Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Nei Gong - the internal power

Nei Gong is a mysteries subject in internal martial art.

For an internal martial art practitioner, power is re-acquired through awakening the sleeping parts of the body, so that he can utilise coherent bodily force. To fine tune this re-acquired power, the awakened parts should be conditioned so the power transmission process can be maximized . This is where the Nei Gong Training enters into the picture.

Nei Gong Training looks like breathing exercise. However, Nei Gong Training emphasises full inhalation and full exhalation. This is done, and should only be done, on the basis that the sleeping parts of the body have been awakened.

The rationale behind full inhalation and exhalation is to let the body go through a series of "high pressure" and "vacuum" conditions. The practitioner takes advantage of these conditions to direct / force the energy to break through the desired channels in his re-acquired "natural body". It will also assist to withstand pain when being hit.

In the Taiji Martial Art System, the Nei Gong Training is taught at the advanced level and mostly handed down in person - increasing its mysterification. However, one must not over emphasize the importance of Nei Gong and consider it as the ultimate goal of the art.

Nei Gong should be treated as a supplement to the yin yang conversion application technique so that the practitioner can utilize the technique more efficiently. Relying solely on or putting most of the eggs in the basket of Nei Gong will unfortunately turn a practitioner into a slave of the Strong Man Principle, reducing the art to another form of horn knocking exercise.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Shoulder Joints

In the course of fundamental training, the shoulder joints of a taiji practitioner should be loosened.

Reason for loosening of the shoulder joints: To obtain greater flexibility and power in dissolving and /or emitting force.

In dissolving a force: The loosened shoulder joint works with the coordination of the back power to divert those forces which come through the arm to a different direction. This can be done by making just a small turn in the shoulder joint. Such economy of action enables a practitioner to maintain his optimum position, whilst diverting / dissolving the force, so that he can counter attack immediately within a close range without the need to step back and forth or to make various body adjustments to maintain his optimum position.

In emitting coherent bodily force: a practitioner, the loosened shoulder joint(s), can send out the force arrow by making a small circular turn of the shoulder joint - there is no need to hold the arm back and strike again.

In the process of Yin Yang Conversion, dissolving and emitting are accomplished within one circular movement of the joint.

Loosening of the shoulder joints and other principal joints have to be done by the teacher - DIY is not possible. Don't believe that you can loosen the joints by practising the Taijiquan Form alone. The Form can, however, be used to regulate and optimize the coordination of the body, making use of the loosened joints.

It is easier for the teacher to get the job done if the student learns the art at around 10 or even earlier. It takes a few years' regular training to complete the process. It is very difficult, if not impossible, to loosen the joints if the student has already reached full age.