Unveiling the Illusion


The Erosion of Authentic Yoga and Martial Arts

In contemporary Western society, we often witness a phenomenon where some individuals delude themselves into thinking they are superior to others simply because they practice yoga. However, it is crucial to understand that outward appearance and vanity are not what defines true spiritual practice. A critical analysis of this distorted mindset reveals how the pursuit of social media validation and superficial ostentation are slowly corrupting the authentic spirit of yoga.

Transcending Superficiality The practice of yoga goes beyond the perfect execution of visually appealing poses to share online. It is an inner journey that requires dedication, humility, and a commitment to transcend one’s ego. Unfortunately, many people remain superficial, taking pictures of themselves in extraordinary positions and seeking virtual approval, thus creating an illusion of superiority. However, genuine spiritual growth requires constant and profound effort beyond appearances.

Yoga teachers, often eager to be appreciated and followed on social media, risk falling into the trap of ego. When their personal image becomes more important than the essence of the practice, they become a poor example for their students. The era of image, contradicting the true essence of ancient spiritual disciplines, undermines the very meaning of yoga. Authentic teachers should instead embody humility and honesty, guiding their students toward a deeper connection with themselves and the surrounding world.

Yoga is a path of personal growth that requires discipline, patience, and awareness. It cannot be reduced to a mere external spectacle or a tool of vanity to feed the ego. True spiritual practice demands a deep connection with one’s inner being, an openness to change, and a willingness to embrace humility. It is not an achievement to feel superior but rather a constant journey of self-discovery and self-awareness.

It is essential to reflect on the distortion spreading in the Western yoga world, where image and vanity are overshadowing the true spiritual essence of the practice. We must never forget that superiority does not reside in clothing or perfect poses but rather in a profound understanding of oneself and others. Let us stop seeking virtual approval and instead focus on authenticity, embracing humility, and cultivating a deeper inner connection. Only then can we truly evolve spiritually and embrace the true meaning of yoga.

This phenomenon also occurs in YiQuan, where many practitioners focus solely on the exercise of ZhanZhuang with the sole purpose of forcefully pushing their practice partners, which they erroneously call FaJing. Hiding behind a spiritual art like NeiJiaQuan while using a rude and violent attitude can gratify the ego and provide a sort of social revenge. These individuals believe they are not just violent people striking with chaotic movements but rather practitioners of an ancient martial art focused on spiritual growth and personal defense. However, without control and self-awareness in their movements, one cannot speak of “conscious instinct” or a “unified body.” YiQuan represents an elevated level of NeiJiaQuan and should be the goal of all true martial arts practitioners, instead of becoming a refuge for unsuccessful boxers or martial artists in their own discipline.

In China, YiQuan is considered the greatest of the internal martial arts, and true YiQuan masters are highly sought after by practitioners and martial arts enthusiasts. However, in the West, YiQuan is often underestimated due to a complete ignorance of what it means to practice true ZhanZhuang and Shili. YiQuan is mistakenly called “the boxing of intention,” but in reality, it can be much more complex than a simple “instinctive combat” consisting of chaotic movements based on “whatever comes to mind, I’ll do that movement following my thoughts.” Without self-awareness, one cannot speak of “conscious instinct” or a “unified body.” In internal martial arts, one does not simply use the body they were born with or solely the kinetic chain but rather creates a “unified body” through QiGong and ZhanZhuang.

The kinetic chain, in the context of street fighting, represents a crucial aspect for generating maximum force at the moment of punch impact. It consists of a sequence of movements and the correct coordination of body elements to achieve optimal energy transfer along the chain.

Initially, energy is generated through the impulse generated by pushing the legs against the ground. Subsequently, this energy is transferred to the pelvis, which engages in a forward rotation together with the torso. Through this rotation, the energy is then transmitted to the shoulders, which in turn transmit it to the upper limb involved in executing the punch. The rotation of the torso and shoulders contributes to increasing punch speed, while the involvement of the legs and pelvis allows for greater power generation.

It is essential to execute the kinetic chain smoothly and synchronously so that energy can be efficiently transmitted throughout the entire pathway. Acquiring proper technique and targeted training can contribute to the development and optimization of the kinetic chain, thus promoting the generation of greater punching power. YiQuan not only utilizes the kinetic chain but also the Fali of the “unified body.”

A Fali strike is an explosive strike that is executed instantaneously and simultaneously, utilizing all the cells of the body at the same instant. The energy accumulated in the body is rapidly and powerfully released, generating a great force concentrated in a short amount of time. This type of strike requires good internal coordination, relaxation of unnecessary muscles, and coordinated tension in the muscles involved in the action. The goal is to concentrate energy at a specific point and release it in a single explosion.

On the other hand, a kinetic chain strike is based on the principle of force transmission through the body, like a whip moving from muscle to muscle. In this case, energy is generated and transmitted through a sequence of fluid and interconnected movements. Each body segment contributes to the next movement, creating a continuous flow of force that is gradually amplified until the final impact. This type of strike requires correct coordination of movements and effective force transmission along the entire kinetic chain.

The main difference between the two approaches lies in the mode of force generation and release. Fali strikes utilize an instantaneous and simultaneous explosion of energy accumulated throughout the body, while kinetic chain strikes leverage the gradual transmission of force through a sequence of fluid and interconnected movements.

Both approaches have their advantages and can be used in different situations. Fali strikes are often employed for immediate and surprising powerful impacts, while kinetic chain strikes may be more suitable for fluid and continuous striking. The choice of approach depends on the practitioner’s personal preferences and the specific requirements of the action or technique being utilized.

QiGong is crucial for the development of 真题爆发力 (zhēntí bàofā lì) as it directly works on internal energy, body strength, and coordination. Through QiGong practice, various benefits can positively influence the ability to express explosive force.

Here are some ways in which QiGong can influence 真题爆发力 (zhēntí bàofā lì):

Body Alignment: QiGong helps develop correct posture, good alignment, and a solid foundation. This promotes stability and power transfer throughout the body. Internal Energy Cultivation: QiGong works on the accumulation, circulation, and balance of internal energy (qi) in the body. Proper QiGong practice can increase the energy available for expressing explosive force. Breath Control: QiGong places strong emphasis on conscious breathing. Deep and coordinated breathing during QiGong practice can improve respiratory efficiency and the body’s ability to relax, thus facilitating the generation of explosive force. Mental Concentration: QiGong requires focused attention and body awareness. This capacity for concentration and mental presence can be transferred tothe expression of explosive force, enhancing movement coordination and precision. Relaxation and Stress Reduction: QiGong is known for its calming and relaxing effects on the nervous system. Reducing stress and tension in the body can promote better movement quality and a greater ability to express force efficiently.

For these reasons, these disciplines are called “Alchemical Arts” (NeijiaQuan) as they transform the entire being from within through exercises of mind (Yi) and energy (Qi). It is important to emphasize that QiGong cannot be self-taught, as many mistakenly believe influenced by the New Age movement that promotes the idea that “everyone is their own master.” Life experience and meditation certainly contribute to greater awareness, but practice also requires serious “Alchemical” work in NeiJia, which goes beyond experimenting with techniques. They are techniques of transformation.

It is crucial to understand that personal experience and meditation must be accompanied by proper instruction to learn QiGong and internal martial arts correctly.