The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands: A Gateway to Advanced T'ai Chi Practice

The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands: A Gateway to Advanced T'ai Chi Practice


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An in-depth exploration of T'ai Chi via the practice of Cloud Hands, a foundational exercise common to all schools of this popular martial art
Part theoretical treatise, part training manual, this book facilitates a deeper understanding of "internal" movement and training for students of T'ai Chi and other internal martial arts. Step-by-step exercises help to bring the theoretical into concrete practice and application.
Author Robert E. Tangora, an accomplished practitioner and teacher of several different styles of T'ai Chi, places a heavy emphasis on the development of internal structure and building a solid foundation in the art's most basic movements. Intermediate and advanced practitioners will discover a deeply interconnected world of practice; beginning students will learn basic training methods that can help them bypass years of incomplete training and erase incorrect habits already formed.
Tangora also stresses the importance of meditation and its crucial relationship to the art's health and martial aspects, as well as how to use the spine to integrate movements—especially important for practitioners with back problems who wish to learn how to move without inducing pain.
Readers will learn to:
• Cultivate internal power
• Discover the inner workings of Tai Chi Ch'uan
• Understand the meaning of the T'ai Chi classics
• Move without injury
• Relieve back pain

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781583944486
Publisher: North Atlantic Books
Publication date: 06/12/2012
Pages: 160
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 8.90(h) x 0.50(d)

About the Author

Robert E. Tangora has studied the internal martial arts since 1974, having trained under such notable masters as Fu Zhong Wen (the nephew of Yang Cheng Fu), Tok Seng Gim, Bruce Frantzis, and Wang Hao Da. During the early 1980s, Tangora taught T'ai Chi Ch'uan at Shr Jung, the school founded by Professor Cheng Man Ch'ing. Since 1989 he has taught T'ai Chi and related arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he lives.

Table of Contents

Introduction: Why Cloud Hands? 1

Be Still Like a Mountain, Flow Like a River 6

1 A Study of Commencement in T'ai Chi Ch'uan 11

Center to Periphery Ch'i Kung 17

Earth to Heaven and Heaven to Earth Ch'i Kung 21

2 The Components of Internal Power and Health 25

Cross-Body Turning Power 26

Left-Right Alignment Power 28

Zhong Ding Power 32

Zhong Ding Gathering Exercise 33

3 The Internal Structure of Cloud Hands 37

4 Cross-Body Power in Cloud Hands 41

T'ai Chi Classics: The Defect Lies in the Legs and Waist 50

Bouncing Initiates the Vertical Component of Cross-Body Power 54

T'ai Chi Classics: The Waist Is the Commander 55

The Basic Zhong Ding Stepping Method 63

5 Left and Right Alignment Power in Cloud Hands 65

Health Benefits from Opening and Closing 67

Opening and Closing and the Four Primary Chin 68

Changing Chin in Cloud Hands 69

Changing Chin with Weight Shirting 72

Internal Chin in Fixed Step Push Hands 76

6 Harmonizing Cross-Body and Left-Right Alignment Power 77

Partner Practice Using Brush Knee 77

Generating Left-Right Twisting and Spirals 79

Pulling Silk to Harmonize Power 81

7 Opening and Closing Your Lower Body and Stepping 85

8 Bend the Bow and Shoot the Arrow 87

9 The Internal Practice of Rooting 93

10 Rolling Ball Cloud Hands 97

11 Zhong Ding Power in Cloud Hands 101

12 The Alignment of Your Spine, Lower Tan Tien, and Zhong Ding 103

13 Joining the Internal Ellipses in Cloud Hands 107

14 Song 109

15 The Internal Separation of Yin and Yang 115

16 Harmonizing the Three Components of Internal Power in Cloud Hands 119

17 Storing and Projecting Unified Power 121

18 A Practice Method for Training the Three Components of Internal Power in Cloud Hands 125

19 Moving Your Mind on Your Zhong Ding 131

20 The Four Chin and the I Ching 135

Select Bibliography 137

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