Mastery Defined (and how to get there)

The notion of a narrowly focused line of tension within an otherwise relaxed body defines Mastery (in the I.M.A.)

  • It determines whether a practitioner can:
    Using only a “light touch,” can knock out, or injure an opponent

    Effortlessly control an attacker

    Open the doorway to higher level skills such as
    generating a magnetic field that can influence and weaken an opponent

Chang Naizhou (乃周). Chang’s mid 1700s training manual is a blend of traditional Taoist meditation, alchemy, and martial arts, which Professor Douglas Wile describes as a “fully mature synthesis of martial arts with military strategy, medicine and meditation.”


The Chang manuscript details how to train one’s internal energy for martial arts purposes. It includes what Wile calls a heterodox description of the way qi responds to body movement (i.e., moving forward when the body arches backward, and reserved when moving forward [ii]), along with a description of how to “issue qi;” a three-step process of concentrating, withdrawing, and then releasing qi, training the qi by combining softness with hardness, and

the importance of focusing the body’s energy to a single point.

Also called: "One Point Mind"