Yi Chuan is a holistic approach to cultivation because it helps build health, increase energy and improve self-defense capabilities simultaneously. Like the three sides of a triangle, health, energy and self-defense mutually support one another. How could you have good energy without good health? How could you expect to have good self-defense without good health and high levels of energy? Yi Chuan provides a way to address all three within a single practice.
As a Chinese form of Yoga Yi Chuan helps keep practitioners healthy by providing an exercise regime that stretches and tones the muscles and tendons, massages the internal organs and provides the mind a release from the stress of daily life. It works by connecting the entire body into a single unit so that when one thing moves everything moves. The intent of the practitioner is the key achieving this integration. Proper use of the intent naturally coordinates the body to work towards the intended purpose. Union of the mind intent and body action helps the practitioner to reduce physical and metal imbalances and return to a natural and healthy state.
Exercising the mind and body in an integrated way helps to build energy and capacity on a number of levels. The formula is deceptively simple. Mind intent triggers the coordinated electro-chemical reactions in the nervous system that trigger electro-chemical reactions in the muscles that create physical force that is used or stored in the body’s frame (tendons, ligaments, bones and fascia). This chain reaction or energy transformation process is how the life force of a living being manifests itself as physical movement, strength and power.
Since intent is the trigger mechanism, Yi Chuan is built around training the practitioner to condition it for self-defense. Exercising the intent makes it stronger. Stronger intent leads to stronger and faster transfer of electro-chemical energy to the muscles. Stronger and faster signals to the muscles create stronger and faster contractions in the muscle fibers which in turn allow the body to manifest and/or store more strength in the frame. The ability to quickly manifest the integrated strength of the whole body as physical and stored strength is why the practice can significantly improve self-defense capacity.
The shapes, orbits and routes routinely practiced in Yi Chuan can be used to express countless self-defense techniques. The method emphasizes spontaneity and tends away from fixed forms or routines in its practice. The idea is to build your capacity to express integrated strength in any position so you have something ‘on hand’ to defend yourself with. Self defense ‘techniques’ in Yi Chuan can therefore be defined as methods to maifest integrated strength for self-defense.
Yi Chuan can be practiced in any position (sitting, standing or lying down), at any time, virtually anywhere. It requires no equipment, type of clothing or special shoes. It’s methods are being used to heal the sick, strengthen the weak and even prepare athletes for competition. Yi Chuan origins date back long ago and have been practiced by coutless generations. An experiential self-cultivation practice for developing integrated strength for self defense it can help you get out of your head and build training routine to improve your heath, increase your energy and improve your ability to defend yourself.