A sampling of Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan
Here's a sampling of content from Jim Russo's school, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan. No particular order or theme; just some examples to give a bit of a glimpse into Jim's world.
Thank you so much, Jim, for all your support and knowledge which directly influenced the creation of this website.
tai chi, Jim Russo, BP Chan, eight pieces of brocade, principles
BP Chan Quote of the Day : “Just Do , No Expectations ” This is one of my favorite quotes of Mr. Chan . It is a life principle to live by. It is also a principle that i encountered very early in my training . i was training I Chuan because i had heard …
qigong, Jim Russo, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan, instructional, eight pieces of brocade
TWIN HANDS SUPPORTING THE HEAVENS - THE FIRST BROCADE
This is the first of eight exercises known as Ba Duan Jin or the Eight Pieces of Brocade . These Dao Yin are over 900 years old and one of my essential exercises . This is a foundational exercise that prepares the body for receiving and storing energy . These are not to be confused with other moving qigong that are often practiced after the stillness portion of the training . These eight exercises balance the energy and emotions in the simplest terms . The First Brocade or " Twin Hands Support the Heavens" is use to balance the San Jiao ( 三 焦）or Triple Warmers . This can be paired with a Shhhh sound to to calm the energy down and prepare one for some stillness training . Step out to the left and Hook Step in to a Natural Stance . The open hands first coil down the side seams in opposition of the crown point rising to stabilize while hook stepping. Once the heel is set, turn the waist forward, drilling downward while Guiding & Guarding the open palms up to the " Holding the Camera" position. This is the opening movement . The palms rotate (coil out ) from the side center up to the "Holding the Camera " Position, then they both slowly drop and coil into side center before the body closes and the fingers interlace. The eyes " Guide and Guard " the hands to roll up and out 45 Degrees until the fingers separate , then use the eyes to "Guide and Guard " the hands to about Solar Plexus height and then move the eyes upward in opposition of the downward An force as your pinky fingers arrive at the side seam again . Repeat this eight times and " don't forget to breathing" ...
tai chi, push hands, Jim Russo, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan
Push Hands Changes When Alex and i train push hands , there is a part that is drills to develop skills and there is a free play part as well . The drills are sometimes cooperative in nature as they are necessary in nurturing the skills of the practitioners . Some of the skills expressed …
tai chi, push hands, instructional, Jim Russo, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan
Push Hands Receiving /Returning Drill This is a cooperative training drill in which one practitioner pushes ( using muscle) into the root of the receiver with the intent of nourishing , not threatening the root of the receiver . This is done by pushing mindfully and gradually building up power as the skill develops. If …
tai chi, applications, 2-person training, monkey steps, Jim Russo, class video
MONKEY STEPS STIR UP Monkey Steps Posture from the Five Animal Frolics is used in this example to stir up my opponent’s footing . I parry Jim Galloway’s punch to my left by turning slightly to the left. I then hook /contract/sink pulling him into pinning his own feet enticing an upward resistance that gets …
form, Jim Russo, instructional, qigong, cancer
GUO LIN'S ANTI-CANCER FIXED FOOT WALKING QIGONGMadam Guo Lin created an anti-cancer qigong with the help of her grandfather and his Taoist friends to help her combat cancer . She had six surgeries before trying this method which is based on the Bear from the Five Animal Frolics . Her formula for success is to 1) Use BOTH Western and Eastern medicine methods for best results . 2) The special double breath oxygenates the body to combat disease ( based on research that increasing oxygen by 8 times will destroy cancer cells ) . 3) The movement circulates this oxygen and Qi throughout the body . 4) The exercise will stimulate saliva to flow as well as other glandular secretions which help balance the body. The exercises should be practiced several hours per day ; based on what responses we get from the body . If we don't get the correct effect, then increase the exercise time and skill . 1. Shuai Shou 15 -30 minutes 2. Wuji standing meditation 5-15 minutes 3. Cover the navel standing meditation 5-15 minutes 4. Open close Dan Tian 7 times 5. Left fixed foot walking ( for men) 5-15 minutes ( right for women) 6. Right fixed foot walking ( for men) 5-15 minutes ( left for women) 7. Open and close Dan Tian 7 times 8. Cover the navel standing meditation 5-15 minutes 9. Shuai Shou 15 - 30 minutesThis will take about 1 to 2 hours and should be practiced 2-3 times per day as needed . The more training the better the results . i believe in a swift and powerful attack . Approach this with the Spirit of a Warrior . The fixed foot walking is practiced by placing the left foot ( for men) forward aligning the left heel with the right heel and toe making a triangle . We do a double inhale while back-weighted and with the torso turned to the left, right hand in front of the navel and the right pinky ,ring and middle fingers curling toward and aligned with the tailbone . The left foot has rocked back with the toe up and the heel touching the ground.Now, exhale once and rotate to the right lowering the front toe and rolling the rear heel up while leaving the toe down . The arms loosely swing ( motivated by the waist swing) to change positions at the navel and tailbone . This is one cycle and should be trained for 15 minutes or more . Be careful to avoid letting your knees past your toes as this will cause a sheering injury to your knee. I will show a more advanced exercise next week.
Jim Russo, applications, fist under elbow
This is an interesting posture in that it represents a second line of defense. If when defending myself , the fist passes into my "Egg" or over the outermost line where i am neither collapsed nor overly extended away from my center or if i miss or i am too slow defending my first line ( wrist to wrist) , then i can still turn and " open the door" letting the blow miss while defending the second line ( palm to elbow) . The elbow is diverted off center and upward with a Lifting Palm or a Spiraling Upward Palm opening up the soft ribs and flank . The lifting Palm will open the ribs and stretch the flank creating the environment for a more decisive blow . This posture can also be used to follow your opponent into an elbow lever . The raised toe roots you more ( in the back leg ) and can also be used to kick or trap the opponent's feet/leg .
tai chi, Jim Russo, instructional, waist, staff
USING THE WAIST TO GENERATE POWERWhen warming the hands i always use the waist because it allows me to relax my arms ( with regard to the forward and backward forces) and let the waist and its larger musculature generate the movement and forces . The palms press together and make small circles by turning the waist back and forth in short , rapid , shakes . This energy transfers through the spine to the shoulders then out through the fingers . This action is great for warming the palms and warming the palms is good for training the waist . The same action can be applied to the short bursts necessary to dislocate a joint as in Hands Strum the PiPa ( Play Guitar) . The same action can be trained by Pole Shaking in which the practitioner uses the short ,shaking , left and right turns of the waist to cause a whipping effect to the Staff or more commonly used, the Spear . The hand warming action is an easy way to get the feel and train the musculature for short power strikes.
tai chi, Jim Russo, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan, BP Chan
SHUAI SHOUShuai Shou is a favorite exercise of mine . It is useful in a variety of ways and has been refered to as the aspirin of the qigong . The exercise was used after standing meditation to get the blood circulating . i noticed that it was also used in the beginning and the end of the Guo Lin anti -cancer fixed foot walking Qigong Set . i like to begin and end a training session with it to loosen up in the beginning and to circulate the blood after standing . i have also used it to fight off a sore throat many times . If i feel it coming on , i will sneak off and sway for five minutes . We usually call it swaying . David Saltman taught it to a person with Parkinson's Disease and found that if the practitioner swayed for about one minute, his shaking went away for about two hours . i wonder what would happen if he trained longer . To begin, the practitioner stands in a natural stance with the feet parallel and at shoulder width . The arms hang loosely at the sides with the palms facing backward squarely . When my weight is on both heels , the arms are swinging forward loosely from the shoulders . The eyes gaze downward about 45 degrees below the horizon . Now release the shoulders and swing the palms backward while looking " slantingly upward" as BP Chan used to say . This action will put your weight on the Yong Chuan /Kidney 1 Point . When your arms run out of slack, they will rebound forward again sitting you back on you heels . You can repeat this cycle for a couple of minutes or much longer . If i was very ill, i would sway for thirty minutes to an hour . My fellow practitioners tend to sway for about fifteen minutes before class . It keeps the muscles in flux so then can't tighten and become a blockage . It also moves lymph via the muscular actions of the rocking . i have seen variations in Beijing where the practitioner rises up on their toes and and drops on their heels , but this type of shocking action could damage the nervous system warned Mr.Chan . Feng Zhi Qiang , a top Chen Style Taijiquan Practitioner warned against forceful stomping in his later years as well . This is something that i train daily . It is an essential exercise that i have trained for over 20 years .It is part of my "medicine bag " of exercises .i hope that it is helpful .
Jim Russo, brush knee, applications
THE INTEGRATION THAT DISINTEGRATES POSTURESCheng Man Ching when asked if Chang San Feng created Tai Chi Chuanresponded , " who but an Immortal could have created Tai Chi Chuan ?" i love this quote because the more that i understand , the more awestruck i become. Using the posture Brush Knee and Twist Step as as example we can begin with the name . The intent is hidden in plan sight with the characters Brush Knee . It is not called block and palm strike because you don't block, you parry . The magic of the movement is in the parry and is an expression of "coiling in to coil out" . Your opponent's attack is first met at the wrist crease and slightly diverted and drilled up in opposition of the forward knee ( Target) . The palm then turns back and " brushes the knee" ( gravitational center) which " adds 4 ounces to topple a thousand pounds" and swirls the opponent in their feet and directs their momentum forward into my oncoming palm strike. "Brushing the Knee " creates an Ahn Jin which pins my opponent's lead foot to the floor via my connection to his arm . The Ahn Jin combined with the waist turn creates the swirling action which leads my opponent out of their feet . When my palm strike aligns with my centerline, it will line up with my opponent's centerline as well. The swirling action not only causes a head on collision, but also re-tasks my opponent's other limbs with re- centering/balance recovery and it also ties up his breath and confuses his mind . The grinding action across Lung Points 7 ,8 and 9 at the wrist will also tie up the Lung Qi and create the conditions necessary to damage the Lungs with the strike . All of these integrated actions work in concert to destroy the opponent's posture . So the longer i train, the more i tend to agree with the question " who but an Immortal could have created Tai Chi Chuan ?"......
tai chi, class video, Jim Russo, applications, Zhong Ding Tai Chi Chuan, fajin, Glenn, receiving
In this video I endeavor to show how one can reflect a person's force back at them when they are using strength. If you watch my partner's feet you'll see that he is uneasy on them because I am reflecting his force back at multiple contact points and multiple directions.
Please do not confuse these exercises with free play - they are designed to develop skills and the rhythmic quality of them allows one to utilize their timing skills.