Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

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Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby GrahamB on Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:01 am

Remember when this board used to be about Xingyiquan? ;)



https://youtu.be/X3ANmWxsUWQ

I made this video because:

a) I clearly have nothing better to do on a Saturday morning.

b) I saw a discussion on Facebook with a who-shall-remain-nameless XY guy who trotted out the old mantra of “Pi Quan is striking in a downward direction” and obviously that all the 5 Elements are energy/force going in different directions.

I personally think this is flawed logic, but it’s hard to convince people with words, and since a picture paints a thousand words, a video must paint two thousand. Hence, the video.

In terms of directions when you learn “Pi Quan” it’s always done the same way - down - but as the video (hopefully) shows, this isn’t the end of the story…

6 Directions:
————————
When we talk about directions in internal arts we normally talk about the 6 directions - up, down, left side, right side, and towards and away. Already trying to shoehorn this down to 5 seems like squashing a round peg into a square hole. But that’s beside the point really, once you start looking at the animals of xingyi the strictly direction-based approach can’t hold fast.

The written character for Pi
—————————
I don’t speak Chinese, or write it, but I don’t believe there’s anything inherent in the character for Pi “劈” which indicates a direction. It is usually translated as “chopping” or “splitting”.

Finally, this is just my personal opinion, I’m not presenting this as the way YOU have to think or DO XY. As always, I’m interested in hearing other opinions especially with anybody who can debate this using reason and logic. Beyond that, not so much…

May your Pi Quans be always golden.

G
Last edited by GrahamB on Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:03 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby wayne hansen on Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:56 pm

If you want to bring back hsing I you should seek some good instruction
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby GrahamB on Sat Aug 05, 2017 2:08 pm

Insightful, thanks.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby everything on Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:06 pm

Thanks for this video.

I only learn about pi quan from RSF. :-)
amateur practices til gets right pro til can't get wrong
/ better approx answer to right q than exact answer to wrong q which can be made precise /
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby Wanderingdragon on Sat Aug 05, 2017 5:59 pm

[quote="wayne hansen"]If you want to bring back hsing I you should seek some good instruction[/quote]
++

Most importantly, no matter the energy it can't be led the hand or it is stagnant.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby Ozguorui on Sun Aug 06, 2017 2:50 am

I learned these animals are variations of Pi Quan

劈拳:龙形、虎形、鹰形、猴形、鸡形 - Dragon, Tiger, Eagle, Monkey, Chicken

You can practice the animals in this sequence.

Not sure this is advancing anything........
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby Patrick on Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:23 am

Thanks for posting. I know too little about Xing Yi to comment (something meaningful other than "looks nice" ;D ).

But in general, maybe we simply should all lay down and give up practising kung fu. We are simply all not worthy.
Last edited by Patrick on Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:24 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby Fa Xing on Sun Aug 06, 2017 11:44 am

When we are specifically talking about the directional force of Pi Quan, it is downward. The palm rising up like that was mentioned both here and on FB is in an upward direction, Xingyi teachers and the classics state categorically that Pi Quan is chopping or splitting DOWNWARD. It doesn't matter which direction YOU can chop, don't get the English translation confused with the actual Chinese meaning.

The classics also state that Zuan Quan is a rising force like two waves crashing into each other, this is where that palm rising up is actually Zuan Quan. Since Zuan also translates into drilling, the forearm has the screwing when it supinates to either deliver classic zuan quan, or a palm up like how it is shown in Swallow.

I wonder if some people just think anything with the palm striking is supposed to be Pi Quan, but remember just as I can do Pi Quan with a palm or closed-fist, same goes for the rest of the "elements."

Here is the blogpost that started this silly discussion: https://grounddragonma.com/2017/08/01/tim-cartmell-on-xingyiquans-five-elements/
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby GrahamB on Sun Aug 06, 2017 12:51 pm

Fa Xing,

1) I find your use of language is not up to the job for this discussion. Pi Quan is a short form containing many jings in which the pi jing segment is always practiced downwards. Pi jing itself is the energy of chopping, which is not direction specific.
You can chop with a palm, a fist, a sword or a crowbar - it makes no difference.

So when you say "Pi Quan is always DOWNWARD" what you are saying makes no logical sense. Even if you use ALL CAPS.

2) Exactly which "classic" are you talking about? Please leave a citation.
Last edited by GrahamB on Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:03 pm, edited 4 times in total.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby wayne hansen on Sun Aug 06, 2017 1:32 pm

The above link by ground dragon is good as far as it goes
The only thing I think is a little naive is why you use the Phoenix eye fist in wood
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby dspyrido on Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:46 pm

I have a view that is tainted by xinyi, chinna, sj & IMO.

Pi is chopping. It's in the form. Practise it enough and it becomes downward force that gets applied in many places. But my instructor emphasised the rising part is also done with power. Practise it enough and it powers cutting up, uprooting etc.

Add a few of the animal moves & it becomes rising and falling (verticle force). Do some chinna and then it's pretty clear that the engine of rising/falling is the same that powers a chop, down punch, grab and pull, uproot etc etc. Then with time it's pretty easy to see it crosses over to all moves that are "metal" ie powered by...

Just one example of the wonder of 5 elements. It's the gift that keeps on giving.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby Wanderingdragon on Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:07 pm

+++
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby middleway on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:24 am

Hi Graham,

You know already that we dissagree on this so wont cover that very old ground :)

Instead can I ask what 'Pi Jing' actually is to you? It is fine to say chopping or splitting, but what does that mean in terms of what you are doing with your body and what effect it has on a partner or opponent.

Maybe understanding that question, from your point of view, would illuminate your point. I struggle to see chopping or splitting (from my point of view) expression, regardless of direction, in what you are doing.

thanks.
Last edited by middleway on Mon Aug 07, 2017 12:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby GrahamB on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:50 am

Hi Chris,

I'd still like to hear your reasons why you think Pi Jing has to be downward - I've yet to hear a logical reason. You're a reasonable man so I'm sure you can provide one. :) All I usually hear is some version of "because that's what my teacher said" ;D (for teacher you can also insert "classics" - which actually don't' say what people think they say, or turn out to be written very recently :) ) People usually stop there and don't think or question further.

Of course, "down force" exists as a Jin in its own right - I'm not saying it doesn't. In Taijiquan for instance, there is "An Jin" - which is downward jing. That is, power from the connected body transmitting gravity and using the solidity of the floor - perhaps not those exact words, but that sort of thing.

But An Jing is not Pi Jing. That's not what we're talking about with Pi. "Pi" means chopping (or splitting) - like when you swing an axe. For a start, there has to be some element of 'swing' to the move. Like I showed in the video you can make the 'chop' large (like swinging a real axe) or smaller and tighter, so it looks more like a boxer's jab. But there is still that circular swinging aspect to it.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xiQ0m9HmVeI

Obviously, he's swinging his axe downwards which has the advantage of gravity - but he could also swing it upwards too, and still take a limb off. And that's the key point. Like this:


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Wc0XHGnXZ4

In terms of 'mechanics' there would be a nice smooth increase in speed and power throughout the movement. This graph would show the speed until impact (not that you stop moving on impact).

Image

So there would be an optimum point to connect with the target.

If you contrast this with Beng Jing, for example - that is like a spear stab - mechanically it's an entirely different proposition. Beng would accelerate very quickly and then kind of stay constant. You could then hit the target at any point along that constant. Of course, we are talking about a difference in microseconds here when actually striking.

I hope that helps make it clearer.
Last edited by GrahamB on Mon Aug 07, 2017 1:57 am, edited 6 times in total.
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Re: Pi Quan - “Splitting fist” or “Chopping fist”

Postby BruceP on Mon Aug 07, 2017 2:19 am

Kinda in between and both of those axe methods.

The first guy uses both hands in his preperatory movement and the second guy uses one hand. Fighting with a 'hawk or short axe (viking style) has both hands involved in the swing. The second hand holds the haft just under the head so it can assist in pushing/throwing the head. Both hands raise up and the upper hand pushes the haft to give the axe ready speed as it is swung. With both hands controlling the haft, it can be used to block, push, bunt and poke, with the option of swinging always present. It takes much less arc to the rear to get the axe into action if the second hand is assisting.
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