View Full Version : rooting

Sho Pi
03-15-2001, 10:42 PM
Has anyone viewed the Eo Omwake "Balance and Rooting" video?

I am curious on the quality before I spend $40.00 on it.

Are there other videos that you would recommend for rooting?


03-17-2001, 02:51 PM
Instead of rooting, you should try focusing on how to manipulate the ground path. Mike Sigman's (although I never seen them) videos at Neijia.com (http://www.neijia.com/) are pretty good I hear.

Sho Pi
03-17-2001, 04:59 PM
I have neer heard of the ground path. is it similar to the concept of rooting?

03-18-2001, 02:43 AM
I guess it is similiar. I am also a beginner at this, and I am still trying to practice it so I can use it well.

Anyway, all ground path is directing force to the ground. For example, as you're standing and someone pushes on the side of your right shoulder, the force of the push should direct to the ground under your left foot. Of course, you should be relaxed and have no tension at all. This is also the basis of peng jing.

I first encountered this from some taiji guys and later at one of Mike Sigman's seminars.

You can contact Mike Sigman at mikesigman@earthlink.net for more information.

03-18-2001, 03:27 AM
It's a different way to describe rooting and related things, the mechanics are no different. I'm sure you didn't intend it this way, but you can create a ground path ipsilaterally too.

03-26-2001, 05:51 AM
How do you generate power from your root if you are standing on a tricky surface like ice or loose heavy sand?

03-26-2001, 06:13 AM
Get her to lie down? :D

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-26-2001, 06:25 AM
I walked right into that one. :rolleyes:

03-26-2001, 07:08 AM
Sorry. The opening was there and I had to take it :D

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-26-2001, 07:11 AM
On a serious note, I practise an external art, and I have never really tried using my stances on tricky surfaces, but wouldn't sinking into your stance still be the way to do it? Or am I talking crap?

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

03-26-2001, 04:46 PM
Instinctively, I would want to get lower too. My concern is that any attempt to generate power on ice may lead to my feet sliding and any attempt in heavy sand may leave my feet stuck/buried. I don't know the answer, and it keeps me up at nights. :confused:

03-26-2001, 05:13 PM
I recommend Goodyear snow tires.

03-26-2001, 05:19 PM
Remember that power isn't always issued horizontally.
CTJ: watch out for those Goodyear's, especially if you are built like an SUV.ˇ

[This message was edited by count on 03-27-01 at 07:24 AM.]

03-26-2001, 05:28 PM
The problem arises because the coefficent of friction is greatly reduced (for the case with ice) and hence any lateral movement runs the risk of losing grip. The answer then is to reduce the amount of force applied, at contact with surface in a lateral direction. In other words all the force that is generated against the ground should be perpendicular hence elliminating the risk of slipping. The alternative is to counteract the opposing latereal forces so that they are neutralised and this will leave you with perpendicular (vertical) force only.

I have no idea how you would do this practically though.

ninja turtle
03-28-2001, 05:37 AM
Get the feel for doing the movements on the surfaces mentioned above by practicing- experiment. Get closer to the opponent so as not to reach(thus keeping more balanced.) Punch more, kick less.
Sand or mud- keep moving so as not to be bogged down. Land your strikes with your steps. (throw/kick sand in opponents eyes then attack.)
Practice some more- maybe your school would consider a "field trip".

03-28-2001, 05:24 PM
'The opening was there had to take it ", ha good one, you would wouldn't you!? Can't blame you for it. Though I thought this might be a porn thread, couldn't be so lucky!

03-29-2001, 01:40 AM
As FT said, I'm the sick man of Australia :D

Guns don't kill people, I kill people

11-11-2001, 08:04 PM
for the board, do you think its easier to get rooting on one leg or two in the begining? how long do you think after starting chen style, you should gain a root and lets say after two years of hard training and you dont have a root, should you quit chen, because you have failed the style?do you think maybe one day after training hard, not really goin for the root, that it will come to you? jus some thoughts...

bamboo_ leaf
11-12-2001, 02:11 AM
Technical having 2 roots in tc would be called double weighting and is a very bad mistake as it leads to the inablility for change. The practice that I have seen and do is to practice relaxing everything into one leg while maintain good structure.

The rooting idea is really basic yet very hard idea IMHO to really grasp. I have had to reevaluate my own thinking based on some recent experiences on this. I too would like to hear other people’s ideas.

Another thread “mantis 108”

“About the Wu Style lean body structure, it is still under the same principles. There are 2 main reasons to have the "leaning". One is stylized which I am not about to disclose. The other is technical. It is physically impossible for a small physique (wieghting 100 - 115 lbs person) to "root" and sustains a hard push from a large person (250 - 300 lbs range). Those who said it's possible are boostering a myth.”

I thought this might be a good intro on the subject of rooting and what our experiences are.

A couple of questions: is rooting the ability to route an applied force to the ground or is it the ability to be able to sink your center into the ground denying a point to push or apply pressure against?

Is rooting the ability to resist an applied force in one direction or is it the ability to have an axis to move from?

Peng or pung dose this depend on having a good root? or is it the ability to expand and contract the body much like a balloon or is this something else?

In another thread we are talking about different TC styles, we bought up the idea of principles or keys. It might be interesting to contrast the way the common ideas are used and thought of based on our training, experience and stylistic out looks.


bamboo leaf

www.cyberkwoon.com (http://www.cyberkwoon.com)

05-30-2005, 11:10 PM
Hello everyone,

What would be your opinion on stable stances and rooting?

Logically, if the stance is strong and well rooted while soft on top one becomes harder to be pushed over.

But lately I have been experimenting on keeping the stance/structure unstable during push hands, often standing on one leg; yet overall opponents find it more difficult to overpower me than when I try to get into a properly rooted stance. Even fajin on the one leg.

Would this be an example of extreme softness leads to hardness, or extreme yin leads to yang? Would this be what the Taichi classics refer to as the "sickness of the waist and legs"?

Any opinions?


p.s. special thanks to Bamboo Leaf for this new method I'm working on. Your help had given me many break-throughs.

05-31-2005, 04:35 AM

The concept of "Rooting" is not necessarily limited to the image of firmly planted feet.. it is a question of deep balance and dynamic interaction.. Combat seldom results in stationary opponents attempting to uproot each other.. it is a dynamic interaction of changing forces.. balance and rooting may be developed in a stationary posture, but of necessity must mature into fluid movement where weight shifts are both light and rooted.. single leg rooting is a necessary development in the complete Taiji experience.. Too often the focus on stationary rooting robs the Taiji student of mobile potential.. Dr. Yang's positioning of bricks stood on end in a pattern that permits walking from one to another is a great way to develop "rooting in motion".. single leg standing for extended periods allows us to meditatively experience the nuances of one leg balance.. developing lightness and agility while maintaining a "rooted" intention is good Taiji... Good luck, John!

Be well..

05-31-2005, 06:27 AM
Could I add a little supporting attachment?

Separate insubstantial and substantial: The transfer of weight is the key to change. This is straight out of Cheng Tzus Thirteen Treaties on Taijiquan by Chen Man Ching

I always interpreted the above and Taijiquan sphere theory to indicate what I call a Floating Root or acting likes a ball. If he pushes or strikes, I react like a ball does when hit or pushed.

If I stay rooted I except all inbound force head on. Neutralizing a push is a lot easier than neutralizing multiple strike, and if I float (act like a ball) attaching, sticking, neutralizing and deflecting becomes that much easier. Not to mention wears an inexperienced opponent out pretty quick. They expend all the energy trying to catch you rooted.

Ive heard some call it hiding your root/center

bamboo_ leaf
05-31-2005, 06:03 PM
The idea of rooting is somewhat misunderstood in my view.
If you look at it as a reference point aiding in separating the full from empty then moving root as some call or immobile root has no meaning. the refrance point is always there just as a ball must have a point that touches the ground.

By knowing what empty and full mean, and (standing like a balanced scale) all point to thinking of the root as a reference point and nothing more. Many are enamored with the idea of not being moved by someone pushing them. It should be that there is nothing to push againts. The result is the same but the method and thinking is totally opposite. :cool:

( Dr. Yang's positioning of bricks stood on end in a pattern that permits walking from one to another is a great way to develop "rooting in motion".. single leg standing for extended periods allows us to meditatively experience the nuances of one leg balance.. developing lightness and agility while maintaining a "rooted" intention is good Taiji...)

having done this a long time ago when training in some other CMA, I feel that it is really not the same, and develops a very different quality. This is not to say that it is not useful, only not really useful for taiji practice. If one relaxes (sung), and relaxes more and still more you can find it there.

bamboo_ leaf
05-31-2005, 06:10 PM
There is no softness or hardness only empty and full, think of water maintaining its properties regardless of what obstacle is encountered.

(But lately I have been experimenting on keeping the stance/structure unstable during push hands)

like a string of pearls, meaning that the mind is what must be connected. If the mind is connected internally and it can change there is no point that is unstable or stable its in a constant state of change. (So light the a fly can not land) this refers to the minds awareness and the bodies ability to respond with it.

05-31-2005, 10:18 PM
Here's a question:

Does/can the term "rooting" also refer to your yi and Xing?

Commentary anyone?

fiercest tiger
05-31-2005, 11:30 PM
I dont believe in rooting just good structure and alignment! During a fight you just react and move form well thats a different thing altogether.


06-01-2005, 04:50 AM

"Rooting", like anything else is a "word" pointing to an experience.. just by examining the posts we can see that there are differing interpretations of the term.. Bamboo Leaf finds little in benefit from brick-work, i gain much.. fiercest tiger doesn't believe in rooting, i find the concept valid (allowing for broad interpretation).. For me, it is a complex orchestration of body mechanics, intention of mind, and stillness in motion.. Economy of motion is too often overlooked, we tend to utilize excess in application.. this is a "secret" that is seldom given its proper worth.. A "mantra" we use at our school is "relax and return to center".. like the eye of a storm, the center is calm but it is also the power center of the maelstrom surrounding it.. like a sack of concrete, relaxed, the weight sinks to the ground.. push the top of the sack and it yields while its base remains firm.. push on the base and it simply slides to another location where it will relax and re-center.. to push it over you need to lift a bit (compromise its "root").. if you hit it, it just wraps around the impact (yielding while surrounding)..

A calm center will know when to connect with the earth or when to float, the center is "rooted" in its awareness of the situation, in its calmness of response, in its economy of energy.. I sense that "rooting" is a complex concept that transcends physical stability.. it is a deep understanding of self and of the environment/situation we experience.. before we can develop a deep rooted physical condition, we must permit such a condition to exist, mentally and spiritually.. Imagine treading water, without the firmness of earth energies connected to our feet there is little progress in a particular direction.. the importance of that connection should not be discounted..

Be well..

06-01-2005, 09:06 AM
i agree with bamboo leaf. in yang family taiji we call the reference point to the ground the 2-4 points. its an interesting paradox - how to be rooted yet appear outwardly to be rootless :)

back to lurking.......

fiercest tiger
06-01-2005, 05:54 PM
Just be relaxed,no tension no intent and u will have it!

FT :)

06-03-2005, 07:31 AM

The same principles that make Taiji effective while standing, work on the ground, too.. The vast majority of techniques work due to resistance of the opponent and can be neutralized through non-resistance or yielding.. If you are as fortunate as me to have a world-class Muay Thai/JKD/NHB partner that is willing to explore these "soft" options with a willingness to learn, you will see great potential for Taiji grappling.. Taiji's sister art, Qinna, is a very effective grappling tool and is taught, at our school, with emphasis and gusto, but.. from my perspective, the most overlooked aspect of combat Taiji is footwork and positioning.. most schools i visit teach individual techniques and seldom link them to a decisive conclusion.. the end of a technique demonstration shows the technique's result, but the teacher is out of position to conclude the conflict and the demo ends with a vague "then you can do this or this or that".. One of the good experiences i have had is with Aikido training, where the techniques are taken to a final conclusion.. it seems that Aikido is result oriented, where many CMA schools are vague on that issue, assuming that the opponent will submit with little or no counter moves.. Another common mistake is that we train in an environment where we understand an application's ultimate potential and so we frequently yield before the technique is really well applied, robbing our partners of understanding the possibility of running into someone that continues to struggle and that may succeed due to our inadequate experience in concluding the application.. I am not suggesting that we injure our training partners, only that we take the technique(s) to the "tap" and that as Ukes we attempt to test the Nage's effectiveness.. to look for escapes.. we need to make the techniques work.. don't yield due to potential, yield due to necessity.. Typically, we slowly go through a technique and look for counters at every juncture, then we utilize the technique's intent to "counter the counter".. almost always, this is a positioning/footwork condition, even on the ground..

just random thoughts on a dreary day.. be well..

fiercest tiger
06-03-2005, 11:48 PM
All internal arts i believe are really grappling systems and yes what you do standing is also applicable on the ground.


bamboo_ leaf
06-04-2005, 06:51 AM
try systems that lead to an understanding of relationships that can be applied in verity of settings :cool:

08-12-2019, 09:37 AM
Rooting in Taiji
Translated and adapted by Andrew Wong

SUMMER 2019 (http://www.kungfumagazine.com/magazine/article.php?article=1487)