- Regulate the mind
Regulate the mind is referring to the exercise
is working on the mental condition to improve physical performance. In martial
art training, the exercise works on the mind often considered the highest stage
of martial art training. Depending on the martial art system, the most common
exercise is sitting mediation without any movement.
In sitting mediation, the body is relaxed and calmed. It appears to be very
tranquil. However, internally, it is very active. This exercise will increase
the activity of one's mental condition and breathing. The benefits are that it
clears any qi blockage among the meridians in qi circulation and improves cogitation
and creativity. One of the common tasks a practitioner does in mediation is to
recall all the physical movements and to refine the movements, rhythm,
accurateness and correctness mentally.
Mediating the martial art movements is the intent's activity. This is
equivalent to concentration or focus in qigong. In martial art mediation, one is
concentrated on a certain sections, or a whole routine of the bare hand form. In
qigong mediation, one is concentrated on a specific subject or body part.
Although the method is different, the goal and objective are the same.
Today, there are many scientific experiments demonstrated that mental
condition directly affect one's physical performance.
- Regulate the Breathing
When come to exchanging with the external
qi in our environment, a person exchanges it by the mechanic of inhalation and
exhalation. However, when come to exchanging the internal qi, the process is
much more complex. It involves some type of intent. After one has mastered the
function of the mind, one can apply the similar method of regulating the mind to
work on the qi so that internal qi will be harmonized with the external qi. This
is the essence in Chinese martial art training.
The principles of "Deep breathing" and "sink the qi to the dantien" are the
common methods of breathing exercise to increase the lung's activity to intake
more oxygen. After one has practiced the exercise for a while, the breathing has
rhythm and increase qi intake, the body's condition will be improved and
Internal Power or Jing Power is the combination of spirit, essence and qi. It
is a type of powers favorable by all Chinese martial art practitioners. When the
essence is full, the qi is full. When the qi is full, the spirit is full. When
this happens, the qi will be followed the intent and the power will be followed
the qi automatically. This power is called Jing Power. Therefore, a Fa Jing
execution should have the following order: Intent, Qi and Power. Intent and qi
are the major ingredients. This is also the difference in application between Fa
Jing and applying physical power.
Dantien is the reservoir for Jing Power. When one inhales, the qi comes down
the body to have better rooting, stability and balance. Therefore, a small
movement on the waist will yield a lot of power on the hands. In breathing, one
has to pay attention to the three internal substances and three external
substances. In martial art movement, one has to be able to know and correctly
execute inhalation when contracting the abdomen and exhalation when relaxing
the abdomen. Inhale when the hands come close to the body and exhale when the
hands move away from the body. One should invest time to develop this ability so
that inhalation to storage the power and exhalation to discharge the power
In the physical mechanics, when the speed is accelerated, the power will be
stronger and its value will be increased as well. Therefore, internal power is
more valuable than physical power. Practicing breathing frequently one will be
developed the Jing Power by accumulation so that when discharge the power it is
like a dynamite explosion. In martial art technique, when one is stronger and has
more power, the hands and feet will be able to move quicker, and the result is
- Regulate the body
It is referring to apply the intent to work on
the physical posture's correctness so that the qi will flow better. The result
is that the intent, qi, and body will become one unit.
In martial art, people talk about the following principles all the time.
These principles govern the physical body mechanics to better harmonize the
qi and power.
- One Straight
It is referring to having the body straight so the qi
can circulate better. When the qi is circulated throughout the body and since qi
is transparent this is like the liquid fluid inside the body. When the body
moves, the body is moved like a solid unit. There is no hallowed. The result is
that there will be more devastation.
- Two Suspending
It is referring to have the head suspend from
above so all the qi in the internal organs will rise to the head. This will make
the practitioner more alert. Relax the body so the qi sink downward and the body
will be balanced and stable. The statements proposed to stretch the body so that
it has elasticity, nimble and endurance. The major characteristics required from
a skillful martial art practitioner.
- Three Sections
It is referring to divided the body into three
sections: arm, body and leg. In addition, it is also referring to having the arms
and legs divided into three sections each. When one correctly maneuvers each
unit of the section, it is very difficult for the opponent to formulate a plan
- Four Ending
It is referring to the end of the bone, flesh,
tendon and body. The hair is the ending for the blood. Nail and claw are the
ending for the tendon and ligament. The tongue is the ending for the flesh. The
teeth are the ending for the bone.
It is said that in order to defeat the opponent, the four endings must come
together. Some people described the practitioner's optimum preparation as the
following "The hairs are straight to lift the crown. The fingers are penetrating
the bone. The tongue is pressuring the teeth. The teeth are breaking the metal."
When the hairs are well nourish with blood, it will grow healthy and strong.
When the fingers are strong, the tendons and ligaments are big and powerful.
When the tongue is healthy, the body is in good condition. When the teeth are
strong, the bones are very hard.
- 5 Elements
It is referring to the metal, wood, fire, water and
earth. The five major elements in nature. The essences of the five elements are
the demonstration of relationships and functions in nature.
- 6 Harmony
It is referring to harmonize the three internal
substances and three external substances. The three internal substances are mind
vs. intent, intent vs. qi and qi vs. power. The Internal Three Harmony is referring
to uniting the three internal substances so that when the intent there, the qi is
there and the power is there as well. The three external substances are feet vs.
hand, elbow vs. knee and shoulder vs. hip. The External Three Harmony is referring
to uniting the external three substances so that when the hands strike, the body
follows. When the elbows strike, the body advances. When the shoulders strike,
the body turns. When the hips strike, the body leans forward. When the knees
strike, the body is remaining in a distance.
- A common exercise of qigong in martial art
Some of the key
requirements in martial art training from a practitioner are that the mind is
tranquil, the body relaxes and the breathing has rhythm. When one has this, one
is really for the vigorous and brutal martial confrontation.
When the ligaments, tendons and muscles are relaxed, the posture looks
comfortable, the blood flows smoothly and the internal organs are relaxed in
their natural position. When one is harmonized with the surrounding, the qi will
become stronger, the body is healthier and the power is stronger.
Zhan Zhuang training or standing exercise is a common exercise among the
extensive Chinese martial art training. The objective is to unify the three
components of the intent, qi and body which is based on the principles of
regulating the mind, regulating the breathing and regulating the body. When practicing
the Zhan Zhuang, mentally, one is concentrated and tranquil. Generally, one is
concentrating on the dantien, an area three inches below the navel area. The
breathing maintains slow, soft and even so the qi is better circulated and sink
down is to the dantien. The body is remaining in certain nature position so it
Tranquility means to remove all unnecessary thought. It is a step to train the
mind. When the mind is tranquil, it is clear, the body is comfortable and it is
easier to mobilize the inborn ability. A closer examination demonstrated that
tranquility does not simply mean no thought, it means the mind is calm, clear and
focused. When the mind is calm, clear and focused, the perception is better.
Therefore it is a good exercise for the nervous system.
Concentration means paid attention to one specific area so that the mind is
occupied and not wondering. It is a step to train the spirit. When one is
concentrated, the qi will be following the intent's instruction. If one has
negative emotion, the qi circulation will result in negative effect. Therefore,
concentration acts as a neutralizer to prevent any negative emotion to occur.
Qigong training is an important part of the Chinese martial art. If one
engaged training under a complete system, qigong should be part of the training.
However, there are many students today who spend enough time with one teacher to
learn the physical component and disregard the more advanced internal component
or qigong training. This is not a complete training and the result is not really
good. When one incorporated the external and internal components in his
training, the skill will be wonderful.