Drunken Boxing For Your Health
© 2011 Shifu Neil Ripski
Drunken Boxing is known for being comical, unorthodox and strange. Some say it is no good for combat while others firmly dispute this (at least traditional styles anyway), but something that is not brought up often is the affect training in Drunken has on your health. So I thought a brief explanation of a few key reasons would make a good article, so here we go...
1- Balance equals health. Now I am not just referring to the ability to stand on one leg in a windstorm uphill both ways. Balance in these terms refers to left and right, up and down forward and back as well as outside and inside. Basically every movement in Drunken has a left and right component as well as a internal and external component and it is the balance between these things that helps the body maintain equilibrium. When the mind concentrates on only one hand in a movement for instance, the other hand/side of the body is left hanging, mentally and physically and the whole body exercise that is possible is not actually happening. The most important question I ask my beginners is “What is your other hand doing?” Most everyone can put the lead hand in place and bring their mind to it but what is the other side of the body up to.
A good bit of advice is “When going forward think of backward...” This is meant literally. When walking forward if you bring your mind to center and think backwards as well you will find your spine expanding backward and opening the back. Straightening your posture and exercising groups of muscles that are rarely engaged in forward movement. Every part of the body should be engaged and observed while practicing, indeed this also allows for more muscular recruitment for generation of internal force when expression is necessary Fa Jin, but I digress. Although without this advice the art will still render some of its health benefits to you, they will be measurably less than with proper balance.
2- Massage the internal organs to remove stagnation. The twisting and turning of the torso in Drunken practice accomplishes a very deep internal organ massage that helps to squeeze out stagnant blood and allow for proper circulation. Sedentary lives lead to the internal organs never moving or pushing up against each other. The sack of mushy stuff inside us has to be moved and twisted in order to keep all our organs functioning properly. This is accomplished by leading all your movements with the waist (Dan Tien or Elixer field, very energetic and cool sounding). Turn the waist to move the hips, the shoulders, the elbows and so forth. Moving your hands around in a form is still exercise but twisting the torso and moving it first creates pressure inside our bodies and this allows us to stay healthy and as the classics say “Pliable as a child...” I dont know about you but I hope I can be as pliable as a six year old when I am sixty!
Already out of space so I will leave it here. Any exercise will affect your health. Performance of that exercise with balance and movement from deep within your center will affect your health even more.
Shifu Neil Ripski
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