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 everything on Mon Jan 13, 2020 10:50 pm

johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:John,

Although we've never met in person, we've known each other on this forum for nearly 20 years. And I can't help but notice that during this whole entire time, your topics of discussion regarding the internals have always (and I really, really, really mean ALWAYS) revolved around a limited number repeatedly occurring ideas:

1. Taiji guys only know how to push people away.
2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.
3. There is nothing special about internal arts; Shuaijiao is just as good if not better.

It also seems to me that no matter how much time and effort other forum members have spent on discussing these topics with you, your way of thinking and understanding about internal arts -- based on your posts and responses -- still remain exactly the same as they were 20 years ago.

So I am just wondering why you even bother to keep bringing these topics up if you already have your own deeply held belief about Taiji and internal arts?

In the past 20 years, I hope something could happen and changed my belief (such as one "internal" guy had proved his "internal" skill in the ring or on the mat).

Even just 10 years ago, I still believed that CMA doesn't need ground game, In the past 5 years, my opinion has completed changed.

It's not that I will never change. I just need enough proof to convince myself.


If you look for the answer on Internet forums only to try to prove your own point, you won’t find any answer.

It’s ok to not be interested. I doubt Fedor is interested.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby ctjla on Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:04 pm

johnwang wrote:
dspyrido wrote:Let's face it when people start wrestling they are very physical, hard and try to force what they are doing. Very external. As they get better at the technique they end up sliding towards internal as they develop.

When you start to wrestle, you are very physical, because you want to force your opponent to make a decision (either yield into you or resist against you). If you don't do that, you may have to wait until the spider web start to grow between your legs. This is one "internal" principle that I absolutely disagree with - if you don't move, I won't move.

You have to give before you can take. If you want to throw your opponent clockwise, you have to twist him counter clockwise first.

Image


Not sure how practical that is in the case of a drone attack either. But as I'm repairing this rickety old bookcase, I remember that what my teacher was referring to was --> your connections are so loose that by the time you get yourself over here to me, I will have you on the floor (or he would just hit me) almost instantly. Me, I'm like the bookcase - one leg would move but the other would take forever to follow along behind it, rickety. So in comparison to him, I was amazingly slow due to my poor "construction".
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby ctjla on Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:15 pm

everything wrote:
johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:John,

Although we've never met in person, we've known each other on this forum for nearly 20 years. And I can't help but notice that during this whole entire time, your topics of discussion regarding the internals have always (and I really, really, really mean ALWAYS) revolved around a limited number repeatedly occurring ideas:

1. Taiji guys only know how to push people away.
2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.
3. There is nothing special about internal arts; Shuaijiao is just as good if not better.

It also seems to me that no matter how much time and effort other forum members have spent on discussing these topics with you, your way of thinking and understanding about internal arts -- based on your posts and responses -- still remain exactly the same as they were 20 years ago.

So I am just wondering why you even bother to keep bringing these topics up if you already have your own deeply held belief about Taiji and internal arts?

In the past 20 years, I hope something could happen and changed my belief (such as one "internal" guy had proved his "internal" skill in the ring or on the mat).

Even just 10 years ago, I still believed that CMA doesn't need ground game, In the past 5 years, my opinion has completed changed.

It's not that I will never change. I just need enough proof to convince myself.


If you look for the answer on Internet forums only to try to prove your own point, you won’t find any answer.

It’s ok to not be interested. I doubt Fedor is interested.


The perspective that the internal arts are primarily or even significantly about pushing is probably a little limited, we might want to encourage someone with that viewpoint to get out of the house more. I haven't seen that anyplace except in a seniors class for the past 10 years. A lot of YMCA taiji may have done a disservice to the community...similar to the way that strip mall karate does not provide the same foundation that Machida is able to access.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby ctjla on Mon Jan 13, 2020 11:19 pm

everything wrote:
johnwang wrote:
C.J.W. wrote:John,

Although we've never met in person, we've known each other on this forum for nearly 20 years. And I can't help but notice that during this whole entire time, your topics of discussion regarding the internals have always (and I really, really, really mean ALWAYS) revolved around a limited number repeatedly occurring ideas:

1. Taiji guys only know how to push people away.
2. Taiji guys should learn how to use their legs like Shuaijiao guys.
3. There is nothing special about internal arts; Shuaijiao is just as good if not better.

It also seems to me that no matter how much time and effort other forum members have spent on discussing these topics with you, your way of thinking and understanding about internal arts -- based on your posts and responses -- still remain exactly the same as they were 20 years ago.

So I am just wondering why you even bother to keep bringing these topics up if you already have your own deeply held belief about Taiji and internal arts?

In the past 20 years, I hope something could happen and changed my belief (such as one "internal" guy had proved his "internal" skill in the ring or on the mat).

Even just 10 years ago, I still believed that CMA doesn't need ground game, In the past 5 years, my opinion has completed changed.

It's not that I will never change. I just need enough proof to convince myself.


If you look for the answer on Internet forums only to try to prove your own point, you won’t find any answer.

It’s ok to not be interested. I doubt Fedor is interested.


It's almost starting to sound like religion, right? It's ok to not read the book or go to temple/church/etc without having to disprove what is working for other people in their lives.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:11 am

dspyrido wrote:
marvin8 wrote:Yes, it is. External martial art or external martial artist as johnwang has been using the terms.


But how do you define the term and the distinction?

External martial arts: shuai chiao, wrestling, MMA, boxing, etc.
Internal martial arts: tai chi, bagua, xingyi, etc.

EMA and IMA have different training and possible body methods. However, the goals, attributes and skills developed and internalized may be similar, if not the same. In an actual fight, EMA and IMA can look the same.

EMA training develops the following skills or attributes: sensitivity, awareness, luring, reading, transforming, controlling, finishing, yield, stick, follow, power, speed, timing, distance, rhythm, etc. The higher level fighters will be better at these skills. (These skills are not exclusive to IMA, although they may differ.) I posted several video clips of these external skills. However, some may only see the finish moves while not recognizing the other skills.

dspyrido wrote:
johnwang wrote:Will you call this "internal"

- yield,
- sticky, and
- follow?

IMO, when we talk about the throwing art, I just don't see the line between "internal" and external.


Which is external & which is internal in the following terms and their antonyms?

Yield vs. Assert
Stick vs. Detached
Follow vs. Combat

Yield, Stick & Follow are less obvious than Assert, Detached & Combat. Training in that area falls into the more "internal". Specialising in them and trying to not Assert, Detach & Combat are "internal" martial art characteristics that are trained that way from the beginning (some later add more harder/external characteristics).

Let's face it when people start wrestling they are very physical, hard and try to force what they are doing. Very external. As they get better at the technique they end up sliding towards internal as they develop.

You may have a misconception of EMA training. Yield, stick and follow are "characteristics that are trained" in EMA as well. They may do this with no touch at a distance. They internalize the mentioned skills. But, that doesn't make them an IMA.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby windwalker on Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:08 am

External martial arts: shuai chiao, wrestling, MMA, boxing, etc.
Internal martial arts: tai chi, bagua, xingyi, etc.


Not a good way of defining the differences

Any of the mentioned arts can be either depending on focus and training
of the practitioner .

The chinese culture from which the distinctions come from use / define
internal training or arts as those which primarily train or focus directly on

yi, qi, shen,

External arts

skin, tendon and bone.

Using this distinction the style, method or tech is not the deciding factor.

The nature of what is trained influences the form or shape it takes in usage


CHAPTER 9 Form

A ruler or a pair of compasses can make measurements because each of them has its own particular form. A form possesses its own nature and thus enables the functioning of itself [by means of the form].

The nature of a pair of scissors is to cut; therefore it takes the form of two blades. The nature of an axe is to chop; consequently it takes the form of a single edge. All things take their form according to their nature.


Function which many seem to be asking about, confused with the method by which something is done.

Those who are skillful in making use of function do not find the effect in form (but in the function itself). .

The Way is great and extensive, and cannot be traced. It is like tasting honey which does not have the qualities of the hundred flowers, but has the taste of the hundred flowers.

The difference is that it has undergone the process of change and assimilation. Although it is from a form (the flowers), it does not take the resemblance of the form that produces it. This is called taking in the raw basic material and spewing out the refined.

https://www.baihepai.com/pak-hok-pai-li ... -siu-jong/

Although it is from a form (the flowers), it does not take the resemblance of the form that produces it. This is called taking in the raw basic material and spewing out the refined.


directly relates to the question of what something looks like when used or what is the difference between something done using internal methods vs external,
2 very distinct methods once trained intrinsic to what ever shape or function used.
Last edited by windwalker on Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:22 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:14 am

windwalker wrote:
External martial arts: shuai chiao, wrestling, MMA, boxing, etc.
Internal martial arts: tai chi, bagua, xingyi, etc.


Not a good way of defining the differences

It's the way this website defines it:
Rumsoakedfist.org wrote:Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan
Discussion on the three big Chinese internals ...
.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby Tom on Tue Jan 14, 2020 1:02 pm

marvin8 wrote:
windwalker wrote:
External martial arts: shuai chiao, wrestling, MMA, boxing, etc.
Internal martial arts: tai chi, bagua, xingyi, etc.


Not a good way of defining the differences

It's the way this website defines it:
Rumsoakedfist.org wrote:Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan
Discussion on the three big Chinese internals ...
.


Well Marvin, you should at least quote the complete phrase: Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles. It could be interpreted as saying that the "three big Chinese internals are Yiquan, Bajiquan and Piguazhang. I know the guy who wrote it, and I'm pretty sure he meant xingyiquan, taijiquan and baguazhang as the "three big Chinese internals," perhaps assuming it would be so obvious that he did not need to mention the specific names of those arts. But either way, the phrase groups XYQ, TJQ and BGZ with Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang "and other similar styles." In external appearance they are widely divergent styles, and it's a minority of commentators who would include baji or pigua in a conventional understanding of "internal" arts. So the question then becomes, what makes all of these diverse styles "similar"?


I think I'm with WW on this question. There are ways to train and express the movements and tactics of any martial art "internally." I've seen and felt internal karate. Most taijiquan taught around the world is trained externally. Movement and tactics initially learned in an external fashion can be refined and moved to an internal level.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Tue Jan 14, 2020 3:51 pm

Tom wrote:
marvin8 wrote:External martial arts: shuai chiao, wrestling, MMA, boxing, etc.
Internal martial arts: tai chi, bagua, xingyi, etc. ...

It's the way this website defines it:
Rumsoakedfist.org wrote:Xingyiquan - Baguazhang - Taijiquan
Discussion on the three big Chinese internals ...

Well Marvin, you should at least quote the complete phrase: Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles. ...

But either way, the phrase groups XYQ, TJQ and BGZ with Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang "and other similar styles.

That's what I meant by addng ", etc and ..." while trying not to complicate it, given the OP topic.

Tom wrote:I think I'm with WW on this question. There are ways to train and express the movements and tactics of any martial art "internally." I've seen and felt internal karate. Most taijiquan taught around the world is trained externally. Movement and tactics initially learned in an external fashion can be refined and moved to an internal level.

I may have misunderstood. I thought karate, kickboxing, boxing, MMA, etc. were considered "external" martial arts. How is "internal karate trained and felt"? Are you saying "any martial art" can be an internal martial art depending on how they train or feel or both?

Part of the confusion is members of the board often say, "That's sanda, MMA, boxing, karate, etc., not IMA." My intention is to help clarify and answer johnwang's questions.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Tue Jan 14, 2020 8:20 pm

How important is foot sweep?

When your opponent attacks you, he has to step in. Your foot sweep can either take him down, or interrupt his forward attack. It's such an important skill. I just don't understand why "internal" guys don't like to train it.

What CMA skill do you want to develop through your life time?

Image
Last edited by johnwang on Tue Jan 14, 2020 9:43 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby LaoDan on Wed Jan 15, 2020 8:45 am

johnwang wrote:How important is foot sweep?

When your opponent attacks you, he has to step in. Your foot sweep can either take him down, or interrupt his forward attack. It's such an important skill. I just don't understand why "internal" guys don't like to train it.

What CMA skill do you want to develop through your life time?

Image

I do not understand why you would think that “internal” practitioners would not use (train) this technique; although some of the “internal” concerns would slightly modify the way that it is performed. Specifically for this video example: he does not maintain his “central equilibrium” particularly well when executing the foot sweep. I would think that an “internal” practitioner would maintain a better balance/pivot for the rotation that executes the technique. The same technique performed while maintaining one’s own center would make it more “internal” (at least as I understand it). Using one’s momentum in such a way that a stable center of rotation is not maintained is more typical of “external” practices.

In this video the ending position may not seem to matter since the opponent is knocked down and has no (apparent) way of interacting with the person who did the foot sweep; however, the executers ending position IS vulnerable. He needs to recover himself prior to potentially following up with something else. From my perspective, more “internal” would have been to maintain one’s balance/center in a manner that would allow moving immediately into any other appropriate technique (e.g., a kick with the leg that did the sweep) without requiring a recovery after the initial foot sweep technique.

johnwang wrote:IMO, when we talk about the throwing art, I just don't see the line between "internal" and external.

This seems to reflect the problem – I do not think that there is a distinct “line” between “internal” and “external” and that seeking one is an impossible quest. I think that “techniques” all exist somewhere on a continuum between “internal” and “external”. As I stated previously, I think that these terms refer to poles on a continuum (like yin and yang can describe all things in relativistic terms) and that they point to relative qualities rather than a discreet divide.

Looking to define a video example of a technique as being either “internal” or “external” is difficult since they all will have at least some of both. It is not that one technique is only used in EMA, and another technique is used only in IMA; both can use leg sweeps, both can use punches, etc. I would have no problem with an “internal” practitioner training this foot sweep, but if I was coaching them, then I would want them to do it more “internally”.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby GrahamB on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:33 am

Wudang Tai Chi people love this move

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwdcClk00M

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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:36 am

LaoDan wrote:Specifically for this video example: he does not maintain his “central equilibrium” particularly well when executing the foot sweep. I would think that an “internal” practitioner would maintain a better balance/pivot for the rotation that executes the technique. The same technique performed while maintaining one’s own center would make it more “internal” (at least as I understand it). Using one’s momentum in such a way that a stable center of rotation is not maintained is more typical of “external” practices.

C.J.W. wrote:As for "internal foot sweeps," here's a little test:

1. Stand in a high horse stance with your weight evenly distributed on both legs.
2. Lift one leg up -- WITHOUT shifting your weight or allowing your center axis to move AT ALL.

Can you do it?

These 2 statements confuse me. When you stand on one leg, you either readjust your center, or you don't.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby johnwang on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:40 am

GrahamB wrote:Wudang Tai Chi people love this move

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgwdcClk00M


By adding "leg skill" into your toolbox, the CMA training can be much more fun. IMO, the "leg skill" is the best "CMA training for health". It improves single leg balance which is very important during the old age.
Last edited by johnwang on Wed Jan 15, 2020 9:42 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Is "internal" real that important?

Postby marvin8 on Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:52 pm

johnwang wrote:
LaoDan wrote:Specifically for this video example: he does not maintain his “central equilibrium” particularly well when executing the foot sweep. I would think that an “internal” practitioner would maintain a better balance/pivot for the rotation that executes the technique. The same technique performed while maintaining one’s own center would make it more “internal” (at least as I understand it). Using one’s momentum in such a way that a stable center of rotation is not maintained is more typical of “external” practices.

C.J.W. wrote:As for "internal foot sweeps," here's a little test:

1. Stand in a high horse stance with your weight evenly distributed on both legs.
2. Lift one leg up -- WITHOUT shifting your weight or allowing your center axis to move AT ALL.

Can you do it?

These 2 statements confuse me. When you stand on one leg, you either readjust your center, or you don't.

Karate likes to stand up and not overcommit their throws.

Internal foot sweep:

Image
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