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 klonk on Mon Mar 30, 2020 8:48 pm

johnwang wrote:
klonk wrote:I get what John Wang is saying. I will not presume to speak for him. He is quite capable.

My own opinion is that theory must not screw up the practical use of martial art. If I see a better way of decking somebody, I do not want some theoretical point getting in the way of that. Let the theory catch up with the facts.

Again if your punch can knock your opponent down, you don't care whether you are using "internal" punch or external punch.

Goal: combat
Paths: many.


I know three good punches: One-two of Western boxing.

Half step follow of xing yi.

I would say the internal is important in xing yi half step because otherwise, it would be mere rudeness, a poke. But if done with full celerity, it folds your opponent in half.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Mon Mar 30, 2020 9:57 pm

My own opinion is that theory must not screw up the practical use of martial art. If I see a better way of decking somebody, I do not want some theoretical point getting in the way of that. Let the theory catch up with the facts.


Martial Arts is not something based on theories. Theory is based on practicality.

Practical practice and application always comes first. Theory is a way to study practical things and to organize practical knowledge so you can have tools to pass on your own personal knowledge to other people.

When you learn playing an instrument, the practical practice, what you practically do, is what is important. But your teacher helps you learn, step by step, in an organized manner. Of course, you can just take an instrument as a piano and start pressing the keys randomly and hope that you will eventually learn to play. You could do it all your life and hope to do it. Or you could use the theory built up by generations of musicians and actually learn fast how to play.

Now, if you try learn the piano and believe that you will become a better musician by reading old documents and history about old instruments you’ll have a problem. If you just want to become a better musician you should spend your time playing and practicing. If you are interested in culture and history you don’t need to play, though having some practical knowledge might help you to understand the history better.

The problem with martial artists as I see it is that they believe being a historian will help them to become a better martial artist. This is mostly many generations of teachers fault because they teach the value of tradition and focus much on tradition.

It would do Martial Arts good to throw away all uniforms, greetings, bows, grading systems etc. and only use modern practical language. You can still learn about history and culture but to keep it clearly separated from practical practice.

The downside is that martial arts teachers would lose all of their income because what people want to learn is in fact not something useful for fighting, but to wear uniforms, bow to a teacher and to get a grade and a colorful belt. etc. They want to be historians and not practical players. A traditional martial art school is mostly more like a medieval age club or society. If you just want to fight, why not do MMA instead? Because who can believe that TMA can be useful? :/
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:25 am

Bao wrote: If you just want to fight, why not do MMA instead? Because who can believe that TMA can be useful? :/

I believe that CMA is useful. I also believe that CMA can offer a lot to the MMA such as:

- Hand coordinates with foot.
- Attack a point < attack a line < attack 2D space < attack 3D object
- A punch is more than just a punch. A punch is a punch followed by a pull.
- The best way to deal with a striker is to wrap his arms.
- It's better to move your fists closer to your opponent's head than just to keep your fists next to your own head.
- All power come from your back foot.
- Guide your opponent's leading arm across his body to jam his own back arm.
- Use one hand to control your opponent's elbow while use the other hand to control his wrist.
- ...

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Tue Mar 31, 2020 12:44 am

I believe that CMA is useful. I also believe that CMA can offer a lot to the MMA such as:

- Hand coordinates with foot.
- Attack a point < attack a line < attack 2D space < attack 3D object
- A punch is more than just a punch. A punch is a punch followed by a pull.
- The best way to deal with a striker is to wrap his arms.
- It's better to move your fists closer to your opponent's head than just to keep your fists next to your own head.
- All power come from your back foot.
- Guide your opponent's leading arm across his body to jam his own back arm.
- Use one hand to control your opponent's elbow while use the other hand to control his wrist.


Yes of course. I wholeheartedly agree. But to understand what CMA is all about and how useful it is, you need to study it first. The problem is that people don't believe in it in the first place, or study CMA for other reasons than to actually learn something martially useful. :/
Thoughts on Tai Chi (My Tai Chi blog)
- Storms make oaks take deeper root. -George Herbert
- To affect the quality of the day, is the highest of all arts! -Walden Thoreau
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby klonk on Sat Sep 19, 2020 8:53 pm

dspyrido wrote:
johnwang wrote:Why does anybody want to bring his secret into his grave? Any information that we share on this forum, even if just 1 person who can benefit from it, the sharing effort will be worthwhile.


My thoughts exactly. I don't assume anything great will happen but I found that spending time doing false starts might have been spent better elsewhere. Perhaps others will benefit. Perhaps not.

That said I don't understand why good training seems to disappear. So much experience just dies. I've heard lots of reasons but in the end I keep thinking the same thing ... Why would anyone want to take a training secret to the grave?


Every "secret" of unarmed combat has been widely known since 4,000 or 5,000 BC. How much you know depends on your skill at filtering out bullshitters. The problem is not too few secrets passed along but too many bogus ones.

Sudden activation of multiple muscle groups in coordinated action (fa jin) is not mysticism, it is instinct. Any kitty cat can do it. Monkeys are better at ting jin than we are.
Last edited by klonk on Sat Sep 19, 2020 9:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby klonk on Sat Sep 26, 2020 6:08 pm

I mistakenly posted this on another thead here on RSF, so do forgive an old man repeating himself.

I suppose the best defense of "internal" is that some practices called that have benefits. Are a thousand days of internal gongfu (old meaning, man work, meaning you work and thus you develop) better than a thousand days of external? Unfortunately, most people discussing the topic on the Internet have neither, so let's just leave this old discussion where it is. You are good at what you practice daily.

Of course, if you daily practice something utterly useless, even two thousand days will not help you.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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