There is much debate these days on whether Wing Chun is an internal art or an external one. Some say that our power methods are the exclusive domain of internal arts: they are missing in external systems like Judo or BJJ.
These power methods are superior, they will argue. External styles may be effective, but they do not tap into this mystical source of power. They use brute strength, or at least, so goes the theory.
I have spent the last 22 years training internals through Tai Chi, Bagua, and Wing Chun. I have also trained in “external” arts such as Boxing and Judo. I can honestly say that I found some of the best internal practitioners in these 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 night whether the power methods used are internal or external, usually with no resolution.
You cannot argue, however, with a Judoka that sends you flying through the air. The results speak for themselves. Of what practical use is it to cultivate internal power if you cannot use it 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 22 years of training, I have decided 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 regularly.
Leave the internal vs external debate to those not willing to put in the hard work.