Do you know all six of the key skills you need to know for quality internal martial arts?
These skills are taught in the Internal Strength section on my website, and I always urge new members to begin in that section.
Beginning your own study can be overwhelming. Where do you begin?
This post is an attempt to answer that question.
Step One -- The Ground Path.
You will read this quote from many masters: "All strength begins with the ground." The ground path gives your movements a foundation of strength.
To use the ground, you need to set up your body structure so there is a "path" from the ground to the part of the body that is most active in attack or defense at that moment.
Step Two -- Peng Jin
The ground path and peng jin work together. Good internal movement requires both.
Peng jin can be described as an expansive force or feeling through your movement, like a beach ball filled with air. You can press on a beach ball and it will give a bit, but not much, and the pressure will build against you as you push.
One of the goals in every internal movement is to maintain the ground path and peng jin at all times. Without these two skills, your internal arts are weak.
Step Three -- Whole-Body Movement
"When one part moves, all parts move; when one part stops, all parts stop."
This is a famous phrase, but it is surprising how many people don't practice it. It involves using the ground and peng jin to establish a connection through your body as you move. Putting all three of these together gives your movement and your self-defense techniques much more powerful.
The next three skills add even more power to your arts.
Step Four -- Silk-Reeling Energy
Silk-Reeling energy ("Chen Ssu Chin") is a spiraling movement through the body. Despite what you might have heard, it is a physical skill; a slight rotation of body parts as you deliver internal strength in a connected ribbon through the body.
When you add spiraling to the ground path, peng jin and whole-body movement, you can deliver relaxed power at all times.
Step Five -- Rotating the Dantien
This is another physical skill. It requires you to take control of the musculature in an area below the navel. It is crucial for quality internal movement because it leads all movement.
It is surprising how many internal arts students and teachers are not aware of how this actually works. They think it is a mental process, or metaphysical. It is not.
Step Six -- Opening and Closing the Kua
The "Kua" is the crease at the top of the legs at the groin. It is where the Inguinal Ligament runs.
At all times, in all movement, the kua plays an important role. One is generally opening and one is closing at all times.
It plays a role that is similar to a buoy in the ocean. Despite varying pressures and forces, the buoy adjusts and maintains its stability.
How Do You Learn These Skills?
I'm glad you asked. I can steer you to three resources.
1. My membership website -- www.internalfightingarts.com -- will help you learn and develop your skill with in-depth videos and written material that will teach you each of these skills, and as a member, I will give you personal coaching through videos or live one-on-one video chats. If you want to learn these six crucial internal skills, and get complete step-by-step instruction in each of the internal arts, visit this page to learn more and sign up to get two weeks completely free.
2. My Internal Strength and Silk-Reeling DVDs give you in-depth instruction and valuable exercises to develop the six crucial skills. Visit this page to learn more, watch clips and get a special discount on both DVDs.
3. My book, "Internal Body Mechanics for Tai Chi, Bagua and Xingyi" can be found on Amazon worldwide or, if you live in the U.S. you can buy it through my website. I sign all copies ordered through my website.
I receive emails and texts every week from people around the world who tell me their teachers did not train them in these important body mechanics. If you are unclear about any of the skills listed in this article, you now know where you can get the knowledge you need to move forward in the internal arts.
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