Slow Frame testing, sometimes called Spring Testing, is a basic two-person exercise designed to give experience in the compression and expansion of the joints and cavities and cultivate and strengthen the outer physical frame and the idea of spherical movement. Simply put, one training partner assumes a Tai Chi (or Zhan Zhuang) posture. The other partner then gradually applies pressure (force) while the partner in the Tai Chi posture systematically absorbs the force into the low Dan Tien. At first a technique called “Snaking” (like the undulation of a snake) is used where the force is absorbed step-by-step through each of the joints and cavities.
In the first example in the video, fists are used to apply force to the palms of the Tai Chi posture “An.” (Push). As force is slowly applied, the palms and wrists gently compress followed by the elbow joints, the shoulder joints, shoulder blades and shoulder’s nests and finally the spine. As the partner’s pressure continues, the spine, chest and abdominal cavities also gently compress or condense, taking the force down into the hips, Kua and low Dan Tien region. From there as your partner’s pressure continues, you next compress the feet, ankles, knees and hips into the Kua and low Dan Tien. This in effect creates a compressed version of an energetic sphere with the low Dan Tien as it’s centerpoint.
From there, with the body having properly absorbed the force into the low Dan Tien (and feet) the partner in the Tai Chi posture achieves a moment of ‘stillness’ and then - in one instantaneous movement of release - using relaxation, suddenly drops the Qi (pressure) down under the feet. This instantly generates power which rises up the spine and out the hands, creating in effect, an expanded Sphere.
Once this basic method has been mastered in sequence through the segmented or “Snaking” method, the next step becomes condensing and expanding the joints, cavities and spine simultaneously. Following that, once one has achieved Song, then at first touch the practitioner’s energy automatically sinks to the low Dan Tien and below the feet. This is accompanied by a condensation or compression of one’s Qi or Inner Frame or Sphere. At this stage, issuing Jin is then only a matter of expanding one’s Inner Frame or Sphere. Thus the advanced practitioner shows very little outer movement if any, while the recipient is strongly and sometimes violently repulsed or ejected.