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Internal and External

Another thing that Stanley Henning mentioned in his lecture on Chinese martial arts...

Temples that taught Buddhism were considered external because Buddhism came to China from another country (India).

Temples that taught Taoism (Daoism) were considered internal because that religion developed within China.

So it is possible that the martial arts taught in these temples were labeled "external" or "internal" because of the religions taught there.

As far as the martial arts distinction between "internal" and "external", Stan often points out that any martial art requires both. No martial art can be completely "internal" or "external". In fact, the distinction often has more to do with political code words or symbolism.

Those of us who study Karate, are happy to find a book or article from the 1920s. But by studying the earlier Chinese martial arts, we are studying the earliest roots of Karate. Remember that the early kanji for Karate read "Tudi" or "Tote" meaning "Tang Hand." The Tang Dynasty (618-906) was used as a term for China.


Charles C. Goodin