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May 2019

The Ground Path is Step One in Building a Strong Body Structure for Tai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua

Internal Strength CoverThe first concept I introduce new students to is the ground path.

We do exercises with a partner to learn how to establish and maintain the ground path and combine it with peng jin.

But some people who see a photo like the one here make the mistake of thinking, "That's useless. You can't use that in a fight."

In this photo, Colin is pushing into my right elbow and I am grounding the push into the ground through my left foot.

Colin is not supposed to push with too much force, although as you can see in the picture, this particular drill is used to show that you can, in fact, set up a pretty strong structure using the ground.

The ground path is generally practiced without too much force because the idea is not to make you Superman, to meet force with force.

The idea is to provide internal strength to your body structure, but as you hold that strength in, for example, a self-defense situation, your goal will not be to meet force with force, you will learn to maintain your structure as you adapt to incoming force, neutralize it and overcome it.

PengThe beach ball situation in the Internal Strength DVD is the answer. When I jump on the ball in the pool, it gives, but it maintains its structural integrity, the pressure builds and there is a point when the ball springs back and spins me into the water. It doesn't meet force with force but it wins, anyway.

So by practicing the ground path exercises, the goal is to learn to maintain that structural integrity when force comes in. Maintaining that structure through all the movements of the form is the next goal, and then you apply it to push hands and other self-defense concepts and applications.

On my website, www.internalfightingarts.com, I take you step-by-step through internal skills from basic to advanced in Tai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua. Try two weeks free and start (or continue) your journey in these fascinating and complex arts.


Is Your Mind Quiet Enough for Tai Chi? An Interview with Instructor Michael Dorgan

Michael Dorgan
Michael Dorgan

Is your mind quiet enough to do Tai Chi?

In the latest edition of my Internal Fighting Arts podcast, I interview Michael Dorgan, a Hunyuan Taijiquan instuctor and owner of Hunyuan Martial Arts Academy of San Jose in California.

Michael is a disciple of the late Grandmaster Feng Zhiqiang. He has also studied with Wong Jack Man, George Xu, Zhang Xue Xin, Feng Xiuqian and Chen Xiang.

Michael was a correspondent for Knight Ridder newspapers stationed in Beijing in 1999 when he met Feng Zhiqiang.

In 1980, Michael wrote the article about the Bruce Lee/Wong Jack Man fight that eventually sparked the movie "Birth of the Dragon."

Michael talks with me about training with Wong Jack Man, Michael's opinion about the fight, his training in Chen Hunyuan Taiji, and the importance of a quiet mind and a virtuous character if someone is to attain high-level skill in this art.

Michael's website is www.taichisanjose.com

Here is a link to the podcast on Audello. Listen online or download the file:

http://internalfightingarts.audello.com/internal-fighting-arts-43-michael-dorgan/

You can also play it here (below) or find it on other podcast distributors, including Spotify, Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.