The 5-Element Training System is based on the Chinese Medical Theory of the five phases (elements). This theory is used to help diagnose and thus aid in the prevention and curing of physical and mental illnesses. The Five Element Theory strives to balance the internal organs of the body with the emotional aspects of the brain.
It has been proven to work for thousands of years, even standing up to modern medicine, especially in the prevention and rehabilitation of illness, disease, and injuries. The Five Element Theory easily transcends western medicine when applied to the physical and mental benefits of Martial Arts. Applied to Martial Arts correctly, the approach of the Five Element Theory provides a complete and balanced training system for all individuals.
First, the 5-Element Training System uses a cyclic method of mutual support and promotion where all of the elements, Martial Arts support one another. If one Martial Art is weak, it can be built up and strengthened by the others. Thus, one’s practice may focus on one element at a time, but still, see improvement in another.
Water feeds the wood, promoting growth potential. Water is vitality and grace. Wood fuels fire, creating heat and energy. Wood is bones and connective tissue. Fire ash nourishes the earth, enabling it to sustain life. Fire is energy and agility. Earth is the center, giving the other elements a place to use.
From the earth comes Metal. Earth is muscle strength. Metal is the combination of the elements, or result of them. Thus, creating either durable or weak metal. Strong metal can enhance or show weaknesses in the other elements. Mentally, metal is knowledge.
Physically, metal is the use of weapons training. Second, the 5-Element Training System uses a cyclic method of control where the elements have a restraining effect on each other. With this method, one can detect and define a weakness and determine what element, Martial Art, should be focused on to strengthen it.
Brief description of the five elements
Water cools fire Fire tempers metal Metal shapes wood Wood growing penetrates the earth Earth channels and controls water.
Tai Chi Chuan develops fluidity and promotes circulation while opening the meridians of the body, to improve one’s energy flow and increase vitality.
The Noble Stances use postures that bring energy and circulation directly to the joints to restore and maintain their flexibility and strength.
Northern Shaolin Kung Fu develops speed, power, and agility while challenging the cardiovascular system.
Southern Hung Gar Kung Fu concentrates on building muscle strength in the arms, legs, and torso.
Weapons Training uses the combination of fluidity and flexibility, the strength of the joints, and coordination and timing with the power of the muscles, to attain a faster rate of development that could not be achieved by empty hand alone.
Note: This is not a complete explanation of the 5-Elements or the 5-Element Training System. It is only intended to give the student a cursory understanding of how all parts of their health and fitness are tied together. If there is a deficiency in one piece, the whole is effected; not allowing one to achieve optimal fitness or health.
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