Posts Tagged ‘Tai Chi Instruction’

Taiji, Fajin and Not All Niceness and Cultivation Stuff

Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

There have been numerous posts recently on how to do fajin, and we’ve received quite a few emails about how the fajin can be used in a more self-defense and combat context. So in answer to all the questions:

1) Yes you can use fajin to issue power, but doing it in a combat context is a different avenue of study to that of cultivation. When you’re learning it you can use it to cultivate both but there comes a point when you have to decide within your training session either to train power issuance, or train cultivation.
2) No it is not a method to crush bone and smash all and sundry in just 7 days. Crushing said bone is just a by product of being able to generate power. Proper fajin, in that I mean, fajin that isn’t going to injure you or your training partner is the result of careful training. Power as they say, is nothing without control and developing just the power bit is not going to help you to crush aforesaid bone. You also need to develop accuracy and control to deliver the goods where and when you want to
3) Yes, cultivation and self defence are two different avenues of study, both have many common elements to begin with but quickly branch off. You can specialise in one or the other or spread yourself over the two depending on your own training goals
4) There is a two man form in taiji, and parts of it are what you see in the video above. If there is a way to perform it for health we don’t know it, for us, cultivation is mainly done via forms and qigong, we save the paired exercises for trying to bat each other senseless.

Breathe Like Babies! How to do Abdominal Breathing.

Tuesday, August 25th, 2009

Just around the time we both dropped off the face of the earth with assorted life-events, we were talking about breathing, and more importantly, how breathing can help you with your Taiji practise ,stress control etc. etc. etc.

Greeny mentioned that we should answer the rather obvious question of how you should actually breathe. Now, there are lots of ways to breathe, and different schools will tell you many different things and go through lots of different techniques. There’s to name but a few, tonic breathing, reverse breathing, abdominal breathing, burst breathing, the list goes on. What we’re going to focus on here is abdominal breathing, the simplest and most natural way of breathing.

If you’re fortunate enough to have a young child or baby available, just watch them when they’re sleeping. They breathe abdominally. We can all agree that babies have not had the opportunity to develop bad breathing habits, so their bodies are just going to breathe however they want to, i.e. abdominally. If you hearken back to the post on just letting your body breathe, that’s what your body will do if you just let it do the breathing, but for you all who find this difficult (and we had quite a few emails from those of you who found letting go and letting your body breathe) this is the exercise that can help you bridge the gap between breathing consciously and breathing naturally.

Yang Taiji 24 – Play Guitar – Posture 5

Friday, June 19th, 2009

This is the last posture in the first section of the Yang Taiji 24 Form.  It’s not quite as complex as some of the transitions you’ve already seen, so if you’ve got through those you should find this a bit easier to do.

Things to remember are to make sure you do a half step and not a full one, and to relax the shoulders as the hands lift.  Try not to hold your breath as you do this posture.  Holding the breath makes you hold tension in your chest, and the last part of this posture is all about a relaxation of the whole upper body, so it’ll help if you breathe out at that point.

Happy practise!

Yang Taiji 24 – Brush Knee and Twist Step Posture 4

Thursday, June 18th, 2009

Brush Knee Twist Step is repeated twice more in the Yang Taiji 24 Form so you end up with your left foot in front.

You should be fairly familiar with these movements already as you would have covered them in the transition from White Crane Spreads Wings to Brush Knee Twist Step.

Yang Taiji 24 – Repeat Part The Wild Horse’s Mane

Friday, May 29th, 2009

You already know the next bit of the Taijiquan form.  After having done Part The Wild Horse’s Mane for the first time, you repeat it twice more so that you end up with your left leg forward.  This bit is a fairly straightforward bit of the Yang Taiji 24, as you have done all of the movements already, but we put it in so that you could have a video to “join the dots” on your Taijiquan instruction.

Yang Taiji 24 – Postures 1 & 2 Together

Thursday, May 21st, 2009

This lesson joins up postures 1 and 2 of the Yang Taiji 24 together.  Here’s how to link the Opening and Parting The Wild Horse’s Mane together to complete the first two postures of the Taijiquan form.

We suggest you look at this bit when you’re confident with the first two posture of the Taijiquan form individually.  Then you can try to string them together.

Yang Taiji 24 – Part The Wild Horse’s Mane – Posture 2

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Posture 2 of the Yang Taiji 24 form. This picks up where The Opening of Taiji left off. This Taijiquan posture is done to a count of five so you can “join the dots” as you’re learning it. Each movement has a rhythm, and the count expresses the rhythm to make it easier to learn and remember.

It really helps to break down any movement in Taijiquan that can be broken down into chunks that you can do to a count. That way rather than having to remember the whole Taijiquan movement, all you need to do is just remember the “dots” as it were and it makes the form a lot easier to learn.

Yang Taiji 24 – The Opening of Taijiquan

Tuesday, May 19th, 2009

Back to basics! Here’s the first in our series of videos on the Yang Taiji 24. We’ve kept it short so you can watch it easily again and again.

The opening of  Taijiquan is a movement that you should use to centre and ground yourself, the slight sinking of the knees and the gentle rise and fall as the hands go up and down are there to help you slip into a flow state that is so important in Taijiquan practise.  You can also use this movement as a qigong (They call it “threading the nine pearls”) exercise and a very effective one it is too.

The emphasis of this Taijiquan posture is not the movement, but the state that you are in when you do the movement.  This the emphasis of this Yang Taiji 24 opener is not what is going on outside yourself, but what is internal.