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PENG| The Secret weapon of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi)

PENG| The Secret weapon of Taiji Quan (Tai Chi)

Peng is fundamental in Taiji Quan and internal martial arts. It is not only found in Tai Chi. In Shaolin Quan or even Okinawan Karate (birthed from traditional Chinese Martial Arts), they speak of floating, sinking, swallowing and spitting. Just like in Tai Chi, there is peng, lu, ji and an.

So how is Peng a secret weapon of Tai Chi?

It’s not really a secret, that click bait title was to get you to come and read this post. But now that you are here, I will reveal this. When you “sink” in Tai Chi, there is an upward motion from the ground. “Sinking” is a term often used to associate with being “sung” or “song”, which means being supple by releasing the excess tension in the body into the ground.

The release means your intent has a downward trajectory, which will then cause a reactionary force, an upward trajectory. This happens from the act doing and although I explain some of the mechanisms in play. You must not think about something coming up when sinking. When you think you cause more tension-which you do not want. So just do.

For more explanation on “song” and “sinking” click here.

Peng is fundamental and is the motion that arises from stillness and gives birth to the other jins; lu, ji and an.

In theory the quality of peng will depend on your level of emptiness-the less excess tension the better your peng. The “emptiness” gained from sinking needs to fill up your whole body, top to bottom.

And the best way to test your quality of peng, would be through pressure testing. Like the video below the training partner applies pressure and pushes. The other person does his best to sink and release his tension and the incoming pressure as his hands are pushed. You will notice how the person pushing starts to float up.

Peng or peng jin is what is making him float or lose his footing. In other words, his being uprooted.


Written by Narcisse Sadi, Tudi (student) of Dr Jeff Lan, certified (by the International Health Qigong Federation) 1stDuan Health Qi Gong and certified (by Dr Jeff Lan) 1st Duan Yang Style (Cheng Man Ching lineage) Tai Chi Chuan Instructor.



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