Home Discussion Forum Internal or external arts which do you prefer?

Internal or external arts which do you prefer?

For years I’ve spent my life training in either ,boxing,karate,kung fu or jiu-jitsu.
But recently found myself exploring the internal softer styles for various reasons be it, pressure points, qigong or just simply economy of movement or am I just getting old and bushido dont answer that or I’ll need to box your ears auld yin lmao


  1. I am in an external MA (Tae Kwon Do) but we include some internal work as well. I’m sure that internal styles also include some external work. They are yin & yang (or um & yang in Korean). You really need both to be a complete Martial Artist. I think it makes sense to learn a mostly external style 1st & then add internal aspects.

  2. My preference is Internal soft styles as I’ll still be able to practice them when I’m a hundred (figuratively speaking). You don’t need to do an external style first to learn effective combat skills either. The internal styles do it as well it’s just the overall Internal power refinement and generation happens over time and comes with experience.
    There are a lot of misconceptions about Soft Internal systems. They do do strength, cardio, pad and other drills associated with the martial arts. it’s just how they go about it and the outcome that makes it different.
    As for the response above; Tae Kwon Do is an Internal Hard style. Any style or system that deals with “chi” or “power” or “energy” is an internal style but it is the delivery that determines whether it is Hard or Soft. Which would make just about every martial art in the world an Internal Hard style.
    And there is most definitely Yin and Yang in Internal Soft systems.
    Hope this helps

  3. I honestly think you need both. What is a punch without the precursor block? And what is the best block? An internally based one. I think both, but if I had to pick one I would say internal.

  4. Hi there
    You will probably get some rather silly answers on here but don’t worry your question is a good and valid one.
    I think all the best martial artists come full circle. When you first start training all you want to do is hit hard and fast. Then after years of doing it and putting your body through a rather rough time you start to realise that there’s got to be more to it so you start training in internal arts. That’s what i did. I’m now finding that I’m going back to external but with a better understanding of the principles. So i think to be really good you need to know how both of them work. In the end its got to be real and what ever style you train in its got to work for you.
    Most of the grandmasters in Japan and Asia have studied both or they have studied some form of oriental medicine.
    They both seem to go hand in hand.
    hope it makes sense? 😉
    Best wishes

  5. definately internal arts if you get good tuition it has so much to offer that’s probably why most external arts originate from them and if i was you i’d take slutty up on her offer

  6. I find internal styles more interesting than external, but the con of internal styles is that they tend to take longer than external styles to become a master.
    But considering all the benefits you can get out of internal styles, I think that this draw back is more than worth the extra effort. Just a matter of preference.


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