dave.long at bluewin.ch
Fri Dec 31 09:22:58 PST 2010
The classification of chinese martial arts into "external" and
"internal" can also be found in the modern olympic equestrian
Cross country and show jumping are external schools, in which good
physical condition at the lower levels suffices but the upper levels
make increasing technical demands; dressage, on the other hand, is an
internal school, in which relaxation and balance suffices at the
lower levels but the upper levels make increasing physical demands.
Of course, they both wind up in similar places: a top jumper must
adjust precisely between the fences to arrive at the right spot for
take-off in the right form and conversely a top dressage horse must
be in good condition to meet the physical demands of extremely
collected figures; perhaps this is why cavalries used to require that
their officers practice all of these arts.
 depending upon whether they commence with exercises oriented
towards strength and speed and only later add in centering and
calmness, or whether they proceed in the opposite direction.
 the common european name for a multi-day "complete contest" event
in which all these arts are used is, in fact, the "military".
 despite the bellicose origin of equitation, none of the modern
olympic disciplines counts as truly martial, in that they are all
ridden with the reins in both hands, making it rather difficult to
 Klimke and Ahlerich having made a notable exception, but only to
celebrate their victory in Los Angeles.
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