LFIAA “The Yin & Yang Of Internal Arts Training”

At some point in everyone’s life while learning and practicing the various disciplines of the Chinese internal arts like Taijiquan, Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu or Qigong for either health maintenance or martial arts reasons, we will all at sometime experience highs and lows within our practice and training and it is important that we learn to recognise when we are experiencing a low Yin period within our training, as if left for to long time without trying to change the circumstances can develop into a more serious result were the individual decides to stop their training and practice for good due to lack of motivation. There are many reasons why an individual begins to experience a low Yin period within their practice.

  • It could be caused by having no time to practice more regularly.
  • It could be caused by not being able to take in the information
  • It could e caused by the slowing down of new information.

Usually certain individuals can only attend a class once a week and obviously it can be hard to make progress. Gradually they will begin to realise that they are not developing quickly enough and find that they are being left behind in the class. This is the point were they begin to lose motivation and usually stop altogether with their training. We all have some kind of pressure and responsibility in our lives that can take up a lot of our time, be it work related or family related it can all get in the way of you continuing your training within the internal arts discipline of your choice. This is were you need to recognise that you are experiencing a low Yin period and to be patient in yourself to just maintain your practice until you can find more three time to practice more.

There are some individuals who decide to stop practicing because they find it very difficult to take in the information in the internal art discipline that they have decided to learn. Some individuals place a tremendous amount of pressure on themselves by giving themselves a target to learn a Taijiquan form within 6 months and then stop because they realise that it will take much longer to learn. There are also some who think that because they are old that they cannot take the information in and improve and so they stop, rather than just enjoy what they are practicing and simply be patient and persevere with their development. “Master Sun Lutang would mention that the study and practice of the internal arts is easy to learn, but very hard to Master”.

Another reason why many individuals stop with their practice and training within the internal arts is because they have become stagnated and plateaued in their training. This can be caused by not attending classes and courses not being able to train frequently enough, hence the learning and progression slows down. Or it can be caused by not being motivated by the teacher enough, as the teacher simply coves the basics and limits the individuals ability to grow.

It is important that you have a good teacher with a strong lineage and years of practice and teaching experience within the internal arts under their belts. As a good teacher will recognise when you are suffering a low Yin Period in your training and can help by offering you some good advice to help motivate yourself. A good teacher is someone who you can approach and ask questions about how to help motivate and progress your training to the next stage as we all suffer good and bad times within our journey to Master the internal arts.

LFIAA Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu “Shadow Boxing Training” (Yingzi Quan Gong)

Most martial arts teach their students the Shadow Boxing (Yingzi Quan) exercise, irrespective whether you are studying an internal (Nei Jia) or external (Wai Jia) martial art Shadow Boxing allows the student to develop and improve their basic fighting techniques (Jiben Shi) of the style of martial art that they are learning, it also allows each student to develop a freedom to explore their particular martial art and express themselves, allowing the student to find their own unique style. Obviously because the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu involves a vast amount of defensive and offensive techniques that uses evasive footwork, striking, kicking and blocks & deflections the student must learn how to combine these techniques together in a continuous flowing action, using their own imagination and visualisation to help stimulate themselves to develop their agility, co-ordination, concentration, precision, timing, accuracy, flexibility and fitness.

When a student is taught how to Shadow Box within the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu they are taught to focus mainly on visualising on just one opponent in front of themselves. They must then demonstrate a combination of defensive and offensive fighting techniques of their own choice using many types of fighting rhythms that vary from defend, attack, defend or attack, defend, attack rhythms. The student must combine linear, angular and circular footwork methods into their defensive and offensive techniques which will only help them to naturally express the fighting methods of this particular Chinese internal martial art style.

Learning how to Shadow Box within the Original Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu gives the student an immediate feeling of of a sense of enemy standing in front of themselves. It also is a great exercise to gently warm up the student before allowing them to progress and participate within two-person training exercises were there is actual contact between each other. Basically practicing Shadow Boxing only allows the student to practice, combine and express there footwork, blocks, strikes and kicks in many different variations, but when it comes to learning and practicing joint locking methods (Qinna Fa) or throwing techniques (Shuai Fa) then you are better off studying and practicing them with a training partner.

Traditional solo forms are another variation of the Shadow Boxing exercise were the student performs a series of set pre-arranged movements that develops stances, footwork, blocks, strikes , kicks, joint locks and throws like the “Feng Shou Hand Formation Form” (Shou Pai Fa Shi). But it is only through the free style method of Shadow Boxing that the student can be allowed to fully explore and express themselves as they gradually develop their own unique style of Feng Shou Quan-Gongfu.