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 Wed Jan 15, 2020 3:21 pm

johnwang wrote:What CMA skill do you want to develop through your life time?


It varies with time. A few years ago it was power. Then it was throws. Last year I paid a lot attention to evasion, timing and setups. This year I think I'm heading back to chin-na.

I want to develop everything and I'll never master anything but I know my knowledge will improve. The body might weaken but the knowledge of it's use will get better. That is until I'm a drooling old man in a wheel chair.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Wed Jan 15, 2020 5:10 pm

dspyrido wrote:you do and they counter because that's what they have been waiting for.

You try to lead your opponent into an area that you have more experience than he has. If your opponent doesn't train circular dragging and counters, he will fall into your trap.

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 10:25 pm

Compares karate throws (less committed/internal) vs sport judo throws (more committted/external).

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In this video I compare karate throwing with judo throwing. This is not so much a technical comparison as a tactical comparison. The core techniques have common ground; although the focus on throwing in judo invariably means judoka do those throws to a much higher level. Where we find greater differences is the way those throws will be applied due to the differing goals of judo (sport judo) and karate (traditional self-protection focus). We see differences in objective, nature of enemy / opponent, entry to the throw, method of execution, and following on from the throw.

There are many other differences that are not discussed and viewers need to keep in mind that a ten minute clip cannot capture all aspects of this issue, nor can it capture all that was discussed at the training session (which lasted 3 days). Differences not discussed in this clip – although they were covered at the event – include getting up vs. securing a hold, safe landings vs. landings to finish, etc.

It should also be understood that all the standing throws discussed are also present in classical judo, but we rarely see them used that way in modern judo competition. It is the modern competitive versions of the throws that I focus on in this video. Those modern versions would not be suitable for the self-defence focused karateka due to the need to keep up right and avoid the fists, feet and weapons of third parties.

As always, this is not a matter of better / worse, but instead a matter of appropriate / inappropriate for any given objective.

I hope you enjoy the video and it gives you some food for thought:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZEeZ-0bjS0c
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:09 am

marvin8 wrote:Compares karate throws (less committed/internal) vs sport judo throws (more committted/external).

The difference is how do you enter. In wrestling, you don't have to worry about kick/punch. In fighting, you do.

The best entering strategy is to be able to disable your opponent's arms and leg. In order to do so, you have to either wrap both of your opponent's arms, or guide his leading arm to jam his back arm. If you can also use shin bite on your opponent's leading leg, he won't be able to kick you.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Taste of Death on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:27 am

johnwang wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Compares karate throws (less committed/internal) vs sport judo throws (more committted/external).

The difference is how do you enter. In wrestling, you don't have to worry about kick/punch. In fighting, you do.

The best entering strategy is to be able to disable your opponent's arms and leg. In order to do so, you have to either wrap both of your opponent's arms, or guide his leading arm to jam his back arm. If you can also use shin bite on your opponent's leading leg, he won't be able to kick you.

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Thu Jan 16, 2020 12:58 am

johnwang wrote:The difference is how do you enter. In wrestling, you don't have to worry about kick/punch. In fighting, you do.


Exactly.

From this POV, I don't mind calling Tai Chi a wrestling art. :P
Most schools don't go further than push hands and don't teach anything valuable about entering strategy or any defence to counter entering strategies. If they do, they usually won't teach anything genuine but instead they take stuff from modern sanda and similar.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Thu Jan 16, 2020 6:34 am

johnwang wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Compares karate throws (less committed/internal) vs sport judo throws (more committted/external).

The difference is how do you enter. In wrestling, you don't have to worry about kick/punch. In fighting, you do.

I posted video clips of actual fights showing how you enter then finish with foot sweep, flying diagonal and osoto gari (Yao, Machida and Akiyama respectively). They show entering starting from fighting range (outside kicking range) to finishing. It's not a question of if the entering strategies work, but understanding how they worked.

johnwang wrote:The best entering strategy is to be able to disable your opponent's arms and leg. In order to do so, you have to either wrap both of your opponent's arms, or guide his leading arm to jam his back arm. If you can also use shin bite on your opponent's leading leg, he won't be able to kick you.

However, how do you safely enter from fighting range without the opponent countering or defending (e.g., side stepping, etc.) in a fight?

Edit: ... which goes back to the OP question. An internal (and external) person uses ting, yin, hua, na and fa skills in entering strategy and finishing. These are external skills (loosely) as well that can be summed up in the sayings, "Position before submission" and "Hit and don't get hit."

I don't know if that answers your OP question, because it's not exclusively internal, not about the technique itself, etc.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby LaoDan on Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:30 am

johnwang wrote:
LaoDan wrote:Specifically for this video example: he does not maintain his “central equilibrium” particularly well when executing the foot sweep. I would think that an “internal” practitioner would maintain a better balance/pivot for the rotation that executes the technique. The same technique performed while maintaining one’s own center would make it more “internal” (at least as I understand it). Using one’s momentum in such a way that a stable center of rotation is not maintained is more typical of “external” practices.

C.J.W. wrote:As for "internal foot sweeps," here's a little test:

1. Stand in a high horse stance with your weight evenly distributed on both legs.
2. Lift one leg up -- WITHOUT shifting your weight or allowing your center axis to move AT ALL.

Can you do it?

These 2 statements confuse me. When you stand on one leg, you either readjust your center, or you don't.

When on one leg, one’s center of mass should be centered over the support leg, yes, but I was referring more to other centers as well. This can be somewhat complex, but in simple terms, if one thinks of the belly as being a ball, that ball has a center, and when on one leg the loss of balance is easy to detect when the center of that ball (center of mass) is displaced from being centered over the supporting leg. In this simple version, one wants to identify how the foot sweep affects one’s own center of mass (or dantien if you prefer). But there are numerous other balls (I view the body as having an infinite number of balls, although that is a different, though related, topic) and another level that TJQ considers is the nine “pearl bends” which could be viewed as referring to other joints in the body like the hips, knees, and ankles. All of those centers should also be stable when doing a foot sweep. It is not enough to just relate the technique to how it affects the opponent; one should also consider how it affects the practitioner.

If I were training or coaching that technique, I would follow the sweep with a figure eight drawn in the air with the foot prior to setting it down (this can be simplified to a circle if desired, or made more complex by drawing the taiji diagram; the idea is to maintain the ability to smoothly move into any other technique, like stepping or kicking in any direction without having to reset or cock in preparation, and without having to land the foot to regain one’s balance [the movements should have the potential to be big or small, vertical or horizontal or angled...]).

There is another concern when studying the rotations needed to do a leg sweep while standing on one leg. Power “leaks out” with wobbling of the joints (nine pearl bends). If one were to punch while standing on shifting ground (like when standing on loose gravel which causes the feet to slide when issuing force) then chances are that one’s power would be noticeably less than when standing stably. A similar loss of power likely occurs with every joint that wobbles when performing any technique. This loss of power may seem small, but it is also probably cumulative, although I do not know of any studies that document this.

If one is primarily paying attention to if a technique like a foot sweep “gets” an opponent, then they likely trend more to the “external” end of the spectrum; but if, instead, one focuses more on how applying that technique to an opponent affects oneself, then that individual likely trends more to the “internal” end of the spectrum.

[Note: In addition to the body as a whole (centered on the dantien), and the joints forming centers, any point on the body can be used as a pivot point and could therefore also become a center. Likewise, movements can be made where the centers of their circles lie outside of the body itself. I think that awareness and control of all of these centers can be important, but this probably veers into too theoretical a direction for this thread.]
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Thu Jan 16, 2020 8:50 am

[Note: In addition to the body as a whole (centered on the dantien), and the joints forming centers, any point on the body can be used as a pivot point and could therefore also become a center. Likewise, movements can be made where the centers of their circles lie outside of the body itself. I think that awareness and control of all of these centers can be important, but this probably veers into too theoretical a direction for this thread.]



points to the heart of the matter, along with nodes and antinodes
something we use to describe the joint function

A different way of understanding, developing, transferring
energy in ones movements.

The arguments of what taiji has, does or uses specious at best.

IME not reflective of the teachers I've trained under who used all methods
that CMA use in its approach to the 3 ranges of combat within the context of the style or method,
with the exception of the ground game as some call it..

Ending up on the ground was / is considered
not a good place to be outside of sprotive environments

" does not negate the necessity of understanding the ground game"
More so for those into competition

Just not something that most CMA styles developed in certain time period practiced.

Sam, as he liked to be called was in many ways ahead of his time.
Having come from a hard style back ground his hands were gnarled not with age but with the training he did as a much younger man toughing them on coconut trees growing on the island. I can still hear him in his Hawaiian accented pidgin English,

“and now we use the good old American right hook ” when going over how his taiji worked.

Sam’s primary taiji influence Tung/Dong style taiji.

https://journeytoemptiness.com/2017/06/30/outlaw-taiji/

The idea of Taiji being primarily a grappling art or some type of standup grappling, foreign to me with the exception of reading about it from those on this form.

All the teacher I’ve known Taught it as either striking or throwing as do I.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Thu Jan 16, 2020 3:12 pm

windwalker wrote:The idea of Taiji being primarily a grappling art or some type of standup grappling, foreign to me with the exception of reading about it from those on this form.

All the teacher I’ve known Taught it as either striking or throwing as do I.


Although not my primary art, TC when done right, definitely has great throws and strikes. The interesting part is the merging of short power into the chin-na which for the life of me does not seem to be promoted as it's real value. Power generation that really is hard to get without total body alignment, the use of "song", dantien & so on.

It's scary to imagine the applications of an opponent who throws a punch. Their arm is deflected, lured, locked and quickly hit+twisted that snaps a joint. All done while an attacker is throwing a follow up move and wondering ... why is my arm not moving?

And as for "American right hook" - the punch existed many years before America existed. It's part of the problem I see with people trying to get "internal". If something is a hook then it's boxing and therefore not internal. If something is evasion with the hands up then it's boxing & therefore external . This sort of stuff is how people try to explain the concepts without understanding them. I understand Sam referencing this for context but it just kind of adds to the confusing.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Thu Jan 16, 2020 5:13 pm

I just did the following solo drills of 30 each (about 1 hour ago):

1. linear foot sweep.
2. circular foot sweep.
3. foot landing sweep.
4. front cut.
5. diagonal cut.
6. inner hook.
7. outer hook.
8. horizontal Dao Gou.
9. upward Dao Gou.
10. scoop kick.
11. front toe kick.
12. front heel kick.
13. roundhouse kick.
14. side kick.
15. inside crescent kick.
16. outside crescent kick.
17. upward leg swing.
18. leg lift.
19. vertical punch.
20. horizontal punch.

30 x 20 = 600 rep
3600 sec/600 rep = 6 sec

If I don't stop, it will take me average 6 seconds for each drill.

If it takes me about 1 hour just to maintain my basic, In that 1 hour basic training, I truly don't have time to think about "internal" or external.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Fri Jan 17, 2020 2:29 pm

johnwang wrote:If I don't stop, it will take me average 6 seconds for each drill.

If it takes me about 1 hour just to maintain my basic, In that 1 hour basic training, I truly don't have time to think about "internal" or external.


Makes sense & you're right. If the thinking about "internal/external" gets in the way of doing the "1000 moves" then it should be put to the side. This is the biggest problem with IMA where I have heard things like "I visualised doing the moves" instead of just doing them.

But when you are doing the moves - what do you think about? Or do you just switch off the thinking and do?
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Fri Jan 17, 2020 4:09 pm

dspyrido wrote:But when you are doing the moves - what do you think about? Or do you just switch off the thinking and do?

When I train, I do assume where my opponent's arms and legs are.

For example, when I apply foot sweep, if I assume my opponent has

- right leg forward, I need to use wheeling step to force my opponent to step in his left leg.
- left leg forward, I can just attack his left leg without any set up.

My footwork depends on whether I assume my opponent has right leg forward, or has left leg forward.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Fri Jan 17, 2020 5:16 pm

I don't know how "internal' guys develop their toolbox. If you want your toolbox to contain the following tools:

- jab, cross, uppercut, hook, hammer fist, back fist, side punch, ...
- front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, flying knee, ...
- finger lock, wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, head lock, ankle lock, ...
- hip throw, foot sweep, leg twist, leg lift, leg block, ...
- full mount, side mount, arm bar, leg bar, ...

Just to maintain your toolbox, you have to spend at least 2 hours of your training time daily. Where will you be able to find time to train your "internal"?
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Sat Jan 18, 2020 1:12 am

johnwang wrote:When I train, I do assume where my opponent's arms and legs are.

For example, when I apply foot sweep, if I assume my opponent has

- right leg forward, I need to use wheeling step to force my opponent to step in his left leg.
- left leg forward, I can just attack his left leg without any set up.

My footwork depends on whether I assume my opponent has right leg forward, or has left leg forward.


Isn't visualising a part of the internal method of training? I always thought that the internal arts focus on the mind over the body just means engaging the thinker rather than working out physically only. Hence "imagine you have an opponent" is an internal concept vs. hit this bag without engaging the brain is external. I mean I have seen great boxers & have been taught this way to throw a slow jab in the air where it might take 10 seconds to complete. For this they are less focused on building the body and more focused on developing the mind/body coordination. That does not mean they won't throw another thousand on a bag but it is a different excercise.

johnwang wrote:I don't know how "internal' guys develop their toolbox. If you want your toolbox to contain the following tools:

- jab, cross, uppercut, hook, hammer fist, back fist, side punch, ...
- front kick, side kick, roundhouse kick, hook kick, flying knee, ...
- finger lock, wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, head lock, ankle lock, ...
- hip throw, foot sweep, leg twist, leg lift, leg block, ...
- full mount, side mount, arm bar, leg bar, ...

Just to maintain your toolbox, you have to spend at least 2 hours of your training time daily. Where will you be able to find time to train your "internal"?


Yes training will take a fair amount of daily activity but don't IMA's have solo and partnered moves that cover their specific toolbox? That is the "internal" part is trained as part of the toolbox?

Aside from that if you are referring to chi-gung or related meditative methods then yes they should be done outside of this.
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