Thomas Campbell wrote:
There is one godan in the U.S. who's trained baguazhang and speaks of opening of the joints as a common feature in both "ki extension" and in bagua practice. In his case you can actually feel what he means by open and closed hands-on. My own personal challenge right now is with opening my shoulders while still keeping them down.
I can "extend ki" or shut it off without changing anything in my joints at all. In other words, this idea of expanding the joints is an old saw that I'm surprised is still around. And I know some westerners who still exhibit this kind of "extension" like it's some "secret of the Orient". It's the wrong road.
If nothing else, people should get a basic idea of what jin and qi actually are before they start looking at some of the mechanical side-effects (and misinterpret them). Besides, if you look at what a joint does and how it functions (say, the knee or the elbow), your alarms should be going off with the idea of "expanding the joint" and some perceived benefit that this supposedly accomplishes. Too many people are just parrotting the common "secrets" they hear on places like Empty Flower, E-Budo, and the like.