Supplemental & Traditional Exercises

The Earth Method of Mindfulness Martial Art Practice

Here you will find Supplemental exercises designed to teach classical internal martial principles.

You can follow the Lesson Plan or jump between lessons as you study other components. 

This is your practice. Presenting these lessons through the web allows you to develop your own rhythm of practice without artificial limits or structure.

Lesson Plan

Diagram of the Human Body for prop

Standing

While standing in Wuji Posture, your mind will probably fit the formless chaos definition of wuji; racing from thought to thought, but your body will be still; standing upright without moving. You want to stand until your mind is aware of your body, and clear from other thoughts.
Wuji Posture Featured Image

Wuji Posture

There is very little that can go wrong by standing in Wuji Posture. Some side effects that you may feel include stiff shoulders and neck (indicating that you need to reinforce your Wuji Posture practice with upper body exercise) tingling in the legs and feet (indicating that you need to walk more) and stiffness in the lower back (indicating that your back is probably holding you up and not your legs). When you feel uncomfortable, walk …
Holding the Moon Featured Image

Holding The Moon Posture

Holding the Moon is a traditional posture for most Chinese internal martial arts. If you practice Holding the Moon before you are aware of your shoulder and hip alignment, however, you can reinforce bad posture. Therefore, a good way to learn the posture is lying on the floor.
The Yin Yang Posture

Yin Yang Posture

When standing in the Yin Yang Posture, you can imagine that the solid leg is heavy and downward seeking (Yin). While the open leg is light and floating upwards (Yang). Likewise, you can imagine that the solid leg is active and represents the solid Yang line, while the open leg is passive and represents the broken Yin line. I will call the solid leg the Yin leg, and the open leg the Yang leg.
Trinity Posture or San Ti Shi Right Style

Trinity Posture

San Ti Shi, or the Three Body Posture, combines the lessons of Wuji and Yin Yang Posture and integrates martial intent. In this posture, we divide the body into three sections that are further divided into three more sections. The primary division is the head, the hands, and the feet. We divide the head section into the head, the spine and the waist. We divide the hands section into the hands, the elbows, and the shoulders. We divide t…
Lying Bear Posture Featured Image

Lying Bear Posture

This posture is designed to let the stress of the day go, and I refer to it often. My grandfather was the first to introduce me to this posture. His doctor recommended it to alleviate his back pain. I found it many books promising pain relief since then. The idea is to release the tension in your lower back.
Deep Breathing featured image.

Deep Breathing

Until you can breathe deeply and slowly, it will be impossible for you to coordinate the internal and external harmonies into a unified practice. A good way to start breath practice is in the Bear Posture. Instead of holding your hands out to your sides, put the left hand on your lower abdomen and the right hand on your chest.
Finger Exercise featured image.

Finger Exercise

You use our hands all day, yet pay little attention to what they are doing. Studies that map parts of the human body to brain function draw pictures of the body that represent the relative size of each body part to brain function. These pictures show the hands huge compared to the rest of the body, with one hand being larger than the other. Bringing your hands into your conscious awareness is the point of this exercise.
Arm Circles Featured Image

Arm Circles

One exercise that helps to strengthen and improve the shoulder range of motion is the traditional Arm Circle exercise.
Butterfly Posture featured image.

Butterfly

There are some crazy exercises to open the hips and regain flexibility in the pelvic girdle. Some of them involve a partner pushing or pulling legs to ever wider angles. Those just seem painful to me, and I should know, because I have tried some of them in the past. Here is an exercise that you can do lying on your stomach that will open and relax the hip joints without having to become a contortionist.
Featured image for The Turtle posture

The Turtle

Walking heel-to-toe seems natural enough, but that old enemy of sitting too much, can really interfere with your ability to put one foot in front of the other. The Turtle is a supplemental exercise for your taijiquan practice. It focuses on the feet and reminds you that the body generates internal power from the ground up.
Back Kick featured image.

Back Kick

Sitting disassociates the connection between the legs and the torso. The Back Kick is a powerful reminder that our legs need the torso to function well.
Push Up featured image.

Push Ups

No exercise engages the scapula, quite like the push up. For strengthening the arms, shoulders, and body core, nothing beats this traditional exercise. The push up also engages the serratus anterior muscle along your rib cage, the same muscle targeted in traditional standing postures with extended arms.
The Bellows featured image.

The Bellows

Breathing in is Yin, breathing out is Yang. When performing the martial forms, we associate breathing in with defensive movements, while we associate breathing out with offensive movements. In The Bellows, we coordinate breathing with movement while exercising the spine, shoulders, and hips.
The Bridge Featured Image

Bridge

The Bridge is from a classic pose in Yoga. As you perform the Bridge Posture, pay attention to the connection of the body from the wrist to the ankles. The Bridge both opens the chest and stretches the hamstrings.
Hurdlers Stretch featured image

Hurdler’s Stretch

This is one of my favorite stretches. Start on your hands and knees as in the Bridge, but put the left foot in front of the right knee, with the heel touching the knee.
Forward Bend featured image.

Forward Bend

We ignore our hips and waist more than we realize. Keeping your hips flexible seems obvious, but sitting too much, can really destroy your flexibility. Forward Bend is designed to open your hip joints and stretch your legs for Tai Chi or circle walking practice.
Floor Twist featured image.

Floor Twist

The internal martial arts require a supple torso. The Floor Twist is an exercise to improve torso mobility.
The Frog featured image.

The Frog

Related to the butterfly, the Frog posture opens your hips for internal martial art practice.
Foot Circles Featured Image

Foot Circles

Walking heel-to-toe seems natural enough, but that old enemy of sitting too much can really interfere with your ability to put one foot in front of the other. What usually happens, is that one foot kicks out to the side and lands slightly on one side of the foot or the other. You will recognize this when one shoe wears excessively on one side. There are many exercise programs that will improve your gait, and I encourage you to explore …
Hip Lift featured image.

Hip Lift

When I learned my left leg was one centimeter shorter than my right, the physical therapist recommended this exercise as one way to reengage the hip joint. In mindfulness martial arts, it reminds us that power is generated from the feet and transferred to to the torso, before it can be expressed in the hands. Lie on your back in proper Wuji Posture alignment, but extend your arms to the sides with your palms facing up. Pull the left fo…
Crunches featured image.

Crunches

Here is another traditional exercise to strengthen your torso, and one of the most hated words in the English language, Crunches.
Horse Posture Featured Image

Horse Posture

Traditional martial art teaching includes a low and wide stance known as Ma Bu, or Horse Stance. This stance develops leg strength, or rootedness. I the Earth Dragon Canon method, we abandon wide and deep stances for proper alignment and function. This does not mean, however, that we can abandon leg strength. We need a posture that can engage our leg muscles in a functional manner without dedicating hours to just standing around. My ve…
The River Steps Featured Image

The River Steps

The River Steps (a.k.a. Ladder Stepping) provide a method to study the transition of your weight between the insubstantial and substantial legs.
Feet Walking up a pile of books Featured Image.

Recommended Practice

The supplemental exercises presented in the Earth component of the Earth Dragon Canon method gives you all tools you need for a lifetime of healthy practice. Taking advantage of these tools and using them regularly is a responsibility you must take seriously.
The Diagram for Qi Featured Image

Internal Power Set

I developed this set from a line in a Taijiquan classic text that says: “Power is generated by the feet, transferred through the legs, directed by the waist, and transmitted through the arms to the hands.”

Join for Full Access

No subscription fees.
View on your mobile device
anytime, anywhere.

Memberships

Membership Discount

Annual Membership Savings 🎁

Sign up to Dapper Genius News, receive up to 1/2 off* an annual membership, and keep up to date on my latest releases!

I don’t spam! Read our privacy policy for more info.
* Terms and Conditions apply.

Follow Me

© Troy Williams. All rights reserved. Created by Troy Williams.