Ideas on Storing Strength

The cultivation of integrated strength requires developing the ability to store strength or energy for use when its needed.  This is counter intuitive  when coming from activities that use muscular strength directly.  Learning to store strength and use it at just the right time is key to the method.

Here are some ways that strength (energy) can be stored).

Elasticity

Bones, cartilage, ligaments , tendons and facia all have elastic qualities to them.  Bones bend and compress when subject to loads while soft tissues stretch and elongate.  When the muscles are used to load the frame strength is stored within those integrated elastic qualities.  Hence the classic say store and release is the method for using strength.  The trick is to connect or link the body so that muscular strength is channeled or refined into oneness or integrated strength rather than be used to do work directly.

Pressure

Closely associated with the elastic qualities of body tissues is the idea of pressure.  Our bodies are mostly water and when the tension within the connective tissue is properly established the various compartments within experience an increase in pressure.  In the torso the method creates intra abdominal pressure, much like using a belt while lifting weights, adding stability and helping protect the organs inside.  Consider the difference between and empty soda can and a full one, increased pressure is the basis for the so called iron shirt skill that results from practicing the method.

Inertia

The old saying “when one thing moves, everything moves” relates to the role of inertia or momentum in the storage of strength.  With or without being overtly obvious the connected frame has the capacity to maintain a state of constant change, what I like to call the internal orbit.  The faster this orbit the more energy is stored by the mass involved all being in motion at the same time.  What looks like a single gesture from the outside can actually involve numerous orbit cycles on this inside.

Chemical

Linking the frame into a connected unit allows load to be transferred into the ground rather than be held up by local muscle groups.  This increase in efficiency allows muscle groups to achieve the same effect with less effort, recover, and be capable of more contractive force than were when under greater stain.

These ideas are but various aspects of an integrated system.  Think of each having its own “power curve”.  To achieve high levels of explosive strength through the method each curve must overlay the other, an amplification process, like a rouge wave in the ocean where various smaller waved combine temporarily into one huge wave.

About steveehrenreich

I am a long time practitioner of martial arts and Yi Chuan student of Master Cheuk Fung.
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