What is internal?

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by icefield, Oct 2, 2021.

  1. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Interesting short discussion on what is internal exactly, personally always thought the distinction was more a marketing one that one of any real merit
    Dan Bian, Grond, Botta Dritta and 2 others like this.
  2. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    I agree with that, there is way too much focus on internal vs external. I ran into it a lot in my years in Taijiquan and ran in to it in Bagua, but I think one of my Xingyiquan shifus had the right idea...."Shut up and train". I never heard much discussion at all in any Xingyiquan class I was in. But that does not mean it i not discussed, I was just lucky I. guess. Also it never seemed to matter much to my Yang Taijiquan teacher. But he was trained in and from Hong Kong

    There are multiple reasons for calling something internal and external, but internal first appears in 1669 in the "Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan" And it was more than likely.a political statement than anything else, basically what was not from the Han people was external to China.

    Ignorance, Legend and Taijiquan

    There is also a Chinese saying that says Internal goes to External and External goes to Internal. Meaning they all end up in the same place
    Grond and Botta Dritta like this.
  3. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    Ugh....I did Taijiquan and can give you a fencers perspective on this.

    In Classical fencing there was a concept of sentiment du fer, its hard to describe but it was the ability to feel down the blade the pressure and vibration of the opponents blade that with enough experience would give you a split second knowledge of what the opponent was going to do, so you could be ahead of the OODA mental loop. I saw this twice in my life, once with my old Italian Fencing maestro, and then with a 70 year old retired RAF fencer. It can't really be trained for except by experience. It was fencing from a different age where sensitivity and skill were paramount. When you come across it it feels like magic, it literally is the soft beating the strong, sensitivity over gross motor skill. Naturally all you have to do to beat this magic skill in fencing was to 1) not engage their blade 2) move your feet faster and accelerate past their reaction time. Which when done against old men felt like cheating. So you humour them and enjoy the sensation, I would lay off the tactics and play their game, which I think they were grateful for. I even use it myself from time to time against beginners, but never to the same degree of skill i saw from those old cats.Its not supernatural. Its a physical skill.

    In Tai Chi, I only once felt something approach something magic. Which was when after a really hard days work, despite my misgivings of feeling really drained, I went to tai chi anyway and I worked diligently on my form in class, repeating it again and again. After the session I was incredibly re-energised and awake. Now this want't the same endorphin hit that I got from Fencing, as Boxing session etc... I knew what those were and had experienced it before. This was something totally different and unique. Total alertness centred lucidity and effortless movement. I didn't go to sleep until 3 0'clock in the morning I was so awake, For a while this convinced me perhaps Chi was real yada yada yada. But by the next morning over cornflakes my rebellious western rationality rebelled. What I experienced was real enough, but I was going to be damned if I was going to believe that the cause was merdians and a version of vitalism that we abandoned over 1000 years ago. I mean the organs are not even where the old chinese said they were for God sake. Even the Japanese figured this out when they eventually opened bodies up So I separated cause and effect: Tai Chi practice causes cognitive lucidity, relaxation and physical balance. Just not for the reasons expoused by the ancients. I still practice it now from time to time.

    My take is that these two things, tactile technical skill to the level of sensitivity that leads to OODA superiority, and the lucidity and balance rhythmic relaxed breathing meditation are too often conflated with the latter being the cause of the former, which I think is a bit of a stretch. Tai Chi push hands is like sentiment du fer. But i'm not convinced chi is it's cause.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    Tulisan_Olympus and cloudz like this.
  4. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    The above is part of the issue, what is the actual definition of internal, if it's what you are describing then all arts are internal because they all strive for relaxation and sensitivity and awareness whole body power etc.

    Adam Hsu talked about this decades ago the total lack of a clear agreed meaning of what internal actually is and what sets it apart form the so called external
    Dan Bian and Botta Dritta like this.
  5. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    I think it was a way of defining Chinese martial arts vs one another. North vs South. Shaolin vs Wudang. Internal vs External. I have a sneaking suspicion that it depends on where pedagogically you start your training from. Most martial arts combat sports, start with the Grosse Motor skills, which then with experience/competition/time get fine tuned to the point that movement/balance efficiency kicks in and fine sensitivity is developed weather it be tactile or visual is developed. Professional boxers have mad almost sixth sense head movement defence, if you have ever tried to punch one in the face. But because its not tactile its not considered 'magic' woo, even though its practically the same thing.

    'Internal arts' tai chi, xingyiquan, baguazhang, Aikido, start with sensitivity and balance/leverage movement training first and they develop this for ages, alongside meditative/spiritual practices, and sort of bolt on the forms/applications (with varying degrees of success) using the aforementioned principles. The thing that I find weird is the Shaolin Wudang dichotmy: Wudang sees itself as more internal because it borrows from Taoist Cosmology/Worldview, but its not as if Shaolin is just brute force... So I think its just a lazy shorthand for: that looks fluid and devoid of muscular tension therefore internal. That looks explosive and strong therefore external.
    I don't think this will ever be answered sufficiently. There is a huge grey area between these two arbitrary concepts.
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
    Grond likes this.
  6. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Are there any difference between

    - internal side kick vs. external side kick (kick)?
    - internal wrist lock vs. external wrist lock (lock)?
    - internal hip throw vs. external hip throw (throw)?

    What can internal offer you if you are interested in the "foot sweep" training?
    Botta Dritta and icefield like this.
  7. aaradia

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

    I view it as different training methodologies to get to the same point really. Basically, a different emphasis at the beginning levels. When you get advanced enough in an external and internal martial art, they end up really not being different.

    We had an oral test as a beginner where you were supposed to define the difference between internal and external. And as I got more advanced, I realized that those differences ceased to be exclusive to one or the other.

    It was a long time ago, let me see if I can remember.

    1. One is fast, while the other is done slowly. But there are Internal forms In Choy Li Fut that are slow. And Fast forms in Tai Chi.

    2. Tai Chi focuses on redirecting instead of hard blocks. But again, even early on, in Choy Li Fut we learn redirecting blocks. And actually, they are far more common the more advanced you get.

    There were others, but I can't recall them right now. Because I stopped thinking about external vs internal when I realized it really is just the same thing- just a different path to the same mountain top.

    Oh and another thing. Some Internal artists disagree. And most of them get really snobby and secretive like they hold some secret others don't get. But I came to the realization years ago that "fajin/ fajing" is really the same thing as ging (or is it spelled jing? Sorry, I mostly just talk about it, so I am not sure.) Relaxed power. Seriously, I have seen internal MA'ists get really like a serious attitude when told they don't hold some mysterious power that isn't in other arts. As an internal MAist, I think they are being ridiculous.

    Often for me, there is a deeper understanding I get when I study something from both a CLF and a TCC approach. Now that I am allowed to have some choices in my curriculum in TCC, and soon will in CLF, I make a point to choose the same weapons in each art. One helps me with the other. My stick and staff in particular lately, have gotten much better in CLF because I am approaching the acceleration and relaxation in them with what I had down better in Fajin/ Fajing moves in TCC.

    I remember a few years ago, in CLF sparring classes for a few weeks, we were focusing on clinching drills. I found that because I had TCC experience in staying relaxed (a lot of that from moving step push hands) I outlasted a lot of CLF only students. They tired out before I did - even the ones in better shape than I am. Even though they were told to stay relaxed, they didn't really get it and they tired out quickly. EXCEPT, the advanced CLF only students, they also did better at staying relaxed. Because there is more detailed emphasis early on in TCC, I had an edge. But I lost that edge with the advanced CLF only students. Again, same mountain top, but different paths to get there.

    I think of internal and external as beginner training wheels for the brain to grasp certain concepts. And then one day you realize the training wheels are not needed.
    Grond and Botta Dritta like this.
  8. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    I don't have that much experience with internal MAs, but my opinion is similar to what's written above.
    I only maybe heard the internal vs. external in Taiji classes once and it really was only mentioned. But doing both karate and Taiji, I feel like these terms may only describe that in internal, you start with breathing and relaxing your mind, moving towards external - the movement and techniques. While in external, in my case karate, you move from techniques towards focus on breath and relaxed mind and one's internal sensations - like simply feeling food from the type of exercise.

    I didn't really know there was any kind of heated discussion over this :D

    Was Aikido actually considered an internal art? I wouldn't have fuessed that.

    Wow, that does sound ... well strange.
    I am quite happy our school's teacher told us first thing: There are no secrets and mysteries in Taiji! That's the was he was taught by his Sifu.

    Did you get to see or experience those people's "mysterious power?"
    Grond and Botta Dritta like this.
  9. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    Originally bagua Tai chi and Xingyi were considered the internal arts (I'm going with sun Lu tang as being one of the first modern people to group them together, probably for marketing purposes) they were unique special etc etc then someone discovered water boxing was still around and that got added, then Yiquan was developed and that joined the group lol.

    If we go with the whole soft to hard or they are designed to develop sensitivity and balance first we might as well include Chinese wrestling in the grouping, not to mention southern arts (strange how all the internal arts seem northern) such as white crane and even wing chun who develop the same principles through sticking hands.

    We could throw into the mix the Hakka arts as well they all develop root structure and sensitivity from day one.

    We could even take out Xingyi because whilst they doing standing work they introduce hard fast line walking drills to develop hard full body power from day one.

    Aaradia's point about ging and fajing being the same thing is I think one of the key points here and kind of what Master Rogers was getting at, it's all about for me how do you develop the structure to deliver maximum power as quickly and suddenly as possible.

    It's not so much internal to external or soft to hard and hard to soft rather for me its how do you train the student to develop the kinetic awareness to deliver maximum force into and through a target.

    Plus without protective gear sparring to develop that awareness and power can be down right dangerous but pushing, sticking etc that's a much safer way to do it, it allows contact and force to be applied fairly safely.
    Grond, Nachi and Botta Dritta like this.
  10. icefield

    icefield Valued Member

    As an aside the best example of listening skills and fajing/ging I ever personally witnessed came from an Iowa wrestling coach who had never done Chinese arts in his life.

    His ability to listen and read his partners movement through contact with his body was astounding, and his ability to issue full body power through short while body movements such as snapdowns was eye opening to see.

    Similar to aaradia when I started MMA my clinch ability was much better than the others in my class because of years of pushing and sticking hands practice but against more experienced people with actual wrestling ability it didn't help as much.
    Grond and Botta Dritta like this.
  11. aaradia

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

    Seriously, that should be added to the thread about what makes a good Tai Chi School/ class. I actually just went over and mentioned it in that thread.

    The Tai Chi teachers that clarify there is no magic secret mystic thing in Tai Chi. That seems to be a defining factor!

    I had not heard of Aikido as an internal art either.

    Choy Li Fut is defined as an external art. But I have also heard people say it is one of the more internal external arts! Say what? But yeah, that is a thing said about CLF. o_O
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
    Grond and Botta Dritta like this.
  12. Botta Dritta

    Botta Dritta Valued Member

    I will preface that I have zero Aikido experience, but the chap who persuaded me to give Tai Chi another chance was a Fencer/Aikidoka/Taiji practitioner who suggested Tai Chi would fix some bad habits in fencing that I had developed that was letting me down on the circuit (It actually did help, surprisingly)

    In his opinion Aikido certainly was more on the internal spectrum...sort of ... due to the Aikido's emphasis on relaxation, yielding, sensitivity, the subtle shifting between immobility and movement. There also a heavy dose of visualisation of ki along with breathing, rhythm etc. which are very internalish

    Later I caught up with another fencer who jumped ship from fencing to aikido and we got talking about Tai Chi and internal/external. In his opinion while we are familiar with the throws, locks, atemi strikes which appear visually very hard aspects the length of time spent being ukemi/receiver develops a lot of sensitivity and yielding, but that this gets utterly forgotten when looking at Aikido from the outside

    But from what I get though they don't have as much emphasis in developing rooting like in Taijiquan.

    But there again I'm not an Aikido practitioner so take my comments with a pinch of salt. Perhaps its more accurate saying its a soft style than internal, but then again... Neijia/Ki? Ugh it gets complicated quickly
    Last edited: Oct 3, 2021
    Grond likes this.
  13. Nachi

    Nachi Valued Member Supporter

    That's true, thanks! :)

    I have zero experience with Aikido, too, so I only have a rough estimate of what Aikido is actually about. I, for example, didn't know about the breathing and ki visualisation. I suppose it's not too surprising, but I didn't realize it plays a part. I do take Aikido for a "soft" art, but I imagine internal as something else. But then again, it's not like I have any definition, just personal feelings. I learned something new! :)
    Botta Dritta and Grond like this.
  14. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    That was a cool video, thanks.

    Here I come with my long winded newbie experience (about a year) but my own instructor really summed up internal vs. external for me, and he's legit as they come so I feel obliged to share his "Secret" which is so trivial it's almost ironic considering the bastardization of arts like Tai Chi by their own proponents (intentional or otherwise).

    According to him, and I think Xue Sheng said the same, is that internal was originally how Tai Chi viewed itself compared to other arts that its progenitors deemed "hard", but also it was an art native to China, unlike a lot of outside influences (like Buddhism, which is not Chinese but practically transformed the entire nation). But then add a few centuries and the Chinese keep adding more definitions, until you get to 2021 with so many different, you kind of need to research to understand why. But my teacher basically just points out that internal training starts soft and gets hard, includes a lot of breathwork and meditation, before eventually getting to the "hard" applications. There is nothing soft about my instructor's ability to pull me off my foot with relatively little effort, even if I resist, but then he simply shows me the why. My main issue? Lots of sitting has my psoas muscle so overengaged that I tend to stick my butt out when standing straight or in a form, and I'm not well rooted as they say. It's so simple, yet without mirrors I would never have even noticed, and no one in boxing has ever even mentioned that tilting my pelvis forward would give me the ability to sink my body weight lower effortlessly and in a way that would make me harder to knock off my feet. So to me, internal now means something concrete: relaxing the right parts at the right times so that explosive energy is more available than when my body, for lack of a better word, is not aligned well.

    He also said this kind of duality thing is so common in Chinese history, you can find it all over the place, which is why there are so many different explanations of why. But generally it's all because of Taoism, the yin yang duality principle you can see right in the symbol. This represents the whole universe split in two pieces that represent extremes. From this one symbol you get about 10,000 different things in China that are split into just two aspects. Everything from Chinese myth to astrology to alchemy to the dawn of science in China still adheres to this two-phase principle. It's built into the culture's collective consciousness, like Buddha and Confucious.

    But I agree with the video guys in that "what's in a name" is really part of what I think soured the idea of Chinese martial arts for so many after UFC. Chinese arts were so mysterious before, and that was not so much the fault of serious practicioners, but more or less people wanting to make money. The same thing happened to my other traditional art (Karate) in the 80's. Now I know that there are people who train BRUTALLY hard in karate, vs black belt kiddies who learn to break boards but crumple in the school playground fights. This is one of the reasons I loved The Karate Kid and got into martial arts in the first place, it was real because when I went to train, I trained really hard, and when you love the way it makes you feel, you want to train harder and harder.

    BJJ is another art (haven't tried due to pandemic, but I've watched my share) that the video points out is really no different than the whole internal concept. What started as a pretty hardcore Japanese art became associated with softness, and the first UFC hammered that idea home when I saw Gracie just take out all these big monster dudes by basically breathing and tiring them out. As stressed as it is being manhandled by someone like Dan Severn, Gracie has this calm, zenlike quality, next thing I know the opponent is just done.

    I was blown away by that concept, but it immediately clicked in my head the same way it clicks during Tai Chi when my butt is sticking out and my spine is not aligned. Relaxation is the key to breath control, and breath control is the game changer in any sport or martial art. Watching Connor McGregor gas out fighting Mayweather, I kept reminding myself that was happening because Connor trains for just a few short rounds, whereas boxers train to go until KO or decision. And this is why jumping rope and Tai Chi are now my favorite arts, next to boxing.

    Botta Dritta likes this.
  15. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    It would seem there was no other reason than a socio-political statement couched in symbolic terms. The system actually known as Internal System was... a name.There's nothing to link it in any way to the 3 so-called "internal" CMAs.
    Yeah.No one with a brain would think that Wang,Hao-da or Wu,Tu-nan would've fared well in the ring when they were old.But in the context of push hands they could blast well skilled people away.Far away.Much bigger people,too.Not people being compliant.
    PH has that of which you speak,but that's just part of it.

    As for ch'i,since everyone is supposed to have ch'i,same as blood,then it's (in theory) there.The idea is that you're opening the vessels so more comes through.

    Like when you relax deeper and deeper within your tissue your blood flows more.That's why our hands turn red during certain practices,especially evident during solo slow form.So more energetic,healthier,etc.Blood flow,ch'i flow,same idea. Conceptually ch'i and the blood can flow together.

    Rhythmic breathing? Maybe a training for beginners but not a method long term most espouse. Even the various inhalation/exhalation patterns are eventually discarded except for specific training purposes/periods.
    Right.There is no such thing in CMAs in reality. I always liked him for his upfront writings.

    In the late 1800s some of the Hsing I and Pa Kua buddies founded a group which used the "internal" and WuDang monikers.No one knows exactly what they meant-likely another cultural/social/marketing statement but it wasn't about being systems that used ch'i-'cause everybody was supposed to.

    I f you knew CMA history you'd see it's a false dichotomy. Wu Dang was something that was grafted on with the Chang,San-feng promotion. So there wasn't any need to define between Shaolin and Wu Dang because Wu Dang wasn't a hotbed of or influence on MAs.Except in fiction. Like Shaolin.The idea that there are all these Buddhist influenced systems and Taoist influenced systems.....

    In reality trying to say this system is Taoist or Buddhist is with a few exceptions silly.They're Chinese systems.That it.
    Before the popularization of such CMAs they were not something which function was sort of bolted onto.(?)Still aren't,just not commonly available. People didn't have to train for 10 years or more before they went out and made their reps. There's still a clan which has a two year-that's right,2!-program of horrendous training at the end of which the grads can go out in the world and bring it.And do. Of course they continue to refine their skills.

    Decent Hsing I is still taught in a straightforward manner to produce competent skills.

    Meditative practices?Depending on one's definition,yeah. Spiritual? That needs definition.No one ever described most of the old time fighters as spiritual.Maybe some of them-when they got old. Not uncommon.

    You left out Tong Bei,Liu Ho Ba Fa and others we could call "internal". And they don't all train the way you describe.Read Hsu's description of Ba Chi training!
    And Hung,CLF, and Northern "Shaolins" don't use Chinese,not necessarily exclusive to Taoism cosmology/concepts? Some of these things which are simply part of Chinese culture are commonly looked upon as Taoist but many of these ideas predate Taoism.But it was/is good marketing and the "internal" systems promoted the idea. Hence Chang,San-feng,a recurring symbol of "Chineseness" opposed to foreign rulers -(Manchu)- or influence-(Europe). And a cool guy to claim for a patron saint.

    Douglas Wile among others has opined the writings of TC are as Confucian as Taoist. But "Kung Fu Tzu Ch'uan" just don't sound all that romantic,do it?

    P.S. A good N.Shaolin/Long Fist guy can be very fluid and relaxed-way more than the southern "Shaolin" folk. And TC,HI and PK are all quite explosive.
    If you open your channels enough you can adhere the dust to your foot and then deposit it in the wastebasket on the "Closing the Channels" command,saving the broom for those nasty overhead cobwebs!

    But as I've often stated,Mr. W.,the only measurable thing is mechanics.So if a long fist practitioner throws a rear hand using his back and spine the way a Hsing I guy can then what's the difference there between them? And if they're both practicing whatever nei gungs they do other than having differing methods they still may be both training the same things.Or not.But it doesn't matter.

    As for practices outside the physical whether things like training intent-not exactly esoteric-or consciously performing a Heavenly Orbit-esoteric-....again as most systems have some things along these lines identifying select systems as "internal" in that context is a misnomer.At least the social and political symbolism had meaning.
    No. I don't think Gogen Yamaguchi and Yin Fu were doing things that were not different at their respective apexes. Yin Fu and a Long Fist guy-more similarities.Just on a mechanical level Fu and Yamaguchi were different. If you saw them hit somebody you might not notice but there would be differences. Example-The Goju guy won't have a CMA p'eng, a prerequisite for at least most Northern systems including PK. They don't wind up in the same place.They can't.Common belief,tho'.

    Most CMAs have fa jin.The term,shrouded in mystique became an obsession some years ago w/TC people. It's not just relaxed power,it's how the specific system expresses it. Anyway,you know how to deal with snotty TC people.....find out how good their overall jin really is.Tee hee hee.
    I think the whole idea is an unnecessary stumbling block to the reality.

    That's kind of a 20th century perspective.TC training in the pre Yang,Cheng-fu era was quite different than most do now.
    There are plenty of "secrets"-anything you don't get taught! And most who can don't teach everything except to a select few,and often not just due to merit only.
    One well known teacher only taught his disciples higher level stuff if they could pay for each level/method.So maybe not even all of them got the whole package.
    This is a business,overall.

    There are also "secrets" that are about as mundane as "Remember to brush your teeth." Some are just recommendations on training methods.
    If he wasn't using the body mechanics of CMAs which produce such jin he wasn't executing fa jin(g). If you're using CMA terms then the expression of power has to fall within CMA methods.Unless he was taught these it's unlikely he did them.

    No wrestler could survive without listening and understanding.They're all GOOD.Some are superlative.
    Everybody wants to be "internal" these days.Even some of the Wing Chun folks.Good marketing.
    Is that then a definition or part thereof of "internal"?
    See,another definition or part. Therein lies the problem.Socio-political? Energetic/mental practices?Physical method?Conceptual and /or strategic approach? Grouping of a few systems under an umbrella because they share some concepts and methods?( Sun's umbrella led to a lot of misconceptions).
    Yup.And most CMAs have some sort of nei gung training.So most CMAs are internal..or external/internal...or vice versa....or
    Botta Dritta likes this.
  16. jmf552

    jmf552 Member

    I studied Japanese Shi-to-Ryu Karate' (I had to add an extra dash in the style name or the site filters block it!) and reached Sandan, promoted by the head of the style from Japan. Later, I spent 14 years studying Tai Chi under a great instructor. None of that means I have "the answer" to the question, but I will give my answer just based on my experience and perceptions, not any dogma or history. I believe the confusion between internal and external has a lot to do with a lack of differentiation between training and fighting. Styles don't get into fights, people do. A style is a way of training. Different styles take very different approaches to training. But fighting, no matter what the style of training, always has one goal: To achieve your desired result from an H2H confrontation, be that to defeat the opponent, survive the confrontation, and/or disengage safely from the confrontation. Many roads can lead to that ability. Many people who train never fight, which is great, but if they have trained properly, they should be able to.

    External arts training emphasizes power, speed and technique, often very precise technique, bringing all that to bear on the opponent. That is all outside the body, external. Not much is discussed about what happens inside the body. You kind of have to figure that out for yourself. The internal arts emphasize (no pun intended) internalizing how all your body parts move together as an interface between the ground (the root) and the opponent. The external aspect is more generalized, at least for the beginner. Whether your ward-off contacts the opponent on his forearm or his bicep doesn't make a lot of difference if the move is done right.

    "Chi" is life force. If we are alive, we have it. Learning to use it is learning to tune into it in order to coordinate the body. I have seen people do amazing things with chi, but not because they are projecting some magical force. They are people who have tuned into their chi so well that not only does all the parts of their body recognize what they need to do, but the opponent's body parts recognize it too. It is not much different from throwing an external punch at the face. If I come up and throw a punch at your nose, you will react, if only to flinch. That is not because of some mystical power, but because your body realizes it needs to do something in reaction to what my body is doing. The internal arts finely tune that phenomenon.

    The internal arts start training with finely tuning the coordination of all the internal parts: bones, muscles, nerves, etc. The external arts start with coordinating all the external parts: hands, feet, elbows, knees. But in the end, they both need to accomplish the same things. Both kinds of training have health and psychological challenges and benefits, but they are different. I won't go down that road here. I will say this: I think that at least in the West, it is much harder to become proficient in an internal art than an external one. I am not sure if that is because the Western mind has a harder time dealing with internal concepts, or that the internal arts have gotten more corrupted in Western practice, or both. External training seems to make more sense to most Western minds. Also, internal arts seem to attract charlatans more easily than external arts, because the "results" can be "gamed" more easily.
    Last edited: Oct 13, 2021
    Flying Crane likes this.
  17. SWC Sifu Ben

    SWC Sifu Ben I am the law

    It depends on which period your Aikido style derives from. Pre-war Aikido styles like Yoshinkan are basically another style of jujitsu. In fact Shioda said "Aikido is 90% atemi." Post-war is when Ueshiba started in with the ki-harmonizing, flowy, hippie stuff. It has its own general demarcation line for the hard vs soft styles of Aikido.
  18. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    I'm starting to wonder if this is what internal really means on a functional level. The list of benefits in the article not only wards off aging, but from a martial arts perspective, must have some sort of healing quality compared to boxing and wrestling, which tend to incur injury over time.

    My teacher always points back at my "external" training (i.e. karate and boxing) as the likely reason why I feel the need to do internal training now. I think he's right.

    ""There's very strong evidence that tai chi is one of the best weight-bearing exercises to reduce the risk for falls," says Peter Wayne, faculty editor of the Harvard Special Health Report An Introduction to Tai Chi and director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine.""

  19. YouKnowWho

    YouKnowWho Valued Member

    Have to disagree with you on this for the following reasons:

    Taiji doesn't have

    - enough kicking that can develop single leg balance.
    - dynamic balance training that you lose balance first, you then regain it back.

    For example, if you do these drills daily, you will have good balance and you will never fall during your old age.

    Of course I'm not talking about old, sick, and weak here.

  20. Grond

    Grond Valued Member

    Don't you mean you disagree with Dr. Wayne? "faculty editor of the Harvard Special Health Report An Introduction to Tai Chi and director of the Osher Center for Integrative Medicine."?

    I mean, he's got a big data set and empirical results. You've got a couple of videos of guys. I don't think they measure up to Harvard Medical's research, do you? How do those videos address plantar sensation, for instance?

Share This Page