dedicated to the discussion of the chinese internal martial arts of xingyiquan, baguazhang, taijiquan, related arts, and anything else best discussed over a bottle of rum
kenneth fish wrote:In the beginning they tend to focus on a single action to train a single muscle or group of muscles, are generally calisthenic (think planks or pilates), and as Andrew pointed out, seem counter intuitive. The training is progressive, both in terms of intensity and difficulty - an example would be the a deep flexor exercise done in a "pistol" stance. It is not merely the difficulty and specificity of the exercises - the corrections made as one progresses have a direct bearing on having the fine muscle control to hold, move through, and generate power with stability in stances. The exercises run the gamut from seated, standing, laying down, to moving, using weights, bricks, metal bars and other training aids.
A few of these exercises are demonstrated by Madame Fu Suyun in "Sunset in the Forbidden City". Trying to copy the movements will not get you anywhere though - you need to know what you are supposed to be doing mechanically in areas that are not easily discerned.
It may seem strange to say, but I think you will know you are getting the real stuff when you have it presented to you and you begin getting instructions about what to do inside your joints as you do them.
BTW the list that Matt "neijia_boxer" made is a good list of jiben dongzuo (basic movements) - but not jibengong.