This portion of the training is unquestionably one of the most unique and profoundly benefits of the program. Based on the natural movement of the human body, long-term practice of this unique method has proven to bring positive and widespread changes to the performance abilities and health of the practitioner.

The following section will provide insight into the rationale behind this universal training method.


Like the rhythms and movements of the universe, all bodies follow a circular path. The moon and earth rotate upon their axes. As our moon orbits the earth, along with the other planets, we orbit the sun. The sun too, follows its own rhythm within the Milky Way Galaxy, and so on.

In our solar system, the sun might be regarded as a focal point of movement, leading the planets in their orbits. Collectively, the celestial bodies create a unity within the solar system, and further between the collective solar systems, simultaneously travelling along their orbits, while rotating upon their axes. Hence the model of the functioning universe is circular and dynamic.

The human body is a reflection of the universe following analogous circular rhythms. We are at once involved in a mutually influential relationship with all that lies outside of our planet, with our environment, and the microscopic physiological processes that occur within our bodies at every moment. Changing seasons, day and night, activity and rest, respiration and circulation and the movement of submolecular particles, the observations made about the universe also apply to our own bodies and vice versa.


Human motion is a result of balance in structure and function. The nervous system commands, balancing oppositional muscular forces exerted on the skeletal framework, resulting in various types of movement and work.

Just as planets revolve upon their axes, the human body is its own ‘solar system’ with various body segments orbiting one another and rotating upon their given axes. These body segments and pivot points are determined by human joint structure. The shape of articulating bones, the space between, and the tissues that unify result in the characteristics of a given joint.

There are many types of joints in the body. These include: hinge, saddle, ball and socket, and fused. Even the seemingly immobile joints such as the plates of the skull, also have shown to follow rhythmic movements, expanding and contracting according to a diurnal cycle, also affected by environmental factors such as atmospheric pressure, temperature and so on. While invisible to the eye, this expansion and contraction illustrates the dynamic state of the living being, always moving, constantly seeking balance. This expansion and contraction is also observed in the universe, solar systems, galaxies and planets. This might be described as movement at rest or in fixed position.

The visible movements produced by the body clearly follow an orbital path. In all joints, there are at least two separate bones articulating. For example, in the elbow, the humerus and ulna (upper and lower arm bones) form the joint. When either bone is fixed, the other bone may only produce a rotational movement within the scope of its anatomical structure. Moreover, the rotation of one joint always involves the simultaneous rotation of the neighbouring distal joint. This mirrors the revolution of moons around planets and planets around the sun. With 206 large and small bones in the human body, each joint can perform a variety of circular patterns. Imagine the complex motions that may result by combining all the joints in their circular systems together!


Science recognizes and three axes: x, y and z that pertain to movement within these three dimensions (fig. 1). Thousands of years ago, the Chinese first made empirical observations on the motions and rhythms of celestial bodies and earthly phenomenon according to the concepts of planes of motion. In fact, these two perspectives discuss the same universal principles.

Observed from the lateral aspect of each plane, by connecting the edges of the three axes, the four planes of motion result, each have their own surface: lateral (xy), vertical (yz), planar (xz), and elliptical (xyz) (fig. 2-5).

Taken to the most fundamental level, the movements of the human body adhere to these four planes: lateral, vertical, planar and elliptical. This is called the Four Circular Principle Axis of Angular Motion.

When two or more planes of motion are combined, one is able to construct a unique force of angular motion known as ‘ball force’. This ball-type structure is represented by the following diagram:

Western Science is interested in identification and analysis of a process, attempting to categorize phenomena into discrete units, quantifiable and constant. In contrast, Chinese science attempts to recognize the entire system, observing the totality and understanding the context-dependent outcome, and seeking holistic balance in application. This is a significant difference between western and eastern culture.

It is this regard for totality that has led to a unique perspective on human health and development, refined and proven for thousands of years. There is a mutually influential relationship in the development of Chinese martial arts, medicine and science.


It is the goal of the martial artist to identify, refine and employ all the parts of the body in concerted effort. These motions are guided and controlled by the mind, thus, harmony between mind and body are of paramount importance.

Performance is directly proportional to the ability to control and unify the entire body. Success is measured through such factors as sensitivity, awareness, aesthetics, improved health and well being, coordination, timing, speed and power generation.

Systematic training in Four Circular Principle Axis of Angular Motion has numerous benefits. The body is divided into five sections and developed according to its natural structure and function.


The body may be divided into five sections: head (cervical spine), arms (upper limbs), back (thoracic spine), waist (lumbar spine) and legs (lower limbs) (fig. 6). These five sections may be trained to enhance the body’s natural movements within the four planes of motion.

Training Levels:

  1. Physical training of the Five Section Circular Orbit Technique. Principle focus on body mechanics.
  2. Energy Circulation Exercise of the Three Circular Axes. Acupuncture meridian theory is combined to balance the physiology of the body.
  3. Variations of Combination Techniques of the Circular Principles Execution of the circular patterns are done in accordance with the principles of energetic change, as described by the Yi Jing (The ‘Book of Changes’ is the oldest known book, and is based upon universal observations of harmony and transformation).

Summary Chart

Four Planes Of Motion Five Body Sections Three Training Levels
1. lateral (xy)
2. vertical (yz)
3. planar (xz)
4. elliptical (xyz)
1. cervical spine
2. upper limb
3. thoracic spine
4. lumbar spine
5. lower limb
a. Body Mechanics
b. Energy Circulation
c. Unified Application Patterns

Training Method

The four planes of circular motion are the basic principles of human motion. How do we apply them to physical training?Rate and Respiration: Speed of execution may be fast, medium or slow, depending on ability. Breathing should match the movements.

  • Slow: one breath cycle (inhale, exhale) per circle.
  • Medium: two circles per breath cycle.
  • Fast: six circles, one breath cycle.

Duration: Every circle type is repeated in multiples of eight reps per set up to a maximum of sixty-four reps. The number of sets depends on the ability of the practitioner.

Quality: The upper body must be soft, smooth like willow branches in wind. Do not use force, avoid stiffness. The practitioner must strive to feel natural, relaxed, peaceful and calm.

Method and Technique (not shown)


Founded on the Four Circular Principle Axis of Angular Motion, the Five Section Circular Orbit Method is a scientific exercise method. It uses only the most basic of human movement.

With the Circular Orbit Training Method, there is no distinction between static and dynamic martial training goals. Standing, sitting or lying practice posture is irrelevant. The only requirement is to follow natural body motions and rhythms. Thus, it is very easy to perform and benefit from the exercise. As long as one understands and adheres to the principles of the method, execution will be correct and benefit derived.

It is important to train the body to follow the correct position and execution, as described above. This will connect the body and promote unity. These movements are the foundation of all physical skills and must not be overlooked.

Importance For Martial Arts And Sports

The Five Section Circular Orbit Training Method is an indispensable training tool for human motion, and is compulsory study for martial arts training. Failing to recognize and understand the fundamental movement principles of the body, one’s potential development in the martial arts or any physical endeavour will be severely limited.

Health Gains

The human body is a complex organism. The cell is the basic unit of structure and physiology. Many cells combine to form anatomical structures (i.e. vessels, specialized tissues). Different structures together form the organs (i.e. heart, lungs, liver, spleen and kidneys). The organs are grouped in nine physiological systems: cardiovascular, digestive, respiratory, genitourinary, reproductive, endocrine and lymphatic, musculoskeletal, and the nervous system; all forming a mutually influential coexistence.

Using the fundamental circular movements of the human body, one can stimulate these systems and positively influence one’s health, promoting balance and harmony. Through the concerted function of the systems, each cell in the body is nourished and strengthened, promoting one’s vitality, protecting health and alleviating sickness. Significant health benefits are thus derived, particularly for the Nervous, Musculoskeletal, Respiratory, Cardiovascular and Digestive System.

  1. NERVOUS SYSTEM: The Nervous System includes the Central and the Autonomic Nervous Systems. 10 The brain is responsible for receiving and sending messages throughout the body. Sensory nerves bring input about the environment and one’s relationship to it. The brain initiates orders that are transmitted to the rest of the body.Circular Orbit training is carried out under the control of the nervous system. Hence, frequent training will sharpen sensory awareness and control of the physical body, directly improving the capacity of the Central and Autonomic Nervous System. Further, it increases sensitivity to both internal and external stimuli, making us more capable of balancing our equilibrium.
  2. MUSCULOSKELETAL SYSTEM: This is directly responsible for physical performance. The body uses the bones as support and levers, the joints as pivots, and the muscles to exert forces resulting in movement. This system works with other organs under the control of the nervous system.The Circular Orbit exercise smoothes out the movements of the joints, and relaxes the muscles, increasing their control and flexibility. This helps maximize athletic or technical performance while minimizing the risk of physical accident. Practicing the Circular Orbit exercise helps alleviate problems such as sprain and strain injuries, osteoporosis, and fatigue.
  3. RESPIRATORY SYSTEM: The Respiratory System consists of the nose, airways and the lungs and is closely linked with the function of the skin. We inhale oxygenrich air and exhale carbon dioxide and other waste products. Energy is derived from oxidation of the nutrients we absorb. In refining our ability to deliver oxygen into the body and eliminate waste products we increase our energy level, metabolic efficiency and thus benefit the body.Circular Orbit exercises of the thoracic spine are especially effective in increasing the expansion and contraction of the airways, increasing lung and oxygen volume, and thus improving the function of the respiratory system.
  4. CARDIOVASCULAR SYSTEM: This consists of the heart and blood vessels. The heart pumps blood through this network of vessels to the entire body. 10 The CNS is made up of the brain and spinal cord. The ANS consists of sympathetic and parasympathetic divisions.Circular Orbit training strengthens the Circulatory system. Circular Orbit training is suitable for healthy individuals of all genders and ages. It benefits the heart and blood vessels by increasing the efficiency of the heart, strengthening the vessels and promoting oxygen transport throughout the body. Thus, individual organs also benefit by receiving oxygen-rich blood.
  5. DIGESTIVE SYSTEM: This consists of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines, and rectum. This system takes in nutrients for digestion, absorption and elimination. Food is broken down and nutrients are then absorbed in the intestine, crossing into the blood for transport to different parts of the body. Good digestion indicates that the metabolism is functioning well.Circular Orbit training increases appetite and improves digestion. The Circular Orbit exercise will help increase the digestive secretions required for breaking down food, facilitate movement of the intestines, and increase blood supply to the system, allowing more efficient digestion and nutrient absorption

Long-term practice of the Circular Orbit Exercises has a positive effect on all systems in the body, promoting optimal growth, development and vitality.