- Basic level (Ming Jing/Tangible Power): In this level the posture is trained in order to increase strength, endurance, speed and power, needed for combat purpose. Special focus is placed on developing a powerful bone and muscle structure to counter and release powerful locks, throws, and strikes. It targets physical form and postural pattern. In this level one can feel Qi as hot, cold, expansive, contracted, heavy, weightless, tingling, vibrating, stickiness, etc.
- Intermediate level (An Jing/Perceiving Power): Special focus is placed on developing a powerful Qi circulation, and to increase respiratory endurance. Special focus is placed on the ability to access the Qi of the internal and external organs tissues, such as tendons, ligaments, inner fasciae, and secondary muscle groups. It targets the respiratory patterns and nervous system. Here the Qi will be felt as flashing light sensations, sound sensations, smell sensations, falling sensations, flying sensations, etc.
- Level III
- Level IV
- Advanced Level (Hua Jing/Intangible Power): Special focus is placed on developing the mind intent (Yi) and will (Zhi) in order to maintain focus, reduce fatigue, increase physical power, speed, and strength of mind and spirit. It targets the mind and spirit through thoughts, images, and intentions. This mental training is specifically used for enduring the stress of combat.
- Level V
- Level VI
To the ancient masters, each of the specialized exercises and meditations used in the alchemical training represented three supernatural concepts of:
- Physical (body),
- Energetical (breath), and
- Spiritual (mind) manifestation.
Traditionally, each disciple were skilled in three distinct schools of esoteric training,
- Medical, and
All three of these important systems required the disciple to continually train in:
- Essence (Jing) via Gongli Training,
- Energy (Qi) via Qigong Training, and
- Spirit/Mind (Shen) via Shengong Training
Each of these three training methods developed different internal (Nei dan or Nei gong) and external (Wai dan or Wei gong) skills. They also utilized several different esoteric training procedures in order to achieve the powerful results required for maintaining the effective applications. Martial Qigong uses both Wei gong and Neigong techniques to build muscle tissues. Since as we grow old muscle tissue tend to deteriorate and the Qi from cell nucleus tend to weaken, hence we need to work on Neigong build Qi in lower Dantian, and circulate throughout the channels and meridian, and extend it organs, tissue muscles and finally into the Wei Qi field.
Wai dan or Wei gong: It is an ancient form of External Endurance Skill training. It works on skin, tissue, muscle, and tendon and bone structure. The focus is getting the mind on the above mentioned area. In Wei gong the Qi is generated from the cell nucleus of the muscle tissue and works on the need, and not from lower Dantian. Muscle fibers need to constantly contract and expand with the help of mind and Qi, or else fatty deposits in the layers of the muscle making it stiffened, and deteriorate. More you use muscle fiber with mind and Qi, through concentration the more strong the fibers it becomes delivering more blood, Qi, nutrition to the muscle fibers, making it stronger and self-reliant. Wai dan or Wei gong or hard style, uses the focus, and mind intent, with Li or power of the muscle tissue to strike a target, similarly to Tiger style. It specifically focuses on training and strengthening the body’s tissues to move and respond as a solid, powerful unit. Weigong Training was traditionally categorized as consisting of basic calisthenics (push-ups, pull-ups, etc.), different forms of weight training, isometric and stance training (i.e., holding deep stances for extended periods of time), as well as aerobic and anaerobic conditioning (including climbing mountains and trees, sprinting, and long distance walking), and massage. Wei Gong trains the muscles, bones, and flesh, and utilizes such techniques as stretching, hitting objects, or using various types of weights. According to ancient teachings, “Without a Wei gong basis, Neigong is primarily useless.”
Nei dan or Nei gong: This is a form of Internal Posture Training that specifically focuses on training the body’s tissues to move internal energy via focused intention. In Neigong the Qi is generated from Lower Dantian , and moves via the meridian and channels. The lower Dantian is also called the sea of Qi – what it means that this area is full of vital energy coming from, food, and liquid, through various neuro-transmitters generated by the conscious, subconscious, and unconscious mind and air (basically Oxygen and nitrogen), supplied by the lungs. The Qi released from the lower Dantian moves into the channel and meridian will extend pressure, and force, creating volume within the muscle cells or muscle fibers, a sort of contraction and expansion, which in turn makes the muscle tissue and muscle fibers, and the skin gets a healthy, energetic, and youthful look, with strength, vigour and vitality. Neidan or Neigong or soft style, uses the Shen (Mind), visualizing the target behind the actual target, very elegantly releases the Qi from Dantian, while striking the target, but the limbs don’t touch the target it bounce back as soon as it touches the opponent Qi field, and maximum damage is done depend upon the intent of the master. No effort or movement is done by the master he is totally relaxed.
It is traditionally trained in order to access deeper states of physical, mental, and spiritual powers. Neigong trains the body’s Jing (Essence), Qi (Energy), and Shen (Spirit), and utilizes such techniques as focused intention, active visualization, and both Quiescent and Dynamic Qigong training. Neigong includes specific exercises to train the coordination of various muscle groups in order to act as one unit. It also emphasizes developing the ability to coordinate the breathing with the movements, and the ability to stay relaxed and responsive during a confrontation. The Neigong techniques are called “internal” because they do not involve any obvious external action. Oftentimes, there is an overemphasis on the more esoteric Neigong side of training, but without a Weigong base, the results of the Neigong training becomes inconsistent and weak. In other words, the direct coordination of physical strength means nothing, if you have not developed the strength to coordinate and release the power. Sometimes, part of this imbalance in training comes from an overemphasis on Qigong exercises for the development of power.
Gong Li (Strength/Power skill): A student’s cultivated “Skill of Strength and Power” was measured according to his ability to control the various energy field within his Three Bodies (i.e., the Physical Body, Energy Body, and Spirit Body). These important physical training methods were needed in order to increase endurance, strength, stamina, and power. Traditionally, an individual’s Gongli ability was measured by his capacity to perform, maintain, and endure certain esoteric training techniques (e.g., hold and maintain certain postures for extended period of time, demonstrate certain feats of strength and power, rooting skill, etc.).
Qigong (Energy/Breath Skill): Qigong specifically focuses on training the Body, Breath, and Mind during various forms of breathing practice. The effectiveness of a student’s Qigong is measured according to his ability to activate and control the energy generated from his Three Breaths (i.e., the Physical Breath, Energetic Breath, and Spiritual Breath). This important energy and breath training is needed to increase the student’s cultivation, generation, and projection of energy. This form of alchemical training also focuses on utilizing the breath in order to train the energy and spirit to access subtle spiritual dimensions. The concentration is focused on the development of the student’s imagination, visualization, hearing, smelling, tasting, touching, breathing, muscular relaxation, and postural integration. There are nine special internal energetic imbalances that cause the breath and Qi to immediately respond in an unnatural way. These internal energetic imbalances are described as follows:
Anger: Lifts the Breath and Energy (Qi)
Joy: Slows the Breath and Energy (Qi)
Thinking: Binds the Breath and Energy (Qi)
Grief: Disperses the Breath and Energy (Qi)
Fear: Lowers the Breath and Energy (Qi)
Terror: Throws the Breath and Energy (Qi) out of harmony
Hardwork/Labor: Wastes the Breath and Qi
Cold: Gathers the Breath and Energy (Qi) inward
Heat: Scatters the Breath and Energy (Qi) outward
Shen Gong (Spirit Skill): Shen gong training, is a form of Mental Training, that specifically focuses on utilizing the intention of the Heart/Mind and Spirit (i.e., the individual’s focused desire and passion), via the use of special imaginations and visualizations. In this special training, the student’s mind is utilized in order to augment his Neigong and Qigong training methods. A student’s Shen gong is measured according to his ability to activate and control the Three Minds (i.e., the Physical Mind, Energetic Mind, and Spiritual Mind). This important training is needed to increase the cultivation, generation, and projection of thoughts and intentions. This form of alchemical training also focuses on utilizing the mind (thoughts and emotions), in order to train the energy and spirit to access and enter subtle spiritual realms.
The concept is drawn from the 5 Elements, tattavas, skandas, theory… This theory could be applied for any game, sports or martial arts. As per the theory:
Earth: deals with vastu – object i.e. strengthening, stabilizing and building stamina or endurance for the training.
Water: deals with samjna – intention i.e. building flexibility, fluidity and adaptability for the movement.
Fire: deals with prayoga – act or effort i.e. build power and speed for the movement.
Air or Metal: deals with klesa – mental satisfaction i.e. build clarity of mind, or thought, to execute the action, tactics or strategy without any hindrances.
Space or Wood: deals with nispati – accomplishment i.e. to build any movement effortlessly – without the cumbersome blockage of physical, mental, emotional, or spiritual strain.
The general sports training is covered in two separate programmes:
- Muscle-tissue development – This programme concentrates on basic toning as well as the balancing of the body structure to better handle the rigours of professional sports.
- Tendon development – This program focuses entirely on increasing the flexibility and strength of the tendons of the body. It is a unique and demanding program that will strengthen the tendons, connective tissues and fasciae muscles of the body like no other form of exercise can.