Something that I have observed over the years is that when practitioners are training the transformational exercises, they train up to their comfort level and they count repetitions. They literally accept their level of incompetence as if it is carved in stone. When training the Gong Fa , it is […]

Transformation – don’t accept your level of incompetence

BP Chan used to say “it’s easy to get it from the neck up, it’s much more difficult to get it from the neck down”. What he is saying is that understanding a concept and actually internalizing that concept into your movement are vastly different things. Most practitioners run around […]

Taijiquan is not A to B to C to D…, ...

The line from the Taijiquan Lun by Wang Zhongyue ” if you miss buy a hairsbreadth , you missed by 1000 miles” can only be understood when one starts to understand what is meant by being in Center. When the body is in Center, then the tissue is neutral and […]

“If you miss by a hairsbreadth , you miss by ...

BP Chan would often try to simplify things into quotes like the one above. I use a mic stand with the Coca-Cola bottle on it as a practice partner sometimes. The point of this example is to show that by turning my waist to the right and then to the […]

“It’s easy, turn to the left , turn to the ...

The kidneys and the Ears are related to each other in traditional Chinese medicine. All of the organs open out to the surface of the body in some form or another. The nose being the external of the respiratory system and the mouth being the external of the digestive system […]

Internal Alchemy – The Kidneys and the Ears

Over the years I’ve made many herbal preparations both for internal use or external use. I tend to use a big jar and gradually take a little out at a time , putting them into smaller jars or bottles so they are easier to use. These herbal formulas , especially […]

Practical kung fu – Opening a jar without injuring yourself ...

The following video is deliberately devoid of technical jargon because it is meant for the common man or woman to apply to their daily activities . The idea is to simply release your waist right above the waistband by thinking of the sides of your body , maybe 2 to […]

Practical kung fu: Standing up from a squat or from ...

When training XingYiQuan it is necessary to understand Five Element Theory in the style that I practice. Spring time is the best season to train the wood element which would be the liver and gallbladder. These are best practiced facing east because the external of the liver on the body […]

Embracing the ribs and the liver… A further explanation

One of the more obvious reasons that one would embrace the ribs is to protect them from strikes. When the ribs are not embraced or the elbows are flared out or the fists put in unusual positions this has the effect of changing the angle of the elbow relative to […]

Embracing the ribs in Xingyiquan

Once upon a time I was quite fearful of this type of attack with a bladed weapon as I had my throat slit as a teen. I did not understand how to defend against a horizontal attack to my throat. Retreating from such an attack will most likely have the […]

Using the rising and falling actions of Chopping to enter ...

Most traditional Tai Chi Chuan forms start with ” grasp the birds tail “. There is often a transition where it appears as if we are holding a ball. The form can be trained energetically where we are sensing the energy between our palms and even forming an energy ball. […]

An application of “Holding the Ball” in Taijiquan