Xingyi only?

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

Xingyi only?

Postby nianfong on Tue May 13, 2008 3:01 pm

Posted by: Joe L. Posted on: May 9th, 2008, 6:10pm
So a quick question for all those who switched over to Xing yi from another art, or people who started with it and decided it is all they needed:

Why the change, what makes it worth wild that you don't need another art? I think most people have heard about the whole School in Beijing way back when where the Xing yi and Bagua teachers lived together, taught together, mingled, etc., and how the Xing yi people kept getting beat so they were interested in learning Bagua.

Now weither this is true or not, I do not know, but I am more concerned with long standing players in the present time period who has opinions on their Xing yi. Did it fill in the gaps of other arts, was the teacher just a bad ass and learning his Xing yi was the answer, whatever really.

I believe our very own Don Bido was once a 'choy li fut badass' as he puts it Grin So what made the chance happen, and it seems you have no cause to try other arts, just focusing on Xing yi and the different lines your teacher practices.

Any opinions welcome.
Posted by: dissidente Posted on: May 9th, 2008, 7:29pm
Numerous top masters of old researched broadly while specialising narrowly, id est they cross-trained. Xingyi masters are no different.

An art's utility is always in response to other arts. A pizhang is more principle than drill. It exists in execution and adaptation to various combative situations. Consequentially, there are many different uses for it, that look wholly different in combative execution.

Xingyi has co-evolved with other arts, and its delivery system is thus sophisticated enough to respond to many varieties of attack, making it sufficient for most purposes. But that is not to say that it should stay stagnant. As other arts evolve, so should it.

One obvious area is in groundfighting, which Xingyi lacks, as do many other arts, ostensibly because going to ground was undesired in battlefield scenarios with attacks coming from different angles.

But to evolve does not necessarily mean to train fully in the other arts. Different arts have different requirements, and the body cannot be spread too thinly. Similarly, there are extremely few sportsmen who can truly excel at multiple sports. For instance, the requirements for a sumo wrestler and a TKD Olympian are vastly different.

I personally switched over to Xingyi because it's sophisticated, no fuss, and better for my overly injured body in old age.
Posted by: cerebus Posted on: May 9th, 2008, 7:46pm
I like Hsing-I because it has all the things I want in an art.

It has chi-gung and internal training, is tied in to the Chinese 5 Elements cosmological theory, has fascinating animal forms, has a solid and well-respected reputation, is straight-forward, powerful and effective in combat, and hell, it's fun to practice.

What more could I ask for.... ? Smiley
Posted by: chud Posted on: May 9th, 2008, 9:08pm
Just to add to the already good reasons that have been posted...I like the way hands and feet start and stop together to generate power, the parts of the body moving collectively as one unit to generate force.
Posted by: xingyijuan Posted on: May 9th, 2008, 10:28pm
Regardless of the fact that my former teacher is a complete charlatan and asshole, the reason's for me to chose xing-yi were based as much on the art than the school itself. I really saw that master Yang had something solid to offer, whether be his xing-yi, bagua or tai-ji. He, and many of his students, made me understand the real meaning of chinese gong-fu.

The art itself really stood out from what I had learned until then. The whole body connection to generate power, the footwork and it's straight forward approach to fighting was at the opposite spectrum of the shaolin-influenced arts I had seen at that point. It was devoided of "flashiness" and aesthetical beauty and geared only towards realistic functinality in fighting. And in that aspect, it was in its own way a master piece to my eyes. Since then, my whole perspective of martial arts changed, has did my body and way to move. I could go on and on, but that was basically "IT" for me.
Posted by: TaoBoxer Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 6:53am
When I began Xingyi after a few years of Taiji, to be completely honest, it was jsut b/c it was one of the 3 Neijia arts, and knowing how uncommon it is, I didn't want to pass it up. I dont think I really "got it" while I was there, but it was an absolutely invaluable part of my development.

Lewitt
Posted by: T J LePetomane Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 9:56am
My taiji is my soft, my xingyi is my hard.
Posted by: kenneth_fish Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 10:05am
I was in my early teens, and had been studying Taichi and some Shaolin for a while. My best friend, David Liu was doing the Taiwan version of Taikwondo, which was very popular in those days (David and his classmate Jimin Li went on to coach the Taiwan national team, which repeatedly beat the snot out of the Korean team. Taiwan's version of Taikwondo was heavily modified with CMA content). One day when he and I did a bit of sparring, David told me flat out "the stuff you are doing is bullshit". I knew he was right. He took me to meet a friend of his who was working at the Taipei Hilton, across from the train station in downtown Taipei. When we got there his friend was vacuuming the carpet in the main ballroom. Rail thin, about 5 foot 10, he and I crossed hands to do pushing hands (Dan Ta). As soon as we touched, my feet flew out from under me and I was face down on the carpet. This happened a few times, and then he told me just to watch. He stood stock still at attention for a second or two, then sped across the room so fast I could barely make out the movements of his hands and feet - I could literally hear the air swoosh as his arms moved. In a blink, he was back to the spot that he had started in, stock still as before.

My jaw was hanging open. David looked at me and grinned. "I think this is what you always wanted to learn" he said. I nodded . We spoke with David's friend for a few more minutes, I thanked him over and over again, and then we left. I asked David if he thought his friend would teach me. David shook his head . " No, I just took you there so you could see that - he really doesn't like doing martial arts, but his grandfather was a famous martial artist and basically beat it into him. He is very good, as you could see".

I was stunned. From that point on, I went looking for someone who could teach me what I had seen (David told me it was a version of Xingyi). One day after seeing a movie at the Baogong movie theatre on Chinshan St., (David and I lived close by - he on Chaochou St., me on Chinhua street near Yongkang st.) we took a side street to get out of the exiting crowd. I saw a sign over a doorway "Yizong Kuoshu Zong Guan". I pointed it out to David and we went up - the door was locked, and I went back a day or two later.

When I had been studying with Master Zhang at the Yizong school for a while, David told me "I'm glad you found the place - thats real stuff. The teacher is from the same place as my father (David's dad was a high ranking general, the family was from Shandong) and my dad says he knows the teacher is very good."

KJF
Posted by: cerebus Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 10:48am
That woulda been my own dream as a teenager Dr. Fish. You had some great fortune there... Smiley
Posted by: Jose Alb Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 1:30pm
Ken, i remember the first time you told that story about the guy in the hotel. I forgot to ask you then what im asking now...who was the gentlemans grandfather/teacher?
Posted by: kenneth_fish Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 2:48pm
He would not say. David knew, but his friend told him to keep mum.
Posted by: bigwill Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 9:09pm
First I think the xingyi master is not a good teacher.I studied both xing yi and bagua.so I know both style is good.for real xingyi is easy to learn,but diificult to practise,and bagu is difficult to learn,and difficult to practise.
for beginning level,if your teacher teach you sports martial art(not traditional martial art),this thing could be happen,because for sport bagua,there are some fighting tech including,but for xingyi,you have to get a good teacher,some of teachers they know how to practise,but they don't know how to use,because 5 elements style looks too simple.
for traditional martial art,xingyi will beat bagua easy for beginning level students.
It's hard to compare bagua and xingyi,because why we call kungfu is martial art,it's art.why we called xingyi ,xing and yi(mind).so it depend on your talent,but also a good instuctor is very important,otherwise,even you spend whole life to learn,but still learned nothing.
I don't know how bagua people beat xingyi,if I am their master,I will teach them how to use xingyi to beat bagua. Wink
and for higher level,there are no different between xing yi,bagua,and taiji.
so I think for those beijing's students,they should find a good master to learn some real thing,not keep stay there to learn that shit thing.
any one agree with me?


Posted by: johnwang Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 9:59pm
You don't switch from one style into another style. You learn them all and keep what you like and discard what you don't like.

Is that what "polygamy" is all about?
Posted by: Uatu the Watcher the Ed Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 10:06pm
Well, if Jill and Sue are fine with each other (and polygamy), well, maybe it will work.

But if Jill and Sue hate each other - you might have some problems.
Posted by: johnwang Posted on: May 10th, 2008, 10:14pm
What are we looking for in MA training?

- Punching skill (straight punch, hook punch, ...).
- Kicking skill (front kick, side kick, ....).
- Locking skill (wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, ...).
- Throwing skill (hip throw, leg blocking, ...).
- Ground fight skill (arm bar, leg bar, choke, ...)

Can you find one CMA style that can give you all these? You may even have to go to TKD to find "spin back kick, flying side kick, ... in order to complete your list (if a "complete" list is important for you).

If you look at MA from this angle then the word "style" will have very little meaning and to switch from one style into another will never been discussed.
Posted by: cdobe Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 1:53am
on May 10th, 2008, 10:14pm, johnwang wrote:
What are we looking for in MA training?

- Punching skill (straight punch, hook punch, ...).
- Kicking skill (front kick, side kick, ....).
- Locking skill (wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, ...).
- Throwing skill (hip throw, leg blocking, ...).
- Ground fight skill (arm bar, leg bar, choke, ...)

Can you find one CMA style that can give you all these?


Yes, most CMAs contain all of these skills, except for the ground skill.

Posted by: Uatu the Watcher the Ed Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 3:54am
I don't practice xingyiquan only, but it IS a very attractive art. Not only does it have a very easy-to-understand progression (santi, wuxing, lianhuan, etc.), but it is very powerful and cool and all that.

Still, I find it hard to give up on baguazhang's circling and movement abilities, as well as taijiquan's neutralization abilities... Wink

John:

Although no one style has EVERYTHING, I do feel that baguazhang has the most from a single style (of CMA).

Punching skill: This one is hard to say, since every CMA has a very wide range of hand skills that are often quite different (baguazhang has more palms than fists)
Kicking skill: 72 kicks
Locking skill: 72 locks
Throwing skill: Many throws (not sure how many)

Of course there is no ground skill, however. There are many weapon methods, though (almost every CMA weapon there is).

And then there are many special skills, too.

Posted by: For Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 6:03am
on May 11th, 2008, 3:54am, Uatu the Watcher the Ed wrote:
I don't practice xingyiquan only, but it IS a very attractive art. Not only does it have a very easy-to-understand progression (santi, wuxing, lianhuan, etc.), but it is very powerful and cool and all that.

Still, I find it hard to give up on baguazhang's circling and movement abilities, as well as taijiquan's neutralization abilities... Wink

John:

Although no one style has EVERYTHING, I do feel that baguazhang has the most from a single style (of CMA).

Punching skill: This one is hard to say, since every CMA has a very wide range of hand skills that are often quite different (baguazhang has more palms than fists)
Kicking skill: 72 kicks
Locking skill: 72 locks
Throwing skill: Many throws (not sure how many)

Of course there is no ground skill, however. There are many weapon methods, though (almost every CMA weapon there is).

And then there are many special skills, too.

Yea, I also like Pakua over Hsingyi, it seems to fit my body and thinking more. Still not sure how much stuff is in Hsingyi. I mean I know the forms and moves and how it works it just does not fit me that well. I do see that the system are very blended, after practice for so long.
Posted by: nianfong Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 10:28am
Joe, I think the main reason why we all like xingyi is that it's perfect for BREAKIN YO HIP
Posted by: Felipe_Bido Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 11:04am
I wasn't a 'kickass badass CLF guy', but we used to spar almost everyday, among ourselves, people from other schools, and with anyone who walked by the school and wanted to try. And I don't remember getting my ass seriously kicked by anyone. CLF is an excellent art, and it worked very well in every situation.

I was in charge of my CLF teacher's school when I started to visit the XYQ school. I wanted to train with a chinese teacher, and the school was close to my town, so I went there everytime I had the chance. Deng Fu Xin was in Shanghai at the time, so I started training XY with his students. They taught me the basics while I waited for our teacher to come back.

When master Deng came back, I was accepted, so the instruction got more serious. I used to spar with one of the XY guys, and I couldn't touch him. No matter what I did, he just moved a bit back and I couldn't touch him. If I tried to be faster and to go in, he'd just punch me, slap me and kick me, forcing me to step back. After 2 or 3 sparring sessions, and a few days pondering what was wrong with me, I knew. There was a kind of complexity and technique in the way XY worked; like the pieces in a chess game, a XY player takes the enemies down by invading their square and completely displacing them; taking out their balance, their root, their working space, without giving them a chance to regroup and reattack. My game was to stay in my square, moving inside it, while striking the piece next to me (my opponent). That's why the XY guy couldn't be touched. He moved as I moved, and when it was time for me to attack, he wasn't there. He had readjusted the distance.

Not saying that this is present in XY only. It's a common ability of fighters that knows the game. But XY, like other arts, trains you to improve that skill since day one, because it's vital for your success.

Apart from that, it was the whole "moving the body as a single unit", and the attack being of the same nature of the defense. I wasn't used to all that, with my MA background coming (mostly) from "Block, then punch" arts. And to top it off, since our teacher also teaches Bagua drills when we are warming up before XY, one or two of the old students had the damn ability to disappear from my eyes when I attacked (by sidestepping and entering, landing on a blind spot behind my shoulder). The first time I saw that, I was amazed, completely fascinated.

So after a few weeks working with those principles, training them, visualizing them, I started to understand. And I saw that a style as complex as XY (Yes, "easy to learn, difficult to master") would need my complete attention if I wanted to be at least decent at it. So I quit CLF completely.

After weeks of very intense practice and pondering (I think that was the time when I trained the most), the sparring sessions were different, and I even remember the first time I could punch the guy. It was a "Tiger leaves the cave" punch, in his right ribs. Yes, I did a victory dance Cheesy.

My CLF buddies didn't approve my decision at first (Since XYQ is not flashy, well, it looks ugly and silly sometimes), but after one or two sparring sessions, they started to like it and one of them went with me to the school, and learned some good stuff from my teacher. I taught XY to two of them later, with the permission of my teacher.

Hell, long post.
Posted by: Joe L. Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 12:01pm
Excellent responses everyone, I appreciate them.

Fong- All arts are seemingly perfect to break my hip, give equal credit Cheesy

Felipe- Awesome post, thanks for the long response. Always fun to reminisce of the times you trained the hardest for an art you fell in love with.

Keep 'em coming if ya got em people. I appreciate personal stories of experiences and opinions over what the classic or past masters ''say'' the art should be, since the ones practicing now will pass on the arts.
Besides, personal stories are more interesting than parroting their teacher or classmates anyhow Grin



Though one last and further question; when you delved into the animals, what did they do for your game? Did it improve one of the elements/favorite technique for you, give it a new spin or power, etc?
And after learning, did you feel you could have lasted with just the elements? Are the animals to you so vital in your development that you feel a more proficient fighter after studying a a few/all of them?
Since my limited understanding is that the animals are more just manipulations of elements in varying ways or pairings (energy or shape wise), that each animals has the potential to develop the 5 elements. Yet to you, is it just fully supplemental or are they important in their own right for whatever reason (new intent, power generation, strategies)?


Posted by: Felipe_Bido Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 12:16pm
My teacher said: "The five elements train power, the animals train strategy". The Five fists are something like "Power drills" and with them you learn how to express power, use direction, and train your body to incorporate the XY principles.

The animals teach you ways to use the power and strategy in different ways, and using different types of intention. At the same time, they serve as a workout, training muscle groups and other parts of your body.

Usually, people learn the five fists, and their game changes when they find an animal form with the intention and characteristics that better suit their body type and natural skills.

With proper training you reach a very high level using the Five Fists only. But when you know the animals, your mind opens and the possibilities to enhance the use of your five fists increase greatly.
Posted by: Joe L. Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 12:32pm
Makes a lot of sense, Felipe. Thanks for the explanation.

I've always kept playing with the little Xing yi I know (santi, pi, beng, dzuan and bear), but recently have been training it seriously again.

Helpful to always know what is ahead if I keep practicing for a long while to come.
Posted by: mix Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 12:44pm
I also do bagua and xingyi.
I would say that I like both of them equally.
I started to learn xingyi from Andrea Falk at seminars she gave in Guelph. At that time I was ho hum about it and only practiced sometimes. Then I learned bagua from my current teacher for about 8 months. He said that if I wanted to learn xingyi in the future I should forget everything I know about that art. So I started learning xingyi from him. I found that it immediately made me better at sparring and helped me become more aggressive. I love xingyi because of its no frills attitude towards combat. Also, since the energies of xingyi and of bagua are very similar, it really helped me to understand the jins I was working with in my bagua forms.
Posted by: kenneth_fish Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 12:52pm
my teachers have always said that in the beginning "wuxng wei lian, shi er xing wei yong' "Five elements are for training skills, twelve animals are for usage" . But that is only at the beginning stage.

Interesting for me, I found learning Tongbei really opened up the elements for me.

KJF
Posted by: beegs Posted on: May 11th, 2008, 5:20pm
for me- xingyi is the hardest to learn and hardest to get good at, probably same with bagua, but most xy out their sucks, hate to say it, but its been watered down to five angles of attacks and then 2 man stuff.

i switched because of the complexity and it opened my eyes to why it is considered a higher form of martial arts.

side note- xy and bagua differ greatly on the outside, but whats happening on the inside is pretty much the same.
Posted by: mix Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 4:01am
on May 11th, 2008, 5:20pm, beegs wrote:

side note- xy and bagua differ greatly on the outside, but whats happening on the inside is pretty much the same.



That really depends what line your talking about.
Hebei xingyi tends to have the same energies as cheng style bagua, but the actual coordinations of the chest and dan tien are different from the bagua, plus hebei doesn't have twisting force of the waist to the same extent as bagua. But yes, I think they have many similarities, and can help to learn the other much more easily. Smiley
Posted by: fisherman Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 4:52am
I have found that the Wuxing and the Houtians of the Gao style work very well together. I have found quite a bit of usage of my Xingyi stuff within the applications of the Houtians.
I really love the simplicity and effectiveness of Xingyi, however, my body type definitely makes me gravitate a bit more towards the bagua stuff.

BTW:
Nice post Mr. Fish! I really enjoy the stories about ZZF! Thanks for sharing.

Chris
Posted by: kenneth_delves Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 1:18pm
Punching skill (straight punch, hook punch, ...).
- Kicking skill (front kick, side kick, ....).
- Locking skill (wrist lock, elbow lock, shoulder lock, ...).
- Throwing skill (hip throw, leg blocking, ...).
- Ground fight skill (arm bar, leg bar, choke, ...)

Hmm-had all of those , fought several different styles successfully but still got creamed by a few 'internal' artists
Got obsessed by Xing yi, it looked simple but was most complex, studied many other arts but always came back to it, been at it since the 70's and still learn new things,
guess I'm stuck with it
Posted by: Chanchu Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 5:06pm
Hsing- i is a great art- no limit to it for high level people with acess to real teachers...

That said- even a ordinary practicioner a plugger can get one hell of a lot out of it just by learning something, drilling into it- and doing serious pi chuan or wu hsing via seminars, corrective visits with the teacher etc..

1- 18 Lu you have got something damn good if you hone it.

It is compact, concise yet has no limit to how advanced or expansive it can be.

I don't do hsing-i only- also practice some Ba gwa and very basic TCC. and in the last years even though I am a ancient old devil, I started to practice south shaolin again about 6-8 years ago because I realized that if I did not do it now in a few years I would never be able to practice shaolin again. ( I love shaolin m/a) and also because I met a very, very good master of CLF.

Always go back to Hsing-I though. Oldster or youngster you can dig into it at any stage of life and get something damn useful out of it.
Posted by: Big_Phat_Wong Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 6:28pm
I guess there eventually came a point when I realized it contained everything I needed in terms of combat and healing. I like it because it's a wudang system and stresses natural body mechanics instead of rigorously patterned movement. I particularly like that it emphasizes the mind, or "i" leading the body. Very few arts train that way. And since I'm a clumsy mofo, it seemed like the best obvious choice. Cheesy

I'm also a strong believer that that which is simple is also the most profound. I'll still cross-train the Filipino and Indonesian stuff, but I know for a fact that I'll be doing Hsing-i until I die.
Posted by: C.J.W. Posted on: May 12th, 2008, 10:22pm
on May 11th, 2008, 12:52pm, kenneth_fish wrote:
my teachers have always said that in the beginning "wuxng wei lian, shi er xing wei yong' "Five elements are for training skills, twelve animals are for usage" . But that is only at the beginning stage.

Interesting for me, I found learning Tongbei really opened up the elements for me.

KJF


To me, the characteristic of Xinyi/Bagua is to strike using the whole body as a unit while the arms stay almost immobile to ensure the maximum transfer of force. The power feels like a springy cannon ball - crushing and plowing through the opponent. (Body leads the arms)

Styles like Tongbei and Pigua, or the "long arm" systems, train the body differently. A lot of emphasis is placed on opening up the joints, especially the shoulder/
scapula area so that when striking the arms can be cracked out like a whip at fast speed. (Arms lead the body)

Xinyi/Bagua focus on power, and Tongbei/Pigua on speed. Knowing both methods can certainly fill the gaps.
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Re: Xingyi only?

Postby kenneth fish on Tue May 13, 2008 5:25 pm

CJW:
What learning Tongbei (and getting input from Shanxi style and XYLH style teachers) also did for me was to teach me how to remain soft and springy but with connection, so that in throwing a strike everything is that is supple but lines up to deliver force at the instant of contact, and then is instantly supple and springy again.
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Re: Xingyi only?

Postby xingyijuan on Wed May 14, 2008 7:45 am

Thanks Fong for bringing this here.

Yeah, I'm convinced that doing another art helps with XYQ. The more I learn it, the more I feel that it's not an IMA for beginners. I know that my teacher prefers it when students have had experience elsewhere (sounds nasty!).
"Power cannot exist without movement"Yang Hai

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Re: Xingyi only?

Postby nianfong on Wed May 14, 2008 3:31 pm

well it was my first art. but my teacher also filled in our gaps for us with his own experiences in shaolin, TKD, judo, and kendo. in other words, he beat us up to harden us up ;)
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Re: Xingyi only?

Postby edededed on Wed May 14, 2008 5:38 pm

I dunno if it would help to learn other arts or not (with xingyi), but I don't have enough concentration to just do one thing :D

Plus, doing several styles helps to see how each influenced the other...
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Re: Xingyi only?

Postby Ben on Wed May 14, 2008 6:19 pm

I don't do Xingyi but I do Tai Chi only with no plans to change. For me theres always another level. Its just a matter of what your goals are. For the reasons I train only doing Tai Chi is enough.
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