The six directions are, of course, another way of talking about the three-dimensional aspect of movement, that defines any efficient use of body mass and mechanics for qigong and martial purposes.
When you sum it up on paper, these six directions are:
• Up and down: the prime motivation in physical terms for this dimensional pair is the ming-men (small of the back) as well as themuscles of the abdomen. While the arms will move up and down, partly because of this mechanism and partly because of the shoulders and elbows, this space between the hip bones and the ribcage plays a crucial factor in separating internal body mechanics from a more segmented and cruder approach.
• To the left and to the right: in simple terms this is related to turning the hips and shoulders, or the waist area alone, from side-to-side as necessary. Again, connecting the minimal use of the arms to this movement is what makes the internal approach different from a more segmented/cruder approach.
• Forward and back: in simple terms this relates to shifting the body weight forward and back, as well as stepping forward and back. When you add the use of the waist for side to side movement and the use of ming-men for up and down movement, you begin to get the kind of physical co-ordination that is the foundation of any internal art.
Of course, it is much easier to write this or to read it than to understand what is being described on an experiential level. A simple demonstration by an instructor who can actually do the above is worth 10,000 words that the reader will only understand in his head.
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