Is fitness the ultimate key?

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby GrahamB on Thu Dec 15, 2016 5:33 am

I love a freshly delivered John Wang truth bomb on RSF ;D
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby middleway on Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:33 am

Everything that need to be said had been said. There is no need to repeat the same thing over and over again (such as "push"). No matter how nice party that RSF (and Empty Flower) may have, soon or later that party will end and people will leave.


Amen JW, .... Amen. Truth bombs indeed.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby C.J.W. on Thu Dec 15, 2016 7:54 am

johnwang wrote:Can you consider yourself "fit" if you can't

- run 5 miles with good speed,
- carry weight with your arm and on your shoulder?



Running for health and fitness is actually a relatively new and Western concept that did not exist in ancient China. In fact, most doctors of traditional Chinese medicine would advise against running long distances or at fast speed, especially for people who don't have enough qi and blood due to poor genetics, illness, or old age.

As far as power goes, if a CMA/IMAist MUST rely on superior muscular strength in order to make his art work on an opponent, chances are he's not practicing it correctly.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby middleway on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:19 am

Running for health and fitness is actually a relatively new and Western concept that did not exist in ancient China. In fact, most doctors of traditional Chinese medicine would advise against running long distances or at fast speed, especially for people who don't have enough qi and blood due to poor genetics, illness, or old age.


Age of a method is irrelevant and should never be a metric for its relevance. There is a reason why most Army's have running as a core component for getting recruits to high levels of fitness. I would say that Doctors of Chinese medicine should probably not be consulted on maters of 'fitness'.

As far as power goes, if a CMA/IMAist MUST rely on superior muscular strength in order to make his art work on an opponent, chances are he's not practicing it correctly.


I don't think John said 'rely on superior strength'. The reality is that strength comes in many forms, and strength when combined with extensive skills work will be better than only extensive skills work.
Last edited by middleway on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:22 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Bao on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:22 am

johnwang wrote:Everything that need to be said had been said. There is no need to repeat the same thing over and over again (such as "push").


You have a very positive view on mankind. My belief is that you must repeat things, over and over again. And mostly you'll still won't get through with a message. :)

In Yangtze river, the back wave will push the front wave. The front wave will crash into the river bank. That's the way history will always repeat. :-\


Time Ignorance flows like a river and history idioticy repeats... ;D

Thank you for your words Wang Laoshi. 8-)
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby windwalker on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:25 am

C.J.W. wrote:
johnwang wrote:Can you consider yourself "fit" if you can't

- run 5 miles with good speed,
- carry weight with your arm and on your shoulder?



Running for health and fitness is actually a relatively new and Western concept that did not exist in ancient China. In fact, most doctors of traditional Chinese medicine would advise against running long distances or at fast speed, especially for people who don't have enough qi and blood due to poor genetics, illness, or old age.

As far as power goes, if a CMA/IMAist MUST rely on superior muscular strength in order to make his art work on an opponent, chances are he's not practicing it correctly.


Interesting can you follow up a little more on this.
My own teacher had mentioned this to me but I never really understood the
rational.

When I talk of “fitness” my view points stem from type of fitness. IMA practices have a very specific goal in mind, while one may be fit for other activities I’ve often seen this same type of fitness work against a person trying to recondition their bodies for IMA practices. If one feels they can just do what ever and it will develop the same type of skill or power that IMA is noted for, maybe they'er not really practicing what they feel they are.
Last edited by windwalker on Thu Dec 15, 2016 8:26 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Dmitri on Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:07 am

Human evolution didn't involve IMA-like practices; it did involve walking, running, lifting/carrying things, etc. We've been doing those things for a very, very long time.

Because of that, our bodies simply require some of those activities to continue to take place, in order for our bodies to function well (i.e. "be fit")
Heart needs (for the body to perform) some sort of aerobic activity, otherwise it won't last long. The "use it or lose it" maxim applies to humans and their health/abilities extremely well and on many levels.

The OP is self-contradictory ("is fitness ultimate key?" followed by "Obviously skills are skills but without fitness then forget about it", i.e. obviously is it not "ultimate key" but just one of the components) which is why I haven't replied before this. But since it branched off into a discussion (apparently serious) about whether running might be a generally bad idea, I could remain silent no longer! ;D

It's about as silly of an argument as it gets. :P
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby snafu on Thu Dec 15, 2016 11:17 am

Just my 2c from BJJ experience:

In a fight, if you are unconditioned, you will gas out, and when you get gas out, you will slow down, get distracted, and react too little too late, and you will get destroyed.

Applying IMA skills will prevent you from gasing out as quickly because you won't be pushing and pulling on people like a meathead.

With those same IMA skills, people will gas out quicker fighting with you that normally wouldn't because all their usual pushing and pulling will be neutralized by an IMA-conditioned body, both from the passive neutralization coming from conditioned internal power of the meridians and the active neutralization of yin/yang in movement.

But you still have to move, react, and not sit there like a dummy, or you will get choked out. Movement takes energy. And eventually if you don't pace yourself, you will still gas out. Hence conditioning. I had to overcome that before I could successfully start applying IMA in a BJJ context, but once I did, they complemented each other.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Bao on Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:04 pm

snafu wrote:Just my 2c from BJJ experience:

In a fight, if you are unconditioned, you will gas out, and when you get gas out, you will slow down, get distracted, and react too little too late, and you will get destroyed.

Applying IMA skills will prevent you from gasing out as quickly because you won't be pushing and pulling on people like a meathead..


God post. 8-)

A conditioned person can gas out fast as well. The "normal" way people compete is to rapidly exhaust themselves. They will act and behave the same way even if they are conditioned. If you don't understand economy of movement and economy of breath, you will still get gassed out. Damn, I've met so many "fit" people saying that they are exhausted after a few minutes in a round of a competition match. And here we practice sparring or free push hands for hours without getting exhausted. Tai Chi and Bagua people can practice full speed fighting for a very long time without getting too tired. I don't know about BJJ an MMA people, but I would suspect that many could go on for long without exhausting themselves. And for those to, this have very little to do with "fitness practice" or "being fit".
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby daniel pfister on Thu Dec 15, 2016 12:55 pm

Bao wrote: Damn, I've met so many "fit" people saying that they are exhausted after a few minutes in a round of a competition match. And here we practice sparring or free push hands for hours without getting exhausted. Tai Chi and Bagua people can practice full speed fighting for a very long time without getting too tired.


There's an interesting "fitness" distinction to be made there. Should one be training for the endurance capacity to be able to push hands for hours and hours or training to increase their power output to be able to blast people away decisively a few times? Probably we want some combination of both and people need to find their own balance for what it is they're trying to achieve. I don't think its possible to have one training method that will effect both measures of fitness equally, however.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby daniel pfister on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:08 pm

Patrick wrote:
Sure, there are slight differences. But this does not really negate my point. The most important point is that "fitness" of an IMA practitioner cannot be something completely different than that of a MMA athlete or of a tennis player. Fitness is fitness. There will be naturally differences in the distribution, e.g. one may have better active kicking flexibility (Taekwondo) or another better grip strength (Judo). The training for fitness is on a foundation level the same.


There are whole texts books written on different methods to access the fitness of different athletes depending on the requirements of their sport. The fitness requirements of IMA have not been as well studied.

Does your "sport" require your postural stability to adapt rapidly to outer disturbances? (e.g. Pushing Hands) Use reactive stability training methods.
Which attribute is needed in your sport? Choose best method to enhance it.


To me, this implies push hands people should do box jumps or something like that to enhance their PH fitness. It is not all clear to me that such methods would improve performance in a PH competitor. There's a lot more involved in PH than occurs in most plyometric exercises, so devoting training time to that may be counterproductive.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby snafu on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:10 pm

daniel pfister wrote:
Bao wrote: Damn, I've met so many "fit" people saying that they are exhausted after a few minutes in a round of a competition match. And here we practice sparring or free push hands for hours without getting exhausted. Tai Chi and Bagua people can practice full speed fighting for a very long time without getting too tired.


There's an interesting "fitness" distinction to be made there. Should one be training for the endurance capacity to be able to push hands for hours and hours or training to increase their power output to be able to blast people away decisively a few times? Probably we want some combination of both and people need to find their own balance for what it is they're trying to achieve. I don't think its possible to have one training method that will effect both measures of fitness equally, however.


You can't just charge your way in like a bull, even if you want to be decisive. You have to wait for opportunities, even if you are working proactively for setups. That takes time, during which pacing is required.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby daniel pfister on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:21 pm

snafu wrote:
You can't just charge your way in like a bull, even if you want to be decisive. You have to wait for opportunities, even if you are working proactively for setups. That takes time, during which pacing is required.


In the beginning, yes, but those who've been training a long time may find (or create) those opportunities very quickly, almost immediately.
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby wiesiek on Thu Dec 15, 2016 1:34 pm

so
we coming to /again/the conclusion, that when meeting similar tech. advanced - better fit wins..
joyful usefullnes of the effords
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Re: Is fitness the ultimate key?

Postby Steve James on Thu Dec 15, 2016 4:01 pm

Well, one problem is that we haven't agreed on what fitness means. If a person has a set of stairs nearby, it's relatively easy to explain how he could become "fit" using just one, and simply stepping up and down. That will improve cardiovascular fitness. In fact, the "step test" was used as a measure of that type of fitness. Does that mean that that person could then lift his bodyweight in weights or do a dozen pull ups. This brings to mind Crossfit. But, no one needs to be that fit, and no one can stay that fit forever. Btw, every Olympian is actually give a fit test for the Olympic records. The fittest, however, come from various sports, and they're not always the eventual winners of their events. Usain Bolt was one of the top 10 at Rio, but he couldn't out swim Phelps, who wasn't even listed in the top 25, iinm.

So, fitness is not the ultimate key, even in contests where superior fitness would seem to be the obvious advantage. In ima, it's not the obvious advantage. The idea is that superior fitness, in Olympic terms, isn't the goal --just as ww said. However, this gets back into JW's point about imas in general. Because fitness isn't a goal, it is seen as unnecessary and that training for fitness is counter-productive. Maybe this is true for push-hands competitions, but ... is there a specific reason for that? What about the rest of life, like climbing stairs or carrying groceries?

Anyway, I also agree that walking and running (and carrying stuff) have been evolutionary necessities. It's true that today there may be less need to run for survival; but, there's no reason to give up the ability. Otoh, there's no reason to be a marathoner, either. Though it's true that an hour running, swimming, cycling or walking may not help one's tcc, imo that doesn't mean that the time was wasted.
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