Friday, September 2, 2011

Soft-Internal Arts vs Hard-External Arts - politically incorrect comparisons

EMA = External Martial Arts ( hard)   IMA= Internal Martial Arts ( soft )

1. EMA favors the young, strong, big, tall or male
2a. IMA suits everyone including the old, weak, small, short or female.
2b. EMA competition rules demonstrate the limitations and inferiority EMA

Boxing, Karate, TKD, Muay Thai, Judo competition matches etc .... all these separate the women fighters from the men ... small men from bigger ones according to weight classes, meaning little men are pitted against little men, big against big.  Doesn't this imply EMA is USELESS against a bigger man ?
The rules declare so !  In a real fight where the loser dies, you don't get to chose who attacks you... This is where IMA is useful  in defending yourself.

3. EMA adopts a 'brute force versus force' strategy... clearly, the bigger, stronger fighter wins
4. IMA uses energy efficient movements, mechanical advantage,  borrows opponents force/ momentum, gravity and at the highest level, Effortless Power manifesting as  Qi/ Chi, to defeat your attacker. IMA uses skilful tactics and deceptive strategies.  EMA uses obvious brute force.
EMA fights hard, IMA fights smart.

5. A 65 yo Karate ( an extreme EMA style ) black belter will find it hard to defend himself against a big, strong young attacker. His strength will simply fail him.
6. But an IMA Eg Tai Chi, master aged 65 is a better fighter than when he was 20. Not only will he prevailin a  fight against a stronger  younger opponent, he'll have little trouble defeating that 65 yo  ( arthritic) Karate black belt.

7. Over time, EMA practice damages nerves, joints and brain, a result of years of pounding sand bags, and taking hits to the head etc. Look around your martial arts friends and see if you notice people with 30 years of constant Karate, Taekwondo, Boxing or Muay Thai experience are limping, with joint complaints or in wheel chairs, plagued with osteo arthritis caused by years of abuse and damage, a sad consequence of the believing in :
EMA mantra  -  " No Pain No Gain " and no brain ?
IMA  mantra   -  " Pain is no Gain "


7a. Scientific reports shows many competitive boxers and American grid iron football players  ( perhaps rugby as well ?) have holes in brain tissue, side effects of countless hits to the head by way of punching, sudden deceleration on collision...leading to Parkinson brain disease, as suffered by the " Great " Mohammed Ali at age 42 !


As well, boxers are known to suffer chronic shoulder joint damage caused by shock waves sustained by hitting in a straight line. Newton's 3rd law explains why:
" For every force there's a equal and opposite reaction "
...which travels back into your shoulder joint.

 8.IMA adopts the " Pain is No Gain " mentality. Most IMA  practitioners are Arthritis free, Parkinson's free, dementia free, heart problem free, thin and fat free,...and remain fighting fit well into their 70's .

9. IMA conditions you to relax, remain calm and lower your blood pressure BP and adrenalin
10. EMA conditions you to be tense, tight, aggressive ( you often have to yell Ki-Ai  !) and raises your BP. Disagree? Just look around at  friends who practice EMA.

11. Think carefully before you buy into the " All martial  arts are the same and equally good" myth.
Some claim an enlighten view that " There no such thing as superior martial arts, only superior martial artists "
Sounds deep and insightful, but  if  the wrong tool isavailable, no carpenter, regardless of his skill is going to do well  right ?

12.  95% of Hong Kong and Hollywood Kung Fu movies glorify EMA styles...and is what influences public perception, and makes people believe MacDonalds serves healthy food

EMA is to IMA  is like McDonald's is to organic food.
They appeal to the undiscerning and naive...are you one of them ?

13. Most people incorrectly believe Tai Chi is only for health and fitness and not useful as a martial art....they will be shocked to learn that Tai Chi & Bagua  are among the most formidable, advanced and respected martial arts in China...holding a more esteemed position than all Shaolin EMAs. Why else were the Emperor's personal body guards taught Tai Chi & Bagua instead of Kick Boxing ( San Da  ) etc

14. In China, those who know say, " Shaolin bows to Wudang"

15. ALL EMA of Chinese/ Japanese/ Korean origin are Buddhist influenced
16. ALL IMA of Chinese origin is Taoist ( non religious ) based

17. If you want to live long and stay very healthy avoid EMA, and choose  IMA. You'll also be calmer, more at peace and content, less aggressive and more philosophical and perhaps become wiser  If you just started EMA, make this switch ASAP before you get in too deep. If you have been entrenched in EMA and curious about making the switch, bear in  mind that your challenge is to first UNLEARN ..and soften, loosen and relax when making that switch. And you will be rewarded.

18. Some people in the West adopt the " more is better" mentality. This is exemplified  when they add IMA  training to their EMA in the MISTAKEN believe there will be synergy. This is wrong thinking. A Taoist will be rolling his eyes... If you add hot and cold water together, you get luke warm water not BETTER water.

18. Generally speaking, in ancient China, IMA were the chosen styles of the refined, cultured,educated  ( and not necessarily rich) class , although Yang Lu Chuan  and Dong Hai Chuan were not highly educated. EMA  was practiced  mostly by the  uneducated such as farmers or those who are illiterate. It's the reason why Taoists ( IMA practioners) are commonly referred to as Scholar Warriors ( not thugs)


19. You'd never find a true Taoist practising Shaolin EMA. But you may sometimes find a EMA Shaolin Buddhist  practising IMA like Tai Chi, they know a good thing when they see it ! Beware many will tell you it is alright to mix the 2, and practise Shaolin and Taoist arts side-by side. BAD! The training requirements and philosophy are mutually exclusive and contradictory.  When you meet such a teacher, run for the hills.


20. If you have macho man concerns and wish to look like a tough guy, do EMA...but keep in mind you will pay with your health. Just look around for a 60 year old  EMA practitioner and check if he is healthy ? This is what you will end up as if you continue doing EMA.
IMA won't give you a macho man image, but your real power is hidden...this is what the Taoist adage " Crouching Dragon, Hidden Dragon" refers to....

21. Computer programmers/ developers, System Administrators especially Unix/Linux  seem to favour IMA over EMA... hmmmm I wonder why?

22. Examples of EMA:
Karate, kick boxing, Taekwondo, Muay Thai, Krav Maga, Western style boxing,  ALL Shaolin based styles, or all Buddhist based styles ( Choy Lee Fatt, Hung Gar, Jow Gar, Mok Gar )


23. Examples of IMA:
All Taoist based styles - Tai Chi, Bagua zhang, Xing Yi ( Hsing Yi ), Liu He Ba Fa, Wudang Drunken god, Aikido ( the only IMA of japanese origin), Systema ( russin origin but looks suspiciously like Tai Chi )

24. Examples of EMA - IMA hybrids
 Depsite being of Shaolin origin, Wing Chun is 50% EMA  50% IMA due to the fact founder Ng Mui took refuge in a Taoist temple
Baji, Piqua, Tong Bei, Northern Crane, non Shaolin , non Wudang Drunken god and a few others 


More articles on this topic:

  1. http://www.shenwu.com/Internal_VS_External.htm
  2. http://dandjurdjevic.blogspot.com/2008/05/internal-vs-external-martial-arts.html
  3. http://apittman.com/blog/internal-verses-external-martial-arts
  4. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hard_and_soft_(martial_arts)
  5. The features of BaguaZhang