Difference Between Neijiaquan (Internal Boxing) and Weijiaquan (External Boxing)
A Weijiaquan or external kung fu boxer will work on strengthening their bodies, making themselves stronger and faster. As the Weijiaquan boxer matures in their kung fu, they will begin to focus more on the internal aspects of their kung fu, making their Qi stronger. This is not a bad way to train, the only problem though is that by the time a Weijiaquan boxer is older, many habits have formed to make it harder to develop the internal power that is needed to become a great master. Also, their bodies are often times beaten up, making it harder to continue practicing kung fu into old age. This can easily be seen by the number of Shaolin or even Karate masters that are still training into their old age.
Neijiaquan boxers know that there will always be a boxer that is stronger and faster than themselves. It is because of this that Neijiaquan boxers develop their internal strength first, as they mature in their boxing their bodies become stronger and are able to develop a high level of kung fu, in fact many Neijiaquan masters are able to practice into very old age, and are able to overcome much younger opponents. There are way too many examples of this to list, but one only has to look at this schools lineage to see that in most cases this holds true.
The Mountain Path To MasteryThis is why it is said that the end result of Kung Fu training for high level masters are the same whether they use the Weijiaquan or Neijiaquan, there really is no difference at the end of training. A good analogy is if you take a Weijiaquan boxer and Neijiaquan boxer and set them at the bottom of a mountain. At the top of the mountain they both will become Masters, the two boxers will take different paths to get to the top. The Weijiaquan boxer will become stronger and faster, he will be able to fight with his kung fu much quicker. Halfway up the mountain though the two boxer’s skills will start to be very similar. It is here at the halfway point that the Weijiaquan boxer will start to focus more on the internal power, but it is also here where many Weijiaquan boxers will get stuck and will no longer be able to proceed along their path to the top of the mountain, many will not be able to reach the high level of mastery. The Neijiaquan boxer can also get stuck at this halfway point on the mountain. Many will think that they are now masters and will not want to continue up the mountain path. Many though will continue climbing, their kung fu skills both external and internal will get stronger, as they climb higher they will be getting older, and once the reach the top they will be much older than when they began, but it will not matter, they will be true masters, the same as the Weijiaquan masters who reach the top, for at the top of the mountain there is no difference between the two masters.