A.R.T. Training as Internal Martial Arts

“A technique which begins from perfect stillness enables you to execute the movement in a coordinated and efficient manner which, in turn, allows your body and mind to reach a balanced harmony. Furthermore, by increasing your efficiency of movement, you can release unnecessary tension and relax more completely.”

Aaron Hoopes

For people who train in the martial arts one of the most important principles is the relationship between stillness and motion. Understanding how stillness is the basis for motion allows you to establish true balance and control within yourself. Stillness is where you collect and center yourself for the movement to come. Your power lies in the stillness of the mind and body.

No matter what movement you perform, no matter what the goal, it all happens first in the body.

This has been practiced for millenia by Kung Fu masters, they learn to shut out external senses and move the focus inward through moving the body. It requires literal experience, movement of the body, to bring awareness of self and mastery of the impulse to act. Through this practice you gain maximum control of actions and thoughts.

All things stem from this stillness. This is what is known as extreme yin. It is the action before action. It is the source of deep will and connection to the body.

To have this knowledge is a basic human right, yet most people have no experience with this type of training. We do not teach it. When we do train people, it is often from a very ‘yang’ perspective – fight, control, mastery, without first learning and attending to the initial source of all power, the yin.

Attaining stillness requires the body to be in the correct state. It requires the enteric nervous system to be dominant and the sympathetic nervous system to be quiet.

This is called your Hara, or Dan-tien.

Usually we seek to gain this by mental stratagems and mental focus. We seek to master the body by suppressing it, by cognitively forcing or manipulating it into submission, thereby gaining control of the self.

Extreme yin is different. It is accessing the power from within. It is where thought and motion are effortless, there is not need for control, because you have control. It is found through working with the body, not training the mind.

Because most people have not learnt this skill, they are often at the mercy of their emotions and of the will of the sympathetic nervous system. When they go to therapy to learn how to alleviate anxiety; cope with depression; self-regulate – they are given cognitive strategies or pharmaceuticals that work mostly as a bandaid to suppress the distress in the mind.

Instead, when we work with the body, when we retrain the physical system to align with the mind, when we find our stillness – all manner of things begin to change, because we have found our source of true power. In this state, our executive functioning, our working memory, our digestion, coordination, capacity to make good choices – all improve.

A.R.T. (anxiety reframe technique) is a modern technique based on ancient principles to achieve a high level of self-mastery. It teaches internal balance and control, through gentle physical movements that allow the body to move into a softer state so that it can realign and find its true power.

This technique is excellent for anyone wanting to gain a greater level of self-mastery. It is especially beneficial for people who have poor interoception (connection to the body). Unlike breathing techniques, cognitive training and behavioural management; this technique is focused on soft movement and it is accessible for people with autism, adhd and ID.

With a respectful, neurodivergent focus, A.R.T. puts you in the driver’s seat and together we quietly find the place where your power and ability resides.

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