Saturday, September 23, 2006

Episode 33 - Gate of Life

Movement in Stillness (Part III)

In Chinese Martial Art the term "Gate of Life" refers to that part at the back of the human body which position is opposite to the belly button.

After activating the back muscles and the related power channels, an internal martial artist will try to link up his "Gate of Life" with the back power channels so that the energy from the "Dantin" can be transmitted through the back without power dissipation. The opening and the closing of the Gate control the movements of the back muscles and the related power channels.

The linkage is achieved by completing specially designed standing exercises. The "Rhino looking at the moon" is one effective method for calling up the back muscles and establishing the linkage between the Gate and the power channels on the back.

Once a connection has been established, the practitioner should be able to feel a continuous flow of energy in between the hands and the "Gate of Life".

People who practise "Chigong" or "breathing exercises" also emphasis the importance of breaking through the power channels. While the feeling of "chi" is useful in the power transmission process, it is not an end in itself. The purposes and the end results of Chigong and Martial Art are different. For a martial artist, the energy should not, like some chigong exercises, go upward to the head and go downward back to the dantin again to form a circulation, which circulation is sometimes known as the "Small Heaven Circulation". Instead, the energy channels will go through the shoulders and transmit the power out through the hands.

The opening and closing of the "Gate" generate different power effects. To enhance these effects, the practitioner should train in the sword form and the Saber form.

For the training in "Knowing your own self", this is only half of the story. The next step forward is to establish the connection on the lower part of the body; the practitioner will need to find out how the power connection can be extended from the foot to the hands - in order to complete the construction of the "Power Sphere".

(Links to Parts one and two)

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