Lesson 4: Activating Yin & Yang

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  1. So, the Earth energy, which is Yin, is characterized by the heaviness. And the Heaven energy, which is Yang, is characterized by lightness? Isn’t it typically thought of as the other way around?

    • Everything has characteristics of both Yin and Yang. Ice is yang because it’s harder than water. Or it’s yin because it’s colder than water.

      So whether something is yin or yang is mostly about context.

      That being said earth energy is warmer, thicker, heavier (all yang traits) and heaven energy is lighter, cooler, softer (all yin traits.) So I usually think of earth as yang and heaven as yin. Of course they still both have yin and yang traits. Also extreme yin becomes yang and extreme yang becomes yin. So it’s really all about context.

      Whatever you choose to call them, the important thing is to develop the skill. Keep making the heavy heavier and heavier and keep making the light lighter and lighter.

      There is a great deal of martial and health benefits in these skills and even more so when they are combined.

  2. Richard Tiangco says

    Nice! One can see the Russian Systema influence in the ‘light’ energy. It’s also notable that the expression is not only vertical (which is more obvious), but also horizontal and rotational, thusly 3-dimensional. Lastly, this is one of the coolest expression of the 3 powers of Heaven, Man and Earth I’ve seen.

    Another expression done well is in Scott Merideth’s book Juice.

    Speaking of which, are there other references on the Internal Arts you would recommend?

    • Thank you, glad you like it.

      That light energy is actually straight Tai Chi. It’s one of the first Jings that Sifu Clear learned from his first Tai Chi teacher.

      The thing that caught Sifu’s eye when he first saw Systema was that they where using a whole lot of Tai Chi, Bagua & Silat skills and principles.

      When Liu Ji Fa (Wu Tai Chi linage holder and disciple of Ma Yeuh Liang) stayed with us in 2008 he saw one of our Systema classes and asked where we learned that Tai Chi. We told him wasn’t Tai Chi it was Systema but he didn’t believe us and proceeded to show us a bunch of refinements on what we had been doing in class.

  3. todd colbeck says

    Great explanation and exercise, simple and deep at the same time. Just a few minutes practice was very beneficial

  4. The first day I did this, my calves hurt so bad I could barely walk. Did I do it wrong by not working it into the ground, or is that the normal result?

    • These type of exercises can be very demanding on the legs in the beginning.

      Make sure you don’t overdo any of them when you first start training.

      The more you let the calves relax and let your root drop into the ground the less they will hurt the next day. Also as your calves and the rest of your legs get stronger it will become easier and easier to let them relax and let the root drop deeper.

  5. Jerry Bajek says

    I meant to ask the above question in the section on rooting.

  6. Jay Cooper says

    yes this is good ive done this since age 5 ,when do we get to the part when we crack open rocks hehe i can dance now like wow

    • Ben Sterling says

      Excellent! Over the next 2 weeks work on tripling the amount of heaviness you get in your lower body and doubling the lightness of your upper body when doing this exercise.