Yi Jing Das Buch der Wandlung

Der Ursprung des Buchs der Wandlung ist ungewiß
Umgeben ist es von Mythen und Legenden
doch sein Einfluß verbreitet sich überall

Die ganze lange und eindrucksvolle
Geschichte Chinas hindurch
hatte das Yi Jing einen großen Einfluß
auf die soziale, politische, spirituelle und 
wissenschaftliche Entwicklung dieses Landes

Von Generation zu Generation
nahm das Buch an Umfang zu
Und immer neue Schichtenn
von Kommentaren und Texten wurden beigefügt


Die Übersetzung von Gia Fu Feng enthält Teile der chinesischen Kalligraphie des Yi Jing und ist eine vollständige und direkte Übersetzung der Texte und Kommentare von 35 Gelehrten, die Kaiser Qien Long für seine Kaiserliche Ausgabe im Jahre 1760 u.Z. in Auftrag gab. Dieses Werk beruhte auf einer Sammlung aller früheren Auslegungen aus der Han- und Tang-Dynastie und schloß zeitgenössische Auslegungen und die Arbeit seines Großvaters mit ein, die Große Kaiserliche Ausgabe von Kangxi von 1715 u.Z. aus der Zeit der ‘Qing-Dynastie, die die letzte und größte Blütezeit in der Geschichte der klassischen chinesischen Kultur war.


Ich schätze mich glücklich, das Buch im Frühjahr 2015 wieder herausgeben zu können.
Es umfasst ca. 480 Seiten, wird mit einer Fadenbindung im Hardcover erscheinen und voraussichtlich 42,90 € kosten. Ebenfalls ist ein ebook Ausgabe vorgesehen. 

Wu Wei, Grateful Dead and a Gentle Cultivation

Nun nimmt sich schon die New York Times des Themas Wu Wei an. Nun ja, nachdem ein amerikanischer Professor ein Buch drüber geschrieben hat. Aber wer hat's erfunden?



Just be yourself.

The advice is as maddening as it is inescapable. It’s the default prescription for any tense situation: a blind date, a speech, a job interview, the first dinner with the potential in-laws. Relax. Act natural. Just be yourself.

But when you’re nervous, how can you be yourself? How you can force yourself to relax? How can you try not to try?

It makes no sense, but the paradox is essential to civilization, according to Edward Slingerland. He has developed, quite deliberately, a theory of spontaneity based on millenniums of Asian philosophy and decades of research by psychologists and neuroscientists.

He calls it the paradox of wu wei, the Chinese term for “effortless action.” Pronounced “ooo-way,” it has similarities to the concept of flow, that state of effortless performance sought by athletes, but it applies to a lot more than sports. Wu wei is integral to romance, religion, politics and commerce. It’s why some leaders have charisma and why business executives insist on a drunken dinner before sealing a deal.

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Schildkröte und Kranich

12. - 18. Februar 2015,  Puerto de la Cruz, Teneriffa



Sanfeng Qigong der Elemente

Als Himmel und Erde sich zum ersten Mal trennten und die drei Kräfte ihre Plätze einnahmen, war der Platz der Menschheit in der Mitte zwischen Himmel und Erde.
Die Kraft des Himmels ist das Feuer und die Kraft der Erde das Wasser. 
Feuer und Wasser sind die Organe Herz und Nieren. 
Etwas auf Herz und Nieren untersuchen, das heißt, der Sache auf den Grund gehen. Das Herz ist Sitz des Geistes und die Nieren beherbergen die Essenz. Geist und Essenz entspringen der grenzenlosen Leere. Die Elemente Feuer und Wasser bilden die geistige Ebene, Holz und Metall bilden die materielle Ebene. 

Die Schildkröte des Nordens steht für Wasser und der Kranich des Südens für das Feuer. Sie sind die Tiere dieser Unterweisung. 

weiter Informationen auf Anfrage

Über den Sinn und Unsinn des Stundenzählens in Taijiquan-Ausbildungen oder „Schein-Können“

von Peter Wolfrum auf Taiji Europa

Im Taijiquan (Tai Chi Chuan) gibt es bekanntlich äußere und innere Aspekte. Eine Reduzierung auf das eine oder das andere könnte diese Kunst nicht adäquat beschreiben. Innere Fertigkeiten lassen sich nicht auf äußere Aspekte zurückführen und damit auch nicht mit Messmethoden für äußere Aspekte erfassen. Taijiquan FormRein formal kann man natürlich das Äußere, das was Naturwissenschaften und Mathematik messen und zählen können, separat betrachten. Wenn man diesen Weg beschreitet, muss man an dieser Stelle anerkennen, dass in diesem Augenblick das Innere, das sich nicht auf das Äußere reduzieren lässt und damit nicht objektiv von außen messbar ist, aus den weiteren Betrachtungen herausfällt, also nicht mehr vorkommt. Deshalb ist eine Qualitätssicherung, die sich nur auf äußerlich messbare Quantitäten bezieht unvollständig. Das heißt nicht, dass sie keine Aussagekraft hätte, aber eben nur für den Bereich, für den diese Messmethoden funktionieren, also den äußeren Teilbereich. Erhebt ein solcher Ansatz dann den Anspruch, Qualität im Taijiquan umfassend beurteilen zu können, opfert er alle innere Tiefe für die äußere Flachheit.
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Entwicklung Frühjahr 2015

vier Termine mit Yürgen Oster*

Jedes Angebot ist verlockend. Entscheide, was für Deine Entwicklung das Richtige ist. Auf Teneriffa entsteht eine Schule und in Deutschland gibt es neue Kontakte. Auch in Wudangshan hat sich einiges verändert und ist doch beim Alten geblieben. Das Warten hat sich gelohnt.
Jetzt ist es an der Zeit, wieder aktiv zu werden. 
Inspiration für deine Entwicklung.
*und ein wenig Werbung für unsere Bücher - ideale Weihnachstgeschenke

International Taoist Forum focuses on health and longevity

Gia Fu Feng
Health and longevity have been the focus of the 3rd International Taoist Forum in Southeast China’s Jiangxi Province. In Taoist theory, to concentrate on individual development is to practice the path of the Return to the Tao on a macro level — to be in harmony with nature, if not the universe. 

Taoism is connected with achieving well-being. Traditionally, those practices were reserved for followers, acquiring an aura of mystery.

"To cultivate health, you need to learn the true meaning of life. Only by understanding life, can we pursue the cultivation of longevity, the importance of health," Zhu Heting, a Taoist master from Hong Kong said.

"Health needs a healthy mind first, by minimizing your desires and centering ourselves on stillness. Human lives are in our control," Li Zhiwang, a Taoist master from Singapore said.

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Das Entscheidende

Neulich notierte ich mir im Zusammenhang mit der Schwierigkeit, Taijiquan zu definieren, folgendes:
 Jemand der Schwimmen lernt und sich nicht oder nur mühsam über Wasser halten kann, schwimmt nun mal nicht. Wer mit dem Fahrrad ständig umfällt, weil er es nicht versteht, die Balance zu halten, fährt nicht Rad. In dem Moment, wo das Entscheidende verstanden ist, nennen wir die Aktivität Schwimmen bzw Radfahren.
Nun finde ich den Vergleich mit Schwimmen und Radfahren auch auf Stefan Gätzners sehr lesenswerten Webseite

Qing and Lin or investing in Loss


Taijiquan sei etwas für ältere Menschen, lautet ein verbreitetes Vorurteil. Scheinbar bestätigt wird das durch jene älteren Chinesen, die man morgens in den Parks und auf den Plätzen üben sehen kann, wegen ihrer Kleidung auch als Seidenpyjama Rentner verspottet. Ganz sicher werden die Teilnehmer dieser Übungen keine competition gewinnen, wie sie immer häufiger ausgetragen werden. Damo Mitchell hat ihrem Taijiquan allerdings einen bemerkenswerten Aspekt abgeschaut.

 Artikel (auf Englisch)

Dr Yang Jwing-Ming, hope for the future

I feel awkward taking credit for this story for two reasons. The first has to do with the subject matter. As a martial arts writer myself, I have long found in Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's work a tremendous source of personal inspiration. When I was a fledgling freelance writer, intelligently-written books on Chinese martial arts were few and far between. Back then, most books made scant offerings: a few pages of introduction, typically a recounting of apocryphal Shaolin legends, followed by a short discussion of the author's lineage and style. The rest were "how to" photos and captions. Dr. Yang's books were thick and informative. Not only did they expand upon those stereotypical introductions, they provided some serious background research and insight on the topic. For the literate martial artist, Dr. Yang's books were a breath of fresh air. They really opened the door to deeper knowledge for practitioners who only read English. I still reference his books today. In fact, if you were to excavate the perpetual avalanche of work piling my desk, you'd find more books by Dr. Yang than any other English-language author. So for me to interview Dr. Yang was like the student interviewing the founding grandmaster.
The interview itself was the second bit of awkwardness. Typically, the process of interviewing a master is a lot like playing ping pong, swatting ideas back and forth, looking for that revealing dramatic volley. Many masters aren't accustomed to the interview process. Why should they be? And frankly, I'm no Letterman or Oprah. So there's a lot that goes into most cover story interviews - as well as a lot of editing - to make the conversation flow for a decent read. But with Dr. Yang, I only asked two questions, and he just ran with them in a cohesive improvised monolog. What's more, he anticipated most all of my follow-up questions. So I feel a little guilty because all I really did was transcribe his answers. It all started with one question.


What do you see as the biggest challenges facing traditional Chinese martial arts today?
This biggest problem is lifestyle has changed. Trace back how traditional martial arts were developed. They developed because they think about the ancient society. 99.99% of the people were farmers. They don't have such things as industrial business like today. It ended up that in the daytime, people had a lot of time. Everyone had a small piece of land, and in their extra time they practiced martial arts. My White Crane master, he was a farmer. I asked him, "How long did it really take you to take care of the land, take care of the farm?" He said, "A couple hours a day." I asked, "What did you do for the rest of the time?" He said, "Well, I played chess. I practiced martial arts. Talk to friends." Ancient people had more time to enjoy life than today's people.
People you see today, for example, in the industrial life, you get up in the morning, you go to work, you go to sleep - ain't got no life. This only happened in modern life, in modern times. It actually started in the last century. Now this has become a big problem. The big problem is this art was developed in ancient times by people who had time and had patience.
When people have time and patience and commitment, then they can reach high levels. Classical music is the same thing. In classical music today, we've encountered a big problem. For classical music today, it's hard to survive. For example, a few years ago I was in Vienna. Remember Vienna's choir, Italy's choir, is the most famous in the whole world. I talked to them and they say that every town puts one applicant - they chose one. But today, they can't even find people that want to apply. Because that lifestyle is totally different and people don't want to make commitments like ancient times, (don't) want to reach high levels. Everything is what I call "McDonald culture." Everything is quick, quick, quick. This kind of mental influences heavily destroys traditional martial arts as well. So that becomes a big problem.
In ancient times, anybody who wants to learn martial arts, you'd spend ten years. Ten years and you still learn the basics. You take the rest of your lifetime to live out. Today there's no difference - you play piano, you play violin, ten years, it's all basic and not until there, you get to the advanced level. You see the very famous pianist or violinist, they spend thirty years and they reach a very high level. The question is, can you find those committed people today? That becomes the hardest problem. For example, for my ten-year program, the hardest part is to find qualified students that have that preparation psychologically, and are willing to jump out of today's society and to enter the mountain, to accept the training. Traditional martial arts were developed under ancient situations. So that's why students, they can go to the mountains, they can train there without too much distraction from modern society. And that's why art can reach deep. But today, you don't.
It took me a long time to figure out. How can I preserve the arts without allowing it to get lost? For example, my generation - I was born in 1946 - I was between the old society and new society, especially in Taiwan. So because I still had old society, I could still see my masters' levels when they train. And at the same time, I can enter the new society, because I also experienced the new society as an engineer. So that's why I can see both sides clearly - what happened. And now, how can we use today's mentality to train the ancient way and to preserve the art? It's impossible, because between me and my master, I already lost half of the knowledge. My master spent 23 years with his master. They trained together and practiced together, because it's their life. So that's why my master always said, "You are not really learning martial arts, you are learning the way of life," because you always get into it and that's your life. So 23 years to him is nothing. But today, 23 years, it's a waste. Twenty-three years is so long. But think about it, my master lived with his master for 23 years. How can I train with him only 13 years - and those 13 years we didn't even live together; I only trained in the night time - how can I reach the same level as my master? Only two words - no way. I didn't learn half of what he knew and he took it with him.
That's what makes me so upset, because in 1976 he passed away. In '74, I came to the United States and '76 he passed away. I didn't even know. When my mother came in 1978 before my first son was born, my mother told me, "Your master passed away two years ago." My master lived in the mountains. He couldn't read. He couldn't write. Everything came from my family and passed a message to me. My mother had no mail to deliver, nothing. And I asked my mom, "Why you didn't want to tell me?" My mom asked me a very serious question. She said, "What would you do if I told you your master passed away?" I couldn't answer. My mom knew if I knew that, I would just quit my school and go home for my master's funeral. My mom said, "That's the reason I didn't want to tell you. To me, your school is more important - your PhD is more important - than your master's funeral." It was my mother's love to her son. I understand. So in 1979, I got my first vacation. I went back. Right in front of my master's tomb in the hot summer, and his two kids with me, because I didn't know where was the tomb, so his two kids took me to his tomb.… I just sat there in the hot summer. I feel… I feel so sad. Why so sad? It's not the death. It's the knowledge. He spent all his lifetime on knowledge - he took with him - is dead. How do we get it back? No way I can get it back.
See, that's why that time people asked me, "Dr. Yang, how come you produce so much DVDs and videotapes and books, whatever?" I never hesitate to publicize it. I never hesitate to tell what is real. I know there are Chinese masters that say, "Oh, this is top secret. I cannot tell you." To me, there is no such thing called "secret." "Secret" is dying. Where is the secret? You want to preserve it. It's not really something secret. So for that reason, I swore right in front of my master's tomb. I said, "As long as I'm alive, I will try my best to keep these arts alive." That was 1979. In 1981, my first book was published. When I came back, I started writing. I fulfill my promise to my master.
And so when I was fifty, I started to think. In 1984, I quit my engineering job. I wrote all these books. After teaching twenty years, everything is shallow. Why shallow? It's not because the knowledge is not there. It's because people don't have that kind of lifestyle. They don't have that kind of commitment to get in deep. They don't understand the deep aspect of the martial arts. All those things that they see are the forms. Like for example, take taijiquan. The taijiquan they see so far is forms. What is the essence behind the forms? What is the internal side of taiji? Very few people know. But those people who know, they keep it a secret. But what is the secret? Everything becomes surface. That's why I call it McDonald culture, everything quick, quick, quick. Then I started to wake up. When I was fifty - that was thirteen years ago - I started to wake up and say, "No, I was wrong." I tried to preserve the art for twenty years through writing, publishing, whatever. Everything is still shallow. My students studied with me for twenty years. They didn't even pick up half of what I know. And compare me to my master - I don't know half of what he knew. Just think about it. Within fifty years, the arts dropped down from 100 to 25%.
Who's fault? Is it society's fault or the person who knows the arts and doesn't share with other people? He doesn't really carry that obligation - because that's an obligation. Remember I learned from three masters. I didn't pay a penny. In the ancient times, the master teaches students, it's not because I want to make money. It's because it's an art - continue pass down. It's from the heart. You teach students from the heart, there's no money involved. The only time my classmates and I spend money is my master's birthday and Chinese New Year. We chip in some money and buy some gift. A little bit of money. It ended up always his wife would cook a big meal for everyone. We ate more than what we spent. That's the Chinese way. You look at the ancient times. A lot of masters, they don't even take money from students at all because they want to share these arts to preserve it.
Today I want to take students up the mountain for ten years of training.

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American Wudang

Clad in traditional Daoist robes, Zhong Xuechao looks like he just walked off the set of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. While Americans are familiar with robed Buddhist monks like the Dalai Lama, Daoist attire has a distinctly Chinese flair, yin black and yang white accentuated with an assortment of dark-hued blues. Instead of shaven pates, Daoists let their hair grow with the flow. It's long and uncut, tied in a top knot with a signature dragon hairpin. To top it all off, Daoists customarily don traditional hats which are unlike anything seen in the West. The overall appearance is dramatic, as if an immortal hermit mystically escaped from a Chinese painting.
As a Wudang priest, Zhong Xuechao (鍾學超) always wears Daoist robes as an expression of his practice. Zhong, who also goes by Master Bing, is now teachingko in Los Angeles, but in the City of Angels his unique apparel barely attracts a second glance. "There's less staring in America than in China," says Bing in Mandarin. "They don't see many Daoists from the mountains in China. In Los Angeles, most people don't ask. There's plenty of unusual stuff there. Sometimes people ask me where I bought my outfit ? Chinatown? I tell them I got it from China."


Master Bing stands among the first pioneer Daoist priests from Wudang to come to America. While Chinese kung fu masters have been in America for decades and  Shaolin monks have been immigrating here since the early '90s, genuine Wudang devotees are just beginning to arrive. The Wudang community is smaller than those others, but just as outstanding and not just because of the way they dress.
Respecting Wu 
"America doesn't know Wudang," observes Bing. Nevertheless his outfit is regarded with some esteem. Bing is often treated as a man of the cloth. He finds himself answering questions about spirituality and discipline, all asked reverently. "They seem to feel I'm more religious ? more like a Western priest ? instead of Daoist. I recently mailed a sword and the people at the U.S. Post Office took such good care. They felt it was very precious. Maybe the quality of service is better in America, but I feel the respect."
Bing first journeyed to America in 2002 for a week-long visit. He was part of the five-member entourage of Zhong Yunlong, the Chief Priest at Wudang. It was the first Wudang delegation to grace America. Propitiously, 2002 was the 10th Anniversary of this magazine. In celebration, we held a Gala Benefit for the U.S. Olympic Wushu Team. The Beijing Olympics had just been announced, and we were all hopeful that wushu would be the next new Olympic event. Chief Priest Zhong was a guest of honor at that Gala. He was the only master permitted to demonstrate in our coveted Cover Masters showcase who had not previously graced our cover. We rectified that the following year by featuring Zhong on the cover of our September October 2003 issue. It was America's first real glimpse of an authentic Wudang priest.
During Bing's short stay, he was struck by the freedom we Americans enjoy here. These freedoms were more personal than political, like the informality with which children address their parents. Chinese philosophy stands upon three pillars: Daoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Confucianism establishes a rigid social hierarchy where students bow to masters and children bow to parents. Overhearing some children addressing their parents by name instead of a formal title was a little shocking to Bing. Nevertheless, he was impressed by the atmosphere of freedom and hoped to return to America someday.
When he went home to Wudang, the tourist industry was growing. Wudang enjoyed an economic boost from a spike in tourism in the wake of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. Bing found himself escorting many American guests around China's mystic mountain. It was a sharp contrast from his short experience in the States. "Life at Wudang Mountain is peaceful," recounts Bing. "We study the Daoist canons and practice kung fu. It makes you focus, slow down the pace, and not live to be so busy and material. We chant in the morning and evening. In some rituals, each character from the canon is chanted for a minute. We chant for at least half an hour a day."
Daoism is one of the most misunderstood traditions in the West. Difficult to categorize into a western box, it vacillates between a philosophy, a religion, a folk custom and shamanism. Ancestor deification, communion with nature and the quest for immortality are all major elements. It is from Daoism where we get the concept of taiji, not just as a martial art but as a cosmological paradigm. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Feng Shui, the Chinese Zodiac and even Chinese food are all deeply rooted in Daoism.

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Zhou Xuan Yun - a Wudang Master for the west

I was born in the year of the monkey in a small village in central China's Henan Province. My grandparents had moved there after floods had destroyed their hometown. Because we were not native to the village, my family endured a lot of bullying. The locals made sure my parents had to use the worst land for farming, and the worst spot for building our house. When I was in fourth grade my grandfather fell ill, and because we needed money for hospital bills, I had to leave school. I worked on our farmland, helping my family plant corn and cotton. Eventually, my parents decided to send me to Wudang Mountain to study martial arts. I was a very active child, much harder to contain than my brothers. It was also my parents' hope that if a member of the family were good at martial arts, the local villagers wouldn't bully us. As a boy, I used to walk for hours to watch kung fu movies on the sole TV in the area. I was always fighting with my brothers in our family's front yard. So, when my parents asked if I'd like to go study, I readily agreed. My father managed to borrow some money from a distant relative, and we headed out on a two-day tractor, bus, and boat trip that took us to Hubei Province.




In 1994, the only martial arts school actually located on Wudang Mountain was the Wudang Daoist Association School. We lived and trained at Purple Cloud Temple under Zhong Yun Long. He trained with Guo Gaoyi and Zhu Chengde and had spent three years traveling around China, searching out the Wudang practitioners who had gone into hiding during the Cultural Revolution. The tuition at that time was about 1,200 yuan per year, about $170. In addition, we had to pay 25 yuan per week for food. Though it doesn't sound like much, it was difficult for my parents to pay so much money. I was by far the poorest student at the school. I remember that when I got there all I had was one worn-out pair of pants, not suitable for training in. I also didn't have a plate to use at mealtime. Lucky for me, the other students were kind and gave me what I needed. By my second year at the school, I had proven myself as a serious student, and my tuition was waived.
When I first arrived at the school, there were over 40 students. Being 13, I was among the youngest. Most of the students were around 18-19 years old. There were also several middle-aged people and older adults who mostly studied taiji. In my third year there, two 13-year-old girls from Sichuan Province also came to study. The two girls got their own room, which we envied greatly. Us boys were 12 to a room. Many students also complained about the food. In Henan, where I'm from, the staple food is noodles. But, in Hubei Province, they eat rice. I remember that when I got to Wudang Mountain, I hated eating rice. I found it hard to digest, and felt nauseous for weeks. I also wasn't used to eating meat. On our farm we had animals, but they were all sold in the markets. We ate meat maybe once a year. At Wudang we had meat three times a week. Many people found the lifestyle difficult to adjust to. Out of the 40 original students that were there when I entered the school, only 20 returned the next year. By the third year, there were less than 10 of us remaining. I think it is safe to say that at Wudang Mountain, for every 200 students who train there, maybe one or two end up sticking it out.
The Way of the Student
The practice was very bitter. We would wake up at 5 am and begin by working on our flexibility. For about half an hour we would practice splits and other stretches. I remember we would fall asleep while in splits. After stretching we would do some basic conditioning: standing in horse stance or doing push-ups. We would stop for breakfast at 7 am, and at 8 am begin the stretching and conditioning all over again. We would also drill basic kicks and punches. The older students, who stood on the sidelines with thick wooden rods in their hands, supervised our morning practice. Their favorite thing was to find one of us slacking. We had class seven days a week. But, we always had a vacation during the Spring Festival. Also, sometimes when they saw that we were exhausted, we'd all be given a day off.


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Wudang Großmeister Zhong Yun Long

aus kungfu magazin 2003

Wudang Mountain
When Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon pushed martial arts movies into the Oscar spotlight, it also exposed one of China's most cherished martial treasures, Wudang Mountain. Nestled in the heart of the mainland in Hubei Province, Wudang Mountain is a famous center for Taoism and is believed to be the birthplace of Tai Chi Chuan. According to legend, Tai Chi (spelled Taiji in modern Mandarin) was created by an ancient Wudang master named Zhang San Feng, who was inspired by mystical visions he experienced on that mountain.




Today, the Taoist temples of Wudang are still active. In fact, Wudang's temples are protected as one of 730 registered World Heritage sites of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). Inside those temples, the internal styles of kung fu - Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua - are still practiced by robed Taoist priests. Now they are opening their doors to the public for the first time ever. The Chief Priest of the Wudang Zhang San Feng lineage is Grandmaster Zhong Yun Long. Priest Zhong was our guest during his first visit to America for our Anniversary Gala Benefit last year, and he granted us this first interview for English readers.
Priest Zhong is a peaceful soul with a deep, resonating voice, full lips and prominent cheekbones. There's a slow grace to his every gesture, which makes being in his presence a very calming experience. His thick black hair and shining complexion overshadow the broad shoulders of a seasoned martial arts master. Adorned in traditional Taoist cap and robe, Zhong was quite excited about his visit to America. He was very impressed with our environmental protection policies and was particularly fascinated by my low emission hybrid car. As a Taoist Priest defending one of China's natural wonders, he has a genuine concern for conservation.
Taiji is undoubtedly the most practiced form of martial arts in the United States today. Followers range from strapping young push hands champions to the elderly and afflicted. But according to Priest Zhong, we westerners have a very limited understanding of what Taiji really is. His mission is to reveal the true meaning behind the movements of this most precious treasure of China.
Origins of a Wudang Priest
"I was born in the year of the dragon in Huangxi City, Hubei. Many of my elders loved kung fu and that left a great impression on me. Although my father was a scholar who did not learn kung fu, my granduncle both inspired me and taught me a little. In the old countryside, fights often arose between clans, so everyone studied the martial arts. It was a required skill. So in the countryside where I was born, everyone loved kung fu and it was mandatory to study it. This was my inspiration, the city where I was raised. Everybody there loves kung fu, and for whatever reason everyone knew kung fu back then. That's why I fell in love with kung fu too."




der zwölfteilige Brokat - ausführliche Vorschau

über google books kann man sich nun von der unterhaltsamen und lehrreichen Qualität dieses außergewöhnlichen Buchs überzeugen. Es ist im Buchhandel als gebundene Hardcoverausgabe und als Paperback erhältlich.

Boxing Methods of the Internal School

王征南先生傳

BIOGRAPHY OF WANG ZHENGNAN
[also known in abridged form as 內家拳法 Boxing Methods of the Internal School]
黃百家
by Huang Baijia [1676]
[complete translation by Paul Brennan, Aug, 2014]


Wang Zhengnan mastered two arts: boxing and archery. But although there have been many extraordinary archers throughout history, Wang was the best boxer.

Shaolin is the peak of refinement for the external arts. Zhang Sanfeng was a Shaolin expert, but he turned the art on its head and thereby created the internal school. Obtaining just a little bit of it is enough to defeat Shaolin. Wang Zhengnan learned it from Dan Sinan and was the only one of his students to obtain the entire curriculum.

When I was young, I did not train at all for the civil service exams, for I preferred doing things that were a little more extreme. Once I had heard about Wang’s fame, I bundled up some provisions and went to the village of Baozhuang to learn from him. Wang was extremely proprietorial toward his art and very picky about accepting students, but he was happy to take me in and teach me. (There were five kinds of people who he would never teach: those who are devious, those who love to fight, those who are addicted to booze, those who gossip, and those who are klutzy.) There was not enough space in his house, so he trained me instead at the neighboring Iron Buddha Temple.

His art has many colorfully named combat techniques, such as: Reaching Punch and Rolling Chop, Punch Across the Center to Each Side, Swinging an Elbow to Force the Door, Waving an Iron Fan Against the Wind... There are many acupoint targets, such as: points which cause death, muteness, fainting, coughing, as well as the bladder, the “croaking toad”, the “jumping ape”, or Qu Chi [outer part of the bend at the elbow ...

There are many prohibitions against bad habits: do not be lazy, sluggish, or slouching, do not raise your shoulders, step like an old man, stick out your chest, stand too upright, pamper your legs, lift your elbows, sprain your fists, stick your butt out, bend at the waist, engage randomly, or put out both hands with the same reach.

The key principle is practice. Skill will only be achieved through practice. It is not necessary to seek for someone to copy, only to respond to opponents with whatever works, up or down, left or right, forward or back, and to notice the correct moment to engage.

There are thirty-five hand techniques to practice: chop, erase, shake, knock, bump... There are eighteen stepping techniques to practice...

These elements are all used within the Six Lines and the Ten Sections of Brocade, each recorded in verse. [The name “ten sections” is obviously not the same kind of thing as the “six lines” seeing it has twelve lines of verse. What exactly the “sections” are is a mystery.]

...

Considering that these poems are obscure and brief, and therefore hard to hold in the mind, I have added detailed explanations for each of them so as to preserve the material for posterity

...

Although the Six Lines set and the Ten Sections set are for the most part the same kind of material, the Six Lines emphasizes toughening the bones while the Ten Sections emphasizes loosening the joints.

Wang looked at what I had so far recorded, then smiled and told me: “I’ve practiced this stuff my whole life, but I often still seem to have trouble remembering it all. How’ve you made it is as clear as this? I don’t think your skill in the art will ever be able to live up to this record you’ve made of it.”

Gangart beeinflusst unsere Psyche

Studie der Universität Witten: Herdecke belegt Zusammenhang zwischen Gangart und Psyche

29.10.2014
Einer Ausarbeitung der Uni Witten/Herdecke zufolge, beeinflusst unsere Art zu gehen, ob wir uns eher positive oder negative Dinge merken. Das ergebe eine soeben im Journal of Behavioral Therapy and Experimental Psychiatry veröffentlichte Studie von Prof. Dr. Johannes Michalaks von der Universität.

"Viele Studien belegen, dass Bewegung bei Depressionen hilfreich ist, gehen, laufen, wandern. Wir wollten wissen, ob auch die Art des Ganges Einfluss auf depressionsrelevante Prozesse hat", so Michalak in der Mitteilung. So sei den Forschern aus älteren Studien bekannt, wie Depressive und Nicht-Depressive gehen würden.

Veränderung an körperlichen Prozessen eröffnet Behandlungsmöglichkeit bei Depressionen.

Der neuen Studie zufolge haben die Forscher die Gangart von 39 Probanden derart verändert, dass diese entweder fröhlicher oder depressiver gelaufen sind, als sie das unter normalen Umständen machen würden. Dann sollten die Probanden entscheiden, ob sie ihnen angebotene negative oder positive Wörter beschreiben. Bei einem anschließend kurzfristig durchgeführten unangekündigten Gedächtnistest wurde dann abgefragt, ob die Probanden sich eher positiv oder negativ beschriebene Wörter gemerkt hatten.
Dabei kam heraus, dass sich die Probanden mit dem depressiven Gang mehr negative Wörter gemerkt haben, während sich die Kontrollgruppe mit dem fröhlichen Gang mehr positive Wörter merkte.

"Das zeigt uns, dass unsere Art sich zu bewegen Auswirkung darauf hat, ob wir eher positive oder negative Informationen verarbeiten. Es gibt also einen Zusammenhang zwischen Körper, hier der Gangart und der Psyche, hier der Art, welche Informationen wir uns merken. Solche Ergebnisse könnten in Zukunft dazu verwendet werden, Behandlungsmöglichkeiten für Menschen mit Depressionen zu entwickeln, die über eine Veränderung von körperlichen Prozessen wirken", erklärt Michalak. Damit wäre die Medizin um eine weitere Behandlungsmethode von Depressionen reicher. Denn obwohl die Möglichkeiten zur Behandlung von Depressionen fast so vielfältig wie die Ursachen der psychischen Leiden sind, kann längst nicht allen Betroffenen geholfen werden. Insofern kann man nur hoffen, dass es den Forschern um Johannes Michalak gelingt, eine wirksame Behandlungsmethode aus den gewonnenen Erkenntnissen zu entwickeln, die die Zahl der behandelbaren Fälle erhöht. Depressionen sind in Deutschland die Hauptursache für Arbeitsunfähigkeit und Frühverrentung. (jp)

Was ich meine, wenn ich vom Hüftgelenk rede.

This interview we conducted with Chen Zhonghua, is the prepublication version of an article which appeared in the Fall of 2005 issue of TaiChi Magazine. It is offered here as a source for future discussion and feedback, for interests of the readers. Quelle: practicalmethod.com

Function and Usage of the kua

Q & A with Chen Zhonghua
This article presents questions and answers, based on instructions in workshops, with Chen Zhonghua. The course material was Hong’s Practical Method of Chen style Tai Chi. Training emphasized mechanics and application skills. This selection of those questions and answers dealt with understanding of function and usage of the kua,in developing those skills.

The questioning here led to answers which deal with some universal topics and challenges which inevitably present themselves to serious Tai Chi practitioners, regardless of style. For example, often discussed ideas about “whole body movement”, “separation of upper and lower body “, “role of the waist”, “transfer of power”, “opening the kua”, and “central equilibrium”, are considered here with a penetrating survey in a precise context with a practical orientation.

As one comprehends the following elaboration, these intellectually familiar concepts may be better appreciated as being far more than some aesthetic or philosophical ideals. Rather, a very persistent and patient commitment to the physical work of developing the skills related to usage of the kua, is prerequisite to actualizing those ideals. Perhaps this may serve to inspire further exploration, to help readers progress through the challenges of actually integrating the concepts into their practice.

Anatomy and General Understanding

 Q. It is quite common for teachers of the internal arts to emphasize the importance of the kua for attainment of higher levels of skill. What could you say about the kua in terms of its role in the practice of Tai Chi?

 Its fundamental role is that without the kua the upper and lower body cannot properly work together. The kua is the body part responsible for integration of upper and lower body.

 Q. Can you give some description or details? In context of the hips, groin, pelvic girdle, or the femur, speaking in simple layman’s view of anatomy—- how would you describe the kua?

The kua is that ball joint inside, at the top of the thigh bone. I dont know the English name for it (femur), the ball joint inside, inside the hip.

Q. The tops of the thigh bones that rotate?

Yes, the ball joint, thats the kua. The rest, the body parts connected with it, are just things associated with it. Thats why there is always confusion, why the understanding of it always changes. At different levels you will be able to associate your kua with other parts of your body. Its these various different perceptions of experience of the kua, that give rise to different explanations of the kua among different masters or teachers.

Q. When they talk about the kua, maybe their definitions are more in terms of its usage?

Yes. As you exercise that joint, itaffects the structure and movement of your body. The better you are at using the kua, the better your body is coordinated. So it will appear that different masters use the kua differently, with varying levels and depth of experience of that function.. Ability to connect the kua with better integration with the body reveals higher skill.

But the simple objective anatomical definition of the kua has not been wrong in the past. It is commonly understood to be that ball joint.

Functional Relationship with Upper and Lower body

Q. So greater ability brings better coordination of kua with different parts of the body. Could you distinguish the role of the hips, the waist, and the kua in terms of using it properly?

To properly use your kua you have to properly use the body parts around the kua. You have to use your hips correctly and use your two thigh bones, the femurs, correctly; also, to use your weight correctly and move your tail bone correctly. These are the things that are associated with it, so they must be considered. But these are aboutthe kua, relevant to the kua. They are not the kua itself. Yet when you talk about the kua, you cannot talk about it without considering the areas I just mentioned.

Q. Perhaps the area of the body that most frequently causes confusion about mechanics of correct Tai Chi practice is the role of the waist. Can you talk about the connection of the waist and the kua, and the distinction between the waist and the kua in terms of usage?

In terms of function, it is better to emphasize the primary role of the kua, rather than the waist. On the surface, people view Tai Chi exercise in terms of the waist. Waist is what you see, but the work is done by the kua. Consider the waist area from the kua, the crease in the two legs, (inguinal crease), from that portion all the way up to your arm pits. This whole body trunk, this one piece must be expressed, exercised as one piece. Think of this one piece as a round cylinder sitting on top of two legs. It is the function of the kua to coordinate the two legs directing this one cylinder.

Q. Communication from the legs to that whole upper body?

The communication will never occur unless the kua is properly aligned.
Think of it like a physical machine. The U joints on the 2 thighs must adjust so the cylinder can be aligned correctly, adjusting in terms of length, angle, and its ability to maneuver with connectedness.
This connectedness is very elusive and difficult. The requirement of the joint is to be connected to take full weight of the body, yet it must have flexibility to direct movement at all times. So it is similar to a universal joint. The kua must be able to carry the weight with a constant friction level, and yet constantly changing direction, without disrupting the connection.

Primary Role of Kua, Guiding, Adjusting Function

Q. How does the kua function to accomplish those different things?

The other body parts I mentioned earlier must come into play. We must understand how they work together.
Now we are talking about the function of different body parts associated with the kua. The trunk, the waist and torso, must be erect. It sits squarely on top of the two legs, and the kua joint guides the waist as it adjusts to actions involved in maneuvering, changing direction.
The two kua guide change of direction. The body trunk doesn’t guide, it adjusts to changing direction. Like a log in water, the water can move causing the log to move, not the log causing the water to move. The two kua must move in a manner directing upper body movement, not the other way around.
Recognize this major distinction. Most people mistakenly assign primary function to the waist. The waist actually is the base of this cylinder I talked about. To view waist movement as primary, to view it as physically moving this cylinder, causing your legs to move— thats wrong understanding. Leg movement causes the kua to move, thus causing the adjustment of the trunk.

Q. Like the incorrect practice known as noodling? Too much waist movement, or the knees and the arms and shoulders are moving all over place, with no kind of strong connected root from the ground and power because the upper body is separated from the lower?

Thats right.

Q. This has been the most amazing discovery emerging from what you have taught us, over the course of this workshop. For so many years, books and instructions from teachers always seem to place all emphasis on the guiding role of the waist. Mention is made of the necessity to open the kua. But no one has ever clarified details of how the waist is being directed by kua, as opposed to moving the waist, using the waist muscles—- rather than being directed by the adjusting mechanisms of the kua. Now it is clear why performance of form and difficulties in push hands practice have been less than satisfactory, with the undesirable qualities mentioned. This is a starting point to get on the right track. Thank you very much.

You are welcome.

Integrative Function of the Kua

Q. Can you elaborate how the kua makes for the correct connectedness of the trunk, hands, and arms being driven powerfully from the ground—– as opposed to non connected noodling?

The critical element is the action of upper body in relation with lower body. The trunk must be set in a fixed position and cannot move independently. It can only rotate, or adjust to the action of the legs. Action of the legs must be on the knees. When the knee moves, energy is propelled both ways. One portion goes to the feet right through the ground, the other portion into the kua in directing the trunk. That is the proper action.
That is why beginners have excess knee movement. As they improve, movement of knees becomes smaller. With practice they learn to effectively make use of small movement to cause large changes in the body.

Q. Did you say that one knee is pushing while the other is pulling? One pushing the ground the other pushing the kua?

The two knees: one must go up, one down. That is the physical action. At all times the main source of power of the body must be two knees going one up one down. As skill develops, they may not appear to do so, but the action is still the same. As the player gets more advanced, knee movement may be less obvious, but still the power must be initiated from the two knees.

Q. How do you distinguish that from saying the power is coming from the kua, one pushing down and one pushing up?

Kua is the joint responsible for transmission of power. The mistaken notion of dantian acting as the transmission should be amended, to recognize the primary role of kua. The dantian, ( in Tai Chi functional terms, not qigong usage), is defined as the area between the kua and the arm pit. This is one big ball. When this area turns you wont see the kua turn. On surface, you only see the area from kua to arm pit turn. Therefor many people practice shoulder movement, turning dantian from the top. We must emphasize turning of the dantian from the bottom.

Q. And that is from the knees pumping like pistons, one going down and one going up?

It is more precise then that, but at the beginner level it is important to know that the knees function like two pistons.


Kua Establishing Correct Usage of Dantian and Upper Body

Q. When you bring in the concept of the dantian, are you saying the kua is rotating on each side and the ball is staying centered?

Whatever the intended activity of the upper body may be, rotations of the two kua are coordinated so as to ensure the trunk sitting on top of them remains erect all the time. How you do that each time varies, but the trunk must remain level, erect, and suspended.

Q. It seems that the functional role of the abdominal area just above the kua, the dantian or whatever, this includes the whole waist?

Yes

Q. So the waist really isnt moving, its not moving up and down and not moving left and right. Its staying in one place like a ball sitting on top of these two rotating balls under it?

I can give you a better word. Its called adjusting, not moving.
The dantian area adjusts to the movement or the actions of the kua area, driven by the knees. At the same time, the dantian area can adjust to other movement, such as the shoulders being pushed or pulled by your opponent. In any case, dantian doesn’t cause action. It adjusts to actions applied on to it.

Q. Would you also say it is the point in the center of the body that maintains that uprightness and equilibrium?

Yes, it maintains and it adjusts. It does not create action. But for most practitioners, due to incorrect understanding, they attempt to create the action from the waist.

Q. So you mean dantian should keep itself completely stable?

Yes, it is important that movement is initiated in the knees. Incorrect practice, attempting to initiate movement from dantian, leads to twisting the waist, the knee, the arms and everything. The common mistakes in practice, wrong body mechanics such as the knee twisting sideways, are due to wrong application of kua, not connecting properly with associated body parts.

Q. So if the kua is open, one can get this action with the knees, one going to the ground, one going to the kua, and adjusting with each other to allow the continual centered position of the dantian. If the kua is too pinched, or closed, or compressed, however you say it, then the knees will not be allowed to go down and up? If there is some twisting of the knee, does that mean the kua is resisting being open?

Two ways to view it. One, the kua is resisting, so the knee twists. Second, even if flexibility of the kua is adequate, to allow correct action of the kua, incorrect action of the knees would push the kua out of alignment. It is necessary to develop the awareness of coordination of kua and knees.

Q. You have to learn how to coordinate them with each other to produce the proper alignment and the proper balancing?

Yes.

Functional Relationships of Kua, Dantian, and Physical Structure

Q. You have clarified the function of knees and kua, and their primary role in directing action of the waist, dantian, and upper body. Can you elaborate further on the mechanics of how the kua directs the activity of the dantian, to allow the qualities of correct practice, and higher levels of Tai Chi?

Consider the globe of the earth. We have all seen these globes, resting in a seat cradled underneath. Similarly, the kua has legs underneath it. Compare what is above it to the globe. This globefor us is the dantian. Dantian is anything sitting on top of the two kua. When the two kua move proportionately, in coordination with each other, the dantian resting above can function correctly for desired results. If one kua moves more than the other kua, you will see a noodling quality or other incorrect practice.
This defines the relationship between kua and dantian. Kua is only the seat. Dantian is what is on top of the seat. If one kua disengages from this dantian, resulting movement is not upright, not balanced, causing noodling, wiggling, and other incorrect qualities. An example would be belly dance movement, as contrasting with the dantian movement we describe.

Q. Practically speaking, when I see you move, your shoulders stay level and your hips stay level. They rotate, but they dont grate up and down.

They dont but they do. You may not see the subtle underlying activity.

Q. Well, I see the back of the hips where they are connected is moving a lot, but it keeps the part above those ball joints appearing to stay level. It seems to me that the pelvic hip points, which are level with the dantian and the waist, they seem to stay level.

Sure, that seems a good observation and you can say that. I agree with you.

Q. I think when most people say hips, they dont understand anatomy. They may understandhips as being all those bones in the waist area. Where the hip joints are really much lower than that at the top, right where the leg sockets are. Those leg sockets twist around all over, but you can rotate them by adjusting them in coordination and still keep the hip points level.

Yes. You are describing what you see, as correct or incorrect. Also you are describing a quality. A good quality, high quality, and low quality. But the essence is still deeper than that.
Essentially, it is like the ball sitting in the seat. You can move the globe with the seat stable. Or move the seat, the globe will move. The bottom line will depend on skill level. At varying levels of skill, your actions are different.
At higher levels, the seat remains stationary, always adjusting. The globe moves above it. At beginning level, we are incapable of movement of the globe by not moving, so we move a lot. The result is overextension and problems you have noticed. You observe my hips and kua area remain relatively stable, yet I can still cause action of the body. Thats the difference between our levels. Ultimately, at highest level, it shouldnt even move.
Let me describe it another way. Consider the U joint on a car. It can move the wheel of the car in various directions. Whatever the range of direction, it is still movement. Yet a look underneath the car would reveal the U joint as fixed onto the bottom frame of the car. Like that, the body part, the joint of the kua, is fixed. Yet what’s inside it can move any direction.
Another analogy. Make your one hand like a cup, your other hand a fist. Put your fist in the cup. The cup is like the kua. The fist is inside it. Now rotate your fist, in the kua. The cup never moves, yet it allows the fist to change in various directions. In this manner, the kua doesnt really move. Yet it causes, it adjusts other parts of your body to move within a fixed frame.

Q. Is that contradictory to what you said earlier, about incorrect movement of waist first, to move the kua and knees—-that correct action is driven from knees, with kua adjusting, then causing waist to move?

No, not contradictory. Its exactly the same. For example, imagine your fist inside the cup. Your fist is like the femur that goes into the kua. It moves because theknee moves. The kua is in a fixed position, but it adjusts to allow movement changing direction. The kua is open, adjusting smoothly, so your body can change direction within a fixed frame. This is the requirement of Tai Chi, which appears contradictory to students. It is that very elusive ability which must be developed over time through practice.

Q. Could you explain the contradiction?

The contradiction of Tai Chi is that your body does not appear to move and yet you have to create action internally, to generate a degree power and dynamism at least equal to external arts such as boxing. How can you generate such power, if your body as awhole does not appear to move at all? The kua holds the key to answer this dilemma. When the kua is activated correctly, the kua and other body parts provide a fixed frame, so your body appears not to move. Yet this allows activity inside to produce external results .

Function of Kua in Transfer of Energy

Q. That leads to the question of the concept of energy transfer. Getting power or energy from the ground, the legs, to the torso, waist, arms, hands. The key to real power sounds like this coordinatingcontrol of the kua? Can you describe the process or explain the role of the kua in this transfer of energy from the ground, the legs, the kua, the torso, the waist, arms, hands—the role of the kua in generating that power?

Let’s view this from a different perspective. Internal energy is activated though movement of joints, not through lack of movement. Rather, there is a flow of movement within the frame. But the action of the joints is not that they are stretched, or extended, or moved horizontally. The joints are only turned, or rotated.

Q. What you are describing sounds like experience of the kua in doing a positive circle. I feel the pelvic girdle stays centered and thats the only way my dantian can stay centered. What happens is that thetwo kua kind of push against each other. So they have to turn. One has to rotate up to the other one around in the opposite direction of the circle. Its like they are pumping into each other.

Thats correct.
Youre getting onto something very important here. The key is, your two kua are locked onto your body frame. Fixed in place, they do not move from that frame, they only rotate.
This is very different from your two hands, for example, which can move freely, without connection with rest of body. The kua is not free to move horizontally. Unlike hands, you cant put one kua on your body and the other three feet away from your body.
Your two kua are always connected, as an anatomical constant fact. When you believe you are moving your kua, you are actually just rotating one kua against the other. As you just said, its as if they squeeze together toward each other causing your waist to turn. Thats very crucial.
In terms of function of the kua in generation of energy, the kua is essentially a junction. So anything that you talk about in regards to any joint applies to kua. Tai Chi energy being the product of joint rotation, the kua’s role is most important, since it is the largest joint. Rotation of a small joint generates a small range of movement. When you rotate a large joint, you generate a large range of movement.
When you rotate your two kua, they cause your waist, your dantian, to turn. It is a coordinated and proportional movement, not independent activity of the kua. As the largest joint, the kua’s effect on range of movement of dantian and waist can be quite significant, so much so that the entire body can appear to move.
This is the unique quality of Tai Chi movement, generated by joint rotation, not by muscles pushing and pulling. This is drastically different from normal human activity, which employs the muscles in physical effort of muscles independently pushing and pulling various parts of the body.

The Key Role of the Kua in Meeting Unique Requirements of Tai Chi

Q. It seems the reason the kua makes everything else move, is because it’s in the middle of the body. Or it is controlling the waist, which is in the middle of the body.

Yes, you can say that. As well as being the largest joint, the kua is most strategically positioned . These things illustrate its crucial importance.

Q. As I understand your description of generation of power in the upper body, its the rotation of the kua, being in the middle, with the knees pumping the ground, driving the power directly through the center to get to those points of the upper body. What about in terms of its role in the classical Tai Chi functions? For example, to absorb and neutralize, when an opponent is pushing on you. You can maintain your balance or adjust your body parts to absorb his power and neutralize it and then redirect it.

Yes. Using kua to make dantian waist rotation, half a waist turn translates into 30-50 centimeters, or more, between one and two and a half feet. That is a wide range of movement, in terms of neutralization.

Q. How about in terms of redirecting power and then releasing power?

Your question reflects misunderstanding, as you are using the terms incorrectly. There is no redirection and no release. The most crucial thing is to have proper use of dantian, that long ball centered in the body, controlled by its seat, the kua.
For example, in practice, my body is round. My physical action is more rounded than your physical action. Everything relates to the dantian. My movements more clearly reflect rotation around a clearly identified center. You might feel that you are trying to move like a ball too, but it appears as more linear movement. This prevents accomplishment of the higher Tai Chi skills.
All these skills people mention are representations of this one action. The big ball in the center moving, and turning. If the dantian rotates properly, with center never moving, the center never changes positions. Thus, automatically it accomplishes neutralization. Action becomes soft, smooth, and strong, causing redirection. To simply say this move is redirect, this move it push, this move is absorbing— such descriptions are incorrect. I can tell you though, when you master rotation of the center of your body, you will have peng, lu, ji, an and all the other tai chi energies. How they relate is an extensive topic for future discussion.
Correct Usage of Kua, Establishing a Center for Advanced Tai Chi Skills

Q. So the correct description is that you just have this very centered awareness that automatically adjusts to any movement upon it, or any pressure upon it?

Speaking in traditional terms, the goal as defined by Hong Junsheng is to ultimately have one point on the body. Feng Zhiqiang described it as one grain of chi.
Through training, eventually you experience the body as always pivoting on one dot. Everything rotates and moves around it. Thats Hong’s description of the overall guiding principle. Feng’s overall guiding principle is one grain of chi. They are talking about the same thing.

Q. Is it a state of awareness and coordination of body, that the individual is experiencing all movement pivoting on this one point right in the center of the body?

Yes. And because everything pivots on it, you know where your center is, and your opponent cant find the center.
The requirement of Tai Chi is to be centered, and not reveal to your opponent where that center is. Your opponent feels no center, because he cant find it. Wherever he pushes, he can never catch what he cannot find. But if you lack recognition of your own center, your opponent can find it all the time. When you push, you generate a center as you respond to the push— your center goes directly into the push.

Q. When you havent developed the awareness and coordination of that center, it’s easy for the opponent to find it because any time you try to move or push youre pushing it right into him?

Yes. Also, from another angle, if I consciously create a center somewhere on myself, you can never find it. And if I dont establish a center you can find it, because whenever you touch me you are actually creating a center on me.

Q. Because the person being pushed knows how to establish balance? So the key is really about equilibrium and balance?

Yes. It’s who owns it.

Q. The one who owns the central equilibrium?

Yes. That word I have no problem with. In terms of yin and yang, balance and establishing center are critical variables.

Q. And when you resist, or meet force with force, you lose balance and immediately expose your center to your opponent?

If you own center, I lose it. If I own it, I dont lose it, and you can’t find it. Thats the objective of training. I have a student who is a magician. He says you impose your conduct onto your opponent. Understand that?

Q. Yes, but it seems pretty abstract.

It means, through training, I can construct a center onto myself, so you will not recognize it or be able to locate it. Before you start pushing me, I have already formulated a center in my body. As your actions are consumed in attempting to find my center, you cannot establish a center for yourself. Without any center you are lost.

Q. You dont have awareness and balance from that central point?

You can also see that, when people do the form incorrectly. From perception of a skilled eye, in observation of someone practicing form, it is obvious when there is no awareness of center. The quality of waving arms, arms moving independently from the body, overextension, and other flaws will be apparent.
This brings us full circle, to recognize the primary importance of the correct use of kua, driven by knees, guiding the waist with awareness of the center of dantian, coordinating activities of the upper body.

Practice for Developing Correct Usage of Kua

Q. Concerning training to improve these skills, how can we open up the kua? Here is the problem. People have difficulties practicing, because they are always compensating one part of the body for another, to try to get the appearance of the teachers form. How would you advise students to practice, to open the kua.?

There are some basic exercises you can do. Do all the foundation circles I taught you. To a certain extent, these facilitate opening the kua. Also practice the fetching the pail, twisting towel, 6 sealing 4 closingexercises. Practice that kua exercise, in which you squat down sideways with one leg stretched out, like the action of falling into a sled. Practice each side.
But these exercises do not really produce the open kua experience. They only loosen up the kua, so you are ready. The ultimate experience of the kua opening evolves over time as one learns how to restrain, or be in control of its movement.
Ill give you an analogy, to illustrate how to practice correctly. Compare the kua movement to a ball turning. The restraining capability I am describing is like that turning ball rotating inside a square box. Imagine the sides of the ball all press against the inside walls of the box. So the ball, in constant contact with the box’s four sides, is always restrainedfrom any horizontal movement. The ball can only rotate in its fixed position, inside the box. If the top of the box is open, you can touch it to spin the ball, but the ball doesnt toss or move horizontally. It only rotates.
This analogy illustrates the guideline for form practice. Body movement should be always connected and driven by joint rotation, not by independent movement of body parts. Form should be upright and stable. The body shouldn’t bob up and down, nor toss from side to side. The spine must be straight, moving rotationally from center, rather than tilting.
Movement reflects adjustment within a fixed frame, with limbs always connected. There is no waving of the arms. Arms only move connected with torso, from kua rotation driven by legs, not independently from the body. That is what kua movement is about. Only by moving in this manner, can you eventually develop your kua.
The function of the kua is to be able to rotate constantly, with the body adjusting accordingly. Many people develop only range of motion of the kua, not functional ability. Movement without stable rotation accomplishes nothing. Only balanced, coordinated kua rotation produces the qualities of soft, smooth, stable, neutralizing, redirecting—- all Tai Chi qualities. Tai Chi requires adjustment of each kua with each other in complete coordination, with the area above the kua maintaining its equilibrium in the midst of those two rotations.

Q. Thats what causes the body or the arms or the movements in the form to be caused by that rotation rather than to be caused by muscles pushing and pulling those parts of the body around?

Yes. Another point, as Master Hong said, The opening of the kua is a matter of one millimeter.If your kua is open, a very minute movement can bring profound results. Correct usage of the kua allows for application of whole body power. When the kuais open, it serves the function of connecting the body, allowing for flow of energy in a fixed frame.

Q. Could you say if the two kua are open they always counterbalance each other properly to allow the proper alignment and direction of the body? Then the kua can allow the body to have tremendous power because it is structurally aligned?

Yes. If the body is connected, with proper structural alignment, a little bit of direction from the kua gives it tremendous power, because the whole bodys weight can be directed at the point of contact.
If the kua is not open, mere physical movement of the kua may be like that of a belly dancer, without value for Tai Chi. Or one might possess the flexibility of a gymnast, moving the kua any which way, but have no Tai Chi skill. Stretching and increasing flexibility are a physical property, not necessarily indicative of an open kua. They do not have a Tai Chi function.
Opening of the kua is a function, vital for correct Tai Chi movement. Opening of the kua is a special quality. It reflects the ability to turn your kua to serve Tai Chi, to facilitate the proper structural alignment for postures to serve their proper function.
Coordinating the two kua together to produce the proper structural flow—this creates the proper Tai Chi form, with power, root,and whole body movement. The unity of movement of the different parts of the body is dependent upon the kua functioning properly to facilitate structuring of that unity.

Thank you.

Die große Zeremonie

Um was es dabei genau geht, kann ich leider auch nicht sagen. Es hat mit einem 600 Jahre Zyklus zu tun und natürlich vor allem mit dem Zhen Wu Kult. Da Zhen Wu als Beherrscher des Nordens auch ein Wassergott ist, wurde er von Seeleuten nach Taiwan gebracht, wo der Kult heute noch sehr präsent ist. Nach dieser Zeremonie sind alle Teilnehmer, 200 Menschen, nach Taiwan geflogen um dort von Tempel zu Tempel zu reisen. Es ist wirklich eine große Sache.











Der Meister



I. Der Meister ist dein ärgster Feind, direkt nach dir. Er zeigt dir, wo dein Platz ist, was du kannst und was nicht.

II. Der Meister liebt dich. Er erwartet nicht, dass du ihn liebst oder verehrst. Er verdient deinen Respekt. 

III. Der Meister fordert alles von dir, mehr als du freiwillig geben würdest. Ohne den Meister würdest du nicht über dich hinaus wachsen können. Während du alles gibst und mehr als du freiwillig bereit wärest zu geben, langweilt sich der Meister. Aber er wird es dir nie zeigen. 

IV. Erst wenn du glaubst selbst ein Meister zu sein, fängt die richtige Arbeit des Meisters an. 

V. Der Meister ist nicht daran interessiert, aus dir einen Champion zu machen. Medaillen kann man nicht essen. Natürlich kannst du an Wettkämpfen teilnehmen und du magst glauben, damit dem Meister einen Gefallen zu tun. Der Meister weiß um seine Meisterschaft und braucht keine Werbetrommel. 

VI. Der Meister kann durchaus öffentlich auftreten, Interviews geben, Bücher schreiben, die Künste präsentieren, solange er nicht seine Schüler vergisst. Ein Meister, der sich nur noch nach außen wendet, ist kein Meister mehr. 

VII. Der Meister soll Schüler ohne Talent und ohne Gongfu wegschicken und nicht des Geldes wegen behalten. 

VIII. Es gibt verschiedene Schulen und Richtungen. Sie sollen gemeinsam blühen und die Künste voranbringen und sich nicht gegenseitig bekämpfen. Unsitten gehören gebrandtmarkt.

IX. Der Meister zeigt weder Übellaunigkeit noch Verdruß. Er kultiviert seine Liebe zu den Künsten. Technik ist e in anderes Wort für Kunst.

X. Ohne Begeisterung ist Lehren sinnlos.

ps. Es gibt auch Meisterinnen.

frei nach Daniela Strigl über die Literaturkritik

Zhen Wu Da Di

Die Geschichte des Wahren Krieger



Zhen Wu Da Di (真武大帝-der Große Wahre Krieger Kaiser) wird auch als Xuan Wu (玄武– Dunkler Krieger) und Geheimnisvoller Kaiser des nördlichen Himmels (玄天上帝Xuantian Shang Di). Das Buch des Obersten Ehrwürdige der göttlichen Incarnation erzählt die Geschichte der großen Sage um den Wahren Krieger des Geheimnisvollen Nördlichen Himmels (太上说玄天大圣真武本传神咒妙经 Taishang Shuo Xuantian Dasheng Zhenwu Benzhuan Shenzhou Miaojing), nach dessen Angaben Zhen Wu der 82. Avatar des ehrwürdige Obersten Herrschers Tai Shang Lao Jun (太上老君) war. Als Sohn des Königs von Jing Le (净乐), wurde er im himmlischen Palast der Nicht-Begierde geboren. Die Königin hat geträumt das sie die Sonne verschluckt hatte, und war nach dem Erwachen plötzlich schwanger. Nach 14 Monaten Schwangerschaft gebar Sie ein prächtiges Baby. Der Prinz war ein außergewöhnlich kluges Kind und er lernte früh verschiedene daoistische Praktiken. Er wuchs ohne jeglichen materiellen Mangel auf. Anfang 20 hatte er eine Vision, in dem Tai Shang Lao Jun ihm das Elend der Welt zeigte und ihm riet, nach Wudang Shan zu gehen (damals noch Tai He Shan太和山), um dort das Dao zu kultivieren. Er verließ seine Heimat und sein Elternhaus, und machte sich auf den Weg zum Berg Wudang. Tai Shang Lao Jun beauftragte einen Unsterblichen von Wudang ein Auge auf den Prinzen zu werfen, und ihn vor Gefahren zu beschützen. Unterwegs hatte Zhen Wu mehrere Begegnungen; zunächst schenkte er einem Mann sein Pferd, als er sah, das dessen Mutter sehr krank war und dringend zu einem Arzt musste. Danach half er einem alten Mann, der einem streit suchenden Raufbold eine hohe Summe Geld schuldete, und dieser dessen kleine Enkelin stattdessen mitnehmen wollte, um sie zu verkaufen. Der Prinz kannte den Wert des Geldes nicht, und so gab er dem Raufbold was er von Zuhause mitgenommen hatte, und dass war mehr als genug, um dem alten Mann seine Schulden zu erlassen. Nun hatte er nichts mehr, ausser dass was er am Leibe trug. Er wanderte weiter bis er das Gebiet des Wudang Shan erreichte. Während dessen hatte seine Mutter sich mit nur wenig Gefolge auf den Weg gemacht, um ihn zurück zu holen. Als sie ihn fast erreichte, schaffte er es gerade noch so auf schwierigem Gelände und gewundenen Wegen zu entkommen. Sie rief ihm nach und das Echo war weit zu hören. Heute werden deshalb diese Wege in Wudang „ Die 18 gewundenen Pfade der Rufe der Mutter“ genannt. Als sie merkte das er nicht zurück kommt, weinte sie unaufhörlich, und es entstand ein kleiner Brunnen, welcher heute „ Brunnen der Tränen der Mutter“ genannt wird. Unbeirrt wanderte Zhen Wu weiter. Auf einem Pfad begegnete er einem meditierenden alten Daoisten, welcher ihn nach einigen prüfenden Fragen als Schüler akzeptierte und in verschiedenen Praktiken unterwies. Sein Meister war Yuan Shi Tian Zun 元始天尊 . Zhen Wu übte voller Eifer und trainierte hart Tag ein Tag aus, und suchte sich oft abgelegene Plätze, um in Ruhe zu meditieren. Nach einiger Zeit, hatte er jedoch das Gefühl, das er in seiner Praxis keine Fortschritte macht und er bekam Heimweh. Dann fasste er den Endschluss Wudang zu verlassen und nach Hause zurück zu kehren.

Beim Abstieg begegnete er einer alten Frau die eine dicke Eisenstange auf einem Stein wetzte. Zhen Wu fragte was sie da tue, da antwortete ihm die alte Frau: „ Ich schleife diese Eisenstange zu einer Nadel. Meine Tochter soll bald heiraten und ich will ihr ein schönes Hochzeitskleid nähen. Dafür brauche ich eine gute Nadel". Zhen Wu sagte : „ Eine Nadel kostet doch sicher nicht viel, warum macht ihr euch soviel Arbeit mit dieser Eisenstange, es wird ewig dauern bis ihr eine Nadel daraus gemacht habt “. Die Frau antwortete: „ Es mag vielleicht mehrere Jahre dauern, aber wenn ich beständig schleife und schleife, dann bekomme ich sicher eine besonders gute Nadel“ . Als er diese Worte hörte, traf es ihn wie ein Blitz. Er bedankte sich bei der alten Frau und machte sich auf den Weg zurück auf den Berg, denn er verstand nun das er beständig üben muss, um eines Tages sein Selbst zu überwinden und unsterblich zu werden. Es war Tai Shang Lao Jun der Zhen Wu in der Gestalt der alten Frau wieder auf den rechten Pfad brachte.

Nach vielen Jahren der Kultivierung hatte er einen engen Bezug zu seiner Umwelt bekommen. Verschiedene Tiere begleiteten ihn auf seinen Touren durch die Natur. Wenn er sich für Tage in Stille setzte, wachten Tiger, Bären und Wölfe über ihn; wenn er Hunger hatte, brachten Affen, Eichhörnchen, Rehe und andere Tiere ihm Früchte, Nüsse und Gemüse. Dann schlürft er den Nebel und trinkt den Tau.

Zhen Wu war mittlerweile ein außergewöhnlicher Kämpfer geworden und beherrschte eine besondere Schwerttechnik. Als sich eines Tages eine Armee nährte, welche ihn auf Befehl seiner Mutter zurück holen sollte, nahm er sein Schwert und spaltete mit einem Schlag einen Berg und eine tiefe Schlucht entstand zwischen ihm und der Armee. Die Soldaten waren machtlos und kehrten ohne den Prinzen zurück. Zhen Wu ging zurück in die Einsamkeit und fuhr mit seiner Praxis fort.

Oft aas er wochen-, ja sogar monatelang nichts, schlief nicht und regte sich kein stück. In tiefer Meditation verharrend, akzeptiert er sogar das sich Vögel auf seinem Kopf aus seinen zerzausten Haaren ein Nest bauten. Er wollte sich endgültig von der Nahrung und somit von den Gewohnheiten trennen. Eines Tages traf er an einem Fluss auf eine schwangere Frau, die im Begriff war zu gebären. Die Frau war Guan Yin, welche sich als Schwangere ausgab. Zhen Wu half ihr und als sie das Kind zur Welt gebracht hatte säuberte er alles vom Blut und der Nachgeburt im Fluss. Plötzlich erschienen vier Zeichen im Wasser : 玄天上帝 Xuan Tian Shang Di. Er erkannte das er sich von seinen vergangenen Taten befreien und reinigen muss und schnitt sich den Magen und Darm aus dem Leib um sie ebenfalls zu reinigen und sich somit von vergangenen Lastern zu befreien. Das Wasser des Flusses wurde ganz schwarz und kurz darauf wieder ganz klar und rein. Als er dies tat war Guan Yin so berührt davon, dass sie ihn sofort heilte.

Seine Gedärme nahmen die Erdenergie auf und wurden zu einer riesigen Schlange und Schildkröte, welche versuchten Unheil zu verursachen. Zhen Wu zähmte sie und von nun an folgten sie ihm überall hin. Er konnte sogar auf ihnen reisen und sie hörten auf seinen Befehl. In Menschengestalt kümmerten sie sich als General Wan Gong und Wan Ma um die Bedürfnisse der Menschen die um den Wudang Shan lebten. Bevor sich Zhen Wu in Wudang niederließ, war das Gebiet sehr verwildert und Gefährlich. Er wird dem Element Feuer zugeordnet und Zhen Wu dem Wasser. Laut daoistischer Lehre : Ist das Wasser unten und Feuer oben so ist Chaos und Unordnung; ist Feuer unten und Wasser oben, erhitzt Feuer das Wasser und Dampf steigt auf. Im übertragenen Sinne heisst das, der belebende Geist kann aufsteigen.

Zhen Wu praktizierte für 42 Jahre auf dem Wudang Shan, als eines Tages ein junges Mädchen zu ihm kam und ihm schöne Augen machte. Er lies sich nicht beeinflussen und war trotzdem höflich zu ihr. Sie bot sich an ihn zu heiraten und schmiss sich ihm an den Hals, da stieß er sie zurück und sagte das er sie niemals heiraten kann, da er das Dao kultiviert und dafür keine Zeit habe. Sie brach in tränen aus und rief das sie nicht zurück nach Hause kann, und wenn er sie nicht nimmt, dann würde sie keinen Sinn mehr haben zu leben. Als sie das sagte sprang sie von einer Klippe. Zhen Wu erkannte die Folge seiner Tat und selbstlos sprang er hinterher, um sie zu retten. Das Mädchen war niemand anderes als sein Meister, der ihn zum aller letzten mal prüfte. Sie verwandelte sich und zusammen mit fünf Drachen stieg Zhen Wu zum Himmel hinauf und wurde unsterblich. Ihm wurde der Titel „Xuan Tian Shang Di“ verliehen und der Jade-Kaiser (玉帝Yudi) befahl im über den Norden zu wachen.

Die fünf Drachen

Die fünf Drachen waren die fünf Ketten oder Anhaftungen, denen sich Zhen Wu im Laufe seiner Kultivierung entledigte. Die fünf Drachen stehen auch für die fünf Wandlungsphasen der menschlichen Charaktereigenschaften und Bedürfnisse. Diese sind Unbeständigkeit (Holz), das Ego (Feuer), die gesellschaftlichen Bindungen (Erde), Rituale und Gewohnheiten (Metall) und natürliche Bedürfnisse (Wasser). Zhen Wu überwand sein Selbst und schaffte es die Ketten gegenseitig aufzulösen. Wie bei den Zyklen der Wu Xing (Fünf Wandlungsphasen) in der chinesischen Medizin, können die Eigenschaften eines Menschen genährt und kontrolliert werden. Zhen Wu verließ sein Elternhaus und löste sich von den Pflichten und Vorzügen eines Prinzen. Er gab alles auf, bis er nur noch das hatte, was er am Leibe trug. Er nahm jede schmach auf sich und überwand sein Ego und übte Tag ein Tag aus und überwand somit seine Unbeständigkeit. Dann wiederum wollte er nach Hause zurückkehren, jedoch überwand er diesen Wunsch als er die Nadelschleiferin traf und umkehrte, um weiter zu kultivieren. Er hat unsteständig gehandelt und seine Gewohnheiten und seine gesellschaftlichen Bedürfnisse mit ein bisschen hilfe überwunden. Er hörte auf zu essen und schlief nicht mehr und somit löste er sich von den natürlichen Bedürfnissen. Als ihn das Mädchen umschwärmte, hatte er keinerlei Bedürfnisse mehr, aber sein Ego war stark und so stieß er sie weg und als sie stürzte überwand er vollkommen sein Ego und sprang ihr nach.

Eine Legende besagt, das sich Zhen Wu einmal das Schwert von Lü Dong Bin auslieh, um gegen einen Dämon zu kämpfen. Nachdem er den Dämon mit dem magischen Schwert besiegt hatte, wollte er es nicht zurück geben. Da das Schwert von selbst zu seinem rechtmäßigen Besitzer zurück fliegen würde, musste Zhen Wu es ständig festhalten

Einmal wurde der Name Xuan Wu (Dunkler Krieger) auf den Namen Zhen Wu (真 武Wahrer Krieger) geändert, um zu vermeiden, dass das Zeichen Xuan (geheimnisvoll, dunkel), welches im Namen Zhao Xuan Lang (eines königlichen Vorfahren) enthalten war, ausserhalb der königlichen Familie erschien. Seither sind beide Bezeichnung Xuan Wu (Dunkler Krieger) und Zhen Wu (Wahrer Krieger) weitestgehend bekannt.

Im zehnten Jahr der Yong Le Era, wollte Zhu Di, der Prinz von Yan, seinen Neffen ausbooten, und selbst Kaiser werden. Seine Hauptstadt war Bei Ping (heutiges Beijing), im Norden des Landes und somit bot es sich an, eine Kampagne zu starten, mit der Unterstützung des Gott des Nordens, Xuan Wu Da Di. Zhu Di beauftragte Marquis Zhang Xin damit, einen Komplex von Tempeln auf dem Berg Wudang zu errichten. 200.000 Soldaten halfen bei diesem Projekt und förderten die Verehrung des Großen Wahren Krieger auf den höchsten Gipfel

北斗 Bei Dou - Nord Konstellation

„Dunkeler Krieger“ ist die allgemeine Bezeichnung der sieben nördlichen Sternbilder. Es korrespondiert mit der Xu Wei Konstellation und sieht aus wie eine Kombination aus einer Schildkröte und einer Schlange. Daoismus sagt, dass die südlichen Sternbilder das Leben beeinflussen und die nördlichen den Tod. Es wird großen Wert auf die Verehrung der Sternbilder gelegt. Das Schicksal eines Menschen wird in der Gebärmutter von der Südlichen auf die nördliche Stern-Konstellation übertragen. Daher muss der, welcher für Langlebigkeit betet, den Großen Wahren Krieger anbeten.

Essenz des Wassers

Das Unsterblichen-Schutz-Mantra „You Sheng Zhou“ (佑圣咒) ruft den Wahren Krieger der "Essenz des Wassers“, welcher die Transformation von höchstem Yin ist. Allgegenwärtig in alle Richtungen, erschreckt seine Macht alle Geister. Wegen der Zugehörigkeit zu Wasser, waltet der Wahre Krieger über die Flüsse und Feuer, und verhindert relevante Katastrophen. Aus diesem Grund wurden in den Palästen der Ming-Dynastie viele Tempel zur Ehrerbietung des Gotts Zhen Wu erbaut.

Der 3. Tag des 3. Monats nach dem Mondkalender ist der göttliche Geburtstag der Wahren Kriegers. An diesem Tag finden allerorts Festivitäten und Opfergaben statt.

über stefan Strasser von

wu-dao-shu.com
Author: Liu De Ming