The Internal Power Training Blog

Check out the latest info and research from Coach Chris' explorations in the Subject of Internal Power.

Martial Movements Bookmark

Switching gears away from intent training, but in a related vein, in this post we will be exploring how different types of movement can create opportunities and effects in a Martial Exchange.

The study of the mechanics found in the combat arts is, at its core, the search for efficiency in dealing with forces. These could be forces acting upon us, or forces that we produce to act on others. Forces as we mean them here encompass all possible martial tactics and motions, be that the forces produced from Grappling with a partner or the concussive forces created through striking or impact.

How we move, and using which principle, will have wildly different implications for the interaction with the partner or opponent. The situation dictates the type of motion that is appropriate but it is fair to say that our aim is almost always to maximize the how our force is perceived by the opponent. Here we will explore some of the ways in which forces can be created or applied in general terms, the types of power we see in the fighting arts and their utility to the various combative fields.

Following the lines of intent Bookmark

In the last few articles we have looked at ‘Intent’ and its physiology as it relates to the internal arts, so in this article I will provide a couple of practical ways in which we can practice following the line of our intent to improve our movement.

There is a saying in the internal arts that one ‘follows the line of intent’, this is the process of moving in accordance with our will to act using the Intent as the link between the mind and the motion. But there is more to this concept than simply following how we would like to move.

Preparation for movement Bookmark

Linked to the last article, in this post we will be talking about how ‘mental preparation’ increases performance and how this is utilized by the Internal Arts. Most notably in the form of the intent training method called ‘Move before you move’.

There are several very well-known examples of mental preparation being used by elite level performers to increase their physical capability. Perhaps most strikingly this is seen in Olympic Weight Lifters who will often spend time behind the bar in deep focus and concentration, then time with their hands on the bar with a yet deeper level of focus before attempting and completing their lift. Indeed, we often hear of unsuccessful lifts that ‘His mind wasn’t there’ or ‘He lost his focus’ rather than ‘he wasn’t strong enough’.

The effect of mind on movement Bookmark

Following on from the previous article, today we will talk about one of the most fundamental aspects of internal power training, utilizing our intent to enhance and fuel our movement. Some systems of internal art place this concept at the very forefront of the system, Xing Yi Quan being a prominent example. The important of ‘intent’ should not be overlooked by the practitioner as it is both a useful training tool and a fundamental movement enhancer.

Intent can have many different interpretations in the various internal arts, there are some who say it means mind, some who say it means visualization, still others who say it is the direct use of our nervous systems, or others who identify it as the will to move energy around the body. For the purpose of clarity in this article I will use my own definition of Intent as it relates to the Internal practices I teach, but understand and accept that others may well define this idea differently for instance some would define my ideas on Intent as 'will power' (zhi rather than Yi).


Creating good movement habits Bookmark

We can’t really look at movement skills without talking about how movement complexity and capacity is handled by the brain and nervous system. It is our brains that give rise to our ability to move in complex ways and also our brains that allow us to retain good movement habits once they are learned.

Indeed, some people theorize that movement diversity is the reason for humans developing such large and complex brains. 

Moving from the Centre Bookmark

The first topic I would like to cover is one that we see presented as central to almost all of the internal arts, and in fact, many of the external arts as well, the concept and practice of ‘Moving from the centre’. This idea has permeated the martial arts for centuries and is at the very core of some of the most famous martial styles, from old styles of KenJutsu to relatively modern arts like I Chuan, the concept, practice and methods of moving via the centre are widespread and deeply rooted.

Movement in the Internal Arts Bookmark

In the upcoming series of articles, we are going to look at the unique movement methods and techniques found in the internal arts and their impact on our mental and physical health and our ability in the Martial Arts.  We will be looking at some of the components of Internal arts methods like spiraling and the interplay of opposites as well as more detail on how these movements deal with force.

Movement is a fundamental ‘must have’ for the human organism. Our bodies are built such that much of our health and happiness is directly related to the volume, composition and more importantly quality of our movement. As soon as someone stops moving regularly they start to develop a host of problems that can cascade into serious health issues.

Something exciting is Launching today in the IPT Academy! Bookmark

Today we launch our  NEW 'Monthly Training plan' in the IPT academy. This is a specially designed Monthly, follow along program, created to help members run from the most basic fundamental concepts of IPT right through to the more advanced methods like the Silk reeling or cloud hands concepts.


Every month the training plan for the next month will be posted and will include:


- An overview of the months training, including goals and objectives

- All the instructional videos relevant to that months program

- How much you should train and how long you should focus on each technique

- Bonus recovery and rest techniques and methods.

- Things to avoid while training for that months goals and objectives.


This Month the focus is on understanding the theory of IPT training and performing a daily routine of Softening, alignment, Kwa training and variations of the dragon serves teacups exercise for shoulder prehab/rehab.


If you want to start a structured, regular routine of internal training that has proven results now is the time to join the growing group of members. This is Monthly Detailed instruction for less than the price of a couple of Starbucks!


Begin your monthly structured training today by signing up to the IPT academy.

50% OFF!


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  • Something exciting is Launching today in the IPT Academy!  Articled 4 months ago
  • Addressing lower crossed Syndrome Articled 9 months ago
    The lower crossed syndrome is something that we see to a lesser or greater degree in new students. The lower cross is a term used to describe a specific pattern of muscular imbalance in the lower body which results in pelvic tilting and curvature of the lower back. If left unchecked, internal strength training where we are specifically working on the connective tissues and muscles in this area can actually compound postural problems, as well as increase the likelihood of injury under load. The lower Cross is characterized by a combination of both weakness and tightness in the lower torso. Specifically, tightness in the Thoraco lumbar extensors which is reflected in the hip flexors and weakness in the abdominals reflected in the Gluteals. This specific pattern of imbalance creates joint dysfunction at specific points along the lower spine and will cause the pelvis to tilt forward. Internal arts have specific training methodologies to address this issue. The corrections are achieved through 'releasing' the tightness in the thoracolumbar and hip flexors. We are aiming to bring the lower cross into a relaxed ...