In this blog post we are going to talk about how to focus driving energy versus pushing energy, namely from your shoulders to the elbows. That is the basis on how to get your arms properly out towards your opponent.
One of the tests that I show my students to see if they are putting their energy correctly in the right spot, is to put our shoulders to our ear and your partner is going to hold you.
Can you take the shoulders and push down, where it feels like you won’t go up or can you drive your energy down? When your partner is trying to push your shoulder up can you hold the energy down? The video below shows how the test is done.
If you know how to send the energy down from your shoulders to your elbows, it won’t feel like you are being picked up and/or knocked over. This test will help you understand the difference between driving energy and pushing energy.
Pushing energy is basically going towards the elbow around the elbow, near the elbow but not into the elbow. In order to drive energy you need the energy to go into the elbow. The difference is concentrated power.
It’s like the difference between a punch that grazes vs. a punch that drives. A driving punch will penetrate, it’s much more powerful and much more concentrated because all of the energy goes to a single point.
That’s what we want to learn how to do: Drive the energy from the shoulder to the elbow, if you can do that you will have much stronger arms. Its’ much steadier if he punches you, because your arms are steadier which means you won’t feel it bounce back into the body.
The 3 Floors To Having Good Arms
- Shoulder to elbow is your first floor
- Elbow to your wrist is your second floor
- Wrist rotation, wrist articulation is your third floor
You can not have a third floor or second floor without the first floor. So understanding how to drive energy from your shoulder to your elbow will help you learn the first floor. This technique will help you develop the ability to send energy into your hand.
Anthony DeMeo says
I have a question since I never been on your site before. What style Taiji do you teach? I am interested in that art but I am almost 70 yrs old and can’t jump around with high kicks and I have a bad lower back. What do you recommend? Which style?. Thank you
Jamie Pelaez says
Hey Anthony! Welcome to our site and thank you for inquiring more about what we do here at Enter Shaolin. There are three styles of Tai Chi, we do the Yang style which is known to be easier on the joints and better for those of all ages to start with. No high kicks, jumping or low to the ground stances necessary. We also teach Qigong which is also very low impact.
Please let me know, if you have any more questions. Blessings to you and yours!
I`m a 60 years old man and I did some training a while ago but I would like to do something else I like wing chu but I wonder about how many forms dos`t have and if you show them on line .and if as a member of enter shaolin I`m going to get the complete pacage of tai chi and wing chu
Enter Shaolin Support says
Thanks for visiting us here. When you join as a member you get instant access to all of our courses, which include Wing Chun and Tai Chi. Currently we working on filming sections of the third form in Wing Chun Bil Gee. The Sil Lum Tao Form, Chum Kiu Form and Muk Jong forms are completed. We have the first third of the Tai Chi form finished.We are working on breaking down each movement in the first third.
We add 4 to 5 new videos every week. I believe right now we have over 200 training videos inside. Basically we cover a lot. Eventually all of the forms in all of the sections will be complete including the breakdowns of the techniques themselves. Right now we have enough training to get your started doing Tai Chi including the accompanying Qigong exercises.
I not heard 3 floors before but the concept of these has always been the same from the beginning… That its about driving energy.
But you already know this… Think your testing me.
Jamie Pelaez says
You are welcome Alan! 🙂 And you are right, it is the same concept as Sifu Phu has always been preaching us with a new twist on how to remember to do it. 🙂