Originally published in 1998, this book has become a martial arts classic. It provides detailed descriptions of the three main internal martial arts—tai chi (taiji), hsing-i (xingyi) and ba gua (pakua)—and their sub-styles, as well as how they differ from each other and from such external arts as karate, tae kwon do and judo. Each internal martial art is analyzed in terms of its fighting strategies and applications. This revised edition includes 50 pages of additional material including a new chapter on martial arts and spirituality.This was the first book to provide in-depth information to Westerners about nei gung (neijiaquan), the sophisticated Taoist system developed in ancient China for working with chi in the body, mind and spirit. Chi helps build relaxed speed and power without the use of muscular tension or adrenaline surges. This gives many internal martial artists a powerful edge over counterparts trained in external martial arts.
The book provides vivid details about Frantzis’ personal training odyssey in the martial arts, including fascinating profiles of such renowned martial artists as Morehei Ueshiba, founder of Aikido; ba gua master Wang Shu Jin, who emanated chi so powerfully that on cold days his students could warm their hands by standing near him; and Liu Hung Chieh, the legendary master of the internal martial arts and Taoist meditation who also had a complete knowledge of traditional Chinese medical theory.
The new edition demystifies the technique known as fa jin, the storage and sudden discharge of energy without the use of muscular force, one aspect of which is demonstrated on the front cover. The new edition also adds a lengthy chapter on the spiritual development of a martial artist, and describes how the internal martial arts are linked to Taoist meditation.
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Chi master Bruce Frantzis is reputed to be the first Westerner to hold authentic lineages in tai chi, hsing-i and ba gua. He began his martial arts training in 1961 and studied healing, martial arts and meditation with renowned teachers in the United States and Asia—including training for three years in Japan and more than a decade in China.
Since 1987, Frantzis has taught tai chi, chi gung, hsing-i, ba gua, TAO yoga, TAO meditation, and energetic-healing therapies to over 15,000 students in the United States and Europe. His teaching methods are spread by a growing number of certified instructors that he has trained.
Frantzis is the author of several widely praised books about the power of chi including: Tai Chi: Health for Life; the chi gung books, Opening the Energy Gates of Your Body and the Dragon and Tiger Medical Chi Gung Instruction Manual; and two volumes on the water method of TAO meditation, Relaxing Into Your Being and The Great Stillness. Two CDs, The Tao of Letting Go and Ancient Songs of the Tao, shed valuable insights into the power of TAO Meditation in helping people let go of their deepest emotional blockages and move closer to becoming truly alive, balanced and joyful.
“Bruce Frantzis is a true Taoist Master.” —Michael E. Gerber, author of The E-Myth Revisited
P. 297 — 1ST PAGE OF CH.9
1. Different major schools of meditation have their signature methods, such as following the breath, saying mantras or prayers, and doing visualizations. The Water branch of Taoism also has such a signature method. Taoists call it the inner dissolving of blocked chi energy, which they consider the most direct and effective method to free individuals from all spiritual blockages and inner enemies...Inner dissolving...enables spiritual martial artists to successfully battle their inner blockages both during solo practices and in sparring or combat. Inner dissolving is also used to validate the extent to which they have conquered their spiritual enemies. (Chapter 9, the TAO of Spiritual Martial Arts)
2. Many have asked me to talk about the fa jin technique shown on the front cover. Although external martial arts use physical strength and muscular force, the purely internal martial arts of ba gua, tai chi and hsing-i do not. The ‘art’ of all the internal martial arts is to fight and use fa jin techniques with total relaxation, balanced emotions and no muscular tension. This is one of the key differences between internal and external martial arts.
The technique known as fa jin is the storage and sudden release of energy to a specific point in time and space. In the cover photograph energy is discharged through the hands with such force that it throws the student upwards many feet into the air. The specific method is a tai chi Push Hands movement called “press.” (Prologue P. xxxiv)
P. 64 FROM CHAPTER 3
3. The primary Taoist internal martial arts...are derived from the nei gung tradition of Taoist meditation...it is the root of the essential chi work [that gives these arts] their internal power...The Taoists originally discovered these powerful nei gung techniques as they delved deeply inside their own minds and bodies through meditation. They meditated primarily in order to uncover, personally experience and immerse themselves in the underlying spiritual realities of the universe. They did not consider meditation to be a subdivision of learning how to fight better. They used the nei gung system to maintain superior health, heal illness, and continuously upgrade their own internal energies for the purpose of experientially realizing the secrets of inner stillness and spirituality....They discovered this energy system long before the external martial arts are supposed to have been begun in the Shaolin temple. (Chapter 3: Similarities and Differences in the Internal Martial Arts of Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Ba Gua)
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