Water Power


Water Power is the second of the Five Energies. The nature of water makes it elusive, hard to grasp and impossible to resist. It takes many forms. As the ocean. it is vast, dangerous and deep. As the mist and rain, it moves formlessly. is all pervasive and takes the shape of whatever vessel it finds. As a waterfall, it crushes. As tiny droplets, it wears away stone. As a tornado or waterspout, it twists upwards with explosive power.

In the words of Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai: "Water is a force like the waves of the vast sea; it is as lively as a dragon or snake. When used, it has the power to pervade everything.

The lively, dragon-like power of Water is forcefully expressed in this movement. You learn to twist your wrist as if stabbing upwards while turning a screwdriver in your hand. This trains you in the fundamental twisting motion.

The power of this movement is ungraspable, like a writhing snake. It is like an intense jet of water driving through a high-pressure hose. It is impossible to hold the hose completely still: it shakes and thunders in your hands.

The power which arises in your mind is of an upward rush of uncontrollable strength. It is like the force of a sandblaster or the sudden eruption of boiling steam.

As with all the Five Energies, Water Power manifests on many levels in human beings. This exercise gives you the strength to persist and to penetrate. It takes you to your target, overcoming the obstacles in your path, no matter how solid they may appear to be. This is the power to find different directions and solutions and to move swiftly when the moment is right.


Begin in Wu Chi. Then slowly raise your arms into the position, Holding the Ball (page 13). Take the time to fully relax your chest and the muscles of your upper body.

Fold your hands into loose fists. Your fingertips are a hair's breadth away from your palms. Form an arrowhead on each fist by connecting the pads of your thumbs to the first knuckle of your forefingers.

Adjust the position of your hands so that they level with your chin and nose, one above the other. Do not bring them in too close to your face: always leave a little safety space.

Extend your topmost fist straight forwards, leading with the arrowhead. Then bring that fist back so that it comes under the other one. Then extend forwards with the fist that is now on top.

When you have mastered the correct motion of each arm, try making the movements simultaneously. Bring your extended fist back at the same time as you extend forwards with the other one. Pull your fist back with the same power as you drive forwards with the other.

Once you are familiar with the continuous forward movement, change the position of your feet: turn one foot 45 degrees outwards and step forwards with the other. Look straight ahead and continue extending your arms.

Start slowly. Build up to 30 times. When you are comfortable doing the continuous movement without tensing, practice for as long as you wish.




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