"Internal" Power vs. "External" Power

This debate will probably never end … and the question will probably never be fully answered:

What exactly is the difference between the internal and external martial arts?

While I certainly can provide no definitive answer, I thought it might be helpful to share a bit of what I’ve learned in my experience with the Chinese internal martial arts, and particularly the distinction between jìn (勁) and lì (力).

First of all, an important linguistic note from native Chinese speaker & master taijiquan practitioner, Zhang Yun’s article on Li & Types of Jin in Taijiquan.

“In everyday usage, both of these words mean physical force, and can be used interchangeably. Very often, people use jin to denote a very large force.

In martial art, these are technical terms with more precise definitions. Li is simple muscular force, what we call “untrained force”, …

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Chen Yu Taijiquan Yong Fa (Chen Yu Tai Chi Applications)

Everyone in the world of taiji quan must show respect & admiration to Chen style tai chi. As the forebear of taijiquan (by many historical accounts), Chen family Patriarch Chen Wang Ting was perhaps the originator of tai chi as we know it. The Chen family “cannon fist” style, and its unique development of a specific kind of internal power, has evolved over the last 500 years into the many various styles of tai chi as we recognize them today.

Chen Wang Ting Statue

<<< Chen family patriarch Chen Wang Ting (1580–1660) >>>

While there are many parallel stories of the development of taijiquan, all the modern styles of taijiquan officially or unofficially credit the Chen family style as their …

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The Modern Taoist Alchemist: Huang Xing Xian

Back! For the first post with the new blog style, and a renewed energy for this site … … I am dedicating this to one of the great grandmasters of our time: Huang Xingxian or Huang Sheng Shyan. Huang Sheng Shyan (Huang XingXian)
Master Huang’s martial arts training began with “one of the last great Fujian White Crane masters”1, Xie Zhongqian. In fact, Huang learned White Crane Boxing (baihe quan), 18 Buddha Boxing / Arhat Boxing (luohan quan), and Neigong all from master Xie. Huang also studied further Fujian White Crane style, as well as Traditional Chinese Medicine and the Literary Classics from his teacher Pan Chun Nien. …

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Tai Chi Movements - Wu Style Long Form Tai Chi Video

This is the Wu Style tai chi form as practiced and taught by master Wu Yinghua (as seen in the 1st-3rd videos). This is the Wu style that was also taught by Ma Yueh Liang, who we will continue to add more and more videos from. Masters Wu Yinghua and Ma Yueh Liang were two of the taiji legends of modern Chinese martial arts. Not only did they author several classic and many now out of print texts such as: Wu Style Taichichuan : Forms, Concepts and Application of the Original Style and Wu Style Taichichuan They also brought this Wu Style to a huge number of people all over the world. I am learning this form right now in Southern California. …

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Taiji Fajin (Tai Chi Fa chin) - Chen Xiaowang

Check out this collection of Chen taiji Grandmaster Chen Xiaowang demonstrating his fajin. Fajin or fa chin literally means to “issue force.” Typically, when we think about a fajin exertion, we are imagining the explosive form of jin, as seen in these videos of Chen Xiaowang. While there are other forms of fajin, on this website we will stick with this convention. Take a look at the Tai Chi Fa Jin category to see all of our videos of various masters demonstrating their fajin energy, and even get some ideas of how to practice this energy yourself.

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Chen Taiji Quan Fa Jing (Fajin) by Chen Yu

Here is just a nice little video of Chen Yu demonstrating some fajin energy from Chen style tai chi. I think Chen Yu’s fajin is one of the best looking I’ve seen in an internet video. Imagine being on the receiving end of some of those strikes…