When it comes to a strong, healthy body Western culture focuses on muscles – muscle mass, muscle strength and and that muscle toned physique you’ve seen in all good glossy magazines! The appearance of external strength is much sought after.
However, ancient Taoist practice focuses on tendons – tendons give long lasting power, true internal strength. Tendons have the ability to absorb energy, stretch like elastic and release up to 93 per cent of the energy they have stored. The Tao observed in nature that some of the most fleet-footed and powerful animals had thin legs rather than bulky, muscular legs – think of the deer or the horse, whose legs consist almost entirely of bone and tendon. They rely on their well-developed tendons for exceptional feats of running and jumping.
With specific exercise tendons can maintain their strength over a lifetime, whereas muscle will always degenerate with age. Think of old people in the parks in China doing Tai Chi & Chi Kung (Qi Gong) – graceful and flexible well into their elder years.
Champion long distance runners look effortless in their stride – they too have learned to rely on tendon rather than muscle. Most athletes would agree that a tendon injury is much more serious than muscle strain or even a broken bone. The recovery takes longer. Tendon Nei Kung can help recover from injury and indeed prevent it by strengthening them and storing chi/energy in the tendons. Developing tendons helps to create a more connected, unified sense of movement.
Tendon Nei Kung is a specific type of Chi Kung to build strength, power and flexibility in the tendons, but also in relation to ligaments and joints. It is the secret to true physical strength – a testament to great martial artists, elderly masters who can push their young opponents across a room with a single push.
You can learn the secrets and techniques of Tendon Nei Kung this weekend with Olivier Barré, Senior UHT Instructor from France. Book your place here.