The Article wrote:
Once you have released the core and become mindful of its true location you can now begin to learn to how to move using it. The Deep Front Line can be suspended, compressed, opened, closed and spiraled all of which generate power and movement. There are lots of methods within the Martial Arts to learn the these skills Goju Ryu has “Sink, Swallow, Float and Spit” whilst in Yang style Tai Chi you may use “Soften, Loosen and Empty Push”. Regardless of the method without the initial awareness and skills transmitted through Nei Gong the chances of you truly grasping the potential locked deep inside the Core in extremely unlikely.
I guess that seems a little backward to me. Exploring how the body moves and what it can do allows to, in reverse, find the commonality between all those various things felt inside the body and distill principles from that internal experience, rather than projecting a false robotic model onto the body.
The softening principle, as he puts it, seems a little backward too. Why soften for the sake of softening? Like in that aiki-ju and aiki-in-yo-ho picture Tom showed
, if you have tension that goes across those lines, rather than through, you have stiffness that prevents those lines from being flexible and mobile. But without force running through them, you are a mushy bag of bones with no integrity. I like rather the distinction of "clumsy" force and trained force - the difference between force that goes through the pathway/stays inside the body, rather than force that breaks the body or rather collapses it at points along the pathway.
The more I learn to drive force through, the less misdirected force (= "tension") I need anywhere else, and beyond that, the more I learn what to drive that force with. Softness becomes the perceived effect, not the cause.
I've tried to learn the reverse way before - just stand there and relax for an hour, or just lie there on the floor for an hour and don't move, or just walk in that circle for an hour, or... But, eh, never got anywhere that way for me - how was I supposed to experience the totality of a feeling without having surveyed all of the parts - like trying to figure out what was shown in a 1000 piece puzzle when you're only ever allowed to look at one piece?