taiji quan

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By Yang Jun


I would like to give my sincerest thanks to the many great teachers that I have studied with over the past 10 years that have made my voyage into the art of internal boxing so exhilarating. They are the ones that ultimately made this book possible. After many years of hard work and perseverance this book has finally come into full fruition. The concepts and lessons in this book have been carefully constructed so that the readers may follow an easy line of reading, while at the same time benefiting from the advanced methodologies. One of the finest books on Chinese Martial Arts that I read many years ago was none other than, Chinese Boxing, by Robert. W. Smith. Robert's long term CIA assignment was to evaluate the many fighting styles in the orient and extract the best tactical hand fighting techniques to bring them back to the CIA Headquarters in Langley, Virginia. Initially an advocate in the Hard Way of fighting, Robert practiced western boxing, judo, and karate in his early years. After studying in Taiwan and vast regions in China he became to realize that the highest standard of fighting dwelled with in the Internal House of Chinese Boxing. Chen Manching completely changed his approach to martial arts and combat tactics beyond what he could ever imagine. Soon the Yang style of Taiji would explode on the scene in New York thanks to the gentle, kind hearted Cheng. Many stories have circulated concerning the long journey of master hood that Cheng had to go through to reach the highest aptitude of Taiji Chuan. In his early years he spent many hours studying with the legendary Yang Chengfu, one of the truest masters of the art form through out the history of Taiji Chuan. Once Cheng was with Chengfu and he witnessed a mini cab hit him and over turn with its carriage and occupants, while Chengfu walked away virtually unscathed and almost unaware of the whole incident as it occurred. This is one example of the deep studded grounded ness of the master and his ability to receive and release energy at an unparalleled level. This book is an introspective look at the philosophy and methodologies of Taiji Chuan. Many books have been circulating the current publishing market concerning the internal arts such as: Scholar Boxer, remakes of Chen Manching's short sets, transliterations of form sets, Bruce Kumar's, Relaxing Into Your Being, and various other Daoist based interpretations of how to gain self mastery in the Taiji domain. In addition to numerous books on Neiji Quan, calisthenics, set forms, and meditation, there are a plethora of other hoopla bogus mumbo jumbo mystery school books that have made their way to the literary forefronts. Many years ago I must have emptied every book stale in every major book store looking for a truly learnable treatise that could give me sound advancement into the internal fighting arts and push hand systems. After working on my push hands and hitting heavy bags for many years I started to find a new approach to the concept of staying deeply rooted. Finding relaxed/emptiness or wuji was quintessential in my development and is the spirit of Taiji and the gate way to the mastery of fajing power. Working as a security guard for many years I spend every free second perfecting post forms and experimenting with other on duty guards. In 2006 I had a big break through in the discovery of a new system I developed called, THE CENTRAL UNIFIED WEIGHT THEORY or C.U.W.T. These new postulations were assessed thoroughly and what my colleagues and I deduced during the scientific method process began to unravel the intricacies of body mechanics, optimal stance, mind projection, breathing, push hands, and

prepatory mind drills. This book is a break through instruction manual on learning to become un- push able on the push- hands circuits and undefeatable in any fight circle. One thing I learned teaching Tai chi over the years is that a teacher can not simply tell a student to relax and expect to see immediate integral results. Another common misnomer is telling the student to concentrate on his dan tien region for issuing power. A person must learn to relax from the shoulders to the ankles, and the mind/spirit must be placed in the foot, optimizing gravity, the spirit/mind must literally sink/become humble to reach the level of true fajing projection. The dan tien is flexed and used in Kundalini exercises to help circulate energy through the body before actual catch and release push-hands practice. We have developed workable methods of techniques and mental preparations that will give any push hands, or pugilist player an overwhelming edge over top competition. Robert W. Smith asked Cheng Manching why none of his students were able to reach his level of mastery? Chengs answer, "no faith." The mind may allow the body to relax for short periods of time, but the faith is lost during prospect of opponent aggression and brut vigor. This mastery of movement in repose for the first time in the main stream has become approachable, and perfect able. Once the correct breath control is coupled with the CENTRAL UNIFIED WEIGHT THEORY, the true charisma of Tai chi chuan begins to shine through the practitioner. Along with workable physical and mental drills, graphs, tactical charts, abundant pictures, full Cheng, Yang, Wudang, Sun, and Wu Tai chi Sets have been included step by step as an added bonus. This book focuses on the full development and control of fajing power, push hands techniques and drills, Xing Yi striking, Bagua walking, and body positioning for shoot style grapplers and wrestlers. If you are looking for an internal martial arts book that is loaded with illustrations, drills, understandable fighting dynamics, fajing development, push- hands training, and ground breaking methodologies, then this book is for you. Included in this book: Shaolin, Xing Yi, Bagua Zhang, Tai chi, push-hands mental development, fajing training, calisthenics, fighting drills, and an explicit insight into the ground breaking Central Unified Weight Theory; that puts to rest some of the myths about correct stances, energy focus on the dan tien, single and double weighted issues, push-hands strategy, and fight mechanics. No matter what level of player you are, you will take something away from this magnum opus. I present to you at this time the internal treatise UNDEFEATABLE.




Supreme Ultimate Internal Arts
Chapter One- Real Depth
The question remains in the martial arts world, which is the superior art? The Internal/soft or the External/hard style. Maybe instead of trying to answer this question and causing a plethora of debates, we should realize the importance of recognizing both of the concepts as valid fighting applications. Most Master practitioners will tell you off hand that the apex of the fighting arts does lye within the internal formula. Power is not just generated by muscle but is accumulated through balance, coordination, and technique. There is a multitude of mumbo jumbo Qi gong techniques making the rounds these days on the internet and local book stores. In this book we hope to peel back the outer layers of jargon and rhetorical mysteries in hopes of revealing the fruitful pit. Let us take a look at these concepts from a scientific stand point so that we can discern the bogus and genuine techniques. Before we look at some true combative techniques that contain the internal principles, Let us explore ideas from a push hands perspective. The first misconception based on simple physics is that the deeper, and wider the stance the more advanced and powerful the pusher will be. Actually the wider the weight is displaced into the earth from the feet, the less rooted the pusher will be. There are many variables we must look at when trying to figure out the optimum stance while pushing hands, or fighting for that matter. In the synthesis of push hands we must consider single and double weighted pushing. I have heard many arguments in regards to this matter, and I have come up with a simple philosophy that in my experiences stands most true. While pushing hands the weight may be displaced evenly 50/50 for a second or so, until you roll back and then maybe you are 80/20 with the majority of the weight on the back foot. While pushing forward your weight may reverse to 80/20 with the weight primarily on the front foot. The question remains, what is the optimal position during push hands? Let us set aside all the flowery hand positions and mirage like movements that should be only directors of intention/will, while remaining deeply rooted. Before I introduce the maximum philosophy concerning the shifting of weight during combat, or push hands, I must divulge into the concept of dropping the spirit/mind. What does it mean to be rooted? In all martial arts, external or internal, the basis of building a foundation is working on the horse stance and something we call Sitting in Space. This creates an idea of becoming more coordinated and balanced in any persons training. The Shaolin Monks masters can not stress this enough to their fellow monks. In a sense, being able to hold a deep horse stance is admirable and a standard of excellence, but is not the pinnacle of being rooted. I content that a person can be standing almost straight up with knees barley bent and still be able to uproot a deep horse stance. How and Why? It simply comes down to which person is able to unify their weight into a single space under the foot. A deep horse stance might contain exceptional value in lowering the center of gravity, but when a person is completely relaxed and no tension exists in the body, the weight is unified under the foot and sinks into the ground. The advantage to a deep wide horse stance is that it would be almost impossible to throw or push them side to side, but it would be relatively easy to push or pull them in a straight on direction. What does all this mean and how is it applicable? I will delineate all the postures and moves soon so we can get a better idea of what I am talking about. All this talk of inner alchemy and mystery school Taoism is not fruitful, aside from

gaining focus of the mind and finding your center. Learning to empty your thoughts and relax is imperative if you wish to drop your mind/spirit into the ground and root correctly. There are many versions and styles of taiji, baguazhang, and xingyi, which teach this to some degree. Let us not put the horse before the carriage. Most of the true masters have abandoned all the flowery forms simply because the highest truth lays with in certain set parameters. The sets are very beautiful and aesthetic and are great for teaching new students and holding demonstrations, but are not practical for most people that just want to get in the thick of things and be effective. One thing is for sure that one of the truest secrets to the internal arts is learning what I call Movement in Repose. Thus when we master grounding or rooting ourselves we must learn to move while maintaining this relaxed equilibrium. I have read so many of the treatises on taiji and the internal and they really try to make something simple complicated. The practitioner need only to gain an awareness of the weight in his foot while he is relaxed to start to master the art. Once you drop your shoulders and let go, drop your arms, letting gravity naturally pull them downward, relax your lower trunk, and feel the weight in your foot with your mind, you are at the precipice of mastering the art of rooting. Once you have started this awareness you can now drop your weight at will, while still maintaining good posture. Now make the intention with your mind to sink the foot hard into the ground and exhale. At this point of exhalation, make a conscious effort with your mind/will to sink the foot. Exhaling is important because it allows the weight to fully drop to the feet. It's just like standing in a pool of water. If the lungs are full with air, then you will keep floating to the top of the water. Once you exhale you will sink to the bottom of the pool and be able to stand on the floor of the pool. Once you have mastered this idea and engrained it into your mind, you are now able to start looking at applications. While doing standing practice do not put to much attention on bending the knees to much. Try to remain relatively erect and bend the knees slightly. I have seen some masters such as Double Dragon master Dong bin demonstrate unusual power from an almost erect position, (Legs almost locked out). I have also witnessed this from Grandmaster Huang Sheng Shyan. This goes against traditional wisdom, but with a deeper understanding of a basic principle we can see why this is effective. Over bending of the knees or overly deep stances displaces the natural weight of the body from a straight line standing erect, to a zigzag fashion while overly bending the knees. I suggest bending the knees slightly, but not to the point of discomfort. The key to defeating a person in fighting, or push hands is bringing him out of his range of balance. Thus if he pushes you, and you roll back, he will have to over extend to continue to issue force. The secret of push hands is to never push or extend beyond your center of rooted ness. This center can move as you move and remain balanced and grounded. Thus moving forward and backward and being able to retain your root while stepping is imperative. I feel that Bagua circle walking is the best method of teaching this. Learning to walk and shift positions while remaining weighted, or rooted is quintessential. I will show you pictures in the next chapter to illustrate the methods of movement and remaining weighted. The key is to master single weighted postures. Once you have mastered single weighted rooting, you are on your way to mastering this craft. The next step of great importance is learning to turn at your central axis or waistline. Again, Bagua circle walking is most fitting to master this. The reason is that while someone try's to push you straight forward, you can simply turn your Axis and uproot them with little to no force when rooted. Do not worry, I will show you through illustrations how this can be accomplished simply and effectively. To recap what we have just learned we must deduce that at the moment of contact, either on defense or offense, our weight should be grounded straight into the ground either single weighted or double weighted,( with legs not wider than the width of your shoulders.) Does this mean that wide Shaolin style stances are useless in fighting applications? Certainly not, but they must be used correctly in transitioning your weight optimizing your defensive versatility. At the lowest levels of skill the wide deep stance is the safest for practitioners. The reason is that if your stance is

shoulder length and you're not rooted correctly, you will be highly susceptible to a hip throw or worse. The disadvantage of a deep wide stance is the susceptibility to head on pushes or pulls by a more experienced player. Thus we must be aware of all the disadvantages and advantages of different stances. We must be realistic in understanding how deep our root is and what is the most advantageous stance according to our skill level. Some wrestlers think that by shooting in they can penetrate any stance and gain an immediate upper hand. This is simply not true. While they are shooting in they are highly exposed to a hip throw by a grounded denizen of the internal art. If you are not so experienced and are still in the experimental mode of learning fighting techniques, then you can simply kneel down on one knee while he shoots in. This lowers your center of gravity beyond a point where he can topple you. The next chapter will be of pictures explaining the fine points we just touched upon. In chapter three we will learn to extract the Gems of Taiji, Baguazhang, and Xingyi to fine tune our fighting skills, and learn the honed skill of stillness/emptiness to over come any opponent.

Chapter Two – Pictures and Explanations Priceless Treasures
Nothing short of first hand experience can bring true enlightenment into the internal arts, but by understanding the philosophies and concepts correctly can increase the speed at which you progress. If you take as little as 15 minutes a day to work on the standing meditations that we will look at in this chapter so that you can begin to gain a sort of mastery over your balance and deep root. The next level that we will now discuss is the ability to take this grounded theory and translate it into effective offensive and defensive techniques. We can't expect anyone to reach the pinnacle of this methodology with out a little practice and concentration. What we must first comprehend is that when the weight is dropped through the feet into the floor, we are more stable than any moving human force that wishes to come into contact us. We loose this ability when we mentally and physically tense up from fear as the attack is launched. We must prepare ourselves mentally to relax during the attack and actually sink and let go. The stomach should be puffed out and in a natural disposition, not flexed or sucked in. When the force is initiated in our direction we relax patiently and begin turning our axis/waist slightly to redirect their energy. If you launch an attack offensively you can push them head on, or pull them, but when deflecting energy one must slightly bend their energy right, or left using our waist and hands. The mind directs the will and intention redirecting the force and eventually up rooting the opponent. If we meet the force head on, we will loose our Root, in turn pushing or punching from the upper body/arms and not using complete gravity/ force-unified weight. First we will examine some of Taiji's forms in order to see what is useful and what we can discard. While pushing with a un experienced player, we can easily uproot him with a dead on straight forward push, but as we push or fight with more advanced and skilled fighters we see that the bulldozer approach is not the most frugal. Let us outline the 13 techniques of Taiji: PengLu QiAnLieCaiZhouKaoJinTuiKuPanDingwarding off rolling back pressing pushing spreading taking elbowing leaning moving forward moving back moving to the left moving to the right remaining in the centre

Conceptually these techniques encompass the actions in Taiji. Other means of striking are most likely found in Xingyi. The pinnacle of all of these arts we have mentioned including Baguazhang lye's within the mastery of Movement in Repose. From what I have experienced Xingyi players are more able to strike, making it great for real time combat applications. The Bagua players seem to have the best balance and grounded movement, and the Taiji players seem to be only able to Push hands. This is generally speaking, and certainly not the case for the whole field of players. All of these

arts hold the capability of taking the practitioner to the highest levels of mind/intent-fajing, which is the mastery of relaxation, balance, coordination, and discharge of will power/energy. I like to call it the unified weight/root theory. I can hear some of you now snickering, but I have experienced first hand the ability of this pushing hands with many players. At first I was simply able to use brut force, and sometimes I would be on the winning end, and sometimes the loosing. Then after many years of contemplation I started to trust the theory more and utilize more faith. Then I began to become almost un push able by training mind to relax while being aggressed. This is what we call investing in loss. Chen Man Ching couldn’t express this enough to his students. Letting go is the hardest thing for people to do because of their EGO/PRIDE competitiveness. After doing many years of Post Standing and walking countless circles I began to understand what it really meant to Root. This was great and I could push anyone around in push hands but I was looking for the next level. Why wasn’t I able to discharge people like I had read in all those stories about Chengfu and other adepts of the trade. The reason was simple but easily over looked in the heat of the battle. The less I tried pushing with brut force the more I was really uprooting my opponents. I began to think that the more I didn’t try, and only relied on my technique and intention, the greater the result was becoming. Then thus I came to the postulation that the lighter the push, the heavier the discharge. How is this possible? I felt there had to be an explanation and kept recalling the sayings of the masters; " A force of four ounces can overcome a thousand pounds." From the theory that I had in play a force of eight ounces would only overcome 500 pounds. The reason for this I feel is twofold. One is that the point on the foot where the most weight is pushing into the floor is centralized; once you come out of this strong root by over extending and using force your power decreases congruently. Two is that the less force you use, the more you push with mind/intention and as you progress in this art, the more you will feel the heat/energy (chi) coming out from around the wrist area during practice. Once you understand this and start to feel it with your own experiences, the more you will realize that all those forms and fancy movements are merely the dressing on the inner cake. All these theory's of combat start to dissolve when you realize that if someone comes into your space, no matter what technique he is efficient in, he will be up rooted with ease, and toppled quite easily. In spite of this I do recommend every practitioner learn a few striking skills that can be used to maim any oncoming attackers. This is beyond the scope of this book, and I will be talking about this in another upcoming book called, FOUR BOXING.


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