Monday, February 1, 2010

The Controversy of Posture

This is important stuff, so I hope you'll
read it carefully.

Most agree on the concept of posture as a
WHOLE; but there are many regimes that
rely solely in their own beliefs on how
proper posture is created and maintained.

In general, it is agreed that posture:
1. means being upright (different than apes)
2. should be comfortable and sustainable
3. facilitates efficient movement
4. conserves joint mobility and functionality
5. enhances balance
6. decreases the risk of injury
7. contributes to good appearance
8. requires knowledge and practice

Now, who are these "regimes" with such
strong and differing ideas on how to create
good posture ?
  • Doctors/chiropractors (medical folk)
  • Yogis (yoga instructors, "alternative's")
  • Yer mom, teachers and everyone else
I admit I've been to chiropractors about
a dozen times in my life. One time, I sat in
a "doctor's" waiting room, and started reading
this book about the profession of chiropractic.
The book had an entire chapter on what D.C.s
need to do in order to make money by keeping
their clients coming back on a regular basis.
I thought it was really weird to have that laying
around for clients to read. I still do. To me,
that book says "chiropractors are selling

I started studying under Master Fu in 2003.
His ideas about posture were not only more
developed than anything I'd ever heard--
but whenever a differing idea about posture
came up, Master Fu would say vehemently,

At first, I would question his authority about
posture, asking things like,
"Well Master, how do you know that's wrong ?"
Without credentials, or abbreviations after his
name, I began to realize Master Fu's ethos came
from his ability. At age 58, the guy was faster,
more flexible, more capable, and could jump
higher than most people can when they're 20.

I also started doing my homework. Many of
Master Fu's ideas about posture coincided with
100-year old texts, such as the Quan Jing, and
even latter-day publications such as T'ai Chi
Magazine. For guys like this, "posture" wasn't
just a vehicle to make money--
it's a life-long study for personal development
of health and physical prowess. The practice
of THEIR postural techniques leads to shocking,
high-level athleticism and vivid sustainability.

So without bogging down into the mud of how
yer mom told you to "pull your shoulders back,"
or how dictates keeping
"your knees straight," let's focus on what Master Fu
says is correct. At the end of the day, Master Fu (64),
Bow Sim Mark (75), Shouyu Liang (68),
Feng ZhiQiang (80), Liang QianYa (80-something)
and many other practitioners of Neijia
are senior citizens who can still outperform
most young gymnasts...

This is me about four years ago, demonstrating
the difference between "curves of the back"
and Tai Chi posture (flat back, shoulders forward).

For the rest of the story, you can read
the principles of Fu Style Tai Chi here: