Training Tip #1
The components of Relaxing
by Mike Sigman
The "internal" martial arts stress relaxation in their directives for achieving the "internal strength" which is the differentiating factor of these martial sets. There are valid reasons for this relaxing, sometimes referred to as "sung".
Relaxation, or sung, does not imply limpness, or even no-strength. For instance, just in holding normal stances beginners are heard to howl after short time spans more advanced students, whose leg strength has grown to accommodate their stances, stand relaxedly and claim that they are relaxed but their legs are stronger. Even more advanced students, who have developed not only leg strength, but also a skill in the use of body angles, will find that their joints (the sinews) have become the load bearers, and the need for muscle tonus declines. True relaxation follows this line of development.
Leg strength is a necessity. The more load-bearing ability in the legs, the less strength is needed and used in the upper torso and arms.
The first step is to understand peng, connection, and the use of angles in your practice. People who use stiff strength and hope to append discussions of relaxation to their practice will not accomplish much. The body truly has to be relaxed.
Places to go from here:
Page maintained by Ian Young; last change June 11, 2000.