In his book the power of internal amrtial arts he says that he thins that Ba gua is the deepest, most complex and ultimately the most effective of the three internal systems... what are tim's or anyone else's views on the effectiveness of each of the internal arts?
Depends on the guy using it.
I tend to agree with Joe on this one.
If my memory serves me correctly, then Bruce mentions in the same book that his last teacher said the main thing was the individuals kung fu.
Having said that I did tai chi for 5 years and in hindsight, I don't think I gained any martial skill, although at the time I thought I was the pups plums. Now I practice Gao style bagua, and my martial skill is considerably better (although still not very good).
I guess that the teacher and individual are more important factors.
I have to admit my thinking on this point has not jelled completely. While I agree that the effectiveness of the martial art does depend on the person using it, that still begs this question in my mind. If one could compare people of equal talent, similar length of training and an even quality of instruction in each of the arts in question, can the art itself make the difference? And if so, was this that point that Kumar was trying to make when he asserted that ba gua was the superior art in his book? I am not necessarily implying that Kumar is right when he asserts that ba gua is the most effective (although my current thinking does tend in that direction), but I am asking for thoughts using my premises listed above as to equal talent, length of training, and quality of instruction as a jumping-off point for discussion. While the adage, "its the martial artist and not the martial art that makes the difference" is accepted in many circles as an answer, one that I accepted at one time, it is not for me the final answer to this line of inquiry, and in some ways it dodges the question. Admittedly the question of which, if any, is the superior martial art may result in different answers at different times and under different circumstances, I believe it is a legitimate question if the purpose of the question is to determine what art one will choose to invest what often results in years or decades of training. I personally have followed a circuitous path of cross-training, that consistently leads me back to ba gua (or to be more general neijia.)
Thank you for your thoughts, and may your holidays be peaceful and joyful. Walter
While on the subject of Frantzis,I would be interested in your opinion of the man himself and his BGZ.Anyone who has trained under him etc.Just interested,as I have heard alot about him both good and bad,but living down here in Oz there won't be much chance of meeting(seeing him in action).Travelling over to USA with the Aus$ is rather prohibitive,
I trained with him for ten years. You have it right. There is both good and bad. IMO his bagua is pretty good, but I study with Luo Dexiu now. I find the Gao style much more satisfying to my body and Luo's teaching seems more...organized. BTW Tim, any idea when Luo Laoshi is returning? Beth?
I'd guess Lou will be coming in summer, but don't know for sure yet.
It has seemed to me some arts have the potential to take a practitioner to 'higher levels' of skill or development than others. The most common situation though, is that very few people progress far enough in any system for this to make any difference.
Thanks Buddy,Mark I sort of still think that once you have the principles straight then its up to you to practise maintain and improve,I don't think this is easy or anything,and I guess this tracks back to the old artist or the art debate,guess its a bit of both.
What does ANY of this have to do with me?
Once upon a time I was riding in a car with a very famous and portly martial artist and his wife.We were commuting from Mill Valley to San Rafael to have lunch.A 15 minute jaunt.
Almost out of Mill Valley the very famous and portly martial artist commands his wife to stop the car as he "cant stans the hunger pangs no more."
Leaping from the car and running across the street the very famous and portly martial artist enters and remerges from a McDonalds-Quarter Pounder in hand and mouth.
Despite this detour a robust lunch was still had by all,including the very famous and portly martial artist.
Guess who paid.
Oh well,a man's got to eat when a man's got to eat.
Leaping and running? BTW isn't that park near the library in Mill Valley a great place to practice?
My F4 sqaudron had a saying about how good fighter pilots are: you can take a great F15 fighter pilot and put him in an F4 and he's just another piece of hamburger. My Aikido instructor found himself surrounded by a group of 17-18 year olds one night out in front of his house, he'd gone out there to quite them down from their noisy partying; he confided that that was the first time he realized (in his 15 years) he might not have the ability to cope with someone attacking him for real - by the way he was very good at Aikido in the Dojo and exhibited powerful technique.
I guess he isn't so portly anymore.....
Do you know how old that clip might be? I may be wrong, but it looks a little dated.
It seems that many IMA seem to develope that large stomach/big hip and leg deal.I have had serval Aussie MA people tell me this is necessary part of IMA.(I tend not to agree,being small and thin with a love for endurance sports/which I am constanctly told is counter to my IMA)However,Tim seems to be to oppsite, musclar thin and from all reports fit.one of the reasons I like this site so much and trully wish I could discover people like this down under.
Whats other peoples take on the expanding waist line of IMA?
Improper diet and lack of any real energy-burning exercise. There is little doubt that serious internal training builds strength, its just not the kind of exercise that is also going to burn large amounts of fat. Its still a good idea to run or swim on top of your internal traning.
With only a few exceptions, all of the famous Internal martial art fighters of the golden age were average sized to relatively thin (Zhang Zhao Dong, Li Cun Yi, Sun Lu Tang, Wang Xiang Zhai, Yin Fu...the list goes on). Others were somewhat bigger than average, none of them were massively obese (with the possible exception of Yang Chen Fu, who died in his early 50's).
I've heard some overweight practitioners of the IMA explain that weight doesn't matter, as long as their 'chi' is strong. My opinion is that thinking you are immune to the risk factors of obesity (heart disease, diabetes, high blood pressure...) because your 'meridians' are open could prove to literally be a fatal error in judgement.
In general, I'd look for the teachers that are lean and in shape. You can assume at the outset that at least they are practicing more than they are eating.
Thanks for the answer Tim.Just out of interest do you feel that Long Distance Running/endurance sport would have any contra effect on my Internal training?
I will remember that line about practiseing more then they are eating.
I don't think endurance sports will have any bad effects on your martial arts training, as long as you don't overtrain.