Don’t Waste Your Time Training

Sometimes I wonder how much energy and time have I wasted on pointless exercise. All that mindless running, weight training, push-ups, sit ups, ‘warmup’ exercises and sparring that burned valuable energy, wasted time and did nothing to direct me where I needed to go. You can’t put an old head on young shoulders but with hindsight I could have done things in a far more intelligent fashion. A lot of ‘traditional training’ had so many repetions of useless movement and the blind ignorance of teaching ‘in the way my instructors taught’. Training should have a far more intelligent, structured approach … Continue reading Don’t Waste Your Time Training

Breathing With Your Body

This morning’s neigong: Don’t eat breakfast; Drink a pint of iced water; Find your place to stand; Then find your balance. Find your natural breathing rhythm; Don’t breathe in until you would have to stop yourself; Don’t breathe out until you would have stop yourself; Let your body, not your mind deepen and control the breath. Use your entire dantien to breathe; Stomach sides and back draw the diaphragm down; Filling the lungs with air; Calming you down, making your mind aware and focused. In Tai Chi the joints and fascia act together as a pump; Expand them naturally as … Continue reading Breathing With Your Body

Neigong Balance

  As the wheel of the year turns; There is a different kind of balance; The air is not dry and warm: And the earth is chilled and moist. Balance brings me to the Tao; The line down the middle of yin and yang: The harmonies in the body: Allow me to find the door. Left and right in the joints: Upper and lower connections; Front and back of the body; Inner to outer of limbs and body. Inner is yin, outer is yang; Front is yin, back is yang; Focus on one and the other is the small circle … Continue reading Neigong Balance

The ‘Empty Force’ Of Tai Chi

  ‘Empty force’ sounds nebulous and difficult to understand, but it isn’t. The body is a spring, when the posture is correct and the joints unlocked, when the soft tissue carries no unnecessary tension – the compression and release of a combination of the joints, including the spine, bodycore and soft tissue is a skill that can be trained in a multitude of ways. The first level of skill is to unlock the body and keep it unlocked, start with good posture and then unlock the ankles, knees, hips, back and chest with the mantra ‘soften and connect’ when you … Continue reading The ‘Empty Force’ Of Tai Chi

Standing Neigong

Standing Neigong Several people have today messaged me asking questions about neigong and to explain the benefits and basics of how we do it in our training system. The benefits of Standing neigong are as follows: Good posture Good balance Good rooting An understanding of left/right and upper/lower body harmony Good breathing An aware, focused sensitive and intense mind Emotional intelligence An intuitive understanding of yin and yang The 5 basic postures are: Neutral Upper Yin Upper Yang Lower Yin Lower Yang There is an excellent set of videos called ‘stand still – be fit’ that can be seen here: … Continue reading Standing Neigong

The Importance Of Qigong In Form

The Importance Of Qigong In Form Tsou lou hsih au pu!”  Sifu called the name of the technique known as ‘brush knee’ in English, it’s repeated several times in the Yang Chen Fu tai chi form, signifying it’s importance for training the basic ideas and principles of tai chi. “Claire, you’re coming out of your legs and loosing your root as you step forwards,” Sifu advised. “I can’t see how I can stop doing that,” Claire said with a look of confusion on her face. “You need to soften down into your legs before you move and use your body … Continue reading The Importance Of Qigong In Form

Right Effort In Training

The class began with sanchin qigong.  With our feet under our shoulderline, we rotated out on the balls of the feet, releasing our ankles, knees, hips, lower back and chest, then stretched the crown of the head upwards bowing the spine from the top and pulling the pubococcygeus muscle at the base to complete the ‘bow’ and assist the energy flow, putting the tongue to the top palette to complete the circuit. We held the arms out in a ‘bow’ (or yin) formation at the front of the body, palms inwards, hollowing the chest to work with the bowing and … Continue reading Right Effort In Training