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 grzegorz on Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:43 pm

johnwang wrote:If you train how to fight such as:

1. entering strategy - how to set up and enter.
2. finish strategy - how to finish a fight,

do you really care about whether you are training is "internal" or not? You may only care about whether your MA skill can work on your opponent or not.

Your thought?


Years ago I would have said it is important. But more and more I realize it isn't once you develop power.

In which case thinking is this interal or external just gets in the way.

Back when I used to box and years before that doing TKD I used fajin in my strikes and kicks and impressed the hell out of people. It was fun but I also realized that these were point based sports and the KO wasn't the goal. So they ised to say speed over power and that's how most boxing matches and TKD matches are won.

I think external and internal training can and should compliment each other. I have seen internal taiji types who look down at boxing and it is unfortunate. Once I was the same, in fact. But now I think it is all very similar or least with the same goal. My teacher used to just teach he didn't put external and or internal labels on it and I think that's it should be. To me the principles are more important than the labels.

Yet I am sure this will long thread. Off to do some fajing and hit the bag. To each to his own. I don't feel the need to debate these days. It usually just becomes insults when two people disagree (just look at the sincere hope thread).

Can and will say Professor Wang has the goods. I have been to and trained in Taiwan, the mainland, the US and Europe and I have seen some the best out there. Professor Wang is the real deal.
Last edited by grzegorz on Sun Jan 26, 2020 8:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Mon Jan 27, 2020 4:11 am

Professor Wang =JW ? If that’s so, I’m sure he is a truly skilled wrestler. If I remembered right he wrote(in this thread?) that he ask these kind of questions he does just to keep the forum going ?
But honestly I get the feel he is missing the important points of practice needed for “internal” to be “internal”martial arts practice, not that he need it cause he is doing very well with his own understandings as he seemingly also points out. And no one telling him to change his way. We that are of more or less of an somewhat different opinion than his “internal” actually just point out our opinions on the subject, just as he asked for....and the debate keeps going, just as was his aim(together with an touch of ShuaiJiao promotion) 8-)
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Mon Jan 27, 2020 1:03 pm

Trick wrote:together with an touch of ShuaiJiao promotion 8-)

I try to promote science (格物), not metaphysics (玄學).

People believe in "object -> parts" approach such as: Taiji -> Yin/Yang -> 4 corners -> Bagua. But they can't prove it. This is metaphysics (玄學) - "internal".

By using the "parts -> object" approach, we all know that atom contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. It can be proved. This is science (格物) - external.

In the past 300 years, if Chinese didn't spent all their effort to dig into metaphysics (玄學) and ignored science (格物), China won't be almost divided by foreign power. By using the metaphysics (玄學) approach, the "internal" MA was created.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Strange on Mon Jan 27, 2020 5:57 pm

you are correct to say that
but human scientists, engineers, etc knows almost all there is to know
about flight.... but still cannot fly on our own
and then you have the bumble bee

we have a problem here, it is not enough to know, or even understand
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:38 pm

johnwang wrote:
Trick wrote:together with an touch of ShuaiJiao promotion 8-)

I try to promote science (格物), not metaphysics (玄學).

People believe in "object -> parts" approach such as: Taiji -> Yin/Yang -> 4 corners -> Bagua. But they can't prove it. This is metaphysics (玄學) - "internal".

By using the "parts -> object" approach, we all know that atom contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. It can be proved. This is science (格物) - external.

In the past 300 years, if Chinese didn't spent all their effort to dig into metaphysics (玄學) and ignored science (格物), China won't be almost divided by foreign power. By using the metaphysics (玄學) approach, the "internal" MA was created.


Ah, I see... so you are basically saying that IMA is like a Flat Earth society of martial arts... ;D

Might be some kind of truth to this. Flateartheners base the logic of their claims of what they see and experience: “The horizon looks flat to me”. IMA people base their knowledge of their martial arts more on personal experience than on modern science. IMHO, for martial arts in general, it’s better to understand your own body first, and external theory later.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Mon Jan 27, 2020 6:48 pm

Bao wrote:Ah, I see... so you are basically saying that IMA is like a Flat Earth society of martial arts... ;D

Might be some kind of truth to this. Flateartheners base the logic of their claims of what they see and experience: “The horizon looks flat to me”. IMA people base their knowledge of their martial arts more on personal experience than on modern science. IMHO, for martial arts in general, it’s better to understand your own body first, and external theory later.


The mistake of JW statement is that by the same logic one would have to conclude that CMA in gen doesn't work in modern times.
Lots of historical accounts but so far no modern accounts of any person using what can be said to be CMA in a modern sportive event. Oddly enough we are at a point in time where those who practice said arts have to use practitioners of other arts as examples of what they say they practice.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:02 pm

windwalker wrote:Lots of historical accounts but so far no modern accounts of any person using what can be said is CMA in a modern sportive event.


But even if it would be so, would that prove that TCMA doesn’t work in the contexts that they were originally designed for?

The argument that tcma doesn’t work in a modern sports environment is similar to trying to prove that a short distance runner is terrible at running, or inferior to a long distance runner, because he or she cannot compete in long distance running. And vice versa.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:24 pm

Bao wrote: IMHO, for martial arts in general, it’s better to understand your own body first, and external theory later.

External also uses this approach.

You may start from

1. solo drill -> partner drill - this is form first and application later approach.
2. partner drill -> solo drill - this is application first and form later approach.

I prefer 2 > 1. The solo drill = partner drill without partner.

If we can provide 2 clips (solo drill + partner drill) for each CMA "technique", CMA can be easy to learn and will be preserved for another 1000 years and will still go strong.

Image
Image
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:28 pm

Bao wrote:But even if it would be so, would that prove that TCMA doesn’t work in the contexts that they were originally designed for?

Do you mean like
Upon arriving in Guangdong, he erected a large wooden stage and announced that he would accept any challenger to prove the effectiveness of Lama Pai. For the next 18 days, 150 of the area's best fighters were punched, kicked, thrown or strangled into submission. According to David Chin, "Either the challenger was maimed or killed. Wong never let one challenger leave his school without injury. He was a master of using the technique of cruelty."




The argument that tcma doesn’t work in a modern sports environment is similar to trying to prove that a short distance runner is terrible at running, or inferior to a long distance runner, because he or she cannot compete in long distance running. And vice versa.


Mmm historical this is not true

Yang Lu-ch'an continued to behave like an honoured guest, despite his host's thoughts. Chang later questioned if Yang's Taijiquan, being so soft, could actually be used to defeat people. Given that he invited Yang on the basis of his reputation as a great fighter, this question was a veiled insult.

Yang replied that there were only three kinds of people he could not defeat: men of brass, men of iron and men of wood. Chang invited out his best bodyguard, Liu, to test Yang's skill. Liu entered aggressively and attacked Yang. Yang, employing only a simple yielding technique, threw Liu across the yard. Chang was very impressed and immediately ordered a banquet to be prepared for Yang.


Only stories of old no stories of the new.....

"designed for " what would this be?

In 1933, to 25 years, great master Chang participated to 5° the National Tournament of elimination of Kuoshu to Nanking that included 300 participants, included the masters of the best styles than all China. In this Tournament he fought himself for the supremacy of the style from combat, great master Chang gained all its combats enclosed that one with its directed one avails again, Liu Chiou-Sheng, and emerged like champion of the maximum weights, in this occasion earned the nickname of (the flying Butterfly).
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Bao on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:43 pm

”Designed for”?

If you look at a historical context, martial artists were hired as guards, personal body guards, tax collectors etc. The aim of the practice is often mostly about dealing with sudden conflicts, in a fast and efficient manner. Practice for combat sports competitions is something completely different. If you practice for one type of environment doesn’t mean that you can handle the other type of environment. The problem with most martial arts, traditional ones especially, is that they don’t know or have forgotten what kind of environment they actually are practicing for.
Last edited by Bao on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Mon Jan 27, 2020 7:46 pm

This clip shows a good example that "leg skill" solo training can develop your balance up to a much higher level. IMO, even if you don't use "leg skill" in fighting, it has great "health" benefit.

Image
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:38 pm

johnwang wrote:As far as I know, most people take this approach in Taiwan in my generation. My long fist teacher won't teach Taiji to his students unless they have had at least 3 years of long fist training. In this thread discussion, I can tell that some people don't pay much attention on technique development. If you start from external -> "internal", you will have no option but to go through the technique development first.

dspyrido wrote:Does this approach produce better results longer term?

For striking art, I have talked to many people who start from:

long fist -> preying mantis -> Baiji -> Xing Yi

They all told me that this training sequence can produce good result.

As far as for the throwing art, I don't have enough data to support it. This thread is trying to collect such data.


I guess it is the same for other xylh people who taught cha quan and other variations that would teach the foundations of punch & kick.

Interestingly my xylh sifu used to say "I like people with black belts" in reference to he didn't need to teach them the basics & could get on with rewiring from the foundation up. Even then he would normally start them on 5 element hsing-i as it was easier to get. He also did a lot 2 person conditioning (peda) like the video you posted. Interestingly not that much on 2 person technique but on visualising attacks & defences. I prefer to work with people but that was what he taught.

Internal? Neigung? Standing postures were learnt in the class but practised at home. Chi-gung? He taught others that but the martial arts lesson already had it baked into the training. Health? Do the basics.

That said his chinna/SC stuff was the opposite. It was 2 person conditioning (10%) + 2-person technique (90%) AND then you can do solo conditioning moves at home.

But the techniques also covered ....

johnwang wrote:Taiji -> Yin/Yang -> 4 corners -> Bagua.


Half body, sink down, elbow down, bows, dantien, brace structure, circles/curves all were brought together under the most important part - leverage.

So I don't call these things metaphysics but principles that were applied into moves. The point I think is the principles where also designed to allow a person to get the foundations, build the coordination & then when understood make up their own moves.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby dspyrido on Mon Jan 27, 2020 9:54 pm

windwalker wrote:The mistake of JW statement is that by the same logic one would have to conclude that CMA in gen doesn't work in modern times.
Lots of historical accounts but so far no modern accounts of any person using what can be said to be CMA in a modern sportive event. Oddly enough we are at a point in time where those who practice said arts have to use practitioners of other arts as examples of what they say they practice.


I don't understand this view around CMA. CMA can't ignore the fact that shuaijiow is a part of early CMA history (#1 even?) & works well in sports. Also an account must be taken in for Sanda. It's supposed to be over 100 years old & does occupy a place in CMA.

Bao wrote:”Designed for”?

If you look at a historical context, martial artists were hired as guards, personal body guards, tax collectors etc. The aim of the practice is often mostly about dealing with sudden conflicts, in a fast and efficient manner. Practice for combat sports competitions is something completely different. If you practice for one type of environment doesn’t mean that you can handle the other type of environment. The problem with most martial arts, traditional ones especially, is that they don’t know or have forgotten what kind of environment they actually are practicing for.


Has anyone got a historical account of what training used to look like on a typical day for these guards? (pre 1900s)

From the discussions I have heard vs. what appears to be popular opinion of CMA/IMA I have a view that what was taught many years ago is not what is taught today. The divide is almost huge.

From the accounts I have heard they used to do a ridiculous amount of very physical & weighted training. Lots of weapons work that was designed to teach agility (not the dance choreography we see but real life training). Most of these things seem to have disappeared from so called CMA/IMA.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Trick on Tue Jan 28, 2020 1:41 am

johnwang wrote:
Trick wrote:together with an touch of ShuaiJiao promotion 8-)

I try to promote science (格物), not metaphysics (玄學).



, we all know that atom contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. It can be proved. This is science (格物) - external.

.

The atoms are the atoms, as the human is the human. It’s how we(and the atoms) act among the different bodies and within themselves that could be defined the ‘internal’ or ‘external’. ?
If we deal with atoms in the way of splitting them, one may speculate that’s an brute external way do deal with them, while fusing atoms could perhaps be thought as an more harmonious internal method or perhaps result....?
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby LaoDan on Tue Jan 28, 2020 8:08 am

johnwang wrote:
Trick wrote:together with an touch of ShuaiJiao promotion 8-)

I try to promote science (格物), not metaphysics (玄學).

People believe in "object -> parts" approach such as: Taiji -> Yin/Yang -> 4 corners -> Bagua. But they can't prove it. This is metaphysics (玄學) - "internal".

By using the "parts -> object" approach, we all know that atom contains protons, neutrons, and electrons. It can be proved. This is science (格物) - external.

In the past 300 years, if Chinese didn't spent all their effort to dig into metaphysics (玄學) and ignored science (格物), China won't be almost divided by foreign power. By using the metaphysics (玄學) approach, the "internal" MA was created.

You have pointed out a duality in approaches, but I think that they go together. It has been shown that children learning to tie shoelaces learn quicker if they are shown the end bow (the whole object) in conjunction with the step by step instructions (the parts), rather than just trying to get them to follow the step by step instructions without them understanding the completed whole. I suspect that this would hold true for other activities, including martial arts instruction. Plus your science analogy is flawed in that atoms were discovered prior to the components (protons, neutrons, and electrons), which would be more the way that you describe for the “metaphysics” or “internal” way than what you describe as the “science” or “external” approach.

To sum up your points in this thread (correct me if I am wrong):
You think that SJ already contains “internal” principles, so the thread topic “Is ‘internal’ real that important?” is not really the correct question. You view the “internal” principles included in SJ as sufficient, and other “internal” principles that are not included in your SJ practice (and “internal” principles that you do not agree with BECAUSE they are not incorporated into your version of SJ?) are not important to you. So, the question you are asking is more about those “internal” principles that you do not use in your practice, and you are asking if they are important for other IMA practitioners and their styles?

Bowman, P. 2019 wrote: All martial arts and approaches to fighting are the manifestation of a kind of theory, or philosophy, or ideology, or fantasy. The moves, the training, the sparring, they all imply either a conscious or an unconscious ‘¬theory’ or ‘philosophy’ of all sorts of things: What violence is, what combat is, what works best, how bodies work and interact, what teaching and learning should be like, what society is like, what the place of the individual is within society, and so on. All martial arts, from the most supposedly ancient to the most avowedly modern, are based on tacit, implicit or explicit premises, hypotheses, arguments, theories, fantasies or philosophies about the world, society, and our place and responsibilities within it.


I know that you do not like to get too philosophical or theoretical, but to answer your concerns we would probably have to. Earlier I tried to point out the problem of trying to define a dividing line between two (or more) approaches to fighting (especially when many may view the options on a continuum). What matters to you differs from what matters to others. Other people view the differences differently than you do and have different opinions as to what is important and what “should” be incorporated into IMA. It partly depends on personal beliefs and experiences, and every individual is different psychologically and socially. For example, you have mentioned the idea of protecting loved ones from potential attacks, and having finishing moves, etc. I do not know how many times protecting loved ones has occurred in your lifetime, but I personally have needed to use my IMA training to defend myself from someone who tried to physically harm me only one time in over 40 years! Training as frequently and consistently as I have does not really make sense if protection from physical attacks is this unlikely in my life. For me, there must be other reasons for training. Therefore I emphasize other things than you do – I emphasize things like balance and self control rather than finishing moves and defeating others. For me personally, IMA training is challenging and interesting and fun, even if I only use sparring as a way to obtain feedback on my understanding of the art rather than to defeat someone else...
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