Chinese Internal Martial Arts
Chinese internal martial arts represent a unique system of self-defense that is also acclaimed for its contributions to health, fitness, longevity, and self-cultivation. This class of martial arts includes T'ai Chi Ch'uan (Taijiquan) and related systems such as Xingyi and Bagua. There are many others, although they are not so well known.
Among the distinguishing features of these systems is their ability to use movement and stillness to create an awareness that guides the physical body to increase and to calm the internal energy. Initially the body is regulated, then the qi (ch'i) and then the mind. At higher levels, a calm mind and spirit direct the other aspects, leading to higher levels of skill and self-knowledge.
Learning the internal arts involves many choices and continual experimentation to find the correct way to practice and progress. Various volumes offered by Wayfarer Publications are intended as signposts leading in the correct direction and cautioning about missteps.
They give valuable information to help practitioners gain insight into their studies. Some may be more useful for some people than others because of the differences in peoples' background, experience and abilities. However, all add useful information and contribute in some way to the student's development.
A useful way to advance one's progress is to examine related but different methods and arts since they can add new dimensions to what one practices. Qigong, various styles of T'ai Chi Ch'uan, and other internal arts have many differences but they also have many similarities. Understanding these can open your understanding of your own art.