Five Direction Open Palm Set

오픈 야자 세트

Most Asian cultures base their understanding of the body and its potential on the concept of ki (chi), a vital-life force or energy, which permeates the world and every living thing.  Although ki is a metaphysical concept it can be physically quantified, measured, manipulated, and felt in one’s body through various ki practices, one of which is outlined below.

The purpose of these practices is to restore and maintain one’s ki in a state of balance.  When it is in a proper state of balance, ki moves freely throughout the space or the body that it inhabits and supports the health of that body rather than fighting against it.  Balancing this energy is a crucial part of living a healthy and calm life and ki practices such as Five Direction Open Palm Set, the Eight Trigram Exercises, acupuncture or acupressure have been linked to improved health and well-being, increased focus and energy, and reduced levels of stress–related discomfort.  From a martial arts perspective, the practice of energy work has tremendous benefits; from strengthening the body to resist blows and strikes to increasing awareness of an opponent’s presence.

Directions for the Five Direction Open Palm Set

Ready Position:  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hands/arms hanging in a natural position and take several abdominal breaths.

Direction One (Down): Lift hands up to solar-plexus height in front of body.  Turn hands over and move hands to side of body, palms facing down. Slowly move hands down to side of body, palms still facing down, as if pushing something.  This motion should be executed, in conjunction with one Yang Breath.

Direction Two (Sides): Lift hands up to solar-plexus height in front of body.  Turn hands over and move hands to side of body, palms out to respective sides of the body. Slowly move hands out, palms still facing out and fingers pointing up, as if pushing something.  This motion should be executed, in conjunction with one Yang Breath.

Direction Three (Up): Lift hands up to solar-plexus height in front of body.  Turn hands over and move hands to side of body, palms facing up. Slowly move hands up, palms still facing upward and fingers pointing toward each other, as if pushing something.  This motion should be executed, in conjunction with one Yang Breath.

Direction Four (Back): Lift hands up to solar-plexus height in front of body.  Turn hands over and move hands to side of body, palms facing down. Slowly move hands down to side of body, palms still facing back.  Continue motion by slightly moving hands back as if pushing something.  This motion should be executed, in conjunction with one Yang Breath.

Direction Five (Front): Lift hands up to solar-plexus height in front of body.  Turn hands over and move hands to side of body, palms facing front. Slowly move hands forward, palms still facing front and fingers pointing up, as if pushing something.  This motion should be executed, in conjunction with one Yang Breath.

Repeat: Repeat all five directions, five more times (the five directions should be preformed a total of six times).

Ready Position:  Stand with your feet shoulder width apart, hands/arms hanging in a natural position and take several abdominal breaths.

Note: The speed at which the directions are preformed is based on the speed of the Yang Breath.  The Yang Breathing should be done as slowly as possible without straining the body.  When “pushing”, the mind should imagine that a heavy object is being pushed and that the muscles are flexed.  This should not be the case however.  The muscles should always remain in as relaxed of a state as possible.

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For those of you that are not familiar with the “Yang Breathing Technique”, below is a short overview of the technique:

Yang Breathing (양 호흡)

Application: Used to move Ki out into limbs.

  1. As quickly as possible, inhale a full inhalation through the nose (without tensing body).
  2. Slowly exhale through the mouth.  The exhalation should be a long as possible.
  3. Repeat.

Something to think about…

by Master Sean Pearson

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Written by Sean Pearson

Throughout his career, in an effort to become a truly well-rounded martial artist in both practice and philosophy, Master Pearson has studied a wide variety of martial arts: Taekwondo, Kali, Kyudo, Iaido, Aikido, Judo, Jodo, Bando and Tai Chi. He holds dan rankings in six of these arts and master ranks in three of them. To this same end he has studied and achieved national recognition as a wilderness survival instructor, a certified hypnotherapist, and a lecturer in Neuro Linguistic Psychology.

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