The search for jibengong

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

The search for jibengong

Postby klonk on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:06 am

In this thread, Kenneth Fish makes what I take to be a very good point. The search for IMA ability should not be separated from the question of suitable conditioning of the body.

In recent times it may be that students are not exposed to this idea, or the right kinds of exercises. We can hardly be faulted for not doing exercises we do not know, of course, but if the result is that our skills are not on a proper foundation, it is up to us to 'steal the art' and supply our deficiencies.

It is a logical impossibility to post secret exercises on the Internet, for the obvious reason that they are then not secret. Without violating any confidences, what do you all think of the question of body conditioning and IMA, and what do you do about it?
Last edited by klonk on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:08 am, edited 1 time in total.
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby D_Glenn on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:20 am

We use the drilling of and practice with intentionally over-sized weapons. In particular the large over-sized saber. The Jibengong exercises for the saber are single movement or several movement sequences taken out of the form and drilled over and over to develop strength, then done with the opposite hand.

Most of Baguazhang's empty-hand Jibengong are actually the Saber drills done, obviously, without the saber in hand, so while they are still good for developing flow and leg strength they're not quite the same when it comes to upper body strengthening as when you're holding the heavy weapon in your hand.






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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Daniel on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:26 am

I do excersises from Xingyi and from my different teachers´ systems as jibengong. Also some work with objects, and a two and a half meter very heavy pole as part of the training in Xingyi spear. Might not qualify for what Dr Fish includes as the jibengong of old, but it´s the best stuff I have. I think there might also be a difference in the kind of bodies we have, and the bodies of the Chinese who trained it back then.


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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Baguaplayer on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:37 am

There are branches of the Gao Yi Sheng bagua system that utilize the Tien Gan sets to condition the body and build ip.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby BaguaKicksAss on Sat Feb 25, 2012 11:39 am

Find a good teacher, then you get the jibengong ;). Travel if you must.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby kenneth fish on Sat Feb 25, 2012 4:55 pm

BaguaKicksAss has the right idea. Otherwise you are chasing after something without a clear idea of what it is.
Last edited by kenneth fish on Sat Feb 25, 2012 8:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby palmslam on Sat Feb 25, 2012 5:21 pm

Until I talked with the late Mike Martello, I really didn't understand about conditioning the body. You need to watch some of his videos and you'll understand better. I Agree with Baquakickass and Mr. Fish, have to be guided by a good teacher.


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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby klonk on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:11 pm

The only time I received a full transmission was the time I blew the clutch, racing my own shadow across the Mojave. That is perhaps a story better told in person. (You have to be non-CHP.) The most interesting character in that story is not me, but the peon who, because he was paid by the minute, towed the wreck very slowly into Barstow. Barstow, now there is a town that is a story in itself.

As to the gong, I have the usual assortment of swinging, bending and squatting exercises, some zhan zhuang (including some of the awkward ones) and a long pole I have been trying to break for years. I have to say, for sheer interest in conditioning for its own sake, the karate guys beat everyone, except Western boxers and the Muay Thai guys. Wait. Is there a pattern here?
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby lazyboxer on Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:12 pm

+1 to all that. All very well trying to borrow or steal your foundation, but until you find the right teacher you won't get the correct 'feel', without which you're doing a meaningless dance, however good you may think you look.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby DaDa on Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:39 pm

Jibengong is everything.

I can't stress this enough. Without it, you'll achieve nothing.

Killing yourself training is better than somebody killing you.
動靜無始
自然而然

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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby klonk on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:29 am

It has always troubled Westerners that the first word is "work" and the other may be contextually interpreted as "you."
I define internal martial art as unusual muscle recruitment and leave it at that. If my definition is incomplete, at least it is correct so far as it goes.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Daniel on Sun Feb 26, 2012 12:47 am

klonk wrote:It has always troubled Westerners that the first word is "work" and the other may be contextually interpreted as "you."


LOL. I´ve always liked that one of the terms for sitting meditation in Daoism is zuogong, "to sit and work". Not many who practice meditation in the West like hearing a phrase like that.

Yes, jibengong is the foundation for all the rest, crucial training.


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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Yuen-Ming on Sun Feb 26, 2012 4:38 am

Dr. Fish is right on.
These foundational exercises (nei/waigong) create qualities in the body that are fundamental to then use the "techniques" of the style. The same technique, externally looking perfect, works with "that" body foundation or doesn't work at all without it - no matter how well the body is athletically fit.
These exercises are "secret" in that they are usually externally simple, but must be done with a number of "rules" that are not obvious (and usually not visible from the outside) that generate the actual skill if enough "gongfu" is applied - that is if enough time and effort is spent. And like any potent medicine they had equally potent side-effects if taken without the "doctor guidance" ..
I have prepared a translation of a xingyi neigong manual from the Republican era that shows one of such exercises, which will be published in next JOCMS issue, and like all these manuals for the 'public' only the basic parts are shown. Obviously the masters of old knew the risk involved with the practice and were willing to create interest but at the same time ready to share the complete art only hands-on.

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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Iskendar on Sun Feb 26, 2012 6:48 am

Well, what do people think it is we are talking about when discussing IP, other than exactly those foundational exercises? The entire aunkai system is nothing but foundational exercises (and they're as grueling as they come, I've seen fit people nearly black out from them). Dan Harden's exercises are more specialized, but certainly fit the bill as well. I'm really surprised that the call to discuss this thing begets such hostile response, when Dr. Fish' post basically hits the nail on the head: this stuff is NOT being taught for the most part! Why do you think it is people like us try to find out people who DO teach these things? The indoor system at my former school was described as consisting mostly of simple, repetitive foundational exercises no one really wants to do. Oh but I want to do them - *no*. Ten years of diligent study later - still *no* or *later*. The system is being taught like a sportscar with no engine, where you should get the engine right at the beginning. That is provided there is an engine in the first place, which is far from a given in the current sorry state of CMA's.
So stating 'just do your basics and quit whining about IP' is missing the point entirely. For most of us, there are no such basics! We need to find them, identify them, find out how they work and then train the shit out of them to get them ingrained in our bodies, and THEN CMA might be returned to it's rightful state. You know, the reason I stuck with CMA, even when noticing its flaws, is because it contains such tremendous potential. When done right, it is absolutely beautiful.
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Re: The search for jibengong

Postby Daniel on Sun Feb 26, 2012 7:00 am

Iskendar´s post reminds me of a very sad comment I heard from a famous teacher: "One of these days I´m going to start teach my senior students the basic training." Some of those had studied with the same teacher for 20 years or more. :(

Good, strong basics is one of the biggest gifts a teacher can give their students.


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