Thursday, February 8, 2024

Is it internal or not?


My question to a Tai Chi instructor in 1977: "Can you show me an "internal" movement? He said: I'm doing it, but you can't see "internal movement."

How do you know you are doing "internal"? Well, you CAN see "internal" movement on Master Hwa since he does not wear one of those Tai Chi uniforms so big it makes a tentmaker envious. So, if you can see it on Master Hwa, but some teachers say you can't catch it on them, others, or yourself, how do you know? Why not ask why you can't see it instead of "believing" a teacher?   Then, ask what can I do to "get it"?

 In Classical Tai Chi, you know that you are doing "internal" by self-examination (seeing) where the movement originates in your body's torso. You know whether anyone is doing "internal" by examining (seeing) their movements. You can observe these things in your body, but as you progress, you can feel (tactile) whether the movement originates inside or outside the torso.

Master Wu Chien Chuan passed this on. Every move has to have yin and yang (not moving and moving) parts of the body, and those are either in the torso (internal), or they are not (external). The moving and not moving parts form a "junction" called a Yin/Yang pair. One part of the "pair" moves, and the other does not.

Much Tai Chi says it is "internal," but ask yourself the following question when you see it: Is the movement originating in the torso or an extremity outside the torso, such as arms, legs, etc.? You also have to reckon with the fact that any "extremity" is the furthest point or limit of something and that internal is situated on the inside.

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