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internal martial arts

the  most sophisticated fighting systems

Internal martial arts are a set of martial systems that all originate in China, and share certain commonalities in the body methods that use. Taijiquan, along with Baguazhang, Xingyiquan make up the three most widely known internal martial arts, although there are many other less widespread systems. 

They share certain principles and some common elements in their training systems. Here I'll outlines some of the elements of internal systems according to my understanding, and also from the Chen Taijiquan perspective, as I have not trained in either Xingyi or Bagua. I'll also link to some interesting articles at the bottom of the page.  

I hesitate to try and define internal arts, but they tend to have a number of things in common

I came across this nice piece which outlines very well the difference of approach of internal vs external amrtial arts.

fighting sytems...

power generation

postural sensitivity - ting jin

power generation


progressive firing


winding/elastic recoil

listening / rooting


relaxation / heaviness



listening - my structure is sfoter and more even, I can feel other

rooting, absorb force

neutralisation - mantain postural principles while rearranging structure according to incominig force


a fundamental principle is relaxation. The body must be loose so it can function efficiently as a kinetic chain.

Kinetic energy needs to be transferred efficiently through the tissues of the body, so relaxation is key. And place where there is holding or stiffness is a place where power will get stuck and lost during energy transmission. 

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