As we have been studying stepping and stances for weeks now, lets turn our attention to how shifting into stances is used to produce the energy, to be expressed through the arms and hands. Ward – off and Push – down example:
Starting in a back bow stance, use the back leg for power and the front leg for support, when expressing energy forward, and the opposite; starting in a front bow stance, use the front leg for power and the rear leg for support, when expressing energy backward. The power of shift; Root to Legs to Waist.
Center / Waist:
Energy is directed and controlled by the waist. Using the Three Waist Methods the spine can transport Qi; generated by the Lower body:
Horizontal: turn left / right
Width: lateral shift left / right
Length: forward / backward***
Height: open – upward / close – downward***
The Waist uses the same power supplied from the Lower body to express any one of the Eight Energies. ***Our example is using the Length and Height Method.
Ward – Off: Shifting forward from a back Bow Stance, directed by the Waist, the Upper body (thoracic spine) moves forward and upward. Key: The thoracic spine extends up; the lumbar lower spine drops down. The spine opens. The lower body roots downward into the ground as Qi; energy is expressed upward through the upper body. If the Center rises further from the ground while shifting forward, the body can begin to float and be uprooted.
Push – Down: Shifting backward from a front Bow Stance, directed by the Waist, the upper body (thoracic spine) moves backward and downward. Key: This is the complement to Ward – Off. The spine closes. The Lower body offers a support, like a table top, as the upper body closes pushing down on the table. If the Center lowers closer to the ground while shifting back, the Push – Down energy is never created. “Upper body and Lower Body work together” – Yang Chengfu 10 Essentials