“Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

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

Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Steve James on Mon Jan 10, 2022 1:44 pm

Imo, cardio-vascular intensive sport (cycling, running, walking, swimming) will always have beneficial effects for everyday life. Strength training is also good, overall. At the same time, tcc training can also increase cardio fitness. Depends how one does it.

The same caveat applies to any individual. A lot depends on where someone starts. Someone on the list had an elderly mother, and if he could get her to do was stand for a few minutes every hour, that would be plenty.
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby johnwang on Mon Jan 10, 2022 2:14 pm

Steve James wrote:tcc training can also increase cardio fitness. Depends how one does it.

To repeat

- right separate leg.
- left separate leg.
- turn around heel kick.

over and over non-stop can be a good cardio training.

I'm still allergic to "push".
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby vadaga on Tue Jan 11, 2022 5:49 am

It occurred to me last night that this is also how my instructor also told us to train jibengong for fitness... either line drills with single strikes or combos, fajin with a spear, or running... at this point I've kept the running up and am subsituting swinging a sledge hammer for the spear as I don't have one at home right now.
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby windwalker on Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:34 am

johnwang wrote:
Steve James wrote:tcc training can also increase cardio fitness. Depends how one does it.

To repeat

- right separate leg.
- left separate leg.
- turn around heel kick.

over and over non-stop can be a good cardio training.



some other drills that can be used


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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby C.J.W. on Tue Jan 11, 2022 9:35 am

"Weight training is bad for internal development" is a terrible sweeping generalization.

We've all heard stories of old-time IMA masters training with long and heavy weapons or some other types of weighted apparatuses, so how can weight training be wrong?

The key is HOW you do it.

I'd actually say that weight training is beneficial to internal development -- if you do it right. ;)
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Fubo on Tue Jan 11, 2022 11:29 am

C.J.W. wrote:"Weight training is bad for internal development" is a terrible sweeping generalization.

We've all heard stories of old-time IMA masters training with long and heavy weapons or some other types of weighted apparatuses, so how can weight training be wrong?

The key is HOW you do it.

I'd actually say that weight training is beneficial to internal development -- if you do it right. ;)


Yes, I made that exact point in the opening post... the question however was not whether weight training is bad for internal development, but whether activities like skating and bicycling, which develop the legs in different ways from IMA, negatively affect IMA development.
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby vadaga on Wed Jan 12, 2022 2:51 am

Fubo wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:"Weight training is bad for internal development" is a terrible sweeping generalization.

We've all heard stories of old-time IMA masters training with long and heavy weapons or some other types of weighted apparatuses, so how can weight training be wrong?

The key is HOW you do it.

I'd actually say that weight training is beneficial to internal development -- if you do it right. ;)


Yes, I made that exact point in the opening post... the question however was not whether weight training is bad for internal development, but whether activities like skating and bicycling, which develop the legs in different ways from IMA, negatively affect IMA development.

Sorry for not responding to your previous post. It is a good question you have posed here... I cant speak to the skating but for biking I would say that it's not categorically the case that cycling will negatively affect IMA development. What will do that is doing a lot of cycle training without stretching properly before/after--- one thing I make sure to do at the end of long cycle training sessions is hamstring stretches on a waist-high table, windowsill, counter etc. and a set of splits.

Here we need to differentiate between extensive cycling, (I will arbitrarily set this at 100+km/week) and incidental cycling (totally OK)

One other thing of course is that if one is training seriously for cycling there are crowding effects for those of us who are not fulltime self-cultivators- when I am in cycle season and should be training on the bike ~15 hours a week (in addition to working the fulltime job), my IMA training basically consists only of the relaxed stuff... however the conditioning benefits allow me to then throw myself into very active training for martial arts when the cycling season winds up in the fall which is a benefit.
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby windwalker on Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:26 am

Fubo wrote:
So you spend years developing your the perfect balance of muscle groups for your “internal” body method… what are your thoughts on engaging in other lower body heavy activities that work the lower body in different ways?

Do you think, have you found, they disrupt the “internal” development by developing different muscles, or does nothing get in the way of “internal” lower body development?

Basically, can you do things like cycling, skateboarding, roller skating etc, and maintain your “internal” body development?

Curious to hear all your perspectives.



Depends at what level the development or awareness has been developed to.

If one is speaking from a point of view, they've achieved it in accordance with "their" practice...
anything done after that would be done in accordance with the practice. That would be their new normal.

If one is in the "process" of trying to develop, or become aware of it.
The activities mentioned could hinder the development of either.

a good way of looking at it

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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Formosa Neijia on Wed Jan 12, 2022 10:39 am

Fubo wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:"Weight training is bad for internal development" is a terrible sweeping generalization.

Yes, I made that exact point in the opening post... the question however was not whether weight training is bad for internal development, but whether activities like skating and bicycling, which develop the legs in different ways from IMA, negatively affect IMA development.


"Internal development" needs to be proven to exist in the first place. It's not a given and no two teachers even agree what it is. Defining internal as against fitness and comparing the two without seeing where they not only may overlap but actually might be two different names for the same thing will be limiting.

You get good at what you do: whether it's stancework or cycling. It's a matter of priority in training and then crosstraining other things to improve attributes your main activity may not adequately address.

So from fitness studies we've seen completely untrained beginners start a jogging program and in one month their 1 rep barbell squat goes up with no barbell squatting in the training simply due to an increased muscle stimulus from the running. It goes up but that tapers off quickly without further squat training as the beginner gains end.

Same thing with cycling and skating. Increasing your 1 rep squat will increase stroke power allowing you to pedal faster. Cycling done correctly can greatly increase muscle mass. My college roommate was a bicycle sprinter and he had the biggest thighs I've ever seen. With crappy form, he could put 300lbs on a bar and squat it any time. But to get better as a squatter, he would have to work on squat form. Further cycling's endurance building carries over to everything else. My first female trainer at my gym was an avid cyclist and i once gave my trainers a running test. She ran circles around all of them. But against a dedicated runner, she might not be so impressive. Looking at skating, skater squats are excellent for getting people to push off the ground when springing forward. Check out how cyclists and skaters train their legs and you'll answer your own question: no, it won't hurt anything else you do if you keep the majority of your focus on the main activity and crosstrain correctly.

IMO the real question that should be asked and never is is this: should people with zero baseline fitness be so desperately worried with largely fictional "internal development" especially if practicing an actual martial art involving punching and kicking people is the focus?
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Appledog on Wed Jan 12, 2022 9:46 pm

Formosa Neijia wrote:"Internal development" needs to be proven to exist in the first place. It's not a given and no two teachers even agree what it is. Defining internal as against fitness and comparing the two without seeing where they not only may overlap but actually might be two different names for the same thing will be limiting.

You get good at what you do: whether it's stancework or cycling. It's a matter of priority in training and then crosstraining other things to improve attributes your main activity may not adequately address.

IMO the real question that should be asked and never is is this: should people with zero baseline fitness be so desperately worried with largely fictional "internal development" especially if practicing an actual martial art involving punching and kicking people is the focus?


Ahh. Well, to a degree, I share your pain. I lived in Taiwan for almost 20 years, and I had an extremely difficult time finding anyone who had decent internal development there or who had anything close to a practical tradition for training it.

However, I have been fortunate to have a great deal of experience training in Canada, USA and China at this point and I can say that internal development not only exists but so does the correct lingua franca to discuss it. It is cross style -- I have seen people from pretty much every style i have encountered able to practice and discuss it. Mainly in Tai Chi but I suspect that's just because it's what I like to be around. The problem is it is extremely uncommon for various reasons. And unfortunately, having lived those 20 years in Taiwan I would say quite disappointingly that one is 10 times more likely to find practical internal development in Canada, and perhaps 20 or 30 times more likely to find it in China (although mainly in a line between Xi'an and Shanghai -- which is in itself a secret for possible future discussion). From that standpoint it was a mistake to move to Taiwan in order to learn kungfu. I should have stayed in Canada. But for the money, it was worth it :)

But no I don't think you can really say that internal development is largely fictional. I would consider it to be common knowledge. In fact I would largely say it is a loss of credibility to make such a statement today. There is more to that story as well but maybe if you are interested.

Unfortunately I have left Taiwan for the time being but if I go back I would gladly buy you lunch and show you for free since your blog helped me so much back in the day. But there it is -- hard to find, you need to look for it, but it is there, it is real, and it is not tied to any one style. But I do absolutely love the Tai Chi way of training it.

Have you ever done Sun style?

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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu Jan 13, 2022 10:31 am

Appledog wrote:Ahh. Well, to a degree, I share your pain. I lived in Taiwan for almost 20 years, and I had an extremely difficult time finding anyone who had decent internal development there or who had anything close to a practical tradition for training it.

However, I have been fortunate to have a great deal of experience training in Canada, USA and China at this point and I can say that internal development not only exists but so does the correct lingua franca to discuss it. It is cross style -- I have seen people from pretty much every style i have encountered able to practice and discuss it. Mainly in Tai Chi but I suspect that's just because it's what I like to be around. The problem is it is extremely uncommon for various reasons. And unfortunately, having lived those 20 years in Taiwan I would say quite disappointingly that one is 10 times more likely to find practical internal development in Canada, and perhaps 20 or 30 times more likely to find it in China (although mainly in a line between Xi'an and Shanghai -- which is in itself a secret for possible future discussion). From that standpoint it was a mistake to move to Taiwan in order to learn kungfu. I should have stayed in Canada. But for the money, it was worth it :)

But no I don't think you can really say that internal development is largely fictional. I would consider it to be common knowledge. In fact I would largely say it is a loss of credibility to make such a statement today. There is more to that story as well but maybe if you are interested.

Unfortunately I have left Taiwan for the time being but if I go back I would gladly buy you lunch and show you for free since your blog helped me so much back in the day. But there it is -- hard to find, you need to look for it, but it is there, it is real, and it is not tied to any one style. But I do absolutely love the Tai Chi way of training it.

Have you ever done Sun style?


First of all, I'm humbled to hear my blog helped you back in the day. I miss writing it, frankly.

Second, the term "internal development" is nebulous to me because it really refers to nothing. Neigong, however, is a more specific term and it's what i like to use. I came across two different types: one that is not only compatible with fitness but actually depends on it to a degree and the other that "takes 20 years" and, as i was told, is completely opposed to fitness in any way. I got into a argument with a famous teacher of northern arts in Taipei because I was considering studying from him and he told me I would have to stop all exercise especially core work and let my body go completely flaccid. He looked like a completely untrained person and frankly his power levels weren't as impressive as he thought they were. I found my next teacher the next week after that and he did both northern and southern arts and the first thing he said to me was "my neigong levels are very high, feel how hard my dantian is!" The neigong process was completely different and all martial under him.

Personally I think there is a huge confusion even amongst long-term practitioners between scholar wen 文 and martial wu 武. I was warned by several of my teachers not to follow so-called "Daoist" (scholar) methods as they would ruin my kungfu for fighting (wu). I think most of these proponents of the 20-year method are practicing the scholar methods.

So people that are saying that fitness is incompatible with neigong IMO have to prove that method works for fighting and I haven't seen it. What i have seen is people told to walk a circle everyday for an hour and not been given anything more than basic instruction on how to do it even after years. I see people being told to stand 2 hours a day and not given any details. I saw people told to do forms slowly 10x a day and told to do nothing else and frankly these people have exactly zero to show for it after years/decades of doing it. I myself practiced that stuff for years and frankly i wish I could get my life energy and time back. It was all a waste of time.

On a side note, "shifu" Yan Lei in the UK just put out an email saying he is now certifying people to teach his qigong methods. What's the first requirement? Running a 5k in under 30:00. Now there is a guy that understands if you want increased qi levels, you have to increase your lung capacity -- something I can wrap my head around and get results from.

So you bring up lots of things I'd like to hear more about. Why is it hard to find in Taiwan? It's more available in Canada? Really? What's special about the Xian-Shanghai corridor?

Congrats on making it 20 years in "The Wan." Few of us make it that far but having punched that ticket myself, I can say it was quite the experience. shame I never got down to see you on my trips to Taizhong.

PS: no I never did Sun style as it was never popular in Taiwan but I dabbled in Wu/Hao
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby windwalker on Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:24 pm

So people that are saying that fitness is incompatible with neigong IMO have to prove that method works for fighting and I haven't seen it.


What CMA method works for "fighting" and is known for it ?

Fitness, kind of nebulous in that it can be used to describe things or aspects that may be beneficial in one aspect but not in another.

Image

Sumo wrestlers, may be "fit" for their activity but not for long distance running....
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby windwalker on Thu Jan 13, 2022 12:57 pm

What i have seen is people told to walk a circle everyday for an hour and not been given anything more than basic instruction on how to do it even after years. I see people being told to stand 2 hours a day and not given any details. I


Do you feel the "learning" styles methods, are different between east and west ?
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:13 pm

windwalker wrote:What CMA method works for "fighting" and is known for it ?

The tangshoudao that Hong Yi-xiang taught was famous for producing full-contact leitai champions. Xu Hong-ji's shenlong tangshoudao offshoot was also famous for producing full contact fighters and does so to this day, although in a limited capacity now. I tried to document what they were doing and the importance of jibengong and related fitness practices but unfortunately the conversation didn't go anywhere. Link here: https://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php ... 0a7f497d0c

Fitness, kind of nebulous in that it can be used to describe things or aspects that may be beneficial in one aspect but not in another.


I went out of my way to provide specific exercises that were used to produce the results, even taking the time to screencap pictures from videos and give precise names to the exercises and gave the sources so people could find them. Again, that wasn't even acknowledged let alone addressed so I'll leave it there. I even described the process I have personally put people through at my gym. The response was, "it's all just crossfit." It's all in the link above.

Edit: I just saw your last question.
windwalker wrote:Do you feel the "learning" styles methods, are different between east and west ?

My honest opinion about all this stuff after my years in Taiwan is you're told over and over again that lineage and teacher are everything when in fact they aren't much at all. The focus is all on the teacher when actually it's the student's responsibility. The East worships the teacher but the West focuses on the student. I eventually realized that you have to beg, borrow, and steal to get your kungfu because if you don't figure it out for yourself, you're never going to get it. This emphasis on "Mr. Miyagi"-style teacher worship and wude hides this fact.

This thread seems to be about crosstraining in other things and whether or not this is detrimental to IMA development. But when you can't get IMA people to do IMA specific exercises to produce IMA specific attributes as happened in the thread above then I frankly don't see how any discussion of crosstraining can take place.
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Re: “Internal” body training and non-complimentary activities

Postby windwalker on Thu Jan 13, 2022 1:36 pm

Edited

This thread seems to be about crosstraining in other things and whether or not this is detrimental to IMA development.
But when you can't get IMA people to do IMA specific exercises to produce IMA specific attributes as happened in the thread above then I frankly don't see how any discussion of crosstraining can take place.


maybe your right...

always interesting reading :)
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