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Old 01-21-2013, 06:30 AM   #5
Lee Salzman
Join Date: Nov 2005
Posts: 406
Re: "Internal" and "External"

Chris Hein wrote: View Post
So modern athletics are not external? Are modern athletics internal, or are they another category?
Within the framework of description that Hugh implies, they are mostly external, with some incidental incorporation of things bordering on internal.

What is that?
With respect to origin of the terms, well, they have nothing to do with how we use them here. They started as just a sort of geographical way of identifying broad lineages of Chinese martial art by, IIRC, Sun Lutang, sort of a Chinese martial arts gerrymandering of his own making. However, those within the "internal" category had enough common features that really did set them apart such as dantien, (spiral) jin, etc. that "internal" has rather come to be identified with this, and not the original meaning of geographic prejudice. Those arts that fell within the original "external" category were harder/more linear, but yet have their own flavor of things that border on and fall within today's interpretation of "internal" to some degree, but depending on who you ask, there is argument either way.

So if an "internal" person pushes you you can't tell where the force is coming from? Is over committing to a push (when you move your pusher moves) something internal people never do, for example, if they need to move something, and it is at the edge of their pushing power, would they never use their body weight directly on the object? Why or why not?
In the framework of moving from the center as it pertains to aikio, force is coming from everywhere and all directions, depending on where you contact that body. It is not that one never shifts weight or doesn't push into anything, but that one is always balancing those directions of force so as not to become one-sided/one-directional in in the application of force ("clumsy" strength) or directly resist/clash with the contact ("brute" force). Force can be transmitted AT a contact point, but it does not have to go straight in/out of it - it is way more multidimensional than that. What one is organized mentally and what that feels like on physical contact are also two wildly different things, as it affects the above, and also whether that thing feeling you is inanimate or sentient - to quote a greater man than I, "There is a strength for people, and a strength for things."

So if an internal person contacts you, you cannot tell that the force is coming from the point of contact? If you throw yourself off balance, but it wasn't a "dopy attack" could that be internal? Or does internal only use the IP persons 'push'?
There is internal power and there is aiki. At the level of internal power, you could say it is like being attacked by a mobile tree in its entirety, and it is hard to say which part of the tree was not working to hit you, because, well, it was one just one giant tree that hit you. As opposed to being hit by an isolated wood chip out of a pile of disconnected wood chips. And if it is aiki, well, imagine that tree was now rooted at the center of its trunk, rather than the ground, and it pivotally smushed you from many directions around except where you put force in or where you thought the force would come out - you felt no resistance other than its intrinsic mass but could not help but get attacked by it.

As for being dopey or getting thrown off balance, well, just because one tries, doesn't mean one succeeds at a thing. If a tree falls in a forest, did it succeed at remaining standing? But balance does not have to mean not moving or not being moved, one needs to move to learn how to move in-balance, as that is half the point yes? But there is moving in balance, and then there is throwing one's self out of balance - one doesn't need to be in contact with the ground to be balanced.
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