Well, it was quite the deal a few thousand years ago, when immortals walked the earth and internal power, especially in the martial arts, was no big thing. Of course, things aren’t so heady these days. Of course, if one understood that one could have internal power in six simple steps, then things might go back to the way they were.
The first step isn’t a step at all, it is a lack of knowledge. This is when a person doesn’t use his hips at all in a strike or move. Oddly, one can see the lack of knowledge because the student has a bad case of butt wiggle when he does a simple lunging punch.
In Classical Karate we learned how to slam the hips into a strike. We would pivot front stances, slamming the hips, at the beginning of every class. This put the weight of the body into the move, and created all sorts of power.
The third step came when I realized that I could just move the hips into the technique without the slam. This was a subtle motion, sometimes just an in and out of alignment motion, but it worked, was efficient, and was my first step into what we call internal power. This motion, developed in classical karate such as shotokan, is often called hip vibration.
The fourth step is understanding that you can roll the whole body like a pipe half filled with sand. The object was to make all the sand on the inside of the pipe collide with the inside of the pipe at the same moment one struck an opponent. I was heavily involved in the development of internal power now, and one can see this type of movement in properly done forms such as Sanchin.
The fifth step is easy to understand if you have done Tai Chi for a number of years. Instead of slamming the hips, or rolling the arm or body like a pipe, I simply moved the body or body part in a subtle motion so that the tan tien was like a cup of tea, and the chi was sloshing on the inside of the cup. This caused energy to swell up inside the body cavity, and this energy could be used.
The energy of the fifth step can be understood when one learns to Let Go of themselves. People always hold back a little obviously not wanting to hurt somebody, but, unobviously, withholding their internal power. The sixth step is to learn to relax enough that you don’t hold back, and then the energy you have cultivated by the previous methods becomes real and usable.
In conclusion, the path seems long, but once you understand the pieces, it is not long at all. The problem is that arts don’t present all the pieces, and one must study a variety of arts to get everything, and this sometimes leads to seeming contradictions. Still, it is possible to learn how to develop and use internal power quickly and easily if one can find the right technology.