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Old 01-22-2013, 08:57 AM   #20
Dojo: Aunkai
Location: Fairfax, VA
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 429
Re: "Internal" and "External"

The only way I would assign a value judgement of "normal" or "external" being bad, is if your goal is internal movement. That is only because that type of movement is counterproductive to internal training goals (unbalancing effects, empty jacket, power with no windup etc), not that you can't generate tremendous amounts of power. Thus I am in agreement with Phi that different, or perhaps, counter-productive is probably a better term than bad.

So what is interesting, is that yes you have to relax to connect the body, but while relaxing allows you to become aware of various sensations, more than that is required. For example with sword work, most people know you aren't supposed to lift the shoulders when cutting (though many involved in the Japanese sword arts even at the lower kodansha level still do), though connecting the arm requires more than just relaxing the shoulders and not lifting them up. Once you realize how to connect them, you feel an actual connection on out to the bottom two fingers (and bottom two fingers only) from the body, through the shoulder, through the inside of the arms, on out to the fingers, and thus the admonition to only use the bottom two fingers when gripping a sword actually makes sense. Now if someone from within the sword arts had actually shown me that, that would have made things a lot easier over the past 16 years.
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