Check out the latest info and research from Coach Chris' explorations in the Subject of Internal Power.
In the upcoming series of articles, we are going to look at the unique movement methods and techniques found in the internal arts and their impact on our mental and physical health and our ability in the Martial Arts. We will be looking at some of the components of Internal arts methods like spiraling and the interplay of opposites as well as more detail on how these movements deal with force.
Movement is a fundamental ‘must have’ for the human organism. Our bodies are built such that much of our health and happiness is directly related to the volume, composition and more importantly quality of our movement. As soon as someone stops moving regularly they start to develop a host of problems that can cascade into serious health issues.
Today we launch our NEW 'Monthly Training plan' in the IPT academy. This is a specially designed Monthly, follow along program, created to help members run from the most basic fundamental concepts of IPT right through to the more advanced methods like the Silk reeling or cloud hands concepts.
Every month the training plan for the next month will be posted and will include:
- An overview of the months training, including goals and objectives
- All the instructional videos relevant to that months program
- How much you should train and how long you should focus on each technique
- Bonus recovery and rest techniques and methods.
- Things to avoid while training for that months goals and objectives.
This Month the focus is on understanding the theory of IPT training and performing a daily routine of Softening, alignment, Kwa training and variations of the dragon serves teacups exercise for shoulder prehab/rehab.
If you want to start a structured, regular routine of internal training that has proven results now is the time to join the growing group of members. This is Monthly Detailed instruction for less than the price of a couple of Starbucks!
Begin your monthly structured training today by signing up to the IPT academy.
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 internal arts and methods are perhaps best defined by the way in which they utilize the body to create, receive and transform forces. There are many different ways in which the body is used in this regard from rotating and rolling the Center, to tensioning the connective tissue web, to co-ordinating the limb and body into a unified action. But in this post we will be looking at one of these interesting methods that utilizes the Axis of the body in a ‘wave’. This is often referred to as the ‘spine wave’.
The spine wave is created by the action of the Lumbar Spine, the thoracic spine and associated tissues working sequentially but in harmony with one another. It is often seen in the crashing forward direction of Xing Yi Quan’s Pi or ‘splitting’ method or in TaiJi Quan’s An or ‘push downwards’ method.
The idea of raising the breath is one that we see in a number of internal arts. It can normally be observed in new students where they are puffing the chest up, breathing very shallow using the chest and pressurizing their upper body, especially during complex motion where they might need to think hard about what they are doing.
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.
The breath is intimately linked with Internal Practices. Almost all of the internal practies i have researched or encountered have a very close relationship with the breathing system.
Obviously without breath we would not be around to practice, but why is this part of the body process so deeply focused on in the internal arts? Over the next few posts we will be examining a small section of this very large topic!
But firstly and practically, we can say that the breath is a very useful tool to lead relaxation and to remove unwanted tension. When we ask someone to relax, one of their natural responces (if they are not thinking too hard) is to let out their breath. This is the natural way for us to release tension.
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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