Last weekend George Xu was giving a two day workshop. I've been busy and a little under the weather, but I toyed with going for just one day. I rested on Saturday and was considering resting again on Sunday; however, when I heard the weather prediction of rain all day Sunday I knew I had to go.
George Xu teaches his workshops outside in the park, on rainy days he usually moves class to a school entrance area that has some shelter from the rain, but it is still kind of windy. Here is a piece of advise: If a teacher offers to teach a class on a rainy day--GO.
Why? First of all, most people will see it is raining and flake out. The teacher will really appreciate that you came when others did not. Secondly, teachers know that most of the students they teach aren't going to get it. Why should they put extra effort into making sure you understood them if you're going to give up before you fully assimilate the material. Showing up on a rainy day demonstrates your willingness to persevere through hardship, a quality teachers respect. Thirdly, there will be fewer students there, so you are likely to get more personal attention.
Rainy days are when secrets get passed. There are three main categories of secrets: Outdoor, Indoor, and Three Ears Never Hear. So I was happy when I showed up in the park along with only one other student and George Xu said let's just go over to my house and workout in the basement.
We worked out all day in a very small space, one more person and it wouldn't have worked. But this is where it gets difficult. George Xu is trying to pass on a whole bunch of secrets. One of them is called, "Having a third leg."
I've been listening to bad English all my life, usually I just ignore it and try to understand the content. "Having a third leg" is related to rooting in motion, generating power from the ground, neutralizing the opponents force, sinking the dantian, and lengthening the torso. It is a very specific qi transmission.
Each leg can be said to have a passive function and an active function. Once the active and the passive functions of each leg are distilled, then the passive function can be used continuously in support of the active function. If these two qualities are not distilled, you will get a mixed result, an on again off again result-- and your legs will fatigue or become muscular in low stances.
Having "a third leg" means to replicate this feeling for the area between your legs and slightly to the back. The passive function feels like the ground is giving something back, a buoyant force. The active function is the yi (intention) leading the qi (not the yi leading the body and not the yi by itself.)
I can describe it, but with out feeling it, it's probably impossible to get.
But imagine if you will, the challenge I faced, when my teacher was saying over and over "You need to have a third leg!," "Here, feel my third leg," then while while pushing me, "your third leg is broken," "your third leg is too small, too narrow!" And then, "OK, you have some third leg there," and then knocking me around this tiny room, bouncing me off the walls saying, "Can you feel my third leg?" "Can you feel it now?"
links: Urban Dictionary, Third Leg® Support.