Sunday, October 18, 2009

Wujifa Triangles

The triangles in Wujifa are a principle and a method to help people understand the aim of practicing Wujifa. In math, there is a saying that knowing any two angles of a triangle will help you discover the third, and hence, the same is true in Wujifa. Within the principle of the Wujifa triangles, there are successive triangles, which in one way can be linear… or better said “progressive” and yet because of multiple reference points, non-linear at the same time.

The first triangle consists of three points: structure on the left, relax on the right, and balance on the top. The concept of WUJI in Wujifa on the method level is to be thought of as a fulcrum on which the creation of polarity (or yin and yang ) is born within this paradigm. In Wujifa, unlike other arts, we don’t focus on polarity, we focus on discovering the connectedness or one-ness of the principle of Wuji. When attention is applied manifestation will come about to the level that one understands how Wuji works as a principle.

The first triangle, as we said, any two angles helps discover the third, so with the Wujifa triangle, the practitioner discovers the two that work easiest for them to help them work and understand the third. For example, if one understands relax and structure, this leads to an understanding of balance. If one understands balance and relax, it leads to an understanding of structure. Understanding structure and balance leads to an understanding of relax. Remember, relax is not limp. Structure is not rigid. Balance is not polarity.

As one understands structure, relax and balance, a new understanding will evolve which leads into the progression towards the next triangle of connection ease, and equilibrium respectively. For example, if one starts to develop a kinesthetic understanding of structure, relax and balance, they will start to notice the fascial connections within the body. Working with these fascial connections will bring about an ease of movement and the harmony that equilibrium will bring. The next level following the same progression would lead to unity, power and poise.

Unity grows out of connection, which is a concept of structure. Power grows out of ease, which is a concept of relax. Poise grows out of equilibrium, which is a concept of balance. Each aspect of each triangle: structure, relax and balance; connection, ease and equilibrium; then unity, power and poise; are not imagined concepts but physical manifestations of skill or kinesthetically experienced realities within the body.

Remember, these are all just words, and practice over time brings these into being through one’s awareness. Over time, and understanding, each one of these words will come to be understood as meaning basically the same things as well. Balance cannot be balance without structure and relaxation. Structure cannot be structure without balance and relaxation. Relaxation cannot be relaxation without balance and structure. Understanding the flavor of each word and how they harmonize with each other to create the same meaning is the suggestion of this method of the Wujifa triangles, and hence the principle.


  1. Great article on Wujifa Rick!

    I can see you during a trianing, explaining the principles, gesturing in the air, entertaining and educating.

    While the practice changes, both their meanings and the people who are practicing.

    Wujifa and internal kung fu at it's finest.

    Mr. Twenty Twenty

  2. Very good article, Rick. If you were ever to write a training manual, I think you'd have a very good start here.

  3. Interesting to apply these principles to other areas of life and see the possibilities...Good stuff as usual Rick!

  4. Thanks... and Aho I agree about applying principles to other areas of life. The level of method or rules may be limited to the depth to which they can be applied... Yet when one teases out the principles if truely principles are like keys or very helpful insights to deeper understandings.

  5. I've been training with and learning from Rick for about 13 years now.

    This concise and elegantly stated article is the culmination of many years of his reflective study to distill principles of whole-body (internal) strength into "western" terms.

    These principles have been thoroughly "field tested" on his students who have in turn raised many questions evoking his further refinement and understanding and application of the principles ultimately presented here.

    This little article may well form the basis of a paradigm shift for us "westerners" AWAY FROM the adopted and still yet culturally alien "yin-yang" concept and "chi talk" language TO a conceptual schema and language more akin to our "western" approach to kinesthetic sensibilities.

    Sometimes, big things come in little packages. This might be one of those times.

    Mike from

  6. Rock on Rick,

    I like this concise straightforward power packed post. Applying this to internal martial arts especially stance is a great way to discover and make progress in developing full body connection. Also as Aho mentioned these principles can be applied to other areas of life.

    To beginners and experienced practitioners alike, do not be concerned if you do not fully understand this your understanding of it develops and changes as you do - get in there practice and notice how these principles show up.

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  8. I think this is an excellent technique I've practice that and I've gotten great results, I recommend you this if you wanna be a great fighter in life.

  9. This is most fascinating way of seeing. You may be interested in another use for the triangle. It is called the Karpman Drama Triangle. Many years have study went into it and it reveals quiet a bit about life as well.