The importance of neigong in the internal martial arts

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What is the importance of neigong in internal martial arts?

Well, according to a very highly respected bagua zhang practitioner from Beijing, Ma Chuanxu, practicing martial techniques in internal martial arts without first developing neigong (which primarily involves opening the small and large circulations) is just a waste of time from the point of view of ever developing high level internal martial arts skill. This is why authentic internal martial arts training primarily focuses on practices which develop neigong. In xingyi, they typically might do a lot of standing practice, while in bagua it is lots of basic circle walking, and in taiji regularly practicing the taiji form will develop neigong, although all of the internal arts may supplement with other neigong practices as well depending on the exact lineage and teachers.


Can you achieve high level neigong if you do not maintain a long period of celibacy while developing your neigong skill?

According to Ma Chuanxu, no, but men who are not celibate can apparently achieve a lower degree of neigong if they do not have too much sex. I am not sure if there is any such requirement for women, but it was primarily men who learned the internal martial arts during Ma Chuanxu's time, so that is why he likely didn't comment on the requirements for women. Ma stated that a serious internal martial arts student would need a period of about six years or so of celibacy to develop good neigong skill, and even then that is only if they are practicing very diligently and correctly of course. This would explain why so few internal arts practitioners reach a high level of internal skill, as the requirements and commitment is not at all easily achievable by most people. Ma did say that once you have achieved a good level of neigong skill that the practitioner can have sex once every two or three months without too much problem, (which should no doubt be reduced as you get older), but too much more than that and you will likely degrade your internal skill too much.


You can read the whole interview with Ma Chuanxu by Jarek Szymanski from 2000 at the following link. I think it is very interesting reading for the student of the internal martial arts, or for anyone who is interested in understanding the requirements of authentic neigong training. It is not often that you get to hear a real master speak so openly about the requirements for training neigong in the internal martial arts.



Here's a video clip of Ma Chuanxu doing a little bagua and xingyi, probably from a number of years ago. Very fluid and soft, as authentic internal martial arts which are built on neigong require. Ma Chuanxu is probably around 80 years old now, based on the birthdate that Jarek indicated for him.

Edited by NotVoid
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