[Path to Mastery 3/30/10 – Wk29 D2 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]
Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:
Top Bottom Mutually Follow
One of the most common interpretations for ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ is that the hands and the feet match. They are also called top bottom harmony. It means that your hands and your feet move together.
Now let’s test how good your memory is. ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ was covered once before. Do you remember which principle it was that was related to ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ is? If you can’t, here is a challenge! See whether you can find it between the principles already covered. If you got, ‘Relax Waist Squat Crotch’, you got the right one. I recommend that you go back can cover that principle again. The rest of the article will not be as concrete without you clearly remembering the ‘Squat Crotch’ portion of the ‘Relax Waist Squat Crotch’ principle.
‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ is simple, yet intricate like all Tai-Chi principles we’ve been covering. Tai-Chi principle is like an elephant. Imagine you are trying to describe an elephant. You have probably seen one so no problem. You know what I am talking about. But imagine you are trying to explain it to someone who’s never seen one. Tai-Chi principles are the descriptions and summary of when your mind, body, energy is in a certain state. So, ‘Relax Waist Squat Crotch’ describes or summarizes how the body is aligned when the upper and lower body is unified. ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ describes how you when your upper and lower body is unified. If top bottom unified body is an elephant, imagine that one principle is describing how the elephant looks, and the other principle is describing how the elephant moves.
These are the things you should train in successive order to cultivate this phenomenon ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’.
1. When you move, move with your feet first. If your arms are relaxed, you will feel your legs leading the movements of the arm. For instance, let’s say you are in a back stance of your left leg, and your arms are both in a position ready to push. Then relax your arms and relax your front leg, and push with your back foot. You should feel your arms being pushed out like a hydraulic pump.
2. When you step, when your feet lands, your steps should also finish. In the form, what that means is that when your shift finishes, your strike also finishes.
3. Last, when you feel your arms are being moved by your legs, then you start moving from your lower back. Your legs and arms will move from a central location, expanding and shrinking.
4. When this feeling becomes clear, then you will feel your movements extending out from your Dan-Tien). You will feel the movement being connected to the surface of your lower abdomen and that connection traveling up your lats to you’re the underside of your arm until it reaches your palm. You will feel the same feeling extending out the outside of your legs as well.
5. This one is harder to describe, but you will feel a spiraling feeling out from your Dan-Tien.
6. Eventually you feel a spot inside the lower abdomen and it feels like the movement is coming out and being supported from the inside as if everything is a shell around it.
7. You feel a central pillar connecting the crown of your head and your perineum and you feel energy pathways out from the central pillar and you feel everything extending out from the central place.
All these things are supposed to happen. These are the different aspects of the elephant called upper and lower body unification. In case this feels overwhelming, just remember this. If you had never seen an elephant, you’d feel overwhelmed by the numerous descriptions. If you just saw it once, you’d be ah-ha!!!! The principles are summary of feelings. So, just try the suggestions above, and if you feel anyone of them, you will recognize it by feel a connection in movement between the lower and upper body. If you feel any connection, you may not have all of it, but you got some of it. When you see the elephant for the first time, you won’t get all of it either. To really get to know the elephant, you have to spend some time with it.
To summarize, ‘Top Bottom Mutually Follow’ is the description of a kinetic movement chain between the lower and upper body. When you are training to move while you performing ‘Relax Waist Squat Crotch’, and you feel your legs are moving your arms as if your leg were like bellows and you arms were balloons being powered by it, you got it.
Have fun playing with the elephant.
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 #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 (Covered 3/30)
5.Insubstantial Substantial Distinguish Clearly