How do you teach these exercises?
Iron Shirt. Once you understand the structure your have. It is so quick. In Iron Shirt Chi Kung, we work intensively with three aspects of chi: the chi in the air we breathe, the prenatal chi that has been in our bodies since conception, and the chi in the organs. We also work with the skeletal structure, the tendons, the connective tissue that surrounds all the organs and muscles, and the bone marrow. We learn to adjust the skeletal alignments in such a way that if a great force is applied to our structure, we can redirect it to the ground so that it does not throw us off balance. By learning how to place the skeletal structure in total alignment with the force of gravity, we also facilitate the movement of vital energy in the body.
The intensive work done in Iron Shirt is relatively static; the different postures are all done standing rooted to one spot. But we are not like trees that never move! Putting the principles of Iron Shirt in motion, we arrive at the practice of tai Chi.
How long would the training take?
Some people can learn rooting in two or three weeks and others can take longer but everybody can learn rooting. You learn how to screw the leg, you learn how to push the spine, to push the neck and how to connect the structure.
So are you saying it’s a biomechanical thing?
Actually you start to understand the biomechanics and you have it inside your body. If you don’t understand it, it takes a long time.
In the body, and in the mind?
The mind rooting is very important.