Grounding is a principle taught differently in differing Moving and Martial Arts. In Tai Chi there is a very important emphasis on it, but in many Tai Chi schools the emphasis is on static grounding. It was enlightening to train with Neil Webster at his Kung Fu and Tai Chi Academy in Epsom, where the principle of grounding was one of the key topics of his Tai Chi Applications Seminar this weekend. What was refreshing was the teaching of grounding as dynamic rather than static.
Whoever you are, wherever you are, whatever you are doing, gravity exerts its influence on you. If you understand how to use gravity to your benefit, it enhances everything from power to endurance. By aligning your structure correctly, you can effectively allow gravity to track down your skeleton so that the bones and connective tissues form a solid ‘gravity conductor’: any force acting on you gets directed through the shortest, strongest route to the earth beneath you. This also has the not inconsiderable advantage of allowing your muscles to be un-loaded and de-stressed, which in-turn allows you to move faster, smoother and with less internal resistance.
In Tai Chi there are tests to check whether you align yourself correctly for the purpose of effective grounding. It is really very impressive to push someone with all your weight , and they don’t budge an inch. Even more impressive is when they are half your body weight!
In my Moving and Martial Arts journey, it has been my privilege to see, feel and learn some training ‘gems’, and dynamic grounding is absolutely one of them!
Ask Neil nicely and he might show you how!