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#407347 - 10/09/08 12:41 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Cord]
TheCrab Offline
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so true

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#407348 - 10/09/08 01:15 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Cord]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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I agree with Cord's preceding 2 posts.

The Chinese ima focus is what Cord calls stage 2; ie. the particular techniques of taiji, bagua and xingyi groove/inculcate a continous, efficient momentum flow. By this I mean they stress the execution of techniques without any internal resistance (ie. unnecessary firing of antagonist muscles). It is this which is the biggest single distinguishing feature of the classical "external" arts (eg. Shaolin/karate) and the Chinese internal arts.

I'm currently in the middle of our annual intensive course (7 days of 5-7 am and 6-7.30 pm training) of which the theme this year is (a) isolated resistance free movement and (b) core strength. An example of the "free-flowing" movement (in arms anyway) is the punching drill video I posted earlier. However the Chinese internal arts focus almost entirely on efficiently shifting your entire bodyweight into a blow. It is their methods in this regard that I think other ma would find useful in their own training (as I have in recent years). This is not to suggest that similar results cannot be produced with other training methods and techniques.

What the internal arts of China do not focus on (traditionally) is Cord's stages 1 and 2, but that doesn't mean that ima can't or shouldn't. I see that Tim Cartmell is holding a course in Boulder (see the thread on this forum) and I encourage anyone in the area to go along and see practical internal arts (Tim is a seasoned full-contact fighter and BJJ practitioner as well as an internal arts practitioner). You'll never hear Tim referring to "internal" except as a categorisation of 3 particular traditional Chinese ma, an you won't ever hear him use "qi".

I believe conditioning and strength are very important. I have been into weightlifting for decades (although you mightn't guess it from me right now). Even when I've been quite ill I've tried to go to the gym at least twice per week to maintain some conditioning.

Also Cord is spot on in what he says about people's misconceptions about "big-uns" being somehow disadvantaged. Absolute nonsense, of course.
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#407349 - 10/11/08 01:07 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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On the subject of "internal", here is a video of some internal (specifically xingyi-type) moving/footwork using karate techniques (in other words, "internalised" karate) - coincidentally the theme of this years annual intensive training course (we train for 6 days from 5-7 in the morning and 6-7.30 at night).

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=wfHXw7Lev7A

You'll note the stepping action is quite different to standard karate/tkd/shaolin stepping; rather the front foot moves with the back foot following. Your punch lands with the front foot and the back leg slides up (or stamps up in xingyi proper - adding extra percussive "moment").

The moving is practised as relaxed as possible.

The net effect is to learn to throw the entire body's momentum behind a blow in the context of an attack interception.

Bear in mind that this is a basic footwork drill and I have posted it to show the difference between this kind of footwork and standard "external" footwork. Bagua and taiji footwork provide variations on the theme. Footwork is of course just one technical feature distinguishing the internal arts of China from, say, the standard shaolin/karate/tkd methodology.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (10/11/08 01:20 AM)
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#407350 - 10/11/08 03:08 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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An aspect of the footwork that I forgot to mention is that by moving the front foot (particularly when weight is on it) you immediately put your body into an action (as opposed to the rear foot, which has to cross the mid-line of your body before you exert force on your opponent).

This is an old internal arts principle with direct bearing on the question of physics in this thread.
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#407351 - 10/11/08 01:52 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Ed_Morris Offline
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in your opinion, what advantages or tactic can internal footwork give you? Also, do you consider 'tai sabaki' as internal technique?

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#407352 - 10/11/08 04:14 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
MattJ Offline
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Quote:

An aspect of the footwork that I forgot to mention is that by moving the front foot (particularly when weight is on it) you immediately put your body into an action (as opposed to the rear foot, which has to cross the mid-line of your body before you exert force on your opponent).




Hi Dan. You lost me there! You cannot move the foot if there is any weight on it.

Do you mean pushing off the front foot to move? I don't understand.
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#407353 - 10/11/08 08:13 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: MattJ]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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I meant it has some weight on it, not all your weight OR virtually no weight (eg. cat stance).

Yes, I'm referring to moving the front foot, but not by pushing off it. Rather, you lift the front foot and push off the back foot. This is called "suri ashi" in Japanese. I demonstrate it more clearly here:

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=MsfyxI_d7R8

Note the way my bodyweight moves into both the intial deflection and the subsequent attack.

What I mean by "lifting the front foot" when it has "weight on it" is illustrated in this video (I don't have any others more directly on point).

http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OOwa-XcmklY

See generally "Goju ryu as an internal art?".
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#407354 - 10/11/08 08:27 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Ed_Morris]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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Quote:

in your opinion, what advantages or tactic can internal footwork give you? Also, do you consider 'tai sabaki' as internal technique?




As I've said elsewhere Ed, this footwork puts your entire bodyweight behind both a deflection and counterattack. This doesn't just mean more "pound for pound" impulse generation: it also makes deflection/evasion more effective. Simply put, moving your momentum correctly ensures you are not "wrong footed".

Related to this is the fact that it enables you to move into position "faster" - not because your muscles are firing faster, but because you're moving efficiently (and helped by the fact that you are not firing antagonist muscles unnecessarily - another internal principle). Note my last 2 moves of sanchin/hiki uke in the video http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wfHXw7Lev7A (0:26 to 0:28) where I go "faster" (the preceding moves are done more slowly for instructional purposes).

I find this footwork is helpful (if not crucial) to applying traditional methods (like deflection) in sparring (where normally people do their traditional techniques in the "air" and spar using modern combat sports methods (causing others to argue that tma "don't work").

The video above demonstrates a form of taisabaki. It is forwards 45 degree taisabaki. Not all karate taisabaki follows this particular "xingyi" or otherwise "internal" principle.

It is important to note that while I find some internal methods very helpful, I am not arguing their overall superiority in producing good fighters. However I personally feel they are geared towards very efficient momentum transfer. I also suspect that most traditional deflection in arts like karate stems from arts that had such "internal" footwork, however there has been a dissociation between the deflections and footwork (ie. a dilution) over a very long period of time.

Note my article "Goju as an internal art?".

I should also stress that what my video demonstrates is just "adapted" xingyi footwork. Bagua and taiji have related, but different, dynamics. There is also a lot more to the xingyi footwork than my isolated demo (and a lot more to the internal arts generally than footwork).

If such internal concepts are already part of your (read "one's") fighting system, then an examination of the internal arts won't be particularly profitable. However most karate/tkd type arts I've studied have very different - sometimes diametrically opposed, dynamics.

I actually believe "external" arts like karate originally had internal dynamics but that these have been lost through dilution over a very long period (starting before Western popularisation). Even if I'm wrong, it doesn't take much to introduce them into one's karate etc.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (10/11/08 08:52 PM)
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#407355 - 10/11/08 10:04 PM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: dandjurdjevic]
Ed_Morris Offline
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Registered: 11/04/05
Posts: 6768
"this footwork puts your entire bodyweight behind both a deflection and counterattack."
yes. that's the idea of tai sabaki: simultaneous deflect/counter via offlining the opponents momentum. is that footwork and/or concept distinct to 'internal' movement or tactic?



actually, I've never seen TMA sparring that did not have tai sabaki as a tactic. respectfully, what you demonstrated in the video, to me, looks like rudamentary Karate one step sparring drills with tai sabaki as the lesson's tactic.

the footwork in chain striking the air with palm heels, I don't really get and don't see the advantage gained in drilling it.

I guess what I'm saying is that I don't see the internal component in your demonstrated movement, sorry. maybe it's just not a clear example of what you wanted to get accross, any other examples? maybe hitting something such as a bag or makiwara might show the internal component more clearly? not sure.

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#407356 - 10/12/08 01:08 AM Re: A reasonable discussion of "internal" physics [Re: Ed_Morris]
dandjurdjevic Offline
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I posted the video to show basic (and I emphasise basic) xingyi-type footwork (as adapted to karate hand techniques and stances).

The one step sparring is just a static application of the footwork and karate hand techniques. If it looks like karate, that is because of the stance and hand techniques. What is different is the manner of effecting suri ashi.

The suri ashi footwork is used in other martial arts, but not with the same timing; ie. the deflection conincides with the opening step, the blow lands with the front foot of the second step and the back leg slides up a fraction of a second later to add an extra percussive moment. This contrasts with standard ayumi ashi in karate/tkd etc. This is why I referred to the video. Note also the issue I referred to Matt about using the leading foot to exert immediate force (as demonstrated, albeit for a different purpose, in this video:
http://au.youtube.com/watch?v=OOwa-XcmklY). Before you go on to say that the video shows a karate form (seiunchin), yes - but that is because it is the only video I've done relating to this purpose. And I have used the internal arts to derive an application for seiunchin.


Taisabaki is a part of any traditional martial art. I certainly didn't intend to imply otherwise (nor do I feel there is any possible implication of this in my previous posts). The particular xingyi use of "suri ashi type" moving was my issue.

If you don't see any advantage in drilling stepping then the ima - specifically xingyi - won't appeal to you. All the 5 elements are drilled as steps using "suri ashi" (a Japanese term, I know, but one commonly used so it is easy to understand). I've said before, whether or not you or anyone else feels the internal arts are effective/realistic is a separate matter from the dynamic movement.

This video was filmed yesterday as part of our morning course - not to illustrate something specifically on this forum. I don't have anything more elaborate or specifically xingyi/bagua/taiji filmed yet, nor would any such video be likely to extrapolate on what I felt was a fairly straightforward point about the difference between "internal" and "external" preferences in stepping/footwork.

I've mentioned before about hitting makiwara. I have nothing to add to my previous posts on that issue.


Edited by dandjurdjevic (10/12/08 01:22 AM)
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