Friday, April 9, 2010

Weight Underneath

[Path to Mastery 4/9/10 – Wk30 D5 (Str 9.12.09)(Ph2 11.15.09)]

Continuing our Tai-Chi Journey:
‘Weight Underneath’ was more or less covered yesterday when I discussed Soong.  But I find this concept to be very useful, and of value in its own right, so I would like to discuss why it is specifically named ‘Weight Underneath’.   

First, stand as if you are at the edge of a swimming pool, and you are about to jump in.  Let both of your arms hang from the side, and you are probably leaning slightly forward and your weight is on the balls of your feet because you are ready to jump.  This is the ideal position to feel the weight of your arms just hanging from your shoulders.  Now when you let your arms hang like this, and just work at letting go, you will feel your arms getting heavier and heavier, getting further and further relaxed.  

The issue is when you start raising your arm.  You can relax as long as you keep your arms dropped, but it gets more difficult when you start moving.

Here is where ‘Weight Underneath’ comes in handy.  From the position of your arms dropped, feel the weight of the arms.  Feel how the heaviness is underneath your limbs, as if meat was hanging from the bone (that is actually exactly what is happening to your muscles, hanging off your bone!).  Now, imagine that you are a puppet and that your wrists are being raised by the strings.  While your wrist is being pulled up by a string, maintain the feeling of the weight underneath your limb.  You will notice the shoulder stays settled, and the elbows stay dropped.  You will also notice you arm stays heavy and relaxed.  You may use the balloon underneath the arm, but I like providing different visualization exercises because they allow you to use your mind differently.  It is often the case that the student will find one visualization method more effective than another.  Also, the different visualization brings different effects and becoming sensitized to these differences is important.  

Some people like calling this dropping or sinking weight, because the visualization of continuously dropping as if you were a sack of potatoes being dropped or as if you were sinking through mud slowly helps them better.  

This is a great simple principle of a relaxation method if you want to just focus on training relaxation!  Have fun playing with this principle!

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) (Covered 4/9)
   5) Extension
   6) Chi Sink Dan-Tien

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