CONCERNING THE CENTRE
In the Classics it is said that everything moves from the centre. The centre must stay quiet and subtle and the legs and arms move from it and around it. As we improve the centre becomes fine and stable and we become aligned, balanced and in harmony. If we lose our centre we become scattered and we lose integrity.
When doing sword form or fencing the sword is moved from our centre, and on the sword’s centre. Our centre remains relatively still as our arms and the sword move around it, and the sword’s centre stays relatively still as the blade and the pommel move around it. In other words, our sword’s centre stays mostly in front of our Dan Tien* as we move, rising and lowering and not by swinging our arms to the left and right, willy-nilly.
The Japanese Sword Classics use the idea “The Seat of the Sword” to refer to the Dan Tien as related to swordplay.
“ ‘Seeing with the body and limbs’ means trying not to allow our body and limbs to be disconnected from our opponent’s Seat of the Sword, we see with the mind so that we may see with our eyes, we see with our eyes so that we may make our hands and feet go for our opponent’s Seat of the Sword.”MITSUYOSHI
“Both the positioning of your feet and the carriage of your body should not be disconnected from your Seat of the Sword.”MITSUYOSHI
At the highest level, our blade will be relentlessly seeking the O’s centre. Initially this will be an intention and whether it works or not is relative to the O’s skill. At some point it will hopefully become a natural act, as with magnets seeking poles, or flowers turning towards the Sun.
*The centre is called “Dan Tien” in Chinese, “Hara” in Japanese. The Dan Tien is also an organ named the “Greater Omentum” in western medical terms, it seems not to have any specific role, but it grows larger in some athletes as well as in advanced practitioners of the internal arts such as Yoga, Tai Chi, Bagua, Dervish spinning, etc.
Author and Images: Ken van Sickle
- RULES OF ENGAGEMENT – Tai Chi Sword 36
- CONSIDER – Tai Chi Sword 35
- INVITATIONS – Tai Chi Sword 34
- THE TASSEL – Tai Chi Sword 33
- THE SWORD FINGERS – Tai Chi Sword 32
- Cheng Man Ching Photographs
- THE JOINTS – Tai Chi Sword 31
- THE GRIP – Tai Chi Sword 30
- SWORD MOVEMENT – Tai Chi Sword 29
- ON ALIGNMENT – Tai Chi Sword 28
- CONCERNING THE CENTRE – Tai Chi Sword 27
- EQUATIONS – Tai Chi Sword 26
- HSIN AND CHI – Tai Chi Sword 25
- On studying – NINE QUOTES – Tai Chi Sword 24
- THE SWORD MAIDENS – Tai Chi Sword 23
- THE SWORD AND CALLIGRAPHY – Tai Chi Sword 22
- Returning – MORE THOUGHTS – Tai Chi Sword 21
- Levels of TAI CHI SWORD – Tai Chi Sword 20
- FENCING – Tai Chi Sword 19
- Transcendence – Tai Chi Sword 18
- TURNING TRICKS – Tai Chi Sword 17
- Names of CHENG MAN CH’ING’S TAI CHI SWORD – Tai Chi Sword 16
- FORCE – Tai Chi Sword 15
- DIFFERENCES – Tai Chi Sword 14
- BEGINNERS’ MISTAKES – Tai Chi Sword 13
- MIND SETS – Tai Chi Sword 12
- SENSITIVITY – Tai Chi Sword 11
- HARMONY – Tai Chi Sword 10
- TIME AND HUMOUR – Tai Chi Sword 9
- WHY AND HOW – Tai Chi Sword 8
- SWORD DIMENSIONS – Tai Chi Sword 7
- A ROYALTY OF ARMS – Tai Chi Sword 6
- KENNETH VAN SICKLE – Tai Chi Sword 4
- CHENG MAN CH’ING – Tai Chi Sword 5
- PREFACE – Tai Chi Sword 3
- Introductory Thoughts – Tai Chi Sword 2
- EDITOR’S PREFACE -Tai Chi Sword 1
- Tai Chi Sword by Kenneth van Sickle
- SHOOT FLYING GOOSE – Tai Chi Sword 40This is used as a response to downward pressure on your blade to your left side.
- RHINOCEROS GAZES AT MOON – Tai Chi Sword 39To neutralise a cut to the right side of your head or neck with a technique such as “Phoenix Spreads Wings”.
- THE MASTER SITS BACK – Tai Chi Sword 38This is the name I give to the move between “Dragonfly Strikes Water” and “Swallow Returns to Nest”.
- FIVE APPLICATIONS – 1. BLOCK AND SWEEP – Tai Chi Sword 37I have chosen five applications from the Cheng Man Ch’ing Sword form, in order to illustrate the Tai Chi principles at work.
- 21st International Push Hands Meeting 2022The 21st International Push Hands Meeting will take place from May 4th to May 8th 2022 in Hanover, Germany!
- RULES OF ENGAGEMENT – Tai Chi Sword 36After having studied Tai Chi form, push hands and sword form for several years, practised the core exercises …
- CONSIDER – Tai Chi Sword 35“Gravity is the root of all grace.”
- MomentumMomentum is used in Tai Chi while doing the forms, along with centrifugal force, gravity and levity.
- Ride the Horse in the Direction it is Going — An Anecdoteto go with the flow and not to struggle against it-
- Cheng Man Ching Push HandsTo vie and struggle in order to win is not doing Cheng Man Ch’ing Tai Chi.
- Tai Chi’s Role“Doctors heal the sick with Medicine and Surgery. — Tai Chi, when practiced regularly …
- The Cheng Man Ching 37 Form – Shortening and Changing the Yang FormWhen Cheng Man Ching changed the Yang form, it was not simply to make it shorter.
- Roll BackRoll Back is not an aggressive move, it is a ‘passive’ response to an aggressive move.
- (Mis)alignment in Tai ChiMisalignments usually cause problems in other parts of the body as well.
- Tai Chi is „swimming in air“„Swimming in air“ – practitioners of Cheng Man Ching Tai Chi know this expression as a description of Tai Chi form practice.