In our regular class tonight we experienced the power of two Tai Chi energy expressions, which we call “electric” and “magnetic.” Sigung Richard Clear elaborated on how he came to learn these energetic principles, how they can each be used for push hands and self defense, and how to combine them using a Wudang Mountain technique for extraordinary health benefits.
As with so much in Tai Chi, learning these energies begins with excellent structure, alignment, and relaxation. When you are standing in proper Wu Chi with good alignment (Zhong Ding), and you can hold that structure while staying relaxed (Sung), energy flows naturally. You can check the quality of that energy by bringing your hands together. You should feel an “energy ball” between them without having to do any extra work to make it.
Once you have this energy ball, you should practice moving with it. In Wu Chi you should feel the energy between your hands and your legs. When you can keep the energy on and connected while going through the set, your Tai Chi practice is very strong and healthy.
With a little practice, the quality of this energy can be changed to suit your needs. When you are proper alignment and weight falls closer to the balls of the feet, the energy tends to have an electric quality, like the buzzing of a low voltage current being run through your body. Rocking back toward the heels while keeping structure makes the energy behave more like two magnets coming together. We call this the electric and magnetic energies of Tai Chi.
We know that electricity and magnetism are closely related to each other, and there is a Wudang Mountain practice that allows you to switch between the two expressions by rocking back and forth on the feet. This practice strongly builds this form of internal energy. It can be done in Wu Chi, and should be practiced throughout the Tai Chi form as well.
Once the energy has been built, it can be used to add power and stability while playing Push Hands. Switching between the two expressions adds still another element of power and strategy that is difficult to beat if your partner doesn’t know what you are doing.
In the full class we covered several exercises for building and using these energy expressions
To begin your training visit us at 113 East Broadway, Maryville, TN or call 865-379-9997