For me, the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan are the most important area of one's Internal training. Not many students of the Internal Arts will ever appreciate these gems as they will never even get to the highest levels of the Old Taijiquan Form of Yang Lu-ch'an. However, it is only when one does rise to the highest level of Small Frame that you will realise how important these 12 methods of Qigong are.
What Basic 3 Circle Standing Qigong gives to the beginner in that; while we are waiting to actually get something Internal from our form practice, the 3 circle, or Mother qigong gives us at least some internal development while we are still thinking about where to put our hands and feet etc. So too does the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan give the more advanced practitioner if for instance they are only just beginning to understand and to train in the small frame method or if they haven't the time to perform the whole form in the mornings and evenings.
The hands are singularly the most important area of the body as far as Yang Luchan's Taijiquan is concerned. When watching someone practice their Yang Luchan's form, an advanced practitioner will never look at beautiful low stances or perfect body alignment. The hands are what to look for as it is the hands that show the internal. "The Qi Manifests in the Hands and Fingers." And it is this area that most people miss completely as they don't see the wood for the trees! What they miss is what is happening at an internal level, preferring to look at perfect body alignment, whether the heel is on the ground and whether the front knee is over the front toes etc. They miss the intricate movements that only the practitioner can feel as they perform these tiny hand movements. The very first of the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan belongs to the HEART meridian and is the most simple of them all. it is based upon the Tai Chi postures of Brush Knee Twist Step. Someone watching would probably dismiss this first method as nothing special. However, what they miss is what this simple movement is doing internally. Many would look, and pick up the movement easily. But they will not have it. Because they aren't seeing the hands!
During the most advanced method of Yang Luchan's Tai Chi, the Small Frame Form, some of the basic rules written in the classics (a bunch of sayings left to us by the old masters like Yang Luchan) are or seem to be broken. The reason is that the Classics were written with the beginner in mind, giving some basic guidelines for beginners so that they are able to at least have some body alignment etc. However, when watching a real master of high level, you WILL notice that he does occasionally bend very slightly so slight though that someone watching who is not in the know, would not notice it. Lowering of the body is also allowed in certain postures as this increases the Qi activation in that meridian.
What you get out of the 12 Qi Activation Qigong methods from Yang Luchan, is what we are all searching for from our Tai Chi practice. It seems to set you up for the day. After morning practice, it turns on the motor and things just get done a whole lot easier and quicker. A certain calmness comes over the whole mind and body and a grounding that puts everything into perspective so that you can get on with life. Below is a brief intro to each of the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan which are now out on DVD in two volumes. See the DVD section for details.
Each of the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan also has a Heavy or Weighted Hand training method.
The area of gaining very powerful strikes from a very short distance. Even a small person is able to gain the power from only one inch away from the target and that's where real fighting happens. If you take someone's arm, rip it off and hit someone with it, you could kill them as an arm is a very heavy object. However, most martial artists never realize their full potential in that they will use adverse muscle groups to make their arms "light".
Here is where the 12 Qi Development tools from Yang Luchan come into play. Each of them teaches at a sub-conscious level, a different striking method, causing the attacking arm to remain heavy. The first Qigong Tool "HEART" teaches us how to keep the heavy hands during the normal Tai Chi fist. As soon as you THINK about striking someone, you have lost it and you will lose this ability. So the "SUNG" State gained from each of the 12 methods gives you this ability to not telegraph the attack and to not THINK before or AS you strike. Each of the 12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan is shown once only as this is not a DVD to actually TEACH the 12 as that is already covered in previous volumes. But the "Heavy Hands" or putting the WEIGHT in to your hands and arms is taught for each method. Some very useful SELF DEFENCE Methods are also taught in this volume and the next along with more ideas and methods of fighting.
12 Qi Development Tools from Yang Luchan
Please understand that the following instructions are to be used as a reminder for those of you that are studying the DVDs or have learnt the tools in the past to help you understand and further your learning. Otherwise you won't understand some of the instructions here.
11am to 1pm
Small Intestine Yang
1pm to 3pm
Abdominals and Quadriceps
Helps with Healing.
3pm to 5pm
Sacrospinallis: Peroneus: TIbialis: (A bunch of muscles in the back) (Calf & Front of Calf)
5pm to 7pm
Upper Trapezius: Psoas: Illeacus Psoas: (Attached to Femur and lower spine it is the Hip Flexure.
7pm to 9pm
Gluteus Max: Gluteus Med: Piriformis: Abductors: General Pelvic:
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 1/. Heart: BKTS: Then Fa-jing side.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 2/. Small Intestine: Pigeon Flies one. For YIN ORGAN: Tongue up and down breathing in nose out mouth. Visa-versa for YANG. Only for the HEART & SI though. It is the reverse for the other ten!
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 1/. HEART YIN: 11 a to 1 p: Under Scapulars BKTS Rt ft fwd: L long finger scribes up PC meridian to longest finger. Rt palm rolls Yin small finger upward and long finger scribes back down PC to wrist. Spiral it fwd as step fwd with L leg, feet parallel: L palm goes Yang, then Yin as Rt goes Yang. Repeat on the other side with L foot fwd. Step with Rt foot fwd. LIttle bob or lean at finish of each. Tongue up on inhale then down on exhale thru mouth. Works on: The power centre for fighting and with the SI qigong, helps the healing side. Heavy Hand Method: Snap Punch:
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 2/. Small Intestine YANG: 1p to 3p Muscle: Abdominals and Quads. Pigeon Flies Rt foot fwd. Scoop L palm upward as in "Pigeon Flies", as Rt goes Yang. Step w. L foot: As you step, turn waist to the L then back to the Rt twisting the waist but keeping the hips to the front. Then turn back to the front as you finish with a downward Yang Palm something like "Repulse Monkey". The Rt palm, long finger will move down the inner forearm to HT3 to activate, then goes Yin as it draws a line up the inner arm along the HT meridian and out of HT7 to finish. The Rt palm will do as before and go Yin as this happens. Tongue upper for the inhalation and down for the exhalation but breathe in and out of the nose. Inside forearm strike:
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 3/. Bladder: YANG: 3p to 5p (Muscles in Back, and calf) Scoop Before Arn Activate on the KD meridian: 21 to 27. rt of cv 14 to rt on clavicle: Scooping before Arn: L leg fwd. Sit right back onto Rt and Scoop Rt palm as your waist only, turns fully Rt. L palm is Yang and follows. Place a little wgt onto L as Rt now scoops over to L fully and wgt sits back onto Rt fully. As you begin to Step fwd w Rt foot, Rt palm lifts right up over head and L palm rolls over to YIN in order to rub upward over KD 21 to 27. From side of CV14 unto clavicle. Centre of middle. AS Rt palm changes to YANG and strikes down, L palm simply moves out from clavicle and ends up L of Rt forearm. To begin the next side, Rt goes yin as L goes yang to begin the scooping. And repeat on other side. Breathe in through nose and out through Mouth! Forearm outside upward, then Palm strike.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 4/. Kidney: YIN: 5p to 7p (Upper Traps and Hip Flexure) 1st Kick L ft fwd. Do the small frame hands from the first kick in Old Yang. Only turn the Rt hand upward yin as the L is Yang. As the Rt hand comes around the L it goes Yang as L goes Yin. Turn Rt Then L goes Yang as Rt goes Yin as Rt goes underneath the L. Turn L. Step with Rt foot And come into posture lifting Rt foot flexed. Then place it down to begin the other side. Breathe in nose and out nose. Lateral Palm strike into back elbow.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 5/. Pericardium: YIN: 7 p to 9 p. (Gluteus Max Buttocks: General Pelvic) Repulse Monkey Fold Arms. Starting position. Turn Rt wgt Rt foot. Allow both hands to flop over, the L hand crosses under the Rt, Palms up. Rt is YIN. L is Yang. AS you turn L, Your L hand slides around to the inside of the Rt inner forearm and remaining YANG slides down the inner forearm as the Rt fingers poke upward. Rt hand turns over and comes on top of the left which is now palm up. L is now Yin, Rt is Yang as the Rt now slides down the inside of the L forearm. Step and drop down really low as both palms go to the Rt and load. Rt YIN L Yang. Step and come down in the normal stopping position. That last load, sink right down into the L leg. Breathe in nose out Nose tongue up & down. Downward striking palm then into tiger paw punch then forward elbow. Follow him etc.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 6/. Triple Heater: YANG 9p to 11p (Gastrocnemius: (back of calf) Soleus: (Also Back of calf lower) Flexor Hallicus (Foot)) Arn: Pigeon. Ball Foot. Begin L ft fwd. Inhale, sit fully onto Rt ft. Rt palm yang lowers. L palm scoops inward to body as you lift front ft and lift heel standing on K1. Place L foot again and begin to step w Rt foot as Rt palm Yang comes across the L palm and traces along PC meridian along PC7 Middle of wrist band. Thru PC8 and out along long finger thumb side. Place R ft as hands make the cat movements ending up w Rt fwd Yang and L is Yin. In Nose and out mouth. tongue up & down. Single Pounding Palm X 3
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 7/. Gallbladder (YANG) 11p to 1am. Anterior Deltoid (OUter shoulder) and Popliteus (Upper Calf) Stork: Activation Point is run from LIV13 to LIV 14. L ft fwd. Cross arms so that Rt Yin hand is on LIV13 and L Yang hand is acroos Rt side of face as you turn fully to rear on waist. As you turn to N again, Rt palm longest finger runs along LIV 13 to 14. as L palm comes down to side and L foot raises (Stork). L hand changes to Yang and Rt changes to YIN in posture. Hold for 3 Breaths. Tortoise breathing. Hands change yin and yang as you breathe. L hand comes up middle as Rt goes down Then into end posture as L goes Yang and Rt goes yin as normal. Strike upward with knife edge palm, then down with same palm then into vertical fist.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 8/. Liver (YIN) 1am to 3 am: Scapular Preparation Start L ft fwd. Activate Rt scapular as move wgt naturally fwd and inhale through nose. Activate L scapular as exhale and sit back. Do this 3 times. Lower wgt as both hands out to sides and inhale. Hands up and over turning so that little finger up. lower down front as wgt sits back. Scoop both hands inward and palm toward you up the front as step w rt ft. Bring hands down into position as wgt fwd and finish normally. Stork Wings punch into back fist type, followed by leaping change step and L palm strike.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 9/. Lungs (YIN) 3am to 5am: Deep Chest Muscles: Shoulder: Fishes in 8 up CV CV Meridian Third Eye. Start L ft fwd. Make like Fishes in 8 to Rt turning waist fully. L palm Yang, palm pointing Rt. Rt palm yin palm pointing L. Reverse hands and turn fully L. Exhale. Rt palm makes silk tie over L wrist. Rt foot comes off ground and holds next to L. L palm pushes down Yang as Rt palm Yin fingers point up. L palm goes Yin and scoops up the CV meridian as Rt goes Yang pushes down. L goes up to third eye point. Hold for 2 breaths as Rt foot touches. Then as Rt foot places, L goes Yang and Rt goes Yin to finish in normal posture. Both palms strike to Rt. L is Yang Rt is Yin, then do same over to L only reverse. Follow with Tiger paw going slightly downward into the body.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 10/. Colon (YANG) 5am to 7 am: Hamstrings: Top of foot where Sweet Spot is: Grasp Swallow's Tail. Lung Activation is LU 5 to 11. Upper inner forearm to tip of thumb inside of forearm/ Grasp Swallow's Tail. Lift L foot from beginning posture. Turn waist Rt as L palm is Yang and Rt is Yin. L palm drags tie over top of Rt wrist. Almost join palms as in Grasp Swallow's Tail and releasing, turn L. Rt is the Yang and L is the Yin. Release over to Left. L palm drags tie over top of Rt and then perform Grasping Swallow's Tail as you release over to Rt again. Repeat this two more times while standing low on one leg. On the third time, release to front as you step w Rt foot. Then L palm pokes fingers fwd under rt palm. AS you come into posture, the L palm will pull the tie over the whole of the Rt palm from LU 5 to LU11 (Thumb) and come into posture with Rt hand Yang and L hand Yin. Rt hinge striking back with back of forearm palm dangling down. Rt palm circles CW up and over floow with Chee Rt then step into Chee Left.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 11/. Stomach (YANG) 7am to 9 am. Activation: SP20 to SP17 (Wave Hands) Neck: Sternocleido Mastoid. Upper Forearm Top. Beginning posture L ft fwd. Wgt Rt, turn L as Rt palm goes past face like dragon prawn. L goes down like willow tree. Turn Rt as L scoops upward and L traces along SP20 to SP17. Turn L as in Wave Hands WGT Rt. Change Hands as WGT fwd onto L. TUrn and change hands as step. Change hands (third time) as Rt placed and finish. Rt Yang L Yin. 3 wave hands like clouds hand movements. Rising Back Palm Downward Palm strike then into shoulder strike.
Qi Development from Yang Luchan 12/. Spleen (Yin) 9am to 11am. Trapezius & Latisumus Dorsi (Lift Hands) (Kick to rear) L leg fwd. Raise hands into Lift Hands Posture. Stand with L foot off ground for 3 breaths. Tortoise Breathing. Kick L foot outward to the rear to activate Spleen meridian. Bring it back and step fwd w Rt as R hand comes up under To finish normally R hand Yang. Two quick lateral palm strikes L, R, from short distance, followed by two also quick short over-turned fists.
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