Internal Chinese martial arts are often presented in the West as this special spiritual thing deserving of seated lectures about the meaning of Tao, complex esoteric meanderings on the nature of Chi or Shen and expensive seminars involving “masters” “lineage holders” and “internal fighters”. There are a lot of snake oil salesmen out there.
I say to hell with all that. It’s a trap you need to avoid or break out of if you’re currently in it.
Internal arts are martial arts and they should be trained like martial arts.
When you see videos of people in China training, it’s small groups with a very informal structure. Watch this video as a good example:
What they’re saying doesn’t matter so much (although that is interesting too) as what they’re actually doing. Watch the people in the background training. That’s how I think these arts should be trained: small groups, informal structure and preferably outside. No whiteboards, lectures, seats or marketing.
Nobody is trying to sell you anything or upsell you anything. Just people being shown something and trying to practice it, Making mistakes, getting better and just training.
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