1. Observe both interior and exterior. Keep tip of tongue on roof of mouth. Look inside, look outside; listen inside, listen outside. When doing two-person exercises, keep eyes fixed at the opponent’s sternum (breastbone).
2. Posture: Ears over shoulders, shoulders over hip, head erect to maintain crown-point. Pull crown-point away from tip of coccyx. Always rotate around a pole that runs through the top of the head and out the anus. Also, imagine wrapping around a 5 gallon water bottle. Hips are slightly tucked forward and open to wrap around. Maintain crown-point, extending the crown-point and coccyx away from each other.
3. Dantian, shoulders and hips face opponent, connecting into weighted leg. Extend force from the dantian through the weighted foot and out the extended arm. Take force through extended arm, through dantian, into foot and into earth.
4. Relax. Suspend from crown-point, keep muscles relaxed, move lightly, like a cat. Move without resistance, heaviness, or contracted muscles.
5. In the form, move with respiration. Withdrawal/neutralize on inhale, extend/attack on exhale. When doing the form, concentrate on the inhale and exhale.
6. Use four gate condensing breathing. Inhale from palms and soles of feet to the dantian, while contracting energy into the dantian. Exhale from the dantian to the palms and soles of feet. Maintain crown-point, and keep aware of palms and soles.
7. The yi (mind) guides the qi and breath. Qi and breath guide the body. First, you lead the body by following the breath. Later, you lead with your mind.
8. Equalize interior and exterior. In practice, make the interior light and the exterior heavy, until only your skin separates internal from external, like a water balloon in water. Eventually, both interior and exterior are pure qi, pure energy.
9. Balance yin and yang. Tai ji quan can be translated as “yin yang fighting style”. Yin means to empty and absorb; yang means to connect and extend. It also implies maintaining the soft within the hard and the hard within the soft; and moving while staying still, and staying still while moving. Yin turns to yang and yang turns to yin. It is the basis of martial application.
10. Root. When coming forward, visualize energy spiking down from the heel deep into the ground, and then from the ball of the foot deep into the ground. Never allow weight to leave the heel. If your knee is beyond your toes, you have lost your root by losing your heel spike. When moving to the back foot, root through heel and ball, with deep spikes going deep into the ground.
11. Sinking and linking. Sinking drops the dantian away from the crown-point, towards the weighted foot root. It allows the opponent’s force to move through you into the ground, and also sets the frame for application. Linking connects the fascia and tendons through the dantian towards the palms and soles of the foot. It is required in all applications.
12. Neutralize your opponent’s attack. Neutralize means to empty and absorb through the dantian into the weighted foot. Always face the dantian towards the force, and into the weighted leg. Neutralization allows an attack, if you connect at the strategic moment. You must be able to go from connection to emptiness, or from emptiness to connection, in an instant.
13. Use your internal energy to control your opponent. Use your mind and qi as well as physical contact to sense his/her movement and intention. Merge in order to control.
14. Apply short power or long power. Long power utilizes a taijiquan application to bring the opponent off balance. It follows a neutralization of the opponent’s attack, and requires connected linkage. Short power (fa jing) involves a burst of vibratory energy emanating from the dantian through your weighted foot into the ground, and simultaneously through the resistance of the opponent through their ground path. Both long and short power require that the weighted foot be under or beyond the center of the opponent.
Use Condensing Breathing
1. Upwards and downwards, 5 x, (natural breathing)
2. Inwards and outwards, 5 x, (natural breathing)
3. Raise hand stance, right side open, 5 x
4. Raise hand stance, left side open, 5 x
5. Long arm, short arm, 5 x, each side
6. Raise hand stance, forward leg, rotate 5 x
7. Raise hands stance, single weighted, back foot, rotate 5 x
Repeat for other side
8. Four forms (Grasp Sparrow’s Tail), each side, 5 x
9. Single Hand Push, each side, 5 x
10. Cross hands, 5 x
11. Return to preparation stance, condense breathing, 5 x
TWO PERSON EXERCISES
Single Hand Push, Solo
1. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow, Stationary
2. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow, Forwards Walking
3. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow, Backwards Walking
4. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow Circle
Single Hand Push, Two Person
1. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow, Forwards and Backwards Walking
2. Single Hand Push, Arrow and Bow Circle, Forwards and Backwards Walking.
Ward Off-Push, Solo
1. Ward Off-Push, Arrow and Bow Circle, Stationary
2. Ward Off-Push, Arrow and Bow, Forwards Walking
3. Ward Off-Push, Arrow and Bow, Backwards Walking
Ward Off-Push, Two Person
1. Ward Off-Push, Arrow and Bow Circle, Forwards and Backwards Walking
Two Person Form
FIVE STYLE STEPPING
1. Arrow and Bow, Forwards
2. Repulse Monkey, Backwards
3. Attaching Steps, Forward
4. Attaching Steps, Backwards
5. Raise Hands Stance, Side and Back
JAKE PAUL FRATKIN, OMD is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine in practice since 1978. After seven years basic training in Japanese acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine in this country, he went to Beijing for one year to do advanced hospital training in herbal internal medicine, pediatrics and medical qi gong. He is the author of CHINESE HERBAL PATENT MEDICINES, (2001), a respected reference work of 1200 Chinese herbal products available in this country. In 1999 he received the national award, Acupuncturist of the Year, from the American Association of Oriental Medicine, and 2006 he received the award as Acupuncture Teacher of the Year. He is a recognized expert in the treatment of leaky gut syndrome, chronic respiratory and digestive disorders. Jake lives and practices in Boulder, Colorado