Soft-Internal Arts vs Hard-External Arts

Discussion in 'General Martial Arts Discussion' started by Mad-about-Bagua, Oct 21, 2011.

  1. Mad-about-Bagua

    Mad-about-Bagua Valued Member

    Soft-Internal Arts vs Hard-External Arts - politically incorrect comparisons
    EMA = External Martial Arts ( hard) IMA= Internal Martial Arts ( soft )

    1. EMA favours those who are young, strong, big, tall and male
    2. IMA suits everyone including those who are old, weak, small, SHORT or female.

    3. EMA adopts a 'brute force versus force' strategy... clearly, the bigger one wins
    4. IMA uses energy efficient movements, mechanical advantage, borrows opponents force/ momentum , uses gravity and at the highest level, Qi/ Chi, to defeat your attacker

    5. A Karate ( an extreme EMA ) black belt will find it hard to defend himself against a big, strong young attacker at age 65. His strength will fail him.
    6. An IMA Eg Tai Chi, master aged 65 will be a better fighter than when he was 20. Not only will he dominate a fight against a younger stronger opponent, he will have little trouble defeating that 65 yo ( arthritic ) Karate black belt.

    7. Over time, EMA damages nerves, joints and brain caused by years of pounding sand bags, and absorbing hits to the head etc. It's common to see people with 30 years of Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing or Muay Thai experience, in a wheel chair, and plagued with osteo arthritis produced by years of abuse and damage a sad consequence of the believing in :
    EMA mantra - " No Pain No Gain " - no brain ?

    7a. Scientific reports shows many competitive boxers and American grid iron football players ( perhaps rugby as well ?) have holes in brain tissue , side effects of countless hits to the head by way of punching, sudden deceleration on collision...leading to Parkinson brain disease, as suffered by the " Great " Mohammed Ali at age 42 !

    As well, boxers are known to suffer chronic shoulder joint damage caused by shock waves sustained by hitting in a straight line. Newton's 3 law explains why:
    For every force there's a equal and opposite reaction
    ...which travels back into your shoulder joint.

    8.IMA adopts the " Pain is No Gain " mentality. Most IMA practitioners are Arthritis free, Parkinson's free, dementia free, heart problem free, thin and fat free,...and remain fighting fit well into their 70's

    9. IMA conditions you to relax, remain calm and lower your blood pressure BP and adrenalin
    10. EMA conditions you to be tense, tight, aggressive ( you often have to yell Ki-Ai !) and raises your BP. Disagree? Just look around at friends who practice EMA.

    11. Think carefully before you buy into the " All martial arts are the same and equally good " myth.
    12. 95% of Hong Kong and Hollywood Kung Fu flicks glorify EMA styles...and this is what influences public perception.

    EMA is to IMA is like McDonald's is to organic food.
    They appeal to the undiscerning and naive...are you one of them ?

    13. Most people incorrectly believe Tai Chi is only for health and fitness and not useful as a martial art....they will be shocked to learn that Tai Chi and Bagua are among the most formidable, advanced and respected martial arts in China...holding a more esteemed position than all the Shaolin EMAs . Why else was it that the Emperors personal body guards were taught Tai Chi and Bagua instead of Kick Boxing ( San Da ) etc

    14. In China, those who know say, " Shaolin bows to Wudang"

    15. ALL EMA of Chinese/ Japanese/ Korean origin are Buddhist influenced
    16. ALL IMA of Chinese origin is Taoist ( non religious ) based

    17. If you want to live long and stay very healthy avoid EMA, and choose IMA. You'll also be calmer, more at peace and content, less aggressive and more philosophical. If you just started EMA , make this switch ASAP before you get in too deep. If you have been entrenched in EMA and curious about making the switch, bear in mind that your challenge is to first UNLEARN ..and soften, loosen and relax when making that switch. And you will be rewarded.

    18. Some people in the West adopt the " more is better" mentality. This is exemplified when they add IMA training to their EMA in the MISTAKEN believe there will be synergy. This is wrong thinking. A Taoist will be rolling his eyes... If you add hot and cold water together, you get luke warm water not BETTER water.

    18. Generally speaking , in ancient China, IMA were the chosen styles of the refined, cultured,educated ( and not necessarily rich) class , although Yang Lu Chuan and Dong Hai Chuan were not highly educated. EMA was practiced mostly by the uneducated such as farmers or those who are illiterate. It's the reason why Taoists ( IMA practioners) are commonly referred to as Scholar Warriors ( not thugs)

    19. You'd never find a true Taoist doing Shaolin EMA. But you may sometimes find a EMA Shaolin Buddist practising IMA like Tai Chi, as they know a good thing when they see it !

    20. If you have macho man concerns and wish to look like a tough guy, do EMA...but keep in mind you will pay with your health. Just look around for a 60 year old EMA practitioner and check if he is healthy ?
    IMA won't give you a macho man image, but your real power is hidden...this is what the Taoist adage " Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dragon" refers to....

    21. Computer programmers/ developers, System Administrators especially Unix/Linux seem to favour IMA over EMA... hmmmm I wonder why?

    22. Examples of EMA:
    Karate, modern kick boxing, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Western style boxing, ALL Shaolin based styles , or all Buddhist based styles ( Choy Lee Fatt, Hung Gar, Jow Gar, Mok Gar )

    23. Examples of IMA:
    All Taoist based styles - Tai Chi, Bagua zhang, Xing Yi ( Hsing Yi ), Liu He Ba Fa, Wudang Drunken god, Aikido ( the only IMA of japanese origin), Systema ( russin origin but looks suspiciously like Tai Chi )

    24. Examples of EMA - IMA hybrids
    Depsite being of Shaolin origin, Wing Chun is 50% EMA 50% IMA due to the fact founder Ng Mui took refuge in a Taoist temple
    Baji, Piqua, Tong Bei, Northern Crane, non Shaolin , non Wudang Drunken god and a few others
  2. Aegis

    Aegis River Guardian Admin Supporter

    Whoever told you these were true should be ashamed of themselves for making such ridiculous gross generalities.
  3. windtalker

    windtalker Pleased to return to MAP

    Was this supposed to be in the jokes section? Those comments range from stereotypical to just misinformed. Usually when someone starts talking like that I see a person before me with no build or inclination to develop one. And the subject of Chi usually follows shortly. Anyway I'd like to offer...

    1. That I've met some tough EMA students that were female. If Muay Thai and Tae Kwon Do fall under EMA.
    3. Not every technique in EMA falls under matching strenght against strength. For example in Western Boxing we do learn to actually move and parry.
    4. Oh, you did mention the Chi thing. Lol
    5. What about Tak Kubota or Fumio Demura? Those guys have to be getting up there in the years. Yet I hear they still run down much younger students. And you really should attend a seminar with Danny Inosanto sometime.

    6. Where are these 60+ yr. old masters that can mop the floor with anybody coming and going?
    7. Martial arts is an athletic endeavor. Period. Anything that a person does requiring physical effort will eventually lead to some degree of injury.
    7a. Does a hook or uppercut travel in a straight line? Almost every martial art technique has some kind of curve if observed close enough.
    10. Being tense slows movement. Not everybody who does EMA yells.
    13. Was San Da and Kickboxing around back when China had Emperors and thier bodyguards?

    16. If you believe Taoism doesn't reflect any religious beliefs, might want to ask what that whole 8 trigram thing is about.
    24. Because of my JKD background have a little Wing Chun training behind me and would have to disagree about WC being 50% IMA.

    Somebody with an obvious bias toward Taoism and IMA is feeding you a line.
  4. LilBunnyRabbit

    LilBunnyRabbit Old One


    To not put too fine a point on it, completely bull. It'd help if you actually had some understanding of supposed external martial arts, which you evidently don't. Yes, certain martial arts do favour certain body types, but it's obvious you have no idea of the correlation.

    Absolute nonsense. Very few martial arts at all rely on this any more. External martial arts are just as much about speed and agility as they are about strength. The majority of them will rely on deflection and avoidance over simple opposed force - because opposing force with force is a stupid and self-destructive strategy unless you are the bigger one.

    Every single one of these principles are also used in what you call 'external' martial arts.

    Ah, so it's the magic that makes the difference. Shoo, just shoo. Arguing with you over chi is going to be no fun, you can't construct a solid defense.

    Depends on the style of karate, the skill of the practitioner, his general level of health, and you can't really call a fight like this beforehand. For one thing there are some very big, strong 65 year olds out there.

    I doubt it.

    Where on earth are you getting this stuff?

    That mantra has been well refuted some time ago. You seem to be working with out of date, biased and unreliable data.

    What? You mean being punched repeatedly in the head is bad for your brain? What a revelation! This is something no one knew before. You have revealed the truth. Hallelujah!

    Yes, repeated severe impacts to the head cause eventual brain damage. That's why anyone with half a brain will try and avoid them, and they're generally not a part of standard martial arts practice.

    Your complete lack of understanding of physics makes baby Jesus cry.

    Most EMA practitioners are arthritis free, parkinson's free, dementia free, heart problem free, thin and low-fat (being completely fat free is very, very bad for you) and remain fighting fit well into their 70's.

    Yep, I disagree completely. Tensing up reduces the amount of strength you can put into a technique, only bad martial arts practice will teach you to deliberately tense. As for the yell, that's a biomechanical trick to tighten the diagram which adds a small amount of force to a technique, as well as an attempt to cause your opponent to rethink their actions through psychology, and to call for help.

    Largely because they look a lot more entertaining in cinema.

    You really don't have a clue, do you? Have you ever tried a supposed external martial art, under a good instructor?

    Which is, of course, why they appear so much in competition!

    What's that Pogo? They don't? Oh.

    In China they say a lot of things. And?

    And? Firstly I very much doubt the first, secondly so what?

    You make it sound like an addiction. I'm calm, at peace and content, non-aggressive. Admittedly I'm not philosophical, but that's because it's largely a waste of my time. I do martial arts which you would definitely class as external.

    The Taoist is, sadly, self-evidently ignorant of the way that human training works.

    So what?

    Wait, they were the styles of the ones least likely to get involved in any sort of combat? That's a great endorsement.

    Whereas the peasants just learned how to fight effectively rather than waste time on nonsense philosophy. Your defense of IMA is actually putting me off it - your propoganda needs work.

    Evidently the Taoist doesn't know a good thing when he sees it. Exposure to different systems and styles is good and healthy.

    Yep - generally they are healthy. The ones least likely to be are the full athletes who compete regularly, but that applies in any sort of physical competition involving strain on the body.

    Yes. You have the secret inner power. The power of Grayskull!

    The majority of Unix/Linux system administrators I know are overweight, bearded and wear sandals (yes - the stereotype is accurate, scarily so). Their preference in martial arts isn't really an endorsement. But since you seem to impart worth to their opinion I should mention that I'm a cross-platform developer, tester, architect and administrator.

    Yep - you're not following your own definition here. None of those, as far as I'm aware, ever advocate meeting force with force unless the instructor is particularly stupid.

  5. slipthejab

    slipthejab Hark, a vagrant! Supporter

    Sigh... is it any wonder CMA's have such a silly rep?
  6. Mangosteen

    Mangosteen Hold strong not

    The Gracie's had the Gracie Challenge.
    Let's have a MAP challenge for people who make these claims...

    I'm sure the EMA guys involved in MMA, JKD and RBSD will love it. We'll even match age for age. You can go against Dan Inosanto or the dozens of older JKD, Judo and BJJ players... who are well into their 90's and still going strong.

    As for older female EMA players:
  7. melbgoju

    melbgoju Valued Member

    Might I recommend to you an article by someone who has real experience of both, of the similarities and differences of internal and external arts?:

    Click here

    Because, quite frankly, what you posted appears to have little grounding in either research, experience or reality.
  8. spidersfrommars

    spidersfrommars Valued Member

    I'll be sure to tell the older guys at Kyokushin that they're supposed to be all broken down and decrepit by now next time they're smacking me up and down the floor. Oh and the woman I'll be sure to remind them that they really ought to be doing thi chi or something instead, maybe that will stop them hitting me so much.
  9. Frodocious

    Frodocious She who MUST be obeyed! Moderator Supporter

    As a SHORT FEMALE, I would be quite happy to show you the error of that statement...

    What a load of rubbish that post is! :bang:
  10. NightSky

    NightSky Valued Member


    Attached Files:

  11. ap Oweyn

    ap Oweyn Ret. Supporter

    If we could only figure out how to power a car with wrongness, I think we'd just have solved the world's energy crisis.
  12. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Initially I thought this was a sarcastic article,but I'm not sure.

    Suffice to say that much of what was stated is horse dung-but y'all knew that already!

    While I generally eschew the term "IMA" people who use such terms would classify me as an IMA practitioner-so seeing as how I've had a concussion "or two" and broken bones over the years am I now disqualified from the practice? Does this mean I have to turn in my union card?:cry:

    Mad-about-Bagua----Are you pulling legs here,or are you serious?

    If you're serious I'll have no choice but to report you to "The Board" for inciting conflict and dissension amongst the martial community.

    Assuming I haven't been blacklisted,of course.
  13. Seventh

    Seventh Super Sexy Sushi Time

  14. connorjwelton

    connorjwelton New Member

    EMA encourages people to have brute force rather than technique? In Taekwondo especially, short Koreans are commonly knocking out guys who outweigh and are taller than them on the national stage!

    All of these posts are grossly stereotypical and even if they are true, I choose brain damage over abandoning my training!
  15. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

    What an insult to Taoists. I have met a Taoist monk who practiced both Tai Chi and Shaolin Five Animals. But then again he probably wasn't a true Taoist in your arrogant views.
  16. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    this thread amuses me.

    also lol at calling 60 year old karateka "arthritic" and claiming they can't move...


    ...suddenly SHOTOKAN!

    [ame=""]熟錬者最高齢79歳組手 ãã®1 age 79 kumite - YouTube[/ame]

    *whistles innocently*
  17. Guyin

    Guyin Old Cynic

    Hats off to those two for 'avin a go, but as ever, one example doesn't cover the demographic: two old geezers playing 'jama tag' ? C'mon...
  18. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    stop missing the point and go back behind your smiley sign plz ;)
  19. Guyin

    Guyin Old Cynic

    Sure, will do - I never miss the point. However, to echo everyone else comments....

    'Internal' and 'external' are something of a misnomer. Yin & yang, Go and Ju, Soft and hard etc. both are complementary. All combat M.arts apply both concepts, and usually in equal measure.
  20. Simon

    Simon Administrator Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    I agree with this to a degree.

    A Karate punch traveling toward the opponent is representative of a hard style, however when that punch is spent and returning to base, how can that still be a hard style?

    Now in Tai Chi, peng is to be maintained throughout the movement; but as someone who trains in both Tai Chi and arts which would be considered hard styles, there is obviously a difference and therefore I feel hard and soft are mutually exclusive and inclusive and not in equal measure.
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

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