Neijia combat de-mystified and proper training

The study of Neijia (Internal Art) boxing- prohibitions.

1. Do not attach to much theory into actual practice. When we practice Taijiquan, Baguazhang, Xingyiquan or Yiquan, it is useless to associate philosophy with what you’re doing. For example, many scholars started adding 5 element theory to Xingyiquan. This will not matter in a fight, focus on the combat move, intention, and application. It does not matter what meridian is opening or that it is associated with an element or I-ching trigram.

2. Don’t believe in Taoist Alchemy without seeing hard proof. Many of these scholars talk about jin transforming into chi, chi into shen, and returning to void and enlightenment. In neijia martial arts we need to train hard and do the training intelligently. When you train hard you cultivate different energy and attributes necessary for combat. It is nonsense to talk about breathing from the skin to the bones and into the dan tien. You shouldn’t try to force internal energy like qi into meridians and energy paths. It does no good and causes illnesses like mental problems. As you train hard it is already going into those places naturally.

3. We don’t practice neigong that ignores the external. Our training does involve external work like strength training and ‘wei gong’ combined with internal work like qigong and meditation. Drilling combat techniques and researching applications becomes external to the study of solo forms and proper mechanics which are internal. If you train without the external it will not benefit your health and ability to defend yourself in the long run.

4. Do not pursue super powers. Again, this is something many internal martial artists mistakenly strive for. Fake ability to jump over walls, withstand being cut from swords, or lifting great amount of weight. Just practice and develop your ability, I have never seen superpowers anyways. Their are Taiji people that like to display “fajin” powers on their students and the students compliantly hop backwards, but some have been caught unable to do this on non-compliant people, some teachers avoid other tai chi adepts so that they are not caught and tested for making the fake videos. Some will call it “Dynamic push hands“, Tai chi is a dynamic qigong, and push hands is a dynamic two person drill, but hopping backwards to make someone look good is just stupid. You’re either pushing, or neutralizing to counterpush. Others go as far as ‘no touch’ ling kong jin pushes. They all have one thing in common, they attract mentally ill searching for super powers.

5. Do not exhaust yourself. There is no need to train when your tired or to the point of exhaustion. This also includes your state of mind. Training when depressed, angry and excited can lead to exhaustion. This can lead to injury and illness. Train hard enough to get a aerobic, anaerobic, and/or ‘max oxygen volume’ and take breaks. Good rest and sleep is important here, along with rehabilitative methods of spa treatments like suana, steam rooms, and massage therapy for recovery. Master fitness and combat, sparring and drilling, but not to exhaustion.

6. Do not practice to much ying gong- Hard qigong. There is a difference when training to much bag hitting, kettlebells, weights, smashing bricks and other combat skills and not enough. Though these skills can develop great punching strength, to much strength can be detrimental to actual skill training. Use skill like a bull fighter. To much ying gong is like a bull and builds strength attributes for a short period of time. All time devoted to strength can be a waste of time in the long term. It is easier for younger students to do this as well. We want to preserve our strength and ability into to an old age. To much strength training can tax the body into injuries and aging faster.

7. Do not use standing as your practice. Several martial arts believe in long standing ‘jing gong’ and ‘zhuan zhuang’. Though there is some benefit to it, it is a waste of training time and skill training to stand around for 40 to 60 minutes holding a posture. You can work on forms and drills and get standing with short 5 to 10 minute standings several times during workout. Standing can help you properly align body mechanics, find mind stillness and concentrate mind and qi. It can also be harmful to nerves, knees, and waste your time that should be used for real skill development.

8. Do not add ‘wushification’ or ‘mystification’ to neijia boxing. Many wushu long fist masters have altered the tradition and modernized the neijia arts. They included it in wushu forms competitions and into sanda fighting. Some have gone as far as creating long fist jumping and kicks into Taijiquan competition forms judged like gymnastics. Others have mystified the art as Taoist, Buddhist, Confucian, and other religions creating cults that take advantage of the weak minded. The neijia arts are combat arts from centuries past used for fighting, there is nothing religious about that.

About Administrator

Coach Matt Stampe is a licensed to practice acupuncture in DC, Virginia, and Maryland USA. Book appointments at In the world of Bodywork, he has been a Certified Massage Therapist (CNT) licensed with the Virginia Board of Nursing, and has a “Master of Science in Acupuncture” (MSA) at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine ( He is certified with National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). He has taught hundreds of people Authentic Yang Tai Chi Kung Fu for over 25 years. He was President of the Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) Martial arts club, Secretary and Treasurer of USA chapter of Yongnian Association under Sifu He Weiqi. Experience includes: Kung fu schools: Omei Shaolin (Sifu Lu Xiaoling) 3rd degree Black Sash, Chinese Martial Arts Institute (Sifu Clarence Burris), United States Wushu Academy (Coach Christopher Pei), and Qi Elements (Sifu Nancy Bloomfield), Former Head Coach: Virginia Beach Parks and Recreation centers(Adults Tai Chi), Hope Chinese school (kids classes), NOVA MMA gym in Arlington (kids classes). Currently he is faculty at Virginia University of Integrative Medicine (Fairfax) and teaches credit courses in Qigong and Tai Chi. He has positively impacted peoples lives whether for health, sport, strength, combat, and spirit. As a true combat athlete, he teaches methods so people can be confident to defend themselves.
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