Internal strength exercises have for generations been carefully guarded secrets in Chinese martial arts. In our system of tai chi these have been much sought after and only taught to serious disciples.
There are 12 softer Yin exercises and 12 harder Yang exercises, which are traditionally practiced on alternating days.
They are very effective and efficient ways of increasing the strength and power of the whole body, whilst refining specific martial techniques.
The exercises begin by strengthening postural alignment and structure, strengthening the muscles, tendons and ligaments. Students begin to learn ‘power shapes’ which are effective in issuing and receiving power.
Breathing patterns are enhanced, becoming deep and long, bringing more oxygen into your body and helping to calm the mind.
The internal organs of the body are massaged by the downwards expansion of the diaphragm combined with the gentle rotational movements of the techniques. They become stronger and healthier as a result.
All the major power methods used in Tai chi self defence are developed to maximal potential, resulting in whole body tensile strength and precision explosive power.
Many exercises feature muscle control training and dynamic tension designed to further strengthen the muscles and sinews of the body to help students reach their peak potential strength.
At the end of internal strength training special breathing and visualisation exercises are practiced to integrate mind and body and to achieve deep levels of relaxation. Self massage completes the practice.