The spectrum of CMA is wide, practitioners are often are in one of the following phases:
1. Health phase- learning coordination of mind-body, get stronger from illness and disease, or preventative maintenance.
this would be basic qi circulation in 12 meridians. Beginner level.
2. Strength phase- training tends to get more martial and training level gets more higher with flexibility, stance work, endurance and stamina building training. Partner training.
qi fills 12 meridians and 8 extraordinary channels (jin in legs, arms, body). self defense becomes possible.
3. Sports/fighting stage: competitive athlete- forms competitions (empty hand and weapons: short/long), push hands competitions, sparring matches, Chinese wrestling, qi-na grappling, full contact fighting, etc.
4. Healer phase: learning of medical knowledge. Traditional Chinese Medicine and Qigongs. Massage, Herbalism, acupuncture, dietary therapy, diagnostics, etc.
5. Scholar warrior/expert stage: spiritual trainings begin (qi in special channels), meditation, intellectual sharing, philosophy, refining principles of the art, reaching a higher level of gong fu. Understanding techniques and applications.
6. Mastery/sagely phase: complete mastery of the arts traditions, the previous stages, weapons, fighting, healing, self defense. unification with Tao/Buddha/higher power.
5 types of people in CMA community:
1. Enthusiasts- maybe good or not necessarily good, but are highly motivated.
2. Veterans- might have done it for a very long time, but may have not achieved a high level, some may have.
3. Experts- might have made some significant achievements but still on the path to master-hood.
4. Master- complete linage holder and recognized by community in high esteem for high level ability and skills.
5. Grandmaster- has produced many recognized masters and champion athletes, head of lineage.