Thursday, April 8, 2010

Internal External Mutually Integrate

[Path to Mastery 4/8/10 – Wk30 D4 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:

‘Internal External Mutually Integrate’ is an important principle in the externally focused society that we live in.  This principle is how to coordinate the feelings of the internal part of your body with the external look of your form.  This principle basically says that Tai-Chi is not only about how it looks from the outside, but the movements are coordinated with how it feels from the inside.

When you do Tai-Chi, you should feel as if your upper body is a cork that is floating on water.  As the waves come and go, you just float and ride out the wave.  You should feel as if anything above the pelvis is floating above the water.  This sensation doesn’t come because your body is bobbing up and down, but it is created because it feels like your pelvis is floating above your legs.  As you shift your weight to the front or the back, you feel the pumping of your legs and even though from the outside it looks flowing and level, it feels like the legs are pumping your whole body.  

You also feel the heat pushing up from your legs up your spine and out your hands as your legs are pumping.  This creates a sensation as if you are a hot air balloon, and you feel your body getting warm and you feel as if there is warm lava flowing around.  Things that were tight inside loosen up and start moving and eventually feel as if it gets absorbed into the rest of the body.  

It is said you should feel as if you have no corners.  In Chinese the word corner is used for sharp angles like the corner of a square desk.   In short, while doing the Tai-Chi form, you should feel as if there are no sharp corners, no abrupt angles in the body.  You should feel rounded and easy like a ball.  

Your spine should feel suspended, energized, and straight.  You should feel that each side of your body is a column on its own and is standing by itself.  When you get this sensation, you will naturally feel that the spine is suspended by itself.  

The word Soong (Relax) here is significant.  If you get the sensations above, you have Soong.  It is to describe the sensations of letting go and sinking (you keep feeling as if you are being pulled down.  You can feel the weight of your body.  It is also referred to as feeling the weight underneath. ).  Yet it is also light and ready to move, comfortable and springy that comes from fullness such as that of a full balloon.

If you have Soong, then it doesn’t matter whatever form you are doing.  You are doing Tai-Chi.  You could be doing a Shaolin Form, but it will still be Tai-Chi since you have the internal principles of Tai-Chi working within you.  Changing the external so you can have Soong, and doing things with Soong is to have ‘Internal External Mutual Integration’.

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: (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)
   5) Extension
   6) Chi Sink Dan-Tien


  1. I think Soong falls under being relaxed not limp. It is interesting that you called a shaolin form with Soong Tai Chi, if that is the case then a master should attempt to imbue all he does with Soong. Tai Chi life!

  2. The aligning of the internal and external and paying attention to both is where the magic of tai chi is for me. Distinguishing the different way they work and how they are interconnected gives you much power and capability. Tai chi allows you to learn these things and apply them in all aspects of life.