Getting the Right Feeling

Sensing Strength

Student: What were you looking for that indicated I was ready to move on?
Master Fung: I was looking for the proper body mechanics to be in place, that's all. You see the key thing in Yi Chuan training is to get the right feeling. Until I saw you were getting the right feeling it was pointless for you to begin partner training.

Student: What do you mean by the 'right feeling'?
Master Fung: Remember Hunyuan strength is different from regular strength and therefore feels different. In order to establish the right feeling we have postures and exercises that we practice with different visualizations. For example, let's say you're practicing pressing down with Hunyuan strength. A good visualization is driving a telephone pole into the ground with each movement. Proper use of the visualization causes the body to line up as if it were performing the work being visualized. With practice and proper instruction this exercise will help the body to link or connect. Linking results in the feeling of thickness or heaviness we are always talking about. Its an indication that the frame is dynamically balanced and supporting itself in three dimensions. Creating this feeling is one of the keys to success with Yi Chuan.

Student: It seems like visualizing driving a telephone pole into the ground would create a lot of tension, but you are always telling students to relax, what exactly are you looking for?
Master Fung: In a word, balance. Keep in mind that tense and relax are not opposites in Yi Chuan. Tense and loose are the opposites. When tense and loose are in proper proportion its called balance. When the frame is balanced true relaxation is possible. So, when I tell you to relax I mean that you are using too much tension or have tension in the wrong places.

Casual Expression of Yi Chuan

Student: So what is the proper proportion of tense and loose?
Master Fung: It depends on what you're trying to do. In some cases we practice with more tension to stretch and condition the tendons. In other cases we practice with almost no tension in an effort to make using the strength casual. In Yi Chuan finding the right balance between tense and loose is a lifetime cultivation and achievement.

Student: And visualizations help us do this?
Master Fung: Of course! Take a basic Jam Jong can practice it while you visualize standing in a beautiful field with flowers everywhere and warm breeze gently swaying your body to encourage looseness and calm the mind. On the other hand you could practice as if surrounded by fierce animals who were about to attack you to stimulate alertness and bring strength to ready. The mind, the Yi is the builder.

Student: What are the best visualizations?
Master Fung: You really think too much like a computer. The best visualizations are the ones that work! Remember what your great grand teacher fixed forms or routines...this applies to visualizations as well. Feel free to be creative, take what I say as a suggestion and not a prescription. Find the ones that work for you, the one that help you create the right feeling. Try not to get too caught up in the words....listen to the spirit of what I'm trying to say.

Student: So it really does not matter what my visualization is as long as it serves its purpose?
Master Fung: Right.

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