Song Kua: Clarification

I devoted a chapter to the kua in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate and it’s time to clarify what is meant by song kua. (pronounced soong) I recently posted the steps to take to get more from your kua and I’d like to sharpen the focus a little here. For years, I have been telling students to “release” the kua in preparation for any movement. And that is still true. But don’t stop there. “Releasing” gets you out of the habitual hip tension that prevails in our culture. (I blame it on the flush toilet. In China, where you squat… Read More

Big Change! Getting More From Your Kua

Understanding the kua is essential to internal gongfu. It’s what connects the legs to the torso physically and energetically. I devoted a chapter to it in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate:            The pivotal point for the nine-channeled pearl is the hip area, known as the kua. It is more than the ball-and-socket hip joint, taking in the whole area, centering at the inguinal crease. It includes the relationship between the thigh and the torso.             The kua includes some of the strongest muscles in the body. It is the area that we use when we… Read More

Three Things We Learned in Class 12/10/14

1. This week we explored the “Diagonal Flying” posture and how to maintain your root and coherence throughout. Of course, the basic principles are the same as in every posture, but Diagonal Flying presents some unique challenges. First of all, it is about as wide open as it gets in William C. C. Chen’s 60 Movements. The power is issued from an extended right arm that is reaching like a backhand in tennis. I love this move in push hands because no one expects that much power and lift from an outstretched arm. And for good reason, if you try… Read More