A NEW SCIENCE OR AN ANCIENT WISDOM?
Magnetic therapy has been described as the Medicine of the Twenty First Century however its roots are very old. Cleopatra the Ancient Queen of Egypt was reputed to have worn a magnet on her forehead to preserve her youthful good looks and enhance her beauty.
Was it just magnetic therapy that accounted for Cleopatra's astounding beauty? Who knows? what we do know is that magnetic therapy is now used by millions world-wide and magnetic therapy products are sold in almost every country in the world. Why is this? Well it has been found and scientifically proved that magnets alter the body's own magnetic field. Readers of Qi Magazine are well aware of the significant changes that occur when there is any alteration to the body's electromagnetic field. By using specially designed manmade (bio) magnets therapists can now ease pain and treat all manners of illness and diseases. The very attractive thing about it in regards to the future of magnetic therapy is t he l o w c o st o f t h e treatment. Once you have the correct magnets and a reasonable amount of knowledge of the subject therapists can achieve considerable success at very little cost. Another added benefit is safety. There are little if any side effects with magnetic therapy. With the spiralling cost of western medicine it is not hard to understand why magnetic therapy has been called The Medicine of the Twenty First Century.
The reason magnetic therapy is leading other alternative therapies in this transformation in the field it can be scientifically tes have a magnetic field measured and recorded.' magnetic energy is ling is that g systems both ent for the
these words experiments^airrDeing cond in the use of magnetism on living systems. Like most therapies it is more than likely that it started in the East. Both China and India have early writings to this effect. The significant breakthrough however was a discovery made in the USA. in the 1930s by the late Dr Albert Roy Davies. This was that the energy from the north pole of a magnet was different from that of the South pole. Dr Davies' discovery was revolutionary at the time although now we have progressed a lot further. Dr Davies was in 1976 nominated for a Nobel prize for his work in magnetic sciences.
These two different energies in magnetic therapy called Positive (South) and Negative (North) can be related to Yin (North) and Yang (South). It is very easy for people with knowledge of Traditional Chinese Medicine to say we already knew that these two energies were different. But here in the West we are obsessed with scientific evidence and clinical test and trials. Simply knowing something works is not good enough we have to know "why" and "how" it works. This on the whole is a good thing. It took the Food and Drugs Administration in the USA eleven years to give magnetic therapy a clean bill of health and pronounce it safe.
Since then we have seen a profusion of magnetic therapy scientific experimentation and resulting new products o n t h e market . Wraps made out of flexible magnetic material for rheumatism and arthritis and also sports injuries. Eye and face masks to increase blood flow and circulation to the face which reduces wrinkling d helps slow down the ageing process. A air brush that is designed to alter the hair's cal imbalance and said to increase hair growth. And magnetic beds, yes a lot of people now believe that sleeping within a magnetic field not only increases there daily energy levels but significantly assists in restful sleep. Magnetic beds are also helpful in protecting our bodies from the harmful effect of electro-magnetic pollution which is an unwelcome by-product of our Electric Industry. We are now only beginning to understand the significance of this new knowledge. With Eastern and Western medical practitioners finding new ways of combining their knowledge and moving forward, magnetic therapy will be at heart of the research done in the new millennium^ by Richard Whitehead. If you would like to learn more about this fascinating subject contact: Richard on 0161 793 5110
There is a sayingin Wing Chun, "Ifyou are good in Tan, Bongand Fuk, people will listen to you" Over the last two issues, we have looked at how to use Bong Sau and Fuk Sau, this time wefinish this series by lookingat Tan Sau.
ing Chun's Tan Sau
Of the three main techniques of Wing Chun Tan Sau is the most obvious to use and technically easier to perform than either Bong Sau or Fuk Sau.
A textbook Tan Sau should have the following points. The third finger, the fore arm and elbow should be in one line and lie on the Centre-line. The elbow should be at least one fist's distance from your chest. Your hand should be open, palm facing up fingers straight and thumb bent. The shape of the hand should be clear, but be careful not to make it tense.
This is the Tan Sau as you would perform it in the first part of Siu Lim Tao. You should bring the Tan Sau out as slowly as possible and remain as relaxed as possible. This training is very difficult and requires a lot of patience. It trains your internal energy, your Qi and also develops your Gong-Lik.
To make a Tan Sau effective for self-defence you need to be able to bring it out very quickly and this is trained in the last part of Siu Lim Tao.
When using Tan Sau be careful not to make it a chopping movement away from your Centre-line. This mistake will make the Tan Sau very weak and to make it effective, you will have to start using sheer strength. Tan Sau is a very powerful technique, however, this power comes from Gong-Lik.
To make your Tan Sau strong you need to apply your energy at the right time and at the correct angle. When you use it, you will need to turn your stance or step to create the correct angle for use. Fig 1.
Tan Sau can be used to defend either outside or inside. Here is an example: as before, it is being used in a way that will help to broaden your view on how you can use Tan Sau.
In the example, you have managed to catch your opponent and pull him off balance using a double handed Lap Sau. The Lap Sau should be executed as a very sharp jerking pull. The pull should also be in a downward direction, to throw your opponent off balance. Fig 2.
With your opponent offbalance, twist his arm by pressing the elbow and lifting the wrist. Fig 3
As he bends forwards quickly push your Tan Sau forwards to complete the lock and allow you a free hand. In this way you can control him more easily if he were to struggle against the lock. Fig 4.
As I mentioned before, this is just one way the technique can be used. How you actually use it will depend on what is happening at that moment in time. The important thing is to have a good understanding of the technique's principles and allow yourself to create the solution as the situation evolves ^
We arrived at Chen village with only three hours of sleep from the previous night, and Jose and I with exceedingly weak stomachs. I recall observing that first day when we entered the training hall a number of tough-looking opponents sizing us up and looking quite fierce. Generally speaking after a few days, when everybody came to know us better, they were more cordial, and we all relaxed and behaved more naturally. Ironically, those that appeared the most fearsome at first were actually the warmest and embraced us the most.
All Jose and I wanted to do that first day was to spectate due to fatigue but also to familiarise ourselves with their methods of pushing. However, we were not granted that privilege. No sooner had we sat down when my teacher requested that I push with one of the team. I was partnered with one of their top athletes and immediately met with a plethora of deceptive leg techniques, trips, sweeps, and throws. Though I did not disgrace myself he was clearly more skilful. Incidentally, due to some bizarre twist of fate, I was also drawn against him in the competition, and somehow managed to defeat him.
The truth is for the first three days we were all basically bettered and had to begin establishing how they were able to outmanoeuvre us each time (and quickly as we did not have too long until the competition). Despite the fact that they were a young team most of them had maybe ten years experience over us, as they all begin Taijiquan at the age of six or seven and by the time they reach nineteen they are ready to coach.
After the first few days into our training we had begun to determine counter-measures to the intricate legwork, and remain
For two weeks prior to the Wenxian 5 th Annual International Taijiquan Conference August 1988, I had the good fortune to study Taiji Tui Shou (push-hands) intensively in Chenjiagou, Wen County, Henan province, China. Historically Chenjiagou is the birthplace of Taijiquan and all the major styles of Taiji practised today originated directly, or indirectly, from the Chen family. I travelled from USA with my Laoshi (teacher), Ren Guang-Yi, who was returningto where his Taiji journey began, and my gongfu brother, Jose Figueroa.
Champions o f Chen Village standing. It was difficult to successfully throw or sweep any of them for not only was their ting jing (listening skill or sensitivity) so finely tuned but also their balance was astonishing. Many times I would launch a throw, feeling my opponent's legs leaving the floor, and smile with self-satisfaction, only to have him alight perfectly in front of me ready to go again. I witnessed some of them landing like cats, recovering from impossible looking positions.
Every morning we would awake at 5:30 p.m. and undertake a run. Groups of between four and six students would leave together and race about a quarter of a mile. Each group would run four times with a break in between while the other groups ran. As days went by the distances were increased to about two miles and the repetitions decreased. This training was to develop stamina and power in the ring and speedy footwork. On the third day I injured my foot... playing football in the training hall, a tennis ball was used instead of a soccer ball. Attempting to possess the ball I accidentally kicked someone's shin and I saw white light as my body was filled with the most excruciating pain. My big toe swelled to twice its size and turned black. The following morning I was limping so severely, with no mobility in my toe, that I informed Chen Bing (the 20th generation head coach of the Chenjiagou team) of my condition in the hope of being excused from the run. He merely replied in his best English, "Try Your Best"!. This is a young man who had broken his ribs only a few weeks before and had not missed a day's training. Even with his rib clearly deformed he was first place every time he ran, he proved to be a one-man show in football, and in the ring he pushed second to none (he has won many major tournaments). Clearly he had little time for whinging milksops so off I went attempting to break the record for the mile hop on one leg.
This attitude to injury is a stark contrast to the Western method RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. Ordinarily I would have just taken a rest from training for a few days to give my foot the chance to recover, but I knew time was not on my side. My only chance of surviving the competition was to keep training. Unfortunately Tui Shou demands using the ground for rooting and pushing, and the big toe is an important factor in this, needed to grip. Flexing the toe in this manner was very painful indeed, and remained so for the weeks which followed. I resigned to the fact that I would just have to deal with it, as it would not repair quickly due to the excessive use and constantly being trampled upon in the training hall (which caused much tittering as I would hop around in pain). Everyone now knew my "Achilles heel".
Following the morning run we would return to the schools' training grounds for forms practise. Everybody would find their own spot and practise by themselves. I recall noting how slowly many of the students would practice the First Routine of the Old
Frame, often pausing momentarily, analysing every internal sensation to find the correct position. After one and a half to two hours we would eat breakfast and rest for one hour.
We would return to the school around 10 a.m. for activities and Tui Shou, finishing the session between 2 and 12pm for lunch and then rest for about two hours. Officially training would recommence at 4:00 p.m. though we would sometimes return around 3:30pm. Training usually commenced with warm-ups, silk-reeling exercises, then push-hands, usually culminating in a final game of football and/or forms practice, to finish about 7 p.m. then eat dinner, bathe, and collapse into bed to prepare for another day. The training itself could vary but the entire 15 days we were there the routine remained the same: train, eat, and rest, three times a day, with no deviation. The day before we left for Wenxian Master Chen demonstrated his clemency by declaring a day of rest.
"I recall how slowly they would practise, often pausing momentarily, analysing every internal sensation to find the
The atmosphere at the training hall provided a good studying environment. It was always relaxed, jovial, and informal, but everybody treated the training very seriously. During the rest periods many students would play cards, give each other massages, and even bait and chase each other, and those with Qi to spare, who were really serious, would practice more forms.
Chen Bing is very revolutionary and pioneering in his approach to training the team. He introduced several games as supplemental training to the forms and push-hands, which would not be considered traditional. One was soccer. The sides would be
Background Chen Bing & Chen Ziqiang (nephewof Chen Xiaowang) pushing hands
By Christopher Pei
The Warrior Spirit comes up when a person has trained In Martial Arts and has reached a level where their attitude, posture, body language, eyes mind and intent, have transformed into something different. Something beyond the average
In the presence of one who has the Warrior Spirit, The ordinary person will feel a difference.
The stronger spirited one could easily overcome
The weakerspirited person just by a look.
But this is not the mean spirited lookof popularfilms.
The stronger spirited one will lead the weaker one Who will follow without hesitation. In trust.
The WarriorSpirit is compassionate. It is impeccable.
The Warrior Spirit cannot be acted. It happens naturally. It is notforced
Each one of us has the WarriorSpirit,
But it is hidden. We need to explore and
Reach into our deepest self to find it.
When a person has this spirit it shows.
To others it is indescribable.
They simply feel this person is different from
Others. When you begin to understand this
Spirit, you will be able to see the others who have it.
The WarriorSpirit is calm.
Facing dangerwithoutgiving theopponent The feeling of fear. Its calmness is Not disturbed under pressure.
The principle of 'movement within stillness And stillness within movement' is The training of the WarriorSpirit.
between four to eight people and there would be between four and six teams. Every time a goal was scored the opposing team would have to perform push-ups or squats. Despite the fact this was a game, it was serious work. Everyone playing would be dripping with sweat after only a few minutes. In spite of the injuries I received from this game I must say I enjoyed it the most. However, that enjoyment was short-lived when, just five days before the tournament, I managed to jam the big toe on the other foot. Chen Bing had no choice but to excuse me from the morning run. So instead I went straight to the school grounds for forms practice. However, even this proved a challenge.
Another game involved players sitting in a circle. One stands in the middle, pretending to be a downed aircraft, whirling around in a circular fashion. Suddenly he/she will point at a player and announce "Tong!" indicating the crash site. Whoever is in the spot must react quickly by fanning himself with both hands to "cool the heat". The person to his immediate left must use their right hand to fan the player "on fire" and the one to his right must use his left hand. This sounds easy enough but if one is too slow to react or uses the wrong hands they must perform twenty push-ups and then exchange places with the person in the centre. This game proved to be hilarious. Sometimes the player in the centre may feint, stopping suddenly and look at one player (to draw the reaction) but then quickly change to point at someone else. This game required constant vigilance.
The last game involved a variation on the game of "It". Players stand in a circle while the one being chased can initiate anything that comes to mind such as cartwheels, somersaults, rolls, leaps, suddenly stopping to perform a Taiji posture etc. (as he weaves in and out of those standing). The one who is "It" giving chase must imitate the actions before he can catch the prey. To avoid being caught one can step in front of someone standing, who must move immediately to avoid being caught, and then in turn, either jump in front of someone else or lead the fun and games. Later, to add to the confusion there were two people "It" at the same time. The variety of gymnastics is only limited by ones imagination. Jose introduced moonwalking, electric boogie, and break-dancing, which everyone found highly amusing and difficult to imitate, while Ren Laoshi attempted the Macarena. All of the games had a purpose which helped to develop and enhance athletic skills, stamina, and co-ordination.
This intense training is for competition only, and is not so extreme the rest of the time, whereby everyone is mostly responsible for his own forms practice. I do have to say though that everyone at Chenjiagou is highly impressive. They are a fine advertisement for Taijiquan from their athletic physiques (three- percent body fat) to the standards set by their forms and skill in Tui Shou, to their very natures. While the conditions are harsh (this is not a holiday camp) the training was an unforgettable and invaluable experience. For anyone who really wants to experience the essence of Taijiquan, or deepen his or her understanding, one should spend some time at Chenjiagou ^
by Adam Wallace
Adam teaches Chen Style Taijiquan and Wild Goose Qigong in New York City, USA. He can be contacted at (212) 33G 8327.
aijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiqu
This form of simplified Taijiquan was created as a means to promote Taijiquan to the general public. It has been promoted throughout China and the world by the Chinese government, and is now practised by millions of people.
8. Right Holding the Magpie's Tails.
Fig 67 to 80
Fig 68 Fig 69
Fig 76 Fig 77
9 Single Whip. Fig 81 to 86
Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiq
Qi Magazine 43
uan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan
10 Left Cloud Hands. Fig 87 to 101
Fig 98 Fig 99 Fig 100 Fig 101
iquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan Simplified Taijiquan
A famous Tai Chi teacher once told me that he only studies with those that can beat him up. On the other hand he is quite willing to challenge those he feels he can defeat with no recognition of their other levels of accomplishment. Physical displays reveal the underlying spiritual level of those unable to look at the world in more than their singular perspective.
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