After iron has been beaten thousands of times and refined hundreds of times, it changes its nature and becomes steel. Steel is firm internally and highly reflective externally. Iron by contrast is not only less flexible but its external appearance is rough. 'Coarse strength' , after undergoing persistent training for many days, months, and years can also be made to change its nature and become 'energy' (jing). When 'energy' (jing) is manifested it is soft, flexible and strong and able to embody the coordinated activity of the entire body. When 'coarse strength' is manifested the movements are stiff and the response is in a portion of the body only, rather than the whole body. The two are extremely different.

Excerpted from Yang Zhenduo's Zhong Guo Yang Shi Taiji, 1997, 'Thoughts on Practice' p163-164

Translated by Jerry Karin Translation Copyright © 2001 Yang Zhenduo. All rights reserved

The above states how iron is transmuted into steel and how course strength is transmuted into “energy or jing”. This is exactly why we practice the forms 10,000 times. Our practice should be more than just learning some sets of movements. Internal arts practice is a methodology of transforming the player on the five levels, physically, emotionally, mentally, energetically and spiritually. Only by looking deeply into the art can we begin to see what is (potentially) there for us. Qigong and Taijiquan are not just moving meditations or a martial art, they are a method of transformation.


Sifu Rod