“Relax means to soften the tendons and blood vessels of the whole body - you cannot permit even a little tension, if the ligaments and blood vessels relax then the whole body of which they are a part sinks down”.
Sinking, is very much a mental process, a mental process that is dependent upon us having done the necessary physical work – or maybe “non-work” is better descriptive. Having become aware of and identified areas of excess tensions through the physical repetitions of fundamental or introductory exercises, we then begin to work on the process of relaxing and letting go and sinking tensions-release downward through the body by use of the mind-intent (imagination) throughout our form practice.
Post and Beams
Getting to the heart of the matter:
“In theory, theory and practice are the same. In practice, they are not.”
Very much like the above quote of Mr Einstein, the echo of my Sifu Colin Chau’s words reflected very much the same thing when I was bugging him about a particular technique. He simply said “John, you are thinking too much. Thought without action will lead you nowhere, go and practice what I’ve shown you and give me another three examples on top of what I’ve already shown you…”
“To accumulate ch’i in the body regular constant regular and unhurried practice of the form is required. Mencius wrote; let not the mind forget its work, but let there be no assisting the growth of that nature, such practice should never try to force results”.
Please find a link below about an upcoming documentary about Professor Cheng Man-Ching entitled: The Professor: Tai Chi's Journey West.
- John H
"What is firmly established cannot be uprooted
The Compass and the Square.
I was thinking recently about how over the years my form has changed, but it struck me that the constant within the change remains this: my personal belief in the practice and embedding of the theories and “classical” principles of Tai Chi Chuan, theories and principles that have their roots in, and stem from the I-Ching, Tao Te Ching and Sun Tzu’s art of war.
I began to think also of the importance of the linear, the square and the circle in the learning and teaching of Tai Chi Chuan and how it ensures a strong and stable foundation upon which to practice.
John Hartley, Founder and Principal Instructor of Inner Health School of Taijiquan, Adelaide