Here are some series articles on specific topics:

Elbows

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...

“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...

Unlocking the Elbow Gate, Part 3

"Unlocking the Elbow Gate," Part 1 and Part 2, were written to bring attention to the most underrated of the Eight Bamen (gates, or energies) of taijiquan. The Chinese name is zhou (pronounced...

Unlocking the Elbow Gate, Part 2

I hope you had a chance to check out Unlocking the Elbow Gate, Part 1. If not, please read that now. This post will build on what we covered there. I feel a little like Nicolas Cage discovering some...

Three Pillars

“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...

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....

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...

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...

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...

Knee

“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...

Setting the Knee (Part Two)

"Correct Knee Position" is not a topic that exactly quickens the pulse. For most of us it sounds like a real snoozer. We don't really care. That is, until there is PAIN. For the first fifty years of...

Setting the Knee (Part One)

I have long advised taijiquan practitioners to consciously "Set the Knee" before loading the substantial leg. Meaning, you make sure that your structure is in place before you put weight on it. The...

Jade Pillow Gate

Opening the Jade Pillow Gate, Part 2: Niwan

In my last few posts I have been emphasizing “Opening the Jade Pillow Gate” (yu zhen) at the base of the skull. Doing so unleashes the “spirit of vitality” (jingshen) and allows for whole-brain...

Opening the Jade Pillow Gate

About twenty-five years ago I made a personal discovery that made a big change in not just my gongfu, but in every part of my life. Back then, I would occasionally get "tension headaches," where my...