Martial Arts Chi is one of the great mysteries of all time. It’s not just that you see it in the movies, or that it has become some sort of an urban legend, it’s that there is truth in there somewhere. Chi does exist, but how the heck to you make it…let alone use it?
So we have a two part riddle here: how do you make chi, and how do you use it? Interestingly, the second part is the answer to the first part. Unfortunately, this results in a catch 22…how do you use it if you can’t create it, how do you create it if you can’t use it?
To solve this mystery let me give you an internal exercise and a drill, and see if you can solve the problem. The exercise is an old Bagua exercise named ‘Stroking the beard.’ The drill is based on the old ‘Catch hands’ game we used to play as children.
To Stroke the beard simply move the hands in medium size circles, coming together at the top of the chest and moving downward as if stroking a beard. To do this effectively you must relax, sink the weight, regulate the breathing (low), and do it until you can do it with no distraction. Doing with no distraction means doing only one thing at a time, and this is very critical to your success.
After you have performed stroking the beard for a few hours, find a friend and do ‘Catch Hands.’ To do Catch Hands face your partner (handshake distance apart) and let your hands relax next to your thighs. Your partner places his hands together and holds them towards you and in front of his own body.
The object of this drill is to take your time, create lots of silence, and then catch his hands. Don’t slap at them, just catch them, like catching birds without breaking their wings, and do it gently. This simple move is the same motion needed to block or a strike, and is well worth practicing.
As time passes, and you become more adept at the exercise, you will find yourself becoming calmer and less twitchy, and that is when the benefits of stroking the beard are going to appear. You will find that energy gathers at your center. It will be like a fountain flowing in reverse, and it will be as if energy is entering into your tan tien with every breath.
Eventually, you will be able to catch your partner’s hands easily and there won’t be much he can do about it. The important item, though, is that you will experience the ‘universal energy’ that is chi. Keep practicing this exercise and drill and you will experience some amazing results, and it will be proof positive that you can create and use Martial Arts Chi.