Posted at 02:50 PM | Permalink
UPDATE: Reader told me article link broke (at bottom of this post) Sorry. Don't know why in this system that often happens on first posting. Now fixed.)
UPDATE 2: By the way, I mention in the article that I'm going to talk not only about the MING JING (obvious energy) of Xingyi but also the AN JING (concealed energy), from the master's handwritten manual. But I haven't added that section in to the online version of the article yet. Coming soon!)
For those who've taken an interest in my little energy-centric Xingyiquan project, you know I had an article on energy-centric BENG QUAN on my website. That article has now been greatly augmented in its general discussion session and also gives the background on where I picked up this 'secret art' (my version of Xingyi, which is a little different from the currently widespread standard practice). It also gives my general thoughts on "how real is this stuff for street, sport, or stage?" Basically this FREE article gives up a lot of the general discussion that will appear on the forthcoming DVD. What can't be easily given in an article are the more mechanical execution explanations. I gave some introduction to one move but there's a lot more to do in that area, and it can only be done effectively via film. The film will end up costing something, but this article which gives a lot of amazing pointers to those who care is free and will remain so. It's still kind of raw and choppy so I'll be putting up new versions as we go and notifying here.
But for those who've actually started to get into this (I've heard from a few people on it) - this is done for their sake they will definitely want to read at least the completely new first half of this expanded version of the orginal BENG QUAN article. And for the many of you who hate this and think its all bullshit and couldn't fight its way out of a wet t shirt and all that I've heard a million times - why are you even reading my blog anyway? Get the fuck out right now!
Here's the article update location.
Posted at 12:20 AM | Permalink
Most treatments of XIngyiquan focus on one or more of 4 things:
This film isn’t going to talk very much about any of those things. But no harm - you can easily get that stuff elsewhere. I’m going to give you just the absolute minimum in theory, physical structure, and mental orientation to ramp you up the energy ladder. Never has the old saying SOMETIMES LESS IS MORE been truer than in the case of Xingyiquan. This presentation is not Xingyiquan for street, sport, or stage - only for its insanely intense nei gong internal energy effect.
For each of the standard 5 Element Fists demonstration and discussion of:
- the energy levels of ming jing and an jing in actual self-perception
- relation of Xingyiquan energy manifestions to Taijiquan energy manifestions
- and more (but not too much more: the motto of Xingyiquan is Eliminate Non-Essentials)
It isn't really a complete martial art, at least not in my flavoring. But it's an amazing attribute method. Combine this with your own stuff and some day who knows? Maybe you'll be the one to take it to street, sport, or stage.
Posted at 11:13 PM | Permalink
I am just a normal non-material spirit entity trying to keep my head down and my nose clean. I've incarnated as human on the Earth Plane a few times, and now, like so many of your readers up here in the astral, out of boredom or whatever I'm pondering whether to take another leap to the physical down there, for one more go-round as a human. I'm thinking there might yet be something great down there for me! But, somehow, it's still kind of... intimidating. What's your take on it, Tabby? Should I go for it?
- Prudently Undecided but Needing Kicks
I know what you're thinking: Has the Earth Plane unloaded all its got onto me yet, or not? Well, to tell you the truth, PUNK, in all this excitement here in the near-earth astral plane, I've kinda lost track myself. But being as we're talking about the Earth System, the most powerful soulgrinder in all 10 dimensions, which would blow your ectoplasmic head clean off, you've got to ask yourself one question: In my previous lives, has the Earth System shot its wad at me completely? Have I been burned at the stake, broken on the rack, had root canal, undergone a spinal tap, been launched headfirst through a windshield, been horse-whipped and earth-quaked and tidal-waved and black-plagued, broken on the rack, blown to shit by a Claymore, drilled to Swiss cheese by a shotgun, hanged by the neck until dead, impaled on a stake (while alive), been raped and tortured and mocked and abused and oppressed and humiliated in every conceivable way? Have I run the whole gamut already? In other words, you need to ask yourself : Do I feel lucky? Well? Do ya, PUNK?
Posted at 08:38 PM | Permalink
Xingyiquan is an insanely effective Nei Gong (inner work) method. I haven't taught it much before because it is, on the surface, so (almost comedically) misleading and deceptive in its appearance that it hasn't been worth the blood and sweat to overcome the misperceptions and bellicose counter-assertions. But now I've decided fuck it. I've only got a few more years in-planet, might as well hang for sheep as lamb.
I'm now in the final phase of production planning for my forthcoming DVD on Xingyiquan Five Fists.
The basic contents will be built around the following core work:
1. Five Fists Physical (pi, beng, zuan, pao, heng) The minimal physical shaping and structural principles for training these as energy work (not for barroom bouncing or battlefield battering). Focus will be, not on what anybody said in an old book, and not on a rote anatomical checklist, but strictly what you need to know and do with: fist, shoulders, waist, stepping, and mind to catch the first thread of the internal energy in your own experience. Additionally, within each move there are a number of variations of angle and pattern and so on, that have traditionally been taught by serious legitimate authorities. For each technique: which one of these variants is optimal for energy? How should you spend your practice time?
2. Five Fists Ming Jing: for each form, how you will first feel the obvious/sharp energy for that particular move. Both what you will first feel and where you will first feel it, and how to start layering the energy on stronger and stronger.
3. Five Fists An Jing: for each form, how you will first feel the concealed energy for that particular move. Both what you will first feel and where you will first feel it, and how to start layering the energy on stronger and stronger.
That's already about one hour right there. I may throw in a couple of the very best animals for energy too.
Probably throw in something about the relation of the Tai Chi energies to the above. Don't worry it'll be cheap, like my Tai Chi vid. Won't kill you to dip your toe.
Once you have viewed this, you can get it on for yourself thereafter, and probably take it much farther than I ever have. Feeling these won't instantly make you into The Invincible. These levels of energy are not a one night stand, one bang and you move on. Rather, it's a spiral of revisitation of the levels. You don't feel them once and you're cooked. You keep on layering over these two kinds of energy, over and over, forever. You just need a few breadcrumbs to lead out of the theoretical and physical jungle that has grown up around this stuff.
If you will stop arguing with me about ancient archery and Jeopardy-style terminological trivia, and just do as I guide in this DVD, you are gonna be absolutely gob-smacked that your whole being has this incredible potential coiled up inside that you never knew. You'll feel like you did when you first... - anyway like you did a long time ago when you discovered something about your whole being and what it can feel.
Posted at 08:50 AM | Permalink
Posted at 08:00 PM | Permalink
I realized that my two or three throw-away lines of speculation on the possible historical origins of Xingyiquan's main training inventory, the Five Fists, was causing so much irrelevant heat that the light of the article's main point was being totally ignored. As usual people love to focus on some little nit so they don't have to face any work or challenge to the deeper core of their belief systems. The real Xingyi is not a belief system. It's an experience system.
Anyway just so as not to distract readers any further, I have re-written the section that had those 3 or 4 lines of speculative origin, rewritten the section to reflect the fact that I don't really give a flying fuck where it all came from. The point is, if you work it the right way, the internal energy it yields will blast you into outer space. That's really all. Get off the nits and peripheral fussing with this quote or that, and try to work it the way I am saying and you'll see for yourself.
Xingyiquan is usually demonstrated statically, against a passive opponent standing at a close distance. Under those conditions, a Xingyiquan strike from a strong man to the groin, gut, solar plexus, or face of an unresisting person will be physically devastating. That’s why Xingyiquan appears to be a frightening combative art. But under those unrealistic conditions, any hard strike from a strong man, such as a Western boxer, or even from an entirely untrained man, would be equally destructive to an unresisting, passive victim. In this kind of demonstration, the special internal power of Xingyiquan is irrelevant.
Under more realistic conditions of street self-defense, and also sport fighting, where a strong, experienced adversary is free to move aggressively, the limitations of Xingyiquan technique, when viewed from a purely mechanical viewpoint, become obvious. I don’t know where or how Xingyiquan’s Five Fists originated, and I don’t care. Theories and histories proliferate, arguments rage. The facts are as follows, two questions and two answers:
Q: Is Xingyiquan, as a technique inventory, useful for street or sport fighting?
A: The answer is a flat no. Not compared to all the other great fight systems and training methods out there. Sure, some big-burly-bouncer types of guys like the idea of a sudden blitzkrieg of forward chopping and bashing attacks on an unprepared target. But that's more mindset than anything else. Variants of that mindset are common throughout the Reality Based Self Defense industry, with little particular reference to Xingyuiquan. Anyway, it’s an attractive ideal, along the lines of the thrilling martial dances in Chinese opera and Japanese Kabuki, with all their grimaces, stomps and halberd flourishes. But from a combative standpoint, the physics of Xingyiquan are little more than theatrical display. Nor will the strictly physical body enhancement or fitness benefits of Xingyiquan be of much use to anybody.
Q: Is Xingyiquan, as a minimal framework of shaping discipline, useful for developing the true internal power?
A: The answer is a very emphatic yes. The way to get started on that is described in this article. In a way it’s a tragedy (or perhaps comedy) that such an insanely effective nei gong system is hidden under a ridiculously childish cover tarp of martial arts Live Action Role Play. It’s as though the universe (or the elder Xingyiquan masters) deliberately set out to tease, deceive, and trip us up with our own prejudice and shallowness, and generally get us to play the fool for their amusement.
Now, do these answers then mean that Xingyiquan is an ineffective martial art? Not at all. In fact, Xingyiquan can be an extremely effective and even dangerous martial art, but only when the true fundamentals of its power attribute are understood and consciously cultivated.
Posted at 02:49 PM | Permalink
It's so amazing to me that people would rather quibble over some peripheral text references, and then restate their own pet physicalized theories about Xingyiquan energy rather than simply try what I actually wrote, try it doggedly until they simply experience it in themselves (it isn't all that hard) then it would be like:
OH! Holy SHIT! Ok... Never mind.
And then they could begin the real work of XYQ.
Socrates - GLAUCON
And now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: --Behold! human beings living in a undergroundden, which has a mouth open towards the light and reaching all along the den; here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and necks chained so that they cannot move, and can only see before them, being prevented by the chains from turning round their heads. Above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which they show the puppets.
And do you see, I said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels, and statues and figures of animals made of wood and stone and various materials, which appear over the wall? Some of them are talking, others silent.
You have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.
Like ourselves, I replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another, which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?
True, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed to move their heads?
And of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?
Yes, he said.
And if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were naming what was actually before them?
And suppose further that the prison had an echo which came from the other side, would they not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-byspoke that the voice which they heard came from the passing shadow?
No question, he replied.
To them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.
That is certain.
And now look again, and see what will naturally follow it' the prisoners are released and disabused of their error. At first, when any of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to stand up and turn his neck round and walk and look towards the light, he will suffer sharp pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former state he had seen the shadows; and then conceive some one saying to him, that what he saw before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision, -what will be his reply? And you may further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to name them, -will he not be perplexed? Will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?
And if he is compelled to look straight at the light, will he not have a pain in his eyes which will make him turn away to take and take in theobjects of vision which he can see, and which he will conceive to be in reality clearer than the things which are now being shown to him?
True, he now
And suppose once more, that he is reluctantly dragged up a steep and rugged ascent, and held fast until he 's forced into the presence of thesun himself, is he not likely to be pained and irritated? When he approaches the light his eyes will be dazzled, and he will not be able to see anything at all of what are now called realities.
Not all in a moment, he said.
He will require to grow accustomed to the sight of the upper world. And first he will see the shadows best, next the reflections of men andother objects in the water, and then the objects themselves; then he will gaze upon the light of the moon and the stars and the spangled heaven; and he will see the sky and the stars by night better than the sun or the light of the sun by day?
Last of he will be able to see the sun, and not mere reflections of him in the water, but he will see him in his own proper place, and not in another; and he will contemplate him as he is.
He will then proceed to argue that this is he who gives the season and the years, and is the guardian of all that is in the visible world, and in a certain way the cause of all things which he and his fellows have been accustomed to behold?
Clearly, he said, he would first see the sun and then reason about him.
And when he remembered his old habitation, and the wisdom of the den and his fellow-prisoners, do you not suppose that he would felicitatehimself on the change, and pity them?
Certainly, he would.
And if they were in the habit of conferring honours among themselves on those who were quickest to observe the passing shadows and to remark which of them went before, and which followed after, and which were together; and who were therefore best able to draw conclusions as to the future, do you think that he would care for such honours and glories, or envy the possessors of them? Would he not say with Homer,
Better to be the poor servant of a poor master, and to endure anything, rather than think as they do and live after their manner?
Yes, he said, I think that he would rather suffer anything than entertain these false notions and live in this miserable manner.
Imagine once more, I said, such an one coming suddenly out of the sun to be replaced in his old situation; would he not be certain to have his eyes full of darkness?
To be sure, he said.
And if there were a contest, and he had to compete in measuring the shadows with the prisoners who had never moved out of the den, while his sight was still weak, and before his eyes had become steady (and the time which would be needed to acquire this new habit of sight might be very considerable) would he not be ridiculous? Men would say of him that up he went and down he came without his eyes; and that it was better not even to think of ascending; and if any one tried to loose another and lead him up to the light, let them only catch the offender, and they would put him to death.
Posted at 09:12 PM | Permalink
A reader who knows the basic mechanics of the Xingyiquan Five Fists, but to whom I've never taught any XYQ directly, and who never felt anything "internanl" from XYQ before, has read my recent article and instead of #@$%! arguing with me about it, just went ahead and did exactly as I wrote, for himself.
Here is his first report. Eventually will go way beyond this. No, he won't clean up the UFC with a few sensations. When an acorn first sprouts you don't run to oil up your chainsaw. But you have to be willing to do what I wrote instead of trying to talk me to death how terribly wrong I am about it all.
Anyway I have already begun production of my new DVD, on the energetic substrate of the XYQ Five Fists. Wait til you see how this works for pi quan (劈)... That'll really freak your head... you guys will be on me with torches and pitchforks.
Posted at 08:17 AM | Permalink
Here it is:
The lowest level of directed internal energy is the ming jing (clear or obvious energy), which at the lowest level manifests in two main modes (the ming jing of course is the first level beyond the little buzzes, rushes, and tingles you get from normal Qi Gong play, I'm not talking about that stuff). It is the same energy manifesting differently according to how you express it with, yes, just that little bit of necessary physical shaping:
(a) In "slow" Taijiquan the ming jing is felt as a seismic phenomenon in your body, the hard wave described in detail in my Tai Chi books.
(b) In "fast" Xingyiquan the ming jing is felt as an electric phenomenon in your body, the electric blast through your arm (not just the bones by the way) that is described in my Liquid Lightning article.
There. All done. Was that so hard? Of course this energy permutes into a very different form later, the soft wave and the concealed energy 暗勁 etc. which I've also partially discussed a little but for now just go ahead and feel those two modes above for yourself and then there won't be any arguments.
Posted at 02:33 PM | Permalink
As expected some people have already begun to pile on about how my ming jing Xingyi energy article is totally bogus, that the ming jing is mainly a physical thing, that Xingyi is Dah Kill3r pugilism (really! seriously! like a bamboo stake in your eye!) if you just poke out your dragon knuckle enough when you punch, or flex the right spinal muscles at just the crucial moment blabatty blah blah.
Instead of learning from the piece and just immediately trying it out and feeling it, they'd rather cling to what they think they already know. When the wise man hears the Dao, he immediately begins to practice it...
I hadn't really been planning to say much more about XYQ, but now I'm beginning to think I should make one more martial arts DVD, about the XYQ energy (there's more to say on it than what I put in the article), just so the art isn't totally lost forever between the gnashing jaws of, on the one hand, overly physicalized interpretation, grinding up against, oddly enough, vaporous, grandiose, and overly abstract reading of the Classic texts.
It's in the little gap in between those things that you'll actually feel what the fuck they were really talking about. And once you actually feel it, the arguments all stop because it is so childishly obvious, consistent, and unmistakable what it is.
(Now. I know what y'all thinking. You're thinking Talk about fucking grandiose, this Tabby asshole takes the cake. Seems that way but wrong. Just try what I wrote and you'll feel it and that will be end of the discussion and you can just take it from there on your own. There's a lot more can be done with it. I haven't even mentioned the concealed energy yet :)
Anyway. Yeah, I'm gonna do it...
Posted at 01:27 PM | Permalink