How to measure root depth.

Subject: How to measure root depth.

To get better at any skill you must find a way to measure it.

How else can you know if the training methods you use are producing results?

Yesterday we talked about some of the benchmarks you can use to track the progress of your root development.

…but how do you measure root?

This all comes down to your sensitivity / ting jing skill.

The better your ability to feel root the more accurately you’ll be able to measure it.

In the beginning this will be vague and nebulous.

You may not be able to measure root or get a sense of depth at all.

…but what you can do is measure its effect on someone else. By using this drill you can measure whether you are lower than someone else or not.

…and by going back and forth you can get deeper and deeper.

To get more precise with your measurements you’ll need to work this drill along with the other sensitivity and rooting drills in Clear’s Tai Chi level 1.

As you work the level 1 drills you’ll gain a sense of the depth of your root relative to yourself.

Once you can do this it’s a simple matter of comparing your root depth to your height.

If you’re 6 feet tall and you can drop your root 1 body length into the ground, then you can root 6 feet down.

One requirement of becoming a Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor is building your ting to the point where you can feel (and target) your partner’s root up to at least 3 body lengths down (18 – 20 feet.)

Details on becoming a Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor will be available February 18th

Clear's Internal Push Hands

How much root is enough?

Developing root is very important in all the internal arts.

…and it requires a lot of time and effort.

But you only have a limited amount of training time each day. So at what point have you built enough root that you can begin dedicating that training time to other things?

Well, you can always have more. So you should never stop building working root to some degree, here are the benchmarks

Our first level push hands instructors must be able to root a minimum of 18 – 20 feet.

(Details on becoming a Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor will be available in a couple weeks.)

If you’re serious about the internal arts in any way, getting to 18 – 20 feet down should be a top priority.

There are a whole lot of skills that you simply won’t be able to learn and many more that you can learn but that won’t be functional without at least this much rooting skill.

Don’t slow down once you hit 20 feet. This is just the bare minimum.

The next benchmark, and the minimum requirement for a Level 2 push hands instructor, is 250 feet.

I recommend designating a large portion of your training time to deepening your root until you hit this benchmark.

Next we’ll talk about how to measure your root depth:

Until then work on building your root with this exercise:

…and watch for the Internal Push Hands Instructor Training Course Feb 18.

7 Things to know about root. (& more bull**** from senior teachers.)

We just got wind of another senior teacher…

…who is lying about root.

Sigung Clear has seen this a lot and I’m starting to see it more and more myself.

Senior teachers who use root constantly and tell their students that root is not important. It makes the teacher look very impressive and it wastes the students time.

Developing your skill and understanding of root is CRITICAL to success in the internal arts.

Here’s the short list of what you need to know.

1. Rooting is one of the 36 primary Tai Chi Jings and it involves sending your energy down into the ground.

2. Rooting is one way to “Sink The Chi.”

3. When you let your root drop below your feet and into the ground you do not lose energy. In fact you are building energy doing this work.

4. Rooting below your feet does NOT limit your mobility.

Key skills to develop in the beginning.

1. Learn to feel and move your root.

2. Learn to feel and move someone else’s root

3. Build your root depth to 15 – 20 feet below the ground. (whatever feels like 2 – 3 times your height.)

This is where you BEGIN.

It won’t take long to build these three with a little work. And then you’ll have the foundation you need to learn all kinds of fun rooting skills.

The fastest way to build this foundation and all the fun stuff that comes after is with the push hands drills & games taught on our Internal Power video:

So grab a partner,

build these skills,

and please let others feel the skill you develop from this training.

(If you’re in the area and want to experience any of this first hand, all you have to do is ask.)

How to Build Root and Correct Your Form with One Simple Exercise

One skill Tai Chi excels at is the ability to direct force inside the human body.

At an advanced level this allows you to direct the force of a light shove our strike inside someone’s body to rupture an internal organ or take advantage of their tension or structural errors.

Master Yourself before you can Master others.

But before you can learn to direct force inside someone else you must first be able to manipulate force inside your own body.

So here’s a simple exercise to get you started.

Not only will this exercises teach you about [Read more…]

Root Like A Bear: An Exercise for Deepening Your Root

Have you ever seen a bear stomping its feet getting ready to charge?

Each foot in turn comes crashing down into the ground. This kind of movement can help you to achieve a deeper root.

Before you do this exercise, make sure you have a good structure. You should already have good Wu Chi posture and be able to root before you begin practicing with this kind of exercise. This exercise won’t help you much unless you have the basics in place.

How To Do It

[Read more…]

Waterfall Root: How To Get Beyond Your Root Limit

Building root in Tai Chi is a continual process. You can never have too much.

If you are thoroughly familiar with the exercises we’ve done so far and you feel like you just can’t get your root any deeper than it already is, then this article will be especially useful for you.

Stand in Wu Chi.

Let your root drop as you relax and melt from head to toe. This should feel like [Read more…]

How to Build Root With A Partner

Working with a partner to build root is much faster and more effective than solo practice.

If you haven’t already read the previous post on rooting on your own, you’ll want to read it now. It sets out the fundamentals for how to drop root.

Sometimes, when you are practicing by yourself, it can be difficult to tell whether you’ve gotten a deep root. A partner can check you to see how deep your root is. At the same time you can learn [Read more…]

How to Begin Building Root Without a Partner.

In the past couple of posts we’ve talked about the concept of root in Tai Chi and how far you can take it.

Now it’s time to get started.

The following exercise will help you begin to develop your root.

1) First, [Read more…]

The 3 most important qualities of Tai Chi Root.

2 - 3 times your body height and at least as wide as your body is the starting place for root in Tai Chi. Make this a priority if you haven't gotten this far yet.

1 Depth

In my last post, I mentioned that to be effective, your root has to be at least 6 to 20 feet down into the ground.

In the beginning 20 feet may seem really deep. For many people, dropping a root of 20 feet would be quite a challenge, but in reality, this is only a good starting point.

You can develop a 50, 500, 1,000 feet or deeper and you should continually work on developing a deeper root.

However root depth alone isn’t enough.

2 Thickness

The thickness of your root is also very important.

First make sure [Read more…]

What is Rooting in Tai Chi?

Dropping root is really a method of emitting energy. Tai Chi teaches many different ways of emitting and using energy, but root is easiest to learn because it involves sending energy downward. With rooting, gravity is completely on your side.

Rooting in Tai Chi is using mind intent to send your energy down into the ground. You might have learned rooting as a metaphysical skill where the rooting is just about being psychologically connected and centered but doesn’t have much impact in the physical world.

This is not that kind of rooting.

A deep, strong root can be [Read more…]