To Whom May Read This:
Before I explain what is in my heart, let us all give thanks to the Masters and Grand-Master's of the past and also in our everyday life style. If your acknowledging the fact that what ever art you may take or style, all must come to one root source. Then what comes down is the fact that the person who is learning, and becoming of the Art is the person, who is of the art. If you find yourself this type of person, then your able to read what has to be said below without judgement.
Over the years I have heard many say that my style is better and my this and my that... Bottom line is the style is what the practitioners puts into to studying of it, and becomes of that style through, understanding, deeds, actions, words, spiritual enlightenment. Does he live his teachings. Many of us take an art and forget that the magic word here is ART. The art is not just of fighting. Animals do that, fight without a cause. Yet the animals of the jungle, fight to protect and eat. It is the carbon life form (humans), who is suppose to be of the highest in the food chain and with a brain to think things out and with a soul to conjure that of the unbalanced world, yet you find that it is this carbon life form that will fight or kill without a cause. Yes, we can come up with many reasons why we do what we do, but if your learning from a teacher of principal, then what is the cause? For all true art no matter what style it is, teaches that fighting is the lowest and shall not be the only reason why your learning your style. If your taking the art just to fight and to show others that your the best then the rest, remember, even if you win the fight, you actually lost it. Remember, Love is what makes it real. So if your learning one way, learn also the other path. Example; Learn to fight, but learn to heal too, then somewhere, there is balance in your learning.
Sifu Rama Ananda Das
Tai Chi Qi Gong Info Center
About the Internal Arts:
Before we go any further lets us understand the words Internal and what does it mean? It is a known fact that whether one takes Karate or Kung-fu at the end all will come to the internal aspect of the Art.
One of the oldest spiritual practice that came out of China, is the teachings of Taoism. It is this teachings that we all learn that we are all part of nature. Of this nature we have energy which comes from the earth, Sky, and all the elements around us. It is understood that while the world is balanced within its own reasons, so too humans are balanced. Both depend on each other and also other parts of the integrated whole.
Tai Chi Qigong, too, is part of the teachings of Taoism. We know it as the way of the Tao. We understand from this teachings that their was one then came the two, which makes the three. Let us remind ourselves once again the basic concept of the way.
From the One comes Wu Chi - where there is nothing within the Universe, no life. There was without differentiation or separation and there was no extremity - In the teaching of the Wise it is said 'In Meditation when you come to nothing then everything is there.'
From the One comes Two - Here is the beginning of life as we would image it to be. The energy inter mixing with the five elements through influencing brought changes. Two energy mix together and yet stayed apart from each other. Tai Chi is born. From this birth comes the names of Yin and Yang. From this we learn to see balance within life, nature, and the universe itself. From this level we learn the way of the balance and the way of the unbalance. From this level we can learn defends. From this level we can learn to heal.
From the Two comes the Three - This is the most guarded trade in China. It is through this level we learn to become above the two to be spiritual. The three levels or treasures (San Bao) of China are as follows - Jing, Qi, Shen. Jing means essence, Qi means internal energy, and Shen means spirit. In China it is believe that if these things are properly cultivated and guarded, they will have a long and healthy life.
It is the combinations of all the above that makes the internal style come to life. Within the Internal styles are the basic concept of Chi Kung training. Now you may use the word Chi or Ki pending on what part of the world you come from, but it is a proven fact that out of the nothing came something and this something has four major divisions of thought when it comes to Chi Gong practice and its theory. The four are as follows: The Buddhist monks, the Taoists, the Confucians, and of course the Physicians. Here we want to express that these groups are not mutually exclusive, for you can be one teaching and work in the other field. (Physician being of different faith with its oath as a physician) Below a breakdown of the four groups
The Buddhist monks emphasized on becoming free from the suffering of existence through awareness. There primary method was still meditation with breathing to focus the mind to stillness.
The Confucians were primarily interested in working with human society. They where not to particular with any withdrawal method or self perfection. For them Chi Gong was to help the people become more fit so that they can fulfill their function. This is why Chi Gong was expressed as poetry. (Li Pai, Bai Gue-Yi, Su Tung-Pau)
The Physicians were not with any group for say but you could see Taoist influence within their work.
The Taoist withdrawal from the world to find the perfect self and achieve immortality. They are the group that uses Chi Gong as alchemy, and it is this alchemy theory that Wai Dan and Nei Dan greatest influences comes from.
In order to understand internal styles one must understand the meaning of Chi Kung. We will not go to deep with it here, but feel free to ask the foundation more about it by going to the website, or e-mail address. Chi Gong basic is Chi. Chi is the foundation of all Chinese medical theory and any internal schools of Chi Gong. Other names that you may know Chi as are as follows.
Chi in China - Ki in Japan and other parts - Pneuma in Greek and in Sanskrit prana.
As far as America goes we have really no name for it yet, But for the understanding of this force we will call it energy for now. No matter what name you use, it is found as the vital force and energy flow in all living things, and that of the universe.
A good example of the Chi within the body is the Shaohai or known here as the funny spot of the elbow. When you hit this spot you feel the whole arm going numb, sometimes feels like there is hot pain too. This is your Chi or energy moving with the chi channel.
Now the question here is to understand that their are a few arts that uses the Chi Gong as their training and uses it for two reasons; 1) Martial Art purposes, 2) Chi Gong for Health, spiritual attainment and longevity.
The most popular Martial Arts that uses Chi Gong as the whole of the training are as follows:
Tai Chi Chuan - Many do not see this art as a whole. They take it and it is pushed here in America for the reason of Health and fitness. But remember here what the title means. Tai Chi means 'Grand Ultimate,' which refers to the Yin and Yang concepts. While the Chuan means 'fist,' or to complete the meaning boxing style. The boxing style is known for its slow relaxed movements, yet very deadly for it involves the theory of Jing Jin Qi. Tai Chi Chuan also includes training with swords, saber, spear and staff. Here one learns to extend the Chi beyond the arms.
Ba Kua Chuan - Which means the 'Eight Trigrams Fist.' Some practicer may know this art as 'The Eight Trigrams Palm.' This art was created in peking by Tung Hai-Chuan, within the year of 1866 to 1889 A.D. Some say Master Tung learned his arts in Giou Hwa Mountain from Bi Dern-Shai. Therefore, the style is a combination of the best features from Shaolin (Buddhist Side) and Wu Dan which is the Taoist side. Here we will see application of palm techniques and circular movements. The two set form of Yin and Yang and the highest called the Dragon Form
Liu Ho Pa Fa was created during the Sung dynasty (960-1279 A.D., from a Master called Chen Bou, who lived as a hermit in the Hun Shan mountain. This style emphasize the principle of continuity and the alternate application of soft and hard hand techniques,
Hsing Yi was credited with the person called Marshal Yeuh Fei (1103-1141 A.D.) This type of boxing consists of a set of fast punching movements. There are five basic punches based on the five basic motions, which are as follows; rise, fall, cross,expand, and contract. From this style came 10 styles of Hsing Yi, they are as follows; Chu Su Don, An Shen Pou, Wu Fa Pou, Wu Hsing Chuan, Shih Er Hen Chuan, Pa Shih, Gar Shih Chuan,Shih Da Hsing,Giau Shen Pou, and Shih Er Hsing. This style being internal is not like Tai Chi which is slow motion at first practice, but this style moves fast with its focus at the Tan Tien.
Finally being of the internal style, know that their are two type of styles with the internal movement it self. It is called Wai Dan and Nei Dan. We will close with the meanings of these two and know that the art that you take is of what you learn.
Nei Dan _ this means internal elixir. This is a training method which the Chi is generated in the abdomen and then guided by the mind throughout the body. The results are different when this kind of exercise is being done as you focus on the lower abdomen. With this exercise you can move the chi around in what we call the small circulation or the grand circulation. The Nei Dan has several advantages compared with Wai Dan, because it teaches awareness of Chi circulation and develops this circulation more fully throughout the body, which will benefit the organs much better. With this means you will not have San Kung which is Energy Dispersion, like you do when you do muscles build-up. Finally this is better because the circulation being complete, one can intensify there internal powers, which we can use for the Martial purposes, liken to the iron shirt technique.
Wai Dan - this type of practice is of increasing Chi Circulation by stimulating one area of the body until a large energy potential builds up and overflows through the Chi channels. Here is where Da Mo's workout comes in play. Most famous for this is the Shaolin Training - Yi Gin Ching and the Ba Dun Gin, which is known as the 'Eight Pieces of Brocade.' For this type of training one must maintain a flexible attitude.
I hope that this introduce you to new ideas or new thoughts. To find out more of our training get hold of us and feel free to talk to the foundation, for we are here to share...