Monday, March 29, 2010

Mutual Connect Without Interruption

[Path to Mastery 3/29/10 – Wk29 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

Mutual Connection Without Interruption.

This principle has 2 layers to it.  On one level, it is talking about how one move is flowing to the other without interruption.  On a deeper level, it is talking about how the body is uninterrupted and flowing.  When the second one happens, the first one happens naturally, so I will dive into the second definition.

To explain ‘Mutual Connection Without Interruption’, it is best to explain ‘Stringing the 9 Pearls’.  Stringing the 9 Pearls refers to getting the 9 major joints through which most of your force goes, aligned with each other.  Starting with your arch (some refer to the first point as your ankle) (1), your knees (2), your hips (3), your Gate of Life (lower back) (4), between your shoulder blades (5),  base of your skull (Some believe this point to be the major protruding vertebra that connects your neck to your shoulders) (6), your shoulders (7), your elbow (8), your wrists (9).

When you move, all of these 9 points are supposed to move.  One is not supposed to move without the other.  It is said that the waist is the commander.  So, all movement starts at your Gate of Life, or your lower back.  For instance, if you are in a front stance doing Push, and you want to shift back, then you move back from your Gate of Life, and you let the Gate of Life pull on your other joints.

Now, when you are learning the form, you will learn that you are supposed to clearly distinguish between the separate moves that you are not supposed to just flow from one move into another.  So how does that work????  Which one is it?  Well, it is both.  

When you come to the conclusion of the move, you are supposed to extend the move into the eternal horizon through your mind.  If we go with the Push example again, you should imagine that you are pushing into infinity.  Also, you should feel that your fingers and arms are getting longer, your spine is getting longer and your head getting taller, and your legs getting longer and your feet more firmly getting rooted into the earth.  In short, you are expanding in all directions.  Perceptually, you will see that even if the body is not moving there is a sense of movement and the energy of the movement continues.  It is weird and hard to explain if you have never seen it, but when you see someone doing it right, you will see them completing the push, but you will not feel that they really ever stopped, even though they distinctly finished the move and then moved on to the next move.        

In Tai-Chi there is movement even when there is no movement.  

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 Meditation; 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)

Non-Structured System:
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)

Detailed Instructions:
1. Principles (Covered 3/4)
2. Principle of Principles (Covered 3/5)
3. Principles of Upper Body #1~5 (Covered 3/8 – 3/15)
4. Principles Governing Lower Body #1~5 (Covered 3/16 – 3/22)
5. Principle Governing the Whole Body:
   1)Body Body Center Upright (Covered 3/23)
6. Principles Governing Movement:
    1.Seek Movement in Stillness (Covered 3/24)
    2.Seek Stillness in Movement (Covered 3/25)
    3.Mutual Connect Without Interruption (Covered 3/29)
    4.Top Bottom ‘Each Other’ Follow
    5.Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly


  1. Reaching out to infinity is a great way to visualize. When the 7 points due truly align, is that mastery? I ask because it sounds so integral.

  2. Nick,
    do you mean the 9 pearls?