The Eight Fundamentals of Hsing-I
In order to learn any of the internal systems, there are certain fundamentals that must be learned. Hsing-I starts off with the eight fundamentals. I WANT TO BE VERY CLEAR , EVEN HEARING FUNDAMENTALS/PRINCIPLES, IT IS IMPOSSIBLE TO TRULY LEARN THE INTERNAL SYSTEMS WITHOUT A QUALIFIED TEACHER. It is possible to improve what you have, but you will never get a true understanding, or get to a high level without the right teacher. Some things are generally true of external systems as well as internal systems. The amount of emphasis is different.
The three press ups:
1a) The head must lift up. As a general rule I would think of being pulled up by a rope/string from the crown of your head. There is a very different sensation by imagining being pulled up, then there is by pushing up the head. Pushing up is wrong. The chin must be pulled in, and the neck straight.
1b) The tongue must be pressed to the palate. This allows Chi circulation. It will make you stronger, I’ll talk more about this in some thoughts on Chi Kung.
1c) The Palm. When pressed outward properly will help chi to extend to each part of the body.
2) The Three Supresses:
The shoulders suppress so that the front of the chest will feel empty. Strength will then flow down to the elbows. In the internal systems, when you hit, structural alignment is very important. For example, when I hit regardless of which element/animal I might not move the front part of the body, but stretch the back side of my body as I hit. This re-enforces my structure, and lets me hit with everything I have from to ground to the target. It also allows me to rotate my joints into the strike, using reeling silk. Etc. You need to understand that this is not externally visible. Unless I choose to show you. Again you need the right teacher. BS is everywhere.
2b) The hands and feet work together. Suppress the hands with with the upper arms. Stay relaxed. The feet back and waist are integrated.
3) The Three Rounds:
3a) The back is rounded. You need to be relaxed, so that your ready.
3b) The chest is rounded (concave). This gives full strength when you hit/block.
3c) The hands must be rounded, and relaxed so that you feel proper chi flow.
4) The Three sensitives: Eyes, heart, hands
4a) Eyes are the windows to the sole, and can give you away.
4b) The heart controls the mind.
4c) The hands are sensitive. To develop a high level of skill, you must have feeling.
5. The Three Holdings
Tan-Tien, breath, and arms
5a) The Tien should be filled with Chi.
5b) Holding the breath will bring many rewards.
5c) Holding the arms in the proper way, will build up strenght and endurance.
6) The three sinkings: Chi Shoulders, elbows
6a) Sink the chi to the Tan Tien
6b) Sink the shoulders with suppressing the Tan Tien.
6c) Sinking the elbows will protect the ribs.
7) The Three Curves: Elbows, Wrists, Knees
7a) The elbows curve and fill full of energy.
7b) The wrists curve, and allow unrestricted chi flow.
7c) The knees curve, and the cycle of poer is complete
8) The Three Straightens: Neck, Spine, Knees
8a) The neck is straightened, the head is upright. The energy flows to the top of the head.
8b) The spine is straightened. Chi will flow throughout the entire body.
8c) The knees curved and firmly rooted, one will surely feel the power of chi.
As you can see these are just a few fundamentals, but each is very important. Without them, your progress will be limited.