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  • The Importance of the Mind in cross training internal styles.

  • Jason Elder

    Member
    4th September 2021 at 5:00 am

    20yrs doing Neigong, Taiji and southern art basic foundation training gave me a body that can express several of the internal methods I was shown or transmitted. Being more of a kungfu nerd than a fighter I was always interested in gaining the high skills, the subtle and more rare stuff over learning to fight or gaining sashes/levels. My Sifu who was a Master in a few styles and expert in a few more told me the best way to get to such skills was to become obsessed with foundation training of the styles that had those skills and so I did just that. Sure enough after having been passed up by many students advancing in the various styles my body skill started to become apparent. After a couple years as I would do 3 star drill with even Hung Gar people who had iron forearms using my relaxed and connected root their arms would hurt and mine would feel no pain as the force just seemed to pass out from me into their arms without rebounding similarly into mine. This was many years ago and I have tested and continued to develop my internal understanding and can express both the free joint power(thanks to my gifted WC friends and some dedicated SLT) and the fascia body but it is the mind that has been allowing me to train and separate the two. My Sifu taught me some Bak/San Woo Xing Chuan Pai or Northern and Southern 5 Animal Shape Boxing and each animal has it’s own body and it’s own jin or way of dealing with and delivering force as well as fighting strategy and mind/outlook. Example Crane was very stretched joints open head suspended much like WC internal body with similar wide gaze/awareness, it’s not aggro but will defend it’s space with a bird like indifference. A Tigers root is deep and it’s steps are confident as is it’s mind, It smothers/blankets the prey with it’s intent even before contact, it captures and pins it’s prey by transferring it’s mass through it’s limbs onto them. A main purpose in each animal/style having it’s own mind was to allow one to learn and categorize all the different jin and applications with their correct body and intent. This also gave a non-fighter like me a way of entering a mind that was capable of violence. Indeed in my experience the body shape and the mind change together with either being the trigger as long as they are both trained together. Monkey shape invokes monkey mind/Yi and Monkey mind will invoke monkey shape etc. You could say that each MA style has it’s own “spirit” that is trained along side the movements. I find having done this practice helps me to fully experience and separate the different styles I am working on and could help some of those that wish to train multiple styles.

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