Is "internal" real that important?

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

Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby shawnsegler on Tue Jan 07, 2020 5:59 am

I have spent so much training time to develop this leg skill. I don't want to lose it.


Skill aside, I think it's far and away the most important thing one can do for their old age. My grandfather died about 5 months ago (96..pretty good fwiw), and he was active and strong his whole life UNTIL he lost his ability to walk. It was a gradual thing over the course of a few years and you could see his health go along with his legs. Once he couldn't walk it didn't take long.

I've heard the legs referred to as "the second heart" and there's a lot to that I think. Keeping strength in the legs and using those legs for good sustained aerobic activity is, I think, one of the most important things you can do for your health.

My 2c.

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby LaoDan on Tue Jan 07, 2020 10:37 am

shawnsegler wrote:
I have spent so much training time to develop this leg skill. I don't want to lose it.


Skill aside, I think it's far and away the most important thing one can do for their old age. My grandfather died about 5 months ago (96..pretty good fwiw), and he was active and strong his whole life UNTIL he lost his ability to walk. It was a gradual thing over the course of a few years and you could see his health go along with his legs. Once he couldn't walk it didn't take long.

I've heard the legs referred to as "the second heart" and there's a lot to that I think. Keeping strength in the legs and using those legs for good sustained aerobic activity is, I think, one of the most important things you can do for your health.

My 2c.

Cheers!

S

If talking about maintaining health late in life, then I think the current emphasis is on preventing falls (and the debilitating declines observed when illness or injury affects mobility). While leg strength is involved in preventing falls, so is balance. While someone who maintains their activity level will likely lose about 0.5% (?) of their leg strength per year, “external” style exercises would probably be as good or better than “internal” exercises for maintaining leg strength at the expected level. Balance is different in my opinion, and here “internal” practices may be better than “external” ones.

Balance appears to decline much more rapidly than leg strength even in those who maintain reasonable (average for their age) activity levels. While a 20 year old should be able to stand on one leg, while keeping their eyes closed, for almost 30 seconds, by the age of 60 that duration decreases to below 10 seconds. I do not know what my balance was like prior to studying TJQ, but I do know that, although I am currently over 60, I can usually maintain this balance even beyond the average for a 20 year old. I do not know of anything other than TJQ training that would account for my lack of decline (actually even an increase over the average for a 20 year old) for this measure of balance with age.

Sports prevention and rehab concerning the legs (e.g., knee injuries in soccer athletes) have begun to incorporate balance training in their conditioning and therapy, even for young athletes. For me, maintaining my ability to maintain my balance as I age is more important than maintaining strength, although I also do not want my leg strength to decline more than expected for someone of my age who maintains normal activity levels.

I think that JW’s exercise works strength well, but also has a balance component due to the tilting of the torso during the technique. It should be good for his purposes. If I were to use his same drill but add more emphasis on the balance component, then I may try it either on a balance platform or balance ball, or do it with my eyes closed. While those can be done at the same speed as JW does it, I may also play with doing it very slowly “as if moving through molasses” in order to maintain balance throughout the entire range of motion rather than depending on momentum or speed to get through the movements; at a very slow speed one would need to specifically focus on balance throughout.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:53 am

ctjla wrote:why you're wasting your time on an internal arts forum.

Do you think it makes sense for me to go to a Buddhism forum and ask "Why holy father, holy son, and holy ghost are in one?"

I can only ask "internal" question in an "internal" forum. If I ask this question in boxing forum, or Judo forum, nobody will understand what my question is.

Whether I believe in "internal" or not is not important. Whether someone can prove that "internal" can enhance foot sweep, Dao Gou, hip throw, body squeeze, … is what we are discussing right now.

Even if you may not agree with the message. there is no need to attack the messenger. We should stay on the discussion subject and leave individual out of the discussion.

I don't like this discussion will turn into:

A: Is "internal" real …?
B: If you don't believe in "internal", why are you still hanging around here?
C: You need to meet someone such as ….
D: ...

ctjla wrote:Image

Hmmmmm. Make it work on who? And with how much resistance involved?

In this clip, He pushes on his opponent's neck. In that Taiji diagonal fly clip, he pushes on his opponent's chest. You can see the contact points are different. You may need a lot of force to push on your opponent's chest. But you only need very little force to push on your opponent's neck.

IMO, "internal" power generation can be replaced by proper contact points (such as leading leg control, back leg control, neck control, chin control, forehead control, side of the head control, …). You may need 200 lb force to push on the chest to push him back. You may only need 10 lb force to push on your opponent's forehead to take him down.

marvin8 wrote:That's part of the OP question: What difference will "internal" training make when training how to fight? What is the difference between internal and external dao gou, foot sweep, hip throw, diagonal flying, etc.? Attributes were proposed (e.g., non-telegraph, power) but no videos were posted that showed "internal" training makes a difference in a fight (arguably?).

Can someone answer Marvin's questions (also my questions as well)?
Last edited by johnwang on Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:57 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Tue Jan 07, 2020 1:40 pm

marvin8 wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D92xTWTZhU


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLnHoe6tqmA

dspyrido wrote:Why do you think so called external fighters should not know internal mechanisms and training methods?

Not sure if that's a rhetorical question. However, many external fighters probably know about "internal mechanisms and training methods," but choose to train using proven modern methods.


Lol - 95% of those exercises can be found in many ye ol wrestling, yoga, combat arts etc etc. manuals. In fact many have been forgotten only to be rebooted later (kettles, clubs etc.)

https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Calisthenics

Aside from the use of LOTS OF REBRANDING & SELF PROMOTION AS MODERN, digital equipment, modern materials (in diet, drugs or equipment) and related research to back up what was body of knowledge experience -> the exercises are still fundamentally the same. People still stretch, they still sweat, they still jump rope, the still use weight etc etc.

Hell Zhang's clip you posted is packed full of shuaijiow, sanda & "kung-fu" equipment basics.

Image

marvin8 wrote:That's part of the OP question: What difference will "internal" training make when training how to fight? What is the difference between internal and external dao gou, foot sweep, hip throw, diagonal flying, etc.? Attributes were proposed (e.g., non-telegraph, power) but no videos were posted that showed "internal" training makes a difference in a fight (arguably?).

A MMA fighter doesn't need to "add yoga." Fighting attributes/skills can be internalized through shadow boxing, technique repetition, equipment, pad work, strength and conditioning, partner drills, technical sparring, visualization, flow state, etc.


An MMA fighter - what's that? Is it a TMA fighter that cross trained? Is it a person who actually learnt to fight in a range of positions much like they did 1000s of years ago? Or is it something totally new?

Let's just use the term MMA to represent a person is not restricted by modern dogma that had to be reconsidered.

As for internalizing - they are doing exactly what was done many years ago. All the points you make around repetition, flow, shadow etc. are exactly what I was told is the way to train external to internal. Examples I was told were names like Guo Yun Shen & Hao Weizhen who where using intense equipment training along with countless amount of things the so called MMA fighters do. They used their training as basis to create the routines and refinements they did.

But they did something more which is still being learnt in modern MMA. They were aware of both ends of the spectrum and were also looking inward for greater refinement for fighting, longevity, & balance in life. They realised that they wouldn't get that just from muscle or cardio development because that fades. They developed systems into the training that might also pick up on better flow, whole body coordination, the use of deeper muscles that are not normally accessible (aka dantien & connecting lines), energetic concepts & super sensitivity to get that leverage on someone who might be 50% heavier, stronger and taller (something the modern MMA sports fighter does not have to be as focused on due to weight classes).

Now don't get me wrong - I really enjoy MMA & other combat sports arenas but if we are talking about a fight then this also goes back to life and longevity - probably the greatest fight. The internal guys IMO seem to have a better view on this one for the moment.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Tue Jan 07, 2020 3:55 pm

I have a feeling that "internal" guys don't want to talk about skill development (such as sweep, Dao Gou, hip throw, body squeeze, …) and think that power generation is more important than anything else.

If you ask a Taiji instructor how will he develop his foot sweep, you may not get a clear answer from him. Why?

Which one is correct in the following 3 options?

1. If I can develop foot sweep through the external way, I don't need "internal".
2. If I have "internal", I don't need to develop foot sweep.
3. I need to develop foot sweep, and I need to develop it in the "internal" way.

How to make this hip throw solo drill "internal"?

Image
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Tue Jan 07, 2020 4:19 pm

dspyrido wrote:
marvin8 wrote:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8D92xTWTZhU


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PLnHoe6tqmA

dspyrido wrote:Why do you think so called external fighters should not know internal mechanisms and training methods?

Not sure if that's a rhetorical question. However, many external fighters probably know about "internal mechanisms and training methods," but choose to train using proven modern methods.


Lol - 95% of those exercises can be found in many ye ol wrestling, yoga, combat arts etc etc. manuals. In fact many have been forgotten only to be rebooted later (kettles, clubs etc.) ...

Hell Zhang's clip you posted is packed full of shuaijiow, sanda & "kung-fu" equipment basics.

No duh, not when an exercise was invented or where it's from. Modern methods meaning types of training done today at MMA gyms such as Black Tiger Fight Club - Beijing (Zhang Weili), America's Top Team (Phil Daru), American Kickboxing Academy (Khabib), UFC Performance Institute (Las Vegas, Shanghai), etc.

dspyrido wrote:
marvin8 wrote:That's part of the OP question: What difference will "internal" training make when training how to fight? What is the difference between internal and external dao gou, foot sweep, hip throw, diagonal flying, etc.? Attributes were proposed (e.g., non-telegraph, power) but no videos were posted that showed "internal" training makes a difference in a fight (arguably?).

A MMA fighter doesn't need to "add yoga." Fighting attributes/skills can be internalized through shadow boxing, technique repetition, equipment, pad work, strength and conditioning, partner drills, technical sparring, visualization, flow state, etc.


An MMA fighter - what's that? Is it a TMA fighter that cross trained? Is it a person who actually learnt to fight in a range of positions much like they did 1000s of years ago? Or is it something totally new?

Let's just use the term MMA to represent a person is not restricted by modern dogma that had to be reconsidered.

To stay on topic, let's use current MMA fighters that get proper modern day training as mentioned above, regardless of their backgrounds.

dspyrido wrote:... But they did something more which is still being learnt in modern MMA. They were aware of both ends of the spectrum and were also looking inward for greater refinement for fighting, longevity, & balance in life.

johnwang specifically said the OP question is only about fighting. However, modern science based MMA training/nutrition also "looks inward" helping with fighting, longevity & balance in life.

dspyrido wrote:They realised that they wouldn't get that just from muscle or cardio development because that fades. They developed systems into the training that might also pick up on better flow, whole body coordination, the use of deeper muscles that are not normally accessible (aka dantien & connecting lines), energetic concepts & super sensitivity to get that leverage on someone who might be 50% heavier, stronger and taller (something the modern MMA sports fighter does not have to be as focused on due to weight classes).

Good MMA training does not only "develop muscle or cardio." It picks up on what you mentioned as well. However, the dantian area may be used differently depending on which style of IMA.

If you can give more clear specifics or "prove that 'internal' can enhance foot sweep, Dao Gou, hip throw, body squeeze," please provide them as that is what the OP is asking.

dspyrido wrote:Now don't get me wrong - I really enjoy MMA & other combat sports arenas but if we are talking about a fight then this also goes back to life and longevity - probably the greatest fight. The internal guys IMO seem to have a better view on this one for the moment.

Not sure who you mean by "internal guys." However, people benefit from ongoing studies on health, life and longevity. The current oldest person is a 117 year old japanese woman without "internal" training:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k7jqT8e-c08
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:00 pm

johnwang wrote:How to make this hip throw solo drill "internal"?

Image


... And, how is this "internal" hip throw "better, non-telegraphic, more power, higher quality, more relaxed, etc.?" (Not vague but more specific details.):

marvin8 wrote:Can anyone answer johnwang's questions, explain the different attributes from external, etc. using this "internal" hip throw clip as an example?

Image
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Taste of Death on Tue Jan 07, 2020 7:44 pm

Martial arts are passed hand to hand not by word of mouth. This thread has been a bunch of laughs but not much more than that. We who do cima seek out the teachers who can take us to another level of understanding and ability. The more you go on and on about nothing the less those people in the know will contribute to this forum. Which art you choose is irrelevant. It is all about the method. John Wang is typical of those who have invested decades in the arts and want to believe that their art is superior to all the others. It is not. Focus on the method not the art.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby ctjla on Tue Jan 07, 2020 9:06 pm

johnwang wrote:
ctjla wrote:why you're wasting your time on an internal arts forum.

Do you think it makes sense for me to go to a Buddhism forum and ask "Why holy father, holy son, and holy ghost are in one?"

I can only ask "internal" question in an "internal" forum. If I ask this question in boxing forum, or Judo forum, nobody will understand what my question is.

Whether I believe in "internal" or not is not important. Whether someone can prove that "internal" can enhance foot sweep, Dao Gou, hip throw, body squeeze, … is what we are discussing right now.

Even if you may not agree with the message. there is no need to attack the messenger. We should stay on the discussion subject and leave individual out of the discussion.

I don't like this discussion will turn into:

A: Is "internal" real …?
B: If you don't believe in "internal", why are you still hanging around here?
C: You need to meet someone such as ….
D: ...

ctjla wrote:Image

Hmmmmm. Make it work on who? And with how much resistance involved?

In this clip, He pushes on his opponent's neck. In that Taiji diagonal fly clip, he pushes on his opponent's chest. You can see the contact points are different. You may need a lot of force to push on your opponent's chest. But you only need very little force to push on your opponent's neck.

IMO, "internal" power generation can be replaced by proper contact points (such as leading leg control, back leg control, neck control, chin control, forehead control, side of the head control, …). You may need 200 lb force to push on the chest to push him back. You may only need 10 lb force to push on your opponent's forehead to take him down.

marvin8 wrote:That's part of the OP question: What difference will "internal" training make when training how to fight? What is the difference between internal and external dao gou, foot sweep, hip throw, diagonal flying, etc.? Attributes were proposed (e.g., non-telegraph, power) but no videos were posted that showed "internal" training makes a difference in a fight (arguably?).

Can someone answer Marvin's questions (also my questions as well)?


Well, the way this was going, we did have to get that confirmation bias thing on the table.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Confirmation_bias
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Tue Jan 07, 2020 11:08 pm

Taste of Death wrote:Focus on the method not the art.

Agree!

Which method is better?

- 100 lb force on the chest, or
- 30 lb force on the forehead?



In the following clip, he didn't use much force to take his opponent down by his "body squeeze". His hand and foot are at the right contact points. This is another proof that "power generation" is not solution for everything. It's wrong to assume that if you understand "power generation", you don't need to master "technique".

There are right key for the right lock. The right key is the correct (control) points which has to do with technique training (not power generation training).

Image
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Ian C. Kuzushi on Wed Jan 08, 2020 1:51 am

Please, let's not try and drive Sifu Wang away again. He has trained internal longer than most here and also under some really legendary masters.

It is good to ask questions.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby ctjla on Wed Jan 08, 2020 2:04 am

johnwang wrote:
Taste of Death wrote:Focus on the method not the art.

Agree!

Which method is better?

- 100 lb force on the chest, or
- 30 lb force on the forehead?



In the following clip, he didn't use much force to take his opponent down by his "body squeeze". His hand and foot are at the right contact points. This is another proof that "power generation" is not solution for everything. It's wrong to assume that if you understand "power generation", you don't need to master "technique".

There are right key for the right lock. The right key is the correct (control) points which has to do with technique training (not power generation training).

Image


Well, there is a sort of mechanical advantage to the head so let's just concede that one. However, it could be done either internally or externally so maybe it's back to an apples to apples comparison. Because a change in target (chest vs forehead) that doesn't really address - the "is internal important" question. Anything could be done internally or externally so not sure examining technique selection or the point of attack will do much to answer that inquiry. So orange to tangerine -> unmatched lead, stepping behind the opponent, pressure applied to the torso, opponent ends up going backwards.

Method #1 for unmatched lead, step behind throw from an earlier posting

Image

Method #2 for unmatched lead, step behind throw also from an earlier posting



Method #2 for unmatched lead, step behind throw with a more simple explanation by one of CZW's students



So back to the real question, is it important?. Probably not if you want to be a professional mma fighter and are ok exiting the game by 40. Probably not if you don't have several years to dedicate to training. Probably not if you don't have access to a teacher with demonstrable skills. Probably not if you can locate a vulnerable point/angle and want to skip the internal power generation components. So the answer for most people is probably no.

However, if you've grown weary of memorizing techniques, looking for that "just right angle" and examining numerous counter for counter scenarios and would prefer to move towards formlessness. Or if you're body doesn't respond to the external training the way that it used to. Or if you can't figure out and resolve the difference between good days and bad days on the mat. Or if you've become injured and can't blast through things the way you used to it. Then maybe it could be important.

If I look carefully at the three videos, a couple of things start to stand out.

1. Oppositional vs Unidirectional lines of force/pressure.
-- in the first video it looks like the practicioners arm/waist/torso are all moving in the same direction. (unidirectional)
-- in the second video CZW is talking about oppositional rotations
-- in the third video, CZW's student is talking about a more linear sort of opposition (front and back)

2. Use of or alignment with gravity
-- CZW also has a subtle gravitational component that is not the topic of this video and is probably just habit (Sun Yang does the same thing)

The question then becomes, so what, does this even matter? Or it's just power generation. Well, sort of...couple of thoughts there...

1. Oppositional force is very comfortable. There's no bracing, less tension, the joint movement can be very harmonious. Better circulation and healing potential due to all of that. Increased opportunities for relaxation at an intent level. Scott Meredith talk about the almost narcotic like high of correct movement based on slightly oppositional intent (bad paraphrase).
2. Oppositional force is harder for an opponent to read. Basically, there's at least two things to figure out and counter. This is probably a book in and of itself. Aiki, basic and otherwise. Skipping.
3. Once understood, cultivating more oppositional force is much easier than adding additional external/physical power. I seem to remember George Xu saying something about needing to always try and find just a little more space inside. Certainly not his most important point ever, but sticky.
4. Even a little bit of gravity combined with internal connections is a tremendous power source. And really hard for an opponent to feel/counter.

Now this is all pretty low level, straightforward stuff but these couple of videos do highlight at least some of the differences between the two approaches (back to the original question). Should one bother, I don't know. A lot of high level practitioners tell stories of only switching to an internal approach when they absolutely had to due to illness or injury. Or they got trashed by some high level internal artist. And we all know this, just to get a foot in the door with internals is probably the most boring thing ever. Why would anybody go that way unless they had to?


Here's a post with some excerpts from Hong Jungsheng's (CZW's teacher) book and a little bit of explanation on these same topics (i.e..oppositional force).

https://internalartsia.wordpress.com/20 ... lications/
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Wed Jan 08, 2020 3:11 am

ctjla wrote:Here's a post with some excerpts from Hong Jungsheng's (CZW's teacher) book and a little bit of explanation on these same topics (i.e..oppositional force).

https://internalartsia.wordpress.com/20 ... lications/

Here's another article from that website that may be relevant to the topic.

Excerpt from "Rotation: Approaching the Impossible with the Practical Method:"

John Brown on December 14, 2011 wrote:How to Cultivate Gong Fu, for “Rotational” Skills

J: How would a person use that in push hands or fighting?

CZH: It is not some “thing”, or technique that you “use”. It is a level of skill which has become ingrained. That’s why tai chi push hands skills are appreciated as dependent upon Gongfu. Gongfu is residue of trained ability, not merely technique. When your body possesses that, whatever you do will incorporate that ability and express that power.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Wed Jan 08, 2020 8:04 am

If the OP has trained internal martial arts longer than any of the other forum members, and also learned the internal arts from legendary masters...which implies a much greater knowledge in the internal martial arts.......Then the OP knows very well whether or not his internal martial art is “real that important”...

Nah, all his posts are just ShuaiJiao promotion...it’s as if an agenda
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Wed Jan 08, 2020 11:02 am

Trick wrote:If the OP has trained internal martial arts longer than any of the other forum members, and also learned the internal arts from legendary masters...which implies a much greater knowledge in the internal martial arts.......Then the OP knows very well whether or not his internal martial art is “real that important”...

Nah, all his posts are just ShuaiJiao promotion...it’s as if an agenda

Again, let's talk about method and not style.

I was a catholic when I was a kid. Today I still question the theory of "Holy father, holy son, and holy ghost." I started my Taiji training when I was 7. Taiji was my 1st CMA style. After this many years, there are some "internal" principles that I just don't agree with:

1. Formless - I don't believe this can be achieved. You left arm/leg has to be as good as your right arm/leg which is not realistic.
2. If you don't move, I won't move - I believe give first and take afterward.
3. Power generation is solution for all - I believe there is right key for the right lock.
4. Double weighted - If you have to lift an heavy object off the ground, double weighted is a must.
5. Sticky - hook is much stronger than glue.
6. Technique is not important - I believe technique is very important.
7. Leg skill can affect your own balance - I believe leg skill can also affect my opponent's balance.
8. Push - I don't believe in push. I believe in throw and control.
9. …

Many "internal" principles that I do agree with:

1. Body coordination.
2. Body unification.
3. Borrow force.
4. Use mini effort to achieve maximum result.
5. ...
I'm still allergic to "push".
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