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Old 11-20-2012, 02:03 PM   #32
yugen
 
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Quote:
Mary Malmros wrote: View Post
That's true, but I think it needs some clarification. Specifically, I think as soon as you introduce the term "philosophical differences", many people think of anything philosophical as somehow disconnected from the practical real-world context and its determining influences that is the central theme of Guns. The philosophical differences arose from the conditions that created everything else (more varieties of useful domestic animals, more nutritious crops, greater exposure to disease, geographic factors that helped or hindered the spread of all of the above and more, etc.). How they turned out to be exactly as they are...well, as you say, it's a huge discussion. I think that Guns gives us a useful, practical way to think of causes and effects. It doesn't give us simple answers though (for example, Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?).
Quote:
so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?
I don't think anyone can claim to answer that one, I know I can't - that's the realm of scholars who spend their entire life digging into history based on a lot of axiomatic assumptions.

I think Cady Goldfield answered closer to where I was thinking:

Quote:
They are separate because they use a completely different methodology to manipulate the body and create power, that are not compatible with each other; doing things one way pretty much negates doing the other.

AFAIK, "internal stuff" was possibly far more widespread long ago than it is now. If I recall correctly some of the historic research, what we would recognize as "internal" exercises used for meditative and health purposes traveled east with monks out of India, and was not initially part of any martial art. Over centuries, such groups and individuals may have had the opportunity to experiment with their bodies and create a body of knowledge that became integral to their particular sects. In the countries where those sojourners set up camp, warrior clans or individuals within them may have picked up on the practical applications after exposure to esoteric religious or spiritual practices.

Once it got into MAs, I don't think it's surprising that individuals who possessed the skills would suppress their dissemination, to protect their martial advantage over their enemies. Religious sects and spiritual groups may still maintain the core practices, for all we know. Being esoteric often means being invisible to the world at large.

Ryan Schoelerman

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