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The Truth About Putting Out a Candle in Tai Chi Chuan!

The Truth About Putting Out a Candle in Tai Chi Chuan!


The Truth About Putting Out a Candle in Tai Chi Chuan!

by Al Case

I can put out a candle with a martial arts power at about two feet now. This article is about the techniques I have been working with. I'm hoping other people out there will want to share their methods, and we can all start putting out candles from across the room.

Now, just to be clear, it is a trick, but it does have benefits of good value. Mental concentration improves, and you learn different things about how the body can be utilized. The body and the mind, to be truthful, are tools that we have barely begun to understand.

First things first, there is a very cheap shot way of putting out a candle. If you flick the finger in front of the flame, the flick is enough to disrupt the oxygen and make the flame die. Try it, just hold the hand a few inches back of the candle, then flick the finger as if you are merely snapping the fingers, as if you are flicking off water, and do it on the flame.

Next, I worked on the method of stopping the fist right in front of the flame. While there is mental focus involved in doing it this way, it is still a simple rob the flame of oxygen trick. You are robbing oxygen, not projecting any kind of serious chi power, but it takes mental control of the body to make it work.

You have to be able to stop the movement of the body precisely, exactly, and with no shake or shiver. This leads one to the conclusion that it is not just the muscles involved in this thing, but control of muscle, that is important. All those hours of standing in a horse stance in front of a candle do have a very real physical blessing, but it is the mental benefit that is of most value.

When I put out a candle at two feet I use a tai chi posture which is labeled Brush Knee, and I work on shifting weight, turning hips, and using all parts of the body to do so. The most important thing, the thing that showed me gradual and increasing success, was to take all the energy out of what I was doing. I do it karate style, and I learned to use less physical effort and more mental focus, I do it tai chi style, and my success comes when I can take almost all energy out of the body and move the body from outside.

Yeah, it takes me a while, but as I remove energy from my body, concentrate on not using muscle, but emptying the space of my body of effort, I tend to get a little back of my body. I'm not out, I'm not a floating, disembodied mentality wafting through the universe, just a little removed, comfortably removed, seeing my body from a viewpoint a little behind my eyes. The patience and mental resources are quite pitched at this point, because I am trying to move a body without using muscle, but with just the lightest of intentions.

Now, there are still problems with what I am doing. In spite of the mental acuity involved, it doesn't feel efficient. Also, there seems to be a limit, and I can't get beyond about three feet. But at least there is some success, and time and patience and dedication will give me more.

About the Author:
Al Case has examined martial arts for over 4O years. He has written scores of articles and had his own column in Inside Karate. If you want to learn learn more about hitting harder in the martial arts, pick up his free ebook at Monster Martial Arts.

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