Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

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Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Sat Jul 24, 2021 9:05 am

Is there any use to train like this? Does it diminish us, or challenge us? The legs are gone... but is there ground connection present?

Last edited by drifting on Sat Jul 24, 2021 10:41 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby Tom on Sat Jul 24, 2021 8:01 pm

Maybe you should ask the guy performing the seated Zhuji (he looks an awful lot like you ;) )

I think there is value in the kind of practice shown. I haven't done it from a cross-legged seated posture like that, but in the past I've done similar practice from seiza (Japanese kneeling position). Deeper connection with pelvis and waist, being able to concentrate more on the internal movement and breath, and other attributes follow from this kind of practice (in addition to benefits for any type of meditation some may integrate with LHBF).
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Sun Jul 25, 2021 12:04 am

Thanks Tom! But that guy doesn't have the answers. Its labeled "exploration" because its something different. Ive seen a lot of seated performances of Taiji and Liuhebafa and others, and though Ive prematurely judged them in the past I thought Id give it a try and get first hand experience. The benefit I found was in the awareness it brought to the pelvis and lumbar spine. We organize our structure from the ground up, and having the ischial tuberosities (or "sit bones") firmly contacting a solid surface, each move was driven from there up through the lumbar spine. It was a different experience entirely, familiar but unfamiliar, and I was really interested to see how the upper body adapted and accommodated for having a less than mobile lower body.

Chan Yik Yan was crippled during a Xingyi training session and his form had to adapt and reorganize around that one rigid hip! I felt that I understand his personal movements a little better after beginning this seated practice. Its all an exploration, the body has a lot to teach the mind! Just thought Id share and see if anyone has any insight from their own experience of seated practice that I can learn from.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Jul 25, 2021 1:35 pm

Nothing wrong with this type of training
Aikido uses it all the time as do some schools of Silat
I agree seiza is better than lotus
One reason is you can stand from seiza it is harder from lotus
A chair or traditional Chinese bench is also a good option
Try some two man stuff
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby v_man on Sat Jul 31, 2021 7:06 pm

Thank you Drifting for posting the video. It was so calming and relaxing watching the form and listening to the waves. I have to say, your maturity and progression of the art has taken another leap forward my friend. Really exhilarating to see your exploration of the 1 point, pulling your head up, it truly reduces the redundancy and idiosyncrasy of any excess thoughts; tucking the chin, using the rhomboids and serratus anterior muscles to retract and depress the shoulder blade, straightening out the spine, relaxing the kua, opening up the hips and so forth. It was fun just watching how you enjoy every moment of it.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:42 am

wayne hansen wrote:I agree seiza is better than lotus
One reason is you can stand from seiza it is harder from lotus
A chair or traditional Chinese bench is also a good option
Try some two man stuff


Thanks Wayne, I appreciate that comment! I do this seated practice not really as training but more as exploration of biomechanics. Kung Fu's force always comes from the ground... so we really need to develop a close relationship with that ground contact. With the legs there are so many joints involved from the toes to the spine, but the "sit bones" of the pelvis are major proprioceptors of the body. It stabilizes us and so very much subtle motion can be initiated from those 2 bones. Now I was unfortunately seated on a rough jagged rock there because that's what I had, but if you sit properly on a wooden stool with feet on the floor you get a great experience of neurofeedback! And with that, I'd say the seiza kneeling position pretty much changes the experience, just like if your sitting on a cushion vs sitting your bones on a surface. In seiza you may be martially mobile and can react, but you loose the proprioception and have the leg muscles twitching and reacting to not move but to stabilize.

We need feedback tools in our practice. This is why we do pushhands, this is why we practice against a wall or using an apparatus, and this is why seated might greatly improve the awareness of your lumbo-pelvic connections. This practitioner of Feldenkrais clearly explains far better the exploration of movement that I'm suggesting, and has been one of my great sources of knowledge these many years.

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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Sun Aug 01, 2021 8:46 am

v_man wrote:Thank you Drifting for posting the video. It was so calming and relaxing watching the form and listening to the waves. I have to say, your maturity and progression of the art has taken another leap forward my friend. Really exhilarating to see your exploration of the 1 point, pulling your head up, it truly reduces the redundancy and idiosyncrasy of any excess thoughts; tucking the chin, using the rhomboids and serratus anterior muscles to retract and depress the shoulder blade, straightening out the spine, relaxing the kua, opening up the hips and so forth. It was fun just watching how you enjoy every moment of it.


Thank you for those words brother, and its good to hear from you! I've received far more comments about this off the forum than on, but was hoping to engage some proper conversation here... so its nice to talk on level with another therapist too!

In this practice we really can become more clear of a duality, that of the stacked compression of the boney cranio-spino-pelvic complex, and the elongated suspension of the dural tube from the occiput that we keep engaged with. So in this we can maintain intent on the 2 ischial tubes versus the foramen magnum (base of the skull), forming a tall skinny triangle with the perineum in the middle. The coccyx should never contact as its not structured for weight-bearing, and would lock up the pelvic bowl and risk injury from being so delicate. Rather, if you put the intent on the coccyx and maneuver from the sit-bones then you can draw a circle "O" or cross "+" or figure "8" with subtle precision movements of the pelvis! ;)

And the last thing you said, yes I do enjoy every movement of my practice or I don't practice at all!
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby v_man on Mon Aug 02, 2021 12:28 am

I do hope more people could chirped into this thread, to explore and expand new ideas and concept. Maybe light a fire to the curious mind or maybe help reduce the inconsistency, the bias, and the disillusion thoughts that go through our heads at a billion second per day. I’m also ok forgoing medical terminology so everyone could join in.

Getting back to the thread. I agree that the 2 sit bones (ischial tuberosity) and the coccyx together, forms a natural and perfect triangle. Now the centre of that triangle is the centre of the body or the centre – channel, which lines up with the foramen magnum (base of the skull). Just as the video shows, that a simple gesture of pulling the head up, can and will align the whole spine. I think with proper movement, relaxation, coordination, timing and the intention of having a straight spine, devoid of the lumbosacral and cervical curvature, the dural tube and brain stem can have an efficient flow of CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid) from the cranium to the cauda equina (tip of the brain stem) and back up to the cranium and transmission of a uniform, electric nerve impulses throughout the whole body, which translated to getting the power out.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Mon Aug 02, 2021 7:26 am

Sorry about the medical terms, I write alot of clinical publications so its always in my forefront! But I guess any martial artist needs to know some anatomy and physiology right.

v_man wrote:I agree that the 2 sit bones (ischial tuberosity) and the coccyx together, forms a natural and perfect triangle. Now the centre of that triangle is the centre of the body or the centre...

I have to disagree with anyone who puts the coccyx into this triangle, its a very delicate structure and doesn't do well with contact! Pelvic neutral is where we move best from, and this has the coccyx slightly floating raised behind. If you attempt to use it as a pivot or point of contact then you're guaranteed injury... not to mention you've already sacrificed your lumbar curve which directly strains your neck and cranial base! The coccyx is an important point to gain awareness on, and this seated practice is great for that, but it must be free to move and contrast the pubic bone, they make like a teeter-toter back and front with the sit-bones as the functional fulcrum. You can actually tell the position of the tailbone and tension in the lumbars by how much strain is in someones neck!

But by all means lets get out of the head and into the body. Try and explore, your body will be your teacher, not the nerd explaining what happens when we walk! ;)
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby v_man on Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:08 pm

drifting wrote:But I guess any martial artist needs to know some anatomy and physiology right.

I totally agree with you on this one ;D
drifting wrote:But by all means lets get out of the head and into the body. Try and explore, your body will be your teacher, not the nerd explaining what happens when we walk! ;)

Love that 8-)
v_man wrote:...the 2 sit bones (ischial tuberosity) and the coccyx together, forms a natural and perfect triangle.

Drifting, I will have to agree and disagree with you my friend. Yes, the coccyx is delicate. Yes
drifting wrote:If you attempt to use it as a pivot or point of contact then you're guaranteed injury..

What you say makes total sense for an efficient human being for everyday mundane activity or a person who practice Martial Arts just for health. However, we want to use this to get back to the original. We want to be able to fight efficiently, where the coccyx points or pivot is where we go to hug, to attack, to evade, or even to go pee :P
drifting wrote:not to mention you've already sacrificed your lumbar curve which directly strains your neck and cranial base!

Same here my friend, we want to get back to the original. A straight spine and not a fuse or bamboo spine like AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis), an elongated spine (pulling the head up), permits an efficient flow of CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid), a more coordinated body movement, the ability to get the power out and to respond a half-step faster than your opponent.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby windwalker on Mon Aug 02, 2021 9:43 pm

drifting wrote:
But by all means lets get out of the head and into the body.
Try and explore, your body will be your teacher, not the nerd explaining what happens when we walk! ;)


Lots of what seem to be parallel concepts between my teachers work in the "sitting" exploration. .
Although we didn't sit, we did use the "tail bone" as 1 of 3 alignments combined.

Used to create a focal point that was used in directing what might be described as "focused" intention.


Takes a lot of "time" depending on the practice and function just to become aware of the alignment processes.
More. time in gaining access to them directly before they can be developed / enhanced for skill sets dependent on them.

The sitting practice demoed might be a good method for getting in touch with areas not easily accessible mentally or physically, for those
interested looking for other practices to do so.

Is it something you developed or part of the Liuhebafa practice itself ?

Sitting used in other arts, Aikido comes to mind.
Would you say its different or the same ?
Last edited by windwalker on Tue Aug 03, 2021 4:54 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby drifting on Tue Aug 03, 2021 9:12 am

v_man wrote:
v_man wrote:...the 2 sit bones (ischial tuberosity) and the coccyx together, forms a natural and perfect triangle.

Drifting, I will have to agree and disagree with you my friend. Yes, the coccyx is delicate. Yes
drifting wrote:If you attempt to use it as a pivot or point of contact then you're guaranteed injury..

What you say makes total sense for an efficient human being for everyday mundane activity or a person who practice Martial Arts just for health. However, we want to use this to get back to the original. We want to be able to fight efficiently, where the coccyx points or pivot is where we go to hug, to attack, to evade, or even to go pee :P
drifting wrote:not to mention you've already sacrificed your lumbar curve which directly strains your neck and cranial base!

Same here my friend, we want to get back to the original. A straight spine and not a fuse or bamboo spine like AS (Ankylosing Spondylitis), an elongated spine (pulling the head up), permits an efficient flow of CSF (Cerebral Spinal Fluid), a more coordinated body movement, the ability to get the power out and to respond a half-step faster than your opponent.


I've been taught that "flatten the lumbar" by several teachers, to my own detriment. Each one who taught me that had their own neck issues, and would constantly "fight with their own necks" as a result, which is exactly what happened to me! Flattening the lumbar and letting the tailbone pull downward does not open up csf flow, we are not build with faulty curves in our bodies. During breathing, when breathing in all curves increase and when breathing out all curves decrease, and they do so in sync. The lumbar and cervical curves are not primary but adaptive, they adapt to the rest of the body. When you force flat the lumbar the cervical is forced into greater curve, this cannot be avoided! There's nothing in any martial arts that goes against natural biomechanics, and we pay for what we gain!

Anyway, I've been practicing seated for a year now, and my explanation comes from what I learned by practicing this. I suggest you and others to give this a try, just for your own exploration! Id be very surprised to see anyone perform the form seated and contacting their tailbone without consequences, or even be able to get through it with a flat lumbar, but perhaps your or someones body has found a way to adapt around what Im talking about. Its an invitation to me and you and others to explore the movement and see what can be learned, because our body is our greatest teacher, and nature makes no mistakes!


windwalker wrote:Is it something you developed or part of the Liuhebafa practice itself ?

Sitting used in other arts, Aikido comes to mind.
Would you say its different or the same ?


Definitely not part of Liuhebafa I've learned... definitely an essential part of human movement exploration that I follow! Its part of Liuhebafa now in the way I instruct, because I bring in alot of biomechanics into my own teaching of the style. Ive only approached this seated practice as movement exploration and pelvic fine-tuning development, not "martially" for applications like Aikido does and thats where this differs.
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Re: Liuhebafa - seated exploration of Zhuji

Postby v_man on Tue Aug 03, 2021 10:43 pm

drifting wrote:would constantly "fight with their own necks" as a result, which is exactly what happened to me

I'm sorry to hear that you had some detrimental setback with your practice, however, going down this path there will be some gains and a lot of pain and discomfort that comes with it.

drifting wrote:When you force flat the lumbar the cervical

I don't want to drag this out anymore but I just want to say one last thing, it's not about forcing the lumbar or cervical curve, its about guiding the body back to the "natural biomechanics". If you look at 2 or a 3 year old, there are no or very little cervical and/or lumbar curve and they move just fine; as well, they have tremendous strength, especially gripping.

For LHBF, we have the 5 point theory and I don't know if the other IMA has it. Using the 5 point to elongated and stretch, the spine will naturally straightened out, no forcing. Anytime, there is forcing, it backfires badly for the body. If the mindset is too strong, the neck straightened out but in a forward posture, which increases your anger and possibly leads to a stroke or other health/mental issues.

I will take your word on it and try to "explore" doing the form in a seated position. Thank you for posting this thread Drifting.
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