Energy or “Chi” Flow

The experienced tai chi practitioner learns how to relax the muscles of their rib cage, and, therefore, the practitioner can be prepared to channel energy with explosive power. Examples of slow Fa Ching or slow explosive power can be seen demonstrated with these links: CHENG MAN CHING FORUM- GRAND MASTER CHU HONG PING FA JIN (Cheng Man Ching Forum: Grand Master Chu Hong Ping Fa jin). and  Fajin (Fajing) Exercises of The Pre-Heaven Power Method. (Fajin (Fajing) Exercises of The Pre-Heaven Power Method)   During In the following demonstration world renown Grand Master Chen Man Ching is practicing the tai chi short form and demonstrating fa ching Chen Man-Ch’ing Short Tai Chi Form (Chen Man-Ch’ing Short Tai Chi Form

When we think about tai chi and the power that can be produced as seen in the “fa-ching” videos, it makes you think. You also have to consider the force and control. You have to wonder how does the body produce and support this power. When you think about tire pressure, think of the energy that is directed through your muscles.

Think of the energy in your muscles as likened to the air in a tire or even water that flows through a hose. If there were 24 lbs of air pressure in a tire when it was at rest, it would not require more air pressure to support an automobile, In the same manner as we think of our muscles at rest, we would only need minimal energy to support them. However they are not limp either. As an action occurs we need the flexibility of the relaxed muscles so that energy can flow effectively when needed. Too much energy flow would cause muscle tension and, therefore, it would slow down action.

In theory think of our muscles as you would think of tires. if there tires were filled with air so that the pressure is  28 lbs let us assume that the vehicle can run well; but at 30 lbs the tire would not have flexibility and not be able to function. Analogously, if there is too much energy flow in your muscles, they will tense up. This would slow muscles response and be too tense for effective action.

The feeling you have should reflect just the correct amount of tension so that the energy flow is just the right amount to be supporting your movements. Not enough energy will not support the action needed; too much will slow your movements. Sun quwa or the sinking at the hips occurs as the rib cage muscles are relaxed; this is needed for effective energy flow, The arms are positioned slightly away from the body with your arm pits opened and slightly separated from your body. as though you were wearing  the little tubes filled with air and is what little children wear when swimming, Grand Master William C.C.Chen refers to this movement as though you were wearing these  “water wings’.

Your feet are flat and the ground and the energy flows through your heels as though roots were forming.    Before striking sink at the hips and keep elbows at same height. They appear to be elevated but they are like the wings of bird before flight, or “water wings”.  This is part of warming up or “pre-action”. The following links to Grand Master William C.C.Chen talking about releasing the rib cage, and grounding and floating.  Tai Chi releasing: ribcage, floating and grounding.mov  the energy sinks and then can be released when needed with an explosive force. This is the action step.

It feels as though your heels are like electro-magnets and the switch is turned on to focus the energy downward. At that point think of a giant spring that has been compressed. This occurs as energy or your chi flows downward and you’re energy is sinking: As the action occurs and the big toe has been “pressurized”, It  permits an upward flow of chi as the spring is released during an action step. .

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