The key to effective self defence is developing ‘presence’ which can be achieved by correct posture and breathing.
Archives for April 2011
To understand and appreciate the philosophy of Yin Yang is a never ending journey and takes years of study and practice.
When I deliver a presentation with my colleague Sue James, and need to cover Yin Yang in a very short time I use the ‘Yin Yang arm exercise’.
Here’s how the ‘Yin Yang arm exercise’ works.
- Hold out your arm in front of you to about shoulder high
- Now stretch your arm out further until you feel a slight strain – that is extreme Yang
- Drop your arm down to your thigh – that is extreme Yin
- Now hold your arm out in front of you again
- Bend your are elbow slightly
- Now the outstretched arm is relaxed
By bending the elbow slightly you now have Yin in your outstretched arm. There are no longer extremes of Yin and Yang in your arm.
The idea of this exercise is how in Tai Chi you can maintain postures for long periods of time i.e. there must be Yin and Yang in all postures.
I’ve demonstrated this exercise for children as young as five years old to mature adults in their eighties.
To really understand Yin Yang you need to go beyond theory and practice and feel it in your Tai Chi form and Chi Kung exercises.
Footnote: Basic explanation: Yang – active energy. Yin – inactive energy
It’s been raining for the past few days here so I haven’t had a chance to practice my Tai Chi form outside.
Today I’ll practice the form indoors.
The difficulty is that I’ve haven’t enough clear space to practice the entire form continously.
So rather than miss out on my scheduled training session I’ll go to Plan B.
Plan B in this case is to perform the form in a stop start manner without focusing on continous movement.
For each point of the form I stop and hold the posture for 5 seconds. Then go to the next point.
For example, let’s look at the opening posture.
- Raise arms up – stop
- bend elbows – stop
- lower hands – stop
Because of the weather conditions this is a good alternative than not practicing at all.
So, don’t let rainy days stop you from practicing.
Adapt and keep practicing!
I discovered this YouTube clip through Coleman Fink’s facebook page. It’s the Tai Chi form I practice as demonstrated by Li Li-Qun wu style grandmaster, disciple of Ma Yeuh Liang.