Less is More..

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

Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Fri Jul 05, 2019 7:51 am

Which linage practice 125 postures ?


I learnt YiQuan from a student of Wang Xiangzhai. He always said Mr. Wang (he told me Wang didn't like his students called him "master, sifu…." so they called him Mr.) simplified what he had learnt to a few standing meditation postures but people made up so many new postures to 125+. I guess he meant postures in YiQuan as a whole as he had no idea on the different lineages that exist nowadays. Water down in Mr. Wang's teaching was a regret of the old man.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby everything on Fri Jul 05, 2019 9:01 am

Did they have you do a lot of zhan zhuang and shi li? And in that, did you do qigong or not talk about that at all?
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Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Fri Jul 05, 2019 11:52 am

[quoteDid they have you do a lot of zhan zhuang and shi li? And in that, did you do qigong or not talk about that at all?][/quote]
We did a lot of ZZ and Shi Li.
We also studied a lot on the manuscripts of Mr. Wang. The old man started with Mr. Wang at a young age, skipped for some times, and back to train with Mr. Wang until his later life. He trained with Han's brothers and Yeo. He said Mr. Wang truthfully put his knowledge and teachings in the manuscripts he wrote.
The first time we met, he asked me do I know Chinese. Hell yes, I am a native Chinese. He actually looked for how deep was my Chinese studies so I could understand the old Chinese literature and philosophy, and get the mindset and approach to learn ZZ.
Shi Li was an important part of the training. It was always on an one on one. I learnt by touching his hand, feel and mimic his power until he said yes that was the right feel.
We didn't talk about Qigong in YiQuan. The old man said Qigong is something else, not YiQuan.
Well, the contents of ZZ, Shi Li, and Qigong at the old time may not be the same as nowadays so the old man said "something else".
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Re: Less is More..

Postby johnwang on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:57 pm

You only need few offense skill. But you need a complete set of defense skill.

For example, you need to know how to deal with

- head lock,
- waist wrap.
- bear hug,
- under hook,
- over hook,
- circle running,
- foot sweep,
- ...

There are over 60 categories of throws. Each category require different defense principle. There exist no master key that can open all locks.
Last edited by johnwang on Fri Jul 05, 2019 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Fri Jul 05, 2019 1:33 pm

Chang Dongsheng was one of the best-known wrestler. He had short forms for wrestling training. Wu's Taiji founder was a wrestler, and he put tons of wrestling skills in Wu's Taiji form. Form is a method to keep skills for pass on. When a person losses his fight, by a punch or by a lock, he would know what to look for and train for. Martial art training can't avoid combat which is a point of reference for training. The person is lucky if he is beaten up by 60+ different throwing techniques.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby dspyrido on Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:00 am

One of the greatest lessons I learnt from my xylh sifu was what I call 1000/1000. He would show me a technique like low kick on a tree, chop, cut up etc. and tell me to repeat it 1000/1000 times (left/right 1000 each). That's not 10,000 kicks over the life of training. That's build up to doing 1000/1000 in a single session.

On practice the usual questions/statements would flood in - why, how do I use it, wouldn't it be better to also do X, this is hard, I'm getting really sore ...

And he would usually respond with "you no do 1000 - you no understand".

In the end he was right. I could philosophise how much it transforms the mind, builds coordination, talk about internal awareness, how minor tweaks of one move can become 1000's, how it can be adapted so that solo training greatly boosts sparring but unless you've done it .... you no understand.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby johnwang on Sat Jul 06, 2019 12:40 pm

You may need just one offense skill. But you will need many entering strategies (set up).

Can you find 10 different ways to get your opponent's leading leg (single leg)?
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Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Sat Jul 06, 2019 2:57 pm

I find the people in this era wants more techniques, and the older generation wants more power. So, there are more forms and drills now than the past. However the training to acquire more power is quite tricky, and needs guidance. Some students would think their teachers hold back their teaching so they cannot get the same ability as their teacher. The underlying reason is how much time the students have put in compared to their teachers. I agree to the 1000/1000 of dspyrido. I find it very helpful with 1000 time of one move every day, and keep going for 100 days. And then another move for 1000 times a day for another 100 days. All in all, we need the necessary power to execute any techniques. The effects of techniques cannot be fully revealed without basic power. But power is a big word with so many interpretations and ways of execution.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby johnwang on Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:17 pm

suckinlhbf wrote:the older generation wants more power.

Searching for power can be an excuse for not willing to train with partner (only want to strike into the thin air). Power is only 1/5 of the technique requirement besides timing, opportunity, angle, and balance.

How much power do you need to make your scoop kick work?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j9DnkH-2tGg
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Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Sat Jul 06, 2019 4:51 pm

How much power do you need

The guideline for the very basic power required is to be able to kill or at least seriously hurt a person who doesn't train any martial arts. It goes forward to the stage of strike only after touch.

Power comes from basic training, and there are much more comes together with power acquisition. It is a transformation of body, and movements. Those do ZZ and/or horse stand everyday for a few years would know.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby Trick on Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:48 am

suckinlhbf wrote:
Which linage practice 125 postures ?


I learnt YiQuan from a student of Wang Xiangzhai. He always said Mr. Wang (he told me Wang didn't like his students called him "master, sifu…." so they called him Mr.) simplified what he had learnt to a few standing meditation postures but people made up so many new postures to 125+. I guess he meant postures in YiQuan as a whole as he had no idea on the different lineages that exist nowadays. Water down in Mr. Wang's teaching was a regret of the old man.

I don’t really know what means by the word “meditation” but I wouldn’t call the ZZ of YiQuan/Xingyiquan meditation”, and my teacher in Beijing did not refer it to meditation, it’s quite an active(by the mind) exercise. But( then maybe that’s how meditation(I think here kind of in Zen stuff terms)supposed to be ?

About coming up with 125+ specific postures that has any relevance to Wang Xiangzhai’s teaching seem as an absolutely unnecessary and impossible task.
As my teacher hinted years ago, that there’s a big risk YiQuan will water down, too many learn from DVD and just guess and make things up.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby Trick on Sun Jul 07, 2019 6:51 am

suckinlhbf wrote:
How much power do you need

The guideline for the very basic power required is to be able to kill or at least seriously hurt a person who doesn't train any martial arts. It goes forward to the stage of strike only after touch.

Power comes from basic training, and there are much more comes together with power acquisition. It is a transformation of body, and movements. Those do ZZ and/or horse stand everyday for a few years would know.

So many seem to focus so much on “power” generation, while more should be invested in understanding proper timing. It could probably be easy to get stuck in (YQ/XYQ)ZZ as merely an “power” building exercise, while it actually has more to do with understanding proper timing...Stories of masters in the past knocking out or even kill or throwing someone quite far seemingly effortless was and still are mistaken for “power” when it has more to do with superb timing skill.
For sure one develop deeper muscle tissues and supposedly facia? and sinew power. But that’s quite useless if the correct timing is not there.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby suckinlhbf on Sun Jul 07, 2019 12:36 pm

it’s quite an active(by the mind) exercise

Heart is the chinese word to use rather than mind, and to train with the heart. What is heart? where is the heart? How does the heart work? Heart tends to feel, feel, feel, and response, then the intention kick in. Another old saying "zhen" comes in when the "heart" die. Well, the oriental logic does not make sense and work for everybody especially those with different culture and background. That's why the old man asked "Do you know Chinese?". It takes time to figure out.

So many seem to focus so much on “power” generation, while more should be invested in understanding proper timing. It could probably be easy to get stuck in (YQ/XYQ)ZZ as merely an “power” building exercise, while it actually has more to do with understanding proper timing

Yes, ZZ has much more to do than mere power. It leads to knowing the body, understanding the body, activating the body (so can effective use the body), connect the body to outside (sensitivity), response to the outside (react), manipulate the thin air outside...etc. Shi Li is a more active exercise on distance, timing, and control based on qualities acquired from ZZ. It just makes it a reflex as natural as ten kids sitting around a table with their chopsticks ready to fight for a dish coming with five pieces of meat.
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Re: Less is More..

Postby oragami_itto on Sun Jul 07, 2019 1:28 pm

On heart, I've seen xin translated as heart but also reading Yang Jwing Ming he says xin and yi both mean mind but xin is emotional mind while yi is intellectual mind. Is this what you mean by heart, i.e. heart is emotional mind, (English has a concept like this) or is it purely the physical organ the heart?
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Re: Less is More..

Postby Bao on Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:29 pm

oragami_itto wrote:On heart, I've seen xin translated as heart but also reading Yang Jwing Ming he says xin and yi both mean mind but xin is emotional mind while yi is intellectual mind. Is this what you mean by heart, i.e. heart is emotional mind, (English has a concept like this) or is it purely the physical organ the heart?


"Yi" doesn't mean mind, but thought or idea. This character make up many everyday words as "wish", "Being conscious", "meaning", "opinion" and "to consent" / "to accept".

"Xin" is the classical character for "mind", but also means "heart". The character is from start the picture of a heart, but has become to mean "mind". Emotion is related to thought. In Chinese language, this character make up words as "worry", "be careful", being thoughtful".

I wouldn't say that Xin is only emotional mind, but "wisdom mind".

“The Heart is the house of wisdom" = "心也者, 智之舍也”
-Guanzi, Chapter 36

In philosophical texts, thinking with brain only means that your thoughts have no depth. It's through emotional decisions and controlling your mind and feelings your thinking achieve clearness and maturity. In philosophy, Xin represents neither brain nor heart, but the very process of conciousness, the process that shapes our "I", and the process our "I" use to express itself.

Also, in Chinese philosophy, Buddhism has had a great impact on meanings of "Xin". Concepts as "one heart", sincerity and truthfulness are important Buddhist concepts that has had impact on schools as the Neo Confucianist "Xin Xue", "School of mind". And this school in turn has had a great impact on Chinese learning systems and Martial Arts teaching especially. So if you want to really understand what "Xin" has meant in, and for, Chinese martial arts, you should study "Xin" as a Chinese Buddhist term and the Neo-confucian School of Mind, and the philosopher Wang Yang -Ming's teaching especially and what impact in a very practical sense he had on Chinese teaching systems.

"The great virtue of man lies in his ability to correct his mistakes and continually make a new man of himself"
- Wang Yang-Ming

"Thought and learning are of small value unless translated into action."
- Wang Yang-Ming
Last edited by Bao on Sun Jul 07, 2019 2:49 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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