Internal power in karate

Discussion in 'Karate' started by davidp123, Jun 28, 2013.

  1. davidp123

    davidp123 Valued Member


    Does karate have methods for creating internal power,i know Taiji has,as far as im aware some Koryu schools of Japanese Bujutsu has ways to develop it.Maybe Goju Ryu has some practices for developing it.i don't see it emphasized with modern Japanese karate(as far as i'm aware)maybe the Okinawan's have training methods for its development,all styles have 'internal elements but is there certain styles of karate that emphasis internal power in their training?

  2. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Most Karate systems have breathing methods they emphasise, however most experienced Karateka will probably laugh at anyone claiming to gain power in any manner that can't be explained by science.
  3. inthespirit

    inthespirit ignant

    David, what is "internal power"?
  4. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Your implied statement that internal power cannot be explained by science is wrong. There are many explanations of internal power based on scientific principles of physics, bio-mechanics, and biochemistry. You don’t have to “believe” in chi to use internal power.

    As for internal power and karate, you don’t have to look far for examples (there is a recent thread on gripping the floor which demonstrates a karate exercise for developing internal power). I have seen variants of the same floor griping used in bagwa, win chung, hung kyun, and as well as the haka sytle mentioned in the thread.

    This said internal power is defiantly not front and centre of average karate repertoire. If you are interested in styles that emphasise how to generate and how to use internal power in fighting – xshing e or bagwa would be a good place to look.
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  5. Grass hopper

    Grass hopper Valued Member

    Karate is by nature not mystical and generally at the hi end there is little pretence about technique. You will generally not hear people reference internal power in karate because of the mystical (read, not real) connotation. However the breathing methods, body mechanics, and subtle movement that is common in karate could be considered internal power by some.
  6. AndrewTheAndroid

    AndrewTheAndroid A hero for fun.

    Before this thread goes any further, I think that we will need a clear definition of what internal power is.
    I tend to think that it is a false distinction. I mean how come when I as a tai chi guy do Grasping the bird's tail, it is internal, but when my shaolin friend does it, it is all of a sudden an external move?

    To me it is all just about moving your bones and muscles in an effective way.
  7. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Tom, re-read my post. :)
  8. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    He said if it CANNOT be explained by such means it will be laughed at so you and he are in accord

    *edit* should have read ahead - JWT already corrected it :)
  9. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    ^repeated for relevance^

    Internal and external are pretty arbitrary definitions and in my opinion don't actually exist.
  10. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    I agree entirely a clear definition would be very helpful. Unfortunately we are unlikely to get one. One of the problems of internal power is that there is no universally agreed definition. This makes it very hard to talk about.
  11. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    We can however discuss it light of what the OP means and go from there
  12. davidp123

    davidp123 Valued Member

    when i was talking of internal power i mean subtle body mechanics connected fascia lines,things like this,going deeper than the gross muscle body mechanics etc and focusing exercises on more subtle internal structures(i haven't got much knowledge on this stuff)
  13. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    Hi David, welcome to MAP.

    The Tai Chi guys I've trained with have a saying "when one part hits, all parts hit.

    It's this body mechanic that we're aiming for.

    The answer to your question is yes, Karate will have methods for this. They may differ to the mechanics the Tai Chi or Bagua guys use, but the outcome is the same.
  14. davidp123

    davidp123 Valued Member

    Thanks Simon!

  15. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    My old style certainly did have those subtle aspects - Shukokai. Type "double hip" into YouTube for some examples

    *edit* I'll start you off with an oft posted video...mainly be me admittedly



    Last edited: Jun 28, 2013
  16. Simon

    Simon Moved on Admin Supporter MAP 2017 Koyo Award

    You're welcome and I hope the explanation makes sense.

    Look at a video of Mike Tyson. It could be argued that he has "internal power", in that he uses his entire body when hitting. His hooks and uppercuts are excellent examples of this.

    Now look at a typical Karate student in class and throwing a rear hand punch from the hip.
    In the beginning it'll be step, pause for balance and deliver the punch.
    As you progress the step and punch will be one, but the connection through the hips will be missing.
    Moving on and the connective delivery systems become one.

    It takes years, but that's half the fun of training.
  17. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    Jwt - re read your post. It might not be saying what you thought it was.

    The original question is does karate have methods of generating internal power.

    You wrote

    You state that breathing is important in karate. You then apply a qualifier “however”.

    how•ev•er [nevertheless; yet; on the other hand; in spite of that:]

    and continue with

    This implies that other aspects of internal power cannot be explained by science and should be dismissed.
  18. John Titchen

    John Titchen Still Learning Supporter

    Tom, I thought I was being pretty clear that what is likely to be laughed at is power creation through any means other than those which can be explained through science.
  19. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    1) Bagwa = either Bagua or PaKua
    2) Win Chung = Wing Chun
    3) Hung kyun = Hung Kuen
    4) Haka = Hakka
    5) xshing e = Xing Yi or Hsing I

    Sorry - it's a bug-bear of mine.
  20. Tom bayley

    Tom bayley Valued Member

    So why dint you say that? :)

    I also could not disagree more. The benefit of internal power comes from applying it. Having a scientific explanation helps you to understand it. And having an understanding helps you to learn how to use it quicker and more effectively.

    However if you can learn to use it through experience, so that you can produce it and apply it when needed you don’t need to understand it.

    This is after all how most of modern medicine works. Drugs are tested in application. If they are effective they are kept. Regardless of whether anyone can explain how they work

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