Exploring the Internal

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Thanks to your interest, we are working to expand our exploration of the internal arts.  The links on this page will guide to to some demonstrations of routines and practices which have been integrated into our training regimen.  It seems that younger artists remain heavily focused on the overtly physical, with an emphasis on speed and power, usually applied in some way to establish dominance over another.  Once you have 40-50 years on the path, you realize this is ultimately an empty pursuit.  Bodies simply wear out from that regimen ... sure, you’ll have your 5-10 years of feeling invincible, afterwards, all you’ll have will be your stories.

If you are among the fortunate, you will at some point transition into the internal arts.  In Ironcrane, we encourage that transition at approximately age 40, some younger, some older ... it just depends.  That phase involves a deep exploration of balance, awareness, listening, centering, feeling, and projecting ... all of which (once you get it) are the driving architecture which underpin all movement.

Over time, this section will develop and expand.  Try to understand the message, for your own good!

August 10, 2012 - Addendum:

Over the course of my journey in the arts, I took a period of approximately ten years to extensively research, study, develop and incorporate internal concepts into the Gun Fu system.  This included study of Tai Chi Chuan, Chi Gung, Tai Chi weapons, Ba Gua, principles of internal power and its application, and meditations to develop Chi awareness. 

I began sharing those explorations with my advanced students, and before long, others began to elicit my assistance in resolving questions from their own practice.  Though unintentional, it became clear I had traveled some distance down the path... at least to the extent local internal schools were referring students for advanced training. 

It reminds me of the Zen story of a master archer.  When students came across the master, they found he no longer possessed bow nor arrows.  The master of course had completely internalized his great skill, and the bow and arrows were now his will and intent.  There is a ring of truth to the message!

Because it is hard to separate the essential from the distractions, I worked with some advanced practitioners to develop a clear system of study, and practice, one which would nuture deep understanding of concepts while encouraging growth of personal skills.

In 2012, given the remarkable progress of three participants in this experiment, and the coincidental development of a formal program of learning and transmission, I created a separate ranking system dedicated to  Gun Fu Internal Studies.  The internal studies are akin to a post-graduate degree ... after you get your Black Belt, and have mastered the concepts of power and efficient motion ... you have the opportunity to take what you’ve learned and bridge it to the internal.  That typically requires three years of supplemental study and practice and is recognized with a Black Sash.

Our program, includes, but is not limited to the following:

1.  Yang Tai Chi form and/or Cheng Man Ching’s short form and/or Buddha Tai Chi;

2.  Working knowledge of the Principles of Energy, and the general functional groupings;

3.  Dissolving Energy techniques;

4.  Yang and Yin push hand flows, both sides, all permutations; one and two hands; and in a free flow;

5.  Da Lu, and the permutations;

6.  San Shou and/or Sam Masich two person form;

7.  Single Person Tai Chi Sword;

8.  Single Person Tai Chi Sword converted to other weapons (example: Cane, middle stick, knife);

9.  Two Person Tai Chi Sword fighting form ... currently using Sam Masich version.

10.  Two Person Sword fighting form converted to other weapons (example: Cane, middle stick, knife).

After that ... you’re on your own!  The ultimate art is what you walk away with, leaving your bow and your arrows for the distraction of others.

These clips are for entertainment and general informational purposes only.  Actual self defense should be practiced in a controlled environment emphasizing safety, and only under the direct supervision of a Black Belt instructor, and only after you have been cleared by your personal physician.

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