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#237567 - 03/10/06 06:35 AM Training in both internally and externally
Ayub Offline
heartbreaker, lifetaker

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 825
Loc: London, UK
I am external martial art practitioner. I have recently become very interested in internal martial arts. I wanted to know if it is possible to train in both internal and external arts simultaneously. If keeping relaxed is the key to this then I can say that I strive to do this at the moment, in fact exponents of all styles try to keep muscular tension at a minimum and some external arts as my own do not exclude the idea of qi, and it is often used as a means to describe the need to stay relaxed and its said its imporatant to concentrate on the flowing energy from coming from the lower abdomen and out through the fist. In this way, is the difference between internal and external just that IM strive to increase the amount of qi in the body?

Are IM to be trained everyday? Would weight training have any inhibitory effect on training IM? I belive I would have to change my routine quite a lot if I took up IM?

Thanks
_________________________
Cut me Mick!

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#237568 - 03/10/06 06:56 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Ayub]
BaguaMonk Offline
Member

Registered: 12/18/04
Posts: 404
Loc: DALLAS TX BABY
You should be fine, as long as you can maintain focus in IMA the way its supposed to be done, and don't let your external "form" affect your internal arts.

For example, there is a Hunng Gar guy in my class who has great posture and strength, but he is stiff, rigid, and uses almost all muscle, my teacher doesn't have to try to throw him over, because he throws himself over. I'm afraid to because he's like 40 years my senior (the HG guy) and has practiced external Kung Fu all his life, I don't like disrespect.

If your from karate or TKD, you should be fine, but you will have a much harder time adjusting.I have seen some previous Shorin guys in my classes(as well as TKD), and they ahve a hard time adjusting, no flow, thier fa jing is stiff and imbedded. Also their way of interpreting applications is "limited" because they think of the "on two"ways of applying it, and also the "by the form" idea of applying techniques from kata. Where in IMA's, when you learn app's, you should be thinking of the way the energy is moving, and what the underlying principle is..not the outer form..

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#237569 - 03/10/06 08:22 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: BaguaMonk]
Ayub Offline
heartbreaker, lifetaker

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 825
Loc: London, UK
Are you suggesting that things derived from internal martial arts such as Taiji, can only be used in taiji 'combat' and not for any other martial art styles?
_________________________
Cut me Mick!

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#237570 - 03/12/06 10:26 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Ayub]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Quote:

I wanted to know if it is possible to train in both internal and external arts simultaneously.



Sure it is possible. The question you may want to ask is whether they may be detrimental to each other.

Quote:

If keeping relaxed is the key to this then I can say that I strive to do this at the moment




It is a big part, but not necessarily the key. Relaxation is the key to finding quality structure and feeling the body with the mind. The quality of relaxation involved in IMA practice is quite different than what people usualy think as far as relaxation is concerned. There is a tremendous amount of other things going on besides the relaxation work. It is the ability to pull all of the components together and manifest the finished product as a unified whole that sets IMA's and EMA's apart.

Quote:

In this way, is the difference between internal and external just that IM strive to increase the amount of qi in the body?



I think it goes a bit deeper than that. Yes, IMA's do focus on increasing the qi in the body. The increase happens as a by product of specific training methods. The idea is that the qi of the body is increased and becomes full. I have never been told to focus on hitting with my qi. I have been told to hit with the proper yi (intent) as this is what truly guides the qi of the body and dictates its expression.

Quote:

Are IM to be trained everyday?



Absolutely!

Quote:

Would weight training have any inhibitory effect on training IM?



Possibly, it depends on how much time you spend lifting and how you physicaly do the lifting exercises.

Quote:

I belive I would have to change my routine quite a lot if I took up IM?



Depends on what your routine is.

Honestly, from what I have observed in fellow students, external ma's can benefit greatly in the use of ima theory and training methods. I have also seen how external traing can have impede progress within the ima's. I belive Baguamonk was making a point of this in his post. "maintain focus in IMA the way its supposed to be done, and don't let your external "form" affect your internal arts."

Quote:

Are you suggesting that things derived from internal martial arts such as Taiji, can only be used in taiji 'combat' and not for any other martial art styles?



IMO, internal fighting techniques can be applied to many different styles. It is the way that it is applied that makes it internal. In other words, it is not the technique or form itself that is internal, it is the way the power of the body is expressed that makes something internal or not.
_________________________
Chris Haynes

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#237571 - 03/13/06 03:06 PM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Ayub]
Victor Smith Offline
Professional Poster

Registered: 06/01/00
Posts: 3219
Loc: Derry, NH
Internal or External may be nothing more than the perspective your standing at, or perhaps a different way to train beginners (and does beginner training excite us?).

I've seen classically trained Chinese stylists scoff at the idea there is a difference between internan and/or external training, especially if you layer in the softer/slower tai chi approach may be only 80 or 90 years old.

All of the arts really shoot towards the same goal, advanced skills where hard/or/soft are irrelevant, just expressions adopted when necessary.

As both an Isshinryu practitioner and a Yang practitioner there is an intersection between all these arts, but its subtle, not obvious. The application of a karate technique is enhanced when the fullest body mechanics are applied (often seen from the tai chi perspective). And the most advanced karate practitioners I've experienced contain a flow and softness that the beginning aspects of their art seems to deny.

In any case different arts can be simultaneously practiced, as long as you can distinguish between them and not shift one series of energies into the other. In otherwords being a correct student of each art. Doing that and not trying to force a connection will eventually reach some commonality (just don't place a short timeline for this).

The hard becomes soft. The soft eventually uses the hard too.

And the Shaolin (In Chinese the External School) is both hard and soft. It is often also acknowledged as the source of the Tai Chi too (an interesting observation as the Taoists make the same claims).

You can find any answer you seek, but hard/soft likely just beginning definitions that in 30 or 40 years mean little.
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victor smith bushi no te isshinryu offering free instruction for 30 years

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#237572 - 03/13/06 10:37 PM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Victor Smith]
Fisherman Offline
Veteran

Registered: 07/16/03
Posts: 1656
Loc: Colorado, USA
Quote:

In any case different arts can be simultaneously practiced, as long as you can distinguish between them and not shift one series of energies into the other.




Great post Victor!!
_________________________
Chris Haynes

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#237573 - 03/14/06 06:27 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Ayub]
Ayub Offline
heartbreaker, lifetaker

Registered: 11/26/04
Posts: 825
Loc: London, UK
Thanks for all your responses. I think I will try IMA and try to keep my internal and external practice seperated to begin with and see how it goes.
_________________________
Cut me Mick!

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#237574 - 03/26/06 11:26 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Victor Smith]
ButterflyPalm Offline
Enigma

Registered: 08/26/04
Posts: 2637
Loc: Malaysia
Quote:

The hard becomes soft. The soft eventually uses the hard too.




Maybe it's just me, but it took me a little over 30 years to understand what this really means. It's not just a few words that happen to sound nice when put together; it is a felt experience when the intended structural changes take place in your body, when 'hard' & 'soft' are no longer "opposing" and cancelling each other out, but act-in-concert to generate "whole body power"; that's when a martial art becomes an "internal" martial art.

There is power in 'relaxation', believe it or not.

It is where I am at; I am sure there is more, much more.
_________________________
I'll rather be happy than right, anytime.

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#237575 - 03/27/06 11:59 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: Ayub]
hardluck Offline
Member

Registered: 01/19/05
Posts: 121
Loc: blacksbur, va USA
You can practice an internal and external simulatenously, but I would think it would be very difficult. Often the principles are very different, and they are going to be very different from what you know externally.

And I think many of the practices would kind of be at war with each other. I just think it would be very tough for you to do both simultaneously.

And the weightlifting. Touchy subject. Heres my answer. Yes, weightlifting is bad. Most lifting centers around isolating muscles individually or in sets/groups. The internal arts are meant to develop whole body "integral" power. Weight lifting will inevitably counteract the work you put into connecting your entire body, by individually strenthening certain muscles one at a time.

I know alot of IM artists support those kettle bells, that tend to work the entire body at once. I think those are ok as long as you practice with the principles of doing the excercises with your entire body. But don't lift anything that just isolates muscles.


Edited by hardluck (03/27/06 12:01 PM)

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#237576 - 03/29/06 12:50 AM Re: Training in both internally and externally [Re: hardluck]
Lucid Warrior Offline
Member

Registered: 06/21/04
Posts: 213
Loc: TwinCities, MN, U.S.
Quote:


And the weightlifting. Touchy subject. Heres my answer. Yes, weightlifting is bad. Most lifting centers around isolating muscles individually or in sets/groups. The internal arts are meant to develop whole body "integral" power. Weight lifting will inevitably counteract the work you put into connecting your entire body, by individually strenthening certain muscles one at a time.

I know alot of IM artists support those kettle bells, that tend to work the entire body at once. I think those are ok as long as you practice with the principles of doing the excercises with your entire body. But don't lift anything that just isolates muscles.




Yes, touchy subject.
I have to disagree with this to a certain extent. I find the muscles are part of whole body power, just a much smaller part once you have progressed with your internal system. The difficult part is that lifting weights can interfere, to an extent, with your progress until you are done training internally (I'm not sure there is really an end point though). But lifting weights can also benefit your internal training as well. It is a different game than external lifting though.

Let's see if I can make any points clear (I don't always use the same jargon as you guys)(and I still don't know it all obviously)

1. After some level of internal training (basic structure, connective tissue, propper energy pathways...) a simple exercise like a cable tricep press works more than just the triceps. You are no longer 'isolating muscles'. Now, you have a core stabilization system that uses muscular power through your structure to keep you physically grounded against the resistance of the cable that try's to pull you off the ground. Also, try and think of the tricep press and curl as a sort of wedge position. Of course, compound full body exercises are better, but shouldn't you be able to maintain full body power with a small 'isolation exercise' too?

2.Trouble shooting; When you lift weights, you inevitablly cause muscluar tension. One of the goals of the internal weightlifter is to dirrect that tension through the propper pathways instead of letting it stagnate within the muscle or joint. Lifting weights allows an 'internalist' to use his/her muslces as a weakness to overcome. (To be able to lift heavy weights without tension overload, without breaking structure, without exausting energy.) Ideally, in theaory, a muslce flexion should increase your internal system, not break it down... And ideally, the internal system should lift the weight, not just the muscle. (we don't want to be too bulky either.) Just another weakness to face


All this is only my veiw, I am not an expert, these are not claims.

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