Internal vs External Arts

April 14, 2017 | By | 2 Comments

The Confusion

Many people see the difference in External and Internal Martial Arts as being hard and fast as compared to soft and slow in physical action that makes the distinction.

However it depends more on the mind-set and method of the practitioner as they work if their style or art is truly internal or external.

As example:

Kyusho is an internal style as the mind-set or method is based on reaching in to attack or restore the internal structures and functionality of the body.  To be able to affect the functionality of the opponent and self, as opposed methods or physical actions to condition or affect only the external body, one must become an internal Martial Artist.

To clarify this further, a Tai Chi Player (generally considered an internal Art) that only performs the form or push hands would relate more to external features. Whereas a Shotokan practitioner (typically considered external), who utilizes Kyusho would be actually using an internal method.  This is not style specific measure as opposed to practitioner specific measure.

Kyusho has transformed our old perceptions and gave given us deeper understanding and possibility, it forever changes your personal style for exponential growth and depth once adopted, no matter the style.

The Art/s one practices can no longer be labelled or typify that individual, but rather we must look at the individual to classify their style... what are they doing with that style or art.

As the internal arts were typified as more advanced, we once wondered why this old precept originated, but now fully understanding and adopting Kyusho into our art, we fully understand and can advance ourselves to that internal method.



At the core of any human venture comes the anatomy and the control of all physical and physiological function.  But it is not just knowing about it, it is in being able to control it and make it not only physically possible for ourselves, but able to also work upon others.

This is not just martial application, it also pertains to the energetic and functional processes of others.  The internal arts can only ever be partially realized unless it can be transferred within another.  So the simple manifestation of the Tai Chi player developing their own internal energy as example is only partial in it's manifestation and understanding.  (please include all previously labelled "Internal" styles of Qigong and Soft style "Martial" arts).

It is only in the full integration of self and those influenced that any art can become complete.


Look Within

This is not to say that these "Internal" styles are incomplete, that is only held in the mind of the practitioner as to the merits.  But just because a style is slow, or Qigong focused, does not mean they are fully or truly internal.  We must always strive for the truth within ourselves, not deception to believe incomplete or labels are concrete.




#Kyusho  -ep

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Category: Energy, Protection, Styles, Training

Comments (2)

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  1. admin says:

    So many people wishing to become more proficient in Kyusho also only seek more and more knowledge, or external actions or technique. While this is of course a vital point, most seek it in less efficient or actual skill developing ways.

    For example, reading a book or watching a Video only goes so far, it must be trained to become real skill.

    Even in classes, seminars or training sessions, most seek more information; another point, another detail in use, another use. The real education is not just in this information, but more in your continued use and actual application on as many different people as possible.

    This allows you you to gain an internal knowledge, not simply external information. Kyusho is an internal method.

    Kyusho is an internal art or skill or understanding, the more you apply and feel the more you can accomplish.

    Your hands are your best teacher, use them well and always to convert your knowledge to your entire being not just your brain.

  2. Euphoria64 says:

    If the individual (practitioner of the art they train) now classifies the style in which they operate out of, e,g, internal/external/both, then it isn’t the movements, routines and even drills and exercises used that make it so. In other words, it’s not the obvious that is seen that dictates whether what an individual is doing is classified as Internal or External. Doing something hard with what is perceived as using just muscle, strength and power doesn’t mean the application is external. Conversely, do something slow and relaxed and thinking of Qi doesn’t mean the application is internal.

    Internal & External points to a way of being as you perform your art in a certain way. It is the focus and application on known principles that through intention and awareness guide the practice and development of the individual to harness a superior position where natural strength and weakness is known and utilised, along with mind/body mechanics and knowledge via movement that conforms to specific and natural laws.

    On the outside this way of being is unseen to the uninformed or those that are ignorant of how the training is being performed.

    Behaviour in any form has both and internal and external part. Specifically focusing on martial arts, when we perform we are not just doing, we are being. There is a reason why we are called Human beings and not human doings.

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