Internal = advanced in "hard" kungu and vicc

TietKiu3

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Hello. I practice Yee family Hung Ga Kung Fu. In hung ga, our most advanced hand form is Tiet Sing Kuen (Iron wire/thread/rope fist/pattern), which is mostly an internal form. I wanted to ask, is that the case in other "hard" kung fu styles? And is it the other way around in "soft" styles?
 

Midnight-shadow

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I feel that it depends on the person. Some people find Internal MA easier, others find external easier. That said, in the style I practice (which is a mix of hard and soft), the most advanced form in this system is a soft style, and most of the earlier forms focus on the more external elements. I don't know if this is the case with other Chinese Martial Arts.
 
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TietKiu3

TietKiu3

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I feel that it depends on the person. Some people find Internal MA easier, others find external easier. That said, in the style I practice (which is a mix of hard and soft), the most advanced form in this system is a soft style, and most of the earlier forms focus on the more external elements. I don't know if this is the case with other Chinese Martial Arts.

So I've got another yes. What style do you practice?
 

Midnight-shadow

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So I've got another yes. What style do you practice?

I practice a Tiger-Crane combination variation of Fujian White Crane. Most of the forms incorporate both hard and soft elements but the most advanced form is a pure soft form and is the basis of our Tai Chi.
 
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TietKiu3

TietKiu3

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I practice a Tiger-Crane combination variation of Fujian White Crane. Most of the forms incorporate both hard and soft elements but the most advanced form is a pure soft form and is the basis of our Tai Chi.
As you probably know, tiger crane is in hung ga. Fu hok seung ying kuen is one of the three treasures.
 

JowGaWolf

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Hello. I practice Yee family Hung Ga Kung Fu. In hung ga, our most advanced hand form is Tiet Sing Kuen (Iron wire/thread/rope fist/pattern), which is mostly an internal form. I wanted to ask, is that the case in other "hard" kung fu styles? And is it the other way around in "soft" styles?
I train Jow Ga Kung Fu and the system has both "hard" and "soft" techniques. I think the system views it as a balance. I also train Tai Chi and while most of it is soft there are parts that are hard. The only difference is the duration in which hard technique is applied versus the duration in which soft technique is applied. Hard styles will often smash things by default and then use internal methods in flashes. Soft styles will often use soft techniques by default and will smash things only for a short flash of time and only when needed.

In Jow Ga most of our hard techniques have a soft version of the same technique. Some techniques can enter using force and exit using soft techniques. But with that said, we smash by default.
 
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TietKiu3

TietKiu3

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I train Jow Ga Kung Fu and the system has both "hard" and "soft" techniques. I think the system views it as a balance. I also train Tai Chi and while most of it is soft there are parts that are hard. The only difference is the duration in which hard technique is applied versus the duration in which soft technique is applied. Hard styles will often smash things by default and then use internal methods in flashes. Soft styles will often use soft techniques by default and will smash things only for a short flash of time and only when needed.

In Jow Ga most of our hard techniques have a soft version of the same technique. Some techniques can enter using force and exit using soft techniques. But with that said, we smash by default.

In hung ga we also have hard and soft techniques. In Jow ga, are the basic forms mostly hard?
 

Flying Crane

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I believe it is very difficult to classify Tibetan White Crane as strict my internal or external. I don't think it really fits either description, strictly speaking.
 
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TietKiu3

TietKiu3

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And as you move up, you concentrate on softness more?
 

JowGaWolf

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And as you move up, you concentrate on softness more?
As I move up I learn how to use both together and learn more about the internal techniques founding Jow Ga. 1st form has 7 techniques that are taught as soft. The 4th form has 14.
 

JowGaWolf

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So the answer is yes.
The accurate answer for me is that I get introduced to more soft techniques and concentrate on them just a much as the hard techniques. I wouldn't say that I concentrate on one more than the other. The only time I do that is when I practicing Tai Chi. In that case I throw out all of my hard technique focus
 
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TietKiu3

TietKiu3

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I never said you concentrated on one more than the other. What I meant is that as you get more advanced, the more softness there is.

In the first form we teach, gung gee fuk fu kuen, there is very little softness. In the second, fu hok seung ying kuen, the concept of hardness and softness and combining the two is properly introduced. And, there are more soft techniques than in gung gee fuk fu. In the third, ng ying kuen, the concept is deepened, and again, there is more softness. In the most advanced form, tiet sing kuen, the concept is deepened even further, and there is not only one way of doing the form, but the standardised forms contains a lot more softness than ng ying kuen(which could be caused by the lenghth of the form itself)
 

Monkey Turned Wolf

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So the answer is yes.

How it has been explained to me, is that in hard styles the focus on internal/softness/whatever word you wish to use is always there, but as you become more advanced you are able to see and comprehend it better. This is different than more internal forms, which make the internal/softness/etc. apparent and a primary focus from the beginning, so you first start focusing on that, and as that becomes more second nature you can begin to focus on the external factors of the art.

What you are saying is correct in a sense, but it is not a simple yes or no answer.

I do not practice a CMA however, and something may have been lost/misunderstood when it was explained to me, so take the above with a grain of salt.
 

Xue Sheng

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Speaking as "Internal" martial artist (Xingyiquan and Taijiquan) to be honest, I think there is way to much emphasis put on, or concern about, internal and external. The terminology first appeared in the late 1600s and it had more to do with a political statemetn than a type of training
 

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I think lines can be even more blurred than "starts at X and ends at Y." Example Wing Chun (as I am taught at least). Often you see SLT done relatively quickly (with the possible exception of the 4 set) but the Grand Master of my "school of thought" has actually said it benefits the student to do it very slowly so it takes 15 to 20 minutes to complete. Also throughout you are supposed to practice Dantian breathing, which is typically seen as something done with internal arts.

Why? because, to him, in order to properly execute what appears to be a "hard" punch one needs to be supple so that almost as soon as your blow makes contact you arm immediately relaxes.. If you do a round kick (rare but sometimes done), if it misses, the kick should end at the apex, you do not follow through as other arts do, and if you are not relaxed this is almost impossible (for me at least). The same goes for some defenses. If you are relaxed not only does the incoming blow get stopped but your body remains firm. Tense up and your tan may remain solid but your structure recoils from the impact.

So is Wing Chun and external or internal style? Is it both? Is the difference between the two largely semantics? I am not wise enough to know.
 
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