Blogs having to do with Internal Martial Arts

Yin Power in the Legs for Health and Gongfu

Yin Power in the Legs for Health and Gongfu

The power I am talking about here is of a different sort than is addressed through common forms of exercise, like walking running, swimming, cycling, and yoga. It is a “soft power”: a receptive, Yin power.

The Healing Power of Elbow Jin

The Healing Power of Elbow Jin

My old friend David suffered a near-fatal stroke a year ago. His right side was paralyzed and the prognosis from his doctor was not good. It's been a year, he was told to expect a decline. But that's not how David and his wife Susan roll. Both are taijiquan teachers and are not about to let the pessimism of a doctor to rain on their parade. Susan has been agressively assisting in the rehab and both are convinced that recovery is going to happen. When I called a bit over a week ago, David had...

Stillness in Taijiquan

Stillness in Taijiquan

Except for the point, the still point, There would be no dance, and there is only the dance. I can only say, there we have been: but I cannot say where. And I cannot say, how long, for that is to place it in time. T. H. Eliot, Burnt Norton     The ultimate of movement is stillness, the ultimate of stillness is movement. To move is to generate stillness, and to be still is to generate movement. Therefore, (if you) use stillness as movement, (your) movement will be stronger every day....

“Setting” Joints to Generate Power

“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 means “putting something in a specified place or position.” This is necessary if you wish to generate power. Power is a difficult word for many people, particularly because it is so often abused. They even fear their own power....

Conscious Movement and Qi-awareness

Conscious Movement and Qi-awareness

Check out “A Wee Bit of Alchemy with Rick Barrett” on my YouTube channel, or better yet, attend the live Zoom session Tuesdays at 8pm EST. It’s an interactive call, so you get to engage in the discussion and clarify things as we go along. I appreciate the feedback and different perspectives. It keeps the conversation real. We explore the energies and principles with exercises and meditations to bring a felt-sense to the things being discussed. Contact me for the link. It also appears in our...

Reclaiming Lost Territory

Reclaiming Lost Territory

Reclaiming Lost Territory is a set of exercises I have been developing over the past 25 years to get the qi moving, repair deteriorating joints, and train efficient movement. I came up with the idea as a way of healing my own body from various injuries, and then it became the default warm-up set for my classes. It is evolving to meet the needs of my students…and me. Those of us fortunate to have survived past the age of thirty gradually become aware that we have to do some maintenance and...

Chapter 9 “Coherent Energy” from Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate (Part 3)

Chapter 9 “Coherent Energy” from Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate (Part 3)

Chapter 9 “Coherent Energy” from Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate (Part 3)   Coherence and Entropy Coherence offers a possible explanation for taijiquan’s traditional claims of enhancing health and longevity. Scientific interest in the art is too young to support or deny these claims, but anecdotal evidence abounds. What is unmistakable is the vitality of elderly taijiquan practitioners. Many, like masters Cheng Man-Ch’ing and T.T. Liang, claim that their practice was their salvation...

Chapter 9 “Coherent Energy” from Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate (Part 2)

Chapter 9 “Coherent Energy” from Taijiquan: Through the Western Gate (Part 2)

What is Energetic Coherence? What is meant by coherence? Generally, it means things are functioning together in a clear and efficient way. It can mean an ordered patterning within one system, or synchronization between multiple systems. In physics it means energy has waves with a high degree of similarity of phase, direction and amplitude. Coherent energy is effective because a system is pulsing as a unit. It is “in phase,” like a rowing team that practices very hard to get the timing of their...