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#254967 - 05/20/06 03:27 AM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
I liked the synergy - energy thing but you need the synergy to let the energy travel unrestricted to the point of focus.
In sanchin the focus is at the end of a certain technique (punch or block). I was thaught that even in sanchin you relax and tense. The tensho is more obvious as the movements are more fluid. All energy is harvested in the tanden (=source of power) and needs to be released through the contact points of the chosen technique (fists/palm/fingers/foot). This building and releasing of energy needs correct breathing, correct mindset, correct posture (body). Ki enbodies this attitude (breathing/mindset,intent/body,posture) and manifests eventually in fa jing, explosive power, when realeased in technique.
About short range punch and power, it is all in relaxing and tensing at the right moment. It starts from the hip and needs maximum tensing at point of contact. The synergy needs to adapt a bit to have correct enery release.(try it with a vertical fist or keiko-ken fist, it's easier I think).
About the metaphysical, I am sceptic too but after sanchin training I feel lighter, sometimes tingling a bit. I can stretch deeper and muscles feel more relaxed.
Once I had a strange thing happen during a heavy sparring session (I wanted to hurt him) where I projected the guy without touching him. Never was able to redo it, maybe it was a coincidence of unknowns and my and his perception of the circumstance was not correct, did feel strange though.
The difference in power release between shorin end shorei I think is in the locking of the lower body. Shorei systems lock themselves into the sanchin dachi even after the power release. The shorin systems will not and release immediatly after delivering the technique. This is however not always the case for shorei as in the more advanced kata there are natural transitions from sanchin to heiko dachi when advancing.

#254968 - 05/20/06 06:10 AM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Well, Ed... in short... no...

Ki/qi/prana is an umbrella term to describe a number of phenomena. Ki is not the phenomena itself, but the manifestation of such phenomena can be indicative of the presence of ki.

The ki you are specifically referring to has to do with the fascia and connective tissue where it originates. It's the only one we're really interested in from a martial perspective.

So what we're training in neigong (again, lit. INTERNAL WORK) is the fascia, tendons, connective tissue and how they attach to the skeletal structure. Forget about "ki" for the moment - it's a side benefit of the training as well as a method of training vis-a-vis "qi gong" or "kiko". I think we're jumping ahead of ourselves for the moment.

Imagine you have a sheath of rawhide covering your bones all over your body, under your skin. Essentially that's what the fascia is. Think of it like a "suit" you're wearing under your skin and over the bones, and the "external" muscles that you're already used to using lies over that suit.

Basically, that's what meant by "internal". So now we know what we're meant to be training, the obvious question is not "How do we train it?", but rather "What are the basic principles?".

Recall that the "how" is merely variations of the same principles... vis-a-vis kata, ukemi, yoga, standing etc. etc. etc.

#254969 - 05/20/06 08:08 AM Re: Neigong [Re: CVV]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
CVV - The Goju/Shorei I'm working on doesn't have any notion of locking (except maybe for the split second of impact or transmition). the 'power release' as you refer it, is also used to charge the next movement - not dissipate to the ground.
As far as non-touch injury, I've done it sparring but it was explainable - I moved barely out of the way of a fully committed attack, and the opponent hyperextended his elbow. I didn't make contact yet he got hurt. Thats probably different than you mean. I kindof don't want to go there. anomolies don't interest me yet, I want to concentrate on the reproducable meat and potatoes.

eyrie - thats the logic path I followed when wording my question, and it led me to chi. since the development of nei jin seems to be inclusive of all the things described by chi. and neigong gets you there.
my western mind seems to break things down into separate components, work each component individually(basics), then trying to blend them(advanced). I think neigong describes training that blend, but since it's from a different starting point, it hard to grasp. if we try to break it down it disappears and looses it's 'form'.

but now I'm getting bogged down in concepts, which I'm trying not to do.

so I'll back up like you suggest and lets talk principles of nei jin. (not fa jing). btw, to anyone reading...make sure you don't make the same mistake I did while reading...'jin'(power) is not the same as 'jing'(essence).

#254970 - 05/20/06 08:40 AM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Neijin! Yeees! Now you're getting somewhere!

It's difficult to talk about the various components individually. But it can be done. The trick is defining where the starting point is. I think if you think of the starting point as the development of this musculo-fascial/ musculo-tendinous "suit", it will start to make sense.

As for some of the principles, relaxation and breathing have already been mentioned. Would you like to hazard a guess at others???

#254971 - 05/20/06 01:19 PM Re: Neigong [Re: eyrie]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
lets focus on just that for a sec. relaxation and breathing. I suppose it could be expanded into a whole field unto itself. 'behavioural kinesiology' I believe is the fancy term of study. I see it no more than a combination of body mechanic alignment as it relates to psychology/emotion responses. some talk about it in terms of energy meridians. I'll get lost if the conversation turns to meridians...bear with me....

so an extreme example is as an untrained person might 'freeze' and experience shortness of breath and collapsed chest, tense muscles, etc as a result of an incoming attack and natural response to threat/fear.
First step is in training to let go of that. The very first steps of Sanchin practice, beyond committing the sequence of movements to memory, is learning timed breathing to controled body dynamic. half-speed slows down and helps the student to get the timing right which later may be sped up. Sanchin is the only structured tool I know for doing this.
I'm only a recent observer of Aikido. From watching Aikido class (I've been watching about 1 class a week) and how it is taught, it appears the breathing and relaxation is timed with actual drill practice, slow speed and then gradually sped up. so the learning of this is simultaneous and concurrent to any given application/2-man drill. Throughout the class, I notice frequent corrections and reminders to the students when to inhale/exhale, center/lower, flow/relax etc. I was struck by how familiar these breathing and relaxing tips sounded.

#254972 - 05/20/06 06:49 PM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
OK, you're talking about somatics, which is an entire field of study in itself. These include the works of Feldenkrais, Alexander and Rolf (and others).

The mind-body connection and its effect on emotions, psyche and the autonomic nervous system is well documented - something the ancient Chinese already knew about at least 5000 years earlier.

I'm not going to delve much into meridians, suffice to say that these were initially thought to be channels (like a tube) in the musculo-fascia structures.

I think it's much simpler than that.

For the moment, let's focus on relaxing and breathing. When you "relax", what are you relaxing? When you breath, what are you working on?

Both have to do with the "suit" we're talking about. ButterflyPalm mentioned "shrinkage" - think of it as contracting the suit. When you relax, you're stretching the suit. (Think yoga!). Same thing when you use the breath. Except you're using the breath to pressurize the suit.

IOW, you're using these to EXERCISE the suit.

Forget about movement and timing (in relation to paired exercises) for now. Movement and paired training is merely an application of using the suit in various ways.

For the moment, focus on the suit and what happens when you stretch and contract it and when you pressurize it.

There's other stuff related to how to use the suit to generate power, store power and release power, but there's something else that must happen first.

#254973 - 05/21/06 09:25 AM Re: Neigong [Re: eyrie]
Fisherman Offline

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Interesting topic thus far folks!

I do several different kinds of neigong practices. Each of the exercises can be done either with a fierce/fajing intent, or they can be done with a lighter intent so that you are primarily focused on listening to the body and its internal reaction to structural changes in the body.
Either way, the exercises are primarily focused on the usage of the mind. IMO - the mind is one of the most important aspects of neigong training. The mind must be brought into the body in order to 'feel' what is happening.
I think that it is very helpful to have stand alone exercises to focus on rather than trying to meditate the mind deeper into the body while trying to move through an entire form with the same mind set.
If I begin with a set group of movements and use my neigong practice then I can later expand this to other ranges of motion and eventually work towards connecting all the pieces to they harmonize the body and maximum power is acheived.
I do the neigong training in both martial and health/spiritual oriented ways. I am working to progress to a point where I can have both of these converge.
When doing things with a martial intent, I still carry the same principle, however, my mind is different. There is a certain amount of intensity or fierceness that I apply to the training.
When doing the training for health it is more of a relaxed qigong type of training.
I find both of these to be quite energizing, but the energies feel distinctly different.

Just my $0.02...
Chris Haynes

#254974 - 05/21/06 01:24 PM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
First thing sanchin teaches is to have tension in the ge-tanden (point below the navel, where you cough). Then it teaches you how to keep tension while breathing in and out and how to relax/tense in coordination with breathing in/out and performing technique. THis tension in the getanden is the most basic thing for karate I think and I guess for all forms of MA.Without it technique will have no power. When you have awaerness of this you can go further with the mind. The mind will guide the intent, at first concious later unconcious.
(at first only mind knows and we need to train to let the body know), but at that point you feel when it's wrong so you can correct.
Ed, your analogie towards untrained and freezing up might be correct. At least when you always have a reserve in the getanden, even while breathing in, you can immediatly react and move/block/counter/whatever breathing out and having power to do it. This is in my opinion basic. You can disrupt this by attacking the body and taking their breath away. In that sense, iron body refers to the state where you can take punishment without being affected. All contact related exercise (sport or for real) have this notion and it is inherent to the sanchin training.
Butterflypalm said to imigine breathing thru the skin, I will try this. Up till now, I only imagined chi flowing into the getanden while breathing in and then chi flowing to the point of contact while breathing out. I imagined going in thru the nose into the getanden and going out through the technique while breathing out.

#254975 - 05/21/06 02:37 PM Re: Neigong [Re: CVV]
Ed_Morris Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6772
I think I'm following the concepts so far. not to rush anything, but what's next? discussing intent?

from how I see it, intent is commitment, confidence, strategy and focus/concentration. when combined with a relaxed and sychronized 'suit', it becomes conceptually, a projection of will. please don't talk in terms of 'no touch' this or that or mind bending spoons etc. What I think of is more like how atheletes describe as being 'in the zone'.

as far as I know, the only drills for developing this is years of doing.

#254976 - 05/21/06 04:50 PM Re: Neigong [Re: Ed_Morris]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
I see different types of intent. When training solo I intent maximum power release. When with partner sometimes speed & timing, sometimes how to overcome distance.
In partner drills they are all concious. In free fight they get unconcious and then your in the zone as you call it.
But in real conflict, there should be no concious thaught anymore. Not in the fights I was in and 'won'. In the ones I lost, there was hesitation, the mind was interfearing with doubt and I had trouble overcoming distance or what angle to chose or what technique to use.
Once the body is trained and the intent is clear, you are a formidable opponent. By training you get confidence in yourselve and know and accept your limitations.
In this concept of neigong, the intent of the technique should be clear and as such executed. The sanchin seiken zuki or nukite technique should be intented to penetrate thru the point of contact. The blocks should break arms. This should be executed in a seemingly effortless and fluid way. The tensho is to balance again and the intent is to cool down and restore energy levels. Sometimes I turn it around and train tensho with martial intent and sanchin with 'restore energy levels' intent.

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