Friday, September 18, 2009

The importance of "Kua"

The "Kua" is the connection between the upper part and the lower part of the body. The post on Back Power analyses the importance of the back and its key role in the upper part of the body. Activating the upper part alone is not sufficient. If the coordination with the lower part is not possible, exercising "coherent force" is an unattainable dream.

Many people talk about the principle of the "Three External Coordinations" without knowing what exactly it is. The "Coordinations" as emphasized do not simply mean different parts of the body doing things together. It is the transfer of power from the lower parts to the corresponding upper parts that counts.

To achieve the "Three External Coordinations", one should know the precise answers to the following questions:

1. Where is the "Kua"?
2. How to "loose" the "Kua"?
3. How to motivate the "Kua" to coordinate the upper parts and the lower parts of the body?

The saying that "There is no hand in Taiji" has highlighted the importance of this coordination through the "Kua".

The "Kua" is usually considered as the "big fist" in human body - we use the power coordinated by the "Kua" to hit, the hand is just part of the medium in the power transfer process.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Adding and Releasing

Adding and Releasing are 2 complementary application techniques in Taiji.

In the post on Spherical Body, I explained the technique of Releasing:

"Imagine you are a ball filling with air inside.............. If your force is directed to one side only, it will piece through the wall of the ball. The "air" is released, and you lose the power: you are in an unbalanced position."

What then is Adding?

In order to maintain the optimum position, the air inside the ball should be no more or no less. If more air is injected inside the ball, it will become unstable due to the increased pressure: You are in an unbalanced position.

Balancing oneself with 2 legs is not an easy task as one normally conceives - it is a result of continuous daily practice since we first learned to walk. Once this take-for-granted mechanism is disturbed, it is very difficult for a person to main his balance.

Adding and Releasing are useful tools for disturbing your opponent's balancing mechanism. One way to do it is to add air into the ball and then release it - an application technique applying the Yin / Yang Conversion Principle.