Martial Anatomy 101 – How the Martial Artists’ body works!

Written by Gavin King. Posted in Articles by Gavin King, Blog, Frontpage, Shi Kon Classics, The Martial Therapist

deepfrontlineWritten in 2009 for The Martial Arts Standard

Welcome to Martial Anatomy 101 where we will explore how this wonderful complex mixture of intricate parts we call ‘us’ actually works. Under our skin we have a series of different structures that hold us together and allow us move about the world. For simplicity’s sake we shall limit our exploration to the bits that hold us up and move us around which are our muscles, bones, ligaments, tendons and fascia that also create the means for us to animate ourselves.

A common misconception is that it is our skeletons that allow us to stand upright, but in truth they are only one component of a far greater whole. If you were to take away all the ‘soft’ tissue you would find that you’d be nothing more than a pile of sticks (bones) in a bag with a few squishy parts like your stomach, liver and brain, forming a gooey heap on the floor. Our skeletal system on its own has absolutely no structural integrity as a single entity and our ability to ‘stand’ is only granted by the beautiful way that the soft tissues (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) of the body tie our bones together. Like a suspension bridge, our structure and its integrity are dependent upon the sum of all its parts, therefore any examination of ‘Martial Anatomy’ will require us to look at a seemingly complex number of parts and how they function and interact with each other.

The Secret of Internal Martial Arts – The Deep Front Line

Written by Gavin King. Posted in Articles by Gavin King, Blog, The Martial Therapist

The secret of the ‘internal’ Martial Arts lies in your ability to The Deep Front Lineconnect to and use the body’s core.  This is the first thing you are taught in our Tai Chi classes and how we begin every lesson – it is the secret to the famous internal power of Tai Chi!

In order to make the skills of the internal arts universally accessible to all Martial Artists we need concrete and methodical practices that systematically take the practitioner through a layered process to build core skills and sensitivity using simple language and terminology.

In the Shi Kon system we begin this process with Nei Gong.  Nei Gong translates to “inner work” and begins with a series of standing meditations that take the mind systematically through the true core of the body and teach how to use the breath to release excessive tension that can cause stiffness and obstruction.

Simple Seated Nei Gong – Insomnia Buster!

Written by Gavin King. Posted in Articles by Gavin King, Blog, The Martial Therapist

In our seated Tai Chi programme we teach a lovely seated Nei Gong exercise.  It is an exercise that reinforces correct posture and breathing and also serves a method for calming the body and mind.  It can also be incorporated into a pre-sleep ritual for those who suffer from insomnia – it help’s prepare the body for a peaceful night’s sleep.  It can also be used at your desk and in your car.

Simple Seated Nei Gong

1 – Firstly you will need to be seated – either sitting on a chair or on the edge of the bed.  Ideally you should sit at a height were your thighs are horizontal with your feet sitting flat on the floor shoulder width apart.

2 – Now you need to hold your head “as if suspended from above”.  Imagine that you have a book balanced on your head and then gently float the crown of the upward – ensuring that crown stays level and your book doesn’t fall off!  This should cause you to sit up straight and feel the spine open.

The Martial Art of Healing

Written by Steve Rowe. Posted in Articles By Steve Rowe, Shi Kon Classics, The Martial Therapist

In this article Steve continues his series on holistic Martial Arts, from ‘The Chakras’ and ‘What is Chi’ to ‘The Art of Healing’.

If you study Martial Arts for Self Defence…..  What is most likely to kill you?  The answer is of course, bad health – and therefore that should be your first line of defence!  You have to care for your physical, mental and emotional health to be able to deal with any external threat effectively 

An important day in your life as a Martial Artist is the day you take responsibility for your own well being and training regime.

The art of healing is an essential part of your Martial Arts training.  The Japanese say satsu/katsu that it is essentially thatlife taking’ and ‘life giving’ should be in balance and the study of taking care of your own and others wellbeing should be a natural part of your study.