The Chinese martial arts call it “Yi“. Westerns call it “intention“. Basically, it’s the idea of using one’s mind and imagination to direct one’s actions in a totally coherent way, and to great utility.
In the dojo last night, we practiced Nei-gong, and then used the practice to coordinated our imagination, breathing and body movement, and produce maximum striking power.
Interestingly, several neuroscientists have conducted research showing that correctly imagining a specific exercise can increase muscle strength (see, for example, work done at the Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio: From mental power to muscle power; gaining strength by using the mind, Vinoth K. Ranganathan, Vlodek Siemionowa, Jing Z. Liu, Vinod Sahgal, Guang H. Yue, Neuropsychologia 42 (2004) 944-150;956 ).