Check out the latest info and research from Coach Chris' explorations in the Subject of Internal Power.
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.
'Winding' is an interesting subject. It may mean many things to many people, but I define it as a means to wrap the fascia, muscles and relevant tissues into tight spirals around the bones and body structures. If we imagine the construction of a rope, strands wrapping around each other, you will get the idea.
As we perform Winding the tissues actually 'squeeze' the bones and body alignments. With this in mind it is obvious why the very first phase of internal power training is often to correct alignment issues or postural problems. Pull or Wind on a misaligned frame and you will most definitely have problems!
(El-Labban et al.,1993)
Winding is a method by which we put a pressure on the body tissues via specialised stretching and rotation that will result in quantifiable change. Placing the right demand on the tissue is extremely important as our body begins to adapt.
Methods which utilize extension permeate the internal arts. The idea of extension is different to idea of ‘stretching’ however the two are often confused. When extension is used we actually lead entire chains of tissue out from the body in order to create an elastic like tautness, in stretching we are more focused on elongating a specific muscle or limited muscle group.
Extension plays several roles in internal work. Firstly it is a great way to identify what are often called, blockages or bindings in the body. We may extend our arms out to the side and notice an ache in the elbow or the upper back and this is indicative of the tissue in these areas 'resisting' the extension.
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