The ” Pressing Palm Posture” comes out of the Daoist Kunlun Wild Goose Qigong 1st, 64 Post-Natal Form and is also known as “Finding the Nest Posture”. This particular exercise involves a series of steps that uses the “Mud Wading Step” (Tang Ni Bu) combined with the gentle rising and pressing of the both palms towards the floor. This exercise is really good at lowering the energy (qi) downwards and allows the practitioner in grounding their qi.
When performing this exercise it is important that each practitioner fully engages into the exercise by learning to use their body, breath and mind to “Guide & Lead” (Daoyin) their qi from top to bottom. It is important that each practitioner becomes aware of using certain energy points (Qixue) like the ( Lao Gong) points located in the centre of each Palm, the ( Hu Kou) or tigers mouth points located between the gap of the thumb and index fingers, the (Yongquan) points on the ball of each foot, the ( Qi Hai) point located just below the navel, also known as the lower dantian. The ( Dan Zhong) located in the centre of the chest between the two nipples, also known as the middle dantian.
When rising and lowering the palms in the ” Pressing Palm Qigong” exercise the fingers of each hand must point towards each other, the both hands rise no higher than the chest with the Tigers mouth points on the hands facing the ( Dan Zhong) middle dantian point in the chest. When pressing the palms downwards the hands press down no lower than the waist, but press down to three positions to the left hip, navel and right hip, this must also be coordinated with the ” Mud Wading Stepping” of each foot. The ” Pressing Palm Qigong” exercise can be performed in a linear or circular practice method and must be all coordinated with deep breathing.
The ” Pressing Palm Qigong” exercise is really beneficial for suffers of hypertension, insomnia, stress, poor circulation in the legs, relaxation etc. The exercises is suitable for everyone, any age or gender. The Daoist Kunlun Wild Goose Qigong system is full of depth of information with a wide variety qigong exercises that will improve each individuals balance, concentration, flexibility, strength and above all health and wellbeing.
Within the LFIAA Energy Bodywork Massage (Tui Na Qigong) system there are many techniques that can be used to either tonify or disperse the flow of energy (Qi) through the meridians and channels (Mai Jing). One particular method is the ” Pressing of the Qi Points” (Dian Xue) this can be done using a single finger, sword fingers, the cranes beak( fingers gathered together) the centre of the palm, the little finger edge of the palm. The aim is not just to be able to press the points, but you must be able to connect to the patients own energy and then be able to travel the patients meridian system by guiding their energy up or down the meridian or channel.
Many other systems use ” Pressing the Points” techniques and they use their elbows, knuckles and some times knees. Using the more Boney areas to press into the energy points might give you greater strength and depth in your pressing, but it does not allow you to become sensitive to the movement of your patients energy and to connect to it. Using such techniques like the elbow are only used in our system to press into the muscles to release muscle tension, increase the blood flow by breaking up any blood stasis. That has accumulated.
Within the LFIAA Energy Bodywork Massage system there are other techniques that can be added to the “Pressing Points” methods like using a single finger, sword fingers or the whole of the Palm to rub vigorously over an energy point ( Qixue) to stimulate the energy flow along the meridian. Another technique to use is the ” Vibration” method ( Chan Fa) which can involve a single finger, sword fingers or the centre of the palms to gently vibrate waves of energy into the energy point that will then travel along the meridians to tonify or disperse blocked energy.
Pressing Points techniques are naturally used by a practitioner of the Energy Bodywork Massage usually in every treatment session that they perform. Obviously what energy points are pressed all goes accordingly to the particular ailment that they are treating their patient for. Some times two or more energy points can be used within a single treatment session. When you combine Acupuncture with the use of needles into your bodywork massage treatment can give you a greater scope of healing for example you could have a needle placed into the Gall Bladder 30 Points ( Huantiao) located on the outside of the hips, while you are standing by your patients head with your both hands placed on your patients shoulders and you use your both palms to do the vibration technique sending waves of energy down his or her back towards your needles to help them stimulate the flow of energy down the Gall Bladder Meridian towards the feet to treat such ailments like sciatica.
Over the many years that I have been studying and teaching the Li family’s Chinese Internal Martial Art of Feng Shou-Gongfu ( Hand of the Wind Boxing) it is really nice to see a wide range of age groups getting involved and recieving the many benefits that can be achieved from the regular practice of Feng Shou-Gongfu like developing a persons personality from a shy individual to a much more open and confident one, improving fitness levels, improving flexibility etc.
In today’s world most martial art classes have more children in their classes than adults, we in the LFIAA do not teach Feng Shou-Gongfu to children for many reasons. One such reason is that most adults do not like training with a child, as they feel they cannot train to their full potential. We only teach Feng Shou-Gongfu to adults and it’s nice to see young teenagers practicing with individuals in their fifths and older. I have known many individuals who study external martial arts like Taekwondo,Judo, Kick Boxing and Karare and after they reach a certain age, usually between forty and fifty years of age have to stop their practice for good. Some times due to injuries they have picked up from their martial art practice and others because they feel they are to old.
Because Feng Shou-Gongfu is classified as an Internal Martial Art discipline means it has a more holistic approach to its training. Just as much emphasis is placed on improving the students health and wellbeing through the study and practice of “Guiding & Leading the Energy” (Daoyin) exercises that help to strengthen the flow of blood and energy throughout the entire body. It is important that a student of Feng Shou-Gonfu develops a good balance between health and martial art skill that will help them to maintain their enjoyment of this fascinating Chinese Internal Martial Art well into their old age. It gives me great delight to see a women holding her own against male students, seeing them develop their own self confidence from a quiet, shy person into a more open, talkative individual.
Feng Shou-Gongfu can benefit anyone, obviously the younger you can start your practice the better.but no matter how old you are as long as you have the patience and commitment to pursue this fascinating holistic martial art it will share its many great benefits with you, giving individuals something to connect with in life that is positive, full of depth of knowledge that allows individuals to grow physically, mentally and spiritually.
Today the popularity of the Chinese massage system known as “Tui Na” but is also known by several other names like “An Mo” or ” Dian Xue”is now being practiced by more and more individuals within the UK. One of the main reasons for the growth of ” Tui Na” is that many teachers only cover and teach the more physical techniques to treat many external musculoskeletal illnesses and do not teach their students how to practice the self cultivation of energy (Qi) to use it to treat many types of internal illnesses.
Many practitioners of the Chinese healing system of ” Tui Na” are mainly taught techniques that work the muscles to produce more blood flow and little energy movement. Some will even press into the energy points (Qixue) along certain acupuncture channels and meridians to either tonify or disperse the flow of energy within the channel or meridian. But without the self practice of cultivating the vital energy (Qi) through the study of “Guiding & Leading” (Daoyin) exercises, many practitioners will not have developed their own ability to become more sensitifve to the feeling of the movement of energy (Qi) both within themselves and especially within their patients.
The Traditional Chinese Medicine practice of “Tui Na” bodywork massage was not just developed to simply work on the musculoskeletal system. It was developed to work and effect the physical, mental, emotional and energetic aspects of each individual to help treat and bring their health and wellbeing back into balance. Sadly more individuals who practice “Tui Na” massage get caught up in the learning of techniques to just work on the physical aspects of a patient, rather than placing their time in the cultivation of the vital energy (Qi) to treat the patient more holistically.
Luckily I have had and met some good teachers who have educated me that correct “Tui Na” massage includes the cultivation of energy (Qi), so that I can connect to the patients own energy and guide and lead their own energy anywhere within their body to treat many diseases. If you do not practice Daoyin exercises yourself, then how will you be able to connect and sense the movement of energy (Qi) within your patients body. Sadly this is were a lot of individuals are in the practice of ” Tui Na” massage, to many practice technique and no self cultivation of the vital energy (Qi).
One of the most powerful qigong practices that I regularly train is the Bagua Circle Walking Qigong. It can be practiced within a small confined area, making the size of the circle to fit the area you can train in, sometimes it can be a small circle and other times a big circle. For the maintenance of good health and wellbeing Bagua Circle Walking Qigong is excellent at strengthening the musculoskeletal system, improving muscle, tendon, ligament and joint flexibility, strengthens the connections between the mind & body and promotes strong blood and energy circulation throughout the entire body.
The aim of the Bagua Circle Walking Qigong exercise is to walk as many laps of the circle as you can. But you must be fully engaged at all times. What does fully engaged mean? Well your posture must be sunk down from the knees, so that you have dropped your centre of gravity and you can feel the the weight of your body on your both legs. Your torso is turned towards the centre of the circle so that you feel your ribcage squeeze as your back muscles stretch. Your both arms are held infront and away from the body holding a variety of postures. The accompanying photo that is attached with this blog sees Laoshi Keith Ewers holding the ” Green Dragon Turns Its Body Posture” (Lu Long Zhuan Shen Shi). Once you have chosen a posture to walk the circle, you then walk as many laps as you can holding the posture. You can walk slowly if you want to cultivate the energy ( Qi) as walking slowly develops strong concentration.whereas, you can walk the circle more quickly and this will work the blood flow, as the heart rate beats faster more blood is being pumped around the whole body.
After you have done a certain amount of circles in one direction you must then change direction and do the same amount of circles in the opposite direction. Walking loads of circles in both directions, while holding various shapes or posture with your arms develops strong energy cultivation and circulation, which can help to remove any blood stasis and energy blockages that may have accumulated causing yourself to feel sluggish with low energy levels or even make you feel ill.
When it is time to finish your circle walking practice you must not stop your practice to suddenly. You must slowly slow yourself down gradually until you can stop, once you have stopped your over-al movement do a daoyin exercise to lower any energy that may be still trapped in the upper body and then simply walk around in a circle casually and then stand still with your both hands covering your lower dantian and allow your energy to store and replenish. The Bagua Circle Walking Qigong exercise is suitable for everyone, irrespective of age, gender or ability you can practice it in-doors or out-doors you can practice it on your own or with several training partners at the same time.
Within the Chinese Internal Martial Arts the weapon is just considered an extension of the body. And so it is with the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu ” Clock Face 8 Directions Stepping Exercise” which is firstly practiced with just defensive and offensive hand & leg techniques, but the exercise can also be practiced with various weapons, in the accompanying photo that is attached with this blog, Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen using a short Staff to practice the “Clock Face 8 Directional Stepping Exercise” (Zhong Mian Ba Fang Bu).
There are three methods to the practice of the ” Clock Face 8 Directional Stepping” exercise. It can be practiced in a linear direction, a angular direction or a in a circular method. This blog is covering the linear straight one method. It is important that the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu system practice the solo exercise before they partner off and practice it in a two-person exercise. Again the linear sole exercise can also be performed using either the short defence/ attack method or the long defence/attack method or a combination of the two training methods.
Within this simple linear solo 8 direction stepping exercise there is a tremendous amount of training information that the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu can gain from its practice, helping to deepen the practitioners knowledge and understanding of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu system, but to also raise their own standard and skill levels. As already mention in this blog once the practitioner has fully discovered and practiced the solo linear 8 directional stepping exercise in all of its different training methods they can then start their training with a partner, which will then develop their skill to even high levels of ability.
The LFIAA “Opening the Energy Gates” (Kai Men) Dao Yoga system that was taught to me by Master Chee Soo involves lying, sitting and standing exercise that work on the promotion of the circulation of the blood (Xue) and energy (qi) throughout the entire body, plus it also works on the musculoskeletal system in stretching the joints, tendons, ligaments and muscles to increase flexibility and relaxation in within the practitioner.
My teacher Master Chee Soo would mention that practicing the Dao Yoga system would benefit all of the other systems that he taught like Taijiquan, Feng Shou-Gongfu. Because of its dynamic stretching actions that stretch the musculoskeletal system, the stretching also increases the flow of energy (qi) through the muscle/tendon channels (JingJin), plus it increases the flexibility for the Gongfu practitioner to move quickly and increase their range of mobility to kick higher and strike from various angles.
As for the purpose of the Energy Bodywork Massage system, practicing Dao Yoga will improve posture, and cultivate strong energy through its ” Guiding & Leading” (Daoyin) movements, promoting a good flow of energy into the palms to help with the healing process. The Dao Yoga system is suitable for everyone, any age or gender, in my experience the much older practitioners find it difficult to practice the floor exercises, so they simply practice the standing exercise which are very beneficial for them. For the much younger practitioners they can chose to practice floor or standing exercise.
In the accompanying picture that is attached with this blog, Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen practicing the Dao Yoga standing exercise known as the “Leg Triangle exercise” this particular exercise stretches the muscles of Occiito-fronalis in the head, the Longissimus (erector spinal) in the back, the Bicep femoris (hamstrings) of the thighs. But this exercises also stretches the Leg Taiyang Bladder Channel that runs from the head along the length of the back and behind the back of the legs.
This Feng Shou-Gongfu Shadow Boxing Drill involves the linear short attack and short defence Ladder Stepping method (Ti Bu Shi) the whole aim of this particular exercise or drill is to allow the practitioner of the Feng Shou-Gongfu system to fully explore their Gongfu and to fully express their own skill. The ultimate aim is to be constantly on the move, quickly changing direction, changing attack into defence and vice-versa.
When the practitioner uses the short attack Ladder a step they can either attack with a single, double , alternating or multiple strikes and kicks combination. When they use the short defence they can also use a single, double or alternating series of ward offs and deflections at various heights. It is better to start off learning this linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise with a set routine, so that it is easier for you to learn and follow, once you have fully learnt this particular routine you can then change it to another one and practice that. There are endless routines that you can practice involving all your defensive and offensive techniques, the ultimate aim is to reach a level where you can practice this Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise in a Freestyle routine, where anything goes.
In the accompanying video that comes with this blog, Laoshi Keith Ewers is seen practing the Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise to a set routine. This is to help the practitioners of the Feng Shou-Gongfu system to quickly learn and make their own routines up to help them improve their skill level and research the depth of their internal martial art. It is important that every practitioner practice this particular Linear Ladder Step Shadow Boxing exercise before they begin the two-person “Rollaways” exercise.
We all know what it is like to practice the LFIAA Health, Healing, Meditation & Martial Arts in the cold winter period. The days are shorter and the weather is usually cold and wet. The over-al feeling is of depression and low energy levels, plus most of the time we are stuck in-doors running through our practice and unable to venture outdoors unless the weather is dry. Even then we are wrapped up in layers of clothing.
Being able to get away to a warmer climate maybe for a week or two and practice in the warmth, especially around our winter period s such a great opportunity. As its allows you to practice more regularly outdoors taking in the fresh air and will into your body to help re-energise yourself, replenishing your energy levels to help sustain your health and wellbeing. Practicing in a warmer climate is also very beneficial in promoting strong blood and qi circulation throughout the entire body, excellent for arthritis suffers as the warm air gently invigorates the blood to flow, warming the muscles and tendons and then through your practice of the “Guiding & Leading” exercises of (Daoyin) improve your joint, muscle, tendon flexibility releasing tension and stiffness away from the body allowing you a greater feeling of relaxation.
Definitely practicing in a warmer climate, especially in our winter period is a great way to train in the Daoist Arts of the LFIAA. Anyone interested in pursuing this opportunity and would like to join the LFIAA and participate in training in the Daoist Arts of Taijiquan, Gongfu, Qigong/Daoyin, Energy Bodywork Massage and Dao Yoga in the warmer climate of Lanzarote in 2016 should contact us ASAP.
When I studied the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu under Master Chee Soo he did not relate much of the theory from the “Yi Jing” (Book of Changes) and the Eight Trigrams ( Bagua). What he did teach and use in correspondence to the Eight Trigrams was mainly with the Clock Face Evasion exercises (Zhong Mian Shan) and their eight directions of stepping to evade or dodge the opponents incoming attacks for which there are eight extensions to learn.
But having closely studied the theory of the Eight Trigrams over my forty years of practicing and teaching the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu, we now use the Eight Trigrams theory quite extensively throughout the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to strengthen its strategies both in defence and offensive techniques. For example when various practitioners practice the exercise known as ” Rollaways” they simply use what we call the cat & dragon footwork with a rhythm of one/two, on the one an individual will step forwards into what we call a dragon stance and strike at their training partner. Who in turn will then draw back into a cat stance and parry the strike. This particular rhythm is very basic and limiting towards adding more information into the exercise.
But by using the Eight Trigrams theory we in the LFIAA under Laoshi Keith Ewers use the one, two, three rhythm within the ” Rollaways” exercise such as attack, defend, attack rhythm which allows the practitioner of the Original Feng Shou-Gongfu to develop a far more practical and effective fighting strategy that can be fully expressed within the ” Rollaways” exercise. The theory of the “Yi Jing” is based upon constant change happening, while things around us are in constant change we do not get involved,but except the changes. But when constant change effects us directly, then we must learn to change with the changes, but stay balanced within ourselves. As my teacher Master Chee Soo would mention ” Learn to adapt to any given situation and over-come it” in other words learn to change with change and adapt and over-come.