What is Internal Conditioning?

What is Internal Conditioning?

What makes it different from External conditioning?

Have you ever had a really sour piece of candy?

Remember how that tasted. Think about it in detail.

If you’re like me your mouth is already beginning to water & pucker as if you’d just stuck that sour candy in your mouth.

And yet there’s no candy.

You just used your mind to trigger a response in your body.

This is Internal.

When we want to strengthen the body we put it under stress.

That stress is a trigger that causes your body to grow stronger.

External conditioning uses things that are outside your body.

  • Bodybuilders lift weights.
  • External Iron Palm guys hit their hands on stuff.
  • External Iron Body guys hit their bodies with stuff.
  • Etc…

Internal conditioning uses things that are inside your body.

It may begin with things that are more physical. Things that aren’t completely internal yet.

Difficult postures, arm swinging or slapping exercises, there are all kinds of crazy stuff like this in the Internal Arts.

They all put different kinds of stress on the body that stimulate it to grow stronger in different ways.

But that’s only part of the goal.

To take your Internal conditioning to the next level you need to pay attention.

FEEL how your body responds to this stress. Feel where and how the energy flows.

Then you can remember & use your mind to trigger the response.

And this is the HUGE advantage that Internal has over External.

With external you MUST put the body under stress to trigger a result and as the body grows stronger you need more and more stress to trigger growth.

As an internal martial artist you use stress when it’s appropriate.

…But as you gain skill (and get older) you let your mind do more and more of the work.

This is exactly how our Tai Chi Iron Body training works.

It begins with various Qigong exercises that cultivate Qi and build iron body.

Then, as you become skilled at these exercises and begin to fully understand the energy flows and the principles behind them you incorporate them more and more into all your Tai Chi.

Then you add them to most of your daily activities.

Eventually, most of what you do in your practice and throughout the day is contributing to your Internal Iron Body in some way.

It’s harder than it sounds, but it’s worth it.

Here’s a Q&A where Sigung Clear talks about how to find time to train:

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