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Thread: zhan zhuang-confers all the benefits of the internal arts?

  1. #16
    Originally posted by brucelee2
    Boy, you guys have got me so confused even I can't remember what my original intent with the question was. So, let's refine the question. Assuming someone is practicing only zhan zhuang, say an hour a day, what benefits, specifically, could they expect? And if they were also practicing an external art, say hung gar, then how would their hung gar be affected? Thanks again.
    if you practice zhan zhuang, you would develop strength in the legs (particularly the quads) and your arms depending how hight you hold them up. It is an isometric exercise anyway. This applies to both external and internal martial artists. For the internal people, they have to stand to try to get into the optimal, relaxed body structure and move qi around their bodies with their minds. And that is good for developing static internal power.

  2. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Norman, OK USA
    I'll definitely second what Sam said. Learning how to breathe correctly is a nice benefit. Lowering of blood cortisol levels (the stress hormone) and regulation of sugar metabolism are nice ones too. Much of the really groovy benefits depend on what the Yi (mind/intent) is doing while you are practicing it. Early on, you're learning about minor differences/sensations/corrections for postural imperfections or imbalances. You also learn how to use only that amount of muscular tension necessary to maintain proper structure and how to relax the rest of it. You learn where this fine line is and how to recognize it instantly by feel.

    This may sound a bit silly but you learn to actually feel your body from the inside. For most of the day, we normally don't pay much attention to sensations from many parts of the body. Zhan zhuang lets us develop a finer ability to detect sensation, specifically as it applies to differences in muscle tension, alignment and balance.

    Now, if on top of all that, you learn to use your mind to do other things while you are standing, there's a surprising bit you can accomplish...all while simply standing there.

  3. #18

    Could you give some examples of uses of the yi/mind during zhan zhuang? The only one I do is the running of the microcosmic orbit.


    Just curious as to why you think an hour or more of zhan zhuang is a waste. I understand that BK Frantzis used to do it for like 4 or 5 hours a day when he was doing regular tournaments, and I believe my bagua sifu said that when he was training they had to do 2 hours straight and if they moved even a little their sifu hit 'em with a stick!

  4. #19
    who's your bagua teacher and who was his teacher, bruce? I can't imagine how you can stand that long straight. First is boredem and second is that your legs probably can't even handle that pressure for that long. Chen Qing Zhou said he himself can't do the entire laojia chen form perfectly. Of course, I guess moving correctly is probably harder than standing correctly. Also, I never heard of standing perfectly still for zhan zhuang. There are subtle movements I thought.

  5. #20
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Georgia, USA
    Well, there are very minute movements. Your body is designed to keep balance by constantly adjusting. So although we try to stand perfectly still, it's impossible.

    I just think doing more than an hour is a waste of time. And that is if you can hold the posture that long. I prefer to do a few minutes of it, and then move on to something else. I may do standing qigong for an hour or more, and I used to make myself do at least 2 hours every morning, but it was not a single posture, it was several different ones. Of course, I practice a few different styles, and I try to get averything that I can in in the small amount of time I have.

    You want a real exercise to do with your mind, BL2? During your standing practice, don't think. It's easy to focus on something like the Upper Heavenly Circulation, but difficult to not think.

  6. #21
    Join Date
    Jan 1970



    I had to laugh, after reading your last post it accrued to me that it was exactly what I would have said if the rolls were reversed.

    Your assumptions were right on. When I refered to internal arts being the same as external arts, I meant in a martial sense. (i.e. both are equal forms of self-defense).

    Most of the time I refer to things in a general sense.

    I’ve been into Xingyiquan since 1983 and have done the external thing ( a shodan in Shotokan and Aikido "my second love" outside Xingyquan. (I still think you got me in the years/experience department, can I call you “old honorable one?”………Respectfully of course.

    Traveling around all the Neijia news groups one tends to come across the notion that internal arts are better than external arts. I think this notion is silly and I may have been coming from this platform. People usually cite an internal art's martial prowess as to the reason why. I don’t believe internal arts are any better martially, I think they are just two sides of the same coin.

    Different yes, but still the same coin.

    Although there is a way of doing things internal and once learned are hard to break. If I had a dollar for every time I got yelled at in the Shotokan dojo for doing something the Xingyi way, I would be rich.

    Something sparked a good point.

    Obviously I prefer the internal side of the coin, and think internal arts are better, but mainly because of the benefits your posts were alluding too.

    Few cite these reasons as to why internal arts may be more advantageous than external arts.

    I’m not only referring to the Nei gong aspects you mentioned, but much in the way most internal quan are performed and it’s effects on the body long term.

    I’ve seen someone burn his body out in an external style. Usually knees and hips get blown. (This is one of the many reasons why I have returned to Xingyiquan.

    It’s important to stress this longevity, plus the “as you get older, you get better, while not slowing down thing. “

    I don’t see it as much in external styles, usually I see the exact opposite.

    I should have helped you point that out.

    Good thread.

    Paul Calugaru

  7. #22
    Join Date
    Jan 1970
    Fremont, CA, U.S.A.

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  8. #23
    Quote Originally Posted by GeneChing View Post
    Calm your mind. READ Standing Meditation - The Foundation Training of Tai Chi by Vivian Lee]
    Wonder while standing for an hour if one could get the same benefits while watching or listening to something else.

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