Check out the latest info and research from Coach Chris' explorations in the Subject of Internal Power.
Traditionally the spiral is a shape that gives form to many of the classical models of the internal arts. For instance, the Tai Chi (yin Yang) is the initiation of a spiral and if we were to extend the rotation of the two halves around each other, a clear Fermat spiral would form, indeed some of the older representations of the Tai Chi show this spiraling of Yin and Yang.
Here is will describe, in very brief terms, only some of the reasons that the spiral is so important and useful in the internal arts.
As described previously the out breath can have a direct impact on the state of relaxation in the body. The pressure changes that occur during breath release helps to lead tissue relaxation over time.
But there is also another useful part of the breath cycle we can utilize. This is the Inhalation phase.
We can actually use the 'in' breath and resultant increase in body pressure to 'pull' on stretched tissues to increase the potential conditioning and activation.
This idea is something often neglected in favor of out breath relaxation. Usually because, for this area of training to work correctly, the body needs to be very open and relaxed. But if performed correctly this method can be very powerful and deepen practices such as pulling silk.
At its most basic level the cross body connection allows us to actively utilize the opposite sides of the body in harmony with each other. If you think about someone walking naturally, swinging their arm forward as the opposite leg is forward, this is a classic example of this cross body connection in use. But this attribute of body motion and the associated tissues has a deeper reaching consequence for the internal artist.
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.
One of the initial focuses of Internal Arts training is to create a body that is connected and structured with healthy tissue. If you look at virtually any physical training methodology you will see the initial sections of their training devoted to alignment, strength, endurance and connection. Internal Power Training is no different, but the strength and endurance we are looking to build has a alternative quality.
This posture, so common to many martial traditions is the result masters from a wide range of styles identifying the importance of the interior tissues of the legs in support, mobility, stability and movement. These tissues are identified as the ‘Crotch Arch’ or in some systems the ‘Dang’.
In the internal arts we often use the term ‘Bridging’ in relation to contacting with the partners arms. But there is another use for this term that relates to the connection of the arms to the torso and it is that connection that we will explore in this post.
The Arm or upper body bridges are the front and back connections of the arms into the torso and are one of the major development focuses for the Internal Martial Artists. They are perhaps one of the most important areas of focus for practitioners due to the common misalignment and systemic tensions from poor posture or lifestyle that can manifest in them.
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