In the traditional Chinese martial arts, it is important to be soft. Only the soft overcomes hardness, making the body stronger, more resistant and prevent sickness.
The standard stretching routines in the traditional Wudang schools demand high flexibility to improve ones internal power. Being flexible puts less strain on the body and relaxation becomes more efficient. This will prevent injury and establishes freedom in the mind. Freeing oneself from physical and mental blockades to prevent stagnation of energy.
It is a misconception in the Wudang martial arts that endless stretching may lead to a better condition. One more important factor is the power of the muscles and the elasticity of the tendons. It is common practice to use balancing stances to improve the fine-musculature of the body. The power to balance and hold the body is as important as the softness while being in this stances. This leads to better control of the body and more efficient use of the muscles.
Once the body can move unrestricted and freely, the power can be easily transferred through the body. Once we understand the Taiji – Yin Yang principles of power generation than it becomes clear how we train our coordination to work internally with our Qi. It is the time where students discover their Qi once they are flexible enough.