TAIJI BALL QIGONG
FUNDAMENTAL TECHNIQUES FOR HEALTH AND RELAXATION - DVD
YMAA PRODUCTION • DR. YANG, JWING-MING • “TAIJI BALL QIGONG” • WRITTEN & PERFORMED BY DR. YANG, JWING-MING, AARON DAMUS, RAMEL RONES, KATHY YANG, BEN WARNER, & VADAS MIHALY • VIDEO PRODUCTION SUPERVISION BY DAVID SILVER • EDITING AND DVD PRODUCTION BY MEDIAMANIC • DIRECTED BY DR.YANG, JWING-MING & DAVID SILVER
This DVD is a compilation of part one and part two of the video tape series covering Taiji Ball Qigong. Taiji Ball Qigong should be learned by everyone interested in Taijiquan. The patterns taught in this video are an integral part of taijiquan movement. Persons already skilled in Taijiquan will recognize the basic types of movement covered in this video.
COURSE ONE TAIJI BALL CIRCLING
16 basic patterns
Qigong Breathing Techniques
Vertical Circling Forward (stationary, rocking, walking and Bagua circle)
Vertical Circling Backward
Horizontal Circling Clockwise
Horizontal Circling Counterclockwise
COURSE TWO TAIJI BALL ROTATING
16 basic patterns
Vertical Rotating Forward
Vertical Rotating Backward
Horizontal Rotating Clockwise
Horizontal Rotating Counterclockwise
Dr. Yang explains the difference between various types of Taiji Balls, which vary in size, weight and material. Valuable information is provided to guide the student in choosing the correct type of Taiji Ball. Five different types of Taiji Balls are shown and discussed, illustrating the good and bad points of each type.
Rubber ball - Good for beginners. No strain on lower back muscles due to low weight.
Wood ball - good for Taijiquan and useful for developing internal Qi power. Usually made of two halves glued together, due to the difficulty of making a ball from one piece of wood. Glue can be a problem when sending Qi due to being a different material than the wood.
Rock/Marble ball - used by Shaolin practitioners and useful in developing external Qi power. More difficult to move Qi through this type of ball. Best to start with a small ball and then move up to a larger ball after developing more strength.
The following types of breathing are taught and discussed:
YONG QUAN BREATHING
LAO GONG BREATHING
4 GATES BREATHING
TAIJI GRAND CIRCULATION BREATHING
TAIJI BALL BREATHING
Dr. Yang gives invaluable information concerning these breathing methods.
TAIJI BALL QIGONG CIRCLING PRACTICE
Internal - no ball - enhances and strengthens skin and bone marrow
External - with ball - conditions the muscles, tendons and ligaments.
Unification of Internal and External - no ball
Dr. Yang provides excellent tips throughout the video that point out the required techniques and then provides clear explanations of what makes it all work. Reverse abdominal breathing is suggested while doing the exercises. Dr. Yang describes how a practitioner can circle the ball to mimic the fire path or the wind path. With the fire path the ball moves away from the face and then down, which is like the Qi coming up the back, over the top of the head and down the front side of the body. With the wind path the ball goes out from the dantien and up, and then back towards the face and then down, which is like the Qi coming up the front of the body, over the head and down the back.
Dr. Yang moves his body in a very smooth and flexible manner, causing his back to circle in a similar manner as the path of the ball.
Dr. Yang explains that circling and rotating have four patterns:
Horizontal counter clockwise
At first the moves are demonstrated by four or five students of Dr. Yang. The students do the moves with varying degrees of skill. Following this demonstration that includes some beginning instruction, two more advanced students of Dr. Yang practice the circling pattern in a lush outdoor setting.
This is a nice time for the student to follow along with the demonstrators who appear to be doing the moves with a fair degree of skill. Following this section, the video then brings the viewer back into the studio for a more detailed explanation of how to do the moves. At various times Dr. Yang demonstrates the moves to the class.
These patterns are taught while using four types of stances or steps:
Stationary (builds initial strength)
Rocking (used to train the timing)
Walking (forward and backward)
Dr. Yang then takes one student at a time and has them demonstrate the patterns while Dr. Yang offers invaluable correction and advice. This video has a surprising amount of instruction for the topic. Although I am familiar with the quality of Dr. Yang's instructional books and videos, I did not expect as much material as there is present on this video. The patterns taught will be familiar to anyone that practices taijiquan on a regular basis. There are many patterns that one does in the Taijiquan form that many students might not have realized existed. While doing these Taiji Ball exercises I recognized patterns that I have observed when practicing the martial applications of Taijiquan.
In the end of the first section of the Yang long form, after one does step, parry and punch, the punch goes forward and one imagines that the opponent has grabbed the right wrist. The fist does the horizontal counterclockwise pattern while rocking backwards, which then turns into a push. I've seen video of a master doing the move differently in his later years. The master, instead of circling counterclockwise while rocking backwards with his right fist, instead does vertical circling backwards to bring the fist up and back, and as the fist goes down the back of the circle the two hands then push forward. Both techniques work to escape the wrist grab and to turn the escape into a push. One uses vertical circling/rotating and the other uses horizontal circling/rotating.
This video has an amazing amount of information. I strongly recommend it to any student of Taijiquan. The skills taught and the benefits received make the video appropriate for anyone interested in body/mind/spirit development.
Copyright 2007 Patrick H. Dickson • All Rights Reserved