Earth

EARTH

Begin your training in Wu Chi. Feel the weight of your body firmly on the soles of your feet and let any tension in your shoulders, neck, chest and hips drain away. Then slowly raise your arms into the position, Holding the Belly (page 13), with your arms gently curved as if resting on a very full abdomen, like the belly of The Laughing Buddha.

Fold your hands into loose fists, making an arrowhead on each one, as you can clearly see on the facing page.

Move your arms apart in opposite directions, one to the left, one to the right. One moves upwards in the direction of the upper diagonal. The other moves downwards in the direction of the lower diagonal. Then bring them back in towards you and strike outwards to the opposite diagonals.

Imagine you are striking steel bars on either side of you with full force, using the edges of your forearms and fists. Practice directing your energy to both sides, striking first the upper left diagonal with your left forearm and the lower right diagonal with your right forearm and then the opposite diagonals with the opposite arms.

Once you become familiar with the diagonal splitting motion, change the position of your feet: turn one foot 45 degrees outwards and step forwards with the other. Look straight ahead and continue to strike the diagonals with your forearms.

Begin gradually and pay attention to the correct movement of your arms. The action should be smooth and relaxed. Start slowly. Build up to 30 times. When you can comfortably do the movement without tensing your chest or shoulders, practice as much as you wish.

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