A guide to self-discipline and self-knowledge through concentrated but effortless movement. It places the martial arts in their cultural and everyday context and explains how to achieve a balanced lifestyle which aims to lead the performer to a sense of harmony with self and the universe.
This guide to the internal martial arts gives instructions for the exercises, both simple forms and advanced sequences of fluid movements. It places martial arts in their cultural and everyday context and aims to explain how to achieve a balanced lifestyle and advises curative and preventive treatments for a wide variety of ailments and health problems. The martial arts are understood here as more than just varieties of self-defence or competitive sports. They are ways of self-discipline, self-knowledge and expression through concentrated but effortless movement. This book presents the four major "soft" or internal arts - T'ai Chi Chuan, Hsing I, Pa Kua and Chi Kung. These arts focus on skills that are often hidden to the untrained eye - breathing power, correct poise and tone, the generation of "chi" or vital energy, heightened by awareness and inner calm. In place of muscular strength and competitive tension they emphasize supple movement and a sense of calm detatchment that engenders inner strength and responsiveness. Ultimately, the practice of the internal martial arts is intended to lead the performer to a rare sense of harmony with self and with the universe. This is the sixth in Gaia's best-selling series for natural living, which includes "The Book of Stress Survival", "The Book of Yoga", "The Book of Massage", "The Dance Workshop" and "The Sensual Body".