Monday, March 30, 2015

Unique Striking method of Internal Chinese Martial Art

Earlier I wrote a article comparing striking and grappling where I mentioned the Chinese internal style and how it can strike in close range and still cause internal damage. Today I am going to give some more details of how Baji's internal power works and how in theory it is going work.

Striking, as what most people understand, it is punching or kicking like you see in kickboxing. This form of striking is powerful, but it lacks penetrating powers. Most of the punches are for knockouts or causing swelling, some of the perfectly timed body shots do break ribs, but most of the punches won't cause internal damage while leaving the surface clean. That's because how physic works. 

Boxing strikes come from a distance and will always need distance. Although at the beginning of the launch, the power comes from the ground and the hip turn, the arms and shoulders at the same time turn, making the power a lot like swinging a baseball bat, it needs distance to strike and it can crush bones.

There is a different kind of punch that comes from Baji style, which is known for it's devastating power at very close distance. This punch requires the arm to be completely relaxed yet not stiff. Unlike boxing punches where the arm goes from bent to straight and back to bent during the whole process, Baji punches requires the arm to not move at all during the process. Arm and fist in this case are truly just objects that the body uses to strike with. You can almost look at the arm as a stick that's attached to your shoulder and one end and touches opponent's body on the other hand. All you have to do just rapidly turn your hip to one side and the other side automatically will push the stick into your opponent's body, causing internal injuries. To get an idea, you can feel free to experiment with a stick at home with very gentle hip turn and compare that with the strikes of boxing, you will know the difference immediately. 

The idea of the Baji strike is that the power comes from the turning of the hip and it propagates through the arm and into the opponent. In order to completely propagate all of the power, the upper body should be completely at ease and letting the power from the hip moves through every joint. Think of it as you snapping the whip. The part of the whip that will eventually make contact with the target moves after the force from your snapping pushes it so, the tip of the whip never moves before the force that you produce gets there through the length of the whip, or it will cause the disconnect. If you whip slowly, you can also see a wave being created by the whip, it's always coming from the source and propagate in the form of wave to ensure the originating force is the only acting force in this effort. 

So many of our striking are completely and solely arm movements, because we let our hands go before turning the hip, or at the same time, making our punches for like a smashing strike similar to hammers, rather than penetrating strikes like spears. This is why traditionally, Xingyi and Baji always use spears as a training tool for developing the strikes due to the elasticity of the spears making it a perfect media for propagating powers from the hip.

Through the training of taiqi pushing hands, the arms are trained to be a like frame, it maintains it's strong frame without having to use muscles, making it acting like a stick during the strike. Therefore, if you think push-hand is a form of sparring exercises like Wing Chun Chisao, it's a mistake. There is no desires to strike someone during push-hands or 'get' someone with techniques, it's all about developing the arm's frame by letting withstand constant moving pressures from the partner and moving with it without changing it's frame. 

If you put all these elements together, you will be able to throw a Baji punch that is completely different from boxing and doesn't need much distance to inflict tremendous damages and it is hard to block. 

Below is a video of Baji master demonstrating his punch on bag, The demo starts at 3.50. Notice how his body moves during the striking process, refer to what I mention about the whip and waves, you will notice something similar on his body movements. You won't find the same body waving movement on any boxers. At 4:31 minute, notice the bag was completely knocked over. We don't know how heavy the bag is, but you can hear the water inside the bag, and it is very hard to knock the bag over with boxing punches due to its lack of penetrating power. Lastly, just as this master said, the internal power should be effortless, after all of the strikes, for a person with an overweight shape, he was barely breathing any differently. If a young boxer has to throw this many strikes and trying to knock the bag over, he will at least be a little bit winded. 

All these illustrates the difference between Chinese Internal Style punches and conventional punches. 

Ok, enjoy the video:


By no mean I am comparing Baji with Boxing. These are two different styles of punching. I am sure Pacquiao can destroy this bag just as fiercely. In fact, I do believe that in order for Baji to beat boxing in a fight, Baji will have to train and get used to dealing with boxing combinations and footworks. However,that's not the point here. The point here is that I do believe that Baji's punch will be much more effective against grapplers since it doesn't require much distance to do great damage. The rapid and explosive hip twisting movement also generates great counter-power that will make it challenging for any takedown attempts. Just as i mentioned in the before, this works great in theory and I do see it as a great alternatives for strikers against pure grapplers. Until it is put to a true test, we simply can't count Chinese internal Kung Fu completely out.
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