There is a saying in the Chinese ‘Internal‘ boxing arts like Taiji Quan; ‘Use the mind not force’.(Yong Yi Bu Yong Li) This is a foundational concept in the ‘Internal’ martial arts and is one of the most difficult concepts to grasp and even harder to achieve. The idea that Yi (Generally translated as intention) should take precedence over force (Li) contradicts the natural ‘fight’ response we are more familiar with where muscle power, speed and an instinctive physiological and cognitive response that focuses on ‘fight or flight’ takes control. As a defining concept it also determines the manner, order and strategies of training. (More on this another time) Wether you are training form, pushing hands, applications or sparring, wether it is for therapeutic (Qi Gong/Dao Yin) or martial training, the idea that ‘force’ (dominance of muscle) must be subjugated … Read More »
Ji Ben Gong is the term given in Chinese martial arts (Guo Shu) to the fundamental training practices that are necessary to achieve basic physical and martial skills. There are many exercises and practices that constitute Ji Ben Gong as each style of traditional Chinese boxing will have specialised postural, stepping, striking and kicking skills that are basic and which serve to train the core principles of that art.
Traditionally any student wishing to learn a martial system would spend many hours practicing the core stances, steps, striking and kicking methods etc before they even learned a ‘Form’. This is Ji Ben Gong and it functions as a preparation not only for strengthening, shaping and preparing the body and mind but also teaching fundamental martial skills. To neglect Ji Ben Gong means you are neglecting the very basics of martial functionality. … Read More »
As I have already mentioned in the previous blog Song Jin (Fang Song)is the most fundamental of all the energetic expressions (Jin) that are cultivated in Tai Ji Quan. Without Song there can be no Tai Ji in the Quan. Put simply you will not be able to sense clearly your internal condition or the energetic flow between dynamic states; you will not be able to establish the source or still centre from which the Tai Ji (Yin and Yang) emerges; you will not be able to achieve the therapeutic benefits of practicing Tai Ji as a Qi Gong and neither will you be able to develop Tai Ji style Tui Shou or martial skills to a good level since it is from Song that Peng Jin emerges. Peng being the primary martial Jin and the root expression of the … Read More »