Glossary of terms
The language of the Internal Arts

Some of the language we use on this site may be new to a few of you. This section is a mix of common (and not so common) words and phrases found in the Japanese and Chinese internal arts, as well as some of the terms specific to Chris' research and methods.


Aiki – The Japanese term used by Takeda Sokaku to differentiate his system and body method from the other systems in Japan at the time. I like to translate this word to mean the ‘unified body’ , however a more literal translation would be ‘Harmony or Energy’.

Aikido – The martial system that Ueshiba Morihei developed out of his understanding of Aiki that he gained from Sokaku Takeda.

Alignment – The arrangement of the body in such a way that it is balanced in all direction. This is the first step before the process of tissue development takes place.

An – A forward downward body expression found in Tai Chi

Atemi – Striking


Ba gua – the 8 Trigrams. A Taoist description of the nature of reality using 8 trigrams.

Bai Hua – The centre of the top of the head. Commonly called the Crown Point.

Ba DuanJin – the famous 8 pieces brocade exercise set

Bokken – Japanese Wooden practice sword

Bo – A staff

Budo – The martial way

Bu Jutsu – The Martial Arts of the Bushi.


Chi/Qi/Ki – A word used to describe many of the sensations arising through the correct training.

Chi Gong – Very similar to Nei Gong, This is a the process of training Internal Power with a focus on training the breathing.

Chuan – ‘Fist’ – and by extension a martial or fighting system

Connection – The threading together of the body so that when one part moves all parts are affected.


Dan Tien – The ‘Centre’ Sometimes referred to as a point inside the body, In this instance the constituent deep muscle groups and associated space that they create at their juncture in the lower abdomen.

Daito Ryu – The school of martial arts founded by Sokaku Takeda.

Dragon stepping – A method of stepping found in Xing Yi that utilizes a deep cross body twisting.


Energy – The property of objects that can be transferred or converted.


Fudo Shin – Immovable mind
Fascia - The fibrous connective tissue network in the body.


Gi – uniform associated with the Japanese arts

Gong – Work


Hara – Analogous to the Dan Tien of Chinese Martial Arts. The Centre

Hanmi – Half body position. One foot is advanced

Hitoemi – Single line. This is a movement method identified by Daito Ryu Shihan Okabayashi Shogen as part of the method Tokimune Takeda used in his motion. It is characterised by the shoulder and hip maintaining alignment.


Intent – The connection between the minds thought to act and the body carrying out the action.

Irimi –Entering


Jibengong – Basic training or fundamentals training

Ji – a triangulating force found in Tai chi

Jian – A Chinese Straight sword

Jing – Entrained force.

jo – A shorter wooden staff

Ju Jutsu – A style of Japanese Unarmed Combat with a focus on Grappling


Kao – To lean into, sometimes translated as ‘shoulder’.

Kwa – The insertion of the Femur into the pelvis and all of the associated tissues that are used in the control and movement of this region of the body.


Lao gong – The centre points of the palms

Li Gong – Tissue development.

Lu – Diverting or leading around


Ming Men – The point in the centre of the lumbar Fascia that is a junction point for the tissues of the back, waist and connections to the legs


Nei Dan – Inner Alchemy

Nei gong – ‘Inner work’ a system for training internal power.



Pairing – The term I use to describe 2 opposites within a single action. Much like ‘tai chi’ is used to describe the action of Yin and Yang, Pairing is used to describe the marriage of opposites within a single ‘thing’.

Pulling – The action of extension in order to tension the fascia. This process is akin to pulling the skin on a drum tight.


Qi hai – The point on the front of the abdomen a couple of inches below the belly button that is the front junction point for the tissues of the front lines, spiral lines and connection to the legs.


Reeling – The process of utilizing pairing and winding in combination to create a spiral action


Shugyo – An extended training retreat

Silk Reeling – The combination of winding and pulling to produce complex spiral motion and tissue change

Softening – The process of releasing tension from the body tissues.

Swinging – Methods that utilize the rotation of some joints along and the weight of the limbs in order to help softening


Tai Chi – The symbol often called the ‘Yin Yang’. The tai chi is the whole with the inclusion of the interplay of yin and yang defined.


Ukemi – Methods for ‘receiving the floor’ or falling safely.



Wai gong – External training, This is the training of the body tissues, with a slight boas towards muscular strength.

Waist – The area of the body just above the pelvis, running between the rib cage and the iliac crest, the lower front abdomen and the lumbar region of the back.

Winding – A method for conditioning the tissues of the body by creating a lineage stretch and then adding a rotation.


Xing Yi Quan – Form Mind Boxing a Chinese internal martial art.


Yao – See the waist.


Zhan Zhuang – Standing practices where positions are held for extended periods of time.

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