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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.

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.

Using Postural Bias to heal Bookmark

In the internal arts one of the main focus’ of training is to obtain a type of equilibrium.  Indeed, in previous posts I have discussed the utilization of opposites in the body to ensure that, even during motion, this equilibrium and balance is maintained. But in this post I would like to look at a specific method that falls outside of the equilibrium idea. It is the idea of using postures with a bias in a certain direction, or a seemingly un-even position in order to heal or ‘equalize’ a practitioner. I call this process, utilizing postural bias.

 

We have seen in previous posts how the use of equal and opposite action within the body can be used in the process I call ‘pairing’. But why then, even in my own system, do we sometimes see postures where there is a clear bias in a certain direction and what does the term ‘Postural Bias’ actually mean?


A biased posture does not retain its equilibrium. It is a position where we have deliberately broken down the equilibrium for a specific purpose. There are several uses for the biased action in a martial sense, most notably in some types of throwing, but here I would like to explore how a biased posture can be used to heal or normalize problem areas in the body or reduce emotional stress.

Exploring every avenue ... Bookmark

In a step away from the mechanics of internal power, this post will deal with a subject that I come up against time and again in the internal arts community. A subject hotly debated but rarely agreed upon. The subject of ‘chi’.

 

More specifically I would like to address my apparent rejection of ‘Chi’ as a useful term in my writings and teachings.

 

It would be fair to say that for many years, the idea of Chi and the use of the term was a part of my practice. I had some teachers who would use the term regularly to describe feelings experienced during practice or to explain how they were able to create certain effects in a partner. So why do I so rarely use it now in my teachings or practice?

Academy Update Bookmark

I have just updated the Academy with new videos on the following subjects :

 

- Vertical Dan Tien Rotation

- Crotch Arch Training

- Pulling Step Training

- Hand And Wrist connection

- Dragon Body

- An overview of Pulling Silk.

 

Join today to view these updates. Many more to be added in the coming weeks.

 

Happy training all.

Moving Slowly to be Fast Bookmark

When we think of the Internal Arts we often think of the slow motion practice or people standing in static postures but there is an interesting phenomena related to these practices. One which we see in combative exchange but is not immediately apparent in these fundamental training methods. This is the ability for some internal artists to move at blindingly fast speeds even though much of their training can be focused moving slowly.


How does static posture training or slow movement practice actually increase the speed of the practitioner? The two ideas seem to be at odds!

There are several factors at play here but first we can say that moving slowly or holding a static position makes us better able to recognize precisely how much effort is needed to perform a given action.


There is a physical law known as the Weber Fenscher Law which states:


’The higher the speed of a given movement, the less able we become to recognise the power required to perform it.’

Movement from stillness Bookmark

There is a concept in the internal styles that movement is inside stillness and stillness inside movement. We could say that this refers to the potential of our muscles to produce movement from a static position, which of course covers some methods. But we can also look at this phrase from a slightly different angle, one that refers to the inherent potential of the well trained body to produce motion using a different engine.

The Harmony of Opposites in the Body Bookmark

So moving on from the previous post on the action of the Ming Men, we are now going to look at a technique that allows practitioners to create movement and force within their own body. A method that utilizes the Ming Men as well as its opposite counterpart the QiHai, a method I call ‘Pairing’.

 

In this method we use the front and back of the Lower Dan Tien or Taren, in harmony with one another. It is this complimentary harmony of opposites, a pair of actions happening simultaneously but in opposition that gives this method its name. It is not a singular direction or motion but a 'Pair' of actions creating 'one' result. The Ming Men and Qi hai are the origination and termination points for the harmonized opening and closing in of the torso we will talk about in this post.

Using the Ming Men Bookmark

In Traditional Chinese theory there is a point in the middle of the lumbar region of back that is believed to be the centre of ‘Vitality’ and where the original life essence of the individual is based, this point is called the ‘Ming Men’.


Located at between the L2 & L3 vertebra, a couple of inches above the line of the Iliac crest in most people, this point is of foundational importance to Chinese Medicine and their associated practices. It is thought to be responsible for ‘warmth’ in the body, for fuelling correct metabolic action and organ function in these traditional systems. 

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