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A Great Internal Strength Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan

Workshop-Group-blog I met a wonderful group of people in East Lansing, Michigan yesterday. Sifu Doug Lawrence sponsored me for an Internal Strength workshop. For six hours, we drilled on what I've identified as six key skills for the internal arts -- the ground path, peng jin, whole-body movement, silk-reeling, dan t'ien rotation and opening/closing the kua.

Sifu Lawrence teaches Yang tai chi, Hsing-I and Bagua. He knows what he's doing. I was really happy to meet an instructor like Doug -- open-minded, constantly researching, trying to get better and searching for good information. I could tell within a few minutes that he is an outstanding teacher.

Workshop-Kua-Demo-blog We started with standing stake and I corrected some posture issues. From there, we worked on the ground path, peng jin, and then silk-reeling exercises. All of the exercises we did can be found on my Internal Strength and Silk-Reeling DVDs.

The foundation of internal strength is the ground path and peng jin. Chen Xiaowang likes to describe this in automotive imagery. He says imagine a car, lifted off the ground. You can race the engine but nothing happens. Put the car on the ground and it has power.

Workshop-Standing-Stake-blog One of the difficult concepts for beginners is connecting the flow of strength through the body. This isn't mystical -- it's a physical skill and requires years of practice. The whole body has to move in a connected way, but it begins with the ground, spirals through the body, is directed by the dan t'ien as you open and close the kua. One of the most common mistakes I see is when people turn the hips instead of the waist (dan t'ien area). Another common mistake is a lack of awareness of the kua. Moving into the kua -- opening and closing the kua as you move -- is crucial.

 

I encourage anyone living in the Lansing, Michigan area to study with Sifu Lawrence if you're interested in the internal arts. He teaches at the Hannah Community Center near the Michigan State University campus.


This Weekend!! -- Internal Strength Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan

This coming weekend -- on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010 -- I'll teach an Internal Strength workshop in East Lansing, Michigan, near the Michigan State University campus. If you study tai chi, hsing-i, bagua, or other martial arts and are interested in what makes an internal art "internal," I'll coach participants in six key internal skills.

Here's a hint -- they're all physical skills, not metaphysical.

What we'll practice:

  • Standing stake
  • Development of Internal Strength skills -- ground path, peng jin, silk-reeling energy, whole-body movement, use of the kua, dan t'ien rotation
  • Pole exercises
  • Martial applications

Where: Hannah Community Center in East Lansing -- 819 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823

When: Noon to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010

Contact: [email protected]

And here is a clip from my Silk-Reeling Energy DVDs that shows some of what we're going to practice next weekend. There will be hands-on correction and personal feedback for everyone. My goal is for everyone to walk away having risen a notch in their knowledge and internal skills.

 

 


New DVD - The 12 Animals of Hsing-I Chuan

I just finished my newest DVD -- the 12 Animals of Hsing-I Chuan, also spelled Xingyiquan. It contains two hours of instruction. Each of the 12 animals is taught in detail, with an emphasis on body mechanics. Then, you'll go into a class where students are taught the fighting applications of the 12 animal forms, again with an emphasis on internal body mechanics. You can purchase this DVD here on the blog (see the right side of the page) or from www.kungfu4u.com. Here is a clip from one section of the DVD covering one movement from the Chicken form:

 


Featured in an Article in the Latest Kung Fu Tai Chi Magazine

Kungfucover-250 There is an article in the latest issue of Kung Fu Tai Chi magazine featuring me and my interpretation of the concept of "borrowing energy" in Tai Chi fighting. The Nov/Dec issue hits the stands today. The cover is pictured here at the left -- the headline for the article is the third one down on the left.

The article is written by my friend and fellow martial artist, Hector Lareau. He got the idea for the story when reading this blog, and wanted to explore the concept of borrowing energy a little deeper.

He came to our home, interviewed me, then my wife Nancy took photos as he threw different attacks on me and I used the borrowing energy concept to neutralize or bounce the attack away.

I was featured in an article in Tae Kwon Do Times back in 2006, but this is my first appearance as an instructor in a national kung-fu publication.

Borrowing energy is a simple concept and it's interpreted different ways by different teachers. Some use "roll back" as a means of borrowing energy. Force comes at you and you deflect it away, borrowing the energy and moving it. In a series of photos in the article, Hector swings at me with a stick and I use a form of borrowing energy to step in, take control of his center, then control his energy and continue moving it in the same direction, spinning him to the ground.

The most accurate view of borrowing energy is when force comes into you and you use the ground to store it quickly like a spring and "bounce" it back to the opponent. Now, this is not mystical at all, and it has nothing to do with "cultivating chi." It's the physical ability of grounding force and returning it. Your opponent feels like he's running into a brick wall and it stuns him.

This is what the article explains -- in a little more detail -- and with photos. I encourage you to pick up a copy at your local bookstore that sells it (Borders and Barnes & Noble sell it in my area). And my thanks to Hector for writing it.

This type of lesson and hundreds more are found in my online kung-fu school. There are more than 400 video lessons on the site, e-books, audios, and a good discussion board.


Internal Strength Workshop in East Lansing, Michigan to be Held on Sunday, October 24

KenTaiChi3 If you live within driving distance of East Lansing, Michigan, you're invited to attend my Internal Strength workshop on Sunday, October 24th. 

It's sponsored by Sifu Doug Lawrence, who has a great group of people studying Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua.

There are a few key skills that are absolutely crucial for the practice of quality internal arts. If you don't incorporate these skills into your movements, you are not really practicing internal arts. We'll focus on these skills at the workshop, and everyone will receive personal attention. My goal is for everyone to walk away with a realization or two that will take their skills forward a step.

What we'll practice:

  • Standing stake
  • Development of Internal Strength skills -- ground path, peng jin, silk-reeling energy, whole-body movement, use of the kua, dan t'ien rotation
  • Pole exercises
  • Martial applications

Where: Hannah Community Center in East Lansing -- 819 Abbot Rd, East Lansing, MI 48823

When: Noon to 6:30 p.m. on Sunday, Oct. 24, 2010

Contact: [email protected]

I'm looking forward to the workshop, meeting new people and doing some good training on internal skills that will help participants see a little deeper into the movements of their Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua.