Internal Vs External Wing Chun

Internal Vs External WC

There is much debate these days on whether Wing Chun is an internal Art or an External one. Some will debate that there are internal methods that are the exclusive domain of internal arts such as Tai Chi or Wing Chun, which are not found in say Judo or BJJ.

The power methods are different, they will argue. The body is utilised in a different way, and although “external” styles may be effective, they simply do not tap into this mystical source of power. They only use brute strength, or at least, so goes the theory.

Having spent the last 20 years training internals through Tai Chi, Bagua and Wing Chun from some very skilled teachers both in China and Australia, and having also trained in so called “external” arts such as Boxing and Judo, I have come to conclude that some of the greatest internal practitioners are to be found in so called external styles.

The internal vs external debate has become dogmatic and of little practical use. Martial Arts should be judged primarily by their effectiveness in combat. One can debate all day and all night as to whether the power methods used are internal or external, usually with no resolution.

You cannot argue though, with a Judoka that sends you flying through the air, or a Boxer that knocks you out. The results speak for themselves. Of what practical use is it to cultivate internal power if you cannot use it in against a resisting partner. On the other hand, if you defeat your opponent in combat, what difference does it make whether you classify it “internal” or “external” ?

After 20 years of training, I have decide to leave these useless debates behind me. I do not care if people classify what I do as internal or external.. I only care that it works. Make your Martial Arts result driven. Spar often against practitioners from different arts. Spar against Martial Artists who are better than you.

Work hard, sweat and get your butt handed to you on a regular basis. Leave the internal vs external debate to those not willing to put in the hard work.


One thought on “Internal Vs External Wing Chun

  1. Sensei Stephen chen says:

    Hi, this has been a debate for many years, from my experience over the years is to absorb what is useful, train hard n adapt your training methods in sparring to keep an open mind irrespective of which martial arts you practice, one debate over so many years is hearing practitioners of different systems claiming their system is better blah blah blah, it’s the individual themselves on how he or she has trained on how to adapt where need be as n when, every sparring session is a learning experience not who is better than who, we as martial artist strive for improvement in ourselves physically n mentally.

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