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The Internal Power Training Blog

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

Using the Whole Body Bookmark

Whole body power forms the bedrock of the internal arts. Our abilities to move every part of our body in harmony is as fundamental to the health benefits as it is to the martial effectiveness found in these styles. In this article we will explore one aspect of this whole body work, which I call the attribution of effort technique.

The Cross Body Bookmark

The final line of connection in the internal arts we are going to look at in this group of articles is the cross body or spiral line. Many people consider the cross body connection to be key to the interesting body methods, load or force management techniques and movement dynamics of the internal arts.

 

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.

The Side Lines Bookmark

In this article we will look at one of the less considered lines of the body, the side lines, and their purpose in the Internal Arts. In the internal martial arts we often see the discussion focused around the ‘centre’, the axis, the root and the arm bridges, but rarely do we look at the sides of the body specifically and how they are important in motion, stability and power generation.

 

The Side lines can be thought of as the support pillars of the body, they are like the towers of a suspension bridge providing a stable side to the body in the Coronal plane, but they actually have several active functions that are vital to the unified body.

Training the Axis Bookmark

Following on from the previous post we are now going to dig into the relevance of specific lines for internal arts movement, power and methods and we will start with perhaps the most important of all the lines the Axis.

The Axis can describe several things in the internal arts, from the conceptual ‘center line’,  to the spine itself,  to the tissues of the central channel of the body. All of these definitions have their place and purpose, however much of the time we see them intermingled or used in conjunction with each other. The process of producing the spine wave for instance is not solely a spine related endeavor, instead needing the action of the deep tissues of the torso in order to create the action.  Rotation of the torso to equalize incoming forces does not only related to the turning of the body around a conceptual center line but also how the spine flexes and how the tissues twist during the demand.

The anatomy of Connection Bookmark

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.


As we have discussed in previous posts, the development of the tissues is required to create the unified body, but this can now be broken down a little further into major directions of expression and the related tissue development that is required to achieve action along them. In this post we will look at how muscle chains linked via fascia form ‘lines’ in the body that are responsible for the major motions our body can create. The body lines are the major chains of tissue that we use as humans, often without realizing.

On integration Bookmark

So far we have talked about various parts of the body and the associated tissue chains in isolation. But it is important to remember that these lines, chains, alignments and tissues all constitute a single interconnected and inseparable unit.

The quote from the Tai chi classics i recently posted really speaks to the idea of integration.

“stand like a perfectly balanced scale”  this is to say that you have equal and balanced body, front to back, left to right, up to down.


“move like a turning wheel”  a wheel moves as one, there is no part left behind and no part disassociated from the rest.

Connective tissue of the legs Bookmark

"Kangaroos can jump much farther than can be explained by the force of the contraction of their leg muscles. Under closer scrutiny, scientists discovered that a spring-like action is behind the unique ability: the so-called ‘catapult mechanism’ ( Kram and Dawson, 1998 ). Here, the tendons and the fascia of the legs are tensioned like elastic rubber bands. The release of this stored energy is what makes the amazing jumps possible.

.....
Surprisingly, it has been found that the fasciae of humans have a similar kinetic storage capacity to that of kangaroos and gazelles ( Sawicki et al., 2009 ). This is not only made use of when we jump or run but also with simple walking, as a significant part of the energy of the movement comes from the same springiness described above. This new discovery has led to an active revision of long-accepted principles in the field of movement science.”

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