Role and influence of Chinese martial arts on human body and mind

Andrzej Szuszkiewicz

Polish Wing Chun Kung Fu Association in Cracow

Main permission One of the oldest martial arts in the world is Tai Chi Ch?uan (??? /chin. T?ijíquán; ??T?ijí ? supreme ultimate ?quán ? fist, box), which have roots and rose in Chinese civilization. Philosophical and health aspect was based on the experience gained during many years of war, which had always took place in Chinese history until World War II. Between the wars, people stopped fighting with each other, however they haven?t parted with martial arts, still continuing training the w?sh? (?? w?sh? ? chin. Art of war). In preparation for any subsequent wars, they perceived the advantages of this type of training, adding health (healing) and prophylactic (health benefits) aspect. That way, T?ijí was created. People have observed that motion helps to improve physical health as well as mental one, because training this martial art led to development not only the body but health of a man and his spirit.
T?ijí combines elements of self-defence with understanding human inner energy and uses Chinese philosophies such as Taoism and Confucianism. In T?ijí power describes Yin and Yang energy as the primary forces, opposite, which complement one another, being in harmony with each other. Yin literally means cloudy, it is meant as negative force, passive, while Yang meaning is bright, positive force and active. Both of these forces are all around us, where they are constantly transforming and human lasts between earth and the universe. The interaction of universe, earth and surrounding nature on man means constant flow of energy. The gravity force on earth, electromagnetic  waves or black matter in outer space that pervades everything, all the physical and chemical phenomena constantly taking place on the ground, are nothing more than just penetration of the two opposing elements. Practicing T?ijí teaches how to use this energy.
Training assimilate use of internal energy (from birth), elements of self-defence, external energy along with physical and chemical, such as food or warmth. One of the main T?ijíquán training is development of nervous system through flexibility training, concentration, and  above all ? coordination by maintaining control of the body in space and time. This ability is useful for every human being, as a pro-health, keeping everyone in a very good psychophysical condition. If we add to this elements of good nutrition, hygiene elements of life and mental training, we will achieve full harmony of the body with mind. One of the basic elements of T?ijí training, is work on the flexibility ? stretching, so that trainees can perform motions confidently and fluently the harmonious sequences in the movement and combat forms.
Nowadays our civilization has led to neglect physical activity. T?ijí is watching nature, going back to nature and draws inspiration from it, to create new forms and exercise, to achieve complete harmony between man and nature. For this reason an essential and inseparable element to obtain proper performance of T?ijí is the practice of Qigong (??(Q?g?ng ? master use of ones internal energy), consist on a combination of concentration (mastering thoughts in an advanced aspect) through the use of multiple senses while performing movement (polymodal synaesthesia spontaneous and directed). We achieve complete conscious control over every tiny motion of the body (skeletal, nervous, muscular, circulatory system, etc.) combined with correct breathing. The experience of primal body control in relation to the mind is achieved by the right order of understanding harmony lever between earth and universe, mind and body and lastly applying in in actual form of combat and healing our body.
In general, the level of knowledge about our body is very modest, and T?ijí is a powerful knowledge about the man. Practicing T?ijí affects the deepening awareness of the body and mind in carrying out various activities, even outside of training time. Besides, it teaches conscious breathing, which also is translated into the health facet. In T?ijí training is another aspect of health that cannot be overlooked: it is relaxation ? meditation combined with breathing techniques and meditation in motion, or to relax our bodies. Adding to the self-defence training and combat elements, we increase self confidence in the action, reduce the fear of failure, and thus aggression.
Source of inspiration Program and T?ijí training implemented by the author are the result of decades of experience gained during stays in China, training many styles beside martial art masters like: Kyokushin ? A. Drewniak, J. Pietras; Aikido ? C. Tissier; Q?g?ng & T?ijíquán yang style ? Jwing-Ming Yang; Jujitsu in polish Jujitsu association; Wing Chun Kuen ? William Cheung, D. Beddar, B. Corles; Gongfu Wu Dang ? M. Plyaskin; T?ijíquán Chen style & Q?g?ng ? Han Kui Yuan, M. Plyaskin.
Innovation and implementation Rich experience led to the creation of authors programs: 50+ activation, martial art workshop for blind, deaf, deaf-mutes and regular training groups that proves how training can be adapted in a wide range cases of diseases or disability. Even young individuals in the age of 9-11 years already receive the possibility of multifaceted development of both body and spirit, because of the greater plasticity of the brain. People middle-aged and older regain verve, health and stamina. But nevertheless recent research
shows that the brain regenerates until death, and new connections are created through aspects of polymodal stimulus through training.
Conclusion Generally, these actions are a continuation of the path initiated by the creators and subsequent masters of T?ijí. Enriched with their own experiences and thoughts, the influence of Chinese culture, as well as advancing scientific knowledge in the field of biomechanics, manual therapy (techniques, stretching, mobilization of peripheral joints and spine, as well as neuromobilization), dietetics, neuropsychology,
proxemics and a new field of neuroscience polymodal synaesthesia allowed to create their own author training program.
Acknowledgement To Henryk Knapik for academicals input toward creating correct patterns of training elements and improving understating scientifically aspects of body by aspects of biomechanics, physiotherapy?s techniques (muscle stretching, joints mobilization, neuromobilization) and conditioning neuropsychological patterns of mental training, Shiatsu therapy, who also is one of the eldest student.
To Szczepan Dominik Mateja who is my active student for many years not only in training, but also take part in improving understanding scientifically aspects as an scientific and Chinese culture adviser ? for editing and faithful translation presented paper.
Keywords: Q?g?ng training ? self-defence ? stretching techniques ? traditional movements forms of T?ijíquán Chen Style

Published online: 17 September 2015
Copyright: ? 2015 the Author. Published by Archives of Budo
Contributor: Andrzej Szuszkiewicz conceived the study design, collected and analysed the data, prepared the manuscript and secured the funding.
Funding: Departmental sources
Conflict of interest: Author has declared that no competing interest exists
Ethical approval: Not required
Provenance and peer review: Under responsibility of HMA Congress
Corresponding author: Andrzej Szuszkiewicz, Wing Chun Academy in Cracow, Polish Wing Chun Kung Fu Association in Cracow, Stradomska 11, 31-068 Kraków, Poland; e-mail: sifu[at]
Open Access License: This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-Non-commercial 4.0 International (, which permits use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited, the use is non-commercial and is otherwise in compliance with the license