Biomechanics of Motion and Quietness

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by runcai, Feb 8, 2016.

  1. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    Ya, still external engine, not what were talking about, internal engine is more on the side of absorbing external energy and using it in applications.

    I am not saying you can't strike using external methods, you can., if that is what you choose, depending on situation, different things work better depending on many factors.

    Here is another way of looking at it, if you absorb energy and can give back, then that is more internal engine.
  2. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    I would not confuse sport fighting and non sport, there is a difference., and each has mechanics that make one work better under those different conditions.
  3. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I would avoid confusing tactics and choice of technique with mechanics.
  4. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    That's a good discussion point.

    Do you think training in aikido would develop this ability?

    What is the difference in absorb and give back compared to understanding all movement is circular?
  5. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Where did I say anything about beginning level? Starting point yes, beginner no...try again

    Learn to argue with what is said not what you think is said

    As for comparable experience in "external" frankly I doubt it or your description would no t be so horribly inaccurate

    The strength is in weakness and the weakness is in strength....neither can exist in a vacuum nor do they
  6. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    Do it all the's actually a prerequisite in many techniques
  7. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Avenger has not got around to answering my question about it, but I think his idea of internal engine related to absorbing energy and giving back is a good topic for discussion.

    I think by internal engine he means using xiantian (prenatal) strength. I'm really not sure we can ever come to any meaningful discussion on this without defining what xiantian is.

    I will start with what I've basically been taught. First is that there are two states for the body. One is over tension, where we basically are using brute strength. This is very inefficient because we build up the habit of creating tension where it is not needed. This wired state is our natural state in combat.

    On the other hand, the other state is that of relaxation with indirect tension (tension so minimal and spread out that it isn't felt, but is necessary to develop strong structure). This relaxed state is unnatural in combat because it feels weak.

    In combat, xiantian strength refers to being able to fight effectively while in a relaxed state.

    There are two paths to xiantian strength in combat. The first is to dedicate training in hard-styles and come to the realization through experience that it is better to learn to be lighter on the feet (e.g., move quickly and be able to change direction instantly) and at the same time conserve energy so not to get fatigued as easily. So in a way, you go from training with brute force to over time learning to fight with more relaxation. You perfect your fighting by moving towards xiantian strength through aspects of soft-style training. However, lots of bad habits get developed and this is a longer path because along the way, bad habits must be unlearned.

    The other path is that of realizing from the start that you want to be able to fight while in a relaxed state. This is unnatural at first, but through dedication in soft-style training, you can actually reach the goal more directly.

    I was taught there is internal method of training that builds the framework/structure that promotes softness. Softness being a state of strength through relaxation. The key being that the conscious physical exertion caused by over tension is removed. Without tension, things naturally disappear from consciousness. Another key is why I say strength is because total relaxation is like a wet noodle with no structure, just splats limp on the ground... but to be strong means that there is structure that allows posture to be maintained. So training in soft-style starts with building the framework/structure and ends when using xiantian strength is natural in combat. And this requires taking this into real combat (or at least simulated combat). If not tested into combat, then there is no way to really know if the goal of using xiantian strength effectively in combat has been achieved.


    Hard-style --> soft-style has an advantage that you can hold your own in a fight along the way to xiantian strength.
    soft-style only can lead to not being able to fight your way out of a wet paper bag, but in the end, if tested in combat, it is a more efficient path to xiantian strength.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  8. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    I don't like that approach for the following reasons:

    1. You always have to wait for your opponent to give you that energy. Your MA skill depend on your opponent's offer. That's not good.
    2. If your opponent pushes on your chest, you may be able to take advantage on it. If your opponent punches on your face, it's very difficult to absorb that energy.
    3. If you can use your footwork, move yourself out of the attacking path, lead your opponent into the emptiness, borrow his force, and add your owe force, you will get much better result.
    4. ...
  9. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I think how the approach is used is more a philosophical issue than the actual ability.

    I see the ability as finding balance between yin and yang with the key being intent. I've heard it described like doing a push up. Only instead of doing a push up against the ground, it is against an opponent.

    For example, I preemptive strike at an enemy. If I hit them like a sucker punch (they have no intent on hitting me), then that is direct (all Yang). The issue with this sucker punch is maybe they evade out of instinct.

    If I'm really late and the enemy punches at me first, I have to evade and the enemy in the process runs into my punch, then that is indirect (all Yin). The issue with this is maybe I'm too slow and they are able to adjust to my movements and end up hitting me anyway.

    On the other hand, to neutralize, store, and return the energy is to find that balance between Yin, Yang, and intent. I punch the enemy right at the point they have intent to hit me but before they actually follow through. When I hit, maybe this is 70/30 or 80/20 Yang/Yin, and this cuts through their intent, neutralizing it, storing their energy, and releasing it back into them. Because I caught them with intent as they start to move, they have insufficient ability to do anything but get hit and/or bail out.

    Another example, I find balance at the point near the end of the enemy's punch to evade (at the last possible moment) and they run into my punch. Maybe this is 30/70 or 20/80 Yang/Yin with enemy's intent fully committed and unable to adjust to my movements.

    The point is that you don't wait necessarily but IMHO, you find balance.

    The other part of being able to have the ability is having continuous motion using circles. What comes in one direction is neutralized by a curve, that energy stored, and returned back to release it using the torque generated by the circle.
    Last edited: Sep 2, 2016
  10. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    This is excellent and sums things up perfectly.

    Oh and you can do that both internally and externally.

    Great post.
  11. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Yeah agreed, I passed over that part of YKW's post.

    I was more focused on his #1 point about waiting so I was factoring in cutting through the enemy's intent to attack rather than a waiting philosophy.
  12. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    I think aikido could, if proper training, to me any style can use internal engine if they use the right training to develope it.

    I met one aikido guy who trained 30 years, he did not use internal, it was not in there training.

    I would say absorb could be also be considered emptiness, and give back could also be just circular without absorb.

    Circles are everywhere, I would say emptiness leeds to any size circle when using internal engine.
  13. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member


    By internal engine do you mean using xiantian (prenatal) strength?

    Or is it something else, related or not?
  14. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    What is that, not familiar with that rerm?, and how is it developed basically?
  15. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    The term I already defined before. Basically being able to fight naturally while in a relaxed state. I use the word fight to mean to function under pressure.

    The actual definition for xiantian qi is something like "prenatal qi". I picked up the book "A study of Taijiquan" by Sun Lutang a few months back and have been slowly absorbing it. I got the term basically from the book, but before that I had the concept of functioning in a relaxed state under pressure, I just didn't have a Chinese term for it.

    I think this article gives a better idea of what it probably is.
  16. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    I read article, and as with any art, being relaxed is usally the best way to be the most
    efficient in most external art.

    But it is not the internal engine that is generally being referenced, when talking about internal.

    I would say the properties look the same on the outside, but the internal application is different.
  17. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Took me a while but I think I figured out what is a specific gap in our view points.

    Firstly, when I state to "function effectively in a relaxed state", I mean full body relaxation with structure. When you state the internal application is different, I believe you are incorrect. If you are able to function effectively while in a full body relaxed state, the internal application is the same. By the same I mean that the internal application uses one or a combination of those methods considered internal. In other words, it is a form considered internal. Of course you can disagree with me on this in general or give specific examples of how I am wrong.

    Secondly, if I'm throwing a boxing punch, parts of my body are tensed BUT other parts may be very relaxed. This is basically external, even though I'm employing relaxation. External technique is always going to have some visible tension in part of the body, even if 90% of the rest of the body is relaxed. When one gets to effectiveness with full body relaxation (or near full body), one has let go of virtually everything, then that is internal technique.

    Thirdly, where I think there is a specific gap in our views comes down to application. My view is at any time full body power (from full body relaxation) is used, that is internal technique. This can happen SOME of the time. For example, I might develop moving very quickly and have a lightness on my feet while still being connected to the ground. But when I punch, a tense up parts of my body, such as to extend my arm. So my punch is using an external technique. However, before I punched and I was moving quickly, I was using internal technique.

    In reality, I haven't developed internal technique where I can use it effectively because I haven't done enough solo and other specific training to develop internal power, so my moving around in a relaxed state is quicker but well below my potential had I had the proper training. So my full body technique isn't as powerful as it could be, but I can use other forms of power generation to compensate.

    I'm I making sense?
  18. Avenger

    Avenger Banned Banned

    I understand what your saying, but this kind of internal is fueled by intent and chi or Qi and their is a certain training that needs to be done before this fuel process will even be an option.
  19. huoxingyang

    huoxingyang Valued Member

    I'm just gonna wade in here with a possibly different take on this internal/external thing. Based on what I have learnt from various teachers over the years, I have come to understand the so-called divide in the following terms:

    External is muscular power generated from the extremities, i.e. Limb strength.
    Internal is still muscular power, but generated from "inside", e.g. the core and back muscles, i.e. not the extremities.

    Other ideas related to external vs. internal are that external is the meeting of force with force such as by "blocking" an oncoming attack, while internal is the deflecting/redirecting of force, no "clash" as such.

    External could also be the pro-active occupying of emptiness, such as driving forwards and pressuring an opponent, while internal is the creating of emptiness, such as by moving out of the way of an oncoming attack.

    The division of arts into external and internal then, is mostly misleading and probably marketing-driven. Every (Chinese) martial art I have been exposed to talks about using both internal and external, or hard and soft. The difference then is the supposed mix, with some being more external than internal, and vice versa, but ultimately there is very little which is purely one or the other.
  20. David Harrison

    David Harrison MAPper without portfolio

    Are you referring to internal alchemy, triple burner etc.?

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