Difference Between Internal and External Martial Arts

Internal and external martial arts refer to two distinct approaches to martial arts training and practice.

External martial arts emphasize physical strength, power, and athleticism, focusing on strikes, kicks, grappling, and weapons techniques. These styles often rely on brute force and physical ability to overpower an opponent.

Internal martial arts, on the other hand, focus on developing internal energy, or “qi,” through practices such as meditation, breath control, and fluid body movements. These styles aim to develop the practitioner’s inner strength and control, allowing them to efficiently redirect and neutralize an opponent’s force.

In internal martial arts, the goal is to develop the body’s natural response to an attack, through the integration of mind and body, rather than relying on muscular strength. The emphasis is on cultivating internal power and refining technique to achieve optimal results with the least amount of physical effort.

Both approaches have their own unique benefits and drawbacks, and many practitioners choose to train in both styles to develop a well-rounded skillset. Ultimately, the choice between internal and external martial arts comes down to personal preference and individual goals.