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Old 11-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #26
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Quote:
Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
Why are they separate, and are they necessarily so?

When I think about martial arts globally, I really wonder about a few things.

Why is this internal stuff limited so strongly and for so long to one culture? Why so few, why so supposedly secret, why not well supported by science? Why didn't someone in Wales or The Northwest Territories or Brazil or Mali find and develop the same thing?
Krystal,
They are separate because they use a completely different methodology to manipulate the body and create power, that are not compatible with each other; doing things one way pretty much negates doing the other.

AFAIK, "internal stuff" was possibly far more widespread long ago than it is now. If I recall correctly some of the historic research, what we would recognize as "internal" exercises used for meditative and health purposes traveled east with monks out of India, and was not initially part of any martial art. Over centuries, such groups and individuals may have had the opportunity to experiment with their bodies and create a body of knowledge that became integral to their particular sects. In the countries where those sojourners set up camp, warrior clans or individuals within them may have picked up on the practical applications after exposure to esoteric religious or spiritual practices.

Once it got into MAs, I don't think it's surprising that individuals who possessed the skills would suppress their dissemination, to protect their martial advantage over their enemies. Religious sects and spiritual groups may still maintain the core practices, for all we know. Being esoteric often means being invisible to the world at large.
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Old 11-20-2012, 12:49 PM   #27
Cliff Judge
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
constant wars and armed conflicts.
These really do not promote the development of subtle fighting skills that are difficult to train, and are for small / weak people to use against larger. Much better off taking the largest and toughest young men, teaching them simple and easily trained skills, and putting your resources into developing methods for organizing and directing fighters, and working out how to feed and equip them.

The truth is probably closer to the opposite - the internal skills come out of relatively lengthy periods of peacetime, during which professional warriors need something to show for all the time they spend not doing something else useful for society like growing food.
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:14 PM   #28
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
These really do not promote the development of subtle fighting skills that are difficult to train, and are for small / weak people to use against larger. Much better off taking the largest and toughest young men, teaching them simple and easily trained skills, and putting your resources into developing methods for organizing and directing fighters, and working out how to feed and equip them.
you are talking about training for soldier vs for warrior. two different things. don't forget the multi millenium factors, i.e. lots of time. don't you think the other folks also have large and tough young men as well? i did mention that the first ruler of vietname was a women right? and most of her war captains were women? and they did fought against an army that were out number them quite a bit. subtlety was everything here. and not just in personal combat prowess, but in the larger sense of warfare.

Quote:
The truth is probably closer to the opposite - the internal skills come out of relatively lengthy periods of peacetime, during which professional warriors need something to show for all the time they spend not doing something else useful for society like growing food.
we didn't have professional warrior class like the Japanese. mostly farmers, workers and so on. same folks who beat out the Japanese, French and American. the Chinese had similar structure. During peace time we trained for the war that will eventually come. i did mention constant wars and armed conflicts, right?

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-20-2012, 01:34 PM   #29
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
These really do not promote the development of subtle fighting skills that are difficult to train, and are for small / weak people to use against larger. Much better off taking the largest and toughest young men, teaching them simple and easily trained skills, and putting your resources into developing methods for organizing and directing fighters, and working out how to feed and equip them.

The truth is probably closer to the opposite - the internal skills come out of relatively lengthy periods of peacetime, during which professional warriors need something to show for all the time they spend not doing something else useful for society like growing food.
I'm not so sure. At the last seminar I attended with Dan he raised this as something to think about which I found intriguing. Put someone in armor on a battlefield cutting all day long - using external methods vs. internal methods who would get exhausted first? Fatigue makes cowards of us all.

Ryan Schoelerman

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Old 11-20-2012, 01:40 PM   #30
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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To build further upon what Phi Truong's post.

Your question can open HUGE diverging lines of discussion and analysis, such as theories put forth in Guns, Germs and Steel and the evolution of society. Philosophical differences that developed between the Occident vs Orient - i.e. Cartesian Duality that developed in the West versus the philosophies of looking inward such as Buddhism, Taosim, Yoga's etc.
That's true, but I think it needs some clarification. Specifically, I think as soon as you introduce the term "philosophical differences", many people think of anything philosophical as somehow disconnected from the practical real-world context and its determining influences that is the central theme of Guns. The philosophical differences arose from the conditions that created everything else (more varieties of useful domestic animals, more nutritious crops, greater exposure to disease, geographic factors that helped or hindered the spread of all of the above and more, etc.). How they turned out to be exactly as they are...well, as you say, it's a huge discussion. I think that Guns gives us a useful, practical way to think of causes and effects. It doesn't give us simple answers though (for example, Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?).
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Old 11-20-2012, 02:09 PM   #31
Michael Douglas
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
... vietnam history went back a bit over 2000 years (the US history is 300). out of that 2000 years, we didn't know peace for longer than 50 years at a stretch. the vietnamese first ruler was a woman who won the nation on the back of the war elephant. so while most western society where women still in the kitchen cooking and kniting, the vietnamese already decided the women role in combat, and that's over 2000 years ago (now consider that we, the US still haven't figure out the role of women in combat). .
I'm sure some Americans can trace their ancestors back to Essex : 2000 years ago, warrior-woman, etc etc.
You might not get the similarity, or the name.

In any case, totally irrelevant in my opinion.
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Old 11-20-2012, 03:03 PM   #32
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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That's true, but I think it needs some clarification. Specifically, I think as soon as you introduce the term "philosophical differences", many people think of anything philosophical as somehow disconnected from the practical real-world context and its determining influences that is the central theme of Guns. The philosophical differences arose from the conditions that created everything else (more varieties of useful domestic animals, more nutritious crops, greater exposure to disease, geographic factors that helped or hindered the spread of all of the above and more, etc.). How they turned out to be exactly as they are...well, as you say, it's a huge discussion. I think that Guns gives us a useful, practical way to think of causes and effects. It doesn't give us simple answers though (for example, Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?).
Quote:
so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?
I don't think anyone can claim to answer that one, I know I can't - that's the realm of scholars who spend their entire life digging into history based on a lot of axiomatic assumptions.

I think Cady Goldfield answered closer to where I was thinking:

Quote:
They are separate because they use a completely different methodology to manipulate the body and create power, that are not compatible with each other; doing things one way pretty much negates doing the other.

AFAIK, "internal stuff" was possibly far more widespread long ago than it is now. If I recall correctly some of the historic research, what we would recognize as "internal" exercises used for meditative and health purposes traveled east with monks out of India, and was not initially part of any martial art. Over centuries, such groups and individuals may have had the opportunity to experiment with their bodies and create a body of knowledge that became integral to their particular sects. In the countries where those sojourners set up camp, warrior clans or individuals within them may have picked up on the practical applications after exposure to esoteric religious or spiritual practices.

Once it got into MAs, I don't think it's surprising that individuals who possessed the skills would suppress their dissemination, to protect their martial advantage over their enemies. Religious sects and spiritual groups may still maintain the core practices, for all we know. Being esoteric often means being invisible to the world at large.

Ryan Schoelerman

I Liq Chuan Seattle
https://www.facebook.com/SeattleILC
Do not think or judge. Just observe and feel the way things are.
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Old 11-20-2012, 07:43 PM   #33
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?

Good question, Mary. I wondered what might have made traversing the Himalayas more appealing to the Buddhist monks from India than migrating the other way via the Hindu Kush and rugged lands that are now Afghanistan and Pakistan. Either way they would hit high mountains, dry steppes and certain danger from unfriendly locals, wolves, tigers and snow leopards.
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Old 11-20-2012, 08:19 PM   #34
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Eurasians were all on that one big east-west-oriented land mass, so why did the west go "west" and the east go "east"?

Good question, Mary. I wondered what might have made traversing the Himalayas more appealing to the Buddhist monks from India than migrating the other way via the Hindu Kush and rugged lands that are now Afghanistan and Pakistan. Either way they would hit high mountains, dry steppes and certain danger from unfriendly locals, wolves, tigers and snow leopards.
Wouldn't you rather eat kimchee and Gen Tso's chicken than pre-Marco Polo/pre-Columbian Italian food?

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Old 11-20-2012, 08:46 PM   #35
Keith Larman
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cliff Judge wrote: View Post
These really do not promote the development of subtle fighting skills that are difficult to train, and are for small / weak people to use against larger. Much better off taking the largest and toughest young men, teaching them simple and easily trained skills, and putting your resources into developing methods for organizing and directing fighters, and working out how to feed and equip them.
Which is pretty much the history of mass warfare. Cannon fodder. Put the young, dumb, big ones in front. And the let old, experienced, tricky ones bring up the rear. Or run away if things go poorly...

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Old 11-20-2012, 09:29 PM   #36
Cady Goldfield
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Wouldn't you rather eat kimchee and Gen Tso's chicken than pre-Marco Polo/pre-Columbian Italian food?
Well, I actually did have an afterthought about "...maybe they went East for the noodles..." after posting. Hm. East vs. West. Kimchee, bulgogi and bibimbop, noodles, sushi, udon, General Tso's Chicken... vs. kidney pie, boiled potatoes, haggis...
Yah. No brainer. East, it is.
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Old 11-20-2012, 10:19 PM   #37
Krystal Locke
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Krystal,
They are separate because they use a completely different methodology to manipulate the body and create power, that are not compatible with each other; doing things one way pretty much negates doing the other.
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?

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
AFAIK, "internal stuff" was possibly far more widespread long ago than it is now. If I recall correctly some of the historic research, what we would recognize as "internal" exercises used for meditative and health purposes traveled east with monks out of India, and was not initially part of any martial art. Over centuries, such groups and individuals may have had the opportunity to experiment with their bodies and create a body of knowledge that became integral to their particular sects. In the countries where those sojourners set up camp, warrior clans or individuals within them may have picked up on the practical applications after exposure to esoteric religious or spiritual practices.
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.

Quote:
Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Once it got into MAs, I don't think it's surprising that individuals who possessed the skills would suppress their dissemination, to protect their martial advantage over their enemies. Religious sects and spiritual groups may still maintain the core practices, for all we know. Being esoteric often means being invisible to the world at large.
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?
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Old 11-21-2012, 09:15 AM   #38
HL1978
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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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.

Quote:
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.

Quote:
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 09:18 AM.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:18 AM   #39
phitruong
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Krystal Locke wrote: View Post
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?
different philosophy between east and west. the west adapts the environment to human needs. the east adapts human needs to the environment. the west built and created things to make life easier to live. the east tried to live with the environment. when east met west, the east adapted western technology and some of the philosophy; however, at the core, especially to martial artists or arts that spanned generations, the eastern philosophy still held at its core. my aikido teacher also does kyudo. he has two bows. one made out of fiber glass composite material and one made out of bamboo. as the advance in technology progress, the fiber glass bow can be mass produced which would make the bamboo bow making obsolete. fewer folks as year go by know how to make bow out of bamboo. then you got to ask, why would one want to study and use bow, when a gun is much better as a projectile weapon? same goes with sword making in modern technology age. the old ways are tedious and time consumming and so many way to mess up. same goes with IP/IS training. it tedious and time consumming and so many way to do thing wrong.

you know who else also good as keeping secrets? your grandma and/or your mom. there are cooking recipes that they won't tell folks, not even their own children or grand children. or they might told you about it, but you weren't interested in cooking so you don't care and end up not knowing.

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Old 11-22-2012, 10:25 AM   #40
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Cady Goldfield wrote: View Post
Well, I actually did have an afterthought about "...maybe they went East for the noodles..." after posting. Hm. East vs. West. Kimchee, bulgogi and bibimbop, noodles, sushi, udon, General Tso's Chicken... vs. kidney pie, boiled potatoes, haggis...
Yah. No brainer. East, it is.
don't forget dimsum, kungpao chicken, them evil white buns with stuffs in the middle, peking duck, fried donuts, lomein, fried rice, ...

oh ya, don't forget the spices and silks. and good looking women who talked very fast and giggle a lot and enjoy bathing.

"budo is putting on cold, wet, sweat stained gi with a smile and a snarl" - your truly
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:30 AM   #41
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Phi Truong wrote: View Post
different philosophy between east and west. the west adapts the environment to human needs. the east adapts human needs to the environment. the west built and created things to make life easier to live. the east tried to live with the environment. when east met west, the east adapted western technology and some of the philosophy; however, at the core, especially to martial artists or arts that spanned generations, the eastern philosophy still held at its core. my aikido teacher also does kyudo. he has two bows. one made out of fiber glass composite material and one made out of bamboo. as the advance in technology progress, the fiber glass bow can be mass produced which would make the bamboo bow making obsolete. fewer folks as year go by know how to make bow out of bamboo. then you got to ask, why would one want to study and use bow, when a gun is much better as a projectile weapon? same goes with sword making in modern technology age. the old ways are tedious and time consumming and so many way to mess up. same goes with IP/IS training. it tedious and time consumming and so many way to do thing wrong.

you know who else also good as keeping secrets? your grandma and/or your mom. there are cooking recipes that they won't tell folks, not even their own children or grand children. or they might told you about it, but you weren't interested in cooking so you don't care and end up not knowing.
Then why should I look at IP/IS stuff? What's the payoff if it is just obsolete technology?
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:31 AM   #42
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

Phi wrote: you know who else also good as keeping secrets? your grandma and/or your mom. there are cooking recipes that they won't tell folks, not even their own children or grand children. or they might told you about it, but you weren't interested in cooking so you don't care and end up not knowing.

I'm still trying to pry my grandmother's struedel recipe out of my cousin's wife's hands. She's the only one who has it now.
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Old 11-22-2012, 10:33 AM   #43
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Then why should I look at IP/IS stuff? What's the payoff if it is just obsolete technology?
Well, if you practice aikido and love it, and would like to know how Morihei Ueshiba practiced it and was able to do the amazing things he did, then IP/IS and aiki would have great relevance to you.

Art, for art's sake, if nothing else.
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Old 11-22-2012, 07:04 PM   #44
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Re: Internal vs External -- The Discussion?

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Then why should I look at IP/IS stuff? What's the payoff if it is just obsolete technology?
one could also ask the same question on martial art, any martial, in the age of gun and taser.

also, it depends on how you look at IP/IS stuff. is it an obsolete thing? or is it a foundational thing in human physical development where such knowledge was kept from the general public? like the secret recipe that grandma kept. as i said somewhere, there are things that the ancients knew but didn't bother to explain so we have to follow in their footstep in order to discover the information. if we think that because we are far more advance in technology we know better than the ancients, then we are very arrogant indeed.

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