Three kinds of Kung-fu, the flexible one, the aesthesis and the internal strength, are the main stays and the outstanding features of all Tai Ji Quan. In Wang Qihe style Tai Ji Quan, these three kinds of Kung-fu have been further explored in both theory and appliance.
I. Flexible (in looseness & softness) Kung-fu
In Wang's Tai Ji Kung-fu, flexibility in looseness and relaxation in softness is highly valued. He thought then that the Tai Ji techniques of your hands and body movements, the supporting power of your feet and the strength arranging were the basic skills. The state of a round, flexible and sound state, the aesthesis and internal power together with those skills were all rooted in the flexibility in looseness, relaxation and softness. You should start the Tai Ji practices from "looseness".
When you are starting to practice the Quan, do keep your feeling in complete "looseness" all the time. Every action should be done in the state of complete looseness, relaxation and softness under the guidance of your minding. Using this method to practice Tai Ji Quan will be slower in progress within certain period but it is the right way to in reality practice Tai Ji. Otherwise, the improper method in practicing the Quan will certainly lead you into a wrong way. Since "it is easy to learn Tai Ji Quan but hard to change its accustomed mistaken styles", only keeping yourself in looseness and softness can you burst out an unique Tai Ji strength of “extreme hardness forming extreme softness”.
II. Aesthesis Kung-fu
Aesthesis Kung-fu is what we have called "knowing your Jin (strength and forces)". It is based on the flexible Kung-fu in looseness and relaxation. Playing flexible Kung-fu, you should focus on knowing yourself while playing aesthesis Kung-fu, either knowing your rival. You should follow your tutor and improve yourself through doing Tui Shou (pushing hands), Wen Jin (detect the strength) and Ting Jin (feel the strength) practices. When you are practicing Tui Shou, remember that Wang's Tai Ji emphasizes on gaining the sense from no losing and no hard pushing. Staying in a state of looseness, collecting all the messages from your touching points to understand, imagine and judge all the situations will be the point in your fighting. You should reach the stage of measuring the attacking force sent by your rival and figuring his strong and weak points without any tiny mistake.
Internal strength is considered the most advanced Kung-fu in playing Tai Ji Quan especially in Wang Qihe's. Actually it never goes against the sayings with Tai Ji as "using softness to defeat hardness", "gently drive away a ton with a force in a gram merely" and, "borrow every power to hit your rival". Without the internal strength, you can only use some little tricks in Tai Ji Tui Shou or in fighting, facing a strong rival, you cannot even send out your force or get away off his attacking either. In case you have reached a high level of Tai Ji internal Kung-fu, your mind, body, breath and strength will be combined in one. You needn't prepare for long before using Tai Ji internal strength to throw your rival away. Master Wang Qihe used to lie on the bed and shoot out a grain with his belly upward to the roof. Most rivals in fighting with Master Liu Renhai (1904~1982), one of Master Wang's prentices, all felt extreme pain in their bones while Master Liu put his hand on their shoulders, bodies or even their hands merely. We could imagine how the predecessors did with the outstanding Tai Ji internal strength.
III. Interior Strength Kung-fu
In Wang Qihe’s Tai Ji Quan, Hun Yuan Jin(strength exerted harmoniously as a whole) is considered to be the fundamental element as well as the highest state of Tai Ji strength. "Fundamental element" means, Hun Yuan Jin would be consisted with every part of your body. Reaching the "highest state" of Tai Ji Kung-fu is your final goal to gain the sound union of all your Hun Yuan Jin, or there will be no Tai Ji Jin. Getting and possessing Hun Yuan Jin, you would have your heart going with your minding, your minding with your breathing and your breathing, with your strength while all your joints are connected smoothly with your Qi (interior breathing and strength) flowing. Your appearance would show at ease while all the internal of your body would contain flexibilities. It is the complete Tai Ji Gong Fa (the essence of Kung-fu), quite different from the limited skills and movements. There is a accurate description about it in Tai Ji Quan Pu (a guidance for practicing Tai Ji Quan) passed by Mr. Wang Qihe saying that "In all the movements of the Quan, having Hun Yuan Jin, you will keep your breathing flowing everywhere inside your body and spirit freely without any blocking. It could be sent out or hidden somewhere at will. The Jin would be endlessly changeable and never be used up." If you have mastered Hun Yuan Jin well, you will never be butting or losing in playing Tui Shou (pushing hands) with your opponent and letting him miss any or all chances to attack you. You can convert his force and send out your strength to hit him at will without his awareness. If you didn't master the Jin, you wold only attack your opponent with clumsy movement and violent force, which disobey the above strength principle.
IV. The principle for practicing - what is practiced is what to be applied in actual fighting
Practicing Wang's Tai Ji, you have to focus on both its theory and practical uses in actual combating. It emphasizes on what is practiced is what to be applied. It has inherited and developed the elites of Wu's Tai Ji and the Yang's in both theory and practicing. What is more, it has formed a great deal of special training methods like: Li Dang (technique for crotch), Li Zhou (keeping your body upright) and Li Zhou (technique for elbows).
Li Dang (technique for crotch) means when you practicing, avoid changing the center of your gravity sideways. It should be moved straight forever with the position of your crotch making your relaxed body sinking down.
Guidance: your body should be in harmony first. Try to make each joint of yours loosen. Led by your minding, your Qi within Dan Tian should be turned around then sinking down you’re your Yong Quan (double acupoints in your soles). Lower your clavicles to make the posture of Han Xiong Ba Bei (have your chest inward sinking in a little and your back stretched). Let your Qi sink into your Dan Tian. Doing it, you are seemingly to just move your gravity center back or forward but actually you are sinking your body and spirit downward. Keeping your waist and your middle part circumvolved freely and actively, you could produce a special kind of springing force. You could have yourself balanced avoiding any separation in going forth and back. In this way, it could strengthen your bursting power and help you to melt any sudden attack easily.
Li Zhou (keeping your body uptight) means when you are moving, all the joints of your waist should be relaxed and loosen but worked in one to form a straight standing bow like the axis of a door. Keep your Bai Hui.(an acupoint at the top point of your head) always being perpendicular to "Wei Lv" (the bottom of your tail cone). No matter how you move or turn your waist, do keep standing straight like an axis of a door, which could always keeps you in balance. It could also increase your integrated strength by moving with the guide of the waist.
Li Zhou (technique for the elbows) means you should ease your shoulders and lower your elbows with your all fingers relaxed. With your body uptight, round your chest, straighten your back, ease your shoulders, lower your elbows and wrists, relax your fingers and palms. Your may feel your body is being pulled longer with great strength in your forearms. It could help to increase the strength of your elbows, wrists, arms and shoulders, being easier in protecting your head, neck, chest and ribs and attacking agilely.
Li Dang, Li Zhou and another Li Zhou are close related with each other and associated together. When you combine them well, you will find that every part of your body is full of strength, just like an arrow going to be sent out.
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