Gernot Hassenpflug wrote:
I'm confused by Mike's comment about the wrong path here, since for example IIRC Akuzawa and Rob mention that the exercises get more and more painful as you get better, partly because one gets better at stretching/compressing the joints. I'd love to hear whether this bodily extension is required or not in order to learn some basics, but can then be done away with, or whether it is an indivisible part of the whole package and doesn't get thrown out later after it as served some or other purpose.
Hi Gernot: You're into part of the divisions between the "internal" and the "external" training methods. Of course there's no black and white division between the two (there are gradations and levels), but I personally believe more toward the "soft" side of training. Either way, there is some "extension", but one way is more deliberate, saying "this is enough" and the other say says it's more complex, softer, etc. Part of the point of these conversations, in my mind, is to point out that no one can come up and say "here's the only way to internal strength". There are a number of approaches and you're beginning to touch upon them.