Two sides to the movement coin

There are two sides to the movement coin in Chinese Martial Arts – particularly the so-called internal martial arts. A Yin and a Yang, if you like.



On side a) of the movement coin you’ve got a kind of basic postural advice. Directions we’re all familiar with like – ‘suspend the head from above’, ’round the shoulders’, ‘droop the elbows’, etc. The goal of these directions is to achieve a level of relaxation (‘Sung’) through working with the least level of resistance to gravity. If we can align with gravity it becomes our friend, instead of our enemy in movement. We can discover a sense of lightness and ease in our movements.

On the other side b) of the movement coin there are more subtle instructions to do with things like ‘moving from the dantien’, ‘intent’, ‘wrapping and coiling’, ‘silk reeling force’, ‘open and close’, etc… While these terms are generally unknown to people outside of the Chinese Martial Arts, they are usually familiar to people within them, even if we all understand them in slightly different things, and are willing to go to war over the small details!

Obviously (like Yin and Yang) the two sides form a whole, after progressing beyond a basic beginner level most people assume that they’re ok with a) and spend most of their time working out what the heck b) is supposed to be anyway.

I tend to think that there’s more to a) than we tend to think there is. I’d like to suggest that we put the focus on a) as much as on b), since it’s a) that really has the most impact on how we live our day to day life.

Here’s an article that can help. It’s to do with something called The Alexander Technique, but don’t let that put you off. It’s just great advice for how we ‘use the self’ in everyday life, and it relates directly to part a) of the coin I talked about earlier.

Have a read and see what you think.

2 thoughts on “Two sides to the movement coin

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