Wrong means = wrong end

The body, freed of tension, should reach a condition where the joints move freely.
Only then is the body loose enough for fa jing.
You must be sufficiently attuned to your own movements to feel when and how fa jing can be generated.

Some students are not patient enough and use force.
A common mistake is to use the pelvis and hips rather than the combined muscles of the entire body.
People become adept at rapid pelvic turns or abrupt shunts of force.
These are quite strong but they are not fa jing.
They tend to create a residual pattern of tension within the body.

Fa jing is like a wave, rippling up from the ground, through your hand and into the opponent.
Instead of using the hips and pelvis, you should use the spiralling of the legs, the opening and closing of the spine and the movement of the centre.
It is said that soon after his enlightenment the Buddha passed a man on the road who struck by the Buddha's extraordinary radiance and peaceful presence.
The man stopped and asked, "My friend, what are you? Are you a celestial being or a god?"
"No, " said the Buddha.
"Well, then, are you some kind of magician or wizard?"
Again the Buddha answered, "No."
"Are you a man".
"Well, my friend, then what are you?"
The Buddha replied, "I am awake."


WE HAD DRIVEN through heavy traffic, and presently we turned off the main road into a sheltered lane. Leaving the car, we followed a path that wove through palm groves and along a field of green ripening rice. How lovely was that long, curving rice field, bordered by the tall palms! It was a cool evening, and a breeze was stirring among the trees with their heavy foliage. Unexpectedly, round a bend, there was a lake. It was long, narrow and deep, and on both sides of it the palms stood so close together as to be almost impenetrable. The breeze was playing with the water, and there was murmuring along the shore. Some boys were bathing, naked, unashamed and free. Their bodies were glistening and beautiful, well formed, slender and supple. They would swim out into the middle of the lake, then come back and start again. The path led on past a village, and on the way back the full moon made deep shadows; the boys had gone, the moonlight was upon the waters, and the palms were like white columns in the shadowy dark.


12 weeks

Harvard Medical School reports that most tai chi medical trials last at least 12 weeks. They involve instruction once or twice a week supplemented with home practice.
By the end of the trial, most participants experienced an improvement in health.

This highlights a major consideration for new starters; it can take some weeks for the health benefits to occur.



If you regard your body as being a channel for the transmission of energy, you can start to understand what taijiquan striking involves. 
You do not punch or kick using local muscle groups.

The energy is transferred from the ground, passing through your frame and out into the opponent.
Your limb is simply the part that makes contact with the opponent.


Opening & closing

The fa jing release of energy is akin to a sneeze; the entire body opening and closing in an instant.

In self defence practice, we cannot use fa jing on one another with full power. The outcome is too unpredictable.
Gentle release is fine for demonstrations, but not too often.
Typically, we use soft target pads and sticks for fa jing practice.


When we attack with the internal energy,
we are not attacking with the left or right hand,
but with a line of energy that originates in the foot,
is channelled through the legs, waist and back,
and only emerges from the hand.

(Wolfe Lowenthal) 


Where does the power come from?

A practitioner learns how to generate an undulation wave.
This is passed throughout your entire structure, storing and releasing kinetic energy.
We develop this wave by learning whole-body movement. Every strike involves every body part moving as one.

skill cannot be attained by tensing the muscles or trying hard.
Only when the body has augmented itself with neigong will fa jing emerge without effort.
You need to be soft and relaxed.
You need to let go of your tension.


Long-term benefits

In order to sustain the healthy effects of tai chi practice a student should commit to on-going practice with a qualified instructor.


IT HAD STOPPED raining; the roads were clean, and the dust had been washed from the trees. The earth was refreshed, and the frogs were loud in the pond; they were big, and their throats were swollen with pleasure. The grass was sparkling with tiny drops of water, and there was peace in the land after the heavy downpour. The cattle were soaking wet, but during the rain they never took shelter, and now they were contentedly grazing. Some boys were playing in the little stream that the rain had made by the road side; they were naked, and it was good to see their shining bodies and their bright eyes. They were having the time of their life, and how happy they were! Nothing else mattered, and they smiled out of joy as one said something to them, though they didn't understand a word. The sun was coming out and the shadows were deep. How necessary it is for the mind to purge itself of all thought, to be constantly empty, not made empty, but simply empty; to die to all thought, to all of yesterday's memories, and to the coming hour! It is simple to die, and it is hard to continue; for continuity is effort to be or not to be. Effort is desire, and desire can die only when the mind ceases to acquire. How simple it is just to live! But it is not stagnation. There is great happiness in not wanting, in not being something, in not going somewhere. When the mind purges itself of all thought, only then is there the silence of creation. The mind is not tranquil as long as it is travelling in order to arrive. For the mind, to arrive is to succeed, and success is ever the same, whether at the beginning or at the end. There is no purgation of the mind if it is weaving the pattern of its own becoming.


Types of jing

It is necessary to differentiate clearly between the types of jing at your disposal.
Without such knowledge, how are you going to fa jing?
Energy release without focus is random and clumsy.
There is a distinct difference between each jing.

You must be conscious of the quality/nature/essence of the jing you intend to utilise.
Movement begins with intention.

Summary of prices

Qigong (1 hour) £5
Qigong & tai chi (1½ hours) £7.50
Qigong & tai chi (2 hours) £10
3 week induction course £20
Private lesson (1 hour) £40
Workshop (1½ hours) £10
DVD £20
Membership (optional) £40/month 



Performing applications in thin air is no good. It proves nothing. 
Striking target pads and bags are also unrepresentative.
Nothing compares to striking an actual person.

You may appear to have wonderful form and effecting-seeming self defence skills but it will all fall to pieces if your strikes are worthless.

You need to feel what happens when you physically strike somebody.
Do you feel a jarring, unpleasant jolt upon impact? Adverse feedback up your arm and into your neck?
Did the blow have the intended effect? Were you hurt yourself?

Hitting another person skilfully may not be as easy as you imagine.

Self defence

Most people aren't interested in learning to defend themselves anymore. Many think that attitude alone will do it. Has the world suddenly become tame and safe?


Soft power

Fa jing is not hard, it is soft. The effect is hard, not the means itself.

No more than 4 ounces of pressure is applied and the moment of delivery is a split-second.
You do not have time to tense the hand.
The hand (and body) must close by itself on impact, then instantly re-open again.
Conscious strength ruins any chance you have at using fa jing, so just relax.
Be patient.

When you deliver fa jing into a focus mitt or target pad it will pass through the body and into the ground. 
It may cause the floorboards to resonate.


Hocus pocus?

There is nothing mystical or unscientific about fa jing.
Despite the exotic Chinese name, it is simply a question of body mechanics, gravity, distance and timing.
It will not develop overnight but the seeds should emerge as the student becomes increasingly adept.

Qigong stages

A new starter usually commences class with muscular tension, poor bodily awareness and incorrect skeletal usage.
They cannot reasonably perform qigong well.
It is necessary to work through clear stages of development:
  1. Stage 1
    - this is what the student starts with
    - it reflects their initial capacity to perform each exercise
    - a crude sense of the qigong is gained
    - the aim is to acquire a sense of each exercise
  2. Stage 2
    - the onus is upon relaxation of the muscles in order to drop the shoulders, elbows & wrists, and free the hips, sacroiliac, scapula, knees, vertebrae, neck, chest & ankles
    - the hips, back and chest are opened and expanded
    - functional alignment is established between key joints in order to rely on postural muscles for strength
    - coordination of weight shift, waist turn and arm movement 
    - the student reaches to 50% of capacity
    - the health benefits are increased notably

  3. Stage 3
    - stretching takes place without straining the joints or provoking muscular tension
    - the muscles are encouraged to perform a more demanding, diverse range of actions
    - the body lengthens
    - the pelvis is stabilised
    - the tendons, ligaments and fascia are stretched
    - the feet are always shoulder-width apart from one another
    - the student reaches to 70% of capacity
    - all actions tie into the centre
    - the purpose of each qigong must be considered
    - strength, martial utility and health benefits are amplified considerably

  4. Stage 4
    - subtle neigong qualities are now incorporated into the qigong exercises
    - the exercises are dismantled in order to fully understand how and why they work
    - advanced biomechanical features are explored thoroughly
Each stage is significantly more demanding than the previous one and there are no shortcuts.
Seeking to force a result will lead to injury and incorrect practice.
The body needs time to re-grow and change, the nervous system must be attuned, and the mind settled.


One size fits all?

All things being equal, anyone should be physically capable of performing any tai chi movement from any style of tai chi.
In reality, things are not equal, and a twenty year old person with a supple body can usually manage postures that a
forty year old could not.
It is important to train tai chi relative to your own individual level of condition.


Where is the class?

Monday night.
Community Hall, St Andrew's Church, Station Road, Benton, NE12 8AW

6:30 PM start

Qigong (1 hour) £5
Qigong & tai chi (2 hours) £10

7:00 PM start

Qigong & tai chi (1½ hours) £7.50
3 week induction course £20

How old do you need to be?

The minimum age is 18.

What should you wear for class?

Wear loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes.

Bring some water

There are 2 short breaks during the evening.
Please bring bottled water to drink.

Closed bank holidays

We do not open on Bank Holidays.