The physical strength of Fu Zhengsong is evident.
Fu was a famous master of Bagua who first learned
Chen Tauijiquan under 16th Generation Chenjiagou
master Chen Yanxi
To the average western Taijiquan student neigong or "internal training" can seem esoteric and is often over-emphasised. In Chinese Martial Arts: A Historical Survey Brian Kennedy and Elizabeth Guo describe internal training as follows: "Neigong includes exercises to train such qualities as coordination of muscle groups to act as a single "whole", the ability to coordinate the breathing along with movements and the ability to stay relaxed and responsive in a confrontation. These exercises are called "internal" because they do not involve any obvious external actions".
In Chen Taijiquan the following are all critical parts of internal training:
- Fang Song - loosening the body by relaxing the joints
- Peng Jin - an outward supportive strength
- Ding Jin - upright and straight
- Chen - rootedness
- Chansijin - reeling silk energy
But all traditional Chinese martial arts involve a balance of internal and external methods. Without an external basis this internal development is of limited value. ""Coordinated strength" means nothing if you don't have any strength to coordinate".
18th Generation Chen Taijiquan exponent Chen Zhaopi divided the training process into three distinct stages:
First training the body externally concentrating upon the extremities - this stage involved intense physical practice to "open up the joints". This stage, he said, should take about five years to accomplish - five years of daily training under the guidance of a knowledgeable teacher. This stage was deemed successful when:
Stamping the foot in Jin Gang Dao Dui should sound like thunder
Punching during Yang Shou Hong Quan should make a sound like the wind
Leaping up to do Er Ti Jiao, the kick should be able to reach seven or eight foot into the air...
|Push hands training with Chen Ziqiang - Some basis of strength and conditioning is necessary to |
successfully apply the qualities of rooting and sinking against a 110kg opponent!