LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Energy Bodywork Massage System “Skilful Use Of The Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou Fa)

Anyone who has practiced massage, irrespective of what particular style of massage therapy one has studied will understand the importance of the “Supporting Hand” known in Chinese as (Fu Shou). The amount of times that I have seen beginner students and I must say some more experienced individuals, simply place one hand on the patient to work with, while their supposedly Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” was hanging by the sides of their body doing nothing, is really a lazy and very poor way to massage and treat a patient.

The Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” is used in the Lishi Energy Bodywork Massage System to help reassure, anchor, connect and work in unison with the primary hand (Jue Shou) to give the patient a quality based holistic treatment towards preventing or managing their particular ailment. Firstly the Fu Shou when it is placed anywhere on the patients body helps to reassure the patient by remaining in contact with them all of the time, helping the patient to relax and trust the practitioner while they are working using the primary hand. The Fu Shou should not become static by being held in one place on the patients body, it should be allowed to move around the whole of the body, remaining in contact and working in unison with the primary hand. Some times the Fu Shou “Supporting Hand” can suddenly change into the primary hand and vice-versa so it is important that it stays in contact.

Secondly the Fu Shou can be used to Anchor a limb to give the practitioner a better sense of control, while working on the joints & muscles of the same limb with the primary hand. It can also be used to cover a particular energy cavity (Qi Xue) to Anchor, ground, close or gather the patients energy (Qi) to the same energy cavity, while the primary hand is used to move and direct the patients Qi in the opposite direction, raising, lowering the Qi. The Fu Shou can also be used as an Anchor to traction the muscles, tendons, soft tissue and joints, while the primary hand is used to stretch in the opposite direction to help release tension and stiffness. It can be used to open the joints by using traction to allow fresh Qi and nutrients in the blood to enter into the spaces between the joints to nourish and strengthen, and to also exit and disperse stagnant sickly blood and blocked energy out.

Thirdly, the Fu Shou can also be used to connect to a particular Qi cavity (Qi Xue) along the same energy pathway, channel or meridian (Jingluo) on the patients body that the primary hand (Jue Shou) is also located on, but on another energy cavity along the same channel. Then using both the “Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou) and the “Primary Hand” (Jue Shou) to work in harmony in allowing the patient own Qi to travel the length of the energy pathway rising, lowering, entering or exiting the Qi to treat many types of ailments.

To use the “Supporting Hand” (Fu Shou) in a skilful manipulative way takes a lot of time and practice, especially in working in harmony with the “Primary Hand” switching and alternating from one hand to the other from supporting to being the primary hand without losing contact or control takes plenty of practice to develop.

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LFIAA Feng Shou-Kung Fu “ Broadsword Two-Person Training Methods” (Dao Dui Lian Fa).

The Feng Shou-Kung Fu Broadsword (Dao) two-person training methods are not practiced by many practitioners. As they mainly concentrate on just going through the Broadsword form (Dao Shi) which covers just the basic Broadsword defensive and offensive techniques. Whereas, the real skill in using the Broadsword can be found within the two-person training methods (Dui Lian), such as the “Feng Shou Three Star Attack, Defend & Counter Methods” ( San Xing Da Wei Fan Fa). Which teaches the practitioner how to correctly use the Broadsword to block using various types of blocking techniques such as the inside and outside “Hanging Block” (Gua Dang) were the practitioner raises the Broadsword to block with the tip pointing towards the ground, or the inward and outward “Sweeping Block” ( Sao Dang) were the practitioner points the tip of the Broadsword upwards to block. As well as learning blocking methods the practitioner also learns how to attack with the Broadsword from various angles.

Because the Feng Shou Broadsword Three Star Principle Method is performed in an attack, defend & counter rhythm, at first it is taught using strict angles of attack and limited blocking techniques to gradually develop each practitioners skill level in developing their concentration, co-ordination, balance, timing, precision, accuracy, reactions, speed, strength and fitness. After a few years of practicing and covering all of the possible blocking and attacking angles, the Feng Shou-Kung Fu practitioner can then progress to the freestyle two-person training method.

Obviously, at any stage of the practitioners Three Star Principle weapon training. Each of the practitioners can apply various disarms, joint locking methods and takedowns into their Three Star Principle Broadsword two-person training methods. Bringing all aspects of their Feng Shou-Kung Fu training into full usage, so that the practitioner can become fully proficient with the Broadsword in its defensive and offensive fighting methods.

Simply practicing the Feng Shou Broadsword form, without also practicing the Broadsword two-person Three Star Principle Methods. Means that all of the basic defensive and offensive Broadsword techniques that one learns through the practice of the Broadsword form, cannot be brought to life and developed proficiently by each practitioner. Hence, all of the Broadsword techniques held within the Broadsword form become rigid and limited.

LFIAA Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu Weapons Training “Staff Two-Person Counter/Counter Drills” (Gun Dui Lian Fa).

It’s all very good every student practicing the Feng Shou Staff forms (Gun Shi), to help them learn the basic Staff fighting defensive & offensive methods (Jiben Gun Fa). But it is also important that they also get plenty of practice within the “Two-Person Counter/Counter Staff fighting drills to develop their timing, accuracy, reactions, balance, concentration & co-ordination to develop each students over-al staff fighting ability, which will in turn also improve the quality of every students Feng Shou Staff form practice and their confidence.

There are many individual Staff training sections to learn in the Feng Shou-Kung Fu System that each student must practice, such as the defensive Staff blocking methods, offensive Staff striking methods, evasive footwork methods, disarms, joint locks and throwing methods. All these different staff training sections must come together and be performed in various two-person counter/counter drills, were each student has the opportunity to express themselves and be given the chance to grow and develop their own skills within the Feng Shou-Kung Fu System.

Another quality, that each student must also take into consideration is the ability to develop their tactile skill, in being able to remain in contact with the attackers weapon and through that contact be able to listen (Ting) to the attackers Intention and strength. To be able to Stick, Adhere (Zhan,Nian), to Follow (Sui) and Neutralise (Hua) the attackers every attempt to attack and control them. Simply practicing the Feng Shou Staff form all of the time, will stop every student from developing the depth of their Feng Shou-Kung Fu Staff fighting skills. Which can also be said about every weapon that is taught within the many versions of the Feng Shou-Kung Fu Systems that are taught by the many other associations.

If one is to learn and practice a Chinese internal martial art like Feng Shou-Kung Fu. Then it is important that both the unarmed and armed aspects are equally practiced and that each of the students are allowed to freely express themselves by being allowed to participate in training exercises that bring all of the individual different sections together into one particular training drill that sharpens their skills. Unlike just simply practicing the weapons forms, which if practiced needs to be alongside the two-person weapons drills or exercises that bring the defensive and offensive techniques of the weapon forms alive.

LFIAA Li Style (Lishi) Tai Chi “Why Is It Known As The Square Yard Style” (Tai Chi Zheng Yuan Zi Shi)

Nobody seems to ask the question why the Li Style Tai Chi is called or known as the “Square Yard Style”. For anyone who as practiced the Li Style Tai Chi Form will know for sure, that in this particular style we only take a single step in any of the Four directions, unlike the other styles of T’ai Chi which can take a series of more than two steps in any direction covering more ground. Hence, this is why the Li Style Tai Chi is known as the “Square Yard Style” because it’s single step method in any of the Four directions.

Today many individuals who study and practice the more larger styles of Tai Chi, like the Yang, Wu & Sun styles for example, really do not have enough room to practice their T’ai Chi indoors in the comfort of their own homes. As the forms are to large, this is one of the reasons why within the last 50yrs the Chinese have been developing and teaching the more “Simplified Tai Chi Forms” which are much shorter in their size and don’t really take up as much room as the more traditional Tai Chi forms.

It is because of the Li Style Tai Chi being known as the “Square Yard Style” and its ability to be performed within a short area, that has made this particular style of Tai Chi so appealing to hundreds of people around the world, as it can be performed in the comfort of their homes as well as outdoors. Irrespective of the size of the Li Style Tai Chi, its actions must still apply to the guiding principles that govern all styles of T’ai Chi, which helps each individual to connect the whole body together promoting their health & wellbeing.

All styles of T’ai Chi have their own typical characteristics such as the swaying or rocking action of the body, as the bodyweight is shifted from one leg to another like in the Yang Style Tai Chi, or the coiling, reeling actions of the Chen Style T’ai Chi or the slanted leaning of the body in the Wu Style Tai Chi. The Li Style Tai Chi has its own characteristic style, which is the many times that you see the whole body being rotated some times 90 or 180 degrees to keep changing its direction.

LFIAA Taiji Qigong 18 Exercise Form (Taiji Shibashi Qigong) Combining The Five Components For Better Health & Wellbeing.

When practicing any of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises, each individual must concentrate on harmonising the five components of their body which are the legs, torso, hands, breathing & concentration. Making sure that all of these five components (Wu Jie) are all integrated together and that no one part of the body is being moved isolated from the rest of the body. When moving the whole body there should be no sudden changes of speed, the breathing should dictate the speed of the whole body. By co-ordinating the breathing (Xi) and the movements (Dong) together in a slow, smooth, flowing and continuous action. The breathing itself should be long, deep, slow, smooth and quiet the breathing should be in through the nose and out through the nose.

Moving slowly co- ordinating the breathe and movements together means that each of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises are prolonged, meaning that the physical body works much more harder, as the bodyweight seems to be held on one leg much more longer than normal, helping to strengthen the bones, muscles and ligaments and invigorating the cardiovascular system. Plus the arms seem to be held up and out in free space away from the body, which helps strengthens the bones, muscles and tendons of the upper extremities. Whereas, the torso gently turns from side to side to stretch the muscles of the back and hips and to gently stretch the spinal column.

Moving slowly also helps to strengthen the concentration, especially if you do many repetitions per exercise. As the mind must concentrate on the timing (Shizhong) of the Breathing & movements moving in harmony with each other, watching for no sudden changes of speed, no pausing or hesitation of the movements, making sure that the whole body’s five components are all linked together and not moving in isolation. Also making sure that you maintain your balance and do not wobble or stumble while practicing any of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises and lose your own balance.

Each of the 18 Taiji Qigong exercises are very easy to learn, but very hard to master. The practice of taijiquan in general as been associated to an “Onion”. If you peel one section of the Onion away there is another layer below and so it is the same with the practice of Taiji Qigong. Once you learn and understand one layer then there is always another layer of the Taiji Qigong exercises, gradually making each individual delve deeper into its practice becoming more proficient in its external (Waigong) practice and its internal (Neigong) practices to attain good health and wellbeing.

LFIAA Taiji Qin Na Self Defence “Subdue & Control Using The Eight Methods”

Over the last twenty years or more, the study and practice of taijiquan has become mainly an exercise towards maintaining and improving one’s health and wellbeing. But learning taijiquan for self defence is also looking after one’s health and life, as there is no telling when you could be assaulted by a complete stranger, work colleague, a friend or family member. Practicing your taijiquan forms and bringing the Eight Methods of Peng, Lu, An, Ji, Lie, Cai, Zhou, Kao alive through the movements for the benefit of health maintenance is simply one half the Taiji Symbol. Whereas, learning to bring these same Eight Methods (Bafa) into application through the practice of taiji self defence techniques to help you escape from various holds, grips and to then be able to immobilise and control the assailant is the other side of the Taiji Symbol (Taiji Tu).

The practice of taijiquan is about attaining balance and being in harmony with oneself. Not only should taijiquan be practiced for Qi cultivation, health preservation be it physical, emotional, mental or spiritual. It should also be studied and practiced to protect oneself from a violent situation, as in the end its all about looking after your wellbeing. Learning to apply taiji’s eight methods for self defence, to apply a wide range of easy to learn, practical and effective joint locking techniques anyone could learn, that one day could save you from serious harm should be taught and practiced by everyone.

Over-al the practice of taijiquan is a non-aggressive Self Defence System that teaches its practitioners to meet force and redirect that same force back towards the assailant using a high level of manipulative skill that controls the assailants balance and strength by using a superior knowledge of angles, leverage through the application of the Eight Methods (Bafa) to apply punishing joint locking techniques (Qin Na) that can be used to then subdue and control the assailant and protect yourself.

As in the accompanying photo the Eight Methods of Plucking (Cai), Pressing (An), Squeezing (Ji) and Splitting (Lie) are being used to apply this upward pressing wrist lock (Shang An Wan Suo) or as some would say in the practice of the taijiquan solo form “The Holding the Ball Position”. Here is a good example of taijiquan form practice and the application of the eight methods being practiced together the unseen & seen.

LFIAA The Circles Within The Practice Of Taijiquan. (Taiji quanzi)

Everyone, who studies and practices taijiquan knows that when performing the movements of their particular taijiquan sequence or form, that their actions must be circular and not linear. Basically, every style of taijiquan will perform three different circular shapes that must be linked together.

  1. A Vertical Circle.
  2. A Horizontal Circle.
  3. A Sidewards Circle.

These three particular circles mentioned above, can be performed in any direction and must be blended together in a variety of interchanging and smoothly linked circles. It is important that every individual understands the direction, shape and size of each of the circles that they must perform. Each circle (Quanzi) must naturally transform and blend into each other in a smooth and continuous action, with no sharp corners or any sudden changes of direction that involve linear actions that can make the individuals taijiquan form movements look staccato like, jerky and uneven.

For many individuals who practice taijiquan, it is the smooth transition of blending, for example a sidewards circle into an horizontal circle and vice-versa. To suddenly having to move using a small circle that changes into a much bigger circle or vice-versa, that many individuals struggle with when they practice their taijiquan. Obviously, it is not just the upper extremities that each individual must pay attention to. They must also make sure that they are aware of their torso and lower extremities are also moving in a circular direction and that the whole body is fully interconnected and moves as a whole unit without any isolated actions.

It can take a very longtime of regular practice before the individual can become skilful and more confident with the blending of the vertical, horizontal and sidewards circles together with their various sizes. Obviously, it is not just the upper extremities that perform the circles in the practice of taijiquan, but the torso and lower extremities also perform circles. It is important that the individual is fully aware that the whole body must be smoothly linked together and move using a particular circular shape and direction.

Learning to move your whole body by using circular actions allows the joints to be gently opened and closed, developing their flexibility and allowing for the blood and Qi to flow fresh nutrients into the joints, muscles, tendons and soft tissue to maintain their health and functioning, while at the same time dispersing out any stagnant blocked sickly blood and Qi that may have accumulated. The opening and closing of the joints of the whole body through the circular actions of your taijiquan movements, allows each individual to control the amount of body fluid that travels throughout the whole body at every second of the day. Gently opening and stretching the joints will increase the blood, Qi and lymph to flow more, whereas, the gentle closing of the joints will slow down or gather the blood, Qi and lymph. Improving the circulation so that the nutrients that out body needs to maintain its healthy functioning can be spread throughout the entire body, boosting our vitality levels, balancing our emotions and strengthening our concentration.