The Mysterious Fourteen Day Pill
There is no such thing! Internal Martial Arts cannot be learned in two weeks, in intensive classes or any short term lessons. Internal Martial Arts take years to grasp a little understanding and will never be understood to a full extend. Dedication and will is required to make this a life long goal of continuous practice. The definition of learning Internal Martial Arts is very similar to a forging process, the quality can always improve with more effort.
Taking the Energy from a Tree
Taoists love the trees and we do not harm them by taking their energy :). No seriously, this is a marketing myth after i did many years of research i can give the following explanation:
Taoists love to find inspiration in nature. The calmness and quietness of a tree while yet not completely rigid but flexible, can interact with his environment in a fascinating way. This is why Taoists practice Zhan Zhuang near a tree to follow his example. The only difference which here is happening with your Qi (energy) is that you reflect from the outside to the inside – which will effect your Qi in a positive way. Finding good environments is very reasonable and more effective in practice!
The fact that you could take energy from a tree or from somewhere outside is completely wrong. While Qi is found everywhere, you can only use and generate your own. You can find a detailed explanation in my Three Treasures post! This is also why Taoists train their bodies to develop a higher spiritual state.
Energy and Physical Power
According to the traditional Chinese medicine the principle goes as following:
- More Meditation -> More Refined Qi -> Lower Qi Capacity
- More Physical Training -> Less Refined Qi -> Higher Qi Capacity
Internal Martial Artists need explosive power as well as high concentration. In Short lots of Qi and if possible very refined. The Training must be balanced but always starts with physical training. In young age we want to raise our Qi capacity as high as possible and as we grow older we want to “refine” it.
Why is Tai Chi so Slow?
If you ever saw an internal master and wondered why the Tai Chi form took over 15 minutes:
It is not because we want to force it being slow. It is because we need time to fully control our whole being while practicing the form.
For beginners Tai Chi tends to be too fast. This is because beginner only focus on one or mostly two things. Masters however practice their whole body and focus on multiple things. By doing Tai Chi slow we have more time to process all impressions and are able to properly control every movement internally and externally. If you simply force to be slow without the right intention and focus the Tai Chi will seem flat, powerless and unrefined.
According to the Yin and Yang principle: The more the Tai Chi seems to “float” the more power is required. It is ironic that if we want to float like a cloud in every step we must use power and control accordingly. Too relaxed means powerless and powerless movements fall down like stone. Example here!