[Path to Mastery 3/19/10 – Wk27 D5 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]
Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:
‘Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly means that your weight is either on one foot or the other.
Pretty boring right? Why would they even have such a lame principle after all those deep mysterious and powerful principles?
Nothing beats simplicity. What is simple once has dept year later. The principle Yi-Chi-Li, when I first learned it was the blandest principle ever. I mean seriously, I thought to myself, who doesn’t know that already? How can that be a secret? Now I know it is a secret, and now I understand it is the best kept secret.
‘Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly’ is the same. For now, use it as feedback to let you know whether you are getting the other principles correctly or not. When you shift from one foot to the other, when you are done with the move, if you are well centered, you should be able to pick up the other foot without moving your upper body at all. If someone was just looking at your upper body, they should not have been able to tell that you picked up the other foot. If your hip has to tilt to one side or the other for you to be able to do this, that means your stance is no good. By learning to shift clearly to one side and the back to the other, you learn how to keep your structure balanced while shifting from one leg to the other.
Now of course there are a lot of moves where you don’t shift all the way, and your weight distribution is only 60:40 or 40:60. The deeper meaning of ‘Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly’ is that you engage only one leg at a time. When you shift forward you push with your back leg only. When you shift backward, you push with your front foot. This creates unified power. Rest of the body is relaxed so it doesn’t fight itself anymore. A good example is that of the unbendable arm. Try this with a partner. You stand with your feet a shoulder width apart, and implement ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’ and ‘Chi in Dan-Tien’. Then extend the arm out from your center, and relax it. Then in your mind extend the arm as if the fingers are going to lengthen until they touch the wall on the other side. Then try to have your partner bend your arm. You will find that it is either impossible for your partner to bend your arm, or it is extremely difficult to do so. Now, clench your fist and tighten you arm and keep it stiff. Then have your partner bend it. You’ll notice it is a lot easier to bend the arm. This is because the bicep and the triceps were both engaged and they are antagonistic muscle to each other. In the same manner, if the body is relaxed then the body will not fight itself, and when you are shifting you only engage one or the other leg, the direction and power generated from the body is streamlined and clear.
Last, the reason you should not stand equally on both legs is because when you stand more to one side or the other, it creates mobility. You are not a sitting duck. Because you are relaxed, when you stand on one leg and you get pushed, you flow from one move to the other naturally.
Flow is what creates energy. By maintaining ‘Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly’, you learn how to create flow while being relaxed and maintaining your core integrity!
History of Tai-Chi Journey up to this point:
Before the blog opened to the public, we covered the single person part of the system.
1. Chi-Gong (Taoist Longevity, White Crane Chi-Gong)
2. Standing Meditation
3. Stepping Mediation
4. 7 Basics
5. Basic Form
6. 30 Form
7. 108 Form
8. 4 Type Pushing Hands
Interactive training after we went public with the blog.
1. 8 Type Pushing Hands (Covered from 2/2 ~ 2/11)
2. San-Shou (Covered from 2/12 ~ 2/15)
3. Ba-Gua.(Covering from 2/16 ~ 2/19)
4. Weapons (Covered on 2/23)
5. Healing System (Covered on 2/24)
1. Introduction (Covered 2/25)
2. Free moving – conditioning (Covered 2/26)
3. Free hand pushing hand (Covered 3/1)
4. Free hand (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/2)
5. Free hand weapon (2 person drills and multiple person drills) (Covered 3/3)
1. Principles (Covered 3/4)
2. Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3. Principles of Upper Body (Covered 3/8 – 3/15)
1) ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’ (Covered on 3/8)
2) ‘Tailbone centered and upright’ (Covered on 3/9)
3) ‘Contain chest Raise Back’ (Covered 3/10)
4) ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’ (Covered 3/11)
5) ‘Squat Wrist Open Fingers’ (Covered 3/15)
4. Principles Governing Lower Body:
1)’Chi Sinks to Dan-Tien’ (Covered 3/16)
2)’Relax Waist Squat Crotch’ (Covered 3/17)
3)’Round Crotch Bend Knee’ (Covered 3/18)
4)’Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly’ (Covered today)
5)’Foot Palm Paste(Stick) Earth’