STANCE AND ACTIVATE NIM TAO
A summary of Sigungs teaching by Mark Spence
Chu Shong Tin points out that if one can understand, and is able to activate the thought/mind (Nim Tao), then all movements and techniques can generate a lot of force without using much physical or brute strength.
To bring Nim Tao up:
1. Basic Stance: (Measure stance with feet) Keep the body as one by aligning the spine and the thighs in a straight line. The knees are slightly bent so that they are vertically above the toes. The knees should be kept springy. The knees and toes point and focus on the attack point, that is, the vertical point where the kicks from both legs can reach. This position requires the least effort for us to stand on our feet.
2. Tai Gong: In order to activate the Nim Tao, you first have to do Tai Gong (internal contraction). It is like lightly contracting your anus and is like not letting yourself go to the bathroom, but you shouldn’t do it with too much effort. It’s just a feeling an idea, this is not to be done too physically. Just use the mind to do it lightly.
3. Flow: Once you can comprehend Tai Gong and are able to do it in a relaxed manner, the front part of your thigh muscles should feel like they are raising up and the back part of your thigh and buttock muscles should feel like they are dropping down. Make sure you are dropping those muscles with your mind and relaxation; not with physical force.
4. Point the Tail bone: Point the tail bone down as you are dropping your buttock and thigh muscles.
5. Rotate the Tail bone: Once you can do that, then you rotate the tail bone inwards and upward. This should again be done with your mind and relaxation, not with physical force.
6. Raise the Spine: Then you ‘raise up’ through your spine from the end point (tip) of the tail bone. This is very difficult to do and you probably won’t know how to think this at the beginning stages, but just imagine raising it up and keep practising this.
7. Activate Nim Tao: Once you can do this very well there will be a force expanding the gaps between each vertebrae, it will keep raising through the neck and all the way to the top of the head. If you can do this well, you can feel that there is something, maybe it’s called Chi or whatever, I don’t quite know how to describe it. So lets say we call this Chi. This Chi will then expand the gaps between each vertebra as you raise up your spine. You should feel that you have become taller. The Chi then goes all the way up to the top of your head. You will then be able to activate the Nim Tao and be able to generate a lot of force without using physical brute force. Once you can activate Nim Tao you can then control the muscles that you wouldn’t normally be able to control.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t succeed in doing it, just be persistent. It is a difficult exercise and impossible for anyone to achieve at the beginning stage.
The process above is the basic process to activate Nim Tao. We now think that this may be the Nim Tao (the thought/mind) that Ng Mui (the founder of the style) was referring too.