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The ancient texts and various writings, commentary and codifications about internal strength start out with the idea of Heaven as a source of power, the Earth as a source of power, and many having his own ability and "qi" with which to utilize and combine the qi of Heaven and the Qi of Earth. The "Superior Man" (as the classics say) will use the power of Earth and Heaven to provide as much of his needs and strength as possible. I.e, the "superior man" doesn't use brute strength, he uses qi in its varying format.
The Qi of Earth provides the support of the ground for us to use in place of strength and it provides the weight of an object (downweight) to do work that requires down forces. Said slighty differently, the earth provides forces upward from the surface and it provides forces downward due to weight. Both of these functions indicate that generally speaking, the Qi of Earth is mostly a description of Gravity. In a number of both Chinese and Japanese martial-arts styles, you'll see this reference to Gravity (Kuroda Tetsuzan hands out a flier to beginning students describing the importance of "gravity").
Up and Down, Open and Close, Yin-Yang, etc., are all dichotomies explaining the basic body's function in relation to Gravity. To "Open" is to expand and inhale, with the joints naturally winding openward... the strength of the solidity of the ground is expanded upward and outward; To "Close" is to exhale while the body sink and the joints wind inward... the