View Full Version : Demonstration of internal power

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4/21/2004 2:02am,
So I study an internal martial art, right?

Today, I got a typical demonstration of internal power. My teacher is about 5' 4" and maybe 130 pounds soaking wet. He was showing the way to turn the body so as to use weight to redirect force, discussing the 'form' called Mandarin.* He wanted to demonstrate that waiting for the other guy to move isn't necessary, so he asked me to freeze my stance and continued to push my limbs around, while speaking and breathing normally.

My training partner, who is as tall as I am (six footish) and weighs a good 20 pounds in muscle more than I, with boxing experience, was initially unable to move me at all. Eventually he got the form back, and he could do it, but not with that kind of effortlessness. That takes time...

There is nothing mystical about internal power, just about the age-old explanation for how it works. I believe it's a matter of using all muscles in harmony, and of weaving a fascial net of great strength through the body that facilitates this movement (strong tendons and ligaments, if you will, but there's more than just that).

I've been feeling real progress in generating whole body power, and it's awesome. I really enjoy the training I'm receiving...

Now if only I could shake the feeling that eeeevil grapplers could grab my legs and drag me down into a world of hurt....

4/21/2004 2:07am,
Or it could be that you and your partner are conditioned to believe that it will work so you make sure it does.

4/21/2004 2:10am,
* In Liu Ho Pa Fa, there are 12 introductory animal forms. Each of them comprises a sequence of perhaps three distinct motions, and have a number of applications. They aren't kata, they're proto-kata. There is a ridicuously long form, called the Long Form, but I don't know it and wouldn't cry if I never did learn it....it has 350 distinct steps.

Mandarin is one of those forms, and introduces basic block-follow-strike approaches. Kind of like Wing Chun, except we use our weight via nine-joint harmony and the all important turning of the waist that drives the whole thing.

Why do I get the feeling that a lot of people are going to find this hysterical?

Darting Fingers
4/21/2004 2:11am,
Its called body mechanics brother...

4/21/2004 2:15am,
you're not very bright, are you?

4/21/2004 2:15am,
....what do you mean, greese?

I can generate internal power against a heavy bag. I'm not great at it, but I can do it. Is the bag conditioned to bounce?

It's not magic, it's proper body mechanics and practice.

4/21/2004 2:17am,
No that is why your friend couldn't move you.
Now, if I tried it or someone that thought what you were saying was full of **** went against you and it worked...then you would have something.

4/21/2004 2:19am,
It would appear Darting Fingers and I agree...

Hapko, buddy. That's not going to fly. Assault my manliness instead, as it will readily crumple under your badassedness. But don't go after the brain, or I'll just have to school you on something.

Internal power: power generated through relaxed execution of whole-body technique

External power: power generated through explosive tension of particular muscle groups in isolation, accompanied by staccato exhalation of breath.

If you don't like these terms, don't use em! We do, however.

Also: Chi makes the flowers grow and that's beautiful, man.

Darting Fingers
4/21/2004 2:24am,
I don't know if we totally "agree", but its just like if you punch just from the shoulder you won't get as much power as if you put your hip into it as well. So by co-ordinating your body to generate the most power possible you gain a stronger punch, kick, etc.

4/21/2004 2:24am,
greese, you have the story backwards, m'friend.

The feat of internal power was not my immobility. I'm a reasonably strong guy: someone with 50 pounds of muscle on me is going to be able to swing me around no problem, but merely 20 pounds of muscle and no height/leverage advantage means this: If I resist, and he pushes, he's going to have a hell of a time moving me. That's just simple body mechanics.

The interesting part was being unable to resist being moved by my teacher. I know, I know, it's a cult, someone call James Randi, whatever. The point is that there's a right way and a wrong way to approach that particular technique. My teacher knows and has practiced the right way, and can move me around regardless of what I want. My training partner didn't get it at first and couldn't do it.

I, uh, assume that similar things happen where you study?

4/21/2004 2:26am,
Yes, but that is not the case here. THey believe thier instructor and they subconciously make it happen. Same as no touch knock outs or no touch Aikido throws.

4/21/2004 2:26am,
Best power of all is generated off the spring-heel, through the legs, hip, waist, sholder, elbow, and wrist, adding the power of each muscle group on the way, augmented by complementary motion from the other side of the body.

It's really easy to do this as a body check, and harder to do it as a punch or redirection or what have you. As with all things, realistic training is key.

4/21/2004 2:28am,
Greese: who is "they" in your above post?

4/21/2004 2:29am,
God, you are proving Hap correct here.
It was in relation to you.

4/21/2004 2:33am,
I'm a "they" now?

You can't get your pronouns right and I'm the idiot?

So. What about what I said makes you so certain that there was subconscious cooperation going on here, let alone at the level of no-touch knockouts? If I had said "my BJJ teacher weighs like three pounds and he keeps armbarring me, and my training partner who is a gorilla couldn't get the trick, and now he can", you'd just nod and say "hell yah bjj RULEZ" and I'm sure you'd be right.

It's that 'internal' thing, isn't it?

4/21/2004 2:42am,
You and your partner. Quick on the up-take.
You are claiming that your 20lbs more of muscle partner was unable to move you at all do to your stance and all you can offer is some theory on "weaving a fascial net" not an easily proven and demonstrated example of hyper-extension like an arm bar.