The Roots of Pointing

A question I often get when showing people how to enhance energetic coherence by pointing is, “Why is it the index finger?” The short answer is, “Because it works.” I’ve tested using other fingers with hundreds of people and the index finger is the only one that does the job reliably. The inspiration came from two sources. First, in taijiquan sword forms, the hand not holding the sword is often in a shape called “the secret sword hand.” The index and middle fingers are pointed forward and the ring and little fingers are curled under the thumb. I dutifully did… Read More

Steel Bar Wrapped in Cotton

Poet Linda Addison recently thanked me for introducing her to Bone Breathing. Years ago she was diagnosed with osteopenia, a condition where bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is sometimes a precursor to osteoporosis. a serious loss of bone mass that makes bones highly susceptible to breakage. She credits Bone Breathing and taijiquan with a correction of her her current state of good bone health. She is not alone. May others have experienced profound improvement in bone density. One of the promises of taijiquan is to develop bones that are like “steel bars wrapped in cotton.” Muscular tension is… Read More

Yang Chengfu’s 13 Original Postures

Yang Chengfu’s 13 Original Postures is a short, powerful form I learned from Master Yang Fukui. He learned it from his grandfather in Hebei, China. It is a large frame form, and contrasts nicely with my go-to taijiquan, the small to medium frame, Grandmaster William C.C. Chen’s “60 Movements.” I have been doing Master Chen’s version of the Yang style short form for over 35 years. I love its economy of moment. It is about as spare as you can get. Master Chen comes from a fighter’s perspective, and all unnecessary frills are trimmed to leave a rugged, dependable taijiquan… Read More

Preparation for William C. C. Chen’s 60 Movements

I just posted a short video of the “Preparation” move for Grandmaster Chen’s 60 Movements. It could actually be called “Preparation to the Preparation” since it is meant to be done before you actually start the form, and the first movement is actually called “Preparation”. It is designed to establish four indispensable things before starting your form: 1. Song Kua 2. Central Equilibrium 3. Energetic Coherence 4. Field Amplification It only takes seconds to execute this whole sequence and the effect is ginormous! It has been field-tested and is ready for primetime. And it stands on its own. Any time… Read More

Tensegrity Revisited

Check out this video by Thomas Myers, author of Anatomy Trains. It is a lively explanation of how the connective tissue system uses the principle of tensegrity to greatly enhance its effective power as well as its reliance. Myers is an authority on the myofascial network and his explanations are clear and colorful. In Chapter 14 “Tensegrity” of Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate, I discuss the importance of this principle: Chinese martial arts and Chinese healing arts have long emphasized the importance of the connective tissue system in the conduction of internal energy. The Western model has primarily focused on… Read More