Thursday, February 05, 2009

A Master Weighs In

My good friend and Tai Chi Master, Alan Lumder, wrote about rooting:

Rooting is fundamental to effective technique. The Chinese say heaven and earth which means that the legs are solid and the upstairs moves lightly. Rooting can be both static (fixed) and moving. It is best for your students’ to start developing their roots with standing exercises. You may want to consider the following:

Have your people start with fix postures. Use holding the ball or a move from your forms. Start with holding the move for 1-3 minutes. Let them feel the energy drain from upstairs and settle into both legs. It is a process of relaxation. Make sure that their posture is good. Knees must not exceed the toes. After a while they can visualize energy orbits. They should work up to 15-30 minutes. By holding postures, they can work out the energy movements. In time the entire body becomes light and balanced.

When they can hold fixed postures, work on their forms. By doing the forms slowly, using empty steps, and proper body mechanics, they can develop moving roots. The need to be focusing on their legs, where they are now, and much less on destination.

3 Comments:

Blogger Alan Ludmer said...

Chris,
Thanks for the kind words. When someone says “master” I can only think of my teachers, Tuey Staples and Huo Chi Kwang. However I appreciate your valuation.

Rooting is critical for any successful martial artist. Without a root everything flounders. Another thought for your people, see all moves as centripetal, not centrifugal. Never see a move as a liner explosion. When moves are centripetal, then they will automatically root/ground you. See all moves as starting and returning to your navel.

I saw the good news regarding your impending nuptials. I think Gabriel is a wonderful lady and you two are a great couple. You complement each other nicely.

With all my best wishes,

Alan

3:43 PM  
Blogger Journey of Kung Fu said...

This post gave me much thought to work on as I try to become more rooted.

I was always told stance is perhaps the most important asset in movements. The comment to start with fixed postures then add forms makes sense. My master told me that movements are like truth, the origin should return to the sender. A lie twists and is unanswerable to no one. A movement out of balance will not be productive. Centripetal on a circular arc is a foreign concept being in karate where the tendency is to yank it back straight but I am preferring this the more I practice. It seems to me that would help with fluidity.

Focus on where the legs are now less than the destination is a concept I'm not easily grasping. I think there is a deeper thought here than I can pick up at this time. I hope I can get it during the course of study.

Rick

9:34 AM  
Blogger MyFilipinaSearch said...

This is a great tip. As a newbie, I did not realize how important your stance can be. I'm learning so much here.

5:51 AM  

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