Check out the latest info and research from Coach Chris' explorations in the Subject of Internal Power.
Proprioception is the ability to sense position, motion, and equilibrium. It is how, if blindfolded, we are still able to touch our finger to our nose and know where our limbs are in relation to our body.
The better our proprioception, the more accurate, responsive and fluid we will be when undertaking complex movement patterns.
Patterns like Chen Tai Chi's Silk Reeling, Yang Cloud hands or Ba Gua's Dragon serve teacups are demanding movements and our ability to perform them can rest on our Kinesthetic and proprioceptive capacity.
As Bipeds we have extremely refined balance and proprioception systems keeping us upright. Most of the correction and balance maintenance systems work without conscious thought, they simple activate as and when they are required. This is, of course, how it should be! If our conscious mind was occupied with firing muscles to remain standing all the time we would have very little else we could achieve.
With that said, we can improve our ground connection by Increasing the sensitivity of our balance maintenance systems. The ankle and associated tissues are central to this work.
The ankle is what i describe as a control joint. It controls balance and weight distribution by articulating in association with weight shifts using the various muscles, tendons and tissues of the lower leg.
In some traditions there is a model used for ground contact sensitivity call the 9 points of the feet. This model is very useful for grounding or root training and forms part of the method to increase our Stability. Stability is a fundamental quality for the internal artists, even when stepping and moving very quickly. This is a model we find in systems where students may be required to perform static single leg standing postures or where rooting is a large factor in the styles outlook.
In it we identify the 9 major contact points of the foot and bring our awareness into these areas so as to acutely recognise weight distribution.
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