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.

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.

Understanding the Survival System

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

Having worked within the security industry my training has always been rooted heavily in the ‘reality’ end of the martial arts and my primary concern has been the body’s survival system.   It is the desire to understand this system that has really been the driving force in my martial development and was also the catalyst that led me into physical therapy and the healing arts.

Our survival system is powered by the sympathetic nervous system that is more commonly known as ‘fight or flight’.  This part of the nervous system is our body’s ‘call to arms’ and changes our physiology to allow us to perform during life threatening situations.

Stimulating the System

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

Human Body Martial ArtsThe common view of human construction is that our body is a series of bones that sit upon one another to form the structure we know as the skeleton.  In my treatment room I have a skeleton and in order for him to stand he has numerous bolts, springs and wires that hold him together – without them he’d be nothing but a pile of sticks on the floor.  In reality our skeletal structure is exactly the same and on its own it has absolutely no structural integrity.  Far from being like a house of bricks with one bone stacked upon another our body structure far more closely resembles a suspension bridge in design.  It is only through the way the soft tissues of the body (muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia) weave the bones together that we can stand, dynamically move and interact with our environment.

In the book ‘Anatomy Trains’ renowned structural Bodyworker Tom Myers likens the relationship of the soft tissue and skeletal system of a human to the mast and rigging of a sailing boat.  In sailing without the rigging attached to the mast and various points of the hull, the mast would be ripped from the deck as soon as gust of wind caught the sail.  What the rigging allows for is the distribution of the ‘pull’ on the mast to multiple points on the sturdy structure of the hull.  In exactly the same manner our spine acts as a mast and the muscles as rigging.  When the spine is pulled forwards the rigging at the rear will tighten to stop the spine from snapping forwards and vice versa if it is pulled backwards.  Many people who have back pain often visit me are surprised when I sometimes start work on the front of their bodies to address ‘pulls’ that may be causing tension in ‘rigging’ in the back.