Of Small Chi Sphere

Yesterday I wrote about Large Chi Sphere. Today I will write about Small Chi Sphere.

If you have read TaijiKinesis Vol 2 : Learning the Taijiquan Form you will find under 5.6.1 Palm on page 46 a beginner’s introduction to this topic.

In some Tai Chi styles / schools you may be required to be a disciple or be willing to cough up the big bucks to learn about such secret principles. However, I teach this from Day 1 because it is part and parcel of what makes Yang style works.

Mind you, knowing about a principle and being able to make it work are two different things. You need a lot of practice to assimilate the Small Chi Sphere principle into your movements.

Beginners tend to keep losing the sphere in the early years of their practice. This is expected. You just have to keep at it until you get it.

To keep the learning simple we just have to keep plugging away at three steps, day in, day out, until it sticks. This means that everytime you use a palm in the long form you must abide by the following :-

i) Step 1 – round the tiger mouth

ii) Step 2 – round the Palmar region to activate the Laogong (劳宫) acupuncture point

iii) Step 3 – round the fingers’s structure

Holding a palm this way when playing the form can intensify the power of your strikes and I’m not just referring to palm strikes here.

This is particularly when students undertake the learning of the Kai-He form because by this stage they would have spent a lot of time cultivating the Small Chi Sphere palm structure.

The Small Chi Sphere is part of a process of training power generation in Tai Chi. It is not the only process but it is one method that can pay dividends if you take the time to cultivate it.



Energetically Yours

There are numerous fajing models in Grandmaster Wei Shuren’s book on the 22-form. You can say that its practically raining fajing in the chapter entitled Internal Work, Force Methods (内功劲法).

My favorite fajing model is the Large Chi Sphere method which is shown below :-


I feel that the Large Chi Sphere fajing model is the easiest for beginners to pick up. The best part of the news is that they do not even have to learn Grandmaster Wei’s technically super difficult 22-form to get this skill.

So far I have taught this model to my current students who are learning the Yang Chengfu 108 form. The Large Chi Sphere model is not even gender bias – both ladies and gentlemen can do the fajing as long as they remember the step-by-step procedures.

Below is a photo of a student applying the Large Chi Sphere model in Ward-Off posture from the 108 form :-


Can you see it? No?

Let’s add in the Large Chi Sphere into the picture and see what we get…….


Clearer now?

Such intent models used to be kept secret and taught only to sons or close blood relations. In order to keep the art of Tai Chi vibrant and relevant today I am passing such information on.

Learning the model is but the first step. Assimilating it into your movements and learning to use it naturally and instinctively are hurdles to overcome to master Tai Chi.

As I say mastery of Tai Chi is not impossible. You just have to know what Tai Chi is about and it begins by asking the relevant questions to move your learning and understanding along.


Micro Universe 9

Do you know what came into my mind when I read about the LIGO mirrors and gravitational waves?

I thought of the Chi rings which are not really like solid rings. It might give this impression when you read about it or even see this video of Grandmaster Wei Shuren.

However, when I was learning how to do the three Chi rings I was told to let them emanate out of the body like water rippling out after you drop a stone into water, something like the video below :-


I learned how to do the Chi rings more than 10 years before LIGO even confirmed that gravitational waves existed.


Does this not sound like what Chi rings are? Take a look at the video below.

As a recap before the Chi rings are formed we have to mentally allow a visualized rock to drop through our body to create the bell clapper string. This of course leads to a process that ends with the creation of the Chi rings. Take a look at Grandmaster Wei demonstrating how to form the Chi rings using intention below.

The difference is that gravitational waves are a result of occurences in outer space but Chi rings occur because of what happened in inner space (our mind).

If you know your Tai Chi principles you may remember that Tai Chi is said to be a macro universe and man a micro universe.

Did you get the connection?

Well, if you did not now you know.

We are living in exciting times as physicists ups their game and hopefully, we see more findings that help confirm what we already know in our abstract, non-scientific Tai Chi model.


Micro Universe 8


At the moment I saw a drawing in a book similar to the drawing below I instantly saw a parallel between what we are training in the 22 form and what was explained as similar (I hesitate to say the same because I’m not a physicist).

Image 1-2

Part of the reason for this insight is because I have known our Tai Chi model for more than a decade. The other reason is because I had for some time mainly use the principle of using a curve to move between two points whether in playing push hands or striking.

It was good that we now have another aspect of physics confirming what we do in Tai Chi. Some of Einstein’s postulates took many, many years to prove because the technology to do so had not caught up.

For example, gravitational waves was only proven in 2016 with by the use of super sensitive mirrors in the two LIGO (Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory) sites in the United States. I read that the mirrors are so sensitive that an earthquake in China once knocked the mirrors in the LIGO off kilter.


Do you know what came into my mind when I read about the LIGO mirrors and gravitational waves?


Micro Universe 7

Did you get what I realized?

If you have been visiting my blog for a while you would have seen it many times over.

However, as with many readers you probably saw it once, twice perhaps three times and after that never thought more about it.

This is why things can stare at us in the face but if we don’t pay attention we may not think more about it. And if we do not keep it in mind our Eureka moment will never come.

As reading the experience of Newton and Einstein shows Eureka moments do not happen out of the blue. It happens because each of them thought long and hard about the problem, asking the right questions, and never giving up their quest until a sudden insight hit them and the answer appeared.

So if you want to master Tai Chi you have to put a lot of effort into it, a hell lot more effort than what you are currently putting into it.


Micro Universe 6

One thing at least is certain, light has weight
Light rays, when near the Sun, do not go straight
Sir Arthur Stanley Eddington, May 1919

Image 1-1

Above is Sir Eddington’s photograph (one of the 16 exposures taken) of the total solar eclipse of 29 May 1919 which appeared in his 1920 paper confirming that light can bend as postulated by Albert Einstein.

When I was learning Wing Chun we were taught that the shortest distance between two points is a straight line.

In science it is said that light also takes a straight line to get between two points. At least, that was the general wisdom until Einstein realized that it was not always the case.

I was reading another book in which a drawing was used to illustrate this point but I didn’t quite catch the implication. It was only on reading another book that I understood what this model meant.

Below is a drawing similar to the one I saw.

Image 1-2

Did you get what I realized?