Wednesday, May 27, 2009

First Principle - Back to the Origin

Can you see a man practising Standing Exercise in the picture?

Standing Exercise is one of the core exercises of internal martial arts. A practitioner stands in a particular posture and does not appear to move his body for the whole training session.

The purpose of the Standing Exercise is to enable a practitioner to "get back to the origin".

It is said that when we were at the infant stage, our whole body moved coherently. This was an inborn ability. However, in order to learn those civilised acts such as walking and writing, we learned to use our muscles, joints, etc., separately and independently. In order to do so, we let some of the "useless parts" of our body "sleep" such that they would not hinder the effectiveness of the "useful parts". From then onwards, we lost our ability to exercise coherent bodily force. Through the Standing Exercise, an internal martial artist calls up the "sleeping parts"of his body. Based on this, a martial artist can then, through further trainings, maximize the efficiency of his body. In Taiji, we call this the "Know Your Ownself Stage".

"Absolute stillness gives birth to motion" is the key behind the Exercise. The main purpose of the Standing Exercise is to call up the sleeping parts of the body and not, as some misinformed persons believe, a training of leg muscles - to get a firm "horse stance".

After calling up the "sleeping parts" and having learned how to coordinate and strengthen various parts of his body on the basis of an awakened natural body, a practitioner can, and it is only then, start learning various application techniques.

For "External Martial Arts", you train up your body by strengthening your muscles power. In "Internal Martial Arts", your power comes from the awakened natural body.

One has to note that before the "sleeping parts" are activated, there is no point learning advanced moving exercises and application techniques. Otherwise, all these moving exercises are useless "empty forms" and all those application techniques are simply impracticable.

Without first "know your ownself", you will not be able to "know the other".

- [ Last Edit - 29.04.11]

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