ARE YOU EXPERIENCED?

Nei Juang Kung
  1. Wai Juan training is useless without Nei Juang (internal strength)
  2. The Nei Juang must be built before the Wai Kuang: a) keep the center, b)do not think of other places, c) use Qi for fullness.
  3. Keeping your center is primary for focus; this helps to keep emotions and desires in check.
  4. Do not train your limbs unless you have built up your Nei Juang at the center. This is Nei Juang is the foundation that your training is built on. Who would build a house on a unstable foundation?

A strong outside with a weak or hollow inside, is nothing but a shell; Humpty Dumpy Kung Fu or Tai Chi. A wheel can have strong spoke, but without a strong center hub, the wheel will be crushed.

Sandbag

Sandbagging, when betting in Spades, can imply that one is being over-cautious, but can also be used to give an opponent team a false sense of confidence resulting in an over-bidding sack. Sandbagging a ditch protects and extends it. Military bunkers are reinforced with sandbags to absorb concussions and fragments. One can stabilize a longbed pickup truck, and give it added traction by focused placement of sandbags. Perhaps some aspects of all these, apply to martial training with 60+ pound sandbags.

Sandbag training for power kicks, would be divided into:
  1. kicks that will sway the bag left-to-right,
    using the pivoting motion of the foot knees and hips (spinning sidekicks and roundhouses) {best to distinguish kicks that: start from dead stop, continue the pendulum swing, and attack the pendulum swing to at least a dead stop}- good movement;
  2. thrust kicks such as a front, side or back, that go directly forward –
    good linear bag movement, as well as collapsibility of bag; structural alignment and impact testing of striking area and body/ground connection;
  3. vertical and angular kicks –
    only partially manifested by bag movement, but good for testing counter reaction to one’s stance and grounding;
  4. externally hard, shattering, snapping kicks, -
    some bag movement, impact testing of striking area and body/ground connection;
  5. penetrating kicks -
    will not move the bag, but will test resilience of joints with a good soft thud, being the best indicator.

Sandbags can be an excellent test of one’s ability to throw multiple punches that forged by real life situations. Many with ‘good form’ will find their arm strikes lacking due to weak wrists, and bones that are not used to load bearing or impact. In the ring, boxers tape their wrists.

Although penetration of a sandbag is unlikely with bare hands it is a good test of one’s finger strength for spear hands. Many use the sandbag for grappling strength. Finger point strikes can be tested for internal finger strength and trueness of martial trajectory.

Best to increase the calcium in the diet for the bone hammering, lecithin and silicon for the joints.

Watch out for bone bruises. Training should have periods between for the rebuilding of tissue. Remember not to overdue it, since the repeated damage of any area is a breeding ground for cancer.

I have not found the commercial large heavy bags filled with sawdust of be of any use for gauging striking power, except for children. A makeshift bag can be made with a marine or Cordura duffle bag, sail canvas, or tent material.

Many people that have not been in fights before, will find their arm’s useless after a few volleys with a hard blocking opponent, or limp after being numbed by the impact of their own strike hitting hard bone.

While it might be overboard to train with the sandbag all the time, a disciplined use will forge one’s bones, joints, and connective tissues. Striking the bag is a good indicator of flaws, even when it is not the best test for all of the strike’s strength.

In years past we would only use salt to prevent infections, and toughen hands. In today's climate, best to use anti-staff procedures, such as Iodine based anti-septics like Beta-Dyne.

Forms or Sets

When learning a form, each move should be done correctly before learning the next move.

Every move should be stress tested to insure that it is functional.

Quality should be emphasized above quantity.

Teachers lacking principles will teach many moves and forms, without the quality assurance that the moved is being done correctly. This is done to exaggerate the teacher's accomplishments, which are incomplete and useless. This gives the student a lot to brag about, and gives a regular schedule for getting advancement and receiving payments; it is based on a facade. The student looks good to others like their parents, friends or during social conversations. This builds a false sense of confidence. When a real attack occurs they are helpless. If an attacker sees something that might look like ability; they will kill the student rather than injure or scare them.

Leatherneck

A leatherneck has the soft strength of rattan; flexible, yet hard. This protects the spine and the tilting of a head from blows and falls.

The slightly forward angle of the head is structurally stronger when there is forward momentum; watch deer, mountain goat, elk, and bulls when they are charging or ready to head butt. This is especially accentuated in the case of the Grizzly/Brown Bear that does not head butt, though they do use it with their teeth and jaws.

Some of the best human fighters also have leathernecks. United States Marines mare referred to as Leathernecks. This moderate tilt is tempered though, that it does not cause one to lean forward. Leaning is a mistake that the opponent can use, or will hinder a dynamic response to an attack or change of the standing surface.

The above picture of Sun Lu Tang standing in Hsing Yi San Ti Shi, shows the strong Yi connection on top line, the slight forward inclination of the shoulders as in leatherneck is shown in the second line, and the bottom line showing the energy connection of the Qi being focused from the Lower Dan Tien through the rear hand to focus the power and connect with the striking hand.

A lot of physical labor and neck strength must be balanced by more neck and spinal stretching. Some of these stretches and Qigong are used to cure and prevent whiplash, as well as survive other neck trauma.

When Leatherneck is not balanced, there are other side effects:
energy blocks in the neck and shoulder area, headaches, colds, tension, and eventually if not stretched –vertebrae fusing together.

FINGERTIP PUSHUPS

Although I stated fingertip, it is actually the last digit of the phalanges (fingers) laying flat, as opposed to the very tips at the fingernail point.

Abbot Hai Teng of Shaolin; Jet Li's Teacher, was filmed standing on two fingers only.

How to do headstand fingertip pushups:

Lean head on some thing, and go into headstand against wall.

Go in to handstand with your feet leaning against the wall, you being upside down. .

To get internal benefits, the push starts with abdomen and Lower Dan Tien; then continues with back shoulders and arms.

Although I stated fingertip, it is actually the last digit of the phalanges (fingers) laying flat, as opposed to the very tips at the fingernail point.

To get ready, you should first be able to do at least 30 prone fingertip pushups, and a military press of at least 80% of your body weight.

Start with a lot of books or pillow to do your headstand on, and then gradually remove the number of books that raise your headstand.

I usually use the firm Styrofoam swimming pads myself, or books. Some are not as hard-headed as me; need the softer pillows or cushions.

The strain on the neck for headstands is deliberate; it strengthens the neck and is a training method that is used in gymnastics (which I have taught), and safety training for a swimming head first dive. If one hits the bottom, they cushion blow with hands, and take the hit on the part of the forehead that is used for breaking bricks. The head has to be aligned to have the neck and spine inline, so they do not bend and snap; upon impact. I have been a Water Safety Instructor; and this is part of American Red Cross training.

To use this headstand for further Iron Head training: raising up slightly, drop down on my area of the forehead that is used for breaking bricks; upside down. Care must be made in keeping the spine aligned, and most importantly the angle of the neck being adjusted to absorb the blow. This precise alignment is first learned when doing advanced and competition diving; springboard as well as heights (tower diving).

I climb a lot; and years back I fell 15 feet, headfirst; onto solid rock and walked away from it with a gash on my forehead going through the two main skin layers, some cracked ribs; and a mild concussion.

The MD was amazed I was alive.

Theory versus Practice

Scientists and engineers develop and test theories. Some initial research and testing is done in the laboratory. Even though many aspects are verified in this manner; many do not hold up in the field (outside the laboratory), because they are dependant on limited conditions.

Many martial artists learn forms that only work in limited conditions of the schools anticipated attacks, or forms that are only used against thin air. Many will play patty-cake with two person forms, and not practice with un-timed, and un-anticipated responses.

When a martial artist is a parrot, teacher’s pet, or relies on forms alone; their attack surfaces cannot take the impact of the blow, their wrists and elbows cannot stand the impact, even if their hands can; and if they by some luck generate enough power end up injuring themselves with strains, and dislocations.

Leg and arm joints, postures and stances must be tempered by load bearing exercise; in order to effective support blows. Without this, the arms and legs become ‘too straight’; and when force is applied, they damage the joint, and/or will buckle backward, in the opposite direction of the manner the joint is suppose to work.

Arms or legs being ‘too straight’ means that it was not martial due to the structure.

Good flow with ‘loosing the bones’ , is not enough; it is like a car with the engine in neutral.

The legs or arms being ‘too straight’, means:
  • that they do not have the Earth connection,
  • knees are week or dysfunctional in propagating power from the ground up, and for securing a stable platform foundation;
  • the associated joints do not have the required strength and tone; which will result in joint damage while practicing;
  • the overall position of the extended limb, does not have the connected, and rounded continuity of the surrounding tissue;: resulting in the moves limited power due to its isolated movement;
  • general physical fitness is lacking; that would have come from natural physical activities such as gymnastics, manual labor, calisthenics, wrestling, or swimming;
  • moves have not been tested with full power and contact;
  • lacking in combat experience; and/or
  • that Qigong and martialness, have never been tested.

Practical and Martial Qigong

There is more to Qigong than being flowing and nimble; one must have energy directed by the lower spine / Lower Dan Tien. Just making wave motions, does nothing but look pretty; it might as well be playing with themselves; or with ribbons of cloth (such as banners and flags).

If the Qigong claims to be martial; the wave must originate on, or beneath the ground.

The above concepts are echoed in other classical writings.

The more styles this person is suppose to be an expert in; the worse it looks for those styles, and those who taught it.

Any one who is advance can see the differences in the canned, non-adapting, prissy movements of one who has only trained in the gym, compared to someone who is well rounded from sport or outside exercise.

The novel ‘The Count of Monte Cristo’, contrasted the sloped shoulders/leatherneck of one who is physically strong, with the straight neck of an armchair intellectual; that is totally removed from dealing directly with the physical world. The hero in the novel was originally an intellectual from the aristocracy but through misfortune ended up among physical laborers in the working class and learned physical skills. He was returned to the aristocracy; and balanced the physical with the intellectual to be a better person.

In Germany, the highest education comes after graduating from the university, at the Gymnasium, where practical skills are honed from experience and developments in the private sector’s leading companies.

A long distance runner or mountaineer or expedition hiker; will use their legs strenuously for a such a long time that they some areas of the muscles become more like the tendons that attach them to the bones. Although these are flexible, they are hard, almost like cables. Birds of prey's lower legs are all tendons. Sometimes the wrist and neck (leatherneck), get this effect also.

A martial arts school that trained some of the best fighters, had us do 1,000 kicks every class, before the teacher would give us a lesson.

Sun Lu Tang's Xing Yi teacher, used to make him jog while touching the back end of a horse.


Many forms and formless methods for learning Qi and internal energies in
The Bow


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Bowing Concepts: Beyond the Form

MOVES

Starting Position
  • One first stands erect then sinks the energy into the earth.
  • From this root, one inhales the rising arms to cross each other,
  • as the hands come together gathering energy into the clenched pair.
  • One hand is open and flat, the other a fist; symbolizing the hard/soft and open/ closes.
  • Combined they push upward and forward directed by the Lower Dan Tien and grounded into the earth.

The head is slightly tilted forward with the hand pair being extended.

The earth energy is allowed to harmonize, and the stance is settled and grounded:
Heaven and Earth Chi connected.


Ending Position

Same as starting position, but emphasis is on returning energy and balance.
The head is slightly nodded forward, it is not lowered past the view of one's eyes.

The Head Position

When the head is lowered past the point where you can see what is ahead of you, it implies blind trust and complete subjugation, as a slave to a king or emperor. A bent neck is too easy to behead or break. You won’t see animals doing this.

Internal Traditional Chinese Martial Arts came out of Buddhism and Taoism which values awareness, consciousness, and non-attachment. When one is a subject, they are attached to their leader’s position, whether it is good or evil, right or wrong.

There is much to be gained by going through the adjustments of one’s perceptions and philosophy that develop the classics. This does not happen when one just agrees, copies or memorizes.

No warrior or free-thinker, should lower themselves to anyone, not even their leaders, parents, friends, priest or teachers. In the same manner, one should not hold themselves above others.

Respect is shown by the nod of the head. Doing a bow by bending at the waist, while keeping the neck straight is the same as putting your head on the chopping block, lowering yourself to dirt.

Teachers that are into obedience will lower their head in blind, servile compliance; the worse they are, the lower they bow. They serve money, dictators or monopolies, not the people. They do not respect an individual’s rights, or life, nor do they respect independent thought. These ‘teachers’ will never stand up for what is right; only what they are told to do.

It is much better to understand the why and how of the training, rather than being a puppet or parrot. When one trains in this manner, they learn about the timeless and universal concepts that are present in life, other disciplines, and knowledge itself. Merit for a position, is placed on the reasons, rather on who said them. What is right, not who is right.

MARTIAL TAI CHI
Shortest Form in the World
Five Move Old Super Short (OSS) Form


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All of the moves are Traditional Chinese Internal Martial Arts (TCIM).

Tai Chi step by step instruction, with detailed photos in the book Many static and moving meditative Qigongs in the book Many static and moving meditative Qigongs in the book
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