Sam Tam demonstrating the form

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by 23rdwave, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    No I mean if as you said Iron Field has "gone to great lengths to insult [you]" then you could using the quote function, show these great lengths to which he has gone, except I don't believe he has. And even if he had, an insult which reveals you to be a sexist would certainly not be the best way of responding to it. Neither would trying to tell people to "go back to the hung gar section where you belong" because they're picking apart your arguments, nor would tossing out thinly veiled threats like this:

    You could of course respond with specific, cogent technical points as others here have done but really you're trying to use this to distract from the fact that he's putting the screws to you on "internal" training and it's application and actually showing specifics and videos with application against resistant opponents, but it's the same way you've tried to distract from answering specific points earlier in this thread.

    I find your behaviour contemptible :)
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  2. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Mod note: locking thread pending mod discussion
  3. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Thread now re-opened, as some users have temporarily lost their posting privileges.

    Before we move on it should be obvious that we discuss the topic and not the person/people.

    There has been some ridiculous chest thumping in this thread and it is hardly becoming of mature adults.

    Any more my dad is bigger than your dad type posts may result in further bans or the thread being locked.

    I'll continue the discussion with this question.

    Are there competitions where the practitioners try to uproot each other, but in a much softer style, one that doesn't resemble standing grappling?

    In class your instructor/senior student uproots you with the tiniest of movements, movements that are barely perceptible to the observer and for me this is the pinnacle of the art.
  4. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    The moment that you apply "arm drag" and connect your body with your opponent's body, all "internal" principles will stop working. The whole game will turn into pure wrestling after that.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  5. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Well again that depends on your definition of 'internal'. A pseudoscientific or quasi-fantastical definition is one thing and I'd agree with you there, but some of the internal Chinese nei gong definitely strengthens a 'pure wrestling' game. I know because I've wrestled and Nei gong made me better at it by a pretty large margin. So when you say "principles" as in Nei gong theories, yes all theories vanish in the clinch. The "gong" in Nei gong implied training over time in a form of strength, and that's the strength you see on display at Guo shu and the Tai Chi World Championship.

    It's not just internal. It's not just external. It's a constant flow between both. The training methods themselves could be codified as 'internal' or 'external' in a system (for example, in Hung gar Snake is an internal animal, Tiger is the most external) but that doesn't really mean much when push comes to shove, what matters is balancing all things.

    That was the thesis of Dr. Paul Lam's editorial, too, so not just my opinion, here's a real expert saying "to be the best at internal, you need equal parts external". This whole "THAT'S NOT INTERNAL" line of reasoning is lost on me.

    This is why 'that's external fighting', as well as 'they're wrestling, so it's not internal" are both wrong. Soft gives way to hard, hard drives into soft, and over and over, and whoever masters that transition is who will probably be the victor.

    Gong doesn't stop working, it works to the level it's been developed, which for some people who put in a lot of real effort, can be significant, even if it's not applied to martial arts at all.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  6. aaradia

    aaradia Choy Li Fut and Yang Tai Chi Chuan Student Moderator Supporter

    Of course- push hands competitions!

    Ideally yes. Here is the thing though. It is far easier uproot/ unbalance someone less skilled with minimal moves/ effort. The masters and teachers or even more advanced students make it look easy because they are usually demonstrating against lesser skilled people.

    When you have two people of equal skill one of two things happens. 1. more obvious movements will come into play. More "external" moves happen. 2. neither moves much, waiting to listen to the smallest opening. One instructor once said that two highly skilled people in a match should be boring to the outsider watching.

    When playing beginners, my Sifu encouraged me to develop more softness. Try to barely touch the opponent and sense and move quicker. But he also said that this is harder to practice (so very softly) against an equally skilled opponent. He was giving me a way to further develop my skills no matter the skill level of an opponent. And I am still developing this.

    Now, one of the big limitations with push hands is that it is only one aspect of TCC skills. TCC has striking too. And joint lock work that can't be used in push hands competitions. And this is where people start to put down push hands as not devleoping skills. I look at is like sparring with rule sets. the whole "too deadly" argument about sparring not allowing groin hits, eye gouges, etc. Nothing exactly replicates a "street" fight. But that doesn't mean that developing certain skills is without merit. The same things that can be said about rules sparring IMO goes to push hands - especially moving step. There are a lot of skills that can be developed that help. Even if not a perfect replica of a fight. The limitations of push hands rules help one develop those "internal" skills like listening.

    And this is another lesson I have been taught. That it is a mistake to say you never apply force at all in TCC. One just stays soft waiting for the right moment, then moves and goes back. It isn't static, it isn't all the time, but one does wait for the right moment and utilizes a harder move at times.

    I have learned to hate the whole "it's just wrestling" statement. People just putting down applying any real use of TCC against real opponents. most always said by people who don't really appreciate it is a MARTIAL art.

    Push hands is a stand up grappling, so yes it may look like wrestling at times.

    And I think I missed quoting IF, but he said something about push hands helping wrestlers. I have heard this from students at my school over and over. That TCC helps their submission grappling and their wrestling. (We have a lot of students who are/ were in high school wrestling at the same time as studying MA's.) Especially the ability to stay relaxed until the right moment. They let the opponent tire themselves out, then go for a move.

    I found this to be true in our CLF sparring class too. We were doing a phase of clinch work. Very tiring stuff, but I utilized my TCC. It was so interesting to see that keeping softer helped me a lot! Well, against the opponents who didn't do TCC. I had a distinct advantage.

    But again, I have been told that they teach you you should be relaxed in submission grappling too. And some of those students did better in clinch work. But most say that TCC specifically helps in teaching HOW to stay relaxed.

    And here is the important thing. Relaxed does not mean completely limp- no intention in the moves. My Grandmaster calls that tofu or spaghetti TCC and it is a big no no in our schools. This is where, IMO, many schools get it wrong. - the way I have been taught (and believe).
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  7. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    This sums up the whole "internal vs external" debate that has happened in this thread.

    Taiji/Tai Chi (philo.) is an expression of the interplay between 'yin' and 'yang'/'internal' & 'external'.
    Tai Chi Chuan, the martial art based on this principle, is moving between internal AND external constantly, as the practitioner expresses it. It has to; otherwise it is just 'yin chuan' or 'yang chuan'.
  8. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Since I really would like to get away from the "this is this, that is that" discussion, I looked for a good source to digest and put forward for discussion. I settled on this one, a treatise on Daoist meditation with respect to 'internal' practices that go back to the 11th century sages. This particular one is related to seated meditation methods ten centuries old. This is an internal training school (Nei jia) 700 years or so before that was even a phrase in Chinese culture, and it teaches the skill (Nei gong) associated with Su Dong Po's written quote below. What's important to note here in my opinion is that this form of Nei Gong is clearly beneficial in a number of ways, it's relatively limited compared to the pantheon of Nei Gong practices, which are very diverse and range from Tai Chi movements to the Eight Brocades to things like the Marrow Washing Classic, and Hung gar's Shaolin Iron Body training.

    If mere seated meditation practice had the power to cause these sorts of changes he describes, the possibilities for some of the standing or moving practices must be pretty substantial.

    How about we get into a deep discussion of the idea of 'internal alchemy' as it pertains to physical and mental improvement in general? The great thing about this quote is that it ties together long-term practice, "relatively simple" methods (what, no mystic Chinese secrets?? :D ), noticeable results after a specific timeframe (20 days), and an even more advancement by day 100. This is a real case study of 'internal' practice written by an 11th century Imperial scholar. You could plot an X-Y graph using this data :D And yes it is anecdotal, but it's also a great insight into the past. Given the constant furor of Imperial life, Su Dong Po must have found 'internal' practice even simply seated, very fulfilling. So if you were to apply the same idea to a warrior, and turn the 'internal' practice into moving exercises and combat applications, it stands to reason it would be effective, but elusive to a pre-scientific culture as far as mechanics, which is why it's all explained in a sort of pre-scientific, religious-philosophical system, as opposed to a truly scientific one. And of course anybody with a brain and some hard work can learn the system and not rely on any of that stuff.

    Su Dong Po doesn't speak in Taoist riddles about "Internal" practice, it's just plain language for the common reader.

    "Ye Huan Dan Tian Nei Gong 金 液 還 丹 田 内 功"


    [1] Fire Pathognomy Due to Internal Injury in Chinese Medicine, by Tian He Lu translated by Huang Guo Qi.
    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  9. Hannibal

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

    The Taiji I have done has really helped my Catch (and the crossover is actually remarkable) and my Catch has enabled me to match up well in push hands against Taiji players.

    I have beaten Singh at push hands, (though far, far less than he has beaten me and with more difficulty) but against Sifu Tayam I was annihilated at Push Hands....although I got bonus points fir being the only one stupid enough or cheeky enough to ask to play against him

    I have massive, massive live for "internal".... which is why I dislike even calling it that in the first place.... it's still all basically the same
  10. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Also found a very interesting written account of Yang Cheng Fu's principles and some of his thoughts on what 'internal' means. I particularly found interesting his comment on the Internal School's emphasis on defense, which seems to make sense. While I understand Tai Chi Chuan has strikes and offensive techniques, Yang Cheng Fu's statements do appear to be accurate. Maybe someone with a lot of Tai Chi experience would like to expand on what he's saying in these principles but generally what he's describing below does seem like it would be more akin to grappling as we know it...good body control, flexibility, strong legs, patience. The 'Outer Schools" of boxing as he calls them, he associates with "leaping, bouncing, punching and the exertion of force"...sounds more like orthodox boxing, to me at least.

    It's not hard to see the connection between Yang Cheng Fu here, and Guoshu Tai Chi competitors in 2016.


    Yang Cheng Fu’s Ten Principles on Tai Chi Chuan
  11. Hannibal

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

    You know what this thread needs.......
  12. Hannibal

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

    MORE WANG!!!

  13. Hannibal

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

    For any newcomers to MAP, it is a long running joke - at my expense - that for all my love of violence, axes, Tap Out clothing, warriors and countless other macho stereotypical nonsense one of my favourite martial artists of all time is in fact a fat Chinese "Internal" stylist

    Wang Shu Jin is an absolute legend, and someone who has tales of his exploits shared freely. he also travelled extensively in Japan and taught there, showing he had an unusually open approach too.

    Watching his videos you see the poise, grace and beauty of his art in his form - all the more striking because of his physical size. But when you see it applied you notice that it is pretty much identical to many high level "external" artists in various amount of false bravado or misdirection about "real internal" or any other such arbitrary and unsubstantiated arguments can take away the fact that when you watch Wang fight you are CLEARLY able to see what he is doing...

    No magic
    No pixie bioplamsa

    Just solid, smooth mechanics from one of teh best known fighters of CMA
  14. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I don't suppose telling Wang that it is "all in the reflexes" would make sense to anyone? :hat: :hat: :hat:
  15. Hannibal

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

    Oh yes it would - thanks Jack!
  16. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    If this assumption is true then all Olympic wrestlers should start to learn "internal" which hasn't happen yet. Why?

    IMO, through pure wrestling training, you can develop

    - body unification,
    - body vibration,
    - sinking,
    - sticky,
    - yielding,
    - soft,
    - borrow force,
    - ...

    you don't need to take the "internal" path.

    Here is "body vibration" that you develop from pure wrestling training.

    [ame=""]belly bounce - YouTube[/ame]

    Here is the "sinking", "sticky", "borrow force" that you can develop from pure wrestling.


    Here is the "yielding", "borrow force" that you can learn from pure wrestling.

    Last edited: Sep 12, 2016
  17. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    I think of types of training as more of a specialization based on context. Normally, wrestling skill does not specialize maintaining mobility until this becomes a gating factor. What I mean is that mobility becomes important to get to the next level of skill or to beat a much stronger and bigger opponent, but until then, it might be secondary.

    On the other hand, mobility is a primary factor in training internal movements. One should be rooted but very light (able to move quickly and change direction instantly).
  18. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    This clip shows the "mobility" used in wrestling. IMO, the Bagua "circle walking" came from Chinese wrestling "circle running".

    [ame=""]SC circle running - YouTube[/ame]
  19. Rebel Wado

    Rebel Wado Valued Member

    Good example of mobility. It doesn't address the priority of specialization in these skill sets though. For example, you talk a lot about leg skills and are able to break things down very specifically when it comes to leg skills.

    At what point are mobility skill sets so well defined in wrestling. For example:

    • Maintaining maximum mobility at all times
    • Being able to change direction in an instant
    • Being light on the feet and rooted at all times

    These go along with principles such as the Principle of Constant Pressure, always assume there could be multiple enemies and weapons, and minimum movement with maximum mobility.
  20. The Iron Fist

    The Iron Fist Banned Banned

    Has it not happened? Or are Olympic wrestlers learning very similar things to Tai Chi Chuan? The answer to your question might simply be that we're (as in people in general) over complicating things in discussion (that's the discrimination I keep pointing out) and that the ancient practices of "rou gong" are, in fact, wrestling maneuvers or more generally, applications of relaxed strength with instances of explosive power. Reserving energy until the explosiveness..that's something I associate with both wrestling as a sport, and tai chi chuan (or Hung gar internal) in a martial arts application. At least it stands to reason that in order for Tai Chi Chuan to have ever been a truly 'supreme' martial art, it would have had to accommodate all of the above.

    A basic (objective) test could be as follows:

    Wrestlers take lessons on Tai Chi Chuan: will they perform worse, better, or the same? Well it stands to reason something of value will be learned, or at least will mesh with their sport. But for the most part, what wrestlers learn about Tai Chi will probably mesh with their training, particular the parts of about relaxation being the key to explosive force.

    Tai Chi Chuan practicioners take lessons on wrestling, same paradigm. Chances are they will learn a great deal, but at the very worst, stay the same. I personally believe every Tai Chi Chuan practitioner should wrestle, because that should truly teach them where their art applies.

    Now if we replaced Tai Chi Chuan with Judo, what would change? I think they same things could be said.

    So I don't think you can argue the negative in either case (that learning Tai Chi would be bad for a wrestler, or vice versa). Or Judo. The reason for that is, I'd argue, because the two (three) are far more similar than different.

    OR, is it more accurate to say the wrestler's path is greatly internal, and not just external as it would seem to be only superficially, if we used Yang Cheng Fu's definitions as a metric (external or 'outer' schools being associated with bouncing, weaving, punching so on on, and the internal schools being associated with stepping, catching, and throwing).

    What you listed is common to both Tai Chi Chuan and wrestling, so isn't it most likely the internal nei gong applies to both. Of course this implies wrestlers generally have a great balance of internal and external skill, and I'd agree with that. What it also suggests is any Tai Chi Chuan (or other Nei jia) practice suggesting an 'internal-only' approach probably has insufficient external element and will ultimately falter under stress (and that probably describes many a 'Tai Chi practitioner', too).

    Again, if the Tai Chi Chuan schools at Guoshu are 'wrestling' what? :D They just doing things properly, from an objective viewpoint, aren't they? If they were doing nothing but compliant demonstrations or slow moving forms, I'd never have posted the videos as evidence of 'internal skill' :D
    Last edited: Sep 13, 2016

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