White Crane Boxing .... Internal?

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White Crane Boxing .... Internal?

Postby baihe shifu » Tue Dec 29, 2009 6:19 pm

Hello all,

I've been a member for a little while and although I don't post too often I am a fan of this forum and its approach to discussing the arts.

I'm a practitioner, researcher and seeker of the martial way which involves White Crane Boxing (in particular 鳴鶴拳Minghequan or Calling Crane with elements of Feeding Crane Fist 食鶴拳 and Shaking Crane Fist 宿鶴拳).

For me, my involvement has lead me to believe (and practice) that White Crane Boxing is essentially an Internal art even though it does not seem to be listed as such with regards to the big three (Taiji, Bagua, Hsing-I).

What are other fellow members thoughts on this? Is White Crane Boxing to be considered and internal art it is own right? Or is it simply a matter of one's own personal approach?
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Postby Josh Young » Tue Dec 29, 2009 8:16 pm

I consider it an internal art, just not well known as one.

There are at least a handful of internal martial arts outside of the three well known internal arts of Taijiquan, Xingyiquan and Baguazhang, including arts outside of China.
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Postby Dvivid » Wed Dec 30, 2009 9:31 am

To call it an internal art is correct. White Crane is a soft-hard style, like Xingyiquan.

That means you are soft and relaxed until the moment of striking, then you tense up for a split second to emit jing when striking the opponent.

http://www.ymaa.com/articles/white-crane-gongfu-part-1
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:01 pm

I have little doubt white crane is an internal style (soft hard) but how can this be reconciled with the extensive use of hard chi gone in the early stages, 3 wars ect.

Is it as I suspect that the strain the crane jings put on the human frame requires a bit of re-structuring of the body?
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Postby Josh Young » Mon Jan 04, 2010 3:50 pm

I thought three wars could be done hard, soft or hard/soft, not just hard. I thought that some schools, like the Japanese, emphasis hard at the expense of soft, but that not all do.

Am I mistaken?
It could easily be the case.
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Tue Jan 05, 2010 6:31 am

I think your right, but still more hard chi gong than it taiji. I tend to do 3 wars hard or soft or hard soft depending on mood, time of day or what I want to emphasise ect.
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Postby Dvivid » Tue Jan 05, 2010 10:25 am

John, that is a very important point to understand.

Since Crane is a soft-hard style, you need to train both soft and hard qigong.

Soft qigong teaches you to have flowing, unbroken movement utilizing the entire body. It teaches deeper relaxation and enhanced circulation.

Hard qigong strengthens the muscles, tendons and bones for whipping speed and power.

Qigong prepares the body for jing patterns. (You are literally practicing the jing pattern in slow motion.) Crane forms are entirely constructed of jing patterns.

Any crane style, or permutation of, that doesn't extensively training both soft and hard qigong is incomplete, and you risk injury.

Many san chin (three battles) sequences I've seen, basically look like hard qigong. The san chin form is the missing link between ancient Chinese kung fu and Okinawan/Japanese, but it seems that some of the qigong theory is lost in later schools.
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:02 pm

Thanks for that, it is along the line I have been thinking but its really good to have it clarified. Its good to have a balanced approach. Crane jings really do put a huge strain on the body and its hard to build up the durability of the joints and tendons. Its a very long road.

:)
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Postby John the Monkey mind » Tue Jan 05, 2010 4:31 pm

On the subject of the dangers of jings I studied with a teacher (grate real world fighter) for over 10 years who has large achievement in Pak Mei (he didnt teach it unchanged to me but that's not the point now), he developed problems in his joints partly as a result of repeatedly practising explosive striking (jing, although he never called it that).
Having seen the forms I think the jings have similarity's to Crane, Pak Mei is also classified as a hard soft style. I have since remained very mindful of over practice of jings. Also the only Chi Gong we practised was soft so I have been wondering if hard Chi Gong is the way to save your body from this damage, I am reasonably shore it is.
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Postby Josh Young » Tue Jan 05, 2010 7:33 pm

The body must absorb the force of explosive strikes into thin air, over time this can cause damage. Taijiquan, real taiji, avoids this for this very reason.
However if one issues the energy the kinetic energy does not harm the body.

In White Crane Qigong the hard-gong is still done in a manner that avoids excessive tension, if I am not mistaken.
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Re: White Crane Boxing .... Internal?

Postby taiwancrane » Sat Sep 01, 2012 8:27 pm

You need to go back to the roots of White Crane it is internal not hard. This nonsense about soft/hard. It's not hard, but firm like a ball filled up with air (Chi). If you tense up at the time of striking then you are no different than karate or weightlifting and no where in the White Crane Classics by the old masters does it mention being hard. White Crane is an oral tradition from teacher to disciple. You are wasting your time learning from a DVD unless it is your teacher. Learn less practice more.

In white crane you don't punch because your body represents a crane. The palms, crane beaks, elbows, wrists, jabbing fingers, arms, etc. Your arms are whips using a flicking motion like a whip. Your fingers are snakes, your palm is a tiger. Your wrist is the crane's head. Your elbow is the crane's wing, etc.

Your should be developing a relaxed force as tai chi and any internal art does. The fighting will come naturally like water. If you are not relaxed you will get a beating. If you are hard it can be exploited.

There are only three ways to practice a martial art: 1. Outside firm, inside soft. For example, karate. 2. Outside soft, inside firm. For example, tai chi or white crane. 3. Outside firm, inside firm, Xingyiquan and Liu He Ba Fa.

Firm represents you Chin (relaxed force) in Tai Chi we call it Peng Chin. Of course your structure should be strong and connected to the ground.
Soft is your Chi and ting Chin (feeling hands).

All true martial arts teach the same thing.
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