Wing Chun is an Internal System

Yoshiyahu

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Some say Wing Chun is not an Internal system. They will say its External Art?

Well what exactly makes up and Internal Martial Art?

Wikipedia says Internal Arts focus on awareness of the Spirit, mind and Chi. The use relaxed leverage rather than muscular tension and brute force. Wikipedia also says that Push hands is training method used in Internal arts to develop sensititvity and softness. Also Old School Internal styles actually deal with basics such as stance work,strecthing, Strengthing muscles as well as empty hand forms and weapon forms. Some forms are done very slowly although some include FaJin or Explosive Force.

Wikipedia Qoute:
The reason for the generally slow pace is to improve coordination and balance by increasing the work load, and to require the student to pay minute attention to their whole body and its weight as they perform a technique.


Well many of us know that Sil Lim Tao is to be done slowly...Infact Yip Man was said to take an hour doing Sil Lim Tao.

Wikipedia Qoute:
At an advanced level, and in actual fighting, internal styles are performed quickly, but the goal is to learn to involve the entire body in every motion, to stay relaxed, with deep, controlled breathing, and to coordinate the motions of the body and the breathing accurately according to the dictates of the forms while maintaining perfect balance.

Sun Lutang Classification of Neijia:

Sun Lutang identified the following as the criteria that distinguish an internal martial art:
  1. An emphasis on the use of the mind to coordinate the leverage of the relaxed body as opposed to the use of brute strength.
  2. The internal development, circulation, and expression of q穫.
  3. The application of Taoist dǎoyǐn, q穫gōng, and n癡igōng (內功) principles of external movement.

My Personal list of what makes Wing Chun and Internal Style
1.Sil Lim Tao is done slowly
2.Utilization of the breath
3.Use softness to overcome hardness
4.Redirect and neutralize an attackers force
5.Use least amount of force
6.Body Structure utilization instead of brute force
7.Relaxation
8.Deflection instead of blocking
9.Redirection instead of struggling
10.Power is comes through your root from the ground

Wikipedia Qoute about Forms:
Forms are meditative, solitary exercises which develop self-awareness, balance, relaxation and sensitivity. Forms also train the practitioner in the fundamental movement and the correct force generation of Wing Chun.

Secondly Wikipedia discusses need for sensitivity:
San Sik (translated as Separate Forms) are compact in structure. They can be loosely grouped into three broad categories: 1) focus on building body structure through basic punching, standing, turning, and stepping drills; 2) fundamental arm cycles and changes, firmly ingraining the cardinal tools for interception and adaptation; and 3) sensitivity training and combination techniques.

Here is a qoute about Chi Sau and Push Hands
There are many similarities between these two activities. They are both initiated from contact with the opponent. They are both started with a "cooperative" and predictable pattern of cyclical movement. They are both concerned with disrupting the opponent's balance by attacking his or her center of gravity. They are both learned in stages, moving from predetermined, cooperative patterns of movement at first, to freestyle competitive play at the advanced stages. Both exercises emphasis the use of "sensitivity" and technique over brute force. These training methods are quite similar in many respects.

Some people do not realize or don't care about Chi Cultivation and the use of Chi in Wing Chun. But traditional schools of Wing Chun still teach this theory. The Sil Lim Tau which Yip Man practice for an hour each day is where you cultivate internal power. Although Wing Chun system has Chi cultivation through out it SLT is most noted as a form specially design for Chi Kung. When practicing SLT You use the breath,focus body alignment and meditation of the dan tien to build and store Chi. With out Chi there is no fajin or short power. You don't strike with your muscles...but you strike with the YI or intent. With the breath focus your intent through your limbs. Then when you strike with intent your energy will discharge from your limbs.

ctwingchun said:
Chi Gung is practiced at all times in all forms. However, it is focused and found most distinctly in the first form. Combined with Hei Gung (Breath Work) Chi Gung is a mind intent and means of transporting energy and life force to every inch of the body. Chi Gung training is used to cultivate health and build internal energy. A regular regimen of Chi Gung training encourages health, blood flow and proper electric conductivity through the bodys meridian channels.


References:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_and_soft_(martial_arts)

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_and_soft_(martial_arts)#Soft_techniques

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wing_chun#Principles

http://www.patiencetaichi.com/public/104.cfm

http://www.alanorr.com/htdocs/articles/wcpowerarticle.html

http://www.afn.org/~afn59160/faqs.html

http://www.ctwingchun.com/about-wingchun-kuen-kungfu.htm
 

arnisador

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Every CMA seems to think it's either wholly internal or both external and internal, but I'd say that WC is primarily external. It's a punching art, with relatively little hip motion as seen in the internal arts.
 
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Yoshiyahu

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Wing Chun uses the hip and waist when they attack...infact my sifu stresses the jing comes from the hip...

Every CMA seems to think it's either wholly internal or both external and internal, but I'd say that WC is primarily external. It's a punching art, with relatively little hip motion as seen in the internal arts.
 

mook jong man

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I was always told that Wing Chun is a half external and half internal art in our lineage in the early years of our training we just learn to to do the self defence techniques and not really think too much about them .

But later on we are taught to use Nim Lik ( Thought Force or Determination Force ) to generate power in our techniques which does not rely on muscular strength .

Our Sigung who is in his seventies and is a very skinny gentleman throws people around that are twice the size of him and these are not so called compliant students these are big dudes off the street who want to know what this Wing Chun crap is all about and are doing their utmost to resist him .

The story always ends the same they walk away shaking their heads wondering why they couldn't push a skinny old chinese man over or stop him from even just moving his arm , you've heard of the one inch punch well he does a no inch punch .

The reason he can do these things is because he is not using muscular strength he is using internal energy , which if you ask him how you develop this power , the answer he gives is always the same Sil Lim Tao , Sil Lim Tao and more Sil Lim Tao .
 

mook jong man

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Every CMA seems to think it's either wholly internal or both external and internal, but I'd say that WC is primarily external. It's a punching art, with relatively little hip motion as seen in the internal arts.

When we pivot we are using a lot of hip motion and when we strike or kick we also use a subtle projection of the hip to maximise power and put body weight into the strike and sometimes we drop the hips slightly to maximise force in a elbow strike or stamp kick .
 

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Internal arts focus on the mind and internal energy. They train flowing, circular movements, but teach that those movements can also be used for for self defense/combat. The focus is using the internal energy behind the movements while still understanding the application for each.

External arts focus on the body/technique for self defense, rather than the mind/internal energy. It's more than just "using your waist" in a technique. External training should include internal aspects but that doesn't make them an internal art.

Internal/External arts are more than the body movements and both should include aspects of the other for a complete art. But there is also a focus which distinguishes the Internal from External arts and Wing Chun is not an Internal art.
 

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Internal arts focus on the mind and internal energy. They train flowing, circular movements, but teach that those movements can also be used for for self defense/combat. The focus is using the internal energy behind the movements while still understanding the application for each.

External arts focus on the body/technique for self defense, rather than the mind/internal energy. It's more than just "using your waist" in a technique. External training should include internal aspects but that doesn't make them an internal art.

Internal/External arts are more than the body movements and both should include aspects of the other for a complete art. But there is also a focus which distinguishes the Internal from External arts and Wing Chun is not an Internal art.
I know in Okinawan GoJu we try to combine both the hard and the soft. I would call GoJu an external art that starts out very hard as in Sanchin but gradually introduces the softer aspects, by introducing Tensho just before black belt.
 

Jade Tigress

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I know in Okinawan GoJu we try to combine both the hard and the soft. I would call GoJu an external art that starts out very hard as in Sanchin but gradually introduces the softer aspects, by introducing Tensho just before black belt.

Exactly. Both styles need the eventual balance of Yin and Yang. Both styles still have a primary focus. :asian:
 
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Yoshiyahu

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Wounderful answer...just marvelous....

So true we train both aspects Internal and External...But doesn't all Chinese Martial Arts train both sides too?


I was always told that Wing Chun is a half external and half internal art in our lineage in the early years of our training we just learn to to do the self defence techniques and not really think too much about them .

But later on we are taught to use Nim Lik ( Thought Force or Determination Force ) to generate power in our techniques which does not rely on muscular strength .

Our Sigung who is in his seventies and is a very skinny gentleman throws people around that are twice the size of him and these are not so called compliant students these are big dudes off the street who want to know what this Wing Chun crap is all about and are doing their utmost to resist him .

The story always ends the same they walk away shaking their heads wondering why they couldn't push a skinny old chinese man over or stop him from even just moving his arm , you've heard of the one inch punch well he does a no inch punch .

The reason he can do these things is because he is not using muscular strength he is using internal energy , which if you ask him how you develop this power , the answer he gives is always the same Sil Lim Tao , Sil Lim Tao and more Sil Lim Tao .
 
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Yoshiyahu

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My wing Chu Sifu trains flowing energy also wing chun uses smaller circular movements and I was intructed to focus on internal energy and focus the energy through my limbs...this is where real power comes from...from focusing...


Internal arts focus on the mind and internal energy. They train flowing, circular movements, but teach that those movements can also be used for for self defense/combat. The focus is using the internal energy behind the movements while still understanding the application for each.

External arts focus on the body/technique for self defense, rather than the mind/internal energy. It's more than just "using your waist" in a technique. External training should include internal aspects but that doesn't make them an internal art.

Internal/External arts are more than the body movements and both should include aspects of the other for a complete art. But there is also a focus which distinguishes the Internal from External arts and Wing Chun is not an Internal art.
 

Jade Tigress

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That's how all systems should be taught, IMO. With a balance of external and internal power. But, Wing Chun is not an "Internal Art". Tai Chi and Ba Gua would be examples of internal arts. Wing Chun, Karate, SPM, TKD, etc, would be examples of external arts.

To say external arts have aspects of internal power trained, some to a higher degree than others (ie: CMA's), is true. But it doesn't make them internal arts. I wouldn't classify Wing Chun as an internal art.

Does that make sense?
 
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Yoshiyahu

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wHAT MAKES BAGUA AN INTERNAL ART?

WHAT MAKES XING YI QUAN AND INTERNAL ART?


That's how all systems should be taught, IMO. With a balance of external and internal power. But, Wing Chun is not an "Internal Art". Tai Chi and Ba Gua would be examples of internal arts. Wing Chun, Karate, SPM, TKD, etc, would be examples of external arts.

To say external arts have aspects of internal power trained, some to a higher degree than others (ie: CMA's), is true. But it doesn't make them internal arts. I wouldn't classify Wing Chun as an internal art.

Does that make sense?
 

Jade Tigress

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wHAT MAKES BAGUA AN INTERNAL ART?

WHAT MAKES XING YI QUAN AND INTERNAL ART?

Look at the way they're trained. It should be obvious. Again, internal arts should not neglect the external, and vice versa. The CMA's I'm familiar with have components of both, but they're still either considered primarily external or internal.

Why do you think the Wing Chun system should be classified as an internal art?
 
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Yoshiyahu

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Well the reason why I feel Wing Chun is a internal art is because


1.Because you use softness to redirect strong force
2.You focus your intent and chi.
3.SLT deals with Chi Cultivation
4.Standing in Yee Gee Kim Yeung Ma (20 minutes meditation)
5.Redirection and Deflection instead of brute force
6.Relaxation over tense muscle strength
7.Chi Sau(Sensitivy Drills)

What makes an Art internal to you? How is the training different with Internal. How do Internal styles train...and How do external style train differently?


Look at the way they're trained. It should be obvious. Again, internal arts should not neglect the external, and vice versa. The CMA's I'm familiar with have components of both, but they're still either considered primarily external or internal.

Why do you think the Wing Chun system should be classified as an internal art?
 

JadecloudAlchemist

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wHAT MAKES BAGUA AN INTERNAL ART?

WHAT MAKES XING YI QUAN AND INTERNAL ART?

Circle walking which some claim comes from the Lung men sect of Taoism.

The amount of twisting and spiraling done makes it internal.

Santi makes Hsing yi internal for the most part.

The whole internal external is really how the art presents itself at first.

Internal arts focus on cultivation and theory and all that while external seems to focus on learning how to apply applications first then learn internal parts after you already know applications.

Basically same process in reverse.
Wing chun is usually seen as external because of the stress on application over the training done in the internal arts.

In my experience practing the internal arts you can spend months just working on posture,rooting. Just spending 6 months or so learning basic circle walking for 2hours a day before even starting to learn applications.

Starting Chen Taichi chuan I only learned Silk reeling before forms then after forms maybe application. So there is a lot of time spent before you learn application which in an external art you do not spend that much.

Wing chun has internal parts yes but so does Shotokan karate,Jujutsu and so on in there higher levels but they would be considered external because they stress external as there base.
 

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First let me answer this

"Wing Chun is an Internal System "

No it isn't

But as I have said before if you wish to call it internal or campaign for it to be called internal then so be it. But I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop trying to convince me and everyone else it is by copious posting on the topic that all ends up basically the same. You say it is neijia people say it isn't.
wHAT MAKES BAGUA AN INTERNAL ART?

WHAT MAKES XING YI QUAN AND INTERNAL ART?

Mow to this somewhat hostile post that can very easily be taken as yelling.


For GOD sakes man quit asking the same questions over and over again and expecting to be spoon fed the answer by those of us who have trained "real" live Neijia styles for years.

Here is some place to begin your study in understanding what is and what is not a neijia why it is and is not a neijia and why bagua and Xingyiquan are neijia styles and Wing Chun isn't (Note I have read book on Wing Chun as well by Ip Chun and my Wing Chun sifu was a student of Ip Ching and never ONCE called Wing Chun internal)

Xingyiquan

Di Guoyong on Xingyiquan Vol.1: Five Element Foundation

Xing Yi Nei Gong that was compiled by Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell

Li Tianji's The Skill of Xingyiquan - translated by Andrea Falk

The Xingyi Boxing Manual: Hebei Style's Five Principles and Seven Words (Paperback)
by Jing Yunting

Baguazhang

Liang Zhen Pu Eight Diagram Palm (Paperback)
by Li Zi Ming

Bagua You Shen Zhang (Paperback)
by Wang Shu jin

The Whirling Circles of Ba Gua Zhang: The Art and Legends of the Eight Trigram Palm (Paperback)
by Frank Allen

Taijiquan

The Essence and Applications of Taijiquan (Paperback)
by Yang Chengfu

Mastering Yang Style Taijiquan (Paperback)
by Fu Zhongwen

Taijiquan Laojia - Chen Zhenglei

Qigong

The Root of Chinese Qigong: Secrets for Health, Longevity, and Enlightenment - Yang Jwing Ming

Post related to the topic (there is also another Wing Chun is internal no its not post out there, look and ye shall find)

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67900

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=67531

http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=61600

Downloads from Andrea Falk

http://www.thewushucentre.net/service_pages/downloads/

Now with all that I will add this, as I have added multiple times before in post in response to you and this is the last time.

Neijia/Waijia MEANS ABSOLUTLY NOTHING!!!!

They are labels like sports car and sedan that came into existence as more of a protest against the Qing Dynasty in China and the label appeared for teh VERY FIRST TIME in the Epitaph for Wang Zhengnan in 1669 almost 340 years ago. And here is a new addition not one single CMA that is now called internal was even MENTIONED in the Epitaph. And not one single art that could be called External was mentioned either. And you can find the epitaph with a web search I will not provide any more info.

ALL CMA styles train internal and external and ALL are not considered internal. Read the books I put in this post and PLEASE... I BEG YOU..STOP trying to convince everyone that Wing Chun is internal. By ALL the definitions that we have been stuck with since 1669 it is not.
 
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Yoshiyahu

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Well maybe my Sifu was different...because the first six months...I was learning Ma Form and Sil Lim Tao. I was also walking the circle. I was practicing sitting in stances for long periods of time...thats worse then getting hit...But after awhile your legs give...We had to strecth. We did breathing meditation while sitting half lotus. We got much theory...I didn't really have any applications until after about year....the stress was to make your foundation strong. Because with out strong Chi your wing chun will be useless. We had to hold YGKYM stance, We also had to hold Mabu stance,Arrow stance and cat stance and also swallow stance. We had to learn low stances on the ground...The Wing Chun down punch I hate with a passion. Try standing in that posistion holding your ginger fist out. Painful...We did punching exercises until our arms fell of..we had phyiscal conditioning too that was similiar to eagle claw phyiscal conditioning...but we also learn about internal in the beginning. So I say my wing chun is an eternal art...because my Sifu stress in the beginning foundation and basics. I also learn the steps in the beginning so you would stepping all day..walking in the circle standing in stances etc etc

The Basics

Chi
Root
Breath
Relaxation

These were the main things I had to learn. Also holding those stances taught me how to relax and remain calm...throwing thousands of punches taught me how to relax while under pressure...As for self defense...After six months there was Chi Sau. Which was sensitivity...you learn to feel your opponent intent an turn his energy off before he can strike you. Now application well you stand in a corner and block with one hand while your Sidai throw various strikes at your body or face. You stand in the middle of floor blind folded an try to block oncoming strikes.

Then after that you go back to the basics.

Then strecth again...

My Sifu always stress finding ones center of gravity...

Wing Chun has smaller circles. It doesn't spiral and turn constantly like a snake...But it does use the hips to generate Jing. It uses the waist to generate power...an it uses the breath to generate chi along with the YI.

My Sifu used to stress practice punching really really slow...and focus on the punch follow it and imagine your energy shooting out of it.




Circle walking which some claim comes from the Lung men sect of Taoism.

The amount of twisting and spiraling done makes it internal.

Santi makes Hsing yi internal for the most part.

The whole internal external is really how the art presents itself at first.

Internal arts focus on cultivation and theory and all that while external seems to focus on learning how to apply applications first then learn internal parts after you already know applications.

Basically same process in reverse.
Wing chun is usually seen as external because of the stress on application over the training done in the internal arts.

In my experience practing the internal arts you can spend months just working on posture,rooting. Just spending 6 months or so learning basic circle walking for 2hours a day before even starting to learn applications.

Starting Chen Taichi chuan I only learned Silk reeling before forms then after forms maybe application. So there is a lot of time spent before you learn application which in an external art you do not spend that much.

Wing chun has internal parts yes but so does Shotokan karate,Jujutsu and so on in there higher levels but they would be considered external because they stress external as there base.
 

mook jong man

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Not like in Ba Gua (Pa Kua) or Hsing-I, though.

I have sparred a Ba Gua man before and he spun around a lot is that the type of hip motion you are talking about ? If so , no we don't do that , In Wing Chun that would be considered an overly committed movement and deemed to be very risky .
 

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First let me answer this

"Wing Chun is an Internal System "

No it isn't

But as I have said before if you wish to call it internal or campaign for it to be called internal then so be it. But I would greatly appreciate it if you would stop trying to convince me and everyone else it is by copious posting on the topic that all ends up basically the same. You say it is neijia people say it isn't.

"Yoshi" I know that you come from a different lineage, so I can't comment on your training. But the WC/WT I have studied (on and off) for the last thirty years has been described as descended from the tradition of soft, or "yielding", Southern Chinese short-bridge, narrow-stance fighting arts.

Perhaps the confusion comes from the term "soft" to describe the yielding nature of what I consider to be good WC/WT. But "soft " is not the same as "internal".

WC/WT is supposed to be a practical, no nonsense art that can be quickly learned and applied (although it takes a lifetime to master). Furthermore, it's techniques and theories can be explained in terms of basic physics. It's emphasis on yielding and sensitivity, is just an extension of these theories. I find nothing in any of these theories that requires a belief in chi, or fits with the classic descriptions of and "internal" art.

Now, as others have said, elements of "internal" training may be present in basically "external arts", but that doesn't make the style one of the classical internal arts. Of course you are welcome to insist, but in doing so, you stand alone.

Personally, If you want an informed opinion on the subject, I'd listen to Xue.
 
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