In Tai Chi language ‘rooting’ is the ability to connect yourself to the earth.
It’s an important skill to develop for two reasons;
- develop proper structural alignment and stance
- to redirect someone’s force against you
Let’s look at the redirection aspect.
Practicing with a partner is ideal but if this is not possible then a punching bag is a good substitute.
Here’s how I do it.
I align myself in an empty stance (one foot forward – the majority of the weight on my back foot) – in front of my punching bag.
Then I slightly push the bag forward with both hands and hold that position for a few seconds. As I feel the resistance of the bag I relax my shoulders and elbows and redirect the force into my hands, arms, shoulders, spine, legs and into the ground.
Then I change feet and work the other side of the body.
You can do this exercise with any of the postures but I suggest you start with this simple exercise so you can learn easier.
Relaxation and proper alignment are the keys to correct ‘rooting’ and redirection of an opppent’s force (Chi).