Anti-takedown techniques using internal energy

Oily Dragon

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Be careful or you'll be pigeonholed as a BJJ fan boy. :)
I'll take it. The BJJ people I've cross trained with are very good at stuff found in Tiger, southern Dragon kung fu.

Even the white belts are a lot better at it than many "sifus", for no other reason than they actually trained against resistance recently.

My own Tai Chi sifu makes sure to throw me around and tell me to resist him. He knows, I know the good stuff from the bad, because he's Tai Chi master and I'm a good student.
 

Oily Dragon

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I don't have any insider knowledge on that event, but I have my suspicions that there was some staging to make the Tai Chi instructor look good. The reason is that the judoka didn't utilize any of the setups (kuzushi, grip fighting, combination attacks) that I would expect him to use in a serious judo match. He just tried to force the throws directly from the clinch without setup, which isn't going to work well against someone with a really good base.
This is the kind of problem that Xu Xiadong went to the mattresses to highlight (the long tradition of making Tai Chi instructors "look good").

The number of Tai Chi masters who can actually throw down is much smaller than we've been led to believe. And yet, if you've trained TCC with a good teacher, there's no shortage of resistance, timing, or energy. But how energy is described (sinking, rising, spitting, swallowing) can be a very effective teaching method. The number of methods is small, and the actual instruction is pretty simple.

On the other side of the pond you have esoteric internal Qigong such as Jade Rabbit Faces China (Yu Toe Jung Wah), a foundational Neigong exercise. In those your internal practice is focused on yourself, not some opponent imaginary or other. We are all our own worse enemy, after all.

Always important to remember the "internal" in Chinese arts actually means "internal alchemy", from a Daoist point of view, and it describes a form of personal introspection and wisdom, whether you're grappling, farming, or peeling potatoes.
 
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Kung Fu Wang

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your internal practice is focused on yourself, not some opponent imaginary or other. We are all our own worse enemy, after all.
A: How do you use internal energy to deal with "arm drag"?
B: I use "internal energy" for self-cultivation, culture study, and inner peace.

Even today, I still don't know the connection between self-defense and self-cultivation.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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Can the methods shown below really work outside of sparring, in a competitive fight or self-defense situation?

Do some people assume that takedown is just double legs or bear hug?

There are over 230 different takedowns. For example, how do you use "internal energy" to deal with foot sweep?

foot-landing-sweep.gif
 
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Oily Dragon

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A: How do you use internal energy to deal with "arm drag"?
B: I use "internal energy" for self-cultivation, culture study, and inner peace.

Even today, I still don't know the connection between self-defense and self-cultivation.

It requires a heavy education in Daoism. For originators of TCC (all of the families), it was all one big system, and when it comes to arm drags, TCC has it pretty nailed down from a practical standpoint. If your Neidan is strong, your "internal" energy is on point and you have Nei gong, and thus you can express it in many different ones, just one of them being combat, but also shoveling manure (best done with the legs and core, and not the arms, and keep your pelvis tucked etc)

Daoism is all about being practical, after all.

 

Dirty Dog

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There are over 230 different takedowns. For example, how do you use "internal energy" to deal with foot sweep?
One option would be to use my nerves and muscles (which are certainly internal) to lift my foot. Another would be to use those same internal sources to shift my balance off that foot so I don't fall when it's moved.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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One option would be to use my nerves and muscles (which are certainly internal) to lift my foot. Another would be to use those same internal sources to shift my balance off that foot so I don't fall when it's moved.
Is there a difference between

- internal way to lift your foot off vs. external way to lift your foot off?
- internal way to type on your keyboard vs. external way to type on your keyboard?

I may like to name all my body moves as internal so I can feel superior. Is that really necessary?
 

Dirty Dog

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Is there a difference between

- internal way to lift your foot off vs. external way to lift your foot off?
Well yeah. I do it internally. I suppose I could grab my leg and lift it with my arms, or have someone else pick it up (hopefully without turning it into a takedown...). Or I could put my foot on a car jack. Or the first step of an escalator...
- internal way to type on your keyboard vs. external way to type on your keyboard?
Typing from inside my keyboard would be pretty awkward. I could externally type on my keyboard and redirect the output to a Rubber Duck. When I plug that into a USB port, maybe that would count as internal typing? If not, I will probably need something like the Atoms suit so I can fit inside the keyboard, run up and down, and step on the connections for the letters I want to type.
I may like to name all my body moves as internal so I can feel superior. Is that really necessary?
If that's a true statement, it speaks volumes.
 

Buka

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I get my internal power from Eggplant Parmigiana with a side of spinach and cheese ravioli. (Dont knock it if you havent good sauce.) I consider the person trying to take me down as someone who is attempting to steal my eggplant. That just aint happening.

The best way to work takedown defense is train with folks who have really good, effective takedowns. You will then make it a point on how to deal with takedowns. Because if you choose not to, man, its really going to suck until you do.
 

Oily Dragon

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Is there a difference between

- internal way to lift your foot off vs. external way to lift your foot off?
- internal way to type on your keyboard vs. external way to type on your keyboard?

I may like to name all my body moves as internal so I can feel superior. Is that really necessary?

Yes, but it's not about superiority. It's the Daoist way of looking at the martial arts. Kwan Sai Hung comes to mind.

It's important to never forget where these terms come from like "internal". It's not loosey goosey, there are specific meanings in the texts, let alone pictures and video.

There are neijiaquan schools, and waijiaquan schools, and neither one of them was wrong. It's all very Dao.


 

Kung Fu Wang

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Watched the first video. I think the positive thing I can say about it is that underhooks are definitely useful.
I think before we can talk about anti-takedown, we have to talk about anti-clinch first.

Does internal energy play any part of anti-clinch? How?
 

Steve

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I agree with most of your analysis, except the very first issue you mention. The hands being low at the beginning.

I think that's useful to practice sometimes-if someone comes and tackles you when you're not already in guard, how quickly can you move your hand to position. Similar to how people practice weapon draws, it's worth trying from different positions.

That said, in the video itself the actual issue with his hands is his uke. His uke does the 'takedown' in a way that "hands at side" is the perfect position. It almost looks like he's trying to wrap his elbows. That's the problem there, not the demo-er having his hands down.

Fair point. I'm curious if this guy starts all of his demos from this same position. I found another video and he does start with his hands at his side. It seems like a very silly video otherwise, but the hands are, in fact, at his side.

 

Oily Dragon

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In my opinion, it's "internal" if the effort is evenly distributed through as much of the body as possible.
The Daoists also believe this is true, but use it to differentiate their schools from the Weigong classics, which isn't really fair.

It's really an aesthetic difference, literally. Even in a standard boxing jab, energy goes from potential to kinetic through a chain of events that start at the ground and work their way up and forward. Throwing a straight up right cross is also not the TCC way, and they'd say "look, that's an external strike". And still, the same ground to core to upper body reflex is going down. If it's TCC, it's probably more compact with not so much physical movement required, and the strikes tend to be body oriented vs. long range.

This is something Bagu and TCC (and Xingyi) have in common that makes them physically and visibly similar.

In a TCC sense, the focus on the interior of the body just clicks physically, it's the most important link in the chain, because of where the 3 Dan Tians abide, especially the lowest near the naval. That is literally the center of your own personal Tai Chi universe. And even arts that Neijia call "external" like Choy Li Fu or the Five Family schools, also contain Daoist "internal" training methods. In the end it's the type of training that makes it internal or external (or both, some styles combine Buddhist and Daoist training and so are hard to call either one or the other.

Yi Gi Kim Yeurng Ma is definitely internal Chinese stance. Crane stance, element of Wood, squeezing energy. Adduction.

Eight Drunken Immortals Leaving the Cave is NOT from the Neijia! But it's definitely Daoist.

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mograph

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In the end it's the type of training that makes it internal or external (or both, some styles combine Buddhist and Daoist training and so are hard to call either one or the other.

That makes sense, and ties into the notion of two paths up the mountain, meeting at the top. It's not that the art is one or the other, but the training method or focus of each is different, as you wrote.

I'm not too big on using the "internal" vs. "external" distinction: maybe a "unified" vs. "isolated" focus might be more useful?

(I tried to find a word for "not-unified," but without negative connotations. "Discrete" might work, but people mix it up with "discreet.")
 

O'Malley

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For me, internal arts, at their most basic, are arts that actively seek to use intent to condition the fascial network so that it's in constant tension, and transmit forces along that network. It maintains the body together, which allows it to better resist incoming forces (so it's harder to break your structure) and to express the strength of bigger muscle groups (legs/hips) elsewhere in the body. That's the baseline for internals. It requires dedicated training as it is very different from conventional movement, which actually adds to the slack in the fascia.

As for the original question, internals if done correctly make you progressively harder to throw but unless you're very advanced or your opponent sucks you will still need to sprawl against a DLT. The guy in the first video doesn't seem to have "it", for the Chinese guy I don't know.
 

Kung Fu Wang

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to better resist incoming forces (so it's harder to break your structure)
Most internal guys like to test their internal skill against push. Very few internal guys test their internal skill against pull.

The concern is when A pulls B, if A can't pull B into him, the counter force of A's pulling will pull A into B. In other words, if a pull can establish a clinch, how to deal with a clinch will be the issue.

Will you call this guy using "internal energy"?

arm-drag-counter.gif
 
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Oily Dragon

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That makes sense, and ties into the notion of two paths up the mountain, meeting at the top. It's not that the art is one or the other, but the training method or focus of each is different, as you wrote.

I'm not too big on using the "internal" vs. "external" distinction: maybe a "unified" vs. "isolated" focus might be more useful?

(I tried to find a word for "not-unified," but without negative connotations. "Discrete" might work, but people mix it up with "discreet.")
The easiest way to KISS when it comes to internal is to remember that before the Neijia traditions developed, there is was no "internal" martial art school.

It's an artifact of Chinese history, so it's a useful razor when slicing up Tai Chi or the other internal CMA schools.
 
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