12 Twine Hands
I. Turn on your heels to the left at the same time allowing your arms to open.
II. Twist your waist to your left and circle your arms about your body, hands level with your waist.
III. Cross your arms, right wrist over the left wrist, in front of your middle Dantien Fig 15 to Fig 16
Twisting smooths the Belt Channel (Daimai). Twisting the wrists helps to open the Neiquan points and crossing the wrists in front of your chest stimulates the Shenzhong point.
13 Recover Qi
I. Twist your waist to the right and allow your arms to quickly swing down and then up.
II. Look at your right hand.
When you swingyour arms you should allow them to swing in an arc down and up. This releases the negative Qi to the ground.
I. Close the fingers and of your left hand so that the thumb touches the four finger tips. This hand posture is called a 'plum blossom'. Touch the left qupen point with the finger tips of your left hand.
II. Bend down and hold the left toes with your right hand.
III. Twist the toes three times. This movement comes from your waist. The hand twisting the toes follows the twisting of the waist. Figl7 to Fig 18
Twisting the toes in this manner strengthens the kidneys and the gall bladder. It also helps to form the Dazhoutien (Macro-cosmic orbit).
15 Pushing Qi
I. Let go of the toes and open your hand.
II. Push your hand back past your right foot, keeping the palm facing the ground and keeping your weight on your right leg. Fig 19
Keeping the palm facing the ground releases negative Qi to the ground.
16 Scoop Up Qi
I. Turn the right palm up and scoop the hand forwards and up. Straighten the body and shift the weight to the left leg.
II. Close the right fingers to form a plum blossom and touch the right Qupcn point. Fig 20.
The scooping movement collects fresh Qi and stimulates the Qupen point which relates to the stomach channel, and also helps to promote the blood circulation.
17 Turn the Body and Recover Qi
I. Shift your weight onto your right foot.
III. Shift your weight onto your left foot and allow you right foot to turn again rotating it on the heel. Allow you whole body to turn. You should now have turned one hundred and eighty degrees.
IV. Swing your left arm down and up to the back and look at the hand. Fig 21
By turning the body we change direction to receive the Qi from the opposite direction. Swinging the arm again releases Qi to the ground.
18 Twisting the Right Toes
As for movement 14, but for the right
19 Pull Qi
I. Turn to the front and at then same time let go of the toes and push the left hand round past the left foot, with the palm facing the ground.
As with movement IS this releases negative Qi to the ground.
20 Scoop Up Qi
II. Bring your left hand to face your liver.
After releasing negative Qi, this movement brings positive Qi to your liver.
21 Twine Hands
I. Lower your right hand until passes inside your left arm and the palm faces your spleen.
II. Turn your waist to the left and at the same time move your left hand inside your right. Turn to the right and moving the left hand inside the right arm, turn to the left moving the right hand inside the left arm. Fig 22 to Fig 23
Twining the hands in this way transmits Qi to the liver and spleen.
22 Cloud Hands
I. Shift all your weight onto your left leg and step forwards with your right. Keep all your weight on your left leg.
II. Cast out your right hand, palm facing up, level with your Dantien. At the same time roll your right foot onto its outside edge. Watch your right hand.
III. Bring your right hand round behind your and touch the Hegu point to your right Shenshu point.
IV. Turn your foot back flat on the ground and shift all of your weight forwards, bending the right knee and straightening the left leg.
V. Repeat for the left side.
VI. Repeat one more for the right. Fig 24 to Fig 27.
Cloud Hands is a very common name in many different Chinese exercises, e.g. taijiquan. InDayanGongextendingthehand gathers Qi and brings it to the Shenshu point.
23 Brush the Waist
I. Step forwards with the left foot (but keep it flat), keeping your weight on your right leg.
II. Extend your left arm out in front of you so that your Laogong point faces your Dantien.
III. Extend your right arm out behind you so that the Hegu point faces the Mingmen point.
IV. Shift your weight forwards onto your left leg. The left leg should be straight and the right leg light, with the toes touching the ground.
VI. At the same times bring your arms around you so your left hand comes to your back, so the Hegu point faces the Mingmen point, and your right hand comes to your forehead, so the Hegu point faces the Sky-eye. Fig28 to Fig 29.
24 Drop Arms
I. Drop the left hand down.
II. Extend the right straight upwards.
III. Stand on your toes and tum to the right.
IV. (The follwing is done simultaneously) Drop the right hand so that it arcs down to the waist.
V Bring the left hand up so that the palm flicks towards the Sky-eye.
VI. Drop back onto the right foot so that the heel stamps down and relax the left leg. Fig 31 to Fig 32.
This movement stimulates the Sky-eye as the left hand Laogong point flicks Qi to the Sky-eye. The right hand stimulates the Belt Channel and the stamping down of the right heel jerks the body to stimulate the Qi.
25 Spreading a Single Wing
I. Lower you left hand with the palm facing the ground and touch the Huantiao point with the Hegu point.
II. Shift your weight onto your left leg, allowing the right heel to rise.
III. As in Cloud Hands step forwards and extend your right arm so the hand is above shoulder height. Continue as in Cloud Hands. Fig 33 to Fig 34.
Spreading the Single Wing is very similar to 'Cloud Hands'. It stimulates the kidneys, but as the hand is raised to shoulder level it also stimulates the lungs.
26 Stepping Forward & Extending the Arm
I. Shift your weight onto your right leg and slightly bend the right knee.
II. Step forwards with your left leg, but keep the weight on the right. Place the left foot flat on the ground. As you step, turn the left hand over and allow it to move up forwards so that the edge of the forearm (just past the wrist) touches the hip bone. Look at the left hand.
27 Wind Hand Around Head & Ears
I. Bring the right hand around the front of the body so that the plm passes the waist, abdomen and comes to the left hand.
II. Pass the right hand along the left arm, Up to the left shoulder, to the left ear. Watch the right hand as you move it round.
III. Wind the right hand around the back of the head, palm facing the head, to the right ear.
IV. Turn the right palm to face the ground. Slowly lower the right hand down and back until the right Hegu point faces the right Huantiao point. As you drop the right hand lift your left hand up and forwards so it finishes level with your shoulder. Your gaze
should pass from your right hand to the left as it lifts up. Fig 35 to Fig 38.
This movement smooths the Lung Channel.
...to be continued
Within the Chinese martia To some the Shaolin Temple is the r Wudang Mountains, the Kunlun M There is no doubting that these are is Chenjiagou - Chen Village.
arts there are a number of very important places, ost important place, to others it might be the untains, Ermei Mountains or the Hwa Mou tains, ery significant places, but there is one more and tîÎat
The summers are very hot in China, particularly in central China, 011 either side of (lie Yellow River. It is called the Yellow Riveras the soil around is very golden. If you look back through history you will find that this area around the Yellow River is where the Chinese people originated. The Chinese call themselves the 'Yellow Race People' and (his is also because Chinese skin is yellow.
Chinese martial arts are very old and traditional skills, all Chinese people know about them (although not all practise them). The whole world lias heard of Chinese Kung l-'u because of the movies. I11 the west most people study Japanese martial arts such as Karate and Judo. However, if you look back at the history of Japanese martial arts you will find they originally came from China.
Chinese martial arts are not just good for fighting they are also very good for one's health which many people do not realise. On the other hand, most people think that taijiquan (tai chi chuan) is just a health exercise or just for old people. However, real taijiquaii is for martial arts and internal training and it also covers self defence and health.
We often see pictures 011 our television sets of Chinese people practising slow movements, outdoors in the early morning. Their movements are beautiful and gentle and so many people think this is
just a health exercise for old people. Most of us only ever see these slow gentle movements and so we do not know that they can be performed quickly and powerfully.
The slow and gentle taijiquan movements we normally see are from the Yang, Wu, Beijing 24 Step and Cheng Man Ching styles of taijiquan. These styles all came from Chen style taijiquan, which is the original form of taijiquan. They are based on the first form of Chen style, which is called taijiquan. This is performed slowly and gently. However, after this form, Chen has another form called 'Pao Choi' which means 'Cannon Fist*. From the name of the form we can tell it is very powerful, and it is done much faster and is a lot stronger.
The other styles of taiji do not have Pao Choi since they arc based on the first form of Chen style. They have been simplified and are performed even more gently, and it is these forms that have become popular all over the world. This is how the concept of taiji being a slow and gentle exercise has spread, but actually it is very powerful and very difficult to do.
"In the past, Chen Style Taijiquan was only taught to the Chen family "
Taijiquan came from a small village called Chen Village (Chenjiagou). However at the beginning of the 1920's people began to create myths and stories about the origins of various different skills. One of these stories said that taijiquan originally came from the Daoist Monk Zhang Sangfeng of Wudang Mountain and that it dates back over a thousand years to the Yuan Dynasty.
The story says that one day, on Wudang Mountain he came across a fight between a snake and a crane. He observed the movements of the animals and from this he created taijiquan. This skill he passed on to his student, who in turn passed it on to their students and eventually it was passed on to a man named Jiang Fa. Jiang Fa passed it on to the Chen village. Then Chen Chanxing, who was of the fourteenth generation of the Chen family, taught Yang Luchan.
These incredible stories made the skill more mystical and exciting for beginners, but actually, Jiang Fa was a student of Chen Wangting. This was recorded on a very old drawing showing the two of them together.
Unfortunately this drawing was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution, but the old people of Chen Village still remember it.
Yang Luchan inherited taijiquan and went to Beijing where he became very well known. His skill impressed many martial artists in Beijing and people began to call him "Unbeatable Yang". From then, taijiquan became popular throughout China.
Yang Luchan became the teacher of many high officials within the government, and so to make the skill easier for them, he began to simplify it. He did not abandon the original skill, but taught it to his own family who all trained very hard. His grandson, Yang Cheng Fu, modified and simplified their Yang Style Taijiquan further, making it easier to learn and he opened it to the public.
It is true that when something is simple and easy it will spread more quickly and become more popular, but the traditional skills should also be maintained and preserved, otherwise we will only be left with simple things.
In the past, Chen Style Taijiquan was only taught to the Chen family as they valued their skill very highly. They were given the job of escort-ing and guarding money and jewellery across the countryside. They relied on their skill not only for their own protection, but also for their livelihood. As a result they did not teach their skill to anyone other than members of their own family. Chen Chang-xing made one exception and taught Yang Luchan. Before leaving his teacher, Yang swore never to teach his skill openly.
Until the 1930's Chen Taijiquan was kept a closely
guarded secret. Then Master Chen Fake was invited to Beijing to demonstrate his skills where he impressed many people and so Chen Taijiquan was opened up to the public.
Today, Chen Taijiquan is becoming more popular. As people want to learn more about taijiquan they want to go back to its source to find the origins. So as some people go forward with modern science, others go back deeply into the traditional skill. It is like a tree, a big tree relies on deep roots to make a good foundation.
Last summer I went back to the source of taijiquan, to Chen village. Whilst there I was very impressed and it gave me a chance to understand more about taijiquan.
Chen village is located in Henan province. Wen county, and so it is to the north of the Yellow River. The village is very basic and the people live a very simple life. They wake up early for work and go to bed early. Chen village is not a mystical place on the side of a mountain with big temples around it. It is very simple and very rural.
Most of the people are farmers and do not have much money. Everyday for breakfast they have congee and bun, for lunch they have noodles and in the evenings they have rice with some vegetables. The children go to school and when they come home they help their parents work in the fields.
There are few lights at night and so the streets are very dark. Most families do not have televisions, but this docs not seem to bother them. Everyday is the same, every year is the same but the people are satisfied with their time. There are no distraction, life is just simple and calm. The people seem very happy and arc quite healthy. City people who go there are not used to this way of living and so find it quite hard.
As for taijiquan, there is a school in Chen village, and this is also very simple, but there is a lot of space and people can spend the whole day practising taijiquan. Taijiquan is a part of life there. Ninety percent of the people of Chen Village are called Chen and so all the young people have done taijiquan. It is even part of normal school education, the children learn taijiquan in their Physical Education classes.
Chen village's taiji school is run by Master Chen Xiao Xing, who is of the nineteenth generation of the Chen family. Master Chen Xiao Xing is the younger brother of my teacher Master Chen Xiao Wang. At the school the students practise all the forms, weapons and pushing hands of Chen Taijiquan.
Every year Wen County holds a taiji competition and people come from different provinces and even from all over the world to attend. Some even come from the other schools of taijiquan. This is a very special day as it gives the younger people a chance to make a name for themselves so they can follow in their senior's footsteps.
Master Chen Xiao Xing spends most of his time helping the young people of the village together with outsiders who have come to learn taijiquan. He carefully explains and demonstrates the movements and principles to help them understand. He is very well known for his skill in the village and he has won many medals. Because of his skill he is now in charge of all the teaching and students of Taijiquan in Chen village. His nephew, Chen Ping, his brother's son and the oldest son of the twentieth generation and next inheritor of the skill, helps to teach the beginners and goes through the exercises with them and shows them applications.
When studying taijiquan the most important thing is to 'get the energy right'. Therefore you have to polish the movements to let the Qi flow to certain areas of the body. In Chen Village they call this "Fixing the frame*. If you do not get this right then
when you practise the form, you will not receive all the benefits of the exercise. So a good teacher will correct your postures and make them right. Then you will feel your body is different. Your Qi will be stronger and flow conrcctly and when you use your taiji for self defence you will be more powerful.
Apart from taking the school during the daytime, Master Chen Xiao Xing also lets some students, who are very keen, come to his home to train further with him. In the school there are many kinds of people of different levels. Master Chen Xiao Xing picks those with more potential and those who want to develop, and invites them to come and train at night. He does this at night because the village is quieter and more relaxed, and so the students can concentrate better. He also likes to tell them stories about his family.
Master Chen Xiao Xing is one of the top masters in Chen Village. He began his studies when he was eight years old followed his uncles and his brother Chen Xiao Wang to develop his taijiquan. Everyday he repeated his forms twelve times and in 1979 he won first place for his taiji form the Henan Province competition, and in 1983 he won first place for his pushing hands in 1986 first place for his weapons forms. In the village he is highly respected and well liked and people come to him for help and advice as he is very open and generous.
I spent last summer with my shishu (teacher's brother) at his home and experienced the original lifestyle and practise in the taiji village^
by Michael Tse
"Chen village is not a mystical place on the side of a mountain"
The Chinese word 'Kung Fu has been with us since the early seventies, yet, I wonder how many of us know the true meaning of this word and did you know that 'Sifu* does not always refer to a martial arts masterf
students as 'Lee Sifu' and not 'Sifu Lee'. I hope I have clarified the Chinese words 'Kung Fu' and 'Sifu' for once and for allg by Victor Appiah Victor Appiah teaches Cantonese lessons in London & can be contacted on 01818i 19779.
Actually this word has nothing to do with martial arts at all. Kung Fu (Cantonese pronunciation - Gung Foo) is a recent phenomenon in the west, brought about by the increasing exchange of culture via films and reciprocal visits. Strictly speaking, on an academic point of view, Kung Fu does not refer to the Chinese art of Self-defence. Perhaps as a teacher of the Chinese language, it would be better to clarify this point thus: the word Kung Fu really refers to 'Kuo Shu' (Gwok Seut) which means the national art of China, and this national art implies Chinese ways of fighting 'Wu Shu' (Mo Seut). Martial arts arc sometimes callcd 'Chuan Shu' (Kucn Scut) in China, meaning fist fighting techniques
What is the true meaning of Kung Fu? Kung Fu in Chinese means the degree of proficiency or efficiency in an undertaking. When one enquires how good is your Kung Fu, he is more likely to mean how proficient or efficient you are in whatever you arc doing, or when you arc asked 'Have you put "Kung Fu" into whatever you arc doing?', the question is soliciting an answer as to how much effort you have put into your work. (As you can see nothing what so ever to do with martial arts.)
So why then is Kung Fu now the accepted term for Chinese martial arts? There are two possible explanations:
1. A practitioner of Chinese martial arts is often seriously or mockingly asked by concerned people how proficient (i.e. the level of Kung Fu exerted) he is.
2. Kung Fu might have been chosen out of the alternatives of Kuo Shu, Wu Shu and Chuan Shu, because it has a certain ring to it.
Another term that deserves clarification is 'Sifu' (See Foo). Sifu is made up of two Chinese characters. At first, in its broad sense it meant a skilful person. Therefore, Sifu did not restrictively refer to an instructor or a master of Kung Fu. It embraced a master or skilled workman of any trade; be he a mason, a carpenter or an electrician. This was later modified in usage and diversified in its meaning, with a slight change in the formation of the Chinese characters to become a special title for a teacher with paternal love, a term of high respect and honour used by students or an apprentice to address his instructor or master. Thus a Sifu of Kung Fu is a term of high respect and honour used by students of Kung Fu to their instructors.
The correct Chinese way to address your Kung fu master is always surname first then 'Sifu'. Never Sifu first. For example Bruce Lee (Leih Siu Loong) was addressed by his students as 'Lee Sifu' and not 'Sifu Lee'. I hope I have clarified the Chinese words 'Kung Fu' and 'Sifu' for once and for allg by Victor Appiah Victor Appiah teaches Cantonese lessons in London & can be contacted on 01818i 19779.
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