Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Chin To Toe

By Dr. Jay Dunbar

Chin-to-toe has been the special legacy of Guang Ping Yang Taijiquan ever since Yang Banhou required Wang Jiaoyu to touch his chin to his toe before he would accept him as a student (see the article by Master Henry Look in v. 1, issue 1 of The Universal Post). According to William Wong Chin in v. 1, issue 2: “Dr. Y.C. Chiang of El Cerrito CA. is the recognized leader of the fifth generation of masters of Guang Ping Yang Taijiquan. Before he was accepted as a student, he was required to achieve Chin -To-Toe in 100 days.

Chin-To-Toe is the hallmark exercise of Dr. Chiang's Wen Wu School in El Cerrito. Rather than a goal or destination, Chin-To-Toe is a launch point. All traditional masters of Guang Ping Yang Taijiquan began with Chin-To-Toe.”

Before becoming a student of Master Jou, Tsung-Hwa, I studied Guang Ping Taijiquan for three years, and traveled from New Jersey to San Francisco in 1976 to study with Master Kuo Lien-Ying. I have never achieved chin-to-toe, but I began a One Hundred Day Program in my school to encourage students to achieve “impossible” goals: specifically, chin -to-toe (in honor of Master Kuo) and a one-foot penny toss with the dantian (in honor of Master Jou).

In March 2003, one of my students, Denise Flora, became the first in our school to achieve the chin-to-toe stretch. Most people who hear of it do not believe this stretch is possible: "The legs are longer than the torso!" they exclaim. But a picture is worth a thousand words. Please go to the link on our website at http://www.magictortoise.com/100day.htm#denisetoe for an article Denise wrote offering her insights into achieving this stretch. Congratulations, Denise!