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Old 01-19-2013, 05:02 AM   #3
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 404
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Re: "Internal" and "External"

Internal martial training is that which focuses on the quality of the mental constructs you are using to, still, in the end, produce physical effects. To the extent that the actual physical appearance of what comes out has a wide flexibility in terms of what is considered "okay", so long as the mind behind it is improving in a specific quality being ingrained - like the pervasiveness of awareness or of engagement, or the intensity of that engagement, or even other things like how it is shaped/emphasized, how continuous it is in time, or how agile it is, etc. I am not sure I would classify moving from the center as what makes training internal, but something that is highly correlated with it and what often-times internal training is used to effect.

External martial training is that focuses manipulating the body externally, but which does not have as its goal the specific improvement of mental organization - something like, foot goes here, move hand this way, move at this time, "do it like this" to produce physical effects. Or another way of looking at it, techniques are described as the external body moving or looking a certain way. It does not seem that one couldn't improve in internal qualities by doing external training, just that, like trying to magically stumble upon calculus by doing a lot of algebra, results are more likely to be limited, if not non-existent, and would basically amount to reinventing internal training on one's own.

Last edited by Lee Salzman : 01-19-2013 at 05:06 AM.
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