Posted at 02:50 PM | Permalink
Posted at 05:08 PM | Permalink
STRUCTURE and MECHANICS have their place, and I'm presenting a minimum set of postures and moves. But not for their own sake as often done these days. Structure must be treated as George Washington said about fire "a useful servant and a terrible master". It's adopted merely as a temporary scaffolding to a higher state, merely a nuisance, a restriction, and a "necessary evil".
Be water my friend - Bruce Lee said it best.
I unapolegetically aim high. Even if we modern day mice never fully attain the heights commanded by the great eagles of past times, what interest can there be in "martial arts" other than what has been described perfectly by the great Xingyi master Che Yizhai, below (though I could translate this myself, I'm going to use the Brennan translation of the passage (i) to avoid charge of slanting it to my own ideas and (ii) I'm finishing a frickin book for Christ's sake, I don't have time for these pointless debates! :)
Therefore when learning how to practice the boxing, it starts from emptiness and returns to emptiness. When you reach this point, the notions of Xingyi, Bagua, or Taiji all disappear into nothing but waves and ripples, a ... oneness in which there can no longer be a “Taiji” or a “Xingyi” or a “Bagua”. Therefore the practice of the boxing arts does not lie in the postures, only in the spirit and energy being fully rounded and without gaps.
Posted at 01:20 PM | Permalink
I'm going to produce exactly 2 more new Xingyi things.
1. BOOK Bare Metal Magic: Radical Xingyi Energetics (August 2014)
The book will cover everything in the existing DVD Xing Yi Quan, and also everything on the existing Youtube video clips (there are about 8 of those now on Xingyi drills and energy practices that build on the pre-existing DVD), with some greater explanatory depth that a book format offers. DVD vs. book is a complementary dynamic, each has its strengths and weaknesses.
2. DVD Xing Yi Quan: Power Animals, Power Drills (September 2014)
The new and final DVD will show everything important that was not covered in the previous DVD. So it will demo and teach:
I guess there will be a few redundancies and/or gaps among the 3 formats (original DVD and the new DVD and book above) but content-wise it all hangs together. I'm not really saying anybody "needs" all this much. The whole point of Xingyi is minimalism after all! A little bit goes a very long way in this art. In fact you could charge yourself infinitely by just continuing to work only Quiet Standing and nothing else.
So don't get me wrong. It's not like anything here is necessary. You already have access to the full universal energy. But all I can say is, most of you don't feel that yet for real, in yourselves. Or you feel it to a very limited degree. My job with all this junk is merely to present sufficient (hopefully not excessive) stuff from sufficient different angles, that at some point you yourself will understand what I've asserted above - that you don't need any anybody's laundary list of drills or techniques or teachers or tapes or seminars. Just quiet standing (not even fancy 'zhan zhuang') can do it all. My job is to present these techniques that will pack you with enough energy that you take off that way on your own.
I've gotten enough dozens of shocked and awed mails from even long time, hardened and veteran practitioners of XYQ and related arts saying they had no idea of what can be experienced in their own art(s) til they started working even a fraction of my stuff that I feel its fair to say I'm performing some service with these. Anyway after these I should be able to shut the fuck up - at least on the subject of Xing Yi.
Posted at 07:52 PM | Permalink
Is it advisable for your soul to leave astral pets behind in a cold ethereal strata while you go galivanting off for yet another Earth-plane incarnation?
Find out the surprising answer in new self-help best-seller:
Posted at 07:29 AM | Permalink
I got a question about recent post on that small yet mighty augmentation to XINGYIQUAN Drill Number 4.
Question was: What is the breathing for that?
Answer is: You have just done the downstrike, which is a natural exhale. When you curl into soft fist as described in post above, you don't 'hold' your breath, but just use the natural pause at the bottom of the exhale for that curl-into-empty-fist thing. The energy will flood up from your feet through your body and both arms. Then just resume the exercise with next inhale and reset to other side elbow strike. Sorry I didn't show this final move on the video - but you're lucky to get it at all. My teacher only showed it to me much later when he was sure I was at least feeling something from all the work.
Posted at 12:26 AM | Permalink
I got mail: You've shown a lot but is there any more of HsingyiChuan that you could show? Thanks.
Yes of course there's a lot more. Not only is there a lot of stuff I haven't shown at all (such as the remaining 9 animals - DOH - but for everything I've already shown, there are further multiple layers of subtle extensions of practice that hugely amplify the effects. There's a TON of further stuff of both types (not yet shown and extensions/refinements). Everything I've shown has these additional layers that I've not included in the 1st presentations (DVD, Youtube clips, blog posts).
But why throw good pearls after bad to the swine? Actually I've received some very nice notes and reviews from a few truly decent people, much appreciated. Just for that handful of nice ones (no, they are not my Mom) I'm partially (about 20% of what I was taught and what's in the training manual) writing up the basic energy-centric Xingyiquan into my new book Bare Metal Magic: Radical Xingyi Energetics. English edition due out August 2014; Japan edition December 2014.
That book will cover the basics that I've presented so far in a comprehensive and organized way.
For now, just to illustrate my point about layers of refinment that I haven't yet presented, in today's post, to answer the guy's question I will provide one such example of an amplifying refinement to just one the practices I've already shown. Just to show you how deep (and yet childishly simple to execute in practical terms) this system is.
This post also serves as litmus test: if you haven't actually worked on the drills I've already presented to the point that you've incorporated most of them into your daily training routine, then all the rest of this post will be totally meaningless to you, and such people have no right to ask for more. If you haven't begun to actually work the drills daily you can't begin to understand the extensions and refinments.
Today's random example relates to the TONGBEI drill Number 4. You should have already watched it by now but it will be linked below.
However, before we get to the awesomely effective extension to Number 4, I need to say an additional word about TONGBEI drill number 3:
I have slightly downplayed number 3 so far, mainly for one reason: if you do it as hard as I was taught and as I show on the video, you may hurt your hands. Generally it's safe but I really don't want anybody complaining to me about that. So I've downplayed it. But it's an extremely awesome energy drill if approached correctly. So I'll tell you what: do not hit as hard as I show in the video - Tone it down by 70%, just make it a light smack that barefly stings you. Keep it really light and you'll still get the incredible energy harvest of the drill. But still try for a satisfying (though less resonant) *smack* on impact every time. Even though it won't be as loud as I do it in the video, you'll be able to feel when you hit it square on. The key thing in the execution of drill 3 is to be absolutely sure to check your shoulders just before every single up or down smack. CHECK YOUR SHOULDERS AND ARMS FOR RELAXATION. They need to be totaly relaxed and verified as such before every smack.
If you can stay relaxed before and through each strike, you'll feel amazing energy in the top and bottom "suo jing" move of forming and releasing the soft fist.
So - that is the precursor stuff of Drill 3 that you must understand to make drill 4 and today's small but powerful extension of Drill 4 work for you.
Below is the basic form of Drill 4:
NOTE: the following teachings will only make sense to those who've not only watched both clips above, but who have been trying them regularly since they were put out. Everybody else will be totally bored to tears and should leave right now. The rest of you still here however, yeah both of you :) should now be on the edge of your seat.
1. Key thing first of all is that when doing the simulated heavy strikes of this drill 4, you need to simulate the feel of the "real thing" as in number 3. That's a given.
2. Next: when you do the downstrike (2nd strike, the one after the elbow strike) you want to really throw your arm all the way down. It's somewhat the downward equivalent not of the heavy pure drop of drill 1, but more like the upward throw of drills 1 and 2, but now done in a downward direction. In other words, if you do the downstrike correctly you'll feel that same internal energy RIPPLE (bo zhuang) in the down strike of Drill 4 that you felt (or will soon feel) in drills 1 and 2. As I've tried to hint, these drills are more closely related than you may realize. Extend your fingers trying to touch the floor at the end, just as you extend your fingers trying to touch the sky in the upward throw for the RIPPLE drills 1 and 2. This is essential to get the effect of the extension presented just below.
3. Now here finally is the next level of the drill which I did not present on the video, very simple but awesomely effective for the energy: at the bottom, just after the completion of the downstrike, leaving your arm in that downward throw position, keeping your shoulders relaxed, just curl your open fingers into the soft fist. Don't do anything else at that moment, no other change to your posture or position. Hold that soft fist quietly for just a beat and you'll feel your hand has somehow "gathered up" a huge barrel of internal energy originating at your feet and consolidated it through your body and into your fist. Truly an amazing experience once you begin to understand it. But just hold that for one beat or two, not long - this is not zhan zhuang. Then release your fist to do your next Number 4 Drill rep, on the other side.
The above is one trivial example of how much richer all this stuff is even that what I've so far shown.
Posted at 04:15 AM | Permalink
Quick post here: my mailbag indicates that there may be some terminological confusion out there. I will untangle everything in my forthcoming magnum opus:
Bare Metal Magic: Radical Xingyi Energetics
... book due out in August 2014.
However, just for now, let me try to clarify a few basic points.
My energy concept grid, that applies to all across the board (Xingyiquan, Taijiquan, Life, the Universe, and Everything) is ripped from Xingyiquan Ubermeister Guo Yunshen, who used terms based on traditional Taoist mediation and alchemy theory.
JING (精) bio-physiological essence that is one of the material foundations for the non-material energies which we cultivate in these arts.
QI (氣) the life energy that is derived in part from the JING bio-essence and in part from ingestion of, or contact with, the environment as food, water, air, light, gravity, sound, etc.
SHEN (神) a refined spiritual energy that is in but not of the physical body
XU (虛) a state of pure non-material being
The little tingles and buzzes and warm flushes that everybody feels in the first 15 minutes of any weekend Qi Gong seminar are termed by me: BRUTE QI (Buzz, RUsh, and Tingle Energy). That's the easy stuff. From there, my work is focused on developing more refined forms of JING (勁) martial arts energetic experience, as follows:
MING JING (明勁) The "obvious" or "clear" energy which is experenced as an electric jolt and charge in Xingyiquan, or as the "hard wave" in the slower movements of Taijiquan.
AN JING (暗勁) The "hidden" or "dark" energy that emerges later, after you have some experience of the MING JING. This is experienced as a tsunami "wash" of power in Xingyiquan from foot to fist, and as the "soft wave" of PENG energy in the slower modality of Taijiquan.
HUA JING (化勁) Higher spiritual states that I will give my teacher's directives about in my BMM book (see above)
The confusion arises because in the DVD, I gave a supplemental insight on the basic BENG QUAN practice that allows you to begin to experience the AN JING. That extension to BENG QUAN shown in the DVD is actually just one of 5 total such extension moves for AN JING, which as a whole my teacher termed SHEN JING (滲勁) and which are shown in their entirety on my free Youtube clip.
But notice! That SHEN (滲) is NOT the same as the SHEN (神) 'spirit energy' in Guo Yunshen's concept system above. The spelling is just a coincidental overlap.
The AN JING development exercises which are known as SHEN JING (滲勁) will eventually lead to experience of the SHEN (神) states, but the SHEN JING work per se develops the AN JING (which in turn is precursor to the HUA JING in Guo's system). SHEN JING in the 5 exercies means "infusion of energy" they are a way to convert the MING JING of the Five Elemental Fists into AN JING at the very moment of actual instantion while working the techniques. A very unique system in my experience, I know of nothing comparable because this is DYNAMIC work in the matrix of the Five Fists, not just another variant of Zhan Zhuang static standing, which is a landscape already well covered by Yi Quan. Consider yourself lucky I'm putting this out! :)
Bottom Line: use the 5 SHEN JING (滲勁) extension techniques shown in my Youtube clip to experience and amplify your AN JING (暗勁) power deriving from your Five Elemental Fists (五形) practice.
*PANT* *GASP* Sorry it so confusing but that is just Chinese language stuff. If you read the above carefuly and re-watch my vid clips with all this in mind it should begen to make some sense at least as terminology if not yet as experience.
Posted at 05:29 PM | Permalink
I can't even count how many times I've gone through the following comedic sequence with "students". I use the quote marks advisedly in that I don't really think of myself as a teacher who has students. There are just some dozens or hundreds of people over the years who've been intrigued enough to stop by for longer or shorter times to get a taste of my stuff. Mainly I'm a Tai Chi author who happens, on the side, to be certified by a great Tai Chi master to instruct when I sometimes feel the impulse.
Anyway the progression is as follows:
In the CONTACT phase, some stranger, Mr. X, totally out of the blue will write to me, hey I read a little of your book, something like that. Or in the pre-JUICE period it would be Tabby Cat's blog or some other thing. Then some background: I've been practicing Tai Chi for 20 years, under dozens of teachers and programs, never felt anything like what you're on about... (could be Ba Gua, Xing Yi, Aikido, Qi Gong, or anything else in place of Tai Chi there). Would love to learn more about it can we meet? (Note that these are the intellectual people. There's a whole other class of mails from the more agressive challenging types who strictly want to meet up for pure kuzushi throwdown mode, but that's another story. Today I'm writing about this more sincerely inquisitive type).
In the INSTRUCTION phase, Mr. X and I somehow get together for one or more sessions, and I show him a few things to try. Sometimes right on the spot, or sometimes later after he's gone home, he feels the various energies via the little practices and ideas I have tried so hard to convey. Somehow this seems to work for him right away from in person work, whereas from the books he hadn't gotten it (though there's no real reason for that kind of difference, it's all the same stuff).
In the HONEYMOON phase, Mr. X is back home and doing more and more of the things I've tried to teach in person and the books and he adoringly reports back to me how great this is, how amazing that he never felt it before, how devoted he is to the practice, recommending my books to his friends and so on.
The LEFT BEHIND phase always begins with a silent period of a few months. At some point I get a sudden mail from Mr. X, it's something like: Hi (Tabby), long time no see! A couple months ago I met a [Qi Gong/Tai Chi/Ba Gua/Xing Yi/Praying Mantis/Whatever] master and began to learn from him and his stuff really blows me away energetically! It's even a lot better than yours Tabby! Thanks for the lessons you gave me but hey you really ought to check out this Grandmaster P or Professor Q this guy is the real deal! I just reply Great more power to ya!
The CRAWL-BACK phase is also preceded by a gap of a few months. Then I get an update: For some reason, after a while P's stuff or Q's stuff isn't really doing it for me like it did... the Charge I feel seems to be diminishing I remembered how I first felt it with your stuff Tabby, can I come by for another session?
This happens all the time. What these people never seem to get is that by just learning to minimally relax and a few pointers on feeling the stuff from me, it did something for them that 20 years of work hadn't done, freed something up. So when they go to P or Q, that activated flow is there to respond. In the LEFT BEHIND phase they never stop to wonder whether if they'd started up with P or Q before me, maybe it would've been just like the other 23 great Masters they've studied under before. I've said it many times, once you've begun to understand the basic idea of projected relaxation, energy from the feet, cestus concentration etc. and to experience the energies directly for the first time, you will find them integrating themselves into pretty much everything you do, every movement you make - including their new miracle method of P or Q. That's a fine start on basic flipping the 'on' switch, but to keep progressing you need to persist with the specific drills and practices I've tried to cover.
So they crawl back wanting to review and learn more of those things, and usually I can accomodate. It's just amusing how often the same dynamic seems to play out.
Posted at 08:29 PM | Permalink