I got your message, but I think my reply was perhaps deleted by the moderators. The kind of stuff you talk about do not have application / relevance to the MA and so may be subjected to 'moderation' Chatting by E-mail is not my preferred method. However, do be careful whatever you do and stay away from any harmful substances. You are still very young; take it easy. I know, I am 57.


You asked, initially, what aspects are missing in the sanchin katas. Well, you have perhaps answered your own question. Nothing is missing as far as the physical side is concerned. However, without going through the prior chi development phase, you will, even after years of practice, find it hard / frustrating to do those mental requirements you mentioned while doing the sanchin kata; because it is the chi that provides the vital "conscious" link / bridge between the mind and the body; without this link / bridge being established first, it will always remain at the physical level, and will never be able to cross the river that separates the internal from the external.

However, when you are able to mentally direct your chi at will through the body, it is just like breathing and walking, you need not spend too much effort at all; it gets "natural"; it is like having two minds -- one controlling the chi and the other controlling the body; and it is the combination or coming together of these two aspects while doing the dynamic tension katas that the fundamental principle behind the sanchin katas or the chinese dynammic tension sets are fully realised.

When I was very young and just starting out to do those chinese dynamic tension sets, I too was under the impression that that was all there was to it. Just strengthening the muscles without carrying any weights, because the chinese believed that too much muscle mass hinders speed and agility, and lose the snap / whip at the end of the punch. So dynamic tension gives you power without increasing too significantly your muscle mass. It was much later that I realised the 'holy trinity' of mind, body & chi.

Heard of the old dictum, when the 'Yi' / mind directs, the chi follows? It is therefore not possible to do all those muscle tensing when doing the sanchin kata and still be relaxed mentally / physically enough to direct the chi to the jo, chu, ge simultanously! Its like doing a push-up and go to sleep at the same time; without the link / bridge, there will always be a "conflict / battle" between the mind and the body and the harder you try, the more intense will be the conflict and the more you will lose the 'battle'

But when the chi is circulating at will, and at each point of tension while doing the kata, the chi is being mentally directed by the very specific breathing patterns to circulate into the muscles and bones is when sanchin is truly being practiced. Anything less is just aerobics, but of course still useful at that particular level. Going back to Sanchin31's question as to whether he was developing his chi when doing the sanchin kata, the answer is an obvious no, because if it was, he, after all these years of diligent practice, would have known. The question would not need to be asked. You cannot having developed your chi and not know it.

For health purposes, the chi is directed to circulate into the internal organs one by one in a specific order; when I do it, the particular organ actually warms up, especially the liver. You can explore the body's internal landscape with the chi.

As for how to develop the chi first is something not possible, indeed not advisable, to teach over the net. You just have to look for the right instructor. Do not be discouraged though; ironically, the chi development exercises are surprisingly simple and perhaps because there are simple that it is such a big secret. Many years ago when I saw the connection between chi development and certain kinds of Yoga, I learnt the yogic energy development aspects from a teacher who had me swore that I will not teach it without his permission. When I learnt it, it was so simple. But then everything is simple when you know it.

Good Luck.

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 04-27-2005).]

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 04-27-2005).]

[This message has been edited by ButterflyPalm (edited 04-27-2005).]