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Thread: Skill vs. Strength/speed

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  1. #1
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    Skill vs. Strength/speed

    As someone who has practiced external and internal martial arts I think internal is the superior path. Why?

    Because internal arts are not dependent on strength(or speed really). They are a pure expression of skill. As you age (and everyone does, including you 20-somethings!) you naturally lose strength and you would be at a disadvantage compared to the young and strong.

    That being said...what do you do when you encounters someone that is more skilled than you are? Curl up in a ball and die? Get the crap beat out of you?

    No, that's why it's still important to build up strength and stamina as a fail safe. If you want to be a well-rounded fighter than you need to be in decent shape if you meet an opponent that has more skill. Ideally every fight would be ended with one punch, one kill. Anyone that's put on gloves and gone a few rounds knows this is nothing more than an ideal.

    But on the external side...why not try to be more efficient? Why build big muscles that slow you down and gas you out? Why not try to be as efficient in your movement so that you don't have to? Relying on skill first, strength and speed second.

    That's where I'm at in my training. Where are you?

    EO

  2. #2
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    I don't believe in internal.

    So, that's my comment.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    I don't believe in internal.

    So, that's my comment.
    Do you believe in skill?

    EO

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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
    Do you believe in skill?

    EO
    Yes of course, I don't believe that skill resides where there is not strength, stamina and conditioning.

    Unless we're talking needlepoint.

    the concept of "internal" is erroneous.

    you are a whole being. there are no secrets and yin fu was full of himself.
    Kung Fu is good for you.

  5. #5
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    That's usually the belief of those who are lacking in speed and strength...not that this belief is false, but it is only part of the answer. There is a time and place for everything, and I certainly would not sacrifice training for speed and strength, only to focus on 'Internal' skills.

    In my opinion, you must maximize your strengths, train for diversity of skills and be adaptable to the situation at hand. The mind, your mind is your most powerful foe and your greatest ally. Why limit yourself?

    That being said, it is not practical to believe you will be good in all areas of martial arts, some of us have natural affinities to one skill set or another, a favorite technique, a weapon that feels like an extension of yourself.

    I guess your path to martial truth is your own, I believe in the balance of things, the middle road, I'd rather be a Jack of all trades and a Master of none.
    "if its ok for shaolin wuseng to break his vow then its ok for me to sneak behind your house at 3 in the morning and bang your dog if buddha is in your heart then its ok"-Bawang

    "I get what you have said in the past, but we are not intuitive fighters. As instinctive fighters, we can chuck spears and claw and bite. We are not instinctively god at punching or kicking."-Drake

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  6. #6
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    You need skill to get strong, you certainly need skill to be fast, everything requires technique.
    At different points in your MA "career", you will focus/priortize something over the others, but ALL are important facets of a complete MA.

    Considering the small part MA ACTUALLY play in our day-to-day lives, perhaps far more crucial is WHAT is a MORE benefit to us on a daily basis?
    The ability to kick ass?
    The ability to run fast and catch a bus?
    The ability to carry something heavy?
    Psalms 144:1
    Praise be my Lord my Rock,
    He trains my hands for war, my fingers for battle !

  7. #7
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    Greetings..

    Quote Originally Posted by David Jamieson View Post
    I don't believe in internal.

    So, that's my comment.
    Odd, isn't it? Internal doesn't believe in you, either.. that aside, though.. 'internal training', when based on traditional fighting skills rather than woo-woo chi-balls, is a formidable weapon in a fighter's arsenal.. i suffer no illusions as to the availability of high quality internal training, or Taiji training that includes non-compliant interactive skill training, but.. having been fortunate to train with such a group, i am convinced of the practicality of Taiji principles and many of the techniques (not all)..

    The great misfortune of Taiji is that it has been co-opted as the 'New Age' connection to something 'Chinese', or something 'Taoist', losing its historical Martial fundamentals..

    ... you just can't "yield" your opponent to death.
    No, but.. you can yield until the oponent has to 'choose what to do', adjust forward or retreat, this is the 'opportunity'..

    It's always interesting to note how dismissive people can be about things that 'they' can't make work in their paradigm.. i find external training AND internal training to BOTH be beneficial for a well-rounded Martial Artist.. but, unfortunately, not too may 'fighters' aren't interested in anything but decisive and destructive conclusions, which.. should be a well-trained option in the arsenal, but.. so should carefully neutralizing an opponent, and.. developing the skill to discern when those options are appropriate..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by TaiChiBob View Post
    The great misfortune of Taiji is that it has been co-opted as the 'New Age' connection to something 'Chinese', or something 'Taoist', losing its historical Martial fundamentals..
    tai chi isnt internal.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    tai chi isnt internal.
    Born in Ixelles, Belgium, Audrey Hepburn spent her childhood chiefly in the Netherlands, including German-occupied Arnhem, Netherlands, during the Second World War. She studied ballet in Arnhem and then moved to London in 1948, where she continued to train in ballet and worked as a photographer's model.

    EO

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    Greetings..

    Quote Originally Posted by bawang View Post
    tai chi isnt internal.
    Taiji is not bound by your opinions.. the internal/external debate is unfortunate, two paths to the same place, many get lost on both paths.. more on the 'Taiji' path, though..

    Be well..
    TaiChiBob.. "the teacher that is not also a student is neither"

  11. #11
    tai chi not bound me? tai chi not bound me? I AM TAI CHI

    theres no such thing as taijiquan . it doesnt exist.
    Last edited by bawang; 03-28-2011 at 02:39 PM.

    25th generation inner door disciple of Chen Style Practical Wombat Method
    Officially certified by Ethiopian Orthodox patriarch Abune Mathias
    grandmaster instructor of Wombat Combat™®LLC Practical Wombat Method. international academy retreat

  12. #12
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    Tai Chi Bob, you are a passve aggressive hippy.

    Can you live without breathing?
    What is breath?
    Where does it come from?

    Can you live without water?
    Where does it comes from?

    Where do you come from?
    Where are you?

    Reality is not bound by your opinions.
    Go get in a fight and measure your ruler.
    Otherwise, your attacks are fruitless and rejected.

    Kung Fu is good for you.

  13. #13
    In my experience both are valuable and necessary. Even in chen style they do some strength training like shaking the pole and such. The problem with most internal stylist is they do very little pressure testing so it is easy to believe anything will work.

    I train in both internal and external systems, and can see real benefits from both in solo training and in sparring. For example zhan Zhuang standing post is very useful in my Shuai Jiao and judo training. so are the strength training exercises of shuai jiao, when actually wrestling an opponent. And I was a push hands competitor and also did both internal and external for that training as well. And it paid off cause i won a gold and silver metal before. Where many of the internal guys I met having trained for years never even did any form of freestyle pushing or sparring before.
    Last edited by wiz cool c; 03-29-2011 at 01:10 AM.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by TaiChiBob View Post
    Greetings..


    Taiji is not bound by your opinions.. the internal/external debate is unfortunate, two paths to the same place, many get lost on both paths.. more on the 'Taiji' path, though..

    Be well..
    Ronin style hot chick pics are not bound by your opinions...the blonde/brunette debate is unfortunate, two muffs, same color, two paths to the same place, many get lost inside those muffs, errr, debates. More on the blonde path, though..

    Be poor..

    "The hero and the coward both feel the same thing, but the hero projects his fear onto his opponent while the coward runs. 'Fear'. It's the same thing, but it's what you do with it that matters". -Cus D'Amato

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Eric Olson View Post
    Relying on skill first, strength and speed second.
    Let's give a definition to "skill". IMO, skill is:

    1. 時間(Shi Jian) - timing,
    2. 机会(Ji Hui) - opportunity,
    3. 角度(Jiao Du) - angle,
    4. 力的使用(Li De Shi Yong) - force,
    5. 平衡(Ping Heng) - balance.

    There is only so far that you can do with your skill, but strength will have no limitation. You will lose your speed, endurance, flexibility, balance when you get old. But you will never lose your strength. If you can bench press 250 lb when you are 30, you may still be able to do that when you are 80 if you keep doing that all your life. Strength is the only think that you can depend on when you get old.

    You will need "finish moves" to end a fight. Those "finish moves" are:

    - punch to the head,
    - kick to the nuts,
    - elbow lock on the arm,
    - head smash with your throw.

    They all require "strength". No matter how good you are in your "internal" stuff such as yield, Sung, sticky, follow, sink, ... you just can't "yield" your opponent to death.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 03-28-2011 at 12:35 PM.

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