The pivot of Central Equilibrium

Static equilibrium
When a system of forces acting on an object produces no motion, the system is said to be in static equilibrium.

Mechanical equilibrium
A rigid body is in mechanical equilibrium when the sum of all forces on all particles of the system is zero, and also the sum of all torques on all particles of the system is zero.

A rigid body in mechanical equilibrium is undergoing neither linear nor rotational acceleration; however it could be translating or rotating at a constant velocity.

Alternative definition
A system is in mechanical equilibrium if its position in configuration space is a point at which the gradient of the potential energy is zero.

Because of the fundamental relationship between force and energy, this definition is equivalent to the first definition. However, the definition involving energy can be readily extended to yield information about the stability of the equilibrium state.

Reference: Mechanical equilibrium wikipedia.org

What is the rationale for relaxing the abdomen and withdrawing the coccyx (or tailbone)?

Qi is stored in the Dan Tien as a result of using consciousness to sink the Qi to this point. From here Qi should circulate to the whole body. If Qi just remains in the Dan Tien, then the abdomen will have the sensation of being stuffed. Only when Qi circulates throughout the body will the abdomen be relaxed and pliable. After a time, the abdomen will acquire some “bouncy” or “springy” effect and Qi would have been circulating to the whole body. Qi can be occluded or absorbed into the backbone. The Song of the Thirteen Postures says, “If the abdomen is thoroughly relaxed, then the Qi will rise.” So do not just store the Qi in the abdomen otherwise it will simply bloat. Having the coccyx withdrawn means there is no protrusion of the buttocks while making sure at the same time that the hip joints are not “sliding” forward. This must be combined with relaxing the abdomen and both requirements must be met at the same time. Otherwise, there is no rootedness while the waist is stiff, resulting in vertical imbalance or disequilibrium. It is important to maintain the uprightness of the central axis of the body in order to achieve central equilibrium. A test can be made as follows to see whether all this has been done correctly all along: use one thump to press the abdomen and release the thumb suddenly. There should be a bouncing or springy effect of the abdomen. At the same time, the seat of the buttocks behind should be very soft to the touch.

Huang Sheng-Shyan

Find Center!

Relax the chest.
Raise the back.
Enclose the solar plexus.
Protect the cheekbones.
Lift the head.
Suspend solar plexus.
Loosen the shoulders.
Sink the elbows.
Be evasive.
Avoid conflict.
(Wu-Yü-hisiang)

Taiji is born of Wu Chi. It is the origin of dynamic and static states and the mother of yin and yang. If they move, they separate. If the remain static, they combine.
(Wangzongyue)

We are centered, stable and still
as mountain.
Our Chi sinks to the tan-t’ien and
we are as suspended from above.
Our Spirit is concentrated within and
our outward manner perfectly composed.
Receiving and issuing energy are
both the work of an instant.
(T’an Meng-hsien)

Just stay centered in the Now.
(Eckhart Tolle)

Taiji quan Kongfu of Master Zhu Datong 2

Zhu Datong

Taiji quan Kongfu of Master Zhu Datong 3

Zhu Datong

Taiji quan Push-hand of Master Zhu Datong 2

Zhu Datong

Links:
Song of Central Equilibrium dyhr.com

Pushhands


Li Heshen

Taiji quan Push-hand of Master Zhu Datong 1

Zhu Datong


Ma Yongqing


Ma Jiang Bao

Huang Sheng Shyan

黄性贤(杨式太极拳)-示范一

黄性贤(杨式太极拳)-示范二

黄性贤(杨式太极拳)-示范三

黄性贤(杨式太极拳)-示范四

Stick and Adhere

Chan Lien Tieh Sui Pu Tiu pu Ting
This refers to the sticking aspect or adherence in Tai Chi Chuan. Chan and lien are vertical adhering movements, lifting from above and supporting from below, respectively. Tieh is adherence in the horizontal motion, sui is adherence from the rear. Pu tiu pu ting means neither to lose the adherence nor to resist. (T’Ai Chi Ch’Uan Ta Wen, Questions and Answers on T’Ai Chi Boxing Chen Wei-Ming, Benjamin Pang Jeng Lo & Robert W. Smith p. 57)

Adhere, join, stick to and follow the opponent, without letting go or resisting
It is said, “Lure the opponent’s advance into emptiness; harmonize with him, then issue power. Adhere, join, stick to and follow the opponent, without letting go or resisting,” [that is, follow the opponent on both the vertical and horizontal planes]

Follow the opponent’s incoming posture and lead him into emptiness. As I lead him in, I issue my own attack. The word “lead” actually has two meanings. The first is to accord with the opponent’s posture and draw him further in order to take advantage [of his momentum]. The second is to feign weakness, causing him to rush in brashly. We read in Chen Xin’s Boxing Treatise, “Entice the opponent with an ‘empty basket’; then just make one turn.” Enticing with an empty basket is the same as “Lure the opponent’s advance into emptiness.” ” Turning” means striking the opponent.

The older generation says, “People who practice push-hands live according to the principle of ‘neither let go nor resist’.” Not letting go means not quitting the opponent’s hand. Not resisting means not opposing him. This concept includes adhering and joining on a vertical plane, as well as horizontal sticking and following. Adhering motions belong to the category of “not letting go”. Following and joining motions belong to the category of “not resisting”. That is to say, when the opponent advances, I follow and join his motion. And if he retreats I adhere to him.
(from a Study of Taiji Push-Hands by Xiang Kairen)

 

 
Li Heshen


Ma Yuehliang

 


Tie Lao

Jeijin and Fajin – Receive and release the energy

Qi should be filled and stimulated (Gu Dang),
Shen spirit should be retained internally.

Gu Dang means a drum there is full and resounding (due to vibration).

Peng
The entire body is filled with springlike energy.

Songs of the eight postures

by T’an Meng-hsien (as researched by Lee N. Scheele)

The Four Characters: Support, Lead, Relax, and Release
Support the opponent’s power and borrow his force. This involves agility. Lead the opponents power to the front of your body, then begin to store your force. This involves concentration. I relax my force without bending. This involves stillness. I release my force from the waist and feet. This involves completeness.

The Secret Method of Release by A Study of Taijiquan by Sun Lutang, Translated by Tim Cartmell

This balanced force is always in perfect harmony, having no absolute direction but having the potential to release power explosively in any direction.

Yiquan Rumen by Master Yao ChengRong

If the energy can be stored, it can also be released. One must release the energy in a straight line. When releasing the energy, practice the “straight-energy release” first, followed by the practice of “horizontal energy release,” the so-called “one straight-two horizontal.”

The Quintessence of Wu (Yuxiang) Style Taijiquan by Master Liu Jishun

“when emitting internal strength, be calm and relaxed, concentrated in one direction (Fajin Xu Chenzhe Songzheng, Zhuanzhu Yifang)”

Hook Hand of Yang Style Taijiquan by Mei Ying Sheng

The Force (Jing) is Complete
The force of the entire body is trained into a unified whole. Substantial and insubstantial are clearly differentiated. when issuing force, there must be a root. The force rises from the heel, is controlled by the waist, and manifests in the fingers. It issues from the spine. One must also raise all of one’s spirit. Just as the opponent is about to issue force but has not, my force has already intercepted the opponent’s. I must not issue my force earlier or later. Even if you feel as if you skin is on fire or you are struck by a flood, you most not become the least bit perturbed. Seek the straight in the curved; first store then release; only then can you achieve consistent results. This is called borrowing the opponent’s force to use against him, or using four ounces to deflect a thousand pounds.

Li Yi Yu’s Five Character Formula

Exertion of jin-power (fajin)
The meaning of fa is of something coming out. Fajin is therefore the attacking jin-power. During attack softness and a stable centre of gravity is fundamental. As written above, you use attacking power, when the opponent has lost his centre of gravity. The amount of power used and its’ direction is very important. Beside the straight attack there are circular powers from above, below, to the left and right. In the “Song of Striking Hands (Dashouge)“ it is written: “Adhere, connect, stick follow, do not lose contact or resist.“ (Taijiquan-Lilun 1)

About jin-power by Ma Hailong

Jeijin (receiving energy)
According to Huang Sheng-Shyan, the difference between taiji and other martial arts, is that taiji can ultimately develop jeijin (receiving energy), where yielding, neutralizing and discharging, all happen simultaneously. There is hardly any physical movement, and no mental intention at all, everything happens spontaneously and naturally.

The practitioner is in a state of absolute central equilibrium, the posture is totally connected and relaxed with the feet deeply rooted. The mind is calm and as still as a mountain. By being totally connected, connected and relaxed the body become an empty void. When an external force contacts, the body does not resist it, the force just passes through until it hits the ground and rebounds back throwing the opponent. Similar to pile driving during construction work, the deeper the pile is driven into the earth, the higher the hammer rebounds.

Achieving jeijin (receiving energy) indicates attaining shenming (taiji enlightment), at which point (sparring) techniques becomes irrelevant.

Taijiquan Wuwei, Kee-Jin Wee Oct 2003

The time of tensed focusing should be instantaneous. Release your power at the instant of contact accelerating your punch through your target until the cease of contact. Immediately relax and return to your ready stance whether your hit is effective or not. You can deliver an explosive discharge only from a proper mental and physical relaxed/tranquil state. Relaxation and tension are intrinsic opposites that you use appropriately to release your balanced force.

Yiquan Not-So-Straight Straight Punch by Master Yao ChengRong

At the third stage of practice, ‘Fajing’ (expressing energy) is the main objective. According to the expression ‘Rou xing qi, gang luo dian’ when expressing the energy it is very soft until the last moment and then it becomes as hard as iron.

The shoulders should be relaxed and the elbows should be facing downward. When you express energy (fajing) all parts of the body must act together and feel like an iron spring being compressed, then at the very last moment your energy can be released, with the body moving in an opposite / back from the direction that ones energy is being expressed. The whole body should feel as though it is being stretched out as if like (five) bows ready to be fired. One bow is at the legs, one at the waist, one at the shoulders, one at the elbows and one bow at the wrist and hands. At this time the eyes must look far outwards in a forward direction so as if to express the explosive energy very far outwards. “Using your mind to express the energy far outwards will in turn let your energy actually be expressed far outwards”.

Tai Chi Principles by Professor Ji Jian-Cheng – Zhejiang University, China

Old Chinese texts describe this as your Qi moving to your Dan Tian. Focus your entire body during this exhalation stage. The “Yup” sound should be very short and explosive, like a rock suddenly landing in a well, splashing the water upwards. The focused/tensed phase of your power release should terminate instantaneously. “Fill” your abdomen only during the focused/tensed phase. The relaxed-tensed-relaxed exchange sequence of a power release must be extremely fast.

The Use of Sound and Breath Control in Yiquan by Master Yao ChengRong

Sum Siu Po

Fu Zhongwen


Wang Yongquan


太極拳發勁威力

Other references:
Tai Chi Principles by Professor Ji Jian-Cheng – Zhejiang University, China

陽 yang 陰 yin

Yin Yang
Yin-yang are opposing
Yin-yang are mutually rooted
Yin-yang mutually transform
Yin-yang mutually wax and wane
Yin and yang are neither substances nor forces

 

Taiji is born of Wu Chi. It is the origin of dynamic and static states and the mother of yin and yang. If they move, they separate. If the remain static, they combine.
(Wangzongyue)


 

 

References:
Yin Yang wikipedia.org
The Dao of Taijiquan Way to Rejuvenation by Tsung Hwa Jou. Chapter Two
Cheng Tzu’s Thirteen Treatises on T’ai Chi Ch’uan (nov 1985) Cheng Man-Ch’ing, Martin Inn p. 21-23
Taiji Diagram and Yang Style by Mei Ying Sheng neigong.net

Sung (relax) every hair is fully alert

‘In the fully energized state, “every hair is fully alert.” The state of relaxed arousal is what is meant by the chinese term “sung.” This is not the drowsy torpor before sleep. It is the release of tension that saps our strength – so that we become alert, clearheaded and full of vigor. Your head is uplifted and your eyes open, while letting go of physical tension in your muscles and organs.’
(The Way of Power by Master Lam Kam Chuen p. 134)

Cheng Man Ch’ing on Sung

I have been practicing Tai-Chi Chuan for over fifty years. Only two years ago that I started to understand the word “relax”. I remember my Tai-Chi Chuan teacher Yang Cheng-Fu who did not like to talk much and he used to sit all day without saying a word if no one asked him questions. However, in our T’ai-chi class he would tell us to “relax” repeatedly. Sometimes it seemed like he would say the word hundreds of times during the practice so that the word could fill up my ears. Strangely enough he also said that if he did not tell me of this word that I would not be able to learn T’ai-chi in three life-times (meaning never). I doubted his words then. Now that I think back, I truly believe that if he did not keep reminding me of the word “relax”, I doubt if I could have learned T’ai-chi Chuan in six life-times.

What is the meaning of “relax” in T’ai-chi? Here is an example to help you understand the word. When we go visit a Buddhist temple we usually see a statue of Me-Lo Buddha. The one who has a big rounded stomach with a big smile on his face. He carries a large bag on his shoulder. On top of this statue we see a motto: “Sit with a bag. Walk with a bag. It would be such a relief to drop the bag.” What does all this mean? To me, a person himself or herself is a bag. Everything he or she owns is baggage, including one’s children, family, position and wealth. It is difficult to drop any of one’s baggage, especially the “self” bag.

T’ai-chi Chuan is difficult to learn. To relax in practicing T’ai-chi Chuan is the most difficult phase to go through. To relax a person’s mind is the most significant obstacle to overcome in practicing T’ai-Chi. It takes a great effort to train and exercise one’s mind to relax (or drop one’s “self” bag).

The way to nurture the force of ‘Nei Jing’
Within martial arts, the key to unlock and nurture stronger inner energy of ‘Nei Jing’ is through practising ‘song’ (Traditional Chinese: 鬆 ). The term ‘song’ can function as a verb which means to keep one’s mind and body loose resilient and expanding like the consistency of cotton or clouds or relaxed yet concentrated like the sharp alertness of cats immediately before attack. The term can also be used as an adjective which has the same meaning as described above. The greater the extent one can achieve ‘song’ and minize the use of ‘Li’, the greater the release of ‘Nei Jing’ force.

Practising ‘song’ is part of kung fu training process. It occurs when one keeps reminding oneself to ‘song’ thoroughly and refrain from the ‘Li’ force because the energy of ‘Nei Jing’ will be locked and blocked whenever the force ‘Li’ is applied. So, ‘Nei Jing’ and ‘Li’ are said to be mutually exclusive.

Therefore, the Tai Ji Quan master Yang Chengfu used the concept of‘song’ as a benchmark in his daily teaching. It was his daily routine to keep reminding his disciples to ‘song’ thoroughly more than 10 times when he inspected them.

Nei Jing wikipedia.org

Nei Jing of Li Yanxi

Sung of Wu style taiji Master Zhu Datong

San Bao – The Three Gems

Cultivate the three gems for health, longevity and enlightenment.

1. 精 Jing – Essence
2. 気 Chi (Qi) – Energy (vital breath)
3. 神 Shen – Spirit

Regulate body posture, breathing and mind.

“Accumulate Shen to promote Chi
Accumulate Chi to promote Jing
Refine Jing until it becomes Chi
Refine Chi into Shen
Refine Shen to emptiness
This is the way to strengthen, support and increase the Jing, Chi and Shen of the body.”

Reference: yangfamilytaichi.com

Jing – Essence. What is left after something has been refined and purified. In Chinese medicine, Jing can mean semen, but it generally refers to the basic substance of the body which the Qi and Spirit enliven. 

Jing is a basic component of the human body and serves as a basis for vital activity. It is what we get from what we eat, the sun, the moon. In the Jing/Chi pair, Jing is more like Yin.

Chi – Vital Energy. Chi or qi is an active principle forming part of any living thing. It is frequently translated as “energy flow”. The literal translation is “air”, “breath”, or “gas”.

The meaning of Chi is simply, life! Life is due to the coming together of Chi, and death is due to the dispersion of Chi. It is a force promoting the activity of the human body. Chi coexists with Jing. Where there is Chi, there is Jing. Where there is Jing, there must be Chi. Chi is like energy. Chi is more like Yang.

To concentrate the chi.

The chi sinks to tan tien. When the chi sinks to the tan tien, the body will become relaxed and the blood will circulate freely through it unhindered. 

The chi should be stimulated. This stimulation of the chi can be compared to the small waves which form on a lake when the wind blows them to and fro in system of troughs and crests. When the chi is stimulated in this way, it produces heat. Gradually this this heat increases and penetrates the bones and become marrow.

(Tai Chi Chuan for Health and Self-Defense: Philosophy and Practice T. T Liang) p. 3-4

The chi should be stimulated and the spirit of vitality should be retained internally.

The principle: Water into steam. When the spirit of vitality is concentrated and retained internally, the heart (mind) will be tranquil and the entire body relaxed so that one may become alert and sensitive.

Shen is derived from Jing and Chi, plus it has a substantial basis (Jing + Chi = Shen.) Shen is the outward manifestation of the cooperating action of Jing and Chi. Where Chi is strong, there will be Shen. Where Chi is absent, Shen will weaken. Shen moves along with Chi and Jing. The substance of Shen manifests itself in bodily appearance.

By following the principles of Tai Chi Chuan, the entire body is loose (song) and open allowing the (Jingshen) Vital Energy to be cultivated and be able to raise. Your spirit comes from your heart and shows out through your eyes. You must use your attention and concentration to help your spirit raise up.

Links:
The Three Treasures taoism.about.com

References:
Cultivating Stillness: Taoist Manual for Transforming Body and Mind (maj 1993) Eva Wong

Commandment of my Spirit

In the search for meaning in my life I reached the barrier of reason. I felt the urge to go beyond the doors of the comprehensible. 

Looking for God. I walk on the path of enlightenment in search of the ultimate truth. Transcending all. 

Returning to the void.