Haha… zenmindsword has followed up on my comment regarding relaxation and fang song. I laugh b/c he basically has a similar notion of myself that I really truly do not know what I'm talking about when I say fang song.. at least that's how I feel
Anyhoo, he brings up an interesting point that "fang song" is a commonly heard phrase that is commonly not understood. I must admit that I am also at fault with this. I don't truly know what "fang song" means. I think it means to relax and expand at the same time, but that's so theoretically that could really be interpreted in many ways.
For example, even in the Yang tradition the principle of fang song is interpreted in many ways and manifests itself physically in many ways. Just take a look at the photos of Yang Cheng Fu, Yang Zhen Duo and Cheng Man Ching on A COMPARATIVE STUDY BETWEEN TRADITIONAL YANG STYLE OF YANG CHENGFU AND CHENG MAN CHING'S STYLE.
While I don't really know what fang song means I feel I had a better idea of it after I was explained something called the "Torso Method". Again, this term could have multiple interpretations but I understand it as follows:
The torso is the area between the shoulders and the hips.
Think of your torso as one big unified body of mass that does not move in parts but only as a whole.
Keep the torso as relaxed as possible, feel no tension in the torso and move it as a unified piece.
What this basically translates to is that your shoulders and hips are aligned and coordinated with one another. While this may seem simple, really examine each movement or posture, especially during the transitions, and see if you can feel anything in between the shoulders and hips moving independently. This could be a vertebrae or even a muscle!
I found this particular idea very enlightening in terms of the execution of my chen set. With all the ideas on coiling, silk reeling, winding, etc etc, I often found my one of my shoulders or vertebraes moving independently to try and physically reproduce the principle or concept of coiling.
Again, while I can't say for sure I understand what fang song means, I feel the idea of the Torso Method has definitely shed some light on what the principle of fang song is.