I saw an ad a few days about about the Mysterious Power of Xingyiquan (also spelled Hsing-I Chuan). It made me laugh a bit at first, and then I realized it was just one more way that someone was attempting to make the internal arts appear to be something they are not.
Oooh, it's so mysterious!!!
A photo on the ad showed a guy being lifted up into the air by the "mysterious" power of Xingyi.
I guess that's marketing, right?
A well-known tai chi teacher has a photo on the cover of one of his books where he is apparently launching some poor sap into the air with his internal energy. But a video exists of the photo shoot, and the guy being launched into the air obviously pushes off and straightens his arms to get himself into the air. It's embarrassing.
We see it all the time, don't we? It's pretty common for Taiji, Xingyi and Bagua teachers to pretend this is all mystical and mysterious, that if you just cultivate enough chi you can tap into some universal energy that will allow you to defy the laws of physics and medical science. They are pretty good at sounding like college professors or Taoist priests when they talk about chi. Heck, you'll not only be able to heal someone with your chi (or aura), you can even knock them down without touching them, according to some particularly unethical martial con artists. You can control people with your chi, don't ya know?
My friends, I'm going to reveal the secret to the mysterious power behind the internal arts. Are you ready?
It's body mechanics and hard work.
Yeah, that doesn't sound very mysterious, does it? Isn't it more fun to watch a movie where the master can catch a fly with his chopsticks and fly through the air? We all want those powers, don't we?
The body mechanics you need are:
- establishing and maintaining the ground path at all times
- maintaining peng along with the ground at all times
- using whole-body movement
- using silk-reeling (spiraling) movement through the body
- opening and closing the kua
- rotating the dan t'ien.
These are principles that I embed into all of my instruction. They are most clearly explained in my Internal Strength and Silk-Reeling DVDs (the principles are also part of every one of the 600 video lessons on my online internal arts resource). It isn't magic but it is very hard work and takes years to develop. That's why it's easier to make people believe it's mysterious. If you told them how difficult it was, they might run away screaming screams.
That's what you call honest marketing. I don't want you to buy my stuff if you don't understand that it takes a lot of sweat, muscle cramps and fatigue to even scratch the surface of these arts.
Good internal arts require all these body mechanics plus other concepts, including relaxed power, which can only be developed when you develop the body mechanics listed above. You can't develop skill in the internal arts until someone clearly demonstrates these body mechanics. I wasted over a decade in the internal arts before I was shown this, and you probably have, too, if you've studied over a decade without knowing these skills.
I wish I could tell you Xingyi, Tai Chi and Bagua were dependent upon a Universal bolt of Taoist energy, or some invisible pathways of chi flowing through your body, but they aren't. And no human being can exert any force upon you that can't be explained by body mechanics and physics.
So there you have it. I've just saved you over $40.