What is meant t by applying the 70% rule in the practice and study of the taiji qigong thirty six exercises (Sanliushi). Firstly the aim is to teach individuals to stop them from stiffening their joints or tensing up their muscles and using to much strength in their actions while performing any of the taiji qigong exercises. If you consider that the locking of the body joints and the fully tensing up of the muscles is considered to at 100%, then the individual is asked to try and lessen their stiffness and muscle tension to about 70% they must be fully be-aware while performing any of their taiji qigong. movements not to fully lock the joints of their whole body, nor should they use any great amount of physical strength by the tensing of their muscles, their body movement must involve the feeling of softness and lightness which will help them to relax and release any hardness or heaviness that they carry in their body’s joints and muscles that they have accumulated over the years due to poor posture, bad working conditions or illness.
As the individual begins to apply the 70% rule within their practice of the taiji qigong exercises they will begin to experience various sensations that maybe they have not felt for many years. Firstly they might begin to feel a tingling sensation like pins & needles within they finger tips and on the surface areas of their skin, some individuals will also experience warmth or heat flowing through the length of their extremities and in time throughout their entire body, this is a sign that the blood and qi are beginning to gain strength in its ability to circulate freely and that any blood stagnation and qi blockages that may have built up due to lack of correct exercise has began to be released and flushed out. Usually some individuals might also experience an emotional change, for example if they have been feeling a bit depressed or sad they might notice that their spirits has become more lighter, they feel more happier. Some individuals might become more deeply relaxed as the anxiety and frustration that stuck inside them has suddenly been removed.
Learning to abide by applying the 70% rule to all of the taiji qigong 36 exercise form will gradually allow each individual to dissolve any stiffness or tension that can affect their health on a physical, emotional, mental or even an energetic level. Allowing them to strengthen their vitality levels which in-turn will help them to improve their health and wellbeing, bringing a better quality of life. Obviously it takes a lot of time and patience for individuals to allow their body to become more relaxed, but if they can begin to practice regularly sticking to the 70% rule slowly they will begin to notice improvements in how more calm, relaxed and soft their body and mind is becoming.
Within Traditional Chinese Medicine they say that it is the functioning of Five Yin internal organs of the Liver, Heart, Lungs, Spleen and Kidneys that dictate each individuals emotional health & wellbeing. If there is an imbalance of energy (Qi) with any of the Five Yin internal organs they can in turn affect each other, each particular Yin internal organ can develop either positive emotions that help to keep the individual healthy or they can develop negative emotions that obviously can cause illnesses. Each of the Five Yin internal organs are also associated with Liver (Wood), Heart (Fire), Lungs (Metal), Spleen (Earth) and Kidneys (Water) they can either work with each to promote and strengthen or they can work against each to drain and weaken.
For example the Five Element cycle of mutual generation starts with the Heart (Fire) if the Heart Fire descends downwards it can develop a deep sense of calm within each individuals,. Whereas, the Qi of The Spleen (Earth) rises and mixes with the descending Fire Qi of the Heart they both turn into a fluid that moistens the Lungs (Metal) which then mixes the Qi and blood into Yang Water (Kidneys). The Kidneys (Water) is then used to moisten the Liver (Wood) which in turn becomes calm and harmonious. It is said that when the Five Elements move through this cycle then the hundred diseases are prevented from arising.
The Overpowering cycle of the Five Elements are when Liver (Wood) overpowers the Spleen (Earth), the Spleen (Earth) overpowers the Kidneys (Water), the Kidneys (Water) overpowers the Heart (Fire), the Heart (Fire) overpowers the Lungs (Metal), the Lungs (Metal) overpowers the Liver (Wood), this is when there is an imbalance of Yin & Yang energies within the individual which can emotional imbalance which can turn into poor health or illness. For example an individual suffering with a Yin Liver (Wood) problem can have fits of rage and temper due to the Liver Qi rising. If an individual suffers with a Yin Spleen (Earth) Problem affecting the Kidneys (Water) this can make the individual become obstinate and inflexible , Water and Earth when mixed turns into Mud which can mean that the individual can become inflexible and find it hard to differentiate between “Fact & Fiction”.
It is through the correct practice of the “Six Healing Sounds Daoyin” Methods that an individual can help to remove any negative Qi that may be effecting their emotional health and wellbeing, for example if the individual feels that their Liver (Wood) Qi is beginning to rise due to an argument or someone annoyingly is making you feel irritable then rather than blowing your top and losing your temper, you simply begin to practice the (Shu) sound to help lower your Liver Qi and help you to calm down. The practice of the Six Healing Sounds should be practiced on a daily basis to help keep your emotional state in balance, which in-turn maintains the mutual generation of the Five Elements cycle of Yang Qi through the five Yin internal organs.
In the accompanying photo Laoshi Keith Ewers is performing the Six Healing Sound for the Heart moving-step exercise to help develop a smooth flow of Qi and a deep feeling of calmness.
When you are surrounded on all four sides by multiple attackers the Chinese use poetic words to explain the skill that is needed by the practitioner of the Feng Shou Quan-Kung Fu to defend themselves successfully. The Chinese say that your movement must be like “Threading through blossoms to hit willow trees” (Chuan Huan Da Liu Ren Xi Dong). My teacher Master Chee Soo would also mention that it is best to turn your attackers against each other by simply weaving in and around them by constantly being on the move, obviously you are not just evading all the time you are actually hitting your opponents. When we practice defence against multiple attackers in our classes the person in the middle of the circle has to draw on their own skill and ability to bring all of their training together to stop them from being hit by their attackers.
This means that all the dedicated practice time that every student has spent learning their evasive footwork sets, ward offs & deflections their Poison Hand Striking Methods and kicking techniques must now all come together and be skilfully expressed to stop their training partners from successfully hitting them with their own striking and kicking techniques. Practicing self defence from multiple attackers is a great way to allow students to test how much of their Feng Shou-Kung Fu training they have developed and are allowed to express themselves freely, naturally and instinctively, able to adapt and change their fighting techniques to overcome any situation that their attackers place them in.
In the study and practice of the Original Feng Shou Quan-Kung Fu students are taught a wide variety of multiple attack training exercises to teach them how to better handle the situation if ever it was to happen in real life. These multiple attack exercises are both trained with armed and unarmed training partners to skilfully teach each student to raise their standard to skilfully use their Feng Shou-Kung Fu fighting methods to the best of their ability. Irrespective wether the student in the middle of the circle who is surround by four or more attackers be either male or female they both must equally demonstrate their ability to defend themselves by freely expressing their Feng Shou-Kung Fu training, because the student in the middle happens to be a female who is surround by men, she must still develop the ability to defend herself by showing confidence in her own ability and the courage within herself to make it happen. Hence she must “Thread through the blossoms to hit the willow trees”.
Firstly let me explain what is meant by “Taming the Dragon & Tiger”. Within Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) they consider the Qi (energy) inside of us as (Yin) and corresponds to the Dragon (Long), whereas the Blood or Fire (Huo) that circulates inside us is considered to be (Yang) and corresponds to the Tiger (Hu). So the heading “Taming the Dragon & Tiger” corresponds to each individual being able to control their emotional states, as in the study and practice Traditional Chinese Medicine it is taught that it is our internal organs that control our emotional health and if there is an imbalance with our Qi (energy) or Blood circulation it can effect the functioning of our internal organs, which in-turn affects our emotional state and wellbeing.
It is said that our internal organs can be taken out of balance by our Qi becoming to deficient (Xi) or excessive (Shi). If for example we suffer from low deficient energy this can also affect our blood circulation to slow down or cause it to become stagnated in certain areas of our body, this can immediately cause our immune system to weaken as our internal organs are only functioning on low energy and blood supply, which in-turn can cause emotional imbalances such as feeling sadness, depression, worry etc. On the other hand if the energy becomes to excessive it can cause the blood to heat up and rise upwards in our body causing hypertension, palpitations and even deliriousness, again causing the individual to feel an imbalance in their emotional state by showing signs of anger, resentment, irritability, frustration etc.
Through the regular practice of the “Six Healing Sounds Qigong” (Liu Zi Jue Gong) an individual can learn to maintain a correct balance of Yin & Yang energies within their body. By practicing and learning to use each of the Six Healing Sounds with their associated body movements to either tonify or disperse any excessive or deficient Qi blockages can help the individual to balance their emotional health and wellbeing. For example if you have just had a an argument with a work colleague or family member, instead of blowing your top and venting your Liver, which corresponds to anger and going red in the face. Simply begin to perform the Liver sound and you will begin to notice that your Liver Qi and Blood begins to lower down and you begin to become more relaxed, as you regularly practice the Six Healing Sounds Qigong exercises you emotions will begin to become more balanced and your health will strengthen and you begin to “Tame the Energy of the Dragon & Tiger Inside of you”