TruthSeeker personal practice is the key for interrnal arts. The ancients used to train at least 3 hours a day. (So I have been told) I try to do the same. I train at sunrise, at work, at home and at class. Even If you don't have a teacher it doesn't mean you cannot advance in the art. Most of the really progress comes in personal training time. But you have been training for longer then me so forgive me if you understand this. Avatar that fierce attack can last for a very long time if you do it right. When you tense your muscles that requires effort and it makes you tired very fast (Ei: 30 seconds). You can exert a more powerfull punch with out tensing your muscles. Tensing your muscles will also hold you back. If you are loose you can be lightning fast and will have alot more stamina. One of the points to the Taijiquan is to let go of the residual tension in the body. You learn in external arts to tense up when combat arises. The problem with that is you usually have the same reaction in none-martial situations(Ei: Fight with a spouse, bad day at work). You most likley will carry that response outside of the dojo. Not to mention the constant adrenaline that is used in external training will injure the adrenal glands. In the end such training injures your body. Protecting yourself from injury by injuring yourself? Back in my Tae Kwondo days I swear half of the people I trained with had to wear some kind of brace of some sort. Allot of the older guys just lost allot of there skill as they aged. It is common in external arts for a younger and more vigorous fighter to overcome an aged opponent, but in internal arts you can still be effective and productive untill your last days. Needless to say the old masters can kick the crap out of us young pups. When I think back at all the injuries from my external days it really makes me sad. I remember watching my old karate sensei struggling to do katas just hiding the pain in his nees. I used to to the same for a time my ankles where going. Enivitable the external art that brings you such you will be lost in the end. Internal arts will stay with you on your death bed. Internal arts allow you to lead a healthy active life where you still remain strong up in your 90's. As it should be in all arts we are not all built the same. Our fighting style will reflect the in core of owns being. Allot of styles will be totaly agressive. They will take blows straight out on the arm. Why be so overly agressive? Yield and strike as needed. They not be both?