The Yi Bone’s Connected to the Qi Bone

Tai chi intentQ: I started reading a book which examines the 5 major Tai Chi styles and uses quotes from the classics to show what they all have in common, and what is unique to each style. Anyway, lots of repetition of “yi leads the chi” and “chi leads the body”. I kind of always thought that, in general, it meant don’t let your mind wander when doing a form, but I’d like to hear your take.

~GS

A: This is a key strategy for Tai Chi.

Imagine two people given the task of hitting different targets, and the first person is a boxer. What he feels when he gets ready, among other things, are the muscles of his arm and his torso.

Next to him is the other fighter, an archer. As he gets ready to shoot at the target, what he feels is the projection of the tip of the arrow; and his string hand building energy as it stores explosive jing by pulling back.

When the crucial time comes and the judge shouts “Fire!” the fighter activates and launches his body toward the target. And the archer does nothing, just releases everything, letting his Yi aim the arrow.

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