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Old 01-22-2013, 06:00 PM   #37
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 429
Re: "Internal" and "External"

Michael Varin wrote: View Post
What is the difference between internal and external? Where do you draw the line?
There are various grades of internal, so this is a very complex question in terms of where you want to draw the line. That being said, look at the following questions.

Does external use intent to drive motion?
Does external use air pressure beyond grunting to drive motion?
Does external focus on using one's own body weight (commited straight down) as a primary generator of power?
Does external focus on training from the inside out?
Does external tie the hips and waist into one unit?

Does internal rely on winding up, big circular movement, or rotating the hips to generate power?
Does internal rely on sequentially chaining muscles groups together to generate power?
Does internal rely on training from the outside in?
Does internal practice focus mostly on waza?

Which method results in unusual effects which do not rely on speed, timing or technique?

Which method results in unbalancing on contact, not being able to feel the opponents center of balance or take it? Which causes power to stay in you? Which causes you not to feel like you can let go? Which requires no windup to generate power? Which results in people swearing you weigh a lot more?

Where do these terms come from?
China. Neijia and Waijia. Nei=inside, wai=outside.

What specifically do they refer to?
See the previously mentioned links. Training paradaigms, effects.

Why do you feel it is an appropriate distinction to make?
The focus of the training is considerably different so are the observed effects.

How do you know when you feel internal? How do you know when you feel external?
For external, there is nothing unusual in terms of how the person moves. Superior applied technique is usually the result of good conventional body mechanics and timing, possibly combined with "explosive" power. Nothing feels explainable. Usually there is a force on force feeling. When one person pushes and the other pulls, the pusher is usually unbalanced. Strikes may knock someone back, but don't always stay "inside" or take their balance.

For internal, I will preface that to the person who has never felt this sort of thing, things may be "unexplainable" simply because they are outside the persons frame of reference.

The opponent can get out of positions traditionally considered weak, or from holds/pins without any apparent force on force sensation There is a distinct lack of feedback when you push or pull on someone. If they "push" and you pull, your balance is taken, conversely, if you push, you will find yourself unbalanced or you will feel like you are pushing an immovable object. Explosive power isn't required to move someone. The opponent can suddenly feel different with no overt movement. Significant weight differences become less relevant. Strikes are "penetrating".

notice a trend here... off balanced, not moved, no feedback, pushing yourself away, no windup, no overt movement.

Tells for internal movement are there if you know what to look for, same for the effects once you have felt it. What you feel inside oneself is considerably different. Moving one limb may result in feeling something else move. As in if your arm moves, you may feel it tied to a leg or hip which also moves.

Last edited by HL1978 : 01-22-2013 at 06:06 PM.
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