“Setting” Joints to Generate Power

  I was recently asked to clarify what I mean when I emphasize “setting” the knee to allow the kua to release, or setting the elbow to free up the shoulder joint, or setting the ball of the foot to establish energetic connection with the earth. Setting simply...

The Three Pillars, Revised

The Three Pillars is my name for the foundational actions that I have found to be most important to establish the body-mind-spirit integration necessary for the internal martial arts and qigong. These are the shortcuts I have developed over the past forty years to...

Song Kua: Clarification

I devoted a chapter to the kua in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate and it’s time to clarify what is meant by song kua. (pronounced soong) I recently posted the steps to take to get more from your kua and I’d like to sharpen the focus a little here. For...

Big Change! Getting More From Your Kua

Understanding the kua is essential to internal gongfu. It’s what connects the legs to the torso physically and energetically. I devoted a chapter to it in Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate:  The pivotal point for the nine-channeled pearl is the hip area, known...

Central Equilibrium, Part Two

Larry Cunningham, Yale University scholar in Chinese and Western philosophy recently sent me this quote from Confucius in The Doctrine of the Mean (4th or 3rd century BCE). He said it “seems to be the earliest use of the term ‘central equilibrium’ or ‘equilibrium’....

Central Equilibrium-Part One

Central equilibrium is an essential quality of all internal martial arts. Once you get the hang of it, it makes everything else you do easier too. When centered and balanced it is easier to function with grace and efficiency. For the first twenty years or so of my...