Tai Chi Rooting

I was asked recently what I teach for Tai Chi rooting and how it is applied.

What you will learn from me and my Clear’s Tai Chi program about rooting is how to have real and deep root unlike what I have seen from most other American teachers let alone students and you can keep the root on and keep dropping the root deeper and deeper while in full combat motion.

It is like someone let loose a gorilla.

This is a skill that I have been developing and refining for well over 20 years now as I realized early on that for serious Tai Chi power development and skill rooting creates an ability that is unlike any other.

What is Rooting?
Rooting is the ability to use your mind intention to drop your center of gravity down into the ground below your feet. After a little bit of time with correct practice you will begin to feel that more and more of your compressed body weight is down in the ground and that you can move the depth and that as a result you are building internal energy. Once you have built enough mind intent, root depth and internal energy then you will be able to manipulate that energy. The results are quite impressive. To someone who does not have any root the rooting practitioner feels like a solid wall that cannot be moved and that hits like a mack truck.

We have two videos that really help a beginner to learn and develop deep rooting ability. The first one is Building Internal Power through Push Hands and the second one is Internal Iron Body in 100 Days.

After these two videos we have some other materials available that I can recommend to help the practitioner to further enhance and apply the rooting ability for fighting and for health.

I hope this helps.

Comments

  1. Hi Mr. Clear,
    Just wanted to know, is the rooting ability in high level Tai Chi achieved any other way, or only through chi gung? Do people who are high level athletes sometimes instinctively achieve this ability? I remeber watching Tyson and thinking that he nearly always planted both feet firmly, (only for a split second) before unloading what looked almost always total body, fully connected punches. Is tai chi the same in this regard or is there a difference?
    Thankyou.
    Jim.

  2. Richard Clear says:

    Hi Jim,

    I have worked with a few pro athletes and I have found that most cannot achieve any decent rooting ability without training. However, there is another skill (which you make reference to) whereby you want to fully connect through your total body so that your whole body is in and behind your hit. Any world class boxer should be able to hit with this and Tyson certainly could do it very well.

    Tai Chi definitely teaches body connection as well as the rooting and you will need good body connection to root deeply. Root training will help you to learn good body connection. Rooting and body connection will make your strikes impressively powerful and also give you the ability (over time) to receive powerful strikes without sustaining injury.

    Best Regards.
    Sigung Clear

  3. Hi sifu clear,

    I have a question regarding Rooting and Ground Path. Can Rooting and Ground Path be substituted without a partner? Can the skills be developed by myself without the aid of another person through certain exercises? Because I really dont have any body to practice push hands with because i live in new jersey and i really trying to learn and develop these skills.

    • There is a lot you can do to train without a partner. For rooting I would recommend our Tai Chi Iron Body DVD Everything on it can be done by yourself and it will significantly increase your ability to root.

      Ground Path is a beginning exercise that will help build internal structure. To train that by yourself I would recommend our 1 Hit KO’s DVD & our 1 Touch KO’s DVD. You can practice these without a partner as long as you have a heavy bag (or something similar.)

      You can do a lot without a partner. However I would recommend trying to find a training partner as well because there are some important skills (like learning to move someone’s root) that you will need a training partner to develop.

  4. Hi sifu clear,

    I appreciate the responses you gave me and Im so greatful for them Sifu Clear. Im looking foward to getting your dvd’s, but I also have another curious question regarding the self-training through your dvd’s. When you refered to the heavy bag for practice what in particular would I be doing with the heavy bag? Striking it? Would I be using the heavy bag to develop my Ground-Path and Rooting ability as well? Could I incorperate this into my boxing training to enhance my boxing abilities like my speed, power, endurance, flexibility, and a strong ability to take a punch to the head(mainly the chin and nose) as well as body shots? I would appreciate it if you enlightened me on these questions. You know because I want to have the egde( like the one hit knockout ability) in my training and sparring.

    Thank You Sifu Clear.

    • “What in particular would I be doing with the heavy bag? Striking it?”

      Yes, along with a few drills that will build structure & power.

      “Would I be using the heavy bag to develop my ground-Path and Rooting ability as well?”

      The heavy bag is for the 1 touch KO dvds. Ground path is an exercise to begin building internal structure. But since you don’t have a partner to work with the 1 Touch KO DVDs are an excellent way to build this kind of structure along with speed & power.

      “Could I incorporate this into my boxing training to enhance my boxing abilities like my speed, power, endurance, flexibility, and a strong ability to take a punch to the head(mainly the chin and nose) as well as body shots?”

      Yes, The 1 Touch Knockout DVDs will build speed & a lot of power. The Iron Body DVD will build a strong ability to take a punch. The legs, body & groin will become protected fairly quickly and the head and neck will take a little longer.

  5. Hi Sifu Clear,

    Sorry for all of the question I may have for you Sifu Clear, but you seem like the only person I can come to with these question and that would give me reliable answers. Another thing that my trainer keeps telling me is I need to increase my speed and that I am to slow and tensed up when I punch. He also keeps telling me that I need to relax a alot more when i punch to develop speed. Will these dvd’s also assist me on that? because i defenitly can use the help.

    Thanks again Sifu Clear.

    • Yes, Relaxation is one of the keys to explosive power & speed. Both the 1 Hit & Touch DVDs and the Iron Body DVDs will help with that a lot.

  6. Dear Sigung Clears

    I have a few questions about the rooting ability and how long it will take.

    How long will it take for me to develop rooting? Will I be able to punch with hundreds or maybe thousands pounds of my body weight(150)? Will I be able to hit hard like a gorilla or harder then a gorilla in three years? Can rooting be developed without push hands?

    Thank You Sigung Clear

    • >>How long will it take for me to develop rooting?
      That depends on you. The more you practice the more root you will have.
      >>Will I be able to punch with hundreds or maybe thousands pounds of my body weight(150)?
      You will only be able to use the body weight that you have. However you can combine the use of body weight with other methods of generating power like rooting, fajing, wave & many more.
      >>Will I be able to hit hard like a gorilla or harder then a gorilla in three years?
      A full grown silverback can reach over 500lbs and they already use every ounce of bodyweight. so I wouldn’t go picking fights with gorillas anytime soon.
      >>Can rooting be developed without push hands?
      Yes, but push hands will help a lot.

  7. Will Zhan Zhuang Meditation assist me in developing my Rooting ability?

  8. Does your feet have to be planted to maintain your root?

  9. Dear Sifu Clear

    Thanks for responding to my questions i really appreciate that. Especially the fact that your doing what your doing. Anyway I am always curious about Rooting.

    Could Rooting be used in other styles and be used while snapping left hooks(in boxing or MMA)? I always wondered what would happen if rooting was used when punching someone in a competitive pro-fight? I am looking foward to getting more of your DVD’s.

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