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 Interloper on Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:12 pm

What Dmitri said. A lot of people who train "internal" can demonstrate great things when not under duress, but don't have the training and conditioning to use those skills in a fight.

That said, if given two people of equal fighting skill, the person skilled in the internal power method and its application will have an advantage over the "external" fighter. There are a number of reasons for this, one being that the internal fighter will be "quicker" and won't telegraph his intended movements, but will be able to read his opponent's intentions. He also will have greater structural stability and so will be much harder to unbalance and uproot. There are many other reasons. And, he can transfer force cross-body, meaning that if you try to sweep his left leg, you will find nothing there; if you then try to sweep his right leg, you will find nothing there. He can control how his mass is distributed so he is never one-side weighted.

Internal training was never meant to stand alone; systems with well-organized curriculums always have integrated the foundational exercises for developing the internal qualities with the learning of physical technique and martial strategies and tactics. While there are specific exercises done separately to inculcate those inner skills, a good system provides the training to combine body-quality, technique and tactical skills incrementally throughout the years of the students' practice.


Dmitri wrote:"Training to fight" and "internal training" are two different things that are not necessarily even related. One can practice "internal" stuff by themselves doing solo exercises and fully-cooperative two-person drills and become really good at that, without ever learning how to fight. Conversely, there are countless ways to learn how to fight very effectively without ever even hearing about "internal training" in the first place.
Last edited by Interloper on Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:37 pm

C.J.W. wrote:2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.

Let's compare the "foot sweep" training between the SC system and the Taiji system.

SC system uses the following training:

1. You first train shin bite (0 distance). You put your instep behind your opponent's ankle. You then press your knee down against the side of his leg to take him down.
2. you then train to use your instep to pull your opponent's leg along the ground.
3. You then train to use your foot to sticky lift your opponent's foot off the ground.
4. You then train to lift your opponent's foot 45 degree upward.
5. You finally train to sweep from a farter distance.

What is the Taiji foot sweep training?
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:47 pm

Interloper wrote:the person skilled in the internal power method and its application will have an advantage over the "external" fighter .... will be able to read his opponent's intentions.

If an "internal" guy didn't go through the

shin bite -> scoop ->sticky lift -> 0 distance sweep -> full distance sweep,

how can his foot (instep) can have better reading on his opponent's leg/foot compare to an external guy who has gone through this kind of training?
Last edited by johnwang on Thu Dec 12, 2019 9:50 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:29 am

ctjla wrote:
MaartenSFS wrote:I have an idea; we should start a new forum about internal martial arts where 90% of the members have never seen, much less done, internal martial arts. They should also constantly question their validity whilst simultaneously also posing as experts on the subject! Speaking of subjects, there should be no more than ten in total and they should be recycled every fortnight. If a thread veers off-topic, any attempt necessary should be made to steer it back on this broken course! Oh my, what a success it will be!


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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:48 am

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.

Trick wrote:But bkts is a throw similar to your avatar throw........

The difference between the Taiji "brush knee" and SC "leg blocking" is the leg skill.

This discussion hasn't changed in the past 20 years.

I believe the leg skill such as to use your right leg to hook your opponent's

1st side - outside right leg.
2nd side - inside right leg.
3rd side - inside left leg.
4th side - outside left leg.

should be trained in all CMA systems. It's such important and simple concept but missing in almost all CMA systems.

I have three different throws for BKTS, one of them has an (opponents)leg/kick block/catch, can also “scoop up” opponents front leg/foot with own front leg/foot to take an hold of it then go on with the throw.....The ‘common’ block kick and push/strike with palm can of course be there too, but the form move doesn’t really speak that...

Sorry, I’m difficult to be caught on film otherwise I would have posted vids 8-)
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Fri Dec 13, 2019 12:55 am

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.

Let's compare the "foot sweep" training between the SC system and the Taiji system.

SC system uses the following training:

1. You first train shin bite (0 distance). You put your instep behind your opponent's ankle. You then press your knee down against the side of his leg to take him down.
2. you then train to use your instep to pull your opponent's leg along the ground.
3. You then train to use your foot to sticky lift your opponent's foot off the ground.
4. You then train to lift your opponent's foot 45 degree upward.
5. You finally train to sweep from a farter distance.

What is the Taiji foot sweep training?

This is kind of how I learned from my Taiji teachers here in China, although one of them(Yang Taiji) has been doing ShuaiJiao since childhood, he has many interesting applications of the Taiji form, he learned Taiji from Fu Zhongwen with brother for many years
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby oragami_itto on Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:09 am

Well that settles it, Shuai Jiao is better than taiji. Glad we could reach a conclusion.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:03 am

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby D_Glenn on Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:27 am

A lot of Chinese guys do Shuai Jiao. My teacher learned it (technically called Kuai Jiao), but he infused it with Bagua’s Internal body mechanics. So his throws are faster and a bit more devastating than a normal SJ guy. He’s so good though. When you put on the jacket and get in the circle with him then just prepare to be immediately thrown to the ground as soon as you touch him. He knows what you’re going to do before you even know. Which is also a benefit that comes the mental fortitude training from Baguazhang Circle Walking.
But as they say in China SJ is really only for competition. The narrow rules is what allows you to focus on the throws and which in turn is what fuels the desire to excel at it and be able to defend the ring for as long as you can. He said it’s a rush, but there’s a false sense of security. SJ won’t suffice for self-defense. And that sort of competition is a young man’s game. Baguazhang is designed so that you just keep getting better and better every year. SJ is for fun. He had to use Baguazhang to fight his actual fights.

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Fri Dec 13, 2019 9:36 am

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby robert on Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:06 am

johnwang wrote:What is the Taiji foot sweep training?

Push hands ;)

Last edited by robert on Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:16 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Interloper on Fri Dec 13, 2019 6:14 pm

johnwang wrote:
Interloper wrote:the person skilled in the internal power method and its application will have an advantage over the "external" fighter .... will be able to read his opponent's intentions.

If an "internal" guy didn't go through the

shin bite -> scoop ->sticky lift -> 0 distance sweep -> full distance sweep,

how can his foot (instep) can have better reading on his opponent's leg/foot compare to an external guy who has gone through this kind of training?


Assuming the internal guy has trained in one of the deeper curriculums and has the experience... it becomes not about technique, but about the ability to retain stability in one's own body, absorb and redirect his opponent's force, and return the force to the point of contact. There used to be some Youtube clips of some internal fighters absorbing kicks to the shin and directing that force to the ground. Unfortunately, when I went to look for them, they have been removed. But, the same process that allows this re-direction of force, also sinks and "roots" the internal fighter's center of mass, so it is difficult to move or lift him. In addition to that, his ability to control his body at a diagonal (cross-body) allows him to not commit his mass and balance to one foot/side or the other. He can switch them at will, so if you try to scoop and sweep one leg, you will find it to be "empty" -- nothing there to sweep. This renders the attacker's techniques harmless (to him, it feels like he is kicking and trying to move an iron post, or trying to sweep a feather.). By neutralizing the attack, it means it doesn't matter what the attacker's training is, it is not effective against the internal fighter's ability to "steal" his force and redirect it.

Again, this is assuming a high degree of internal training and experience, which is relatively rare. In view of that, internal training to the point of efficient and consistently effective application in fighting, probably is not worth the time and effort for most people. It's so much quicker and easier to learn a handful of external techniques and honing them under lots of repetition and testing against fighters. But, for those who do go down the rabbit hole of internal training and fighting, there is a very big advantage over conventional martial movement and mechanics.
Last edited by Interloper on Sat Dec 14, 2019 12:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Fri Dec 13, 2019 8:09 pm

marvin8 wrote:In fighting, one should be able to adjust (change) to the situation, ...

I have thought about this when I drove from California back to Texas. Here is another example that I try to create opportunity.

If I use my leg to lift my opponent's left leg, at that moment all his weight is on his right leg. If I sweep his right leg, he will be down. Of course I can wait for my opponent to shift weight. The issue are:

- I don't know when that opportunity will happen.
- I'm not sure when that opportunity happens, my rooting leg will be at the right position and ready to do the sweep.

If I create that opportunity myself, my rooting leg will be at the right position because I plan for that ahead of the time.

windwalker wrote:You mentioned you're not yet convinced.

Since I'm going to create 2 new black belt students, I try to design the best way for them to learn.

For example, you attack one leg first, you then attack the other leg afterward is a very important strategy.

- Use right leg to spring, hook, lift your opponent's left leg.
- When his left leg is above the ground,
- You then sweep his right rooting leg.

In this simple combo training, I just don't know how the "internal" training can help me to do this any better.

C.J.W. wrote:2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs.

The more that I think about this issue, the more that I think I'm right. We all want to develop gook arm/leg skill no matter which CMA system that we train. It makes no sense that we have good arm skill but don't have good leg skill.

In the following clip, he uses a good leg skill "front cut".



Since the foot sweep training uses: 0 distance sweep (beginner stage) -> full distance sweep (advantage stage),

may be the punch should be trained as: 0 distance punch (beginner stage) -> full distance punch (advantage stage).

What do you guys think about this logic?
Last edited by johnwang on Fri Dec 13, 2019 11:47 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Dec 14, 2019 7:29 am

You are thinking too narrowly, John. Yes, from a wrestling perspective wrestling will have better wrestling. These internal systems try to take all situations into consideration, including wrestling, qinna, striking, kicking etc. Most of them lean more heavily towards striking.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8yCwikaU4s
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Sat Dec 14, 2019 10:26 am

MaartenSFS wrote:You are thinking too narrowly, ...

Actually I think very openly.

- Goal: knock/take my opponent down ASAP.
- Path: Whatever training that can help me to reach to my goal.

How can MA training be more simplified than this?
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