How does standing meditation (taiji, xingyi, yiquan) lead to martial arts qualities?

How does standing meditation (zhanzhuang) practice lead to qualities that benefit the practitioner in self-protection situations, like a strong root, balance sensitivity and various experiences of power?

Is there a scientific model that explains how?

I already got some great info about how standing leads to a healthier body, thanks so much! Now, why does it also work to make you good at protecting yourself?

2 thoughts on “How does standing meditation (taiji, xingyi, yiquan) lead to martial arts qualities?

  1. Meditation and self discipline lead to better control of your mind. This has been show to carry over somewhat into self control in emergency situations. Quigung leads to flexibility and control of breathing. Add meditation and you have three important abilities of controlling the fight flight response in a self defense situation. Often just training hard does not focus enough on these aspects of self development. I recommend that my students augment their training with Quigung or something similar such as Yoga.

  2. Standing meditation on its own will not lead the practitioner to greater heights of martial ability. However it is an essential tool in the arsenal of training techniques of the internal martial artist.

    In a nutshell, before you can control your opponent you must first learn to control yourself. Before you can know your opponent you must first know yourself. Coming to terms with yourself is first found in stillness, then you must seek this stillness in movement, and then later seek this stillness again in a combative situation.

    This can be likened to the qualities of balance and grounding (or rooting). Balance in any martial art style is a strict requirement. Likewise, in the detail oriented internal martial arts this is trained in stillness first (zhan zhuang, static postures, drills, etc) and then in the forms, and later in contact elements like push hands and various forms of sparring.

    Standing (and it isn’t mindless standing) provides a platform to sensitize and refine our perceptions to these and many other qualities that are necessary for the martial arts and health.

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