Head Positions Ebook
Further energy can be wasted through bad posture when sleeping. If your body is in the wrong position some of the channels or veins will be blocked, causing poor circulation. Your dreams may become very strange and even nightmarish. When you wake up in the middle of the night you might find that your hands are on your chest, putting pressure on your heart, or maybe that you have been sleeping on your side in a posture that compressed the lungs, causing a breathing problem. So some sleeping positions cause problems for your energy flow, and the following day you will feel tired and stiff in your neck, back or shoulders. Your energy will always go to any part of the body that is blocked or suppressed, to try to bring it back to normal. The best sleeping posture is lying on your back with a pillow to support your head, legs slightly apart and arms loosely by your side, i.e. a similar position to that used in lying meditation.
The practitioner's head must be held as if gently suspended and with the neck feeling long. Unfortunately, students often tighten the neck muscles in order to keep the head upright and the chin pulled in. It is better to imagine that a small object is resting on top of the back of the head and must be supported there through proper posture alone. The other way to approach this is to feel as if your head is being pulled upwards gently, as if suspended, like the strings of a marionette support its head.
If you are completely new to the practice of Zhan Zhuang, it is vital that you first open the gateway to this art. Daily practice is essential, beginning with the three warm-up exercises described below. Then devote yourself to the standing postures on the following pages. 3. Extending to the Sides Keep the same body posture and extend your arms out to the sides, slightly in front of the line of your body. Relax your shoulders and slightly bend your elbows. You feel as if you are resting your hands on two balloons floating on water. As you practice the standing postures and movements in this book, your mind is free to roam and experience the thoughts and feelings passing through it. Keep your eyes and ears open to whatever is happening. You can listen to music, even watch television as you practice - flowing music and non-violent
In Pa Kua Chang Journal, Volume 5, Number 5, I described Ba Gua's Eight Mother Palms as one of the four pillars of Ba Gua training (the other pillars being the circle walk practice, the single palm change, and the double palm change). In this context I was defining the Eight Mother Palms as being the foundational static upper body postures which are held while the practitioner is practicing the basic circle walk. These postures are designed to train certain structural alignments and energetic connections while the practitioner is walking the circle. The upper body is held static while the lower body is continuously moving. In the practice of holding the eight mother palms, the practitioner trains structural strengths, internal body connections, internal external body integration and harmony, development and awareness of muscle groups not usually under conscious control, tendon strength and conditioning, and joint opening and suppleness. These components are trained in each of the...
Zhao Da Yuan, of Beijing, China, states that the element that makes the circle walk practice internal is the link between mind and body that is forged during the circle walk practice. He explains that when the average person contracts a muscle, 45 to 50 percent of the muscle fibers in that muscle fire. A trained athlete, or a person who repetitively works a set of muscles performing a certain task, may contract about 70 percent of the muscle fiber in a given muscle for a given purpose. His theory is that if the practitioner holds a static upper body posture with focused concentration for an extended period of time, as in the circle walk practice, he or she will be able to develop the ability to get more muscle fiber to contract at the same time for the same purpose. Holding a static posture for an extended period of time, or moving very slowly as in Tai Ji Quan, a more complete physical development occurs than in exercises where the body moves rapidly. Secondary muscles are...
The method of acquiring the exercise is quite simple. Choose in the beginning a tree around which you can easily put your arms. Stand just under it. Put your arms around it as tight as possible and clench fingers of both hands so that they can not come apart. Cling to the tree as close as possible and make such movements as if you try to raise it up. Meanwhile you must also press your knees to the tree from both sides, your posture is as if you squat and try to stand up with your arms around the heavy load. Do the exercise for a long time every day, make every effort while doing it. During one or two years your arms have to gradually gather strength and they will be finally filled with it. You will become so strong that you will be able to tear off a tree from its roots, break its trunk and it will bleed sap. Then you will have a feeling that you have achieved a certain success in training, made a first step in acquiring the Skill of Nephrite Belt . You will realize that you are on...
Grab the opponent by the throat, on the inside of the neck muscles so that your fingers close around the back of his larynx. Squeeze very hard and back the grab up with firm to aggressive verbal commands. It often helps to grab the opponent's arm with your left hand while you squeeze with the right hand.
(a) Often, an untrained fighter will telegraph his intention to attack by drawing his hand back in view of his opponent, changing facial expression, tensing neck muscles, or twitching. These movements, however small, immediately indicate an attack is about to be delivered.
One of the main characteristic differences between the Yin Fu and Cheng Ting Hua styles of Ba Gua are the general postural alignments of the body. As we stated in Pa Kua Chang Journal Vol. 3, No. 2, page 13, the Yin Fu style practitioners tend to have a very closed body. The stances are low and they bend forward at the hips. The spine remains straight, however, the body is bent. The Cheng Ting Hua style practitioner tend to have a higher stance and a more vertical spine. Illustrating the Yin Fu style body posture above are three Yin style practitioners. On the far left is He Jin Han of Taipei, Taiwan, a student of Gong Bao Tian's student Gong Bao Zhai in the middle is Xie Pei Qi of Beijing, China, a student of Yin Fu's student Men Bao Zhen and on the right is Huang Zhi Cheng of Shanghai, China, a student of Gong Bao Tian's student Sun Ru Wen.
When teaching students, Liang emphasizes the basics. He starts most of his students practicing Xing Yi first and his Xing Yi students practice nothing but San Ti Shi (Trinity standing posture) and pi quart (splitting fist) for the first six to eight months of practice. Liang has a rule which states that when practicing his students have to sweat three times. He says, They have to practice San Ti Shi until they sweat, then they practice pi quan ( - splitting fist) until they sweat again, and then they practice two-person sets until they sweat again. Although Liang knows various styles of Xing Yi Quan, he says that all styles of Xing Yi adhere to certain basic principles. When teaching his students the san ti standing posture he emphasizes the following points 1) The length of the stance is such that if the practitioner were to assume the standing posture and then kneel down on the back leg keeping the toes of back foot in place, the knee of the back leg would touch just behind the heel...
They all make reference to some form of basic stance training and basic moving posture training. By moving posture training I am referring to execution of stepping techniques or walking the circle practice while holding a static upper body posture. The goal of this training includes proper alignment, power development, stepping, and other components of Pa Kua mechanics, and also includes ch'i kung and nei kung training. Huang Po-Nien, a well known student of Li Tsun-I, in his Dragon Shaped Pa Kua Chang published in the 1930's, also includes a section on posture work. He states that standing postures and walking the circle in simple postures are crucial training methods. Several of the postures shown in his book resemble Hsing-I postures. In executing the eight mother palm circle walking exericse, the practitioner will simply hold each of the eight upper body postures while walking around the Pa Kua circle. The posture is held while walking in one direction for as long as desired and...
All systems of Ba Gua Zhang include basic training skills. In the Gao Yi Sheng system, the basic training includes eight sets of basic hand exercises (Ji Ben Shou Fa - Js- -f &j, body strengthening exercises, stance keeping or standing exercises, and basic circle walking holding static upper body postures. standing postures. The first is the standard Ba Gua circle walking stance shown on page 8 (far left). In the Gao system, this is referred to as Xian Tian Zhuang or the pre-heaven standing posture. The second standing posture is identical to Xing Yi's San Ti Shi ft 5 ) or Trinity posture. In the Gao system, this posture is referred to as Hou Tian Zhuang vL ), or post-heaven standing posture. After the student has practiced the two static standing postures, he or she will then be taught the basic circle walking postures. This set consists of eight static upper body
Pa Kua Chang practitioner Lu ShengLi studies with his teacher fourth generation inheritor Liu Hsing Han every morning
When examining the body posture of the two styles, we can also note differences. In general, Yin Fu style Pa Kua practitioners tend to have a very closed body. The stance is narrow and the arms are held along the body's centerline to provide a very protected and closed target area. To further close the body, the Yin Fu stylists will bend forward at the hips and hollow the chest by rounding the shoulders. The spine remains straight, however, the body is bent forward at the hips. The Ch'eng style practitioners tend to have a more open body posture with the spine vertical and a more expanded chest.
There are at least a dozen different circle walk stepping techniques and each teacher seems to have his o r her own detailed criteria for practicing these techniques. Investigating the art of circle walking, one may run across some of the following the lion step, the dragon step, the chicken step, the tiger step, the snake step, the crane step, the rippling step, the mud walking step, the shake step, the stomp step, the hesitation step, the continuous step, the sliding step, the digging heel step, the gliding step, and even steps such as the camel step and the elephant step. Some of these are different names describing the same step and others are steps used only for specific leg strength and body training. One will also encounter Ba Gua Zhang schools who walk the circle painstakingly slow and others who walk very fast. Then one may also encounter the lower, middle, and upper basin walking positions along with a wide variety of upper body postures one might assume while walking....
When I first started with Xu Hong Ji, he was kind of testing my sincerity, so I just had to follow him and study the qi gong with his friend. When he actually started teaching me, the first thing he taught me was how to stand in a basic standing posture (San Ti Shi - JL ft and he taught me how to breath. Next he taught me pi quan. I did that for several hours a day, everyday, for a few months before I started the other elements. After several months of pi quan, I learned
Simultaneously turn your chin into the crook of his elbow. This exposes the large neck muscles to his attack and gives you ample time to complete the escape and throw him whereas if you allow the pressure to continue on your windpipe one second is enough to make you quit.
He Jin Han demonstrates lower piercing palm posture at the Chiang Kai Chek memorial in Taibei Taiwan where he teaches
He Jin Han explains further by saying that every posture or movement has a main direction or, in some cases, two main directions of energy movement. The practitioner must try to understand where the energy of each posture or movement is originating and what path through the body that energy is following in order to reach its destination in the most effective and efficient manner. The right power comes from the right rule and the right movement. The right posture gives you the right road, He Jin Han says. To illustrate what he meant, He Jin Han took out a magazine that had photographs of various martial artists. In one article While other martial artists might study the human body in relation to how to effectively hurt the opponent, Gong Bao Zhai said that Ba Gua practitioners are more concerned with what is happening inside their own bodies. Different external movements effect the body in different ways internally and the practitioner should strive to understand the internal effects...
When you practise, your posture and stance must be clear to be able to Fajing powerfully. However, it is not important to send your opponent flying away . Once you have used the shoulder strike to bounce him, you can then push, punch, kick, etc as his posture and balance have been broken.
He recommends that the novice walk a circle which requires at least twelve steps per revolution. When explaining the correct circle walk body posture, Lo has beginners concentrate on walking smoothly, maintaining a balaced and straight body, clearly executing the k'ou and pai steps, and remaining natural and comfortable. Lo also emphasizes that the entire body continuously twists from the yao k'ua, however, a strong turning of the yao k'ua inward is not taught at the beginning and thus the student avoids walking a small circle. The yao k'ua is the area of the body which includes the inner thigh groin and the hips. Lo states that if the practitioner twists the body from the waist instead of using the yao k'ua, the body will not be properly aligned and the whole body power will be disconnected.
Always very simple and executed in a smooth and fluid fashion so as not to disturb the practitioner's mental focus and concentration. The upper body posture the practitioner assumes while walking will also vary from one school to another. The practitioner may choose to hold the same upper body posture throughout the practice session, or change the upper body postures with the change of directions on the circle. Each of the different upper body positions is designed to have a specific influence on the body's energy.
The weapons Fingers which thrust into the target of a deadly dim-mak point called CV 22 (Conceptor Vessel 22) or the pit of the neck or into the eyes or in to the dim-mak point called ST 9 (Stomach point No. 9) which is situated lateral to the thyroid cartilage (Adam's apple) and just underneath the muscle that runs up each side of your neck called the sternocleidomastoid muscle. The next weapon is the knife-edge of the palm, which attacks the weapons such as ST 9, (neck), or CV 24, just under the nose. The third of the weapons is the heel palm, which attacks to points such as CV 24 or CV 22. All of these points are death points and are covered in detail in all of my dim-mak books published by Paladin Press in Boulder Colorado.
In practicing solo forms, your posture and movement must be accurate. Performing the movements in their proper way must become second nature. When practicing, feel as though you are actually applying the techniques. This way, when you use the techniques from the forms, they will follow fluidly and naturally and you will be successful. If proper attention is not paid to the practice of the forms, the applicaiton of the techniques will definitely suffer.
Because Qigong trains your body, skeleton and breathing, it automatically corrects your posture your back will be straight, chest up, shoulders relaxed and waist flexible. With correct posture you will look taller and stronger. Some very tall people adopt a stooping posture which makes them tired and weak. They lack confidence, so they look smaller. In contrast, someone who is small but has a healthy posture, the right skeleton and the correct balance between body and limbs looks taller and more confident. A healthy body means that the internal organs are healthy.
While the snake step or crane step footwork encourages a balanced flow of Qi to the legs while walking, the practitioner's static upper-body posture and focused intention will influence Qi movement in Typically the practitioner will walk in one direction holding a certain upper body posture for a desired length of time and then change directions and walk in the opposite direction holding the same posture. Upon the next change of direction the practitioner will then change to a different upper body posture and perform circle revolutions in both the clockwise and counterclockwise directions holding that posture before changing to another posture. By the end of the practice the practitioner has spent time walking in both clockwise and counterclockwise directions holding all eight of the static upper-body postures. Each posture is usually held for the same number of circle revolutions, however, since each posture influences the Qi circulation to the body's vital organs in a different...
For the first year Sun studied Hsing-I with Li he was only taught the San Ts'ai standing posture. He was not allowed to practice anything else. Sun wondered why he was taught only standing, however, since his teacher had told him to only practice standing, he did not complain. After about six months, Sun started to feel as though his chest and stomach were full and his feet had roots. He was starting to develop internal power from his standing practice and he figured that this is what real kung fu was all about. After these experiences he started to stand more diligently. After Sun had practiced standing for approximately one year, his teacher saw him practicing one day and snuck up on him to test his level. Li hit Sun on his back with a palm strike and Sun's standing posture was not affected by the blow. He realized that Sun had attained a good level of development and had great potential so he invited Sun to come live with him and started to teach him Hsing-I's five elements and...
The Zhan Zhuang system begins with two basic standing exercises. These start to build up and release the natural flow of energy inside you. The first position, a simple standing posture (pp. 28-29), enables you to relax your body in preparation for the other exercises. The second position, Holding the Balloon (pp. 34-35), is the key position in the whole system. It is essential to become thoroughly comfortable in both these positions before moving on to the exercises in Part Two, the intermediate level. When you are familiar with the first two standing exercises, you will need to learn how to breathe and relax, as described in Chapter 2. This will give you the experience of simultaneous exertion and relaxation during the standing postures, which is fundamental to this exercise system. The curious sensations you are likely to experience when you begin the exercises are described in Chapter 3.
A properly applied strangle should eliminate all resistance within five seconds or less. Great pressure must be applied, either to the windpipe or to the large arteries on both sides of the neck. A strangle which affects both these areas is most effective. Strangling can be accomplished by use of mechanical aids (which will be discussed in a later chapter), by use of pressure against the hard bones of the wrist or forearm (against a standing opponent), or by the use of thumbs and fingers, if the opponent is down. The pressure applied by a strangle must be great, and must be applied in such a way that the victim's neck muscles do not have a chance to resist. In many cases a neck fracture will accompany strangulation.
If lying face-down or face-up, you can attempt a flip, kip-up, or roll that takes you directly to a standing posture without assuming a crawling, kneeling, or sitting posture first. This requires a Change Posture maneuver you can't do it as the step portion of another maneuver. If you're sitting or crawling, you can try to spring into a standing posture as a step - exactly as if you were going from kneeling to standing. Roll at Acrobatics-6 minus encumbrance level. Success lets you stand and execute any maneuver that allows a step. Failure means you stand, but it counts as a Change Posture maneuver and your turn ends. On a critical failure, you fall down
When you are grabbed and choked, you have only a few precious seconds to escape before your air supply is cut off. So speed is of the essence. The moment you feel yourself being grabbed around the neck, tuck your neck down as far as possible, and tighten your neck muscles as much as possible.
If you're standing, the penalties for Crippled Legs (-3) and Missing Legs (-6) affect all of your DX-based rolls in close combat, and opponents get +3 in the Contest for any takedown, Sweep, or similar move intended to knock you down. None of this applies if you're sitting, kneeling, or lying down - just use the usual penalties for your posture. You can attempt any technique at the above penalty, unless it requires more legs than you have (e.g., you can't use Scissors Hold with one leg).
Tighten the neck muscles as tight as possible. 6. Keep the neck muscles and mind concentrated till you are sure no more blows are coming. Often you do not see the blows coming from behind to the back of the neck for the obvious reason that you do not have eyes in the back of your head. However you can be prepared for such blows as much as possible by getting into the habit of not relaxing the neck muscles and not leaning the neck forward or backwards.
It is possible that you will experience some involuntary shaking of the arms or hands at some point while training in this position. Continue to hold your posture calmly while allowing this natural reaction to run its course. You may also find a similar reaction taking place in your legs and abdomen. Again, allow these surges of energy to happen without resisting or exaggerating them. When you tire, which may be after a very short period, slowly lower your arms and return to Wu Chi.
Of the training methods with bare hands, the basic and traditional training stances are about the most important. The basic stances are the necessary and correct postures for Shuai Chiao applications, ombined with the training stances, they increase strength, balance, concentration, coordination, and endurance. They also teach correct breathing, weight-shifting, tensing and relaxing at the right part of the body and, especially, correct posture. Among the basic stances are (1) Three Planes, (2) Horse-Riding (small and wide), (3a) Bow and Arrow, (3b) Bow and Arrow with waist turned, (4) Empty (cat). Among the traditional training stances are (5) Li-kuei Sharpening the Axe, (6) Angel Staring at the Mirror, (7) Kuei-sing Pointing to the Winner, (8) Rhino Watching the Moon, (9) Leaning Forward to Search for the
So what exactly do you do if you want to try Zhan Zhuang at this stage of your life First of all, don't confuse it with aerobic and muscle-building exercises - neither the effect nor the experience is the same. Don't expect that sort of sweat and pain. The second thing to bear in mind is that Zhan Zhuang works at a very deep level, tackling profound inner disorders. So if you have accumulated the effects of 40 or 50 years of stress, bad posture, illnesses, and all the other headaches of daily life, you can expect a lot of unusual sensations once you start your training. These are described in Chapter 3.
The abdominals function as part of a kinetic chain, which also includes the neck and hip flexors. Interestingly, many abdominal rollers sold through infomcrcials ignore this fact, creating devices which allow trunk flexion with no tension on the neck flexors. Although occasional use of these devices should cause no harm, chronic use might negatively alter the functional relationship between the links of the flexor chain.
You can practice holding each of the arm positions used in the foundation postures (pages 11-15) while rising up on one leg. Try to hold the position for as long as you possibly can. Examine the ways in which subtle adjustments of your posture can release accumulated strain and help you maintain your balance. This trains your central nervous system.
The art of Ba Gua Zhang was not haphazardly named after the eight trigrams of the Yi Jing. In all areas of practice there is a philosophical connection which has between the Yi Jing theory and the physical movement and training. Sun Lu Tang was the first to write about these connections in this book Ba Gua Quan Xue (The Study of Ba Gua Boxing), which was published in 1916. In his book (see excerpts on pages 15 through 23 of this issue) Sun relates the practice of static standing in preparation for the circle walk practice to the philosophical principle of WuJi He relates the circle walk practice while holding a static upper body posture to the principle of TaiJi He In relating the Wu Ji, Tai Ji, Liang Yi, and Si Xiang principles to static standing, circle walking, the single palm change and the double palm change of Ba Gua Zhang, Su Lu Tang is telling the reader that in order to be able to progress to the formation of true Ba Gua, in both theory and physical movement, the practitioner...
Take your left arm, around the upper part of the right waist and up and lock a grip with your right hand at the same time, move into your opponent, placing your head solidly against the base and left side of the opponent's neck applying some downward pressure with your forehead (this will prevent a head butt from your opponent during live situations) switch hand and head positions so that the hold is reversed (right hold)
Fig. 96 -Use your grip on the enemy to support him over you. This prevents his falling forward too fast and striking you with his head. Place the left foot in the enemy's Hara and push up strongly with both legs, lifting him off the ground. Fig. 97 -Push the enemy clear allowing him to Backfall to a head-to-head position above you. The impact alone of this fall is sufficient to drive the air from his lungs and incapacitate him. Using your grip on the enemy to maintain your momentum, execute a back roll swinging the feet overhead, tucking the head to one side, and pulling with both hands. Fig. 98 -Completing the Back Roll, land with the buttocks on the enemy chest or abdomen, driving the air from his lungs and crushing the chest cavity. Both knees should land on his biceps, rupturing the muscles. Release the grip on the enemy with the right hand and execute a driving Palm Heel to the enemy chin, snapping his neck. The Wheel Throw, or Tomoe-Nage, illustrates one P of the fundamental...
In Part One you are introduced to the standing postures that Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai taught to his students. They learned the positions after becoming grounded in the foundation postures presented in the Introduction (pages 11-15). Becoming well grounded is the first step in practicing this art. To get into the correct posture, stand with your feet shoulder width apart. Turn your right foot outwards so it points 45 degrees away from the central line of your body. Take a long step forwards with your left foot, so that your stance is as low as you can manage. Gradually increase the depth of your stance as you practice. Your goal is to have the thigh of your forward leg parallel to the ground. Your rear leg is straight, with your foot flat on the floor. As described in Grand Master Wang Xiang Zhai's poem in the Introduction to this pad of the book, there is an inner and an outer aspect to this practice. Ensure you are standing in the correct posture and remain completely still. Then...
And precisely posed to reccive the finishing punch. To accomplish this, execute the shift into the final position preceding the left hand jaw punch. Then, instead of punching the jaw, straighten up with a drive of one's left fist into the solar plexus (Figure 44). This region can he reached by a punch-push into the opponent's front middle section directly below the ribs above the stomach. By driving the blow in deep to the solar plexus, the opponent is momentarily paralyzed he will sag at the knees, drop his hands and droop, chin forward, into die exact position to receivc the jaw knockout. And now, be sure and go all the way back to die stooping posture, as first described, for delivery of the final punch to the jaw ample time will be had if the solar plexus was reached, for thus the opponent is rendered temporarily helpless.
For any meditation, first get the correct posture and then relax the body. When you don't feel relaxed you have a blockage or injury, so you mu&t try to relax that area more. No matter how you feel, let everything happen and just keep relaxed. Maybe you will feel warm, tingling or itchy -such sensations are very natural. Also you will find that saliva forms in your mouth. Swallow it, because it can help to balance your internal body.
The alignment of the body when practicing the circle walk primarily has to do with the position of the torso, which includes the waist, hips, pelvic region, and inner thighs groin area, and the spine. Some schools will teach the beginning students to walk the circle with the hips, shoulders, and head square to the path of the circle instead of looking in towards the center of the circle. In this practice the beginner is concentrating on the foot work and the hands are either held down by the sides of the body with the palms pressing downward or are in front of the body (either at lower abdomen or chest level) in an embracing posture. Some schools also utilize this body posture while holding arm positions where both hands are extended out to the sides of the body in some fashion (there are many variations on this theme). Eventually all schools of Ba Gua teach the students to walk the circle with the eyes looking in towards the center of the circle. The body is twisted from the inner...
In teaching his core system, the Ba Gua eight animal forms, Xie teaches each student differently based on their size, body characteristics, and personality. The model he uses to pattern each students training program is based on the eight Ba Gua animals. While other systems of Ba Gua have animal names for the various component parts of their form, Xie's system has eight separate and distinct 8 section, 64 movement forms - one for each animal. Each student will study and specialize in one of the eight animal systems. Xie claims that each animal style is a complete system of Ba Gua. In keeping with the tradition of the Yin Fu school, Xie will first teach new students training methods from Lohan Shaolin (ft fr). When the students start to learn the circle walking methods of Ba Gua Zhang the first thing most of the students will be taught is one of three basic standing postures which will be practiced both as static standing and with the circle walking. Like most Ba Gua Zhang teacher's,...
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