Sunday, 14 June 2015

Rooting and Yielding Exercise

John Kells introduced this exercise during one of our classes. I think we only did it once but it is such a killer on the weighted leg. I've done it fairly quickly in this clip so you need to slow it down a bit.

Keep the weight on the rear leg for a while, then slowly shift forwards and backward, finally keep weight on the rear leg and go up and down, imagining you are yielding to being pushed on your arms without collapsing them. This is a real killer. Repeat on the other leg

The Heels

Pay attention to the opening and closing of the heels.

So as you are sinking into your brush knee and twist posture, feel what is going on in the heels. Then again pay attention to them as you transition into the next posture.

This is not about the feet physically moving out and in. You can feel the heels wanting to move out and close in. Play around with this.

Thursday, 11 June 2015

My favourite Books

This one was the first book I bought on the T'ai Chi classics,writings about theories and principles of T'ai Chi. I think this might have been one of the first books in English on the classics  but I could be wrong.

Written by the late T.T.Liang, with whom John Kells studied, it was a great introduction with good commentary.

I believe it is back in print but as you can see mine is fairly battered.

Sunday, 7 June 2015

About Stepping

How do you step with the lead foot, say, in Brush Knee and Push?

It is fairly common to place the heel first and then smoothly roll onto the foot.

John Kells taught us to step as if the toes were going to touch first, then place the heel. This is done as  a smooth movement, like a swallow swooping. It is not a point toe, then place heel movement.

This has the added benefit of having to remain and sink on the rear foot a nano second longer. Step like a cat. You should also be able to take the front foot back off the floor if you don't want to commit your weight without lurching back.

I have also come across this stepping idea in my Sun style Xingyi within Piquan. Here the emphasis is slightly different, as the front foot acts a brake and causes a recoil so the energy comes into the front hand. In Sun style Piquan the rear foot does not follow up.

Monday, 1 June 2015


3 spirals take place.

In the leg

In the torso

In the arm

All 3 take place at the same time.