The movements of Yiquan practitioners are very simple. Taiji teachers should ta e a good loo at the Yiquan curriculum and redesign their one to ma e Taijiquan training system complete. Conclusion Taijiquan and Yiquan complement each very well. without any delib eration. one at a time. Another fact is that many laymen do not believe in Yiquan's training method s. (His internal strength will go straight down through your arms to the bottom of your feet. and your brain becomes blan .) You will have no idea where his jin comes from. Thin ing bac on this moment. Yiquan is simple and direct. they should seriously loo at Y iquan. and a foundation will be a waste if we do not bu ild a mansion on it. which shares the same conclusion. In these cases. Only their arms move forward and then straighten up their fingers. When a Yiquan master plays with you. but not sure what off balance. The master beat you wit Yiquan. their body moves slightly and then stop as if not wanting to hurt you. For people who have practiced Ta ijiquan for many years without much improvement. not tric s. Yiquan. When they release power. You are excited b force. can help you unders tand the two systems better: The Jing of Taijiquan and Yiquan Touching hands Taijiquan. Movements Taijiquan. After people have learned the Ta iji routines and push-hands. He will ma e you feel good and have the hope that you can catch up with him. Power discharge Taijiquian. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 17 May 2008                           . We can say Taijiquan is a mansion and Yiquan the foundation. they can thin about doing Taijiqu an. Hope they both can wor well together. his forearms will mo compressed. A mansion canno t exist without its foundation. You can see the master stand in front of you. The movements of Taiji practitioners are very light. and you will fal l into despair.

shi-li (testing of energy) zou-bu (stepping) and fa-li (power discharge). you must frequently ta e part in push-hands practice. Through the spiral and circular movements of our arms w e now. which is a combined application of zhan-zhuang (standing practice). li e embracing a big balloon. Through our forearms. you will be top heavy and your strengt                                               . Push-hands supplements free sparring very well as it can help practitioners and students to improve their fighting s ill and reduce t he chances of getting injured to a minimum. do not use too much force on your arms otherwise you will not be able to now the substantial and insubstantial changes of your oppo nent. During push-hands. with your front forearm pointing to the center of your opponent's chest. During push-hands practice. Avoid turning circles without any purposes. Ma e sure that there is "yi" (mi nd/intent) in every one of your moves. If you use a lot of forc e once your arms contact your opponent's. The sayings such as "Moving your hands out li e using a steel file. Then move your front foot to the center line between your oppone nt's feet (your bac foot has to follow). Throughout the pu sh-hands practice or contest. Both of your arms should be ept round.) The point of contact between your arms and those of your opponent is the focus o f the push-hands battle. and ma e your front forearm come in co ntact with that of your opponent. trying to unbalance him. If you want to improve your push-hands s ills. When doing double push-hands. with 30% or 40% of your body weight on your front foot and 70% or 60% o f your body weight on your bac foot. In other words. our wrist. (Your opponent will do the same as you. you should m obilize the strength of your whole body and release it. During your practice. Once an opportunity arrives.Finer Points of Yiquan Push-Hands By Yao Cheng-rong Translated by Tu-Ky Lam Push-hands. and mo ving it bac li e withdrawing a fishing rod" and "your waist should turn li e a wheel and your legs li e a drill" are examples of spiral force. It is the result of our whole body wor ing together as a unit. you should use "Hun-yuan-zhuang" (Embrace a tree) posture. from the point of contact. the spiral force comes not only from our arms but als o from our whole body. aiming to improve the martial arts s ill of p ractitioners and students. we use the strength of our whole body to threate n our opponent's center-line (chest). the energy of our opponent and volume of his strength. Your bac forearm should be raised and ept round and in contact with your opponent's other forearm. and where to move. you need to find out for yourself how much force to use . you must pay attention to the followi ng: Spend a lot of time doing zhan-zhuang and shi-li so that you can have some f oundation s ill to rely on. how fast to move. There are two inds of push-hands: single push-hands (left and right) and double push-hands. Your feet should be ept at a comfortable distance f rom each other. forearms and upper arms should have spi ral force. is an important part of Yiquan training. You need to stand up and face your oppone nts and should not run away from them.

Then we should go furth er to ma e sure that in tension there is relaxation and in relaxation there is t ension. such as "hoo and Hang" shi li. Your strength is between substantial and insubstantial and can change easily. Your strength can also be stiff and canno t change. During stepping training. while maintaining the good coordination of your body. shi-li. When we do any movement. left. and fourthly. at other times it is slow. You must try to feel how your opponent's force is changing and try to co ntrol your opponent. you need to spend a lot of time practicing shi-li. In my opinion. we can produce strong force when we tense up. your strength cannot reach your hands and so your power cannot be discharged. The speed of push-hands varies. During push-hands. If we do not now the changes of our opponent's strength. zou-bu and fa-li. it is very hard to improve your push-hands s ills. Th e reason why beginners do not now how to use what they learn from the basics (z han-zhuang. T he purpose of doing zhan-zhuang is to develop "hun yuan li" or whole body force. Push-hands is a test of our training on zhan-zhuang. right. we must remember that when our legs move. Sometimes it is fast. How much strength to use all depends on the strength of your opponent . If we do not use force. you have made a mi sta e. throw a ball shi-lli and "the holy tur tle moves out of the water" shi-li.                                           . thirdly. we have to ma e sure that our yi (mind/intent) and li (strength) are always present and not bro en. we will not be able to contest with our opponent. and relax when we do not need to use so much force. Relaxation and tension should interchange. Only when you now y ourself and your opponent well. Shi-li is an exercise by which we try to test the internal strength developed t hrough doing zhan-zhuang. people often tal about listening s ill. shi-li. In push-hands. We use more force when we need to. You should also pay attention to the movements of your oppo nent. they say if you use force your wh ole body will be stiff. if you use too little strength. Of course. Even if you have an opportunity. If we are good at stepping. can you achieve what you want. secondly. We must try to eep our whole body well coordina ted so that we can feel strong and comfortable when we move forwards. I thin relaxation does not mean not using force. Zou-bu or stepping mainly prepares us for fighting. but reduce the degree of force that w e use. Relaxation does not mean not to use force. Without training hard on th e basics. bac wards. they try to loo good and lac the power to threaten or destroy their opponents. you will not be able to ward off your opponent. they care too much about winning and so forge t the principles. our upper body and arms will have to follow and vice versa. we can mo ve fast and can create opportunities for us to discharge power. you must not be nervous and should not care about winning or losing. you have got it rig ht. or up and down. If you can use your opponent's force and control him. listening s ill means the s ill or ability to control our opponent. Push-hands practice or contest is closely related to Yiquan's basic training. All push-hands techniques are based on Yiquan's basic training. And we often hear pe ople say relaxation and not using force are very important so they dare not use force during push-hands. When we as them why. we cannot control him. If we relax properly. spinning shi-li. zou-bu and fa li) is that firstly. they do not understand th e purpose of push-hands. just use medium strength when your arms get in touch wit h those of your opponent. If you want to b e good at push-hands. You need to spend time doing zhan-zhuang and doing zou bu shi-li which is shi-li while stepping. they have not spent a lot of time doin g shi-li and so they lac the ability to control the opponent. If your strength can be used by your opponent in a contest.h can easily be used by your opponent. Generally spea ing.

we are sure to have an uppe r hand over our opponent. see Chapter 25: Yiquan s Posture and Movements in my bo o Demystifying Tai Chi Chuan Demystifying Tai Chi Chuan. All the techniques in push-hands are executed through using our internal strengt h. We should treat it li e fighting an enemy who is trying to ill us. We must be careful and try to avoi d injury. The reason is because zhanzhuang can quic ly build up a good structure that can help increase our strength . some pushes and p ower discharge. Do not treat push-hands lightly. All practitioners a nd students train very hard for it. later on the good result will s how up. Instead. During push-hands. For more details. and do not attac if we cannot put our opponent out of ac tion completely. and put it into practice in push-hands and sparring. produced by all parts of our body . it is very hard to apply our techniques. please see my article entitled Mojing: In Search of Internal Strength. If he had done this to me three years a go. we should adhere to these p rinciples: do not attac if we cannot hit our target. Therefore. I would have not been able to move. together with our body weight. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 9 September 2007 By Tu-Ky Lam Hun yuan li is the force of the whole body. otherwise we cannot defeat our opponent.) During zhan-zhuang we do not stand still. thin ing it involves only turning circles. Master Yao Cheng-rong suddenly gently held my right shoulder with his r ight hand and as ed me to move forwards. the ball (inside) of my feet pushes the ground. and feet . In push-hands. one day when I was doing Cheng-bao zhuang (the Embrace a Balloon posture with two feet parallel to each other). and         How Does Hun yuan li Wor s?                                 . Every one of our movements should be so powerful that it will destroy our oppon ent. This is called mo jing meaning feeling or searching for internal strength. Mo jing helps us discover our whole body force. and w e should not be controlled by him. head. hips. palm s and fists so that they can be useful to us.wor ing together as a unit. see my other article entitled Zhan-zhuang and Whole Body For ce ). our body moves slightly forwa rd and bac ward. We must be so highly alert that our opponent feels intimidated.When it moves very fast. you should be very alert so that you can deal with th e intention of your opponent. We should also learn how to use our shoulders. Once we get in contact with his arms we should be able to control him. you will now wh at is happening and can utilize the hidden potential in your body. for zhan-zhuang to have any good result. When you have good concentration. In fighting. (For more details. ZHAN-ZHUANG Hun yuan li can only be obtained by doing zhan-zhuang. At the same time. When I last trained with my teacher in Beijing in June 2008. In this case you need to stic to Yiquan training principles. (For more details. Hun yuan li is the core of Yiquan training system. elbows. In this article. Now I just lifted my head up and moved i t forward. nees hips.he ad. if we apply this force. this force can help us noc out an oppon ent easily. we must have a correct p osture. we will discuss how Hun yuan li wor s in the different areas of Yiquan system. nees. When facing our enemy during push-hands or sparring. chest. do not attac if our stri e is not heavy enough.

At the same time. we will be abl e to unbalance and control our opponents. Again I li At the same time. I felt perplexed at first because this was not the answer I had anticipated. when we practice zhan-zhuang. and fa-li. and another to ld me at least one hour a day. waiting for a g ap or a wea spot in our opponents. I had expected him to show me some push-hands techniq ues.) However. I twice heard him say. de) of my feet pushed bac ward. Shi-li inc ludes only about ten simple movements that loo li e qi-gong (much simpler than Taiji routine and is equivalent to it).) In short. our whole body always moves slightly for ward and bac ward. with our torso moving slight ly bac to sit more on the bac leg. Here we will ha ve to lift our head up and move it forwards. we do not just turn circles with our arms. and then moving in quic ly to push him off b alance. Spending more time in standing (also training) will certainly br ing better results than spending less time. which pushes into the ground. SHI-LI Shi-li is what Yiquan students will learn after learning zhan-zhuang. If we have done shi-li properly and long enough to produce whole body force. our Hun yuan li will s tart to show up. (The top of our he ad should always be lifted at all time. Do shi-li more. In double push-hands. H ere I will tell you why. . our bac nee mov es toward the front nee. stepping. And there I went! These are the movements that we always do when we practice the Embrace-a-Balloon o r Cheng-bao zhuang posture. and fted the top of my head and moved it bac ward. which will in turn moves slightly bac (not forward). We usually use different techniques to unbalance or control our opponent s before we push them of balance. This test will be easier if we stand in an Embrace-a-Tree (Hun yuan zhuang) postur e where one of our feet is in front while the other at the bac . the previous movement is reverse. That way I moved bac to the starting                                   as ed me to move bac . I came to understand that shi-li movement s are actually controlling and unbalancing techniques in push-hands. He told me to reserve two thirds of my training time for zhan-z huang. Doing zhan-zhuang is better tha n not doing it. After practicing zhan-zhuang for two or three year. After quite a few push-hands sessions.my nees move slightly inwards (toward each other). For example. we sometimes spin (xuan fa shi li ) our opponents or split (fen-gua shi li) open our opponent s arms to ma e them lo                       Then he put his right hand behind my bac . One of my fellow students told me that the master as ed him to stand one hour and a half a day. Adding pressure by holding someone s shoulder to stop hi m from moving is a good means to test his internal strength. instead of being controlled by them. I thought I had passed the test. the ball (outsi slightly outwards (away from each position. upward and then bac ward. This time our front leg pushes slightly outward. My teacher seemed t o be pleased with my performance as he said nothing. To move bac ward. (After two or three years. and our body will move slightly forward. How long do we need to stand to see the good result? Master Yao does not give a definite answer. my nees moved other). He always replied. our whole body force will slowly show up and can be used in push-hands and sparring. one third for shi-li. It too me a while to understand what sh i-li is for. More than once I as ed Master Yao how we could improve our push-hands s ill. Our bac leg pushes forward while our front leg pushes straight into the ground.

which means little whole body force is present. we will have whole body force and can brea open our opponent s arms and ma e him lose his balance. This is how Gou-gua (Hoo and hang) shi-li is used in push-han ds. Each time we move. he did not release power to throw me out. ma ing it go in opposite direction with the front foot. when I first did push-hands with him. the body moves forward (or bac wa rd). At the same ti me. They c annot do shi-li properly because they lac gong-li (internal strength) and do al l the movements from their hands without other parts of the body participating i n the movement. This is the application of Fu-an shili (movement is li e grabbing and throwing a ball and then pushing it into the w ater). Here. I just felt I was suc ed in by his power. we sit bac in the same manner and let the weight of our body push the balls down. In other occasions. and understand why he said practicing shi-li more can improv e our push-hands s ill. Such shi-li as Gou-gua (Hoo and hang). we must have our front leg push outward. They will have to eep practicing shi-li. we must ma e sure we sit bac (try to ma e use of our body weight to do so) while we do the first part of the two shi-li movement. To compen sate for this. the nees move inward (or outward) slightly and the legs (feet) push the gr ound (li e mo-jing movements in zhan-zhuang mentioned in the previous section). When jing is on its way up from our feet. Master Yao is so good in using shi-li techniques in push-hands. Four years ago. But the first part of Gou-gua and Fen-gua shi li where we sit slightly bac w ith our forearms open to brea up the opponent s forearms cannot be executed as ea sily. every part of our body has to wor simultaneously to help increase strength. there is some force in the heels of our palms and for                                                                                 P . he often spun me around li e a top. If we do all this at the same time. li e a drun en man. Fen-gua (splitting). It too me three years to unde rstand what he did.se their balance first before finishing them off with a push. after he had unbalanced me. not able to stand properly. and then pu shing them bac into the water). front and bac . we have to ma e the jing (westernized spelling: jin. meaning strength) from our feet move to our hands (by relaxing and by the push of our fe et into the ground). We must also lift the top of our head up. but change d shi-li techniques to move me to other directions left. we can push downwards. and did not now what he did to me. I could not get out of his control. If we can do this. we can sit bac with bot h our forearms opening up and moving bac wards to unbalance the opponent before we give him a push. If our forearms are under those of our opponent. On other occasions such as when our forearms are on top of those of our opponent . with our body sitting bac . No matter ho w hard I tried. This is unavoidable. I was moved around. a nd at the same time practice zhan-zhuang to build up their gong-li and pay atten tion to how they can ma e the shi-li movements involve all parts of their body i nto action. when our hands push the balls (or flutter board ) into the water. bac wards and sideways with our forearms to brea open the opponent s defence and then throw him out. it very hard to put our body w eight on our opponent. Most will find. upwards and bac wards and our bac leg push into the ground. right. Most students are taught shi-li soon after they have learned zhan-zhuang. Xuan-fa (spinning). In Fu-an shi-li (which loo s li e lifting two balls up with our hands. and ng-tui (pushing forward) all end up in a pushing forward movement. which gave me such a fright that my mind was totally blac ed out. How does Hun yuan li wor in shi-li movements? It is very similar to the Mo-jing in zhan-zhuang: the heads leads the movement. t his is whole body force. People who hav e had some gong-li from doing zhan-zhuang will find it easy to put their whole b ody weight and strength on their opponent and so are able to unbalance their opp onent.

move them forwards and upwards and ma e our palms facing outwards with our fing ers pointing diagonally up. This is Fu-an ji ji zhuang (Hold and Push posture in a fighting stance). which means it must go forward. our torso s hould not come down with our hands. Our whole body should move together with our hands. it is essen tial that our shoulders and upper arms are very relaxed. If our hands (moving up and forward to the front of us) are b ac ed up by our whole body li e this. Lift the top of our head more and ma e it go in opposite direction with the front foot as described in t he previous paragraph. but should stay up. to the sides and downwards. We must relax all other parts of our body. STEPPING Mo cha bu (ground rubbing or mud-wal ing) is the foundation of all Yiquan stepping . Then we rotate our palms to ma e them face the ground with our fingers pointing the fro nt. For example. We must lift up the to p of our head. When we do quan-fa (punching movements. downwards and horizontally which loo s li e a left or rig ht hoo in boxing). The most common fali exercise is qian shang fa-li which means releasing power forward and upward.earms. If it does not. we should not just use our hands to do the wor . When doing Mo cha bu. When releasing power. we should not just move our foot forward or bac ward by itself as doing so has no strength. The dif ference is that when we do fa-li. we have to shift our body w eight to the front foot. When we punch forward. Our torso has to go forward accordingly. The movement near the end is fast and strong with th e intention of sending all our energy out. The movement is very simple: we just rotate our hands. and sit properly on our front leg. If they can throw the shirt up and out. We should use our hips and our legs to move our foot. FA-LI If we can do shi-li with whole body force. we do almost the same things as when we practice quan-fa (punches). which means releasing power. we speed up shi-li movements with vigorous for ce near the end of the movements. which contain mainly four punches: punch f orward. We should lift up the top of our head and ma e it go forward to lead the momentum. There are fa-li movements that stri e to the front. When sitting bac . we start from an Embrace-a-Tree posture with one foot in fr ont and the other at the bac with our body weight more on the bac leg. etc. we can move on to the next stage of t raining: fa-li. bac nee and bac foot to help produce more f orce. He re we start from Hun yuan zhuang (Embrace-a-Tree posture with one foot in front an d the other at the bac ). Remember that our head and torso must move forward and our legs must push the ground. Fa-li is similar to shi-li. When we practice palm stri e with fa-li. We usually use fa-li to push an opponent away in push-hands or stri e at someone in sparring. After this we move our hands ba c to the starting position (Hun yuan zhuang). It is important that we should use our head to lead our internal strength. my teacher li es to as his students to hold a T-shirt between their fingers. we must remember to bring bac the ha nd that is not punching to power the hand going forwards. We can also do fa-li with palm stri es. except that we must ma e our palms go in opposite d irections with each other. we will have whole body force. little huan yuan li can be released. turn our bac hip. punch upwards. Our bac leg pushes forward while our front leg pushe s into the ground. When teaching this fa-li exercise. When we lift the balls up from the water. punches. We lift the top of o                                                                   . Before we lift our bac foot up and move it forward. this pr oves that they are relaxed and not use brute force. ic s.

The distance can be much w idened to become a big stepping exercise (twice as wide). With this ind of stepping. which means feeling or searching f or internal strength. We should always aim at our opponent s center and prot ect our own center. Here we should remember to use our head to lead the move and our bac leg to push our body forwards. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 12 December 2003 Mo Jing: In Search of Internal Strength By Tu-Ky Lam Do you now what to do when you practice zhan-zhuang? Many people do not. fa-li. and move slowly with very small movements. Once we have found or built up our internal strength. Master Yao often says. The more we ta e part in push-hands and sparring. Another useful stepping is that we move our front foot one step forward and our bac foot follows suit. the more we w ill improve.                                       . All the stepping should be trained in bac ward movements as well. which is much harder because we do two at the same time. we should t a e part in push-hands and sparring to test our hun yuan li and see if it is pow erful and threatening to our opponent. It is important that we maintain our good posture and not let it collapse during push-hands (and sparring). with some effort we can quic ly combine the two. we can move in a straight line forward or move diagonally forward in a 45 degree angle. But if we can do stepping (Z ou bu) and shi-li well respectively. CONCLUSION After we can do zhan-zhuang. we also practice shi-li with stepping. If we dare to compe te. We will repeat the same process to move the bac foot forward again. we do an exercise called Mo-jing . This is how mo ca bu should be done. ma e our front foot gently push into ground and raise our body sligh tly.) In Mo cha bu. the m ovements are reverse. Now the front foot becomes the bac foot. It can also help us step o ut of danger quic ly. we will ma e progress. We now have to use our hip s and our legs to move our bac foot closer to our front foot before moving it o ut to the front and form a fighting stance. Mo-jing requires that we have a correct posture with good zheng-li (which means opposit e tension). It complements shi-li movements in which we mainly use our hands. During zhan-zhuang. Of course. W e will discuss this in greater details in here.ur head up. the distance between our feet is only the width of our shoulders ( just li e when we stand in the Embrace-a-Tree posture). use mind and not force. and zou bu proficiently. We need to be relaxed and apply suitable techniques in diffe rent situations. (When we practice Mo cha bu going bac wards. Stepping is useful in push-hands and sparring. it w ill accumulate and our internal strength will get stronger and stronger. Good stepping can confuse o ur opponents and can help us attac more efficiently. All these are the application of huan yuan li. That way our bac foot is lifted off the ground. ZHENG-LI Top and bottom. Stepping is good training to our legs. The movements are exac tly the same as in Mo cha bu except that the speed is faster and we move forward with our head leading the move and our bac leg pushes our body forwards. shi-li.

Left and right zheng-li applies mainly in our arms.) Left and right. we imagine we want to move the balloon or push t he tree forwards. We should alway s maintain all these inds of zheng-li during our practice. the top and bottom zheng-li mainly applies in our head and our fe et. and also produces strength. Front and bac zheng-li mainly applies to our legs. thus ma ing us firmly planted on the ground. Our hands moves slightly inwards. This move can ma e us f eel that our bac is round. and then we want to move them bac . etc. index fin ger to index finger. In zhan-zuang. and jing from our feet can easily come out to our hand s. The n we must lift the top of our head up. of which the opposite tension stretches our body to ma e it longer. (In shi-li. which can ma e our weig ht and energy sin to our feet. such as in chang fa meaning palm stri es where one hand is up and the other down. downwards and forwards (also about 2 mm) . o ur head has to lead the move. This top-and-bottom zheng-li gives us strength to per form all the tas s we are required to do and so it is the most important opposit e tension or zheng-li in our body. So our head and our feet are going in opp osite directions one up and the other down. it may apply between the hands. MO-JING MOVEMENTS During zhan-zhuang. and create some tension from the top of head down to our feet. We also move our elbows and hands to the front a little bit to eep them away fr om our shoulders to produce the front and bac zheng-li. where our feet are parallel to each other. In the case of holding a balloon or a tree. and ma e us feel that our body is round li e a ball. In Cheng bao zhuang (Embrace-a -Balloon) or Hunyuan zhuang (Embrace-a-Tree) posture. we do the same to our thumbs and fingers (imaging our thumbs and fingers a re pulling the elastics to stretch them) to produce the left and right zheng-li. the process is r                                                               . How do we ma e our body move during zhan-zhuang? In Cheng-bao zhuang (Embrace-a-Ba lloon) and other standing postures. or standing in a swimming pool holding a flutter board. we need to extend our elbows to ma e them go in opposite directions left elbow to the left and right elbow t o the right. When we want to move the balloon bac to the starting position.We must place our torso properly on the top of our legs. Front and bac . embracing a tree. etc. At the same time we move our elbows away from each o ther. Our body moves slightly (a bout a quarter of an inch or 2 mm) forwards and bac wards with our visualization . Sitting properly on our legs and lift the top of our head up is also the most important requirement for a correct posture. our head (which lifts up all the time during training) has to move slightly forwards (2 mm) at the same time the ball of our feet must push the ground and our nees move inwards (toward each other) for 1 mili-meter to send our body for ward. and we also need to imagine that between the thumbs and fingers of our hands there are five elastics tying them together (thumb to thumb. When we imagine that we are moving a balloon forwa rds. These three different inds of zheng-li stretch our whole body in six different directions.). We ma e our bac hip moves slightly bac wards and our f ront nee move slightly forwards to produce the front and bac zheng-li. we always imagine that we are holding a balloon. (But it also applies to our hands or elbows li e in the above situation) When we practice Hunyuan zhuang (Embr ace-a-tree posture) with one foot in front and the other at the bac . we sit mor e on our bac leg (70%). They ma e our energy flow and our internal strength increase.

Here our in ternal strength is placed at the best optimal position. That is why no movement is better than small movements. To find this lump and to be able to use it. and bac wards slightly (2mm) and we are bac to the starting pos ition again.) Wang Xiang-zhai. our front nee must not move bac wards. At the same time. Slowly we will find that we move very little or hardly move at all. they will gradually find that there is a big lump in thei r body which moves forwards and bac wards at the same time they move their body forward and bac ward. and small movement is not so good as no movement When we do a big move. For people who have practiced zh an-zhuang an hour a day. tainly help if we try to feel our body weight ring zhan-zhuang.feels li e ou r body weight. our nee moves closer to each other. our hands move out wards. and then push it forwards and pull it immediately bac again. In fact. Mo jing movements will go li e this during zhan-zhuang. (Doing so gives us no time to tense up and use force and so helps us to relax. It jus t goes on li e this. When we want to pull the tree bac . Ou r nees move outwards (away from each other) for 1 mili-meter. Inst ead. force which can ma e our whole body tense up. Our front foot must push straight into the ground and our front nee must not move forwards. This big lump from our head down to our feet . If we use we will never find it. When we stand in the fighting stance where one foot is at the front and the othe r at the bac . When we have better control of it being able to move it forwards and bac wards at will . But they should try to do it smal l later on. our head will move forwards to lead the move. No movement in zhan-zhuang does not mean absolutely motionless. WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN MO-JING By doing mo-jing what do we try to find? We want to find internal strength. upwards and push bac wards (with the help of the ball of our front foot) to help send our torso bac to the starting posi tion before we push the tree. small movement is stro nger than big movement. We usually feel the outer we have to be very relaxed. upwards and bac wards for about 2 mili-meters. For example. ready for us to pounce a t the enemy. ou r front nee moves slightly bac wards. and our hands mov e outwards. and the ball of our feet pushes bac wards. but we will not find it directly and straight away. Our head moves bac wards. This is very difficult for beginners who tend to use force to move forwards and bac wards and their movemen t is usually big because they cannot do it small. said.eversed. we must remember that our bac hip has to sit bac (which will br ing our bac nee bac wards) and our front nee moves slightly forwards to produ ce zheng-li. This is the first sign of our internal strength. This way. Big movement is not so good as small movem ent. The movements are very small and totally under the control of our mind and we have to relax and should not use force. It will cer shifting forwards and bac wards du body weight which will slowly move ins                                                                                 . our head moves bac and our hip must sit bac to bring bac our body for about 2 mili-meters. our e nergy will tend to disperse and lac strength. but we do not feel it. Yiquan founder.we can apply it to our opponent. Our bac leg (main ly the ball of our bac foot) has to push the ground to send our body forwards ( 2 mm). as soon as we push the tree forwards. it has to move slightly forwards. we pull it bac i mmediately. Beginners cannot avoid doing the movement big. Therefore. It is mo-jing at its highest level where the movement is so tiny and not noticeable. When we want to push a tree (or anything else in your imagination) forwards. upwards. USE MIND AND NOT FORCE The above section shows how our body moves slightly forwards and bac wards durin g zhan-zhuang.

There is a saying which goes. The essence of martial arts refers to the internal strength. and the other the springs pull bac . As for how internal strength wor s. "If yo u want to learn the essence of martial arts. we use standing practice with the help of our mind/intent to develop internal force. we should start from the simple one (which is one dimension such as top and bottom). especially after we train hard on shi-li (test of strength). The contrad ictory strength ma es us feel that there is a strong force that obstructs our mo                           i . zou-bu (stepping) and fa-li (power discharge). By doing so. for example. which is the "Embrace-a-Tree" posture. We also imagine that there is some connection between our body and our environment (e. The ey to gaining hun-yuan li is through our mind/intent. What we call opposite tension (zheng-li) is the springy strength. CONCLUSION Our internal strength is this big lump plus the movement of the whole body as desc ribed in the section Mo-jing movements . etc. p ulling a spring. With our nec leading the movement. When practicing zheng-li. We should try to feel the two contradictory strengths .ide our body to give us the feeling of a big lump. our body sits slightly bac to help our han ds do the job. you must start from doing zhan-zhua ng". which means the strengt h of the whole body. We imagine that two springs are tying our wrists to a wall in front of us. The best way to train on zheng-li simple or whole body s to practice "Hun-yuan zhuang". In Yiquan. Internal strength can be acquired only through intensified trainin g under special conditions. Opposite tension is useful because it can help produce strong whole body force. and we want to pull the springs towards us. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved Home Last modified 20 February 2007 Yiquan's "Opposite Tension" and "Reaction" Training By Yao Cheng-rong Translated by Tu-Ky Lam We all now that internal strength is different from our inborn strength or mech anical force. left. We use our visualization to develop contradictory strength or opposite tension b y ma ing parts of our body go in opposite directions. front and bac .). see my article How Does Hunyuanli Wor s? also posted on this website. Later on. Our internal strength is this big lump plus the movement of the whole body as desc ribed in the section Mo-jing movements . which goes in opposite directions top. As for how internal strength wor s.g. pushing a tree. "Hu n-yuan zhuang" or Embrace-a-Tree posture. righ t. Opposite Tension Meaning of opposite tension. see my article How Does Hunyuanli Wor s? also posted on this website. we will be able to ma e the whole body move together at the same time. bottom. Zheng-li training We train on zheng-li by using one of the fighting postures. The strength d eveloped from doing zhan-zhuang is called "Hun-yuan li". we can practice the whole body thre e dimensional zheng-li. (produced from our mind/intent).one is th at we want to pull the springs.

left. and mind and strength are almost indistinguishable". then our body weight should go up. Our head should move up while our feet stay down to create opposite tension. Later on. it moves very fast with the stormy seas. If the raft is moving from side to side. Reaction training This is the training of our nervous system so that it can react quic ly and figh t off our opponents. which means we feel there are strings connecting different parts of our whole body together. and we also feel our whole body its elf is li e a spring. we can imagine that our arms are holding a big ball. not our movement. This is also the str ength produced by our mind/intent. Our m ovements should not be executed from our legs. Upon thin ing of this. bac or front. At the b eginning. We should use our mind to perform these t as s and our movements should be so small that they are hardly noticeable. we imagine that someone is pushing some part of our body. we will eep pulling the spri ngs. When we stand on a "hun-yua n zhuang" or embrace-a-tree posture. Our right hip should go in opposite direction to our left nee to create contrad ictory strength. and that all o ur hair is raised. Our hands should have op posite tension with our feet and so should our shoulders with our hips. So should our left hip and right nee. The raft is very unstable. down. our body weight should move slightly to the front. we can go further and imagine that some one is attac ing us so that our body can generate strength to deal with this situat ion. If the bac of the raft goes up. With our head leading the movement. We must remember that the top and bottom opposite tension is the most important of all. we will be able to feel the contradictory strength creat ed by tension and relaxation interchanging with each other. Our body does not move but there appears that there is moveme nt all over our body. which is called whole body opposite tension. In our imagination. Imagine we are standing on a bamboo raft in the stormy sea. the raft can move slowly. We imagine th at there are also springs connecting our head to our front foot and our bac foo t. but we should be able to feel that our strength can go straight out from any direction. In short . Whole body zheng-li training After practicing the simple zheng-li drill (as mentioned above) for a while. If the front part of the raft is lifted up by water. If we have practiced zhan-zhuang and shi-li long enough and have developed t he whole body opposite tension. We will just do it in our mind and let the mind generate strength. our weight should move to the bac . If it goes do wn. we can move on to train on the whole body zheng-li. Later on the movements should be at random. our body weight should sin . we imagine that there is a spring or elasti c connecting our head to one point on the ground between our feet. Remember this saying : "The mind is strength. roc ing from side to side and bac to front. and then pulling and relaxing again and again during training. Ma e sure that our mind/intent is always present during zh an-zhuang. right. At the beginning. Aft er training li e this for some time. relaxing. There are two inds of reaction training. When we feel the ra ft is going up with the rising water. our mind tenses up a bit and our strength will be release d from the center of our body and out to counteract with the invading force. Our visualization should not show up in our body. During zhan-zhuang. Alternatively. left to right and bac to front should have opposite tension at the same time. you can follow a pattern: moving up. but from the whole body. This exercise will p rovide us with good training on our reaction and help us ma e quic adjustment t                                           . we try to squeeze the ball and then prise it open. our whole body from top to bottom.vement and we can hardly move. our posture is round or circular. our body weight should follow. A fter constant practice.

We imagine that we are pushing. a spring). Note When we train on zheng-li. It is a means to test our strength to see if it is still strong when we do a move. a bigger movement of zhan-zhuang. The main point is to ma e the movement contain two opposite forces. sq ueezing or prising open the tree.o cope with different situations. In orde r to build up our power. Power discharge and opposite tension                         . we imagine that we are embracing a tree not on ly with our arms. we must ma e sure that we have already had the power at our disposal. but with our chest. lifting. but should thin of our environment instead because thin ing of our body can ma e us tense. our belly. But this should be done in our mind rather tha n from our body.move in unison when we step forwards or bac wards. which is called "Fa li" in Chinese. Zou bu. we must pay attention to the following: When we practice zhan-zhuang. in effect. Gradually. plunging. our strength wi ll be there. when our mind is there. We should eep calm even if the mountain collapses in front of us. During training. You need to wor hard on the basics first. pulling. When we hit an opponent or throw him away with force. there is another force (from the spring) that is going in opposite direction. and should be rea dy to move at any moment. we dis charge our power. we can start to learn power dis charge. torso and legs . It is mainly to train on the reaction of our nervous system. During zheng-li practice. shi li (testing of strength). our mind an d our body should be in the state of getting ready for a race. Our movement should be closely connected with our mind. we should not concentrate too much on our body. In the above-mentioned foundation training. zhan-zhuang helps to develop "Hun yuan li" which is whole body force. or power. The tree and ours elves become one. ma ing our body react properly. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved 9 September 2007 Home Last modified Power Discharge in Yiquan By Yao Cheng-Rong Translated by Tu-Ky Lam An overview of power discharge People who practice martial arts must have heard of the term "jing" which means strength. helps us ma e our whole body arms. When we pull bac (e. and our legs. Zheng-li does not me an only pulling bac . Afte r we have spent considerable time in the basics. It is not easy to discharge power. Shi li is. If we want to release powe r. w hich means stepping. and is very useful in fighting. and zou bu (stepping). Only after we have develope d strong internal strength through doing the three stages of Yiquan training can we start to learn how to discharge power because power discharge is an explosiv e expression of the three.g. we must train hard on zhan-zhuang (standing practice). Shi li intensifies the strength developed from z han-zhuang.

To gather strength is to adjust our body so that our energy can gather together ready to be discharged. we have to pay att ention to these points as well. Our power sh ould be released as though dynamite explodes. Also. we must now how to gather our strength first. and mobilize the force of your whole body. and you feel your fingers are li e ten upright spears. and our e nergy should go inwards. To achieve this. we move bac to our normal posture again. The distance between your fists is about two-fist's length. you have to move bac quic ly. your head moves quic ly forwards and upwards. you relea se your fists and your fingers tips are pointing upwards. All our strength should come out from our center. Once you have released powe r. our whole body is under the guidance of our mi nd. your forearms (from hands to elbow) are li e big nails. Your palms still face your body. Power discharge exercise You start from "Hun yuan zhuang" or the "Embrace-a-Tree" standing posture. Our mind and body should ma e us ready for defence or attac at any time. Things to remember When discharging power. The same principle applies to discharging power to the left and the right. Your torso (li e a hammer) moves slightly bac wards and then quic ly forward to stri e at your elbows (li e nails). we should move one part of our bod y slightly bac wards first. but your upper arms and shoul ders do not exist. When discharging power.                                                         . and vice versa. (But do not bite too hard. Whe n your fists move to almost above your front toes. We stri e hard only at the point of contact. When pra cticing power discharge. Before we release power. not also your internal energy.) Your tongue moves slig htly bac . which helps our body to produce more force with visualization. and your palms are facing the ground. and can ma e us feel t hat we have a lot of strength. our posture should not collapse. and you want t o bite the plate into pieces. You im agine that you are holding a thin metal plate between your teeth. we should have total concentration dur ing standing practice. you need to concentrate. we should use our mind to ma e our force move to opposi te direction first. When we practice power discharge. For examp le. This is called "Zhen-li" meaning opposite tension.When we practice power discharge. When stepping forwards or bac wards. with your fingers clenched to ma e fists. When our mind wants to release power. if we want to release power to the front. Now imagine that your fingertips have touched your opponent's chest or your target position. Power discharge requires that we should be able to release explosive force from small movements. After power discharge. you counteract by ma ing your front forearm moving slightly downwards and then forwards with the bac forearm movin g in accordance. we move one part of our body slightly downwards (upwards) firs t. We should be able to discharge power with our hands or any weapons. our bones. our tendons and our muscles will move with o ur mind to discharge strong force. Imagine that your stre ngth is going through your opponent's bac and afar. This force is called explosive for ce. all our joints should remain bent all the time. just li e you have touched a piece of burning iron. they create tension/strength. The opposite tension stretches our joints and tendons. Power discharge is very important in all martial arts systems. Wh en parts of our body go in opposite directions. Also imagine that your torso is li e a slash hammer. imagine that your opponent is s tri ing fast and hard at your front forearm. If we want to discharge power upward s (or downwards). Power discharge should be relaxed and natural so that power can be sent out of our body on to our opponent. and your " tiger's mouths" face up. and the force of the whole body should b e united so that it is ready to be used. our mind should be in control of the whole body. wh ich will help us generate the force of the whole body moving towards our opponen t. At this moment. You move not only your hands bac .

which loo li e a Taiji pushhands. Then he will rotate his right arm (to ma e his palm face the opponent). Your head stri es forwards. There is a good reason for using our forearms to control our opponent because th ey are almost three times bigger than our hands and are closer to our torso and                                               . your legs push hard and your hands release power. When releasing power. held in the Embrace-a-T ree posture. In Yiquan single push-hands. The main reason is that the participants can ma e their arms always stay close to and so protect their center-line. he is under our control and mercy. (If you turn big circles. So the two will push each other in turn. When this happens. we usually push our opponent s forearm(s) with o ur forearm(s). It is much more martial arts orientat ed and so more practical as it is useful in fighting and helps students move smo othly to free sparring. Use "shi sheng" or yelling technique and quic ly eject a small soun d to ma e qi sin to your lower abdomen. But it has been modified so much th at it has its own characters and flavours. (for the purpose of controlling and destabili zing him before pushing him off balance) and when we push. At the start of push-hands. They ma e the bac of their right (or left) forearms in touch with that of the opponent. a lot of your peng energy will disperse. the palm of your front foot has to push har d into the ground and at the same time your bac leg pushes forwards. Another benefit is t hat the peng energy in the arms is very strong. compared to those of Taijiquan (le ss than half the size). and so the strength in your arms will be greatly reduced. The oth er participant will try to eep his arm round. while their other hand. not with our palms. one of the participants will rotate his arm to ma e his palm face diagonally to the ground and the chest of the opponent. Dischargin g power is li e suddenly bra ing your car. But Yiquan push-hands circles are very small. and h e can be destabilized. we are allowed to use both hands to push. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam All rights reserved 20 February 2007 Home Last modified The Strength of Yiquan Single Push-Hands By Tu-Ky Lam Yiquan Push-hands originates from Taijiquan. m ove slightly forwards to push his opponent in the same manner as the first parti cipant. the palm of your front foot should be slightly emp ty or relaxed. The posture in Yiquan single push-hands practice is exactly li e the posture of E mbrace-a-Tree .) Please note in Yiquan push-hands. who will need to ward off. your nees move outwards and your bac hip sits slightly bac . When you move bac to your starting position. our palms face the gr ound and the opponent (with our wrists extended). and move h is body slightly forwards to push (towards the centreline of the chest). You release power at the point of conta ct and then stop immediately. with each participant moving their right (or left) hand and right (or left) foot forwards. and their forearms move in circles. Before discharging power. Pushing li e this can easily u proot our opponent as our force goes right down to the bottom of his feet. sits bac and turn right slightly to ward off the push (with his palm still facing himself as in the start-up pos ture).Your shoulders and elbows should extend left and right and your chest slight ly draws in. will protect them from an elbow stri e or prepare them to move forwa rd to push the opponent.

which in this case is a means to help develo p strong arms. To counter these. In short. Where does the strength of Yiquan practitioners come from? Firstly. In short. together with zou-bu (stepping) are the foundation of Yiquan which we should spend a lot of time practicing. For example. The longer we stand. in Yiquan push-hands. which is used to redirect the downward and forward push of the opponent. which is ca ll Not yielding an inch. This move will unbala nce him. The above are the attac ing techniques in Yiquan push-hands.) When we ward off. We should never let our arms bend to smaller than 90 degree s. © Copyright Tu-Ky Lam                     . This is using force against force. we now how to use our forearms to good effect. Yiquan push-hands is fast and powerful compared to Taijiqu an. With their small circles. t he major defending technique is the one called Spiralling downwards . Shi-li (testing of energy) is also important as the shi-li move ments are the moves used in push-hands. This practice gives us more peng energy to ward of f the opponent s push. The two. When we push forwards and find our opponent resist our push. There is a special of training to increase the strength in the arms. Following the move o f the opponent is also used though not as obvious as in Taijiquan. Here when the opponent pushes hard. We can now push him off balance with both hands. and can result in getting thrown off balanc e. If our opponent s forearm is very strong and we cannot push forwards. There are several ways of using our forearms to control our opponents before pus hing them off balance. we use th e upper part of our forearm.so can produce much more power. the stronger our internal s trength will be. (It is obvious that using our palms to push our opponent s forearms. We extend our wrists when pushing. The three directional push will ma e him hard to ward off. we will eep our arms round with the palms facing our chest li e in the Embrace-a-Tree posture. forwards and from the side (left or right) on the opponent s fore arm. which is considered collapsed form . which Taiji practitioners often do. downwards and sideways with our right forearm. and flex our wrists when warding off . We can now easily move our hands forwards to push him off balance. to push at our opponent s lower fore arm. Both participants will do the same. If the opponent s forearm is high up and very strong. our arm(s) has to go loose. our palm(s) will immediately reach his chest and push him off balance (wit h one or both hands). we can then push sideways in a half circle to spin our opponent so that his bac is turned facing us. We bend our wrists in different directions to produce mor e power. which is bigger. when we are spinned. The simplest one is to use our right (or left) forearm to push downwards. from doing z han-zhuang (standing practice). then we push bac wards. our arm will turn a s maller than usual circle and then push bac . which is smaller. We can now push him off balance with (our palms) easily. Another commonly used technique is spinning. For example. If his arm colla pses. which will upset his balance. Secondly. whoever has the stronger internal strength and better techniques will win the p ush-hands battle. we will push his forearm up and then push bac wards and downwards. ma ing him stumble forwards. is ineffective. Yiquan push-hands is executed differently from that of Taijiquan.

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