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#162871 - 07/01/05 04:13 AM recognizing internal connections in external arts
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
Trying to promote productive discussion here. Who has looked for and found the proper alignment and connections normally found in internal arts within their external art training. I've noticed some similarities in the focus ninjutsu have on proper alignment to produce similar results as in the internal arts. Unfortunately i'm not well enough versed in either to make a sound connection or comparison.

Bossman, Kempoman, i'm looking for you two on this one but anyone can offer their two cents. Let's just keep the BS and paranormal out of it.
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

#162872 - 07/01/05 10:59 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
Kempoman Offline

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX

Have I e-mailed you any of the connection stuff yet? I am trying to get some feedback before I send it out publicly.

Yeah, if you want to get dry-humped and dookie-licked.

#162873 - 07/01/05 11:23 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
nenipp Offline

Registered: 04/13/04
Posts: 1205
"Unfortunately i'm not well enough versed in either to make a sound connection or comparison"

Ditto that.

#162874 - 07/01/05 01:42 PM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: Kempoman]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
No i haven't received it yet.
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

#162875 - 07/01/05 01:54 PM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
Kempoman Offline

Registered: 11/15/00
Posts: 1484
Loc: Houston, TX
Alright I'll send it to you, for some reason I thought I did.

I will begin by saying that I had gone thru so many iterations of this my wife is very tired of hearing 'Hey, I think I've got it this time' her only response now is 'That's nice dear'.

IMO connecting the body correctly is connecting the body correctly whether you want to call it internal or external. Many people have put together different pieces of it and call it internal. These things will make your striking and movements more powerful but it is still night and day when compared to moving and striking with whole body power. Erle Montaigue teaches that fajin is what makes something internal, but that is only a part of the story. Rick Moneymaker's group teaches 'waveforms' which is similar to Erle's flavor of fajin and they will also make your striking and movements more powerful.

On and on it goes, but what is missing is the actual connections that must be there in order to produce actual whole-body-connected-power.

I have found that the six harmonies (three external and three internal) are the results of making the correct connections and not things that you should be trying to 'make' happen.

For your reference here are the six harmonies...


1) hand and foot

2) elbow and knee

3) shoulder and hip


1) xin and yi (mind and intention)

2) yi and qi (intention and energy)

3) qi and li (energy and physical force)

When you have the proper connections the body is aligned in such a way that it seems to respond as a single unit. I know that this may seem confusing but there is no other way to convey it.

When you ask internal master's what moves first that always say 'everything'. I always thought that they were either being secretive, flippant or purposefully cryptic.

They weren't.

It is very difficult to explain to someone how it feels when they are properly connected. It is like a bunch of connected gears, turning any one of the gears turns the whole mechanism. I that that it has been explained like this by many people and it never quite gets the point across.

I think that what is never said is that it is not a conscious effort to move the thing as a whole. When they say that it is like that set of gears they mean it, exactly like that set of gears. Moving anything the connection moves everthing else.

Now here's the kicker, I am not talking about anything that remotely resembles shaking or waving or whipping the body. I am saying that any local movement will produce movement in the whole system all at once. It is not chain reaction (which still can be powerful) like waveforms, it is a entire mass movement of every part at once. Once again you are not trying to move everything everything just moves. This is why it is almost impossible to convey thru words. I will be sending out some information on how to connect the body to a select few here to see if I am able to convey the physical component and get repeatable results. The reason that I am doing this is because I no longer feel that it matters what movement set xingyi,bagua,taiji,karate) you put with it. I feel that you should learn to connect everthing first and then
learn to move and then learn to fight with it.

Did I just ramble?


Edited by Kempoman (07/01/05 01:55 PM)
Yeah, if you want to get dry-humped and dookie-licked.

#162876 - 07/01/05 03:27 PM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
BaguaMonk Offline

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
The difference between external and internal chinese arts is actually pretty minimum. The difference is in their approach. Here is a real simple way of saying it.

External styles usually are led by an internal path. The alignments still have to be correct, but you are maintaing strength (external, hard) on the outside, and calm (internal, energy flowing) on the inside.

While internal arts are soft (this is a misconception, you are just "sensitive") and fluid on the outside, but inside the energy is raging and so is the intention. Internal development is just stressed alot more from the beginning, than it is in external ones, in which you learn apps etc. right away.

But in reality, they are not very different at all, most "external" gong fu, had internal principles. That IS what Shaolin gong fu is, its actually considered internal because of its stress on fluidity, congruity of mind, body, soul, and Zen. Only difference is Shaolin thought the bodies should be in great shape to have the blood, and energies within the body flowing so they would not be lethargic when they meditate.
Truth comes from the absolute stillness of the mind...

#162877 - 07/02/05 01:55 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: BaguaMonk]
laf7773 Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 05/05/04
Posts: 4065
Loc: Limbo
The responses so far are outstanding. Let me see if i can clarify what i was referring to though. This is mainly for those with experience in both IMA and EMA (of any origin). As we well know external styles have their own way with alignment for power generation and that it can be very different from IMA. Do any of you feel there is a connection within the training of EMAs that is either there and trained incorrectly or is only touched on due to it's teaching being lost over the years or never being understood in the first place?

For example: Is it possible that due to various changes made in how forms and techniques are performed in say Shotokan compared to Shito ryu based on the founders interpretation of how they should be done or what would make them more efficient that the possible "internal" connection has been lost? That is if there ever was one.

My point is since most arts share similar influences wouldn't it make sense that something more than portions of various kata and some basic mechanics would have carried over? I feel that these connections may have been lost to some arts due to the rushed attitude by some and that maybe some founders of other arts did so due to the fact that they failed to grasp some of the internal aspects of their training. So even though these founders, and i'll use Funakoshi ONLY as an example, didn't have a firm grasp of these internal aspects so therefore opted to leave them out, but they have managed to bleed over into the styles they created due to the fact that proper movement and alignment are integral to all aspects of training and therefore canít be removed completely. With this in mind would a practitioner in IMA who is at a point in their training where they can recognize this proper connection that Kempoman is describing be able to recognize hints of the same connections within Shotokan for instance? Not adding their knowledge of this connection to Shotokan but recognizing what may already be there but has been glazed over due to lack of understanding by others. I'm not using Shotokan as a specific example for any reason other than to get a point across. You can substitute any EMA there, Shito ryu, aikijujutsu, Goju ryu, TKD what ever.

Mind you i'm nowhere near any kind of epiphany. I've simply been noticing things in other systems that have some how sparked this odd thought. I can't even truly tell you when or where it came about or if it's nothing more than over thinking and analyzing things while i was injured. Who knows, it may have even just been the pain medication. I hope i didn't confuse everyone.
Enjoy life while you can, you never know when things will change.

#162878 - 07/02/05 03:36 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
CVV Offline

Registered: 08/06/04
Posts: 605
Loc: Belgium
Why would it be lost ?

It 's a different approach in training and principles, how to generate power in technique, that makes the difference
IMA and EMA. But the principle of generating power through correct body alignment, collecting and dispatching internal energy through correct breathing, accompanied with correct mindset/focus that creates explosive power(fajing) in technique, is not exclusive to IMA. The sanchin kata is explained as 3 battles of body-mind-breathing.
I study Goju-ryu karate and have only minimal experience with tai chi (in a form of comparison of techniques with a tai chi instructor). As I understand it, the focus on internal energy and correct mindset (intent) in delivering is focused primarely from day one. In our system, the first years correct breathing, physical power and correct stance is focused from day one. Gradually the internal aspects come more into play as you start to "feel" them. Then you learn how to apply relaxation and tension in order to put correct focus in hard or soft technique. Use of chi, primarely obtained through correct breathing and focus(mindset, intent) is a process that is discovered indivdually, you cannot force to "feel" this by giving/getting instruction.
Historically, karate was greatly influenced by southern Chinese (Fukien) styles, mainly White Crane, Tiger, Lion, Dog, Dragon, 5 Ancestor and Monk Fist boxing. They emphesise muscular development and these training methods formed the base.
Apperently some masters also studied Hsing-I and Taichi and Ba Gua, no doubt to better understand internal aspects.
As far as I understand the difference between the internal and external principle, internal will not lock lower body when delivering an upper body technique, external approach will. For instance, in sanchin/sanseru/sesan/... opening sequence will step into sanchin dachi, locking into this stance thzn pull back arm and deliver punch(or thrust...) : this is an external approach. In seiyunchin, when stepping int shiko-dachi delivering a low hamer fist towards the testicles, technique and stance are deliverd at the same moment immediatly followed up by the next movement (stepping back in this case), the lower body is not locked in the stance. This is to me the difference internal/external approach. Karate is full of both.

Edited by CVV (07/02/05 08:24 AM)

#162879 - 07/03/05 04:57 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external arts [Re: laf7773]
Bossman Offline

Registered: 08/25/03
Posts: 1785
Loc: Chatham Kent UK
I've only just got back and read this thread. Ironically I was in Cyprus visiting Russell Stutely and comparing 'waveforms' and 'rooting' and 'pushing'on different planes to what we do in my 8 principles and tai chi.

We all have an inside and outside, therefore I would have thought that any good student of the MA from any age will have studied both aspects in their own way.

In my karate I teach the internal system in sanchin, how to float the waist from that and the '5 animal hands' in tensho and 'power sourcing' in naihanchi. The system forms Chinto and Kushanku then contain all these skills. The internal connection and power sourcing is what really empowers karate and require no dramatic outward changes but for many a lot of 'softening', 'loosening' and sensitivity training is required. We 'push hands' on most karate techniques enhancing those skills on the touch reflex.

The work I did with Russell over the last few days was quite dramatic. We discovered that I could negate anything from the pressure points to the locks and waveforms and return the energy using my tai chi training. Adding his knowledge of PP's and joint manipulation to those that I had in the tai chi form increased the effectiveness. It was almost like we had both the 'poison' and the 'antidote'.

I don't think these skills were necessarily 'lost' as the kata contain the skills for anyone who looks hard enough and I have found others who made the same discoveries. I think it simply requires a certain kind of mind that will test and challenge everything, those who have seem to have come to similar conclusions.

The results were profound enough for Russell to uproot from Cyprus and return to England in the new year so that we are able to continue with our research. Meanwhile we have arranged a series of visits inbetween.

Sometimes you have to look outside your own system to find aspects accentuated elsewhere to discover what is actually hidden deep inside of your own. Therefore if a lineage of instructors have been externally stimulated - it might pay to research the internal aspects.

Hope this helps
supporting standards in the martial arts

#162880 - 07/03/05 05:28 AM Re: recognizing internal connections in external a [Re: Kempoman]
eyrie Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 12/28/04
Posts: 3106
Loc: QLD, Australia
Excellent post Kempoman!

Side note: The 6 harmonies and the 8 powers go hand in hand.

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