Is systema just a taiji rip off?

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by stevieb8006, Jun 24, 2013.

  1. stevieb8006

    stevieb8006 New Member

    From what ive seen on youtube it just looks like taiji without the internal side of things. has any1 had any experience with it?
     
  2. Simon

    Simon Moved on. Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

  3. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    I'm curious what you mean by "without the internal side of things."
     
  4. stevieb8006

    stevieb8006 New Member

  5. Simon

    Simon Moved on. Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Sorry, that wasn't a criticism. I apologise if it came across that way.
     
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I'd also be interested in hearing an expansion on this?
     
  7. Kurtka Jerker

    Kurtka Jerker Valued Member

    Why do I always get the feeling "internal" is a euphemism for "Asian trappings"?
    I could be wrong here but what I've always heard explained as "internal martial arts" (which by the way is a silly distinction IMO) appears pretty prevalent in the claims and practices that come out of the Systema community.
     
  8. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    Even from very experienced Taiji practitioners, I've heard completely different explainations of what 'internal' actually means. All of which sound perfectly plausible, and therefore leave me none the wiser!
     
  9. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    Internal means it uses internal bits right? Like muscles and nerve fibers and adrenal glands and such.
     
  10. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    All martial arts do that. In fact any physical activity of any kind uses most of those things.
     
  11. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Bingo, Johnno!

    It's not internal or external that matters. Only efficient use of time and resources.
     
  12. philosoraptor

    philosoraptor carnivore in a top hat Supporter

    I was joking, that was sort of my point :]
     
  13. RobP

    RobP Valued Member

    I've done both extensively, in a word, no
     
  14. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    I've done both 'internal' and 'external' martial arts, and I can see some major differences. But whether they are the RIGHT major differences depends on the definition, and that seems to be the sticking point.

    I don't buy any explanation which involves 'internal power', because our bodies work the same way whether we are doing Taiji or Judo or whatever. We will use our bodies in a diffferent way, but we don't gain 'special powers' in one and not another.

    The explanation that 'internal' arts are taught to 'indoor' students and 'external' arts are not seems a bit fishy to me, since you can have both 'indoor' and 'outdoor' students of the same art. While the 'indoor' students will be taught more than what the others are, it doesn't become a fundamentally different art. Not as far as I can see, anyway.

    Probably the most convincing explanation to me (this week, at any rate) is that the difference is about physical structure and movement.

    To take a simple example, in 'external' Kung Fu the most important points in a punch are the start and the end. Everything inbetween is unimportant, because the fist is travelling through those points as fast as possible. provided that it starts from the right place and ends in the right place and the fist is formed properly, then it's 'correct'.

    Compare that with a punch in Taiji. Every point along that punch's path are of equal importance, and should feel exactly the same, up until the point of impact. (And then it should only feel different because you've hit something!)

    It's probably a hard concept to grasp unless you've done both, but it illustrates a fundamental difference. It can also be seen in how we move from one posture to another, how we shift our weight from one leg to the other, and so forth. The difference is maintained 'internally', and isn't always apparant to an onlooker.

    The point becomes clearer when you do push hands. An experienced person will defeat a less experienced one without appearing to move. Because their skill level is much greater, they can effect a small change in their 'internal' structure to unbalance their opponent. It isn't necessary for them to make big movements like a beginner would in order to try to unbalance an opponent. That can be quite a difficult thing to imagine if you haven't seen experienced it for yourself.

    Of course, I'm only talking here about Taiji because I have virtually no experience of the other 'internal' CMA's. Maybe someone with greater knowledge than me could say more about them?
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  15. PointyShinyBurn

    PointyShinyBurn Valued Member

    What you're describing, maintaining structure throughout movement, is the difference between a good wrestler and a bad one. Or any other functional style, really.
     
  16. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award


    No its just a rip off.......... no taiji included
     
  17. RobP

    RobP Valued Member

    Nope, it isn't that either
     
  18. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I like some elements, of some systema drills, but as a whole its just terrible,

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oiF5G0cZea4"]Systema throwing - Martin Wheeler - YouTube[/ame]

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kr7L_tY0FQw"]Systema Knife Technique Demonstration - YouTube[/ame]
     
    Last edited: Jun 25, 2013
  19. RobP

    RobP Valued Member

    Please illustrate how as an instructor I am ripping people off
     
  20. Dead_pool

    Dead_pool the merc with the mouth MAP 2017 Moi Award

    I said systema as a 'system' was the rip off, in terms of time invested vs promised reward.

    Not that you were intentionally monetarily ripping people off.
     

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