LFIAA Li Style Taijiquan’s “Large Snake Unwinds It’s Body Posture” (Da She Fangsong Shen Shi).

The Li style taijiquan “large snake unwinds its body” posture is a very interesting posture to learn, as hidden within its movements are at least five of the taijiquan’s “Eight Energies” methods that the practitioner must perform. As a typical taiji qigong exercise the “large snake unwinds its body” posture should be practiced on both sides of the body to develop the Li style practitioners accuracy, precision, timing, speed, breathing, coordination, concentration and balance to a high level of proficiency.

The taiji eight energies that are used within the “large snake unwinds its body” posture are Rollback (Lu), Squeeze (Ji), Split (Lie), Pressing (An) and Ward Off (Peng). Through the practice of these particular five taiji energies, they will give each practitioner of the Li style square yard taijiquan form more depth and understanding in their actions. Helping to guide and lead their Qi throughout their entire body to promote their health and wellbeing.

Obviously, as with the many other traditional styles of taijiquan and likewise with the Li style taijiquan, all of its actions can be used to protect oneself from an assailant. Hence it can be performed as an “Internal Martial Art” (Neijiaquan), my teacher Master Chee Soo would also teach the many self defence methods to each of the postures that were held hidden within the forty-two taiji postures that makes up the whole of the Li style square yard taijiquan form, just like the “large snake unwinds its body”posture which has many striking, kicking, wrestling & throwing techniques within its movements. When I started my learning of the Li style taijiquan form, I thought that Master Chee Soo taught every student the fighting applications of the forty-two postures of the Li style taijiquan form. But now after many, many years of practicing and teaching have come to realise after speaking with many of Master Chee Soo’s students that Master Chee Soo only passed the information on to only a few, as he taught mainly on a one to one person transmission of the information.

So not many of the individual’s who studied the Li style taijiquan underneath Master Chee Soo had actually been taught the fighting applications of the Li style square yard taijiquan form by him. Over the years since Master Chee Soo’s death I have come across many individuals adding their own interpretation to the self defence actions of various postures that make up the Li style taijiquan form. Many of these interpretations are over complicated and have no connection to the actual movements that make up the various Li style taijiquan postures.


LFIAA Sun Style Baguazhang “ The Phoenix Wind Wheel Palm Form” (Fenghuang Feng Lun Zhang Shi).

Practicing the Sun Style Baguazhang can help to exercise and tone the small and large muscles, tendons and ligaments. One of the aims of practicing Baguazhang in general is to open up space within the body and to exercise everything within those spaces. This will help to increase the blood flow to reach all areas of the body, especially around the internal organs (Zangfu). The blood carry’s the nutrients that our bodies need to function, to heal and to maintain our wellness.

Because of the turning, twisting and spiralling actions of the whole body as it walks around the circle, as in the practice of the Sun Style Baguazhang Phoenix Form. Since the body mainly consists of body fluids like the blood, lymph, synovial and spinal fluid etc, a fundamental principle of Baguazhang is getting these bodily fluids to pump throughout the body in a strong, regular and balanced flow, particular around the internal organs.

As the practice of the Sun Style Baguazhang involves the twisting of the muscles and soft tissues as the practitioner performs their various movements. The twisting of the tissue within the four extremities will eventually twist and move the ligaments that are attached to the spine, twisting the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia within the entire body acts as an internal massage on our internal organs, helping to maintain their functioning towards our health and wellness. The twisting of the soft tissues facilitates the way that the Qi naturally spirals through the body, it does not travel in straight lines, as everything in nature moves in circular, spiralling actions, and so it is the same that the Qi flows within the body while practicing baguazhang.

Sun Style Baguazhang increases more elasticity within the body as it trains the body to lengthen the ligaments and fascia, allowing for any deep laying tension that as built up within the fascia and ligaments to be released. This then significantly improves the practitioners elasticity and their range of motion in the joints and spinal column, allowing for optimum movement within the joints and the spaces between each vertebrae of the spine. As the elasticity of the body increases through the practice of Baguazhang then more blood and fluids can flow through the body to strengthen the health and wellbeing. Plus, so does the spiralling of the Qi passing in and out through the joints removing stagnant, blocked Qi that can weaken the immune system and boosting our health.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Taiji Qigong “ Edge of the Cyclone Posture” Developing A Quality Of Movement To Improve Health & Wellbeing.

Practicing the taiji qigong exercises of the Li style Taijiquan square Yard form. Can only help its practitioners to develop a higher level of proficiency within their movements, making sure what is performed on one side of the body is exactly repeated on the opposite side, so that each practitioner promotes accuracy, precision and timing within their disciplined actions. There is no room for the many self interpreted movements that many practitioners employ because of a lack of understanding and knowledge of any guiding principles.

Irrespective of what particular style of taijiquan you practice they all advocate the use of circular movements. There should be no linear or isolated actions performed, the whole body must be fully active and connected moving as one complete unit. Practicing the taiji qigong exercises that make up the Li style’s square Yard Taijiquan form are there to improve each practitioner ability to skilfully manipulate the flow of Qi through the body with correct unified movements that abide to the guiding principles of the Li style Taijiquan.

By developing accurate, precise and well timed actions in the practice of the Li style taiji qigong exercises. Connecting the five components of the body the legs, torso, arms, breath and concentration together will greatly improve the body, mind, spirit connections of every practitioner. Releasing and relaxing the nervous system through the taiji qigong exercises will allow any anxiety and stress to be released. Tension can develop and lay deeply within each individuals nerves of the body, it can exacerbate the inability to relax and with regular Li style taiji qigong exercise can help to gradually remove this deep laying tension out of the nervous system, which then improves the individuals ability to fully relax and enjoy life much more.

LFIAA Taiji Qigong’s “ Regulating the Energy” Exercise.

Basically the taiji qigong exercise known as “Regulating the Energy” is about learning to rise (Sheng) and sink (Chen) the Qi within the body as the practitioner slowly and gently performs the exercise. It is important that the practitioner smoothly connects the five components of the body together, the legs, torso, arms, breathing and concentration to actively promote the circulation of the blood, Qi and lymph fluid around the entire body to strengthen the health and wellbeing.

The rising (Sheng) of the body is performed with a slow, deep and long inhale through the nose, the both arms slowly rise upwards in front of the body and slightly above the head, trying to keep the both shoulders from raising upwards. As the both arms and body slowly rise the practitioner should begin to experience a warming sensation of heat rising upwards through the body. Or maybe they might experience a pressure slowly coming up, as one teacher of mine once mentioned, think of a lift, slowly rising upwards from the ground until it reaches the top floor, the top of your chest.

The lowering or sinking (Chen) of the Qi through the entire body, should start in the legs, with the ankles, knees and hips slowly sinking downwards, which then pulls the torso and the torso pulls the arms downwards smoothly as one complete unit. The practitioner performs a slow, long exhale of the breath out through the nose, timing the movements with their breathing. As the both arms separate to both sides of the body from above the head, the both arms entry extend outwards keeping the elbows slightly bent. The fingers gently extend guiding & leading the Qi to the extremities. Here the practitioner should feel their bodyweight increase into the legs as they slowly lower their body downwards, making them feel a heavy weight descending slowly down through the body.

At first the practitioner may not have any sensation of their Qi rising (Sheng) or sinking (Chen) through their body. It can take several weeks and months of regular practice before a practitioner can begin to feel the movement of their Qi inside themselves move. Usually individuals will experience the sensations of warmth, heat, tingling, coolness or fullness within their extremities, but not so much within the torso. As it can take a long time before the individual can become relaxed and still enough physically and mentally to feel the Qi rising and sinking through the torso as they perform the “Regulating the Energy” taiji qigong exercise.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Feng Shou-Kung Fu. “Focus Pad Training to Enhance the Practitioners Attributes”.

Over the many years that I have been practicing and teaching the Li Style Feng Shou-Kung Fu. Not many of its practitioners actually employ training equipment into their training to help enhance their students attributes to allow them to develop their own Feng Shou-Kung Fu fighting skills. Simply performing various striking and kicking techniques in the air does not really develop the students confidence in being able to issue power (Fa Jin) into their offensive techniques. Which will leave them with great doubt that their techniques are effective enough to use and protect themselves against a much bigger opponent.

Using the Focus Pads is a favourite training aid that I often employ into my Li Style Feng Shou-Kung Fu classes and courses. As they can be used to develop the students defensive and offensive skills if they are used intelligently and correctly, many individuals when they bring striking pads into their particular martial art, they immediately turn into either boxers or kick boxers and their own particular martial art style suddenly disappears and turns into some thing else. It is important that when using any training aid, that they are used to enhance your own martial art style and to not turn it into some thing else as so many individuals do.

The great thing about using the Focus Pads is that it develops the students ability to judge the correct distance to use certain striking and kicking techniques. Plus, it teaches the student how to use the correct surface area of their palms and feet to strike and kick correctly and safely with issuing power into their attacking techniques, as especially they have to be used against an opponent who is going to be on the move. Focus Pad training is also a great way to improve the students attributes like their accuracy, timing, precision, speed, reactions, power, fitness, stamina, agility, coordination and concentration.

Personally I believe that bringing certain training aids into the Feng Shou-Kung Fu class, like the focus pads can only benefit the development of every student to build their confidence in being able to practically and effectively use their kung fu fighting skills. Making the training more interesting and enjoyable if the focus pads are used intelligently by the practitioner to enhance and maintain the Li Style Feng Shou-Kung Fu style and not turn it into another typical kick boxing method.

LFIAA Sun Style Eight Trigram Palms (Baguazhang) An Unique Body, Mind & Spirit Discipline for the Attainment of Health & long life.

Gradually more and more people have seen the practice of Baguazhang, and are slowly becoming more aware of its practice. As compared to the popular exercises like Taijiquan and Qigong for which many individuals already are practicing and receiving its many health related benefits. When you see a performance of the Sun Style Eight Trigram Palms or Baguazhang it can very much look like a dance routine, where the practitioner constantly changes their direction, while walking around in various size circles, turning, twisting and spiralling their whole body holding various posture shapes, while all the time remaining in full control of their graceful, flowing body actions.

The difference between the practice of Baguazhang and Taijiquan are few. The first obvious difference is that Baguazhang involves more coiling and spiralling actions, what are known as “Reeling Silk Methods” (Chansigong Fa). Which stretches and strengthens the soft tissues of the body like the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, whereas, the practice of Taijiquan will mainly work on developing the flexibility within the joints of the body through the opening and closing actions. Another difference is that Baguazhang tends to walk around a circumference of a circle, while performing its body actions, whereas, Taijiquan involves more linear stepping methods and circular actions with the hands and arms. There are a few more slight differences within each of these body, mind & breath exercises, which both offer a wide range of many health benefits to individuals.

Personally I have only come across two body, mind & breath exercises that have quickly activated the circulation of my own Qi strongly and tangibly throughout the whole of body. Baguazhang was one of these two disciplines, every time I practice the Baguazhang I instantly can tangibly feel the movement of Qi, whereas, when I practice Taijiquan or certain Qigong styles it can take a while for me to feel the Qi moving through my body. Plus I find that my fitness and stamina levels rise more through the practice of Baguazhang other than through the practice of Taijiquan, this I put down to baguazhang’s circle walking practice which can be performed at various speeds. Simply walking the circle at a moderate speed will definitely increase your fitness, stamina and energy levels.

Because of the Sun Style baguazhang’s turning and twisting of the whole body. The practitioner will begin to develop a more relaxed, supple body, especially within the joints and tendons of the body. Baguazhang also involves static upper body shapes, while the lower portion of the body is kept moving in a circle. The holding of various upper body static shapes using the arms increases the strength within the core muscles, shoulders and back muscles, whereas the legs and feet are kept moving, which will develop the strength within the muscles of the legs and flexibility within the joints of the ankles, knees and hips. Above all greatly strengthening the whole body to attain good health and wellbeing well into old age.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Taijiquan’s Guiding Principles.

I guess by now many individuals have taken a long look at the Li Style (Lishi) Taijiquan Square Yard Form as taught by the late Master Chee Soo. Sadly many will have noticed that in our present time there are quite a few variations going on with all the many different versions of the Li Style Taijiquan being offered by many of its so called teachers. The reason for this is that many of these teachers are not following any specific guidelines that teach good accurate, precise, well timed, coordinated and disciplined movements and there are many examples of this.

Firstly, many teachers have a tendency to perform double weighted stances within their taijiquan square Yard form, which means that they are not applying the Yin & Yang principle for which the whole concept of taijiquan was based upon. Simply meaning that the bodyweight should be distributed between both legs in a seventy/thirty percent ratio or a sixty/forty percent ration, this does not always happen in many of the Li Style Taijiquan versions. Another very important point is that many of these other versions of the Li Style Taijiquan do not even comply to using circular actions, many are very linear in their movements and do not combine and blend each circle into each other.

Following and applying guiding principles is very important in the practice of taijiquan, has it gives each practitioner a deeper understanding and knowledge of how to utilise the whole of their body to flow and move as one complete unit. Without performing any isolated actions, as again if you have watched many of the other versions of the Li Style Taijiquan Form you will see there are many isolated actions being performed by its practitioners and the reason for this is that they do not abide to any guiding principles, other than adding their own interpretations.

Personally I fear for the future of the Li Style Taijiquan as taught by Master Chee Soo. As without following any guiding principles then the over-al quality of each and every practitioner will be of a poor standard and gradually in time the Li Style Taijiquan will properly disappear altogether. So it is important that every teacher of the Li Style Taijiquan follows a set of guiding principles that every student abides by, that allows them to perform accurate and skilful actions to circulate the blood, lymph fluid and Qi through the whole body to maintain & improve the health and wellbeing through the practice of the Li Style Square Yard Taijiquan form.

LFIAA Yang Style Taijiquan “ Opening & Closing the Elbow Joints”. (Kai He Zhou Jie Fa).

In the practice of the Yang Style Taijiquan Simplified 16 Posture Form, there are certain guiding principles that every practitioner must become aware of and utilise them in their performance of the Yang Style Taijiquan Form. Especially the opening (Kai) and closing (He) actions of the elbow joints as the practitioner performs their arm movements, every joint in the body acts as a pump to mobilise the flow of the blood, lymph and Qi to circulate freely throughout the entire body to boost the immune system towards attaining good health, fitness and wellbeing from the practice of taijiquan in general.

The opening (Kai) action of the elbow joint (Zhou Jie) allows for the blood, lymph fluid and Qi to enter into the forearms, hands and fingers of the practitioner filling the arm and giving the limb a sensation of increased weight and thickness as the fluid flows through the upper extremities. This added weight in the both arms by using the opening action of the elbow joint to allow more fluid to enter the limbs, helps to maintain the bones within the arms to remain soft and pliable, as the warmth of the blood and Qi gently heats the bones penetrating deeply into the marrow (Sui) to help produce more red and white blood cells to reduce and slow the degeneration or ageing of the body and to stop the bones from becoming hard and brittle. Because of the increased fluid entering the upper extremities, an increase of weight develops in the arms as the practitioner moves their whole in the actions of their Yang Style Taijiquan Form, this added weight in the arms can actually strengthen the tendons and bones. The tendons are strengthened by being able to hold the weight of the arm in free space away from the body for some time, because the arm fills with fluid helps to give each arm a feeling of weight bearing which will strengthen the bones of the arms.

The Closing (He) action of the elbow joints allows the practitioner to control the amount of blood, lymph fluid and Qi that enters the arms. By gently bending the elbow and closing the joint slightly will slow down the circulation and allow it to gather within the elbow joints, the practitioner should gradually begin to feel and sense a slight coolness and lightness within their arms as they gently close the elbow joints in the practice of their Yang Style Taijiquan movements. When closing the elbow joint it should not fully close to the point were the forearm touches the shoulder of the same arm, there should be a slight V shape maintained between the upper arm and forearm. The practitioner should not feel any tension within the elbow joint when they begin to close it, plus the point of the elbow must point downwards towards the ground.

If the practitioner can develop the softness in their Taijiquan actions to open and close the elbow. Then the joint itself can be used to pump and control the circulation of the blood, lymph and Qi into the upper extremities. Removing any blood stasis or blockages within the energy pathways (Jingluo) that have accumulated within the arms, due to tense muscles and stiff joints.

LFIAA Taiji Qigong Exercises “ The Health Related Benefits From Its Practice”.

Because of the current situation that we all find ourselves in with the Covid 19 Virus disrupting our lives. Many individuals have turned to the study and practice of the taiji qigong exercises to help then manage and control various health problems that they are suffering with. There have been plenty of scientific tests on the benefits of practicing taiji qigong exercises by various country’s like China, America, Germany and Australia and their testing has found that there are many benefits that individuals can receive from regular taiji qigong practice. For example it can benefit arthritis, osteoporosis, falls syndrome, heart disease, hypertension, chronic fatigue etc.

Mentally, the practice of taiji qigong can help individuals who suffer with depression, anxiety and tension to gradually relax, calm and still their minds enough so that they can begin to enjoy their life, family and friends once more. Obviously, it can be frustrating as it can take a longtime before individuals can begin to receive these benefits, but with dedication and perseverance they can achieve a level of wellbeing from the practice of taiji qigong.

On a physical level for those who are suffering with muscular tension, cramps and spasm that can lead towards suffering with sciatica, or those who suffer with joint stiffness which can affect their blood pressure, which can also cause headaches and migraines with many individuals. Then through the soft, gentle stretching actions of the taiji qigong exercises, the individuals muscular tension can be released, improving the individuals ability to feel more relaxed and help in balancing the blood pressure, by improving the circulation. This in turn can help in easing the headaches and migraine attacks that many individuals also suffer with from muscular tension being trapped in their body. By gently opening the joints through the movements of the taiji qigong exercises, stiffness and pain within the joints is relieved, allowing for a better range of mobility, easing any trapped nerves like the sciatic nerve that may be squeezed by the individuals accumulated muscular tension and joint stiffness.

The regular practice of taiji qigong holds many benefits for individuals who are suffering from various ailments. The exercises can be used by individuals to manage and cope better, gaining a little control over their ailment that allows them to live as normal life as they possibly can. Another great benefit of practising the taiji qigong exercises is that they can be performed in the comfort of the home, either in-doors or out-doors to help maintain & improve each individuals health and wellbeing.

LFIAA Daoist Boxing of the Li Style Feng Shou-Kung Fu. “ The Shifting Or Breaking Balance Entry Strikes”.

There are many hand methods (Shou Fa) that can be used to manipulate an opponents limbs to break their balance by quickly shifting their bodyweight from side to side, allowing for the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner to enter and land heavy strikes and kicks to finish the confrontation. Usually the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner will choose to be more defensive and then try to counter attack, here the practitioner will use defensively either single, double or changing hand methods to deflect the opponents blows away from their intended target and at the same time try and rock the opponents balance, by the skilful, manipulation of their defensive hand techniques to shift the opponents bodyweight, by quickly changing the direction of the opponents strikes or kicks that knocks them of their centre of balance, leaving them wide open to fast and effective counter strikes and kicks.

It is very rare that the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner will use the shifting strike hand methods to break the opponents balance while being on the attack. But the ability to shift the opponents centre of gravity is a very good skill to have and use, as a sudden change of direction of the opponents defensive limb can easily not only physically break their balance, it can also be used to mentally break their concentration, and that sudden gap in the opponents defence, due to them losing their balance or concentration is all the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner needs to enter and land their blows.

By breaking the opponents balance by quickly shifting their bodyweight quickly from one side to another using skilled manipulative hand methods. Not only will these shifting strike methods open up the opponents defence to the practitioners striking & kicking combinations (Shoujiaofa). They can also be used to enter into the opponents defence and apply various wrestling and throwing techniques that can be used to subdue or immobilise an opponent, or they can apply fast, heavy throwing techniques that can finish the fight quickly.

At anytime the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner can apply a shifting strike defensively or offensive. That can break an opponents centre of gravity causing them to lose balance, which allows the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner to land their strikes on the opponents vital areas of their body.