Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Storm on Sat Nov 04, 2017 1:34 pm

Hello eshan,

thank you for the informations.
I fully understand your second point. Regarding the first one- you mean the focus is primarily in XYLHQ on the spirit of the animal? So even technical execution would be secondary? Maybe this explains the divergence in execution (or at least partly) in the existing styles? Or did I get it wrong? :-)
In the Xingyiquan books I read the techniques are indeed described more from the expression of force as variation of the 5 elements but there is also the recommendation to emulate the spirit of the animal. So this would be somehow secondary- a lesser priority compared to XYLHQ?
Sorry if there are to many questions but I am intrigued by XYLHQ and also the amount of available Information (in western languages) is small which adds to the mystery :-)
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby MaartenSFS on Sat Nov 04, 2017 4:05 pm

I think that Eshan did a good job in summarising it up, but in my experience Xingyiquan emphasises the Mocabu and Santishi is just a part of it. But yes, the mechanics are different, the idea is similar. I enjoyed Xingyiquan more, but found Xinyiliuhequan to be more streamlined. Xingyiquan has too many forms that IMHO just aren't that practical. I think the best thing is to take out the animals/elements you find that work for you, modify them to your liking and line drill those.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Storm on Sun Nov 05, 2017 12:13 pm

So the combat effectivity of XYLHQ stems from simplicity, directness, mindset and body conditioning. Theoretically all these are contained also in Xingyiquan (and other styles) but you stated that in some cases "legs were added to the snake".
But maybe some modifications were done to illustrate better the force vectors?!
Thanks Maarten and Eshan for your comments! Very interesting.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby eshan on Sun Nov 05, 2017 1:37 pm

I meant just that the difference between both systems arise from having different core principles, not from having different forms or techniques.
One of these differences is the focus on the animal spirit yes.
You could say that technical execution is secondary, if you want, but that is neither here nor there.
XYLH is not an abstract or conceptual style like, you learn the forms and in time they help you develop heart, intention and structure.

Storm wrote:... you mean the focus is primarily in XYLHQ on the spirit of the animal? So even technical execution would be secondary? Maybe this explains the divergence in execution (or at least partly) in the existing styles? ...


Yes, I have heard too that in XYQ you emulate the animal spirit, I believe XYLH places greater focus on this.
Conversely, XYLH has less emphasis on expressing different types of force.
Again just my opinion based on my limited knowledge of XYQ.

Storm wrote:In the Xingyiquan books I read the techniques are indeed described more from the expression of force as variation of the 5 elements but there is also the recommendation to emulate the spirit of the animal. So this would be somehow secondary- a lesser priority compared to XYLHQ?
Sorry if there are to many questions but I am intrigued by XYLHQ and also the amount of available Information (in western languages) is small which adds to the mystery :-)
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby dspyrido on Mon Nov 06, 2017 12:48 am

Discussing the spirit/essence concepts is like doing trigonometry when learning to count. It comes much later & is next to useless without the foundations of conditioning, coordination and structure.

XYLH focuses a lot of attention on bodyweight training to build from the foundation (legs) up ie chicken legs/dragon waist. The drills make the style what it is.

Later weight can be added but it's second to the focus on building strength through structure. Building this strength naturally requires discipline and focus (yi). Only with years of practise do the animal essence/spirit concepts kick in but this is only to allow the practitioner to be inspired to fight and adapt in different ways.

The real difference between xylh and xy is that xy tends to provide more techniques amd methods in the training method as part of the forms. Conditioning is there but not normally as focused as XYLH which tends to focus on conditoning first and technique comes later.

Deep down though it's the instructor. XYLH could be taught like XYQ tends to be and vice versa.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby MaartenSFS on Mon Nov 06, 2017 6:30 am

Those are all good points. I spent three months, six or seven days a week, four hours a day training exclusively XYLHQ (with my Master) and the same for Xingyiquan (with another master in the Northeast). During that time I pretty much only did Caijibu by itself in XYLHQ with a smidgen of several other line drills and I learned four of the five elements of Xingyiquan (didn't care for Hengquan and I'd pretty much already learned Paoquan from another art), though most of the time by far was spent on Piquan.

The question is: Would you rather spend your days doing Piquan or Caijibu? My answer was neither (I have an old injury in my left foot), so I modified Piquan and came up with my own method. I preferred Xingyiquan's Mocabu to XYLHQ's Caijibu for my purposes and it was a lot more comfortable to train. XYLHQ, if you can stand to train it all the way to the end, re-trains your body to be like a wild animal and just mow people down. Being a mere human (and a tall, lanky one at that), I never got very far with that. I still kept training XYLHQ for a while after, but mixed only the parts I wanted with other arts that my Master taught me.

Whether Taiji, Bagua, XYQ or XYLHQ, the art that you enjoy training will produce within you, the results that you seek. If, like me, no one style can satisfy you, just mix and match. After all, that is what all of the masters that I've met that can fight have done.. :)
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Wuji on Mon Nov 06, 2017 7:51 pm

I've done a fair amount of both, so I think I can chime in :).

XYLHQ

So, this style technically focuses on 10 animals, but that isn't to say it's just 10 different lines you do back and forth. For Tiger, I easily 6 or 7, if not more then this. I have easily the same amount of dragon movements, etc. I think the lineage I do has 90 to 100 or so routines/training movements, and this isn't adding in weapons. This is as it was taught to my teacher by Yu Hua Long, and his other teacher (who's teacher was also Yu Hua Long). So you will find that there is a lot more to learn then in Hebei Style Xingyi (the most common variation, 5 Elements, 12 Animals). This doesn't make Hebei bad. A lot of people think that the 5 Elements are just techniques, but they aren't. That is the deception, and the problem with learning from videos. You learn that the 5 Elements are engines that teach you to move your body in a certain way, to develop power in that manner. The way it's taught in a technique is how you learn it, but you can for sure change that. Most people don't go that far, but I think it's important to keep advancing.

The footwork is different. XYLHQ is very advancing, never retreating. It's based on the idea of a knee strike, a possible kick to the shin, stomp to the ankle, or to the foot. You want to get to your enemy and not let them run. Watch how chickens fight online, you'll get an idea for the intent behind it. This isn't to say you don't learn to step back, and the footwork for it, and not all footwork is done on a line. You'll notice with XYLHQ that more footwork is done off at angles then directly on the line. Some of the variations of snake are really good examples of this. Hebei Xingyi normally calls for a lot of standing practice, in San Ti Shi. XYLHQ the focus is more on doing, and stepping. We didn't step for as long as a lot of people do, but it's still a focus and a part of most lessons. The foot placement is also different. In XYLHQ the foot placement is more "on a tight wire". They don't need to be perfectly straight, slightly turned in to protect the groin. A lot of people find this hard, because a fair amount of people very tight ankles. This is something to think about too.

If you're trying to chose between the two, it's a personal decision. I like XYLHQ more, I find it more interesting. Though I think it's harder to find a good teacher, because it's less wide spread. If I were you, I would go with the better teacher over the art you want more.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Storm on Tue Nov 07, 2017 1:07 pm

Thank you all for the comments and insights. In the meantime I found a second discussion from around 2015 which also discusses XYLHQ and XYQ. From both I had a chance to look a bit behind the curtain. Of course only practising the styles allows to really understand some of the points but as discussed the practicioner needs to feel comfortable with the style. I don't mean couch comfortable but the sweaty, tired, grinning comfort after a hard training.
My problem is that as a guy with a family and a fulltime job I don't have a lot of time to train. 1 to max 2 hours/day and I would like to get the most of it. From the styles I practiced (Karate, Jujutsu and Bagua) I still do not feel I can hold my own against a good fighter so I was looking at simple, direct, combative styles. A short movement sequence on a line-drill. Nothing flowery. 4-5 different techniques to be drilled until the are absorbed by the body and mind.
I have found a good trainer from Luo Dexiu's school (who teaches Xingyi and Bagua) but am nevertheless intrigued by XYLHQ which does seem to be (please don't flame me- I say seems) more brutal, archaic and aggressive.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby eshan on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:16 am

Storm,

just my 2c.

If fighting is your main goal and given the available time you mention, I would look elsewhere ie. contact sports, RBSD, etc.
You can find plenty of good stuff out there without having to delve into an, as you say, archaic and rare style.
If you are interested in XYLH just because you like it, then ok that is a different case, but otherwise I would try to be consistent with the goals.
Also, I would definitely avoid doing Bagua and XYLH/XY at the same time.

HTH.


Storm wrote:Thank you all for the comments and insights. In the meantime I found a second discussion from around 2015 which also discusses XYLHQ and XYQ. From both I had a chance to look a bit behind the curtain. Of course only practising the styles allows to really understand some of the points but as discussed the practicioner needs to feel comfortable with the style. I don't mean couch comfortable but the sweaty, tired, grinning comfort after a hard training.
My problem is that as a guy with a family and a fulltime job I don't have a lot of time to train. 1 to max 2 hours/day and I would like to get the most of it. From the styles I practiced (Karate, Jujutsu and Bagua) I still do not feel I can hold my own against a good fighter so I was looking at simple, direct, combative styles. A short movement sequence on a line-drill. Nothing flowery. 4-5 different techniques to be drilled until the are absorbed by the body and mind.
I have found a good trainer from Luo Dexiu's school (who teaches Xingyi and Bagua) but am nevertheless intrigued by XYLHQ which does seem to be (please don't flame me- I say seems) more brutal, archaic and aggressive.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Storm on Wed Nov 08, 2017 11:43 am

Fighting ability and staying healthy are my goals- sorry I know I did not mention health but I do consider it a prerequisite not an optional feature :)
I understand your recommendation but I do not equate fighting with contact sports. A sport has limitations due to the regulations which make a realistic self defence hard since a lot of regulated fighting conditions the fighter to expect certain kinds of attack and also focuses the usage on certain "legal" techniques. Karate is a very good example. Trained properly it would enable a realisiic and efficient self defence but unfortunately 90% of the dojos teach sports Karate which is not directly usable.
Regarding the combined Bagua and Xingyi training- the Yizong lineage teaches them both. Not necessarily together but as I understood Gao Yisheng's Bagua has a strong Xingyi flavor. So I assume that some body mechanics are common.
Can not comment on other Bagua styles.
Do you advice against practising XYLHQ and Bagua at the same time due to the different mechanics/technical execution and also focus? Do one style good instead of 2 styles mediocre and 3 styles bad? I always wonder where the truth is considering a lot of masters are known for training in and teaching several styles. As Maarten said in one of his posts this- let's call it cross training- might improve your overall ability. On the other hand there is only a limited amount of trasining time for each of us so spreading training in multiple styles might spread it to thin?!
Last edited by Storm on Wed Nov 08, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 5 times in total.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby dspyrido on Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:51 pm

Storm - yes sport fighting is not real fighting but it is a damn site closer than form styles are. As you would probably know there are many gradients of sports fighting & the more open (& intense) the sport combat then the more likely it is going to be better for reality eg. light kick, clash or even koshiki is not the same as muay thai or mma comps (even at the amateur levels). As for RBSD - they teach what sports guys usually don't teach which is situational awareness & appropriate action. Really useful but unless they compete they lack the edge required to really apply the methods (internal pressure sparing is great but taking that to open hyper competitive sports match just makes it better).

So XYLH? Not really a sports style & not a RBSD. It could easily be but the instructors who have gone this path mix it up with sanda, swaijiow, techniques + reaction drills. So it's kind of XYLH with a more open view on testing it.

But what is it that XYLH does add to sports styles or realism? What it does is build really great pliable strength which can be carried throughout life (a great definition for health imo). This same strength can work really well when applied because it focuses in on applying power using muscles that most people don't get.

Should you cross train XYLH? I would say no due to your time limits & not for the initial stages. The only time I would recommend this is because there is a limited window of time to learn from someone (ie give me a brain dump before I leave) or they already have a real solid foundation & strength structure. That said after a couple of years of doing the drills every XYLH instructor I have met would recommend cross training.

Why not in the early stages? Because XYLH methods take time & energy to retune the body.

XYLH in its original form did not have many forms. Why? Because the focus was not on learning more moves but on growing strength & power. Not in providing a student 100s of different forms or moves or tactics. Mixing bagua, hsing-i, taichi or even learning in the 1st month 10 different xylh forms does not change the fact that the goal is not about strengthening the body.

This transformation is not magical but is just good old body weight conditioning. Take for example xylh chicken. I could show someone all the forms in less than 10 minutes & then create 100s of variations of applied chicken forms for them to learn. But this misses the point that the legs needs to be so conditioned that they can be held at this position plus that they must move easily & comfortably ... fast!

Image

What does it do? Done for an extended period of time a person should easily be able to squat x 5 (and more) their body weight yet have explosive power. When achieved then imagine how much more powerful a thrust kick to the stomach would be?

This is the goal of the conditioning & the objective of XYLH for all the major body parts (legs, waist, shoulders, arms etc.).

With this foundation in place the goal then is to continue the growth & conditioning while learning to apply it. After a couple of years of "basics" cross training is the norm for the XYLH guys if they want to develop more but some tend to just keep doing the exercises because they really help in life & they are not fixated on fighting.
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Re: Xinyi Liuhe Quan Question

Postby Storm on Sat Nov 18, 2017 2:12 pm

Thank you for the comments. I understand now what Jarek ment when he said: go look for a good teacher, style is secondary. I will see if yi can attend a XYLHQ seminar somewhere but stick with Bagua for the moment. I found a good teacher and the body conditioning albeit different than in XYLHQ is very demanding and should also lead to a good fighting potential besides the health benefits.
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