[Path to Mastery 4/12/10 – Wk31 D1 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]
Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:
The principle of extension is a key concept to succeeding in Tai-Chi. Extension is the Yang, if letting go and relaxing is the Yin. Extension balances limpness. Without extension, you cannot relax properly.
The actual concept of extension is ‘Extend Into Infinity’. I think the name explains it for itself. Not much mystery.
Here is a key concept in Tai-Chi that is integral to understanding all of Tai-Chi, if not life itself. Opposites are actually the same thing. They are not two separate things opposing each other. The two sides of a coin cannot exist without each other. That is Yin and Yang. Here is another example. Confidence without Humility is Arrogance. You cannot be truly confident unless you are humble. Without humility, it becomes imbalanced and you become arrogant. Now you can imagine what humility without confidence becomes. This is a very useful concept in considering your life. Let me give one more example to nail it to bed. Courage cannot exist without fear. I heard this quote, “True courage is not the absence of fear, but doing the right thing in spite of the fear”.
It seems we miss out on so much of life, because we have the wrong picture of the world and thus we miss what we are looking for even when it is staring us in the eye because we don’t recognize it.
So, we want relaxation, but we can’t have it without extension. Extension is support. Without support we cannot relax. One of the reasons people lay down when they want to rest is because their body is supported through out their whole back and thus there is a wider area of support. When you are standing on one leg it is wobbly because you are standing on a wobbling surface, you are not going to be able to relax. If your standing leg has support, your body becomes stable, and the body can let go.
All the principles can be explained using extension and dropping (letting go/weight underneath). These are the 2 fundamental principles that come out of the original principle Yi Chi Li (Mind leads Chi, Chi leads Muscle/strength). For instance, ‘Empty Spirit Summit Strong’ is a principle of extension to the crown of the spine. By leading the mind to extend from your crown upwards, your whole spine extends and the rest of your body hangs from it. ‘Settle Shoulder Drop Elbow’ is a principle of dropping. Extension is the principle of leading with mind to direct your energy. Letting go/dropping/weight underneath is when you let go with your mind and move your mind away from doing anything with that part of the body. When you have extension, then you have letting go on those parts where you are not extending. As a whole we call this combined state of extension and dropping ‘Relaxation’.
Now, that you have the yin and yang of a relaxed state, play hard with it, have fun, and you will master it!
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)
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: (Covered 3/23)
6. Principles Governing Movement #1~5 (Covered 3/24 – 3/31)
7. Principles Governing Relaxation – General Concept (Covered 4/1)
1) Mind Body Release Relax (Covered 4/6)
2) Use mind Not Use Strength (Covered 4/7)
3) Internal External Mutually Integrate (Covered 4/8)
4) Dropping the Weight (Weight Underneath) (Covered 4/9)
5) Extend Into Infinity (Covered 4/10)
6) Chi Sink Dan-Tien