My teacher told me about a time when learning from George Xu, and he started plucking bugs (imaginary) off of himself when doing monkey (Xin Yi Liu He). He said that George talked about characteristics of the animals a lot, the nature, and the predatory spirit of the animals. There is a video I was thinking about picking up where this is talked about, by I believe George Xu. I don't have any of his videos. If I remember right, it's 20 or 30 dollars. Not a ton of money, but I've wasted my fair share of money on videos. Anyone seen this? Can you give me an overview of the video? Just want to make sure I'm not throwing money away.
I didn't mean it as wanting to be a monkey. It was explained to me that it was a concept he spoke about, and that when he was speaking of it to my teacher he was doing a Monkey Shape. So not wanting to be a monkey, just what was used at the time. The bit that as told me to me was interesting, so I wanted to dive a bit deeper into what he was speaking of.
Kuo Lien Ying would make monkey faces while doing a monkey form. The idea is to become as much like a monkey, crane, snake, etc. while doing an animal form. Robert De Niro is the type of committed artist to pluck imaginary bugs off of himself. Call it method martial arts, if you like.
"It was already late. Night stood murkily over people, and no one else pronounced words; all that could be heard was a dog barking in some alien village---just as in olden times, as if it existed in a constant eternity." Andrey Platonov
XYLH does not mimic the movement of an animal eg no picking of bugs or howling or screeching to simulate any animal. All the movements are based on the human body and are derived from various guidelines like the bows, harmonies, 7 fists etc. that have nothing to do with animals but are a human concept.
Where the animals come into play and what I assume George was trying to convey is the concept of the essence of the animal. This is an advanced abstract concept in xylh that only really comes into light after the body/mind & various coordination's are understood.
Once the coordination's are in place then the concept of the animals can be applied to fighting as a way to get inspiration on tactics and other effects.
Take the snake - there is no hissing like a snake or putting the arms next to the body and wriggling around like one. These mimic the animal. There is the idea (essence) of striking fast using the whole body to shoot in and out and striking for soft points that deliver a deadly attack. With this in mind then a student of xylh can now think how this is best applied in combat and utilising the various guidelines for coordination found in the art.
The idea can be applied to all the animals and creates a lot of opportunity to invent a lot movements not taught as part of the basic forms.
An old training partner of mine George tam told me the story of his grandfather He was the best monkey boxer in Malaysia He was so far into the forms he would imitate a monkey 24/7 One day he was asked to go and confront a bouncer at a local gambling den The bouncer defeated him so easily that he went and got his monkey pole The fight continued with the tai chi guy using a short stick Georges grandfather was so easily defeated that he never practiced again George was one of the first people I knew to practice Kali He also was a black belt in bud okay karate under his brother in laws Richard and tony chew George is a tai chi practitioner to this day Our grandmaster Yap Sui Ting was a bouncer for gambling clubs I often wonder if he was the guy in the story
Don't put power into the form let it naturally arise from the form
Wuji wrote:My teacher told me about a time when learning from George Xu, and he started plucking bugs (imaginary) off of himself when doing monkey (Xin Yi Liu He). He said that George talked about characteristics of the animals a lot, the nature, and the predatory spirit of the animals. There is a video I was thinking about picking up where this is talked about, by I believe George Xu. I don't have any of his videos. If I remember right, it's 20 or 30 dollars. Not a ton of money, but I've wasted my fair share of money on videos. Anyone seen this? Can you give me an overview of the video? Just want to make sure I'm not throwing money away.
Here's a couple videos of George discussing predators, if you haven't seen it, yet.
Uploaded on Nov 8, 2007 George Xu (Xu Guoming) talking to Scott P. Phillips about the differences between predators and humans. Xu explores the implications of these differences for martial arts training. The Chinese four-word phrase mentioned is from the Taijiquan Classics.
The discussion begins with the idea that the body should be what leads the movement. The whole torso should move first. Humans generally move the hand first.
The second part of the discussion deals with the idea that predators do not rely on strength for stability. Instead they use balance. This is a corollary to the idea that humans carry their weight with their legs.
He then goes on to discuss the idea that a predator's mind does not dwell on its body but on the wildlife around it; its outdoor "refrigerator." A predator is quiet (yin) while being in action (yang):
Uploaded on Nov 14, 2007 George Xu (Xu Guoming) talking to Scott P. Phillips about the meaning of Taijiquan Classics, being quiet and in action, being a big meatball in the sky, and how to become a transformer: