Pitch and rollMany people have pointed out that Taijiquan may be an art designed to keep the dynamic quality of our sea legs, while on land.  It is at least designed to get us to give up the predictability of our land legs.  The image often repeated in both martial arts and Chinese medicine of the dantian being an ocean would somewhat support this thesis to.  Shirley seamen realized that the gentle pitching and rolling of the ocean was good for the internal organs.  Perhaps they wanted to keep that quality of health once they gave up the sea life.

fighter jetSo naturally I recommend people try doing their taijiquan on a boat sometime.  I would recommend you try it on an airplane too, but now-a-days that will likely get an over reaction from your fellow air travellers.

Still, if we were making up a new martial art today we would have to consider that by far the most potent images of balance and power are fighter jets.

The first attempts at making an airplane had to solve the problem of creating lift and steering, but once those problems were solved the airplanes still didn't stay in the air because air is not even.  In order to keep an airplane in the air one must constantly correct the pitch and the roll.

That's what ailerons do.  And that is what internal martial arts must do too.  To generate continuious power while maintaining circular motion requires constant correction.  To have unbroken balance and power we must always have an active correction mechanism which allows for adjustments of up and down, front and back, left and right and spiral twisting.  These adjustments must all be simultaneous, we never sacrifice one dimension for another.

Are ailerons a good metaphor for this?