Monday, February 8, 2010

 Moving Bones

[Path to Mastery 2/8/10 – Wk22 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Sang’s World:

Moving Bones

Do you want to feel loose, relaxed and the pleasure of your body flowing? Feel your bones and move your bones in a way so you feel your joints are floating on top of each other.

The feeling of your body is a product of your energy flowing through your body. So, how do you get the energy to flow through your body?


For any movement to occur energy needs to flow through your muscles. This is an of course. It is so fundamental that when you read this sentence you may have felt “what else?” So, why focus on the bones when muscles are the issue?

It comes down to what the purposes of your muscles are. Muscles are there to move your skeletal structure.

So you reverse the process. You move your bones in order to relax the muscles. Of course you can’t move your bones without muscles, so if you focus on moving your bones, then the attached muscles around the joint (end of the bone where the muscles attach) of the bone will start moving. When you move your bones in directions that is easier to move and feels more pleasurable, it is a sign that your muscles are starting to relax. This is because when the muscles move, it draws energy and as you start making gentle movements, it increases the flow of energy. As the flow energy increases, it starts spreading over, and the range of motions increases as the energy spreads.

As a general rule the further away from the part you want to loosen up, the better you are since you are bringing flow to the whole chain of muscles. This is why accomplished acupuncturists or acupressure practitioners will start with the opposite ankle when they want to loosen up your neck or shoulder. This is also where the meridians flow, the pathway of your energy but that is a subject for another day.

Now the reason I said you should move your joints in a manner as if your joint are floating on top of each other is that this visualization allows you to move in such a way that decompresses your joints. I suggest you start with a joint you want to loosen up, and start moving it in small movements until your joint gradually finds its full range of motion.

Bon Apetit!

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

8 Type Pushing Hands
1. Ting Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/2)
2. Da-Lu Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/3)
3. O-Nu Bu Tui-Shou (Covered on 2/4)
4. Chuan-Jang Tui-Shou (Grasp the Birds Tail) (Covered on 2/5)

Currently we are covering the Pushing Hands in our system. All Pushing Hand exercises loop back in a continuous cycle . This allows people to most effectively hone their skills through constant repetition and it gives them direct feed back if their technique and the principles (BARS) of Tai-chi is correct. We have finished the 4 type pushing hands, and now we are on #5 of the 8 Type Pushing Hands.

Today’s Lesson:

5. Pi-Shou Tui-Shou

Pi-Shou means chopping hand. So, this is Chopping hand Tui-Shou.

Pi-Shou Tui-Shou is a very unique pushing hand in the Tai-Chi world. It is a striking based Tui-shou. Pi-Shou is a very fast pasted pushing hands that feels more like stick fighting with a rhythm that resembles a machine gun.

This gets a Tai-Chi fighter ready in case he/she gets bum rushed, and trains them to still react naturally in accordance to the Tai-Chi principles. On the other hand, Pi-Shou also gets the person ready to attack like flowing water, where the Tai-Chi fighter learns to flow into openings in quick succession. The receiving party if not accustomed with Tai-Chi yielding and neutralization techniques should experience the attack like a waterfall pounding on him.

In this pushing hand the practitioners learns that battles are often won not through a decisive move, but often through small victories. Often times the common perception among untrained people is to have one decisive move and look for an opening, and one should have moves like that. But more often when the opponent is ready for you and has about the same skill, one needs to utilize a different kind of strategy.

One needs to get skilled at eating the elephant. You need to take your jolly time and eat the elephant (your opponent) one bite at a time. If he/she doesn’t even know he/she is being eaten, even better. In Pi-Shou one learns how to defeat the opponent through subliminal attack, where you attack their unconscious.

Anybody can defend against a visible attack. It is much harder to defend against an attack that you don’t know is happening. To the human psyche, balance is at the center of their being. When we are born, we only have the fear of falling. So, if you affect their balance ever so slightly, their confidence is affected, but they won’t necessarily know it. It is like their mood changes. And like all things, it is hard to pick what affects your moods because it is one of many different things in your environment changing, such as the sky becoming dark, or the noise in the background just loud enough not to pay attention. Once the confidence and the mood of the opponent is affected, their performance drops and the battle is won.

Pi-Shou makes the practitioner aware of these attacks and teaches them to utilize them. This makes the Tai-Chi practitioner not only aware of their fight, but it heightens their sensitivity to the subtle influences in their environment that affects their emotional state.


I feel the same. The Tui-Shou really does make a difference. So does the intestine exercise. When you feel sore in any way, go easy, and go slower until things ease up.
I got your adjusted tracking sheet, and it looks a lot better! Adjust the freeze pane so that I can see all of the left columne and it should be good. I look foreward to seeing the next submission!


  1. Sang getting your (positive) feedback on my tracking chart is one of the most thrilling experiences I have had on the Path to Mastery, I am doing something right and nearing the completion of a goal!

    I like using the intestine exercise, the warmth is a great feeling, I think I'll use it before training the 30. Now to the blog, I did not know about accuhealers starting on the opposite side but now that you said that it makes sense. I'll give more thought to my bones. As for Pi-Shou it sounds dangerous to be on the receiving end of of. Knowing what the enemy doesn't know, it sounds like awareness alright, the foundation of everything.

  2. I have been experimenting with moving my bones and it is a completely new awareness to my body. It is fun and I look forward to seeing how it works. I have a jaw that clicks so I am using this technique to relax my jaw. I am also trying to become aware of my bones when I lie down.

    I also find Pi-Shou to be one of the more fun moves and it is helping me learn to continually flow as I move. Also it helps teach how to keep my arms relaxed as I move, but maintain the force within them as I chop.