The study and practice of all Chinese internal martial arts involves the development of two individual practices. Firstly the practice of energy cultivation and circulation (Neigong) both for the purpose of strengthening the connections between the mind & body, health maintenance and the development of internal power source for martial arts usage. The second method of development within the internal martial arts is the external or (Waigong) which is building and strengthening of our fitness, flexibility, tendon and muscular strength. For many within the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu they seem to spend more time practicing and developing their external (Waigong) side of their training, rather than equally spending the same amount of time also developing their internal (Neigong) training side. Basically within the study of the Chinese internal martial arts they consider the internal training development as (Yin) and the external training development as (Yang), so to bring the body & mind into complete balance and harmony in the study and practice of the Original Feng Shou-Kung Fu each practitioner must be equally practicing both the internal & external aspects.
For many individuals who are studying and practicing the Feng Shou-Kung Fu within many of the association and organisations that promote this particular Chinese internal martial art. It seems that not many have developed a strong internal energy cultivation practice that can be taught to their students to develop their internal cultivation alongside their external practices. Sadly to many teachers only teach their students maybe one or two martial guiding and leading exercises (Daoyin) ever to their students and usually these two particular exercises are the “Four Position Breathing Exercise” or the “Five Lotus Blossom Breathing Exercise” sadly these two Exercise are not enough for any student to strongly cultivate their Qi. Students need a more complete practice that involves a series of exercises that they can perform on a daily basis to strengthen their health, promote Qi circulation and martial power.
Within the LFIAA students are taught the “Eight Standing Post Qigong Methods” (Ba Zhan Zhuang Gong Fa) which are a series of eight exercises using such stances such as the Bear, Dragon and Cat each involves stretching movements that not only help to develop each persons joint, muscle, tendon flexibility they are also used in conjunction with the breathing and concentration to guide & lead the Qi into the extremities. Once students are taught the Eight Standing Post Qigong Exercises they are expected to maintain it’s practice on a daily basis to develop their mind, body connections, plus their Qi strength for health & wellbeing as without it they will not be able to study and develop this unique Chinese internal martial art.
In the above photo that accompany this blog Shifu Garry Owen is seen practicing one of the Eight Standing Post Qigong exercises which are performed on both sides to promote both energy and blood flow, whole body flexibility & strength. The exercise can be practiced either as a static “Standing Stake” exercise or as a “Moving” practice. It is important that all practitioners and students of the Feng Shou-Kung Fu study and practice both the internal & external disciplines equally, simply practicing two breathing exercise only when you attend your class is really not developing your internal practice.