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History and Development: – The term ‘neijia’ and the internal vs. external martial arts distinction were first mentioned in Huang Zongxi’s 1669 work. – Sun […]

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History and Development:
– The term ‘neijia’ and the internal vs. external martial arts distinction were first mentioned in Huang Zongxi’s 1669 work.
– Sun Lutang, a key figure, contributed significantly to the understanding and promotion of neijia arts, particularly tai chi.
– Recognition of internal skills, like those from Wudang, in martial arts tournaments in the 1920s highlighted the growth and acknowledgment of neijia arts over time.

Training Methods:
– Internal styles emphasize spirit, mind, and relaxed leverage over muscle tension.
– Common training methods in neijia arts include pushing hands for sensitivity and softness.
– Physical training in neijia arts involves stance work, stretching, muscle strengthening, and forms practice to enhance coordination and balance.

Characteristics of Internal and External Styles:
– Internal styles focus on mind use, soft movements, and intrinsic energy cultivation.
– External styles, like Shaolin kung fu, are known for fast, explosive movements and physical strength emphasis.
– While some argue there is no distinction between internal and external systems, traditional training methods and philosophies differ significantly.

Current Practice and Application:
– Many neijia schools now teach forms for health benefits, with tai chi being popular for its low-stress exercise reputation.
– The integration of martial aspects in neijia arts is a topic of debate among traditionalists, emphasizing the importance of understanding core theoretical principles for health benefits.
– Neijia arts and qigong are closely related in modern practice, reflecting the evolution and adaptation of these arts over time.

External Resources and Further Reading:
– Various publications and research articles provide in-depth insights into neijia arts, their history, training methods, and characteristics.
– External links to websites and journals offer additional resources for those interested in exploring neijia arts further.
– Sports participation studies also indicate the continued interest and engagement in martial arts, including neijia practices, within the broader fitness and sports community.

Neijia (Wikipedia)

Neijia (內家) is the collective name for the internal Chinese martial arts. It relates to those martial arts occupied with spiritual, mental or qi-related aspects, as opposed to an "external" approach focused on physiological aspects. The distinction dates to the 17th century, but its modern application is due to publications by Sun Lutang, dating to the period of 1915 to 1928. Neijing is developed by using neigong or "internal changes", contrasted with waigong (; wàigōng) or "external exercises" .

Hanyu Pinyinnèi jiā
Literal meaninginternal family
Traditional Chinese武當拳
Hanyu Pinyinwǔ dāng quán

Wudangquan is a more specific grouping of internal martial arts named for their association in popular Chinese legend with the Taoist monasteries of the Wudang Mountains in Hubei province. These styles were enumerated by Sun Lutang as tai chi, xingyiquan and baguazhang, but most also include bajiquan and the legendary Wudang Sword.

Some other Chinese arts, not in the wudang quan group, such as qigong, liuhebafa, Bak Mei Pai, ziranmen (Nature Boxing), Bok Foo Pai and yiquan are frequently classified (or classify themselves) as "internal".

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