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 dspyrido on Thu Jan 09, 2020 2:28 pm

johnwang wrote:
LaoDan wrote:John, You seem intent on questioning “is this technique internal” rather than “is this technique being done in such a way that it incorporates (various) internal principles” - e.g.,

I don't see any difference between

1. is this technique internal vs.
2. is this technique being done in such a way that it incorporates (various) internal principles.

This is why I try to stay away from abstract discussion.


Let's simplify then.

External = fast
Internal = slow

Do you practise techniques slowly? Welcome to internal. Do it fast? Hello external.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Thu Jan 09, 2020 3:37 pm

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.


Interesting sum up, I liked that.

I would agree with the very most of your view, though I prefer principles and not technique. Techniques are examples of how to use principles. If you understand the principles behind the techniques you can improvise however you want and come up with your own techniques and countless of variations.

However there are aspects of internal practice and aspects that I appreciate but I seldom see in external practice to the same extent. The internal arts teach to never tense breath or mind. If you do that you can lock yourself or prevent yourself from change. I would suspect that you have practiced for so long that this comes so natural for you so you don’t need to think about it. But common people really need to practice this kind of awareness.

This is something I wrote a year ago or so, External styles have some aspects in common, but I see the internal arts more as a package. You need to look at many traditions and cultural aspects together to get a good picture about what is called internal arts. It’s just a general term on a certain tradition of arts that have very certain things in common. IMO, there is no purely internal or purely external art. Something internal is only internal compared to the external aspects. External arts tend to emphasize external aspects, internal arts put the main focus on internal aspects.

Internal Martial arts, or Neijiaquan, is a definition on Chinese Martial arts that

— Are based, and have a strong focus, on Neigong (internal skills practice)
— practice mostly developed from Daoist practice.
— Have a terminology based on Daoism and Neidan.
— Focus more on internal aspects than external.
— Blend health practice, meditation and martial arts practice together.

They also tend to:

— Use whole body connection and whole body movement to generate strength rather than from isolated limbs and isolated muscle strength.
— Generate strength from softness and emptiness.
— Approach the attacker not directly strength against strength, but rather from an angle and the distance is carefully cared about.
— Try to hide the body mechanics and attack from a neutral posture.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Taste of Death on Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:20 pm

johnwang wrote:
LaoDan wrote:John, You seem intent on questioning “is this technique internal” rather than “is this technique being done in such a way that it incorporates (various) internal principles” - e.g.,

I don't see any difference between

1. is this technique internal vs.
2. is this technique being done in such a way that it incorporates (various) internal principles.

This is why I try to stay away from abstract discussion.

1. If one is using strength in an internal art one would ask this question to remind the person to focus on the internal methods they have been taught.
2. If incorporating internal methods in a traditionally external art this question could be asked. Ex: This is how it's done externally. This is how it's done internally. There is a difference whether one wants to acknowledge it or not.
Last edited by Taste of Death on Thu Jan 09, 2020 4:57 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Thu Jan 09, 2020 9:33 pm

dspyrido wrote:Let's simplify then.

External = fast
Internal = slow

Do you practise techniques slowly? Welcome to internal. Do it fast? Hello external.

When you train

- solo, you can train in any speed that you want to.
- with your partner, your speed depend on your opponent's speed.

Your definition assume the word "opponent" doesn't even exist. Your definition can limit "internal" in solo training only.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Fri Jan 10, 2020 12:25 am

Again 8-) The ‘internal’ lies in the way one practice ones solo exercises, and when doing it that way it’s best to do slow movements so all the aspects of the exercise can be implemented in the one, the exercises are wholistic as opposed to the segmentaristically external 8-) As one advance all the aspects trained begin to settle, and when one fight or are ‘normally’ activated in any other way one act in a most splendid way without any thoughts about internal or external, one become comfortable focused/centered and acting out from that state everything becomes possible, this is the achievement of the internal arts ... 8-)

Too many seem to focus on the power generation thing when explaining efforts achieved when practicing the internal martial arts, when focus on such things one are still in an competitive mindset and as such still with one foot in the external..
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Fri Jan 10, 2020 3:32 pm

johnwang wrote:
dspyrido wrote:Let's simplify then.

External = fast
Internal = slow

Do you practise techniques slowly? Welcome to internal. Do it fast? Hello external.

When you train

- solo, you can train in any speed that you want to.
- with your partner, your speed depend on your opponent's speed.

Your definition assume the word "opponent" doesn't even exist. Your definition can limit "internal" in solo training only.


"partner" - slow/fast can be applied to it.



"Opponent" is an interesting one. Let's go with a half baked opponent - the sports opponent.

Wrestling can be done full speed and hard. Why? Because it has restrictions. Rules put in place to avoid seriously injuring the "opponent".

How about chin-na when it goes into spine, fingers or neck manipulations?

Can it be practised slowly and carefully? Yes. Can it be done faster but with a fully aware partner? Yes but with caution.

Can it be competed with? Sure but I am confident that there will be some serious injuries. Especially at the amateur level.

So do we ignore these moves? Of course not. How do we train them? One way is found in IMA which lets face it contains a whole library of dangerous chinna moves that seem to have been hidden away.

Slow forms? Careful partnered routines? Not for chi development. They contain some serious snapping manipulations along with nasty strikes that are used to set them up.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Sat Jan 11, 2020 8:48 pm

dspyrido wrote:Internal = slow

This is normal speed training.

Image

Is this the slow speed training that you are talking about?

Image

Some drill is difficult to train slow.

Image

Some drill is impossible to train slow.

Image
Last edited by johnwang on Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:02 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:55 pm

Just some random thoughts here... I watched different vids with Muay Thai/Thai Boxing clinches, tactics and defense as I remembered a vid with CZQ having a bad time: https://youtu.be/v2_HnOlhaWE

These two vids with defenses were pretty good:

https://youtu.be/VDctZByN9H4

https://youtu.be/pY4xU0JIuBo

A couple of the defensive movements from the Thai boxers are pretty similar to tactics found in the internal arts. Funny how CZQ cannot come up with something good. I was thinking about the lack of real-life experience from the Chen dude, but also that the Thai boxers seemed to lack a bit of control in what they did, and that they probably could learn something from TJQ about stability in countering, angles and adapting, things that might help them to improve their defensive play further.

My point have very little to do with if the word internal is important or not, but regardless of what is Internal or not, I do believe that internal practice has a lot to offer if you already have some fighting experience. But internal practice alone cannot give you that experience. Two man practice or too limited ways of competing cannot give you that experience either.

In general, I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world. You can’t really have the “mindset to fight” if you are going to be successful in learning how to really use the internal arts, and this goes for tjq especially. So here is a conflict in different interests that is very hard to bridge. To successfully use the internal arts, you can never be in a “fighting mode” when you use it. When you fight there is no fighting going on inside of you. You don’t approach combat as it was a fight. Here is probably the why when CZQ didn’t know how to use tjq. A much too locked attitude and a fighting mindset that acts very much counterproductive.

Is “Internal” really that important? For the internal arts it certainly is.
Last edited by Bao on Sat Jan 11, 2020 9:57 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:28 pm

If your opponent wants to

- bend his arms, you try to help him to bend more.
- straight his arms, you try to help him to straight more.

His opponent's double neck tie will give him 2 free contact points. Why did he even want to break it apart?



With this free contact point, you can do a lot of thing.

Image
Last edited by johnwang on Sat Jan 11, 2020 11:36 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:43 am

Bao wrote:
In general, I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world. You can’t really have the “mindset to fight” if you are going to be successful in learning how to really use the internal arts, and this goes for tjq especially. So here is a conflict in different interests that is very hard to bridge. To successfully use the internal arts, you can never be in a “fighting mode” when you use it. When you fight there is no fighting going on inside of you. You don’t approach combat as it was a fight.

Yes this is right. This is why it’s so difficult because we learn early on in our lives to be competitive, and that is hard if not impossible for most to let go...
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Sun Jan 12, 2020 6:50 am

In internal exercises we work with the opposing forces such as up-down, forward-back and left-right. So here is a kind of competitive situation, but the strive is to make the forces equal and in so to find the very true center..and when that is found and harnessed then one is free.... 8-)
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:11 pm

Bao wrote: I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world.

The issue is how can an "internal" guy make this foot sweep solo training more "internal"? If you are an "internal" CMA teacher, how will you teach this solo drill any different?

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Sun Jan 12, 2020 12:59 pm

johnwang wrote:
Bao wrote: I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world.

The issue is how can an "internal" guy make this foot sweep solo training more "internal"? If you are an "internal" CMA teacher, how will you teach this solo drill any different?

[img]https://i.postimg.cc/8PTDjJ4p/Lin-shin-bite-sweep-solo.gif[/]


I don’t practice that kind of sweep, or almost any kind of sweep. I wouldn’t use that kind of tactic so I don’t really know how to answer on this.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Sun Jan 12, 2020 1:47 pm

Bao wrote: I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world.

Bao wrote:I don’t practice that kind of sweep, or almost any kind of sweep. I wouldn’t use that kind of tactic so I don’t really know how to answer on this.

Your "honest" answer may draw a final conclusion on this thread discussion.

- You want to be good in leg skill (such as foot sweep).
- Since your "internal" teacher doesn't train that, he doesn't know how to help you.
- You go to another external teacher who can help you.
- You lose confidence in your "internal" teacher.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Sun Jan 12, 2020 2:37 pm

johnwang wrote:
Bao wrote: I don’t believe that most people interested in combat arts would be interested in digging deeper into internal arts. They are too different, too conflicting in their ways to look at the world.

The issue is how can an "internal" guy make this foot sweep solo training more "internal"? If you are an "internal" CMA teacher, how will you teach this solo drill any different?

https://i.postimg.cc/8PTDjJ4p/Lin-shin- ... p-solo.gif
Bao wrote:I don’t practice that kind of sweep, or almost any kind of sweep. I wouldn’t use that kind of tactic so I don’t really know how to answer on this.

Does this video of "Tai Chi Throws & Sweeps" help?


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1W2RfBX8jKE

How does an "internal" guy solo train these throws or sweeps? If you are an "internal" CMA teacher, how will you teach this solo drill any different (from external)?
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