"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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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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Tai Chi Movements - Wudang Taiji 13

This is a very interesting form indeed. Supposedly created by the somewhat mythological figure, Zhang Sanfeng (Chang San Feng), the Wudang Taiji 13 Posture Form is the form practiced at the Wudang mountain (and several other Taoist monasteries). The first two videos are of master Yuan Xiu Gang, who you can schedule a trip to study with at his website:

Wu Dang Gong Fu. He has many foreign students, and seems very friendly.

The third video is master Zhong Yun Long.

The final video is master Chen Shixing.

You can actually study this Wudang taiji in Los Angeles if you are so inclined. If anyone does, we’d love to hear about your experiences.

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Taiji Qinna (Tai Chi Chin Na) – Part II

Continuing the series on Taiji Qinna. The first video is our good pal Chen Yu showing the destructiveness of his qinna gongfu. Ouch. You can find Master Chen’s website at cytjw.cn, but it’s in Mandarin. Still, a nice resource to learn more about Chen Yu’s classes and schedule. The second video here is Master Her Ran Shan, who I don’t know much about. I think he is located in Shanghai. If you know Master Her Ran Shan, contact me to let me know his info. Finally, the third video is Mike Martello. You can see that Martello’s qinna was highly influenced by his bagua, but I still wanted to put it in the series. RIP Mike!

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