In this exercise you will use a training partner to check how deep you root is and help you push deeper and deeper. At the same time you will learn to sense your partner’s root which will be very important in intermediate and advanced rooting skills.
Without Structure, Rooting is a Waste of Time
Make sure you continue to work on your structure (in other words, your Wu Ji Alignments).
If your structure is off, it will limit how deep you can drop and even if you can get some depth your partner can just attack your structural errors instead of your root. This is true for the martial applications of root as well as for push hands exercises.
Be Strong & Soft
To do this exercise well, you will need a very specific quality of touch when you put your hands on your partner. It should be soft, with little exertion, but with a substantial amount of strength.
Think of the way a very strong 200 pound man would pick up a baby. There’s not a lot of exertion going on. It’s 200 pounds against the baby’s weight. The man is also very gentle with the child as well. It’s a very soft touch.
Partner Rooting Exercise
1) Stand in Clear’s Internal Push Hands stance facing each other. Put your hands on each other above the waist and below the neckline with that strong-yet-soft quality of touch.
2) Person A drops their root until they are below person B.
3) Then Person A stops and stays exactly where they are.
4) Person B now drops their root until they are below person A.
5) Person B then stops and stays exactly where they are while person A drops below them.
How do I know if my root is below the other person?
Eventually you will be able to feel where someone’s root is and this drill will build your ability to do that. However for beginners this can seem next to impossible.
Here is a simple way to check and see who is lower:
If someone pushes, whoever has the higher root will move.
When it’s your turn, drop and relax until you think you might be below your partner. Then push them with a VERY light soft push. If you are lower they will move easily. If you are higher you will move.
If they do not move easily you still need to relax and drop more.
Do not actually move your partner when you push them. Just push enough to check and see if who is lower.
Remember the purpose of this game is to drop lower and lower. Not to move your partner.
Building these skills is hard work!
Once you have both dropped your root as deeply as possible, you can keep training without your partner. Spend a few days practicing on your own and learning to more deeply drop your root before you practice with your partner again.
It takes physical strength to really drop your Root, so you will need multiple practice sessions over time to develop a deep and strong Root. You must give your body the chance to adapt and strengthen itself.
Remember to go slow. This is about Rooting and Sensing, not about winning a game.
The Internal Energy you develop through Rooting will serve as your “Power Base” when it’s time to express / use that Energy martially.
*If you are still training without a partner, you’ll need another method to build your Root Power quickly and reliably. The most important thing is that you have consistent feedback.
With the right instruction, Root Power can be used for:
- Steel Wrapped in Cotton
- Internal Iron Palm / Iron Needle
- Internal Iron Body (Golden Bell Cover)
- Fa Jin (Explosive Power)
- Poison Hand / Dim Mak
- One-Touch Knockout striking
Internal Power Breakthrough™ students get concrete results with ALL of these skills in a single 9 week program. If you would like to work directly with our trained coaches and with Sigung Richard Clear himself, please inquire using the form below:
- The Practical Guide to Internal Power
- Lesson 1: The Basics of Power & Internal Skill
- Lesson 2: Primary Training Method
- Lesson 3: Alignment for Power
- Lesson 4: “Sinking the Qi” & Rooting for power.
- Lesson 5: Alignment, Part 2 (for even more Power)
- Lesson 6: Building Root with a Partner
- Lesson 7: Waterfall Rooting
- Lesson 8: Root Like A Bear (to Deepen Your Root)
- Lesson 9: The Three Powers (Heaven, Earth, & Man)
- Lesson 10: Power through “Whole Body” Breathing
- Lesson 11: Control Heart Rate and Blood Pressure
- Lesson 12: Whole Body Connection
- Lesson 13: Mind Power & Healing Others
- Lesson 14: Striking Power & 1 Touch KO’s
- Lesson 15: Fa Jing & Dim Mak
- Lesson 16: Neutralization & Steel Wrapped in Cotton
- Lesson 17: Steel, Wrapped in Cotton