Anyone that studies with me knows that I use the word ‘engage’ a lot to do with the spine and core. This is because it takes a lot of study to learn how to use them for internal power, we have to forge really strong intimate connections to the ‘feel’ of every part of the core and spine and how to utilise them in technique.
From the way we press and pulse the feet to the floor up through the legs to open and close the hips to manipulate the pelvic floor and bow and pulse the lower back, kidneys and internal organs, through the abdomen, opening and closing laterally and vertically, twisting and releasing, through the diaphragm and up through the chest cavity to heart, lungs and raising the upper back to pulse the shoulder joints in harmony with the hips up to the occipital to complete the spine bow and connect the bowing of arms and legs.
This needs to be trained both intensely and lightly in neigong and qigong and then experimented with in form and partner work to find the highest skill levels.
This connected chain needs to be internalised and engaged all the time so that it can be worked, the skills are soften, connect, open, close, stretch, compress, twist and release.
In our Shi Kon Tai Chi Programme we have a very specific programme of training and study, a year of daily practice for a basic understanding and 3 years for the advanced giving you the ability to continue for a lifetime of study.