Ruler is an excellent exercise of Taoist origin and has been shown to have a healing effect on diseases relating to the digestive system, among others. The exact history of the origin of the Ruler system, a seven stage system of qigong, is clouded in myth and legend, as are many of the stories concerning things Chinese. During the Sung Dynasty (960-1278C.E.), a famous Taoist hermit, Chen his Yi (also known as Fu Yao Tzu and
Chen Tu Nan) was asked by his long time friend, the Emperor Chao Kang Yan, to teach him esoteric methods to develop his inner powers so that he could be a better and wiser ruler of his subjects. The exercises taught to the Emperor were passed down as a family treasure, a secret, for many centuries. One of Emperor Chao’s descendants was Chao Chung Tao and he brought the Ruler method to the public during the last years of his life.
Master Chao was born in 1844 and died in 1962. He attributed his long life to the practice of the Ruler System.
In the 1860s, Chao’s grandmother began teaching him the Ruler system, she herself was well over 100 years old at that time. How he came to study was an interesting tale in itself. Chao came from a well to do family and as a youth was fond of all manner of martial arts. After studying various forms and styles from a young age, his grandmother called in the teachers and asked one of them to attack her. The teachers were incredulous at the offer until the grandmother started to insult their methods and skill levels. One of them got up and dashed towards her, intent on giving her what she requested. To the astonishment of young Chao and the other teachers present, the old lady repelled the attacker, knocking him to the ground in one move.
After seeing this, young Chao asked his grandmother what marvellous technique she had used. She replied that if he was to find out he must practice and discover the secrets himself. And that is the method to which Chao Chung Tao devoted himself.
STAGES OF TAIJI RULER The practice of Taiji Ruler comes in seven stages with the minimum of six months per stage.
The First Stage is the Sitting Set. This set is done while either sitting on the floor or, if you have a weak back, you may sit in a chair.
This practice allows the energy pathways to open up, removes any restrictions and enhances the flow of Qi along the meridians and channels of the body. The key focal point of the practice for this stage and the one that follows is the ‘Ruler’.
The Ruler is a piece of wood, cut to a length of about ten and a half inches. The shape of the ruler is one that appears like old Chinese sword handles that have been abutted together. A calm focus is directed towards the centre of the Ruler at all times.
The Second Stage is the Standing Set. This set is done while in a standing position. It teaches balance and hand and eye co-ordination in both static and dynamic conditions. You learn to move with the energy that has built up and refined in the previous method.
The Third Stage is the Ball Set. This set is done with a large wooden ball made of poplar or pine. The ball is a representation of your internal qi, brought outwards. You train to keep the ball filled with energy and to manipulate the energy as you go through the exercises. This set will develop strength in the arms, back and legs.
The Fourth Stage is the Shen Kung Set. This stage dispenses with the use of the Ruler and is designed to train your Shen or super-conscious aspect of the mind. The practice of this set helps to fortify the ‘Yi’ or intent of the practitioner because a strong Yi is required for the correct expression of Jing.
The Fifth Stage is the Two Person Ruler Set. Two Person Ruler is a set that uses a three feet long Ruler that is manipulated between two people acting in concerted effort with one another. The goal is to develop various types of Jing such as adhering, sticking, connecting and following among others. It also helps you to become sensitive to the energy field of others from a distance.
The Sixth Stage is the Kao Ban Set. Kao Ban, or leaning on board, is a training method where a plank of pliable wood is buried in the ground.
The practitioner, in various postures, uses his fingers to press on the board and cause it to flex slightly. The goal is to focus on the fingers and fill them with abundant qi and jing. This training is an advanced method for martial and medical purposes. Such aspects include striking the blood and also external qi healing as well as for tuina and an mo massage methods.
The Seventh Stage is the Kong Jing Set. Taiji Ruler Kong Jing practice uses two standing meditation postures (Zhan Zhuang) and two supplementary exercises. This training allows the practitioner to express Jing over a distance and the skill gained may be used for healing or for martial arts. A weapon used by the adept at this method becomes almost a physical extension of the practitioner’s body.
The Taiji Ruler system is an excellent choice for those seeking to enhance their health, build their qi or get into higher realms of mind control.
Si-Fu Richard Mooney has been practicing the Taiji Ruler System since 1987 and is available for seminars. He may be reached by writing to: 2013
Taft St, Wichita Falls, TX., 76309, USA e-mail: