My books have brought out quite a cafeteria of methods derived from various internal styles. There's a time and place for that kind of expansiveness, but compression and integration is also needed. That's actually the original purpose of a 'style', but it gets gooped up all over again with other junk like fitness, performance, ritual or just stringing people along to learn the next little technique or secret method.
I do not intend to fall victim to any of that. Partly I avoid it just by the structure of my stuff - pretty much super cheap. But most importantly I'm constantly trying to think how to present the key insights in an even more workable, immediately accessible and tangible framework at lowest cost not only money but TIME and TROUBLE.
My books PACKING and AIKI SINGULARITY depict extremely effective individual methods, and some local integration. But now I've worked up a longer span of integration. That is NOT a form or kata or ritualistic regimen. It's composed of pieces and insights that are already present but I want to provide an overall organization that is (i) time-aligned, and (ii) working toward integration of the 'practice' energy state into 'normal life'.
People often get a buzz from these practices but as soon as the phone rings or whatever, * poof * its' gone with the wind. As soon as you're done with your drill or your 108-gesture inner family whatever practice, your energy is maybe reinforced in some long-term deeper sense, there are benefits, but very few people can keep fully conscious fully continuity of the energy surge into 'life' (while still functioning normally therein of course).
So I put together a time, fixed-internal, three-phase buildout internal practice. It has three phases (doh!) of 5 minutes each - timed so you don't have to think and wonder and get distracted by that. But the phases are short enough that you don't get bored and begin to have that draggy tortured feeling. These phases are built around the ARC model, and work on its segments and integration. Integration not only within your energy body, but integration of the energetic state with the normal/daily life state. That's the Holy Grail of these practices anyway. It's something you can learn to do consciously and it's very interesting: hold the charge. Maintain the surge - even as you do some 'other' thing. The really interesting and surprising addon effect is that, the more you practice the ability to hold the charge in small ordinary 'safe' movements and circumstances, the more, later when your attention truly does need to be claimed by other things, the higher your 'automaticity quotient' becomes - the thing that Sun Lutang talked about as the real masters known to him who could react to anything before strictly physical sensory perception.
So it's fun, its straight forward and its worth playing with. Actually most of the traditional elaborate 'forms' in Asian martial arts are actually a lot of arbitrary movement designed to cultivate exactly what I'm talking about here. That is the ability to 'hold the charge' under any kind of goofy crazy changes in body position and attitude. But of course that angle was lost a long time ago. Most people would have no idea what I specifically and tangibly mean by this hold the charge thing anyway.
But I think there's a way to teach it within approachable and interesting parameters. So at my summer event, I'm going to teach this very straight-forward 3-phase buildout protocol as the temporal foundation (the beginning 15 minutes, not necessarily the total - though its so powerful it easily could be) of any internal regimen, and also the energetic bedrock.
The first phase is based on standing methods from Aiki Singularity, but streamlined. (5 mins)
The second phase is based on the core insight of Ba Gua. I know that word gets people all hepped up for some reason, but this is NOT what you normally think of as Ba Gua at all. It is an extremely simple practice that uses a core common feature of Ba Gua strictly in the service of the one goal of the overall protocol which is to begin to maintain and extend the charge into richer contexts of movement and action. But authentically, not theatrically fooling ourselves. In this protocol we never move ahead of our honest assessment of the charge status moment to moment (except unavoidably when first learning just the mechanics).
The third phase is based maintaining the charge through a more complex but essentially symmetric and thus not totally natural sequence of drill steps. But they are repeating, not a long series of arbitrary pseudo-combatives. This not to represent the art of Yiquan, which you can learn elsewhere. It is leveraging a useful work pattern derived from Yiquan to continue the core work of the overall protocol, which is training ourselves to hold the charge under gradually increasing demand of complexity and range.
I can't explain it too much more in pure text, but possibly I will have some of it filmed during the seminar and put it out there for love or money. Best thing is though to attend the actual event if you can because it's not likely to happen again for a good long time.
Posted at 02:41 PM | Permalink
I will teach a one-day event (with option for informal follow-on day).
Date: Saturday June 24, 2017 [THIS IS NOW THE FIXED DATE]
Time: 12 noon to 4 PM
Location: Seattle city venue info with registration
Content: Tai Chi, Xingyi and Yi Quan drills methods for internal energy. Content based on books Juice, Peng, Surge, Xingyi, Packing and The Aiki Singularity. Atmosphere and style is friendly, inquiring, non-judgemental, non-competitive. Exploration of foundation principles and best practice for solo work, goal is to maximize take-out payload from the event. I will present a highly effective streamlined training protocol, a composite based on elements from The Aiki Singularity book (which in turn is derived from several different martial arts). I call this simple but extremely powerful protocol the Three Phase Buildout, five minutes for each phase - 15 minutes total session. Unbelievably simple, incredibly effective (especially when put up against the usual ultra complex methods that require years of study and feats of memory even to get started with). This is not dance, not physical fitness, not street sucker-punch conflict resolution. It is purely and squarely designed to get you experiencing and forging your own internal energy immediately. Eliminate non-essentials. Put in some weeks with this in your home training and you'll find yourself buzzing like a radioactive neon beehive. Plenty of Q/A, touch hands if desired, etc.
Follow-On Day: I realize that some people rarely get to Seattle. If you will be here that weekend from out of town and you'd like to more after the seminar day, Sunday the 25th there will be a second totally informal small-group semi-private practice session at some other venue or park, about 12 noon til whenever. Basically a Q/A bring copies of the books, bring any questions, issues or anything and we'll have fun going over whatever you bring on.
Tuition Fee & Procedure - Saturday main session: $70/head. Main session requires pre-registration, and pre-payment via PayPal only. No attendance/registration at door. Registration must be received by or before June 5, with pre-payment via PayPal to the email account email@example.com. Cancellation receives full refund (including PayPal fee if any) if notification by 48 hours prior to seminar day, otherwise no refunds or changes.
Followup Day - Fee & Procedure - Sunday followup session: $30/head. You must register for the main session (above) in order to attend the follow-on. Pre-payment is not required for the follow-on session, you can pay on the day. When registering for the main session, just indicate if interested in attending the followup day.
Misc: This is my first local Pacific NW seminar in over 5 years. My San Francisco partner venue is shutting down next month, so I will not be doing any more of my Bay Area twice-yearly workshops. This is likely to be my last West Coast event for a good long while or ever. So check it out if you have any interest in deep internal work. For out-of-towners, I can't guarantee sunny skies that weekend, but overall summer tends to be extremely nice here, and it's kind of a happening place right now.
Posted at 03:49 PM | Permalink
Recently somebody who's been surprised by the actual experience of the internal power for the first time (thanks to my stuff *ahem*) asked basically: but what IS this energy, really?
I understand the impulse to wonder about that. That's what usually prompts other teachers to rush forward with their neat, pat explanations coming either from West (electromagnetic pseudo babble, alpha-theta electrodes, fascia fallacy - w.evah.t.f.) or East (Taoist water wheel fairies, golden light of lunar rabbit - w.evah.t.f. fairy tales). Which is why my answer to this kind of question is usually more along the lines of the original Buddha's Parable of the Arrow:
"Suppose a man was hit by a poisoned arrow and his friends and relatives found a doctor able to remove the arrow. If this man were to say, 'I will not have the arrow taken out until I know whether the person who had shot it was a priest, a prince or a merchant, his name and his family. I will not have it taken out until I know what kind of bow was used and whether the arrowhead was an ordinary one or an iron one, and how it was fletched - whether by peacock or chicken.' That man would die before all these things are ever made known to him."
I love that. Life is fleeting! There's no time for bullshit speculation. But wait - isn't the ARC concept (see my books) a "theory" of the energy? No! The ARC is an immediately tangible framework which is not a theory or reductive 'explanation' playing with words. rather, the ARC is the hands-on blueprint for your minute-by-minute on-the-floor practice sessions. The ARC is like an instruction manual for operating the B&B Precision Machine Variable Polarity Plasma Arc welding torch (NASA advanced welding torch design), not a textbook on the theory of rapid high-temperature oxidation of metallic materials.
I try to apply the Ashtanga yoga dictum '1% theory, 99% practice' over to Tai Chi and Xing Yi. However, upon being pressed, I sometimes offer the following minimal theoretical framework for the practice.
Your physical body is your ANVIL. Your mind is your HAMMER. Your etheric body (energetic endowment) is like the SWORD hammered and forged between those two by these practices to intensify, purify, sharpen and transform your energy to a higher (more fun!) state.
That's all that needs to be said and all that can be honestly said on the "what is it" question at this time. Anything more theoretical or fancy-pants than that, whether blowing at you from East or West, is likely to be bullshit and filler.
But those images above are somewhat useful, as a background thing. It's funny that after my first book Juice came out, I saw feedback on various fora etc. from experienced Tai Chi and internal arts people that Juice was interesting but too much hyperbole. Ahahaha! So funny to me. Then I was stupid, I actually toned down my descriptions of the energy in later books, so as not to shock those cognoscenti overly much. What a joke. If anything the descriptions of the energy in Juice are way too mild, not wild at all. I could have put it much more strongly and straightly, But I didn't want to shock. Turns out it was still too radical even at half-strength.
Listen up, this power is for real. It's way more even than I've described it. The problem is that the practice works along a hypexponential curve:
Dig if you will the picture: the left side of the x-axis is negative numbers. This represents the very gradual decreasing tension in your body. For most people this is incredibly difficult for reasons that are entirely beyond me, but I see this tremendous barrier and blockage by tension of all kinds in EVERYBODY I meet. Doesn't matter if it is a one-day beginner or a 20-years teacher. Everybody without exception is tense as hell. (The only difference is that the 1-day guy will gracefully accept the diagnosis and start working on it, while the 20-year guy will get all irritated and start talking about how it isn't tension or tension is necessary or what would you if I got you in a rear naked choke - anything to change the subject. So, yeah. That's what those (hopefully decreasing) negative numbers on the left of x = 0 represent. But notice it's all still just pre-flight stuff. The y-axis, representing energy experience, is still at rock bottom as we approach x = 0.
But eventually, when you relax relax enough, just prior to true relaxation x=0, you begin to feel some stirrings of the power. Those are real and valuable! But frankly "quantitatively" (if I may continue my numeric analogy here), those are the merest chickenshit compared to what's coming up farther to the right on the line! But it's a necessary stage.
At that point, when x = 0 is approached (due to finally learning to relax just a little bit) and when something is felt, a new danger arises. At that point, the more hard-headed types will say to themselves:
Huh! Fuck a duck... Whaddya know. This stuff is kinda real after all. Who'd a thunk it.. But hey, you couldn't punch thru a paper bag with this flimsy little hippie 'sensations' of buzz and tingle. So fuck it let's get back on the mitts...
... or back to physicalized bio-mechanical work of whatever kind, even Tai Chi has become bio-mechanized these days.
Now, that above reaction is actually fine. Just depends on your goals. If you want to amputate your Tai Chi before even turning the key in the door, that's fine. Just different training goals is all that is. But you haven't even begun to understand the practice so when it comes to internal, it's best to stfu, also known as: silence is golden.
Anyway continuing with the graph, once you have dropped all physical tension (crossed over the x=0 point) then with just the barest touch of mind - BLAST OFF. See how little 'mind' needs to be applied - once you cross the 0-point - to get the most unbefuckinglieable results and experiences? THAT zone, beyond x=1, where the mind can play on the relaxed body, is what I was beginning to write about in Juice but ... hyperbole. Can't shake the paying audience too vehemently.
But it does have those two pre-requisites which seems to be so extremely hard for people Relax your body, apply your mind lightly. That's all it is. Don't need no steekin' secret style of 300 moves or whatever. Nor do you need complex breath regimens, meditation protocols or other weirdness. Just use your physical body according to a few simple straightforward practices as a foundation for a quantum of energy (your starting etheric body) which the lens of your mind will build, intensify, sharpen and purify.
In Tai Chi terms, in line with the ARC, your entire lower body becomes super-charged like a radioactive neon beehive. This mindblowing power interfaces with your relaxed upper body through the lower waist and pelvis. Basically the muladhara area (basin of lower hips including hips, dantian, perineum and sacral areas) becomes energetically ionized and whoa! Back off!
But once I mention those 'physical' anatomized touchpoints, everybody jumps immediately to thinking of this as a physical process again. Want to go all Gray's Anatomy on me. But no, you aren't really dealing with the physical body any more at all. That's why I bring up the (somewhat traditional) idea of an etheric body made of internal non-physical energy but co-located with your physical, overlapping it so that it's difficult (for most people, impossible) to distinguish. But real Tai Chi is the thin wedge that allows you to distinguish and thereafter work explicitly with the etheric body.
In most people the etheric body is weak, brittle and almsot lifeless. Overlaid pressed between so much physical tension (from below so to speak) and bullshit mental and emotional overlays (from above) that it's pretty much hopeless to call it out to play. But Tai Chi can tempt it to life.
The waist and hips (energetic version thereof) are the interface point for the power, which when/if you can drop all upper body tension and arm-waving histrionics will surge up in a torrent through your arms and hands at the lightest/slightest feather touch of mental engagement or command. In terms of practical work, the best embodiment of this process is the Fair Lady's Hand secret method of Zheng Manqing Tai Chi. But I'm just beating my head on a wall here, enough. It's all in the books anyway.
Posted at 02:12 PM | Permalink
It's been a while since I've done a local event. Like a mini-seminar as I used to do in Seattle. So if anybody here would like to be put on the notify list (no commitment of any kind) for a possible (or not) Tai Chi seminar event in Seattle, maybe some weekend this June, write me. It would be one or two days, maybe 4 hours or so per day, tuition maybe $60/day. Something like that. If you want to be on the notify list write me as seeotter on gmail. If you never get notified about anything that means it didn't come together.
Posted at 02:10 PM | Permalink
Wow! I didn't think my little foray into mentalism would trigger such an avalanche of reaction. Look, let me up-scale the tone here. Maybe I was wrong to bring Clint Eastwood into the discussion.
If you want a better zipcode for this stuff, I'm kind of giving a bad man's version of the concepts of abhaysa and vairagya in Patanjali's yoga sutras:
Yoga Sutras 1.12-1.16:
Practice and Non-Attachment
Two core principles: Practice (abhyasa, 1.13) and non-attachment (vairagya, 1.15) are the two core principles on which the entire system of Yoga rests (1.12). It is through the cultivation of these two that the other practices evolve, by which mastery over the mind field occurs (1.2), and allows the realization of the true Self (1.3).
Abhyasa/Practice: Abhyasa means having an attitude of persistent effort to attain and maintain a state of stable tranquility (1.13). To become well established, this needs to be done for a long time, without a break (1.14). From this stance the deeper practice continues to unfold, going ever deeper towards the direct experience of the eternal core of our being.
Vairagya/Non-attachment: The essential companion is non-attachment (1.15), learning to let go of the many attachments, aversions, fears, and false identities that are clouding the true Self.
Supreme Non-attachment: Gradually, non-attachment expands to the depth of the subtlest building blocks (gunas) of ourselves and the universe, which is called paravairagya, supreme non-attachment (1.16).
You'd rather have all that blather, be my guest. All I'm really talking about is quieting the noise in your mind.
As in the Dao De Jing:
When an archer shoots for nothing, he has all his skill.
When he shoots for a brass buckle, he's already keyed up.
When he shoots for a golden prize, he goes blind or sees two targets.
So you see? There is 0% nothing nada original about this kind of talk. This has all been well known and endlessly bandied about since at least the Beat Generation, long on 70+ years now. There are thousands of books about the zone or the present moment or be here now blabbity blah blah. Fine. Go check those out, you don't need ME for THAT, hell no.
My point was something more subtle, that I can't expect anybody to get, in our rush to talk about The Zone and everything. My point is ALWAYS first foremost and only energy-centric. Thus, my interest in this mentalism is DIFFERENT from the tens of thousands of New Age commentaries out there. The usual interest in this stuff is existential. Like, if you zone out properly you'll be enlightened or at least you could hold a seminar or make a satsang video or something.
I don't care about that. My interest is instrumental. That is, I have identified a mental state that functions strictly as a training aid or booster for the internal power, that's all. Lots of people sit Zen or whatever, that's fine but they have zip understanding of the internal power that is the subject of my books and my only interest. I don't care about mindlessness for mindlessness' sake! Only if are tangibly working with the energy would you (or me actually) have any use for or interest in this mental calibration tool, which lies right at the boundary of mind, body, and energy. It's subtle but real enough to take into account for practical training.
Otherwise I'd be like a sculptor with great mental inspiration, lots of lofty artistic ideals but I got no fricking marble in the studio. So where's the sense in that?
Posted at 03:01 PM | Permalink
I probably shouldn't have even written about the silent mind thing. People have too much emotional baggage and over-reactivity to that (proving my point really). I was not talking about being "intensely focused" or a psychopath or Hannibal Lecter or banning humor or happiness. (Don't I have enough *attempted* humor in my books? It's the opposite of being 'intensely focused'. It's quiet quiet quiet. Still. Reflective. Non-emotive but not vicious or violent, where does that come from?? Oh. Right. Yeah maybe the Clint Eastwood gave the wrong impression AHAHAHA *sigh*
Anyway it's a purely technical point. If you haven't begun to feel the real internal energy it has no relevance to you so please move on. If you have begun to work with the real internal, then that is just one small TECHNICAL thing you can explore in conjunction.
It does not mean becoming a steely-eyed dealer of death. Think Spock more than Lecter OK? Moderation in all things *rolls eyes* 中庸之道
Posted at 08:27 AM | Permalink
Q: I guess your writing has hooked up more and more beginners without 20+ years of martial art experience, without super-fit bodies and with some hurdles to take before finding access to even the beginning stage you describe. Your methods are so effective, I guess (nearly) everyone will benefit no matter which body they have in some way if they try diligently. Nevertheless, I guess many would appreciate if you would share some hints which are trivial for you and all the experienced here with their impressing progress - some methods which maybe are not the super original, never-heard-about, secret and specialized stuff you fortunately present to us, but that is useful and straight forward as all your stuff.
A: Thank you for interesting question. The biggest thing is mental. Of course I have talked a lot about using the mind in an OPERATIONAL sense of fostering the energy here or there in the body, or changing its state of manifestation. But what I haven't gone into so deeply yet is the optimal mental BACKGROUND STATE for this work. The reasons I haven't gotten into this so much are
(1) Unfortunately although its a completely tangible practical aspect, when put into words it SOUNDS uncomfortably close to the all the usual goopy mindset stuff in the 2nd chapter of every Tai Chi book ever written which every reader flips quickly past on their way to see whether a given book has got some great new pose or posture or trick for winning at push hands. Same old same old.
(2) In fact it's precisely this challenge of how to present the crucial but superficially bland MENTAL ASPECT of training - that's what I'm grappling with right now in planning my next book on the DEPLOYMENT aspect of all this (mainly as inherent in various varieties of push hands and kuzushi, but always with an eye to energetics not mechanics or sport). I'm working out how to talk about this in just the right way.
Meanwhile I can tell you one main thing: your mental “setting” is super important. The difference between the energetic yields, in both training mode and deployment modes, without mental setting vs with mental setting is like the TNT yield delta’s between fission bombs and fusion bombs: kilotons vs megatons. It really will take me a whole new book to present this right, and I’m still untangling the deeper aspects of it for my own training, working from the Xingyi manual. But it’s a totally real thing. The closest hint I can give right now is, I’m sure you recall from reading Mantak Chia and other authors, they talk about relaxing your mind with a feeling of ‘inner smile’. I’m sure that’s fine and in a way it’s along the right line, and a good tangible way of talking - but it’s not quite the optimal setting for maximal yield. (The inner smile thing is also presented as a way to connect with specific internal organs which I’m not getting into at all in this post). But it's a little bit pointed in the right direction in one way but not quite right for what I’m talking about.
For maximal yield (of course you need to have the internal power activated in the first place, I’m assuming you’ve somewhat bought into all my previous preliminary stuff, I’m not going to repeat all the ARC basics and drills here) you DO need a certain ‘mental setting’ but not quite ‘inner smile’. What you need is something so commonly talked about that its like just pure hot air to the veteran reader of this kind of stuff, totally negligible filler material in every book. But I’m telling you it is real and tangible, I just need to find the right way to express it.
And what IS this mental setting that optimizes everything and massively amps whatever internal power you have cultivated? It’s a kind of ‘inner cold’. Or even just plain ‘don’t care’ feeling. Yes yes I know you’ve heard it ALL before. Other synonyms for this I could bring up: cold, distant, detached, calm, borderline contemtuous, uncaring. Sounds kind of nasty doesn’t it? Not very ‘yogic’ at all :) NOT angry, hostile, or violent AT ALL however. As I say a narrow line to walk, mentally.
But these words are only sparrows flitting and twittering around something very real and extremely powerful and yet accessible in a fully tangible way. One way to approach this aspect of mental training for power optimization is to mimic the “feeling” that you access via looking at facial expressions of certain people. I’m NOT saying these people necessarily did or did not have any particular martial skill. Some of the ‘models’ I’ll present did, others did not (were only actors). It’s ok, all of them can be training aids. Fake it til you make it! It’s ALMOST (borderline) more to an ‘inner (slight) frown’ rather than an ‘inner smile’. It does NOT signify unhappiness, anger or agression however! It is the expression of a feeling of utter detachment, of being above, aloof. Of course nobody is really ‘above’ or ‘aloof’. We’re little boys playing war here. I’m talking about a practicle training method for a certain type of result and trying to use all possible hints to describe it. No LARPing martial arts fantasy syndrome here this just a training aid for a certain specific result, ok? Please do not misunderstand me.
Apperaing at the top of this post are a couple of phots which, no matter how far-fetched it may seem, will help you acquire this training quality. Study and ponder. Strangely enough, adopting this mental state somehow functions to relax your head, face, neck and jaw in exactly the optimal way to allow massively amped surge-through of the power you have ALREADY developed but not fully accessing due to mental distraction and non-optimal setting.
Anyway it gets tricky because don’t they say “it takes more muscles to frown than to smile” so doesn’t that run against the whole relax thing? Yeah yeah yeah. True. What can I say? Those photos are the visible manifestation of an inner mental state that I’m trying to convey here, ok? In Japanese it’s that famous 平常心 (heijoushin) ‘ordinary mind’ thing, a synonm for calm detachment. Silent brain. The same thing is referred to in the Baghavad Gita - detachment. But the trouble is (as you can see right now) the DISCUSSON of this gets real goopy, real fast. I can feel you want to start fanning pages to get to the good shit. I know, I know. So please forgive if I stop with it for now, but I AM working on how to frame this so it has immediate workable training impact, which will appear as my next book sometime later this year on DEPLOYMENT.
Posted at 12:41 PM | Permalink
As you get more advanced, I can feed more. Nothing truly 'new' though as there is always a foreshadowing in my earlier materials. The books constantly harp on the daling (inner wrist) point as your target for the extension of energy to the hands and fingers ('Catch' segmennt of the ARC energy path). Of course I'm well aware that the 'lao gong' (center palm) point is much more popular in common teachings as the workhorse for that.
Working with the daling (inner wrist) does not ignore the existence of the laogong. In the end, your entire body including every 'point' becomes totally permeated and suffused with the juice and the radiance. It's just that the daling is vastly more effective as a training target. And the energy it builds at the end of the ARC naturally flows powerfully and seamlessly through your entire hand and beyond to the fingers. Most particularly when the daling concentration is performed in conjunction with the 'soft fist' standing configuration that I call the Da Ling Throttle practice (see all details in book The Aiki Singularity) then - whoa! Nothing better. But It's a training secret to work this way. Most people aren't ready for it. You have to begin with basic relaxation anyway, before delving into any of this more arcane stuff. So please revert to lao gong practice if you are more comfortable that way.
Anyway, today I'm not writing to reiterate all that. Buy the book! Today I want to point out another much more advanced feature - the counterpart point for the ankle/foot. In the foot, we have an analogous situation, in that everybody knows and loves the yongquan point in the front/center of the sole. Yes, that's fine. It's very easy to feel some bubbling energy there. But again, there's a far more powerful energy secret behind the curtain - the 'foot' equivalent to that inner wrist daling point.
For practical purposes, although there is a 'point' at the foot zone concerned, it's best not to even think in terms of dinky little point. The key area for this extremely advanced work is the outer and bottom edge of the rear of your heels. Not too narrow a strip - in fact you can think of almost the entire heel or at least the whole rear half of the heel as the target zone. At some stage, you will understand (through feeling the power blast you practically into the ceiling) that the REBOUND effect is not kidding around. The inner root of the Rebound effect is that rear heel area. Your first awareness of this effect will be the energy suddenly breaking through and surging up at 10X or 100X the normal Rebound power, directly from that specific area. This natural 'overflow' effect is your signal that from then on you can start working it consciously and strengthen it even more.
The very lightest degree of concentration will trigger a surge like you wouldn't believe. But caveat: no use in even thinking about this until, via the lower body drills in book The Aiki Singularity (and the SLO work in all my other stuff) you have, for a long tine, experienced and controlled and intensified huge torrents of regular Rebound energy up from your feet through your legs and upper body in the 'normal' way described in the books. This heel work is a super advanced development. A huge burst of power connects instantaneously from your rear heel to your hands as a kind of SUPER ARC.
Further, just as the daling work does not 'stop' at the inner wrist but rather the daling is a kind of hub or juncture for the outgoing and returning energy on both its sides (forearm on one side, hand on the other), so in a similar way the heel area is a hub that not only discharges the power upward as in the graphic at the top of this post, but also charges the entire foot in 'front' of itself (no arrow for that shown on the graphic). But that's probably too much to go into now, don't want to explode your head entirely.
I did hint at most of the above stuff in my 1st book Juice Radical Taiji Energetics, in the graphic pasted at the head of this blog post, which is direct from the book. But for two reasons, I didn't go into as much detail on it in the original book as I am in this post.
First reason is what I've already said: you won't get anywhere with this until you've gotten way intense results with the earlier stuff, beginning with basic relaxation which leads to the energy experience, control, and intensification. Including the Crack Step outward stream, the Cat Step return surge, the center (double weighted) surge and all the rest. But I do want to set a marker now for those who have eyes to see it.
The other reason I didn't get too deeply into it there is - that was a Tai Chi book. This heel work thing is totally compatible with Tai Chi but the specific teaching on it comes from the Xing Yi (handwritten) manual and it's normally not emphasized in the Tai Chi systems known to me. People do talk about 3 (or more!) 'Nails' and other footwork, especially yongquan point, but that stuff isn't this. That stuff is mostly interpreted physically or else as mere theory and concept, of which few students ever experience the tangible reality.
Possibly most 'normal' Tai Chi teachers are unaware of this due to no personal experience of it. Which is fine because most 'normal' Tai Chi students are nowhere near ready to even think of this. But anyway here it is. Use it wisely.
Posted at 04:46 PM | Permalink