Ronin Kai Talks On How Internal Push Hands Helped Make Him A Push Hands Champ

Ronin Kai

Ronin Kai

We’ve been talking a lot over the last couple of weeks about how Clear’s Internal Push Hands can build internal power, offering testimonials from our students and investigative pieces on different aspects that the system addresses. But, the clearest indication of the power of internal push hands are the results of our students, and today we’re going to spotlight a three time push hands gold medalist and student, Ronin Kai. I had the opportunity to interview Kai about his experience and success in two tournaments he competed in in 2014-2015.

Kai currently lives in Houston, TX, where he enjoys the vegetarian cusine and the diverse martial arts the area has to offer. He’s a practitioner and instructor in several disciplines, including Meditation, Yoga Neijia (Xing-yi, Bagua, Taiji), Escrima and Pencak Silat. In addition, he is also a certified Clear’s Tai Chi instructor.

“I believe a strong solo practice and a willingness to cross train with different groups have given me a broader perspective on the skills I am working towards,” Kai said, “I currently teach mindfulness practices to an elementary school full time, I teach Tai Chi and Qi Gong to a local cancer hospital part time, and teach martial art classes at a local park.”

With his width berth of disciplines, exemplary commitment to the community, and teaching duties one wouldn’t think Kai would have time to compete, but he managed to enter into two different push hands tournaments to test the skills he learned from his participation in Clear’s Internal Push Hands Workshop and Certification Camp. He specifically wanted to test the internal skills he had learned in a non-compliant environment, against more experienced push hands practitioners.

When I asked him about his time at the workshop, he had this to say:

“Learning from Sifu Clear was a great experience. His hands on approach really helps you feel the skills you are working on and he presents the information in a simple but cohesive way. I am grateful that Sifu Clear is willing to share the Internal Arts openly instead of the classic storyline of waiting for 10 years and maybe we might show you the real stuff. Combining the Internal work I learned with Sifu Clear, lots of hard work and touching hands with multiple partners really cemented my love for this Art.”

Kai’s hard work paid off. During his competition he earned 3 gold medals in Push Hands in two different tournaments from 2014 to 2015. In his matches he went up against practitioners who had twice as much experience in the arts. Despite the gap in experience, he managed to succeed utilizing the internal skills of Clear’s Internal Push Hands.

Here is a description of Kai’s tournament experiences in his own words:

The two skills I would attribute to my wins were Sensitivity (Ting Jin) and Sung (dynamic relaxation) from the Internal Arts. With both of these skills combined it was easier for me to auto correct my posture and detect weaknesses in my partner’s own structure. Of course when my partner would use increase force I would have to be able to redirect his momentum and still be able to execute my moves under duress.

In one of the semi-final matches my partner would continue to tense his chest every time I got him. He started getting angry, wouldn’t look me in the eyes and it felt like he had a rock in his chest. With the Internal Push hands sensitivity training I was able to pinpoint this area and wrap around it, once that had happened I had complete control of his mass. It was definitely an eye opener seeing me bounce him around no matter how hard he pushed.

The final round for Gold Medal proved to be even more of a learning experience for me. As soon as [my partner and I] touched hands his whole body was tense. He came straight out of the gate blasting with brute force. The tendency to respond with force is always there but keeping calm and relaxed really helped me hold my ground. After few points scored on his side, I had tuned into his structure and began redirecting his force against him. His eyes would become wide as saucers as I bounced him to the floor several times. My sensitivity and technique was so ghost like he didn’t have any idea what I had done to him and it made him even more perplexed. This match really sunk in the Sung aspect of our training and whole body breathing. After 3 rounds to get to the finals my partner was breathing heavily and I was still relaxed. It’s a reminder to let the breath travel freely in the body and the more relaxed you are the more efficient the breath becomes. This is where the healing aspect shines in these arts and continue to unravel with a lifetime of experience.

Wow. You can see from Kai’s story that the internal principles developed by internal push hands can be directly applied to beat aggressive and more experienced opponents. You can check out Kai’s finals match at the 2014 International Chinese Martial Arts Championship below. Kai is the gentleman on the left in the video. These videos were uploaded by his opponent, Javier Rodriguez, a 10 year+ vet of Push Hands.

Part 1

Part 2

You can see Kai applying internal skill in the video to redirect and anticipate his opponent. Really impressive. Clear’s Internal Push Hands has had three different students go on to win gold or silver medals at push hands tournaments. All without ever competing in push hands before. With stories like this, it’s easy to see that internal push hands equals results. If you want to build internal skills with push hands, be sure to check out Clear’s Internal Push Hands Instructor Course DVD Package, which features all of the techniques and skills covered at the Internal Push Hands Workshop. You can still get the entire package for $100 off with our launch sale. But you better hurry, because the sale ends today.

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Internal Power VS Internal Skill

Internal Skill VS PowerInternal Power is very important.

Being able to do a lot of damage with a touch is critical in ANY self defense method.

There are a lot of ways to generate that power.

But that power means nothing without the skill to use it.

An incredibly powerful missile is useless if you don’t have the skill to get it close enough to the target.

It’s also no good if you are a sitting duck and get hit at the same time.

Mutually assured destruction is a terrible strategy especially in a self defense situation.

So internal SKILL goes hand in hand with Internal POWER.

This means being able to deliver the force of your strike or push exactly where you want to, a specific joint, the lung, the heart or anywhere else, from any point of contact.

This also means being able to take incoming force (a push, a hit or whatever) and being able to neutralize it, route it down into the ground or back into the attacker.

This is just the beginning. There are 36 basic Jings in Tai Chi.

(Jings are basically specific internal skills)

Learning to direct force inside your body and inside your opponents body is very important in the internal arts and it’s something we start training from day 1 with all our students.

You’ll find all the tools you need to start building these skills in the Internal Power DVD. (Both internal skill and internal power.)

It’s part of the Internal Iron Package. Where you’ll find a whole lot of other powerful skills as well.

Everybody wants more power, But there’s something better…

Internal Power, Iron Palm, Fajin(g)

These are the buzzwords that a lot of folks are looking for.

And there great to have.

But they’re not everything.

In fact there not the most important thing by a long shot.

There’s something else that’s much better, Much more important.

Let me put it this way…

…It doesn’t take much to damage the human body.

– A minor fall where you bump your head the wrong way could change your life forever.

– A small rupture, even a little bit of bruising or tearing in the wrong place (heart, brain, kidneys) can be a very serious problem.

You already have the power to do that, or you will with just a little training, especially if you’re training your hits to penetrate into the body they way internal strikes do.

*But what if the other guy is training too?
*What if he can deliver strikes that penetrate deep into your body?
*What if he’s really really big?
*What if he has a knife?

If he can land a strike like that it won’t matter how much power you can hit with.

The answer’s simple.

Don’t Get Hit.

(while staying close enough to hit the other guy)

It’s a lot easier said than done. But it’s a vital skill.

There’s always someone faster, bigger or more powerful. Especially as you get older.

But that’s what’s so great about the internal arts. They give you some really great ways to not get hit.

That’s what a whole lot of our first Combat Tai Chi package (the Internal Iron Package) is all about.

– Internal Iron Body in 100 Days
– Internal Power
– Vol1 Standing Dynamics
– Vol2 Dynamics of Movement

If you train the stuff on these DVDs you’ll be very hard to hit.

…And they’ll teach you to negate the opponent’s hits even if he can make contact.

This training will build a bunch of power and other important skills as well…

..But focus on the Iron Body and the not getting hit part first.

That’s the key.

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

Advanced Internal Strikes Checklist

The secret to advanced internal striking
is your ability to feel.

To effect something with a strike you have to feel it.

Externally this is easy. If I feel my fist impact their head then I know I hit them in the head.

Internally this is a little trickier.

Say I want to take advantage of their structural
errors or damage a specific organ.

How do I get the force of a hit to go there?

And how do I practice regularly without running out of training partners?
[Read more…]

Don’t ever stop your external training or else…

That’s right. Even though we’re the guys who are always talking about how great Internal is, and it is pretty great, I’m telling you to keep doing that external stuff…

…Or something bad will happen.

[Read more…]

How To Looking Inside Your Body

Tai Chi is known as an internal art because it is focused on what is going on inside the body.

This begins with learning to sense the structure and function of the body’s inner workings and grows into the ability to manipulate and even master them.

The first internal skills to learn are…

  • Relaxation
  • Structure
  • Internal Sensitivity (Learning to feel inside the body.)

Tai Chi focuses on these skills first because they make other kinds of internal work possible.

You can learn to [Read more…]

The Power behind the Tai Chi form

Once you have learned some Tai Chi choreography (I recommend a short set of 8 – 13 movements) it’s time to begin learning how to apply those movements for self defense and for health.

When moving beyond forms, the most obvious place to go is combat applications. With over 75 different applications for each move there is a lot to be learned. It would be easy to spend an entire weekend teaching the applications of just one move. To get the most out of Tai Chi you should strive for this deep level of understanding with every move that you learn.

Although these martial applications are an important part of the art, they are nothing without energy.

Energy training is essential to the study of Tai Chi.

Many fighting applications require the use of Jings and you cannot gain the amazing health benefits of Tai Chi without [Read more…]