There are three beginning levels to martial arts, regardless of style. Level 1 is Physical Power. This means learning how to use the correct muscle groups and the skeleton, learning moves and techniques for coordination, and so on. Level 2 is mixed internal and physical, and level 3 is pure internal power. This means that the internal body power is greater than the physical body power.
There is a great deal of information on level 1 training, and even a lot of level 3, but there isn’t very much information about level 2. This is important because to get to level 3 you need to know how to build it. So here goes.
Level 2: Mixed internal and external power.
A. Physical Internal Power
1. Core Agility.
This means that you begin to work on core flexibility and agility. Learn to use the lower pelvic muscles, the diaphragm, and pretty much all of the muscles around the core area. The thing to remember is that we want to train agility and flexibility. We want you to get so good using the strong core muscles that they become as smart as your hand.
2. Attaching the Core and the Hand.
As you develop an intelligent core, we need the power and dexterity it has to be generated through your hands. This means that we have to attach your hand to your core body mass. To do this use the lats, the muscles in your back just under your arm. Now as you more your core around your arm should be attached to it.
3. Attaching the Core to the Foot.
This is the same thing as attaching the core to the hand, only now you do it with your legs. The big idea is to have your body be one complete unit that is controlled by the core muscle groups and the center of balance.
B. Change your focus.
1. Turn the Core to Chi.
It is best to think of chi as a different body than your physical one. Your core area becomes chi when you focus on how it changes by shrinking, expanding and spiraling it. Not the muscle and tissue, rather with your mind. When your core has become chi it should feel like an inflated basketball- empty, but pressurized. However, it must also be able to change size, spin, spiral, and change in any way you like. This quality in your core is referred to as your “Dan Tien.”
2. Enlarge the Dan Tien.
Do everything we just discussed with the lower abdomen, but now do all of that with your entire torso.
3. Continue this same quality to your arms.
4. Continue this same quality to your legs.
At this point you can enter Level 3. This means that you will begin to develop pure internal power. This is sometimes stated as your internal is larger than your external. Also, at level 3 you no longer consider your physical body- just the chi body. In level 2 there is chi, but it is still inside the confines of your skin,therefore the chi in level 2 is always behind the physical. Level 3 has no such limitation.
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