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  1. Mr. Mantis is offline
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    One Ambulance, Eleven Cops...

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 10:59am

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     Style: Kung Fu

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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omar
    So in keeping with what I have learned on this subject:


    Doesn't match with the literature on the funtional aspect OR the historical definitions. These ideas are the result of a lot of later folks trying to jump on the internal bandwagon. The defining phrase of Taijiquan, "gang rou xiang ji" means "the perfect interaction of HARD and soft". Boiling it down to those kinds of EXTERNAL qualities does a disservice to pretty much everyone else. Better practitioners of ALL styles from ALL countries tend to be pretty soft and relaxed when they get more experience.
    I have done NO research. I just do. With the exception of tai chi (yang) anything I've learned that I've been told is internal are exercises. But, what you are saying makes perfect sense to me.

    My question is, do we really need these terms?
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  2. Tomas Drgon is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 10:59am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Omar
    The intangibles such as:

    -intent
    -presence
    -"heart"
    -"qi"
    -unity of purpose
    -anything else that is not measurable and exists only....as part of your own internal world......

    ...is INTERNAL

    This stuff is spelled out pretty clearly by Sun Lutang and the other people in his circle who coined the term.
    I understand all this.
    BUT:
    How do you evaluate something that is by definition not manifestable? This is pure thinking, it does not translate to objctive reality. And I'm not saying that subjective reality is invalid, it's just not something that can be handled with logic. It evades all attempts at formulating a testable hypothesis. There simply is NO WAY to evaluate all this (intent, presence, heart, qi, unity of purpose). So what good is your lineage for? Replace any of the above attributes with "the schwartz" and nothing will change.

    Tomas
  3. Tomas Drgon is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 11:03am


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mantis
    My question is, do we really need these terms?
    I think this is the key question.

    Tomas
  4. Tom Kagan is offline
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    Dark Overlord of the Bullshido Underworld

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 11:09am

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     Style: Taai Si Ji Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas Drgon
    I understand all this.
    BUT:
    How do you evaluate something that is by definition not manifestable? This is pure thinking, it does not translate to objctive reality. And I'm not saying that subjective reality is invalid, it's just not something that can be handled with logic. It evades all attempts at formulating a testable hypothesis. There simply is NO WAY to evaluate all this (intent, presence, heart, qi, unity of purpose). So what good is your lineage for? Replace any of the above attributes with "the schwartz" and nothing will change.

    Tomas

    Thanks for putting a few more words into my gut suspicion that "internal" vs. "external" is a false duality. This is why I prefer "soft approach" vs. "hard approach" as I defined it above.


    "Chi means air. How do you cultivate Chi? Breathe so you don't die." -- Moy Yat.


    I'd +rep you for the post, but apparently I have a crush on you and need to do some pushups.
    Last edited by Tom Kagan; 2/09/2007 11:12am at .
    Calm down, it's only ones and zeros.

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  5. It is Fake is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 11:31am

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     Style: xingyi

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mantis
    I have done NO research. I just do. With the exception of tai chi (yang) anything I've learned that I've been told is internal are exercises. But, what you are saying makes perfect sense to me.

    My question is, do we really need these terms?
    Yes.


    That is all I'll say right now.
  6. meataxe is offline
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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 1:50pm


     Style: Wu style tcc+bjj

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Mr_Mantis
    This is a simplistic way to put this:
    The main principles in anything considered "internal" are breathing and a lack of tension in the joints for the most part. Be relaxed. The soft. The Yin.

    The main principle in anything considered "external" is tension, the hard, the Yang.

    CMA is dominated by the philosophy of the yin/yang, and the systems have both within them. The 3 Omar mentioned are the big 3 internal styles, you could guess anything else you come across will be external.

    I also tend to think that arts with Buddhist background are external, where taoist foundations are internal.
    This is the typical argument that is much about putting down the other style rather than defining what is special about your own. As was posted earlier, so-called external arts trained at an advanced level involve relaxation, ridding tension, etc.

    You also have the popular misconception that internal = yin. I can only speak for TCC, but for us internal = (yin + yang). (It's a dull party if it's all girls or all guys, IMHO.)

    As for the religious or philosophical underpinnings of any particular MA... most of what I have heard is either terribly abstract or has the whiff of bullshido.
  7. Omar is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 3:35pm

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     Style: Chinese Kung Fu

    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas Drgon
    I understand all this.
    BUT:
    How do you evaluate something that is by definition not manifestable? This is pure thinking, it does not translate to objctive reality. And I'm not saying that subjective reality is invalid, it's just not something that can be handled with logic. It evades all attempts at formulating a testable hypothesis. There simply is NO WAY to evaluate all this (intent, presence, heart, qi, unity of purpose). So what good is your lineage for? Replace any of the above attributes with "the schwartz" and nothing will change.

    Tomas
    And yet, people evaluate those sorts of things in all sorts of professional fields o a regular basis and that includes athletic coaches. The scientists are often enlisted to help but the coaches themselves make decisions and give advice on a daily basis based on their gut, their intuition. They evaluate their players on things like "character", "inspiration", "creativity", "wileyness" and so on. Boxing, basketball and gymnastics coaches all rely on these intangibles. Why are CMA instructors forbidden to do so just because they use funny jargon that you aren't comfortable with.

    So what good is your lineage for?

    A number of things but in this case I brought it up only to distinguish the information I am presenting on "what defines internal" as an official, well defined view that is has been agreed upon by experts in the field as opposed to information based on just my impressions or google searches. A question was asked about a term that was coined by a specific group of professionals in a specific field, and lineage is the closest thing that exists to a formal credential in this particular field, namely, IMA.
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  8. Tomas Drgon is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 4:17pm


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    Quote Originally Posted by Omar
    And yet, people evaluate those sorts of things in all sorts of professional fields o a regular basis and that includes athletic coaches. The scientists are often enlisted to help but the coaches themselves make decisions and give advice on a daily basis based on their gut, their intuition. They evaluate their players on things like "character", "inspiration", "creativity", "wileyness" and so on. Boxing, basketball and gymnastics coaches all rely on these intangibles.
    I'm quoting you:
    "(internal is)...anything else that is not measurable and exists only....as part of your own internal world..."

    If it is not measurable, it can not be evaluated.

    So what these coaches are evaluating must be different from what you consider "internal".

    Quote Originally Posted by Omar
    Why are CMA instructors forbidden to do so just because they use funny jargon that you aren't comfortable with.
    Well, it is true that I'm not comfortable with it, but I don't think it's forbidden. And it is not the jargon, it is the mindset. I just think it is unproductive, that's all. And I don't care as long as it is kept in the realm of philosophy. But I'll argue with you if you try to present it as objective reality.


    Tomas
  9. DAYoung is offline
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    Crouching Philosopher, Hidden Philosopher

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 4:51pm

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    --
    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Quote Originally Posted by Tomas Drgon
    And I don't care as long as it is kept in the realm of philosophy. But I'll argue with you if you try to present it as objective reality.
    rrrrrrggggggggggggggrhaaaaaaaa
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  10. Tomas Drgon is offline

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    Posted On:
    2/09/2007 4:57pm


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    Hell yeah! Hell no!
    Omar:

    I think I have just scored a logical ippon with the "can't be measured" thing...:)

    But anyway, I'll cut you some slack...:)
    You listed other internal attributes:

    -posture
    -structure
    -body mechanics
    -breathing patterns

    And these certainly CAN be evaluated. But ask 100 people that consider themselves "external" or those that do not subscribe to the external/internal dichotomy and they will all tell you that those same attributes are at the core of their respective sport/art. And not just combat sport/art, but really any physical activity.
    Can you name a sport where "body mecanics" doesn't matter? Posture?......

    See how redundant the terms are?

    Tomas
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