Funny thing, these Internal Martial Arts...

Matt Stone

Master of Arts
Joined
Dec 4, 2001
Messages
1,711
Reaction score
30
Location
Fort Lewis, Washington
In reading through some threads recently, here and on other forums, I find the comments some die-hard adherents to IMA make really interesting...

It seems that in the IMA community there are those that:

1) think Qi exists and can do magical things;
2) think Qi exists, but is simply "outdated, bogus science;"
3) think Qi is one thing, but are actually mistaking it for something else, most typically Jing;
4) think that you cannot really learn IMA unless you are Chinese (which is amazing, since the people most often making this comment aren't Chinese, which seems to invalidate their entire practice outright...);
5) think that a teacher cannot reallyteach IMA unless he/she is Chinese;
6) think that you cannot really learn IMA unless you learn in China;
7) think that their use of romanized Chinese makes them linguistic and cultural experts (and often they likely couldn't tell the difference between two Chinese characters if you held them up in front of their faces), and able to correct other folks' use of romanization;

and my absolute favorite,

8) that they can never really hope to learn how to do IMA anyway, ever, no matter who they study with, no matter how long they study, because the information is just so far beyond our mortal ken...

and the list could go on and on, but I think I've made my point for the folks that matter...

It makes me wonder why so many people even bother to study IMA in the first place, since it seems to be nothing more than a bed of controversial, allegedly false and incorrectly taught or understood styles of fighting... Wouldn't it be so much easier for these people to go and study something else easier for them to grasp and understand?

Just an observation. Feel free to flame away... I'm wearing my asbestos jammies, so no worries...

:flame: :samurai: :tank:
 
doesn't that go for any MA? there's contraversy in every MA style/system. Most of the boards here on martial talk are fairly tame but go to some other MA forums and you can see some real flame wars over virtualy nothing in virtualy any art.
 
Maybe it's because the majority of people coming into TCC are either
a) looking for gentle exercise
or
b) rather naive when it comes to fighting and self defence, preferring a theoretical based approach from a heavily romanticised culture.
 
When you look at the IMA community, there are a load of folks that fall in line with the situations I mentioned above... Not just Taiji people, though there are quite a few of them that could be counted among those who miss the point...
 
i dont know how the rest of the world works (admitadely naive), but in the US, it seems that there are 2 internal communities. the first is the "mystical search for the fountain of youth group", that studies internals (usually taiji) because they studied yoga, and reikki and read lots of Deepak Chopra. these folks are involved in the search for something that cannot be defined or probably obtained either. but the health benefits are defenitely there, just like other MA, but without the injuries, soreness, and age limitations. so they are not completely lost, they probably just need a new forum to write to eachother.

the second group is obviously the martial arts community. here, we attempt to explain and dissect the science and techniques within the IMA styles. understandably, there is alot of mysticism involved(just as in other schools), because there is alot that we dont know about the capabilities of the human mind and body. the second group is different because we know that internals were developed as a martial art.
 
For what it's worth,

I tell all of my students that to get the benefit of PROPER qi flow in T'aiQiQuan, you must know the application...

Yi (intent) moves qi...without intent, you are doing a dead form, a dance. SO, it is imperative that you see WHAT is going on in any given sequence.

Yes, you can gain health benefits from just dancing, breathing, and relaxing....but that is NOT T'aiQi.

Yes, you can be so involved with the martial that you become too tense to allow proper flow of qi...that is NOT T'aiQi...

So, there must be a balance...

Even if you NEVEWR plan to use T'aiQi for self defense (as most of us won't) you must learn why you move the way you do...you must exercise Yi...FILL your form with energy.

Too many people sit on one side of the scales or the other...you must be the fulcrum if you are to derive the full benefit of this wonderful art.


:asian:

chufeng
 
Internal Martial arts tend to weedle out those who are close minded enough not to see the truths that are right in front of their faces. this is true with tai chi, xing I and ba qua chang. with tai chi one must be patient, to learn xing I one must be open to thought and to learn ba qua one must not have an inner ear infection(lol):D
 
chufeng - you are exactly right, and I wish you were my teacher! I like this message board, but it seems as if tai chi people are considered "not as tough" as the people who are into other martial arts.

:idunno:

It's hard to find good tai chi teachers. The one I have now is a good teacher, but I have issues with him at times. He teaches tai chi as a martial art, and is not as into some of the "mystical" stuff as other teachers. The best advice I've been able to find is "Don't show off and act dumb" in class.
 
Hubris,

Where are you located? If it is a reasonable distance, maybe we can work something out.

I teach/study YiLiQuan which includes the Yang short form TaiJi set and the much longer (45 minutes) "combined" form (five family set).

If distance is a problem, I would be happy to offer advice by e-mail (understand the limits of the printed word)...

Your call.... e-mail: [email protected]

:asian:
chufeng
 
chufeng - alas! I am in NY. Which you would suppose is a GOOD thing - lots of tai chi teachers, etc. Yeah, lots of tai chi teachers, and lots of bad ones. Or, should I say, teachers that I couldn't learn from.
 
chu feng speaks much wisdom...

But Yili...I am one of those who (after like two years of serious practice) feels that Chi exists, we can transfer it as jing, and I can learn it here in the states, from an american---and whether I learn here from an american or in china by the ultimate tao monk tai chi dude its still gonna take me for freaking ever!!! And I love it that way!!! Theres always more. There is always that idea or fact or motion or simple freaking thing that is right in front of you, and maybe the sifu has pointed it out till he's stopped pointing it out (you know what i mean!) and then you can only find it on your own over much time and work...
oh yeah..I'm somewhere between on the mystical heebee jeebee and the martial usage...If youre not able to change inside and out, thought and structure you maybe should not practice the internal martial arts--- and its not really mystical to develop the mind. In taichi we just start with the mind and progress outward (I Think)

and....Deepak Chopra can kiss my a**
 
Originally posted by CraneSpreadWings

chu feng speaks much wisdom...

But Yili...I am one of those who (after like two years of serious practice) feels that Chi exists,

You will notice that nowhere did I say that qi didn't/doesn't exist. I was simply pointing out the divisions that exist between the different "sects" of practitioners out there... Some folks think they can "Darth Vader" their opponent, others think that there is nothing in their strike whatsoever other than the movement of physical mass as propelled by muscular contraction. Whatever. To each their own. I personally think they are both missing the truth of the matter...

oh yeah..I'm somewhere between on the mystical heebee jeebee and the martial usage...

I would think that most folks who apply themselves eventually find themselves shying away from the extreme beliefs and coming to rest somewhere in the middle...

:yinyang:

If youre not able to change inside and out, thought and structure you maybe should not practice the internal martial arts

I realize that you meant nothing personal by your comment, but until you know more about a person such general comments should be avoided... You don't know me well enough to know whether I believe or disbelieve in anything mentioned in this thread (unless you read other things I have written elsewhere). As far as this post goes, it is only a poor commentary on the state of IMA as I see it.

For the record, I believe in qi, I train with qi, I do qigong. I meditate and believe that martial arts practice is one of the best meditative mind developing activities around. However, I am also aware that MA is NOT a religion (no matter the religious trappings or associations), but a method of physical combat. It just happens that in learning the physical combat you learn a bunch of other cool non-combat related stuff along the way that is way more important that the physical combat ever was...

Gambarimasu.
 
Quote: "It just happens that in learning the physical combat you learn a bunch of other cool non-combat related stuff along the way that is way more important that the physical combat ever was..."

Here-Here!!!
And I wasnt really addressing your personal ability to change or not---I couldnt care less--- I'm talking about the change inherent in studying the internal arts...which it seems like you might understand bit about from the comment quoted above...:D

humbly,
CSW
 
My gripe is mainly with the folks that think they can avoid the combative aspects and still derive the same benefits that others gain... From what I can tell, the bulk of the benefits gleaned from martial training in the first place come less from meditating in front of a candle for years, and more from facing off against an aggressive training partner determined to make you suck floor. Sure, the meditation is part of the training, too, but saying it is the most important part is like saying I can become the next Mario Andretti by mastering the art of turning on my car's air conditioner...

Gambarimasu.
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1

My gripe is mainly with the folks that think they can avoid the combative aspects and still derive the same benefits that others gain... From what I can tell, the bulk of the benefits gleaned from martial training in the first place come less from meditating in front of a candle for years, and more from facing off against an aggressive training partner determined to make you suck floor. Sure, the meditation is part of the training, too, but saying it is the most important part is like saying I can become the next Mario Andretti by mastering the art of turning on my car's air conditioner...
Gambarimasu.


Yiliquan1,

When you were over here did you meet any of the "Good Ki Fairies" ? You know the guys that claim they can knock you over with a feather or by not even touching you at all..........they can stop any attacker by projecting their ki and so on.

I have seen those kinds of people come out of the woodwork over the last 5 years or so. I have even asked for demonstrations to be done on me by these folks and on the extremely rare chance they do take me up on it they have NEVER been able to do as they claim........after which I hear pages of excuses as to why it didn't work. The sun wasn't in the right spot, you did this or that so it counter balanced the chi.....yak, yak , yak.

Plain and simple, you need hands on training with someone that is not 100% cooperative. If sitting in Zazen is all you need to become a good technician then training in your sleep would be too. I have always said "you will fight the way you train" .
Zazen/Meditation etc., are all good parts of practice and add to your training they are not 100% of it.
 
This is an interesting discussion. I keep an open mind about the mystical aspects of tai chi. My teacher teaches tai chi as a martial art, but not at the beginning level. He demonstrates the MA applications of the forms we learn, but you have to concentrate on the principles and the form first. I've just started doing push hands. My teacher talks about chi, meridians, etc, and gives us reading asignments to do. Personally, I haven't felt chi yet, but I believe it exists. Some of the stuff I hear about seems just plain too way out, but I'm a beginner. BTW, my teacher is 100% American and I think it's baloney to say that only Chinese can teach tai chi. Since the Chinese government is so repressive about the practice of tai chi, it seems to me that some of the Chinese MAs are actually being kept alive in the West.

:idunno:
 
Originally posted by RyuShiKan

Yiliquan1,

When you were over here did you meet any of the "Good Ki Fairies" ? You know the guys that claim they can knock you over with a feather or by not even touching you at all..........they can stop any attacker by projecting their ki and so on.

Nope. Heard about them, but was never "fortunate" enough to actually have an encounter with them...

Plain and simple, you need hands on training with someone that is not 100% cooperative. If sitting in Zazen is all you need to become a good technician then training in your sleep would be too. I have always said "you will fight the way you train" . Zazen/Meditation etc., are all good parts of practice and add to your training they are not 100% of it.

I had the wonderful opportunity to train with a guy that was #3 in Japan through the All Japan Taijiquan Federation's tournaments. His forms skill was really good, and his repertoire was impressive (Chen basic and advanced form, Yang short form, Yang straight sword and broadsword forms, Chang Chuan). However, one night he asked if we could compare sword techniques. I obliged. He attacked with one technique, and I countered with some off the wall stuff that literally had his eyes as wide as saucers... He had never spent time with anyone that was concerned with reducing their opponents to so much minced meat before (apparently). So, while he may have been #3 in Japan for forms, and his push hands skill was impressive, too, he was still unprepared for dealing with someone that was "uncooperative."

Gambarimasu.
 
Originally posted by Yiliquan1

..... I obliged. He attacked with one technique, and I countered with some off the wall stuff that literally had his eyes as wide as saucers... He had never spent time with anyone that was concerned with reducing their opponents to so much minced meat before (apparently). So, while he may have been #3 in Japan for forms, and his push hands skill was impressive, too, he was still unprepared for dealing with someone that was "uncooperative."
Gambarimasu.

Is this the same person that we saw at the demo on July 6th?

It's my opinion that since doing the internal styles gives you a sense of "well being" after doing them for a while your mind begins to take that sense of well being and somehow erroneously correlate it with being able to defend yourself. This sense of well being is only a false sense unless you back it up with some good physical hands on non-cooperative partner training. The internal side will give you the clear head that you need to handle a stressful situation.......like a physical assault on you and the hands on side will have programmed your body to "know" what to do. Thus a complete art.
The two different aspects of training "internal/external" could actually be what is represented in the "yin/yang" symbol................... ;)no?
One with out the other is not complete.


......balance Daniel-san......balance:karate:
 

Latest Discussions

Back
Top