Soft beats hard

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Soft beats hard

Postby wayne hansen on Mon Mar 29, 2021 1:30 pm

I have no idea who that is
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:12 am

Quigga wrote:dspyrido - No idea. I guess there's a good chance the internal guys would get their face smashed in. None of their videos show opponents as aggressive and capable as the one's you've listed. I'm not going to fanboy in either direction. I merely wanted to say that 'my' list has a skill set yours doesn't - and probably vice versa. What intrigues me is if there can't be a combination of both skill sets or whether that's just a pipedream.


What skill set are referring to that does not apply to the people I listed out?
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:17 am

Bhassler wrote:
Quigga wrote:Bassler: Why not Kelley Graham or Sam Chin? Do they present themselves differently? Of all the people I've mentioned I'd probably like to see Ryabko and Mizner the most in the ring. Mizner said himself that he was too old and too badly conditioned, his main focus is Buddhism anyway (Yet I don't see how that excludes combat/ring fighting). The same probably applies to Ryabko. I think 30 seconds would be enough to see a meaningful result. 'Ancient warrior art' gets thrown around a lot - I don't think there are any left or they're all dying out, on the verge of extinction. When I get the Kickstarter going, I'll post a link :D


Yeah, they just do their thing and seem sincerely interested in sharing with those who want to learn, without talking a bunch of shit, etc. I know some of Sam Chin's guys have fought in tournaments. What they do doesn't do it for me, personally, but I respect the practice.

Ryabko stays on the list because I kind of like Systema and want to see good Systema guys go against dudes from other backgrounds. Might have to find someone younger and more in their prime, though. Mizner and Liang De Hua are full on con artists.


Mizner focusing on Buddhism is a pretty lame reason for a person who claims martial ability.

Ryabko - you know I don't think I have ever seen a Systema person in a tournament. I've seen a few classes & there was no sparring in them. I am sure this varies around the world but again I've never seen them in any tournaments.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:33 am

rojcewiczj wrote:I think the general mystery aura around internal martial arts is based on the peculiarity of striking without distance. No distance or short distance striking energy is extremely useful for controlling/destabilizing your opponent but it easily collapses into pushing and pulling. It also implies a different fighting strategy than long distance striking (kickboxing boxing) or pure grappling which is generally mixed with more muscular pulling/pushing/squeezing (judo, BJJ, wrestling).


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nDbhWW2Yebs

Demonstration style reactions aside, I think the concept of what Mizner/Liang De Hua are teaching is that proper internal training is a way to cultivate the ability to "hit" your opponent from zero distance, which isn't very mysterious when you feel what a wrestlers "blast double leg" feels like. It feels like getting hit, not pushed.


This is a pretty bullshit video. I have never seen these sorts of bouncy playground antics work on anything other than a stooge. May as well be building a martial art around flinch moves.

Image

Short range power is exactly that. It looks like an explosion of power yet hits hard. If it's done somewhere nice and sensitive (eyes, balls, floating ribs, armpit etc.) then it can be next to effortless & painful. On an arm or torso more effort is required. It can still stop someone but it requires more.

(btw keep hitting those mats. lets here more about that.)
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Tue Mar 30, 2021 3:39 am

Doc Stier wrote:To assume that the top exponents of any style in previous generations never trained sufficiently enough to successfully face serious opponents with speed, power and skills comparable to modern MMA fighters is laughable. ;D


Ah but the real questions are ....

How did they fight?
1. Like these mma guys OR
2. Like some mystical guru who makes people bounce around?

How did they train?
1. Hours of gentle push hands seeking their softening fascia kua to off opponents OR
2. Hours of sparring against hard fighters trying to take their heads off yet using the laws of physics (leverage, timing, speed, being calm under pressure etc.)
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby Doc Stier on Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:02 am

What a hoot! They definitely trained more than just form sets and gentle push hands practice, and definitely fought with a knowledge of applied physics principles, devoid of anything magical or mystical, but I guess you'll never know for sure. :-\
Last edited by Doc Stier on Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:18 am, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby Bob on Tue Mar 30, 2021 7:02 am

dspyrido wrote:
Doc Stier wrote:To assume that the top exponents of any style in previous generations never trained sufficiently enough to successfully face serious opponents with speed, power and skills comparable to modern MMA fighters is laughable. ;D


Ah but the real questions are ....

How did they fight?
1. Like these mma guys OR
2. Like some mystical guru who makes people bounce around?

How did they train?
1. Hours of gentle push hands seeking their softening fascia kua to off opponents OR
2. Hours of sparring against hard fighters trying to take their heads off yet using the laws of physics (leverage, timing, speed, being calm under pressure etc.)


Both ways except with a slight tone down of mystical - correlative cosmology is not analogous to what most think of as guru/mystical and correlative cosmology is the lens from which they lived their lives
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby Bhassler on Tue Mar 30, 2021 8:49 am

dspyrido wrote:How did they train?
1. Hours of gentle push hands seeking their softening fascia kua to off opponents OR
2. Hours of sparring against hard fighters trying to take their heads off yet using the laws of physics (leverage, timing, speed, being calm under pressure etc.)


I find a lot of the "trditional" training methods makes sense if you don't have a nice gym with a bunch of available training partners like you do in MMA. Iron body/palm may not be necessary now because guys have big soft heavy bags to hit and trainging partners available to bang up against in technical sparring, rolling, etc. Sparring with a well matched opponent is great, but if all you have to train with is yourself and your family, you have to do something else. Push hands wth joint locking and throwing is a great way for a stronger, more skilled opponent to push their partner to their limits in a way that's relatively safe and not too traumatic. Etc, etc.

Bob wrote:...correlative cosmology is not analogous to what most think of as guru/mystical and correlative cosmology is the lens from which they lived their lives


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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby rojcewiczj on Tue Mar 30, 2021 10:37 am

One meaningful point of difference between an internal CMA approach vs typical MMA/Wrestling culture is the emphasis on passive power vs active. When I say passive power I mean the power to neutralize your opponents force using the balance of your own spine/structure/body. When I say active power, I mean the ability to generate force.

When I was at the open mat last week, wrestling with these MMA fighters and serious athletes, I found it very difficult to keep up with their explosiveness. They are very fast and strong with arms and body. That being said, I did find that proper movement of my spine in response to their techniques would essentially nullify their technique, which gave me a momentary window of power over them. The difficulty was then to keep moving, adjusting my spine in order to keep them engaged/nullified.

This leads to a fairly obvious point but an important one. If someone cant effect your spine, they really cant do much to control you, and when someone is failing to control you, they become very much easier to control/effect. So yes,
I believe that practicing forms/postures/soft practices can be very effective when used as a nullifying power against active/explosive force. You can see this sort of ability in good grappling on most any tradition. As someone who practices CMA forms/movements I feel what those forms represent is the opportunity to really focus in and reach a deeper level of posture control.

In application I would describe it like this: your opponent makes a move, you adjust your spine to cancel their move out, then you move in, taking some space from them and forcing them to make another move, repeat as necessary. This was my thinking with the MMA fighters/Wrestlers and I found it to work very well. The only big issue I had, was trying to engage with anything accept my spine/back/balance/posture. Competing over explosiveness did not work at all, which makes sense as practicing Taiji really isn't exceptional as explosiveness training compared to how wrestlers train. It does however provide a lot of fine tuning of the spine/back movement and potentially the ability to adjust your posture for nullification purposes.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby marvin8 on Tue Mar 30, 2021 11:20 am

rojcewiczj wrote:One meaningful point of difference between an internal CMA approach vs typical MMA/Wrestling culture is the emphasis on passive power vs active. When I say passive power I mean the power to neutralize your opponents force using the balance of your own spine/structure/body. When I say active power, I mean the ability to generate force.

When I was at the open mat last week, wrestling with these MMA fighters and serious athletes, I found it very difficult to keep up with their explosiveness. They are very fast and strong with arms and body. That being said, I did find that proper movement of my spine in response to their techniques would essentially nullify their technique, which gave me a momentary window of power over them. The difficulty was then to keep moving, adjusting my spine in order to keep them engaged/nullified.

Any good grappler (e.g., wrestling, judo, etc.) does not rely on "explosiveness" only. They use opponent's force as well.

marvin8 wrote:
Image

Christian (he) pushes his opponent while remaining relaxed. The second time, he feints a push. This lures the opponent to bend over and push both hands forward, a common response. Borrowing the opponent's forward momentum, Christian simply pulls opponent down and goes behind him.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F75huga-Zz4
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby rojcewiczj on Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:20 pm

While all grappling traditions use passive power, for me, the meaning of practicing internal CMA is the choice to focus on building up that passive/nullifying power and the ability to follow your opponent to keep neutralizing them. Again,
its just a matter of focus, but, as someone who practices CMA type movements, I find that the depth is in the building up of your passive power and not competing on explosiveness. From what I've seen, Chen style tends towards a mix of active and passive, where the passive is more like waiting for the active moment, I think that's typical of wrestling traditions and that its not a bad thing and is in some sense necessary; however, I do think the deepening of the passive over the building up of the explosiveness is the more internal approach.

That being said, in my experience, the passive way only works if you train it to be highly reactive! Ironically, you need to be constantly adjusting your spine and/or moving into your opponents space to counter sudden explosive movements.
So, in the end, your have a very active passivity and a very passive activity.
Last edited by rojcewiczj on Tue Mar 30, 2021 1:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Thu Apr 01, 2021 12:09 am

The one thing about this thread is the one sided view it has. Soft beats hard.

Why do one side? Would anyone recommend using only one hand or both? Would anyone recommend only legs or arms or better to do both?

I agree that "soft" is important but not at the detriment of avoiding how to build hard.

Build both. Know the range, strategies and where to apply them.

Yin-yang.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby Quigga on Thu Apr 01, 2021 6:23 am

It's the combining of yin-yang that leads to the desired softness. Not without power, that would be being limp or lax. If you don't change the tissue and only try to relax you got nothing. If tissue is properly conditioned and aligned, everything will be Tai Chi...
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby dspyrido on Thu Apr 01, 2021 2:32 pm

Therefore it goes both ways. Training also needs to work with weight, pressure & speed which gets matched with fluidity, adaptability & sensitivity. The word soft is inaccurate. Supple yet strong makes more sense making a rope a good analogy.

This means that training of soft needs to be matched with training for explosive power.

"Soft" can only then be truly understood by knowing "hard" and vice versa.
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Re: Soft beats hard

Postby DeusTrismegistus on Sun Apr 25, 2021 8:06 pm

dspyrido wrote:The one thing about this thread is the one sided view it has. Soft beats hard.

Why do one side? Would anyone recommend using only one hand or both? Would anyone recommend only legs or arms or better to do both?

I agree that "soft" is important but not at the detriment of avoiding how to build hard.

Build both. Know the range, strategies and where to apply them.

Yin-yang.


I have been working on being "soft" lately. No muscle force, no using my size. As my teacher says, I can fall back to my strength and size when I want or need to. The issue is that young people naturally use their strength and size. There is no need to learn soft when hard works. When you get a little older and hard gets too hard, then you start to appreciate soft.

Now in regards to tactics, if your opponent is limp, weak, contracted, or withdrawing, then no need to be soft, you can use your power.

The challenge is changing from soft to hard instantly and also being one and the other at the same time. I can't do it yet, but maybe eventually.
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