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Internal Martial Arts are holistic skills, which resemble the action of swimming: an all at once movement.
They focus the attention, on the subtlety of the Qihai (also known as Chi), a point about two inches (5cm) below the navel, which is regarded as the centre of the Self. They are reputed by constant practice, to improve the Self by improving self-confidence, self-defence and overall health. They could also be described as walking meditation systems, depending on the way you look at it.
For an overall assessment of the methods, practices and aims in Internal Martial Arts, here is a quote from Wang Xiangzhai from his selected writings: "If you practice internal martial arts only for health, your health will deteriorate, ossify over time and become a relic of the past. Question: What if I practice Internal Martial Arts only for combat? Answer: You risk hurting your limbs, a number of which are difficult to repair. Question: What if I practice for both? Answer: That's not good enough."
Alternatively, take a Zen Koan exercise from Professor Robert Ornstein: "The Master of the order appears in front of the pupil holding his woollen hat. 'If you ask me a question I will hit you with my woollen hat, if you don't ask me a question I will hit you with my woollen hat, if you've got nothing to say I will also hit you with my woollen hat'. The pupil leaps up, runs towards a gong, hits the gong with his head, turns back, runs towards the Master, sommersaults and lands at his Master's feet - 'a boat is moving in the lake'." There is no logical answer to the Master's proposition, only a sincere reaction.
The Chinese would say: "Mind - Mindless, Mindless - Mind" meaning that although some actions can appear mindless they can also be conceived as being more directly in touch with the Universal Mind.
Contained here in our website is a selection of Books, Videos, DVDs, Audio Books and CD's relevant to Meditation, Internal Martial Arts, Chi Kung (energy exercises), Healing Processes and Medicine. They are the créme de la créme in this field.
Wu-style Taiji Quan