The Three Swings

The First Swing

Tai Chi Fundamentals Part 2

The Three Swings complete the ancient neigong set the first half of which includes Standing, Cloud Hands and the Spinal Stretch. They build directly on the alignment and movement principles of Standing and Cloud Hands.

It is important to have the basic alignments of each swing in place before moving onto the next, otherwise it is possible to damage your knees or lower back. This is why it is not a good idea to try to teach yourself the Swings from the book without the guidance of a properly qualified instructor.

In this course we build up each movement with preliminary exercises that, if followed, will protect you from such dangers and help you get the movements working.

The Benefits of the Swings

1) The First Swing opens up the hips; stimulates and strengthens the qi of the lower jiao, which extends from the lower dantian to the floor (that part of the body cavity that controls the function of the kidney, urinary bladder and the intestines: those organs responsible for the filtering and removal of impurities from the body). It also allows the deep relaxation of the arms and shoulders.

2) The Second Swing is the basis of all stepping in Tai Chi (Hsing I and Bagua), it teaches how to turn the waist and legs from the kua; stimulates and strengthens the qi of the middle jiao, which is between the lower and middle dantian (that part of the body cavity that controls the function of the small intestine, spleen, stomach, liver, gallbladder and pancreas as well as the adrenal glands: those organs responsible for the transportation and transformation of food into energy and blood).

3) The Third Swing completes the work of the first two swings; makes the spine open and springy; opens up the shoulders and the neck; and stimulates and strengthens the qi of the upper jiao, which extends from the middle dantian to the crown (bai hui) (that part of the body that controls the function of the heart, lungs and brain: those organs responsible for the circulation of blood and chi).

Experience in Standing and Cloud Hands is needed for this course.

Recommended Reading

Frantzis, B.K., Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body, 2nd edition (Berkeley: Blue Snake Books, 2006). ISBN 1-58394-146-0.

Frantzis, B. K., The Power of the Internal Martial Arts (Berkeley: North Atlantic Books, 1998).

Frantzis, B.K., The Chi Revolution (Berkeley: Blue Snake Books, 2008). ISBN 978-1-58394-193-5.