The importance of good roots
Updated: Jun 7
In this blog, I will carry the theme from my previous article on balance. Rooting is another concept that isn't a priority for beginners. Yet if you wish to make progress with your practice, then you should try to concentrate on rooting.
So why is importance of rooting?
Well rooting is about being grounded like a tree. When you do pushing hands, without rooting, you will stumble and fall. If you look at a simple pushing hand exercise like bending bamboo. The person pushing would not be able to push effectively, if they didn't have good rooting. Yet for the person being pushed, with each gentle push, you should be able to return to you original position with ease and without losing balance. A lot of people talk about the output of force in relation to root (the yang), but not the deflections or the absorption of force (the yin).
The ability to root comes with practice and there's no shortcut or crash course to achieve this. Rooting is not forced, but there are ways to train this ability and it will come with time. If you don't have root, you are unlikely to cultivate good techniques.
So how do we develop good rooting?
Part of it is through qigong such as pile standing (e.g. tree hugging) and through pushing hands. The former you can do on your own. With the latter, you need some like minded partners.
With time and effort, you will find that your foot will stick to the ground with ease. If it helps, imagine yourself as a tree and your feet are rooted to the ground. The deeper your practice, the deeper your roots. It would be beneficial to put these concepts into your daily training earlier on. Because after section 1 of the hand form, there will be more emphasis on balance. Even when you step backward or forwards, there should evidence of root in each step. Without which root, how do you feel confident with each move. Furthermore, without good rooting, your applications and weapon forms would be at a disadvantage. Be honest with yourself in what you do. Always ask questions and never stop trying. Your techniques don't lie.
Thank you for reading my blog.
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