How much external before internal?

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

Re: How much external before internal?

Postby robert on Wed Mar 22, 2017 3:33 pm

johnwang wrote:I had asked this question before. What's the difference between long fist front kick, Taiji front kick, and XingYi front kick? After so many years of CMA training, I truly can't tell any difference.

Speaking for myself "internal" means training neijin. In neijin there is the idea that the body is "connected", "one part of the body moves, the whole body moves" and in order to be connected the body needs to be relaxed so there is also a relaxed strength. The way I kick is very similar to how I punch - using the "full" leg, kua, and waist. I would bet a beer that if you took someone who only did external martial arts and a taiji master to a bio mech lab there would be differences in the way they use their bodies to kick.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby MaartenSFS on Wed Mar 22, 2017 4:59 pm

I don't know about any of you, but I think that there is a difference in how different styles kick. At least in some kicks. Xinyiliuhequan's Guadifeng is a good example of a kick that utilises XYLHQ's power generating method and is well-represented by stylists. The Chen Taiji sidekick that I learned is like a very powerful Fajin and totally different than those of other styles I've seen. But 99% of people that I've seen do Taiji do not exhibit that power. But training this sidekick takes years of specific Neigong training.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Bill on Wed Mar 22, 2017 6:09 pm

At my instructors school we always practiced high kicks as a regular part of the workout. First standing in one place, then while walking forward and finally by adding a jump.
It hurts when I Pi
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby johnwang on Wed Mar 22, 2017 7:03 pm

Stretching exercise like this may be difficult for old, sick, and injury, it has nothing to do with "internal" or external. "Internal" power generation is not everything. There are flexibility, balance, endurance, ... that are also important.

Image
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby windwalker on Wed Mar 22, 2017 8:17 pm

robert wrote:
johnwang wrote:I had asked this question before. What's the difference between long fist front kick, Taiji front kick, and XingYi front kick? After so many years of CMA training, I truly can't tell any difference.

Speaking for myself "internal" means training neijin. In neijin there is the idea that the body is "connected", "one part of the body moves, the whole body moves" and in order to be connected the body needs to be relaxed so there is also a relaxed strength. The way I kick is very similar to how I punch - using the "full" leg, kua, and waist. I would bet a beer that if you took someone who only did external martial arts and a taiji master to a bio mech lab there would be differences in the way they use their bodies to kick.


Its not just that, its an approach to movement using a different set of ideas giving different results developed and supported through training
that is geared towards enhancing what ever method is use..

One can do movements that appear the same but done for different reasons.

the division:

bone, skin, and tendon,,the focus of whats called external

yi,qi, shen , the focus of whats called internal

the outer movements themselves matter little, the focus of the training matters a lot.
All of which depends on the desired outcome.

Training one does not lead into the other.
Its not really possible to argue with those even long time practitioners
who are not clear in this distinction.

I would bet a beer that if you took someone who only did external martial arts and a taiji master to a bio mech lab there would be differences in the way they use their bodies to kick


The difference might be in how the force is transferred:

Consider a common phenomenon observed at a softball game - the collision of a bat with a ball. A batter is able to transport energy from her to the softball by means of a bat. The batter applies a force to the bat, thus imparting energy to the bat in the form of kinetic energy. The bat then carries this energy to the softball and transports the energy to the softball upon collision.

In this example, a bat is used to transport energy from the player to the softball. However, unlike wave phenomena, this phenomenon involves the transport of matter. The bat must move from its starting location to the contact location in order to transport energy. In a wave phenomenon, energy can move from one location to another, yet the particles of matter in the medium return to their fixed position. A wave transports its energy without transporting matter.


A wave transports its energy without transporting matter

http://www.physicsclassroom.com/class/w ... -is-a-Wave

Think about the many demos questioned and the ones not questioned.

The basic question that always comes to mind, what's better.
For each IMO its a personal question that one has to answer for themselves.
The most anyone can do is make distinctions...
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Jaspalfie on Thu Mar 23, 2017 1:56 am

the division:

bone, skin, and tendon,,the focus of whats called external

yi,qi, shen , the focus of whats called internal

the outer movements themselves matter little, the focus of the training matters a lot.


I apologise for any "flawed" understanding but what you describe above is the point of the question. Do you introduce yi, qi and shen concepts from day one or do you wait until the student becomes competent enough at external aspects, be it performing the form competently, standing in the correct alignment for long enough etc. Some I have spoken to feel its a waste of time introducing internal concepts to the beginner because they can't feel anything so you let them keep practising focusing on the external aspects until they are at a level where introduction of internal aspects becomes beneficial. The question is at what point do you make this decision to introduce these concepts and if people on the forum feel there are pros or cons to introducing these concepts earlier or later.

Honestly, internal is just a load of rubbish. It's just the natural course of progression for one's movements and power generation to become more refined and internalised - more efficient


So by just training the physical side of things without being taught yi,qi, shen and how to apply or train them do you feel that everybody will through sheer dedication and perserverance achieve the same level of mastery as someone who has been taught the use of these internal concepts?
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby windwalker on Thu Mar 23, 2017 2:33 am

Sorry for the word flawed, maybe confused would have been better.

Do you introduce yi, qi and shen concepts from day one or do you wait until the student becomes competent enough at external aspects, be it performing the form competently, standing in the correct alignment for long enough etc. Some I have spoken to feel its a waste of time introducing internal concepts to the beginner because they can't feel anything so you let them keep practising focusing on the external aspects until they are at a level where introduction of internal aspects becomes beneficia


The point is that those physical training's are designed from day 1 to bring about changes that will cause the feelings to come of themselves, once they start to manifest then other concepts can be introduced. If one starts on the other track as with most CMA systems they affect the same systems but are designed to be used in very different ways. The same terminology is used, but they are developed and used as an adjunct, not directly.

People can and do get locked into a way of training and development that is not always reversible if at all.
Historical this has been true, most teachers teaching arts that build and use these concepts will recommend against other training's that may be counter or undo what is trying to be developed or trained. .

Many seem to imply that inner training is somehow less strenuous or is easy, quite the contrary. The reason that most ask about it is that few achieve it, which is why many don't complete the training.

Just a matter of what one is looking for and is willing to undertake.
Just posting to share thoughts, as someone mentioned we all have our experiences and view points.

.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:45 am

Jaspalfie wrote:
the division:

bone, skin, and tendon,,the focus of whats called external

yi,qi, shen , the focus of whats called internal

the outer movements themselves matter little, the focus of the training matters a lot.


I apologise for any "flawed" understanding but what you describe above is the point of the question. Do you introduce yi, qi and shen concepts from day one or do you wait until the student becomes competent enough at external aspects, be it performing the form competently, standing in the correct alignment for long enough etc. Some I have spoken to feel its a waste of time introducing internal concepts to the beginner because they can't feel anything so you let them keep practising focusing on the external aspects until they are at a level where introduction of internal aspects becomes beneficial. The question is at what point do you make this decision to introduce these concepts and if people on the forum feel there are pros or cons to introducing these concepts earlier or later.

Honestly, internal is just a load of rubbish. It's just the natural course of progression for one's movements and power generation to become more refined and internalised - more efficient


So by just training the physical side of things without being taught yi,qi, shen and how to apply or train them do you feel that everybody will through sheer dedication and perserverance achieve the same level of mastery as someone who has been taught the use of these internal concepts?

All arts include these things once one reaches a certain level of training and fighting ability. None of the masters that I've met, that could fight, ever even once talked about these things. When others brought them up they just laughed.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Bao on Thu Mar 23, 2017 4:16 am

windwalker wrote:People can and do get locked into a way of training and development that is not always reversible if at all.


Absolutely agree on this. You can certainly become locked in a certain way of thinking, acting, training... It's not easy for anyone to change their habits.

MaartenSFS wrote:Honestly, internal is just a load of rubbish. It's just the natural course of progression for one's movements and power generation to become more refined and internalised - more efficient


You contradict yourself. If it's a natural progression, how can it be rubbish?

If the progression was "natural", i.e. anyone who practiced hard would get it. Then why don't every professional wrestler or boxer look effortless in what they do? Why don't they naturally use whole body movement, why don't everyone show great balance in their movement and why are they breathing so hard? If it was all a natural progress, why did Jack Dempsey emphasise relaxation in striking? Why does anything have to be said or relaxation even have to be practiced if everything comes from "refinement". The thing is that there are things that really need to be said. Even if it was not so and it was all a natural progress, if you don't have a method on how to refine your movements, you will continue to make all of the mistakes that the masters tried to help people, prevent them from doing by creating systems. Some systems aim for a basic, rudimentary use of the body. Some systems focus on the more sophisticated, higher level on development. You'll never learn to dance ballet "naturally" by just dancing. You need a very good teacher to become good, and the best teachers to become the best. All arts of body movement, dance, yoga or Martial Arts follow the same rules.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby johnwang on Thu Mar 23, 2017 11:19 am

Bao wrote:why are they breathing so hard?

Many years ago I had a summer job to use a big hammer to knock down a 2 store brick building all by myself. In the beginning, I tried to coordinate my

- hammer raising with inhale,
- hammer dropping with exhale.

Soon I had to use 2 breaths to coordinate with 1 hammer strike.

If you don't do any hard labor, it's easy not to breath hard.
I'm still allergy to "push".
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby windwalker on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:02 pm

johnwang wrote:
Bao wrote:why are they breathing so hard?

Many years ago I had a summer job to use a big hammer to knock down a 2 store brick building all by myself. In the beginning, I tried to coordinate my

- hammer raising with inhale,
- hammer dropping with exhale.

Soon I had to use 2 breaths to coordinate with 1 hammer strike.

If you don't do any hard labor, it's easy not to breath hard.


used to run cross country track as a teenager...

wouldn't have to breath hard at all for most of the runs.
Those who didn't practice running started of breathing hard after the first mile or so.
Maybe you just needed to practice more with the hammer.
Breathing is natural, it will take care of itself.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby MaartenSFS on Thu Mar 23, 2017 3:59 pm

I meant that separating the two is rubbish. Every CMA that I've seen emphasizes relaxation and structure, whole body power. This includes Chen, Yang, Wu, Zhaobao shi Taijiquan, Xinyiliuhequan, Hebei Xingyiquan, Cheng shi Baguazhang, Baijiquan, Liuhebafa, Meihua Tanglangquan, Yongchunquan (Wingchun), Xuanfengquan, Heihuquan and more. I have seen nothing special from any of them that makes them better than the others, just slightly different training methods. All of them (at least the ones that were used for fighting) began with more external training methods and gradually progressed to internalising the art. I'm not saying that it doesn't have to be trained, just that it's a part of most CMA and not unique to the big three and talking about it, especially in the beginning, is a waste of time because it needs to be experienced and felt and refined over a long period of time.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Bao on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:07 pm

MaartenSFS wrote:. I have seen nothing special from any of them that makes them better than the others, just slightly different training methods.


No one has said that one is better than the other. But there are definitely different focus in different kinds of practice. If you practice different things you build different skill sets.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Bao on Thu Mar 23, 2017 10:17 pm

windwalker wrote:Breathing is natural, it will take care of itself.


Yes, one would think so. Still, many don't know how to breath deep and natural. Most people breath very shallow in daily life and tend to tense up their bodies. When they use strength in different situations they are still locked up in their tense bodies. They don't know that they do this because they do what is "natural" for them.

Funny thing about running. No technique was taught in school, I was terrible. Nothing came natural. But much later in life I learned running technique from my IMA practice.
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Re: How much external before internal?

Postby Patrick on Fri Mar 24, 2017 2:53 am

Funny thing about running. No technique was taught in school, I was terrible. Nothing came natural. But much later in life I learned running technique from my IMA practice.


I have similar experiences. I ran two half marathons with very little additional "running training" using Yi Quan principles and barefoot shoes. :)
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