The most important theoretical aspect to consider when reviewing the ‘Internal’ in Nei Jia Quan is that they are ‘embodied’ concepts/philosophy. These concepts are unique to traditional Chinese culture and they actively shape the methods and combat strategies of these boxing systems.
The foundational framework in Taiji Quan is Yin/Yang theory. As the primary method and martial namesake (Taiji = Yin/Yang) it is obvious that we need to understand how Yin/Yang theory becomes a defining principle of this Taiji boxing system.
The cosmological theory of Taiji refers to the two emergent states of Yin and Yang. Visually this is expressed in the Taiji diagram often referred to as ‘two swimming fish’. In this diagram, Yang/White holds a balanced predominantly upper state in relationship to Yin/Black which sits below. Both express the theory of interdependence and continuous transformation from one to the other … Read More »
As I have already mentioned in Part-1 the three main boxing systems that are associated most commonly with Nei Jia Quan are Hsing Yi, Ba Gua and Taiji quan. These three systems are bound together by a common conceptual framework, hence their grouping. Internal Boxing systems are an ’embodied’ principle/concept and this separates them from most other systems that have developed primarily around the mechanics of attack and defence, speed, strength and of course stamina. Internal systems are developed out of traditional Chinese cultural concepts and ideas. These same concepts/ideas also can be found manifest in other aspects of Chinese culture like Daoist religion, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Qi Gong, Chinese Art and Feng Shui etc. They are culturally defining and express a cosmology, theories of origination, explanations of natural process and phenomena, illness and disease, seasons, growth and decay, … Read More »
There is often much discussion about the relative merits and characteristics of the Internal/External schools of Chinese boxing. Most of these discussions seem to be generated by practitioners who seek clarity on what has become a cloudy and often misunderstood martial classification. Interestingly it seems to be a conversation that means more to the practitioners of the so called ‘Internal’ schools than those of the ‘External’ schools. In addition it is also a conversation that is more likely to be had amongst western practitioners than amongst Chinese practitioners who in my experience see less conflict in the two terms.
In the spirit of shedding some light on the discussion, I have decided to put down some comments based upon my own experience and from what I have learned from my years of study under my Master Li Li Qun and more … Read More »