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Old 11-21-2012, 08:15 AM   #38
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 429
Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Why are they incompatible? I'm not trying to be three here, with an endless string of whys, I just dont understand why they negate each other. I've read that some folks are doing weight lifting with IP stuff, and they cannot move as much weight with internal methods as they can by just contracting the appropriate muscles. Is that because the individual is not proficient, or is it a limitation of the method? What is preventing the practitioner from both using an IP method and and an EP method? Would a combination approach be stronger than either method alone?
So when you go to the gym, you can do exercises which isolate a muscle or set of muscles. You can do the same sort of thing if you are using IS for weight lifting. You simply target certain muscles or muscle groups associated with it in ioslation, but you might use different means by which to work those muscles, breath for instance. One could do a lat pull down or military press, for example, and use it to work the biceps or triceps, instead of the lats or shoulders, though there are certainly other exercises for targeting those muscles. Though with sufficent conditioning, one could do a lat pulldown, but trying to drive it with the dantien.

The reason why you see the argument that using external strength negates internal is that for most people working on this stuff, the upper body or legs tend to overtake usage of "the middle", which results in not using the middle at all, or the limbs actively working against the middle. Thats why you have to relax the limbs to get power from the middle on out, since for most people these muscles are already plenty strong. Now obviously if you have enough understanding of IS/skill/conditioning you can still build the body and still use IS. Look at Chen Bing for example, his upper body is fairly built but he still can use IS. Is someone built like Chen Bing stronger than someone who isn't as built? I have no clue, I've never felt the guy, but someone like Ark, who is pretty built can toss people around very well.

Sounds like you're making some sort of connection to maybe, yoga? Fair assessment? And if the info was more widespread in the past, why did it get lost? Secretiveness in the military only can hide so much. Folks move around, knowledge tends to spread, and then live or die based on its usefulness.
Sure there are similiarites in yoga. Yoga practictioners probably have a fairly developed suit/fascia, but it doesn't mean they have IS.

As to why it was lost in more "modern" arts, there are probably a number of reasons. Off the top of my head I can think of: firearms usage reducing the need for it (hence why there are few of any WMA left though I wonder what sort of references might exist in old WMA manuals), lack of manual labor experience by more modern practicioners, transistion from koryu to gendai budo where you go from teaching small groups intimately to large numbers etc. Given that you need a lot of hands on time with someone who has got it to correct your body, the gendai budo type environment inhibits this sort of training on a mass scale.

Keeping a group's training methods secret is one thing. What I am really wondering about is more along the lines of parallel evolution, or accidental discovery. Why did just one group discover and develop these concepts, disseminating the ideas to a pretty small part of the world? Why doesn't someone occasionally, accidentally, and perfectly casually drop some epic touch of death on someone else? Why didn't Fluellen working in the fields of Wales discover a better way to push a sheep out of the leek patch?
What reminants do we see of western martial arts today? Not all that much (more or less homogonized boxing, wrestling and fencing, not remanants of hundreds of schools still actively being practiced). You have guys trying to recreate swordsmanship from the middle ages from manuals. It is certainly possible that someone in europe/middle east figured it out or it was transmitted to europe and the middle east, but I would hazard to guess that if that was the case with the adoption of firearms this knowledge died out along with swordsmanship and polearms use. Asian countries modernized their militaries much later than the europeans.

Who knows, maybe Bhodidarma brought it along as a part of yoga and breathing practices when he traveled from india to china, or the chinese built upon those practices and figured it out?

Last edited by HL1978 : 11-21-2012 at 08:18 AM.
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