Taoists believe that there is a way the body can be strengthened through yogic and psychological practices. This is what is referred to as internal martial arts. The nervous and the energy manufacturing systems are controlled from within the body resulting in a strong human being, both within and without the body. It is common to find people practicing these skills in California. They are trying very hard to preserve this culture.
The founders of this field of art practiced, mastered the skills and later described the underlying principles; balancing the body, effortless power and internal energy. These same people codified the main principles that still guide the field even today. The main principles as described by the founders are; physical mechanism, linking the body and mind, and striving to attain advanced skills.
The soft/hard support and the full empty are the main contents of the body mechanism ideology. Accordingly, the hard tissues, which are mainly bones, give the most support to the body. Their locking and twisting reduces the workload for soft tissues like muscles, ligaments and tendons. The hard and soft tissues, however work together in a complementary manner to facilitate provision of strength for the body.
The originators of these ideas went further to say that the interlocking of bones forms pivots that turn in the same manner as levers. The artist applies less effort to produce a greater force whose impact is felt on the opponent. For efficiency, one needs to position himself/herself in certain angles. This is because a greater output is only produced if the effort is in a certain position in relation to the load.
On the other hand, the full empty principle suggests that the human body is made up of full and empty points. A fighter should know the full and empty parts of his/her opponent if he/she has to beat him/her. Knowing these points is essential in helping the fighter move fast and steadily. It also ensures that balance is maintained even after the strongest knock by the opponent. The fighter ought to strike the strongest points of the opponent.
Creators of this genre of also insisted on linking the body and the mind. They always believed that our bodies are controlled by the mind. Therefore, one can avoid pain and gain more strength by engaging the mind. According to this principle, therefore, physical strength is useless if the mind is not involved.
Internal martial arts is different from normal stretching and exercises in the sense that, it has a therapeutic impact on the body, and this is lacking in the later. The sung involved in Tai chi and yoga helps the body and mind relax and be free from interruptions from the surrounding. It gets rid of dysfunctions due to bad positioning, balances the muscles and opens meridian channels.
Internal martial arts is a genre that focuses on the ability of the mind to control feelings and how it helps reduce the energy spent during a fight. California has become fond of these practices. Very many people in the city engage in these practices around the city. Recently, a curriculum on this field was started in the city as a way of preserving these practices.
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