For me personally I have always been fascinated with Internal Martial Arts. Through my own research I have seen some pretty silly things and heard some outrageous claims. People tend to listen to people’s opinions rather than facts.
You will hear stories about someone somewhere doing something amazing and that story is passed along from person to person and by the time that story gets out it really had nothing to do with the reality of the event.
Maybe when you where a kid, you remember your teacher lining everyone up and telling a story to one of the kids and it was each kids job to pass along the story until it gets to the last kid.
By the time the story got to the last kid the details of the story have changed and in some cases it’s not even the same story.
I feel this is the case for internal martial arts (Soft Styles).
…NOT ONLY THAT
Words! They matter. In the video you are about to watch Sifu Phu, he uses the words (Absorb and Convert). Personally I see them as the same. However, I understand from Sifu Phu’s point of view they are not the same.
One creates a situation where you are mentally telling yourself to collapse your energy (absorb) while the other word suggest not collapsing rather (convert) the energy.
Ask Sije Jamie I am bad with words, there are many times where I use words incorrectly according to a dictionary. I do try and slow my mind down and think about what I want to say before I say it.
With that said, I have always been good at understanding what someone is saying simply by listening to the totality of what they are saying and not focusing so much on specific things that are said. (That’s for another story though.)
The video you just watched has drawn some controversy on some social media sites. Some folks instead of listening to what Sifu Phu is saying, simply looked at the headline (SOFT STYLES DON’T WORK) and that’s all they needed to draw a conclusion.
I was drawn to learning from Sifu Phu because his focus has always been combat. Real fighting isn’t like sports fighting. Even this fact is argued over online. After putting in the time to learn martial arts, you can unwind by playing games such as dadu online.
I effectively use Tai Chi, which is considered a soft style in my martial art. It’s because I physically understand the difference between absorbing and converting. It has been my own experience that it’s not what your educated mind understands that matters in a fight. It’s what your physical body feels that matters most. (I could write all day just about that.)
What is your opinion of soft martial art styles?
John J says
The video makes perfect sense to me. When I am doing everything right my partner always asks how Do you make it feel like you are not there until you hit me and why does it seem like you are always striking and defending at the same time Si fu said it and I have many times myself soft enough to bend with them hard enough to hold them but not stop them and now you can control them
Sifu Larry Rivera says
Right! Not to hard, not to soft…
Pierre G says
wai gong and nei gong are intimately related .A hiden force is the capacity to express a great strenght by a appearance soft and lite a physical work misunderstood will necessary oppose to a comprehension of internal work who does not reside in gesture but in the intention what matters more than anything else is a person ability to undrstand how to use energy and pressure
Sifu Larry Rivera says
“what matters more than anything else is a person ability to understand how to use energy and pressure”
I agree! 🙂