ARTICLES & ESSAYS
EKP is NOT a martial art
BUT IT IS BASED ON CHINESE INTERNAL MARTIAL ART TRAINING
So what is an “INTERNAL Martial System”?
Internal style Martial Systems or “Neijia”
Internal styles (Chinese: 內家; pinyin: nèijiā; literally: “internal family”) focus on the practice of such elements as awareness of the spirit, mind, qi (breath, or energy flow) and the use of relaxed leverage rather than unrefined muscular tension, tension that soft stylists call “brute force”.;Taijiquan, Baguazhang, and Xingyiquan , Liuhebafa, Zi Ran Men, and Yiquan are Internal Martial systems.
Components of internal training includes stance training (zhan zhuang), stretching and strengthening of muscles, which train coordination from posture to posture. Many internal styles have basic two-person training, such as pushing hands. A prominent characteristic of internal styles is performance at slow pace. This improves coordination and balance by increasing the work load, and requires minute attention to the whole body and its weight as patterns are repeated. The goal is to learn to involve the entire body in every motion, to stay relaxed, with deep, controlled breathing, and to coordinate the motions of the body and the breathing accurately according to the dictates of various forms of movement while maintaining perfect balance. Internal styles have been associated in legend and in much popular fiction with the Taoist monasteries of Wudangshan in central China.
A Long Hidden Tradition
Let’s talk Spirals. (Silk Reeling aka Curvilinear movement)
THE ILLUSTRATED CANON OF THE CHEN FAMILY TAIJIQUAN. Seven hundred and sixty eight pages of information on most of the theory and some of the practice of Chen Family Taijiquan. A weighty tome! I don’t expect anyone has read it from page one to page seven hundred sixty eight… but if you have at least glanced at the pictures you may recall simplistic front and back figure line drawings with lines drawn around the torso arms and legs – a kind of spiraling around the body the lines.
The minimalistic text offers what appears to be an explanation in the usual language of philosophy/spirituality which really says nothing about what those spiral-like lines actually represent. There is inferred reference to “strength” or “energy”… But the “how to” part is missing, as is the intended function.
Since we are focusing on spiral (curvilinear) movement in our work I thought I would give my interpretation of what those lines running around the arms and legs in those figure drawings might actually mean.
I believe those lines are intended to describe what we experience when performing any of our curvilinear patterns correctly. The lines quite possibly refer to the light TWIST in the muscles as we stretched and contract them.
To me, the connection is obvious. I believe if we cut thru the classic prose and read the descriptions in the Canon with a purely biophysical eye to what is being described we have the formula for very efficient and very powerful movement. Movement methodology that follows the way the body is naturally constructed. The gentle “twist” works the strands of muscle fiber AND the fascia. When repeated on a regular basis with the same care and mind intent we are conditioning the muscles fibers and surrounding fascia.
Ways To Train The Body Core by Sifu Lou Crockett
What Is Silk Reeling?
Silk Reeling is the name given to a unique method of training and conditioning for all the joints, ligaments, tendons and core of the body. The term is a reference to the way silk is drawn from a silk worm cocoon: slow and steady with a single continuous movement, which in turn causes the cocoon to rotate in a spiral at an even pace.
The method involves isolating muscle groups while engaging in slow spiraling and controlled movement. Central to the process is shifting awareness to the core of the body to execute relaxed movement while working with gravity. A concept called “Six Harmonies” is used to describe focusing attention on connecting and recruiting muscle groups and joints in pairs: 1st Harmony: hips and shoulders, 2nd Harmony: elbows and knees, 3rd Harmony: ankles and wrists, 4th Harmony: coordinating the breath, 5th Harmony: total body relaxation and the 6th Harmony: mental focus or intent.