Body Bows

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In Tai Chi The body has 5 main physical bows – analogous to a compound bow they store kinetic energy;

  • Bows need to be charged – equating to contracting or compression;
  • Bows need to be released in order to dissipate the energy they store – expansion, release;
  • Bows can be combined to generate a compound effect – whole body coordination and synchronisation;
  • Movements are large to practice and learn – short in practice whether for health or application purposes;
  • For health purposes maximising circulation of body fluids is one major aim. They need to flow into every bit of your body and the best way to do this is to compress and expand – it creates the pressure differences needed for effective circulation;
  • Structured practice shows you the tools. The tools don’t need to be used in a structured manner as long as they operate in the same manner – and this takes training and practice;
  • If you look at these movements and you practice martial arts – see where they look similar or different to moves that you do – the laws of functional convergence should apply. i.e. if you are trying to do the same thing in an effective manner common principles will apply;
  • The principle of effectiveness is important. Efficiency is making an isolated function work better, effectiveness is making the whole body work better. Efficiency in one area alone can actually decrease effectiveness.

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