As I explained in Defining The Internal Martial Arts, there is no consistent definition of what constitutes a neijia style. In fact, you might be a neijia artist yourself, and not even realize it! Here are a few of the classic warning signs.
If you are constantly looking inward, yet still cannot stand the sight of blood,
you might be a neijia artist.
In 1970, a young martial arts instructor embarked upon an ambitious project. His goal: to teach America about the full potential of martial arts, as a vehicle for both physical betterment and spiritual evolution. His name: Bruce Lee.
In 1966, the Chinese government began a violent purge of traditional culture. Communist Party Chairman Mao Zedong called for the abolishment of all things old, and enlisted a youth militia to perform the destruction. Local police were forbidden to interfere.
Mao’s regime criminalized the practice of traditional wushu. Threatened by harassment, imprisonment or torture at the hands of the Red Guard, some martial arts experts went underground. Other unfortunate practitioners were “re-educated” to death.
The first Cultural Revolution has ended, but wushu now faces a new peril. This second revolution transcends national boundaries, and there is little hope of escaping its reach.
Excerpted from The Rediscovery of Panmachon by Kosta Danaos:
Anyone with a more than elementary involvement in the martial arts and combat sports is able to tell the difference between the two. A combat sport is, by definition, an athletic contest between two individuals, the main intention of which is, in the end, to assure the participants’ safety. Wrestling, judo, taekwondo and boxing are principal examples of combat sports. Techniques that are by definition hazardous to the participant’s health and continued wellbeing are (or should be) prohibited. It is plainly understood that contestants are not allowed to (nor desire to) attack one another’s eyes or genitals, bite through each other’s flesh, or attack the spinal chord and skull using lethal strikes, locks, or other techniques. Killing or permanently disabling the opponent is not the objective of combat sports, though injuries abound…
By day, I am a mild-mannered software developer; when darkness falls, I step away from the computer for more vigorous pursuits. During the past few days, I’ve been moonlighting as a private dick. My latest case: to find those responsible for the destruction of the Shaolin Temple village, and bring them to justice.
The Secret, a new personal development guide by Rhonda Byrne, is taking the nation by storm. In the last three months, the book has sold almost two million copies, and the DVD has sold one million more. Einstein, Beethoven and Plato knew and used it. Oprah loves it.
What is this “secret to unlimited joy, health, money, relationships, love, youth, and everything you have ever wanted”?
Excerpt from Yoga, Ahimsa and Terror by David Frawley:
The Bhagavad-Gita, which teaches about the spiritual aspect of yoga in great detail, was taught on the battlefield, during a civil war. While some will say that this outer battlefield is a metaphor for an inner struggle, which is true, that an outer battle was involved is clear from many historical records from ancient India. Krishna, the great yoga teacher, encouraged his disciple Arjuna, who was a great warrior, to fight, though Arjuna was reluctant and wanted to follow a way of non-violence instead. Why did Krishna encourage Arjuna to fight?
The classification of Chinese martial arts into two families—internal and external—is generally accepted without question. Despite its popularity, the precise definition and significance of these families is not universally agreed upon.
What is the origin of the internal/external categorization? And what should it mean to you as a martial artist?