As Tai Chi, an outstanding martial art of Chinese Wushu, has gained recognition for its health benefits with the development of society, an increasing number of people now participate in learning and practicing Tai Chi. However, among those who practice Tai Chi, some individuals often experience varying degrees of knee joint pain and, in some cases, even long-term knee joint injuries. So, how can one avoid injuring the knee joints while practicing Tai Chi?
And with a pointed finger, he broke the rabbit's leg and threw the rabbit to the ground. Then, with a triumphant posture, he looked at Wangting. Wangting, witnessing this situation, was also greatly surprised. He thought to himself that it's no wonder Li Jiyu entrusted this person with the responsibility of patrolling the mountain. He stared at Jiang Fa for a moment and asked, "That day, when I went up the mountain, was it you?" Jiang Fa replied, "Indeed, it was me."
Sometimes, we can witness a situation where someone practices Tai Chi hurriedly without any proper adjustment. They start comparing moves without focus, their hands and feet lack stability, and once they finish, they hastily leave. What are they missing? They lack the essential adjustments and perseverance required to enter the realm of Tai Chi. The so-called entry into the realm of Tai Chi primarily involves adjusting both body and mind. The lessons from many years of practicing Tai Chi have taught me that before every practice session, one must diligently adjust their body and mind. If this adjustment is neglected, the effectiveness of the Tai Chi practice will be greatly diminished. Moreover, this adjusted state must be maintained throughout the entire practice. Ignoring the preparation of body and mind before practicing Tai Chi will hinder the path to understanding Tai Chi deeply, and at its worst, one's entire practice session will be in vain.
Every morning, in the park or by the lake, you can always see many morning exercisers bending and stretching to stretch their ligaments. This type of exercise method is well known to everyone. As long as someone wants to exercise, even without a teacher's guidance, they will instinctively and naturally perform leg stretches and waist bends. Similarly, professional gymnasts, acrobats, dancers, etc., also consider leg stretches and waist bends as fundamental training. The purpose of this training method is to stretch the overall ligaments. The benefits include improving the flow of qi and blood in the body, achieving fitness effects, and making body movements more flexible and aesthetically pleasing. For example, gymnasts and dancers' movements present a gentle, coordinated, and graceful visual beauty to the audience.
As the name suggests, Iron Sand Palm is a type of palm technique trained using iron sand and falls within the category of hard internal martial arts. Among the numerous martial arts schools that exist throughout China, most have their own version of Iron Sand Palm techniques. Although the names may vary, the training methods share similarities and follow certain patterns. In essence, Iron Sand Palm is a hard internal martial art developed by using iron sand and herbal materials as training aids. It is a striking, defensive, and performative palm technique that, with prolonged practice, can break bricks and split stones.
The earliest reference to Dantian can be found in the "Huangting Jing," an important Taoist scripture comprising the "Inner View" and "Outer View" sections. It is believed to have been transmitted by the famous female Taoist practitioner Wei Huacun during the Western Jin Dynasty. The "Huangting Jing" first introduces the concept of "three Dantian": "Breathe into the Dantian between the hut and the palace," "Within the Dantian, the essence and qi are subtle," "Stand in the Ming Hall and look at the Dantian to open the gate of life." The text emphasizes the significance of the Lower Dantian, stating, "With essence or fetus, handle both sides, core and child combine to extend life and brilliance."
The practice of shaking the Long pole (Dǒu Gǎn) in internal martial arts has its origins in ancient spear techniques. During the era of cold weapons, long spears were generally over eight feet long. In martial arts families, when teaching their disciples, they would first learn the techniques of the medium-sized and circular spears. In the north, white waxwood poles were used, while in the south, they used rattan poles. Only after achieving a certain level of skill were they allowed to use the big spear. Before the Ming Dynasty, the Sha Family Pole and Yang Family Big Spear were both very demanding in terms of skill. Often, when their spear skills were accomplished, they would also have developed the whole-body coordinated power, making it easier to practice techniques like hand strikes.
To transition from External Martial Arts to Internal Martial Arts, one needs to change the way force is utilized. As Huang Baijia said: "Zhang Sanfeng excelled in Shaolin and then transformed to Internal Martial Arts. This is known as Internal Martial Arts. If you grasp either of these, it is enough to surpass Shaolin." The phrase "transform to Internal Martial Arts" means converting the external muscular strength to internal power. However, even in different stages of training in Internal Martial Arts, there is still a need to change the way force is used.