Here at the frontier, the leaves fall like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians, and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are still two cups at my table.

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Thursday, February 09, 2017

Spirals and Martial Arts

At The Internal Power Training Blog, there was an interesting article about the importance and power of spiral movements. Below is an excerpt. The full article may be read here.

In the internal arts the ‘spiral’ holds a special place in the mind and body of the practitioners. Along with the circle, it is the most commonly targeted shape in the body development methods, but what is it about the spiral that makes it so useful and important to the internal artist?

If you watch the motions of a Ba Gua practitioner or a Taiji Adept, you will notice the clear circularity and ‘twist’ in their motions, it is characteristic of these styles. But there is more to the Spiral in internal training than simply the outward appearance of specific motions.

Before we look at the various utilities of the spiral, we must address is what is actually meant by a ‘spiral’ in the internal arts. When the teacher talks of spirals they are in fact more commonly referencing a type of 3 dimensional spiral sometimes known as a Helix. Most of  the time when a practitioner moves or uses developmental methods a Helix will be formed via either their movement, their intent or the tensioning of their tissues. Quite often a ‘conical helix’ where one end of the spiral is tighter than the other is seen so as to condense or expand the spiral, focusing the twist or motion.

But the term ‘Helix’ is not one that we see too often in the internal arts, instead the practitioners will use the word spiral to describe the many different twists, winds and turns that are demonstrated or used in the training.

Traditionally the spiral is a shape that gives form to many of the classical models of the internal arts.

For instance, the Tai Chi (yin Yang) is the initiation of a spiral and if we were to extend the rotation of the two halves around each other, a clear Fermat spiral would form, indeed some of the older representations of the Tai Chi show this spiraling of Yin and Yang.

Here is will describe, in very brief terms, only some of the reasons that the spiral is so important and useful in the internal arts.

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