Anyone who is curious about anything related to all styles of martial arts or different types of training is welcome here. For the sake of discipline, wisdom, strength and enlightenment.
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This is my time to shine. Maybe not.
You Have To Fail In Order to Win
Failure is one of the best things that can happen to you on the road to success. The broken human spirit is one of the great creators of our species; few things in this life can match the skill, innovation, or persistence of a broken spirit with a will to survive and a hint of hope.
Expanding the Blog
Hello to all you dedicated disciples of fitness,
I apologize that I haven’t been very active on this blog in a while, but there is good news — I’m expanding! The blog will be upgrading to a website, and I will provide the link soon. I will keep the blog though, tumblr has a way of becoming an addiction.
Also, if any of you are interested in upgrading the level of strength you possess, no matter your fitness level, this is program will undeniably help you to obtain the strength gains you desire. No it’s not free, but it’s worth every penny, (it’s $77 so that’s a lot of pennies). It’s called 7 Seconds to a Perfect Body, and it’s a program based in isometrics. But I won’t be able to explain it as well as it’s innovator, Batman (formerly Paul) O’ Brien. So here’s the link, a good find for me, so you should check it out.
Questions for the Studying Guru: What do you think about…?
What are your considerations on the incorporation of music or dance into martial arts? Many martial arts include fluid movements likened to a dance, or instruments played during the movements. What does this contribute to the martial arts in your opinions?
Capoeira (/ˌkæpuːˈɛərə/; Portuguese pronunciation: [kapuˈejɾɐ]) is a Brazilian martial art that combines elements of dance andmusic. It was created in Brazil mainly by descendants of African slaves with Brazilian native influences, probably beginning in the 16th century. It is known by quick and complex moves, using mainly power, speed, and leverage for leg sweeps.
The word capoeira probably comes from Tupi, referring to the areas of low vegetation in the Brazilian interior.
Capoeira’s history probably begins with the adoption of African slavery in Angola. Since the 16th century, Portugal extensively adopted slavery to man their colonies, coming mainly from West and Central Africa. Brazil, with its vast territory, was the major destination of African slaves, receiving 38.5% of all slaves sent by ships across the Atlantic Ocean.
Capoeira has a long and controversial history, since historical documentation in Brazil was very scarce in its colonial times. Evidences, studies and oral tradition leave little doubt about its Brazilian roots, but it is impossible to precisely identify the exact Brazilian region or time it began to take form.
In the 16th century Portugal had one of the biggest colonial empires of the world, but it lacked people to actually colonize it. In the Brazilian colony the Portuguese, like many European colonists, opted to use slavery to supply this shortage of workers. Colonists tried to enslave Brazilian natives in the beginning, but this quickly proved too difficult for many reasons, including the familiarity natives had with the land. The solution was importing slaves from Africa.
In its first century the main economic activity in the colony was the production and processing of sugarcane. Portuguese colonists used to create large sugarcane farms called engenhos, farms which extensively used enslaved workers. Slaves, living in inhumane and humiliating conditions, were forced to work hard and often suffered physical punishment for any small misbehaviour.Even though slaves outnumbered the Portuguese colonists, the lack of weapons, the colonial law, the disagreement between slaves coming from different African cultures and their complete lack of knowledge about the land and its surroundings would usually discourage the idea of a rebellion.
In this environment capoeira began to develop. More than a fighting style, it was created as a hope of survival, a tool with which an escaped slave, completely unequipped, could survive in the hostile, unknown land and face the hunt of the capitães-do-mato, colonial agents armed and mounted in charge of finding escapees.
The ginga (literally: rocking back and forth; to swing) is the fundamental movement in capoeira, important both for attack and defense purposes. It has two main objectives. One is to keep the capoeirista in a state of constant motion, preventing him or her from being a still and easy target. The other, using also fakes and feints, is to mislead, fool, trick the opponent, leaving them open for an attack or a counter-attack.
The attacks in the Capoeira should be done when opportunity arises and must be decisive, like a direct kick in the face or a vital body part, or a strong takedown. Most Capoeira attacks are made with the legs, like direct or swirling kicks, rasteiras (leg sweeps), tesouras or knee strikes. The head strike is a very important counter-attack move. Elbow strikes, punches and other forms of takedowns complete the main list.
The defense is based on the principle of non-resistance, meaning avoiding an attack using evasive moves instead of blocking it. Avoids are called esquivas, which depend on the direction of the attack and intention of the defender, and can be done standing or with a hand leaning on the floor. A block should only be made when the esquiva is not possible. This fighting strategy allows quick and unpredictable counter attacks, the ability to focus on more than one adversary and to face empty-handed an armed adversary.
A series of rolls and acrobatics (like the Cartwheels called aú) allows the capoeirista to quickly overcome a takedown or a loss of balance, and to position themselves around the aggressor in order to lay up for an attack. It is this combination of attacks, defense and mobility which gives Capoeira its perceived ‘fluidity’ and choreography-like style.
There are different rhythms (called toques) that are played by the berimbau during the roda that will determine the mood and the game to be played. Some toques were created so capoeiristascould communicate with each other within the roda without having to say a word, like Cavalaria, while others were created to define a style, like Regional de Bimba. Below is a short description of some toques:
Angola: It is traditionally the first rhythm to be played in a roda. Its rhythm requires Capoeiristas to have a game that is slower and more strategical. Capoeiristas usually play with their hands on the ground for most of the game, displaying strength and equilibrium.
São Bento Grande: Probably the most famous toque. It calls for a lot of energy, acrobatic movements, fast take downs and leg sweeps, making it ideal for energetic presentations.
São Bento Pequeno: This rhythm is played to call an intermediate game between Angola and São Bento Grande. It requires both a high and low stance in the game, preferably in very close distance.
Iúna: Not played very often in rodas, Iúna determines a game where only Mestres and higher graduation capoeiristas can enter the roda, meaning a strong and very technical game. In other traditions, Iúna is a funeral toque.
Cavalaria: This toque carries anxiety and stress. Historically, when Capoeira was still prohibited this toque was used to alert capoeiristas that the police was coming, so they could escape before the practice being discovered. Today it is used to warn players of an imminent danger or disagreement in the game.
Idalina: A relaxed, dominant rhythm where the game is played with razors and knifes. Since the end of Capoeira prohibition, knifes or razors are unlikely to come around the roda, so usually thistoque is played only in some presentations.
Hapkido (also spelled hap ki do or hapki-do; Hangul: 합기도; Hanja: 合氣道) is a dynamic and also eclectic Korean martial art. It is a form ofself-defense that employs joint locks, techniques of other martial arts, as well as kicks, punches, and other striking attacks. There is also the use of traditional weapons, including a sword, rope, nunchaku, cane, short stick, and staff (gun, bō) which vary in emphasis depending on the particular tradition examined.
Hapkido contains both long and close range fighting techniques, utilizing jumping kicks and percussive hand strikes at longer ranges andpressure point strikes, joint locks, or throws at closer fighting distances. Hapkido emphasizes circular motion, non-resisting movements, and control of the opponent. Practitioners seek to gain advantage through footwork and body positioning to employ leverage, avoiding the use of strength against strength.
The art copied from Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu (大東流合気柔術) or a closely related jujutsu system taught by Choi Yong-Sool (Hangul: 최용술) who returned to Korea after World War II, having lived in Japan for 30 years. This system was later combined with kicking and striking techniques of indigenous and contemporary arts such as taekkyeon and tang soo do. Its history is obscured by the historical animosity between the Koreanand Japanese people following the Second World War.
The birth of modern hapkido can be traced to the efforts of a group of Korean nationals in the post Japanese colonial period of Korea, Choi Yong-Sool(1899–1986) and his most prominent students; Seo Bok-Seob, the first student of the art; Ji Han-Jae (born 1936), one of the earliest promoters of the art; Kim Moo-Hong, a major innovator; Myung Jae-Nam, a connector between the art of hapkido and aikido, Myung Kwang-Sik the historian and ambassador, all of whom were direct students of Choi or of his immediate students.
On the “hard-soft" scale of martial arts, hapkido stands somewhere in the middle, employing "soft" techniques similar to jujutsu and aikido as well as “hard” techniques reminiscent of taekwondoand tang soo do. Even the “hard” techniques, though, emphasize circular rather than linear movements. Hapkido is an eclectic, hybrid martial art, and different hapkido schools emphasize different techniques. However, some core techniques are found in each school (kwan), and all techniques should follow the three principles of hapkido:
- Nonresistance (“Hwa”, 화 or 和) → (화 Hwa 和 Harmony)
- Circle principle (“Won”, 원 or 圓) → (원 Weon 圓 Circle)
- The Water/Flexible principle (“Yu”, 유 or 柳) → (유 Yu 流 Flow)
Hwa, or non-resistance, is simply the act of remaining relaxed and not directly opposing an opponent’s strength. For example, if an opponent were to push against a hapkido student’s chest, rather than resist and push back, the hapkido student would avoid a direct confrontation by moving in the same direction as the push and utilizing the opponent’s forward momentum to throw him.
Won, the circular principle, is a way to gain momentum for executing the techniques in a natural and free-flowing manner. If an opponent attacks in linear motion, as in a punch or knife thrust, the hapkido student would redirect the opponent’s force by leading the attack in a circular pattern, thereby adding the attacker’s power to his own. Once he has redirected the power, the hapkido student can execute any of a variety of techniques to incapacitate his attacker. The hapkido practitioner learns to view an attacker as an “energy entity” rather than as a physical entity. The bigger the person is, the more energy a person has, the better it is for the hapkido student.
Yu, the water principle, can be thought of as the soft, adaptable strength of water. Hapkido is “soft” in that it does not rely on physical force alone, much like water is soft to touch. It is adaptable in that a hapkido master will attempt to deflect an opponent’s strike, in a way that is similar to free-flowing water being divided around a stone only to return and envelop it.
I’ve been working, so I apologize for the lack of posts, but I am back, so look forward to the next post, which will be on hapkido.
“One becomes a beginner after one thousand days of training and an expert after ten thousand days of practice.” ― Masutatsu Oyama
Choy Li Fut
Cai Li Fo (Mandarin) or Choy Li Fut (Cantonese) (Chinese: 蔡李佛; pinyin: Cài Lǐ Fó;Cantonese Yale: Choi3 Lei5 Fat6; aka Choy Lee Fut Kung Fu) is a Chinese martial art founded in 1836 by Chan Heung (陳享). Choy Li Fut was named to honor the Buddhist monk Choy Fook (蔡褔, Cai Fu) who taught him Choy Gar, and Li Yau-San (李友山) who taught him Li Gar, plus his uncle Chan Yuen-Wu (陳遠護), who taught him Fut Gar, and developed to honor theBuddha and the Shaolin roots of the system.
The system combines the martial arts techniques from various Northern and Southern Chinese kung-fu systems; the powerful arm and hand techniques from the Shaolin animal forms from the South, combined with the extended, circular movements, twisting body, and agile footwork that characterizes Northern China’s martial arts. It is considered an external style, combining soft and hard techniques, as well as incorporating a wide range of weapons as part of its curriculum. Choy Li Fut is an effective self-defense system, particularly noted for defense against multiple attackers. It contains a wide variety of techniques, including long and short range punches, kicks, sweeps and take downs, pressure point attacks, joint locks, and grappling. According to Bruce Lee:
"Choy Li Fut is the most effective system that I’ve seen for fighting more than one person. [It] is one of the most difficult styles to attack and defend against. Choy Li Fut is the only style [of kung fu] that traveled to Thailand to fight the Thai boxers and hadn’t lost.” –Bruce Lee
Chan Heung (陳享), also known as Din Ying (典英), Daht Ting (逹庭), Chen Xiang Gong, and Chen Xiang (both in Mandarin), was born on August 23, 1806, or July 10, 1806 of the lunar calendar, in King Mui 京梅 (Ging Mui), a village in the San Woi 新會 (Xin Hui) district of Jiangmen, Guangdong province of China.
Chan Heung’s uncle Chan Yuen-Wu (陳遠護), a boxer from the Shaolin temple who had trained under Du Zhang Monk (独杖禅师), who began teaching him the Fut Gar (佛家) style ofChinese martial arts when he was seven years old. When Chan Heung was fifteen, Chan Yuen-Wu took him to Li Yau-San (李友山), Chan Yuen-Wu’s senior classmate from the Shaolin temple. Li Yau San had trained under Zhi Shan Monk (至善禅师).
Under Li Yau-San’s instruction, Chan Heung spent the next four years learning the Li Gar style. Impressed with Chan Heung’s martial arts abilities, Li Yau-San suggested that he train with a Shaolin monk called Choy Fook (Cài Fú, 蔡褔) to learn Choy Gar, a Northern Shaolin style ofwushu 武术, as well as Chinese medicine and other Shaolin techniques.
According to legend, the monk Jee Sin Sim See (至善禪師) is said to have been one of the legendary Five Elders – along with Ng Mui (五梅大師), Fung Doe Duk (馮道德), Miu Hin (苗顯) and Bak Mei (白眉道人) – who survived the destruction of the Shaolin Temple sometime during the late Qing Dynasty.
The founders of the five major family styles of Southern Chinese martial arts; Hung Gar, Choy Gar, Mok Gar, Li Gar and Lau Gar, were respectively, Hung Hei-Gun (洪熙官), Choy Gau Yee (蔡九儀), Mok Da Si (Mok Ching-Kiu, 莫清矯), Li Yau-San (李友山), and Lau Sam-Ngan (劉三眼); and all are said to have been students of Jee Sin Sim See. Choy Fook had learned his martial arts from Choy Gau Yee (蔡九儀), the founder of Choy Gar.
Choy Fook had trained under five teachers, over a period of many years. His teachers were Jue Yuan Monk (觉远上人), Yi Guan Monk (一贯禅师), Li Sou (李叟), Bai Yu Feng (白玉峰), and Cai Jiu Yi (蔡九仪). At the time Chan Heung sought him out, he had lived as a recluse on Lau Fu mountain (羅浮山) and no longer wished to teach martial arts. Chan Heung set out to Lau Fu mountain to find him. When Choy Fook was at the Shaolin temple, he had been seriously burned, and his head had healed with scars. This gave him the nickname “Monk with the Wounded Head” (爛頭和尙). Using that description, Chan Heung eventually located the monk and handed him a letter of recommendation from Li Yau-San. However, Chan Heung was disappointed when Choy Fook turned him down. After much begging, Choy Fook agreed to take the young man as a student, but only to study Buddhism.
One morning, when Chan Heung was practicing his martial arts, Choy Fook pointed to a heavy rock and told him to kick it into the air. Chan Heung exerted all of his strength as his foot crashed against the rock, sending it twelve feet (3.7 m) away. Instead of being complimented, he watched as Choy Fook placed his own foot under the heavy rock and effortlessly propelled it through the air. Chan Heung was awestruck by this demonstration. Again he begged Choy Fook to teach him his martial arts. This time the monk agreed, and for nine years, Choy Fook taught Chan Heung both the way of Buddhism and the way of martial arts.
When he was twenty-eight, Chan Heung left Choy Fook and returned to King Mui village in 1834, where he revised and refined all that he had learned. In 1835, Choy Fook gave Chan Heung advice in the form of a special poem known as a double couplet, as follows:
龍虎風雲會, The dragon and tiger met as the wind and the cloud.徒兒好自爲, My disciple, you must take good care of your future.重光少林術, To revive the arts of Shaolin,世代毋相遺. Don’t let the future generations forget about this teaching.
In 1836, Chan Heung formally established the Choy Li Fut system, named to honor his 3 teachers: that Buddhist monk, Choy Fook, who taught him Choy Gar, and Li Yau-San who taught him Li Gar, plus his uncle Chan Yuen-Woo 陳遠護, who taught him Fut Gar, and developed to honor the Buddha and the Shaolin Kung Fu roots of the system.
Choy Li Fut’s hand techniques contain 10 elements 十訣: Kum 擒 slapping or pressing palm deflection, Na 拿 shooting arm bridge, Gwa 掛 back fist, So 掃 sweeping, Tsop 插 yin/yang knuckle strike, Pow 拋 upward power shot, Jong 撞 small upward power shot, Chaw 爪 claw, Bin 鞭 swinging power shot, Pei 劈 chopping, and Lui Yin 擂陰 yin/yang fist. Choy Li Fut’s leg techniques contain 6 elements: Chan 撐 bracing, Ding 釘 nailing, Liu Tat 撩踢 kicking, So 掃 sweeping, Jet 截 blocking, Au 勾 hooking, and Dan 彈 springing. There are 8 techniques of how the hand and leg techniques are applied. They are: Yin 陰 negative, Yang 陽 positive, Kong 剛 hard, Yau 柔 soft, Hui 虛 false, Shi 實 real, Tou 偷 stealing, and Lau 溜 sneaking.
The stances of Choy Li Fut are similar in height to other martial arts styles, such as Hung Gar, but not as high as those of Wing Chun. This allows the practitioner to move quickly during combat without sacrificing stability and power generation. What is unique to the Choy Li Fut style is sometimes termed “whipping”, where the practitioner’s upper torso twists to generate more power in executing hand and arm techniques. In other martial art styles, the upper body is less dynamic, placing more emphasis in stability and generation of static power.Other differences include how the practitioner’s stance should be while facing their opponent. In the Hung Gar and Wing Chun styles, practitioners hold their torso perpendicular to an opponent, to allow the full use of both arms. In contrast, Choy Li Fut holds the torso at an angle to the opponent to reduce the target area exposed to him, and to allow the practitioner more reach. Front stances in Choy Li Fut have the front bent leg angled in to protect the groin, while other martial arts systems have the front bent leg facing forward.
During revolutionary battles between anti-Qing and government forces (1850–1877), whoever belonged to the Choy Li Fut system would identify themselves by crying out “yak” when striking with the palm, “wak” when thrusting with a tiger claw hand, “ha” when striking with the fist, “hok” when using a crane beak strike, and “dik” when kicking. These sounds are unique to the Choy Li Fut system.
Initially, Ng Lun Ma 五輪馬 (Five Wheel Stance Form ) and Ng Lun Chui 五輪搥 (Five Wheel Striking Form ) were created as the basic training forms that beginners must master to learn the basic foundation of stances, movement, and hand techniques. Present day schools and branches may use different teaching and training forms as well as their own curriculum and methodologies to teach Choy Li Fut. Because of the massive number of forms in the Choy Li Fut system as a whole, it is not required to learn every form to complete training in Choy Li Fut. As the Choy Li Fut system spread, different schools and branches added other martial arts masters to their curriculum, adding new forms or modifying some form techniques. This dissemination and evolution of Choy Li Fut resulted in the variations of forms and practices we see between schools and branches.
suggestion by manwithoutborders
Eagle Claw (Chinese: 鷹爪派; pinyin: yīng zhǎo pài) is a style of Chinese martial arts known for its gripping techniques, system of joint locks, takedowns, and pressure point strikes, which is representative of Chinese grappling known as Chin Na. The style is normally attributed to the famous patriotic Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. Popular legends states that he learned martial arts from a Shaolin Monk named Zhou Tong and later created Eagle Claw to help his armies combat the invading armies of the Jin Dynasty. It was passed down until the Ming Dynasty when the monk Lai Chin combined the style with another form of boxing called Fanzi. Thus, the style took on long range strikes and aerial jumps. During the Qing Dynasty, the military instructor Liu Shi Jun became known as the modern progenitor of Eagle Claw and taught many students. His student Liu Cheng You later taught Chen Zizheng who was invited to teach the style in the prestigious Chin Woo Athletic Association during the Republican era. The style spread as Chin Woo opened sister schools in other provinces. Today, it is practiced around the world.
While the details of the history alter according to the teller, with names and places shifting as they tend to do in any oral history, in essence the story of Eagle Claw began in the Shaolin Temple and in Chinese military training, became a family tradition passed on from parent to child for generations and eventually shed its air of secrecy with the advent of public martial arts schools.
The creation of the Eagle Claw method is normally attributed to General Yue Fei (1103–1141) who lived at a time of conflict between the Southern Song Dynasty and the Jurchen tribes of the Jin Dynasty. Despite being literate, young Yue Fei chose the military path because there had never been any tradition of full-fledged Confucian civil service in his family history. However, the Yue family was much too poor to afford military lessons for their son, so the boy’s maternal grandfather Yao Dewang hired Chen Guang (陈广) to teach the eleven year old how to wield the Chinese spear. Then a local knight errant named Zhou Tong (周同) was brought in to continue Yue’s military training in archery after he had quickly mastered the spear by the age of thirteen.
None of Yue Fei’s biographies mention him learning boxing as a child, but martial researcher Stanley Henning states “[Yue] almost certainly did practice some form of bare handed fighting as a basic foundation for use of weapons.” However, he doesn’t venture to guess if either of his teachers or someone else taught him boxing. Despite this, many modern day martial arts masters have assigned Zhou Tong this position. For instance, the internalist Yang Jwingming claims Zhou was a scholar who trained at the famed Shaolin temple and later taught Yue other skills beyond archery, such as various forms of internal and external martial arts. Yang believes this later lead to Yue’s creation of Eagle Claw and Xingyi, another style associated with the general. The history that Yang presents does not mention the spearplayer Chen Guang and erroneously casts Zhou as Yue’s only teacher. Eagle Claw proponent Leung Shum does this as well and goes so far as to claim Zhou was a full-fledged Shaolin monk who trained Yue Fei inside of the temple itself. Leung believes Zhou taught him “Elephant Style” which the general later expanded to create the “‘108 Locking Hands Techniques’ or Ying Sao (Eagle Hand).”There is no evidence that Zhou was ever associated with the Shaolin Temple, though.
The general’s biographies are also silent about him creating any styles of his own. The historian Meir Shahar notes Yue’s mention in the second preface of the Sinew-Changing Classic (1624) is what “spurred a wave of allusions to the patriotic hero in later military literature”. He continues, “By the eighteenth century, Yue Fei had been credited with the inventions of Xingyi Quan, and by the nineteenth century the ‘Eight Section Brocade' and weapon techniques were attributed to him as well.” The Ten Compilations on Cultivating Perfection (Xiuzhen shi-shu) (c. 1300) assigns the creation of the Eight Section Brocade to two of the Eight immortals, namely Zhongli Quan and Lu Tung-pin.
In Chinese, elephant is pronounced Xiàng (象). However, the same character can also mean “shape, form, or appearance”. The elephant style in question is a mistranslation of xiang, which actually refers to Xiang Xing Quan (象形拳 - “Imitation Boxing”), a fighting technique which emphasizes the imitation of the offensive and defensive actions of a certain animal or celestial personage.
According to legend, in the late Ming Dynasty Yue Fei’s material is said to have made a re-appearance at one of the sister schools of the Shaolin temple. Lai Chin/Liquan Seng (麗泉僧), an expert in the Bashanfan boxing method, encountered soldiers practicing the hand techniques that was called Yue Shi San Shou (岳家拳). After taking the time to learn and master these skills he undertook the daunting task of assimilating them into his pre-existing Fanziquan sets. Some earlier exponents nicknamed it “Ying Quan/Eagle Fist” due to the numerous grabbing skills present.
How the Eagle Claw system is taught varies between each teacher’s skill and experiences. What is consistent of an Eagle Claw Master is their knowledge of the 3 core sets of the style.
- Xing Quan (行拳) is known as the “Walking Fist.” This set consists of ten to twelve rows of techniques representative of what is today known as Shaolin Fanziquan.
- Lian Quan (連拳) is known as the “Linking Fist.” A very important set in that it not only provides the exponent with an encyclopedic base of the various seizing, grappling and joint-locks of qinna, but it also incorporates various Qigong skills as well. Most have nicknamed this set the “Dictionary of Eagle Claw” due to the content containing probably 90% of the styles skills and techniques.
- Yue Shi San Shou (akaYī Bǎi Ling Bā Qín Ná一百零八擒拿 – “108 Seize Grab” techniques) is considered the “heart” of the Eagle Claw system. It is believed to be the original material passed down by the style’s legendary founder Yue Fei. This material has 108 different categories of skills/techniques that are trained to a level of perfection with partners. One thing to remember is that each sequence is only an example of that category which contains numerous variations and off shoots.
"If you haven’t met a warrior for three days, you have to look at them with clear eyes" - Chinese Proverb
It means that someone with ambition will definitely improve within three days, so you have to look at them closely - Kenji v. 10 ch. 8 pg. 19
Xin yi ba is highest level of secret skill of shaolin traditional gongfu. Many people might be curious about shaolin Xin Yi Ba, here I will try to provide as much accurate information as possible. The information written bellow has been translated from the copy of the original manual, and some are from Shi Xingxiao’s own training experience at shaolin temple. Althrough the theory of Xin Yi Ba is very difficult to translate, I have provided a brief outline on the theory of Xin Yi Ba.
Xin Yi Ba is also known as Chu Jue Tou. It was developed by Shaolin monks through using Gongfu movements while farming. The exact time of the founding of Xin Yi Ba can not be traced due to the several disasters in the history of shaolin temple, and many manuscripts were lost. However, Xin Yi Ba already became very famous during the Song Dynasty.
Xin Yi Ba consists only of a few main series of movements and some branch movements. When one can become proficient in mastering those movements, he can create infinite postures of their own. In fact, the study of Xin Yi Ba is to practice and fortify your Qi and your outer strength, the purpose is to manipulate your Qi to nourish your internal organs and enrich the muscles of the body. Then one can move the Qi out of the body as well, and the Qi can help your body avoid being injured in some situations. And helps Clam your mind, and prevent illness, make your body strong. The study of Xin Yi Ba consists of many aspects of different theories and practical training, such as: Understanding of the three sections (Ming San Jie)/the four sensations (Qi Si Shao)/guard the five elements (Bi Wu Xing)/Liu He and Three voids and so on.
The body has three main sections of which the hands to shoulders (upper section) chest to waste (middle section) hips to feet (root section).
Then we analyze the three major sections there are another three sections to each one of the main sections.
Upper section: hands(Upper), elbows(middle) and shoulders(root).
Middle section: chest(upper) heart(middle) and lower abdomen(root).
Root section: feet(upper) knees(middle) and hips(root).
The relationship between the three sections has its own unique functions. For instance when a movement is performed from 1 of the three sections the other two sections must be in harmony to generate the power from the movement done, which means any movements must be supported by the power generated from the whole body. That’s how important it is for practitioners to understand the San Jie.
For the original gongfu theory, all parts of the body are connected to the central nerve system for instance, the hair is assumed as being the ending of the blood, the nails is the ending of the ligament, teeth is the ending of your bones and tongue is the ending of your muscles.
When you are practicing, you should get the sensations like your hair is lifting your scalp, and your nails are like trying to penetrate the bones, and teeth are like biting through steel and your tongue is like trying to push your teeth out of place. Then the internal power can be generated. When the Qi raises from the Dantian, the Qi produces a sound with each movement, the sound follows the movements and work together as a whole. Then all the parts of the body are set into motion, and the internal energy can be generated completely.
Most people distinguish between external and internal martial arts and think that they are separate. But in truth, to train only internal or external are too unilateral of Gong-fu practicing. The hardest combination to train is the combination of Xin and yi. Xin is known as the heart, Yi is known as intent/mind, Liu He means the combination of six sections of the body, of which 3 are external and 3 are internal. When the six sections of the body are combined including the (Xin Yi) they can develop limitless power from their body.
Feet and hands combined, knee and elbow combined, and waist and shoulder combined.
From the training of shaolin traditional movements, one would have learnt how to incorporate the three sectons of the body, and through constant practice, learn how to set them in motion as a seamless whole. Then, it would be difficult for your opponent to win from the practical aspects. Through practising the physical aspects of training and maintaining a vegetarian diet, one will build and store more Qi within the body, and thus will be ready for inrernal training.
Xin (Mind) and Yi (Intent) combined, Yi and Qi (Energy) combined, and Qi and Li (Power) combined.
The most important aspect of internal training is one’s mind and intention. In other words, one’s intention must be combined with the Qi and focused on each movement. As many people know that Qi-gong is the art of breathing, the majority of people who have read about Qi-gong will know that many theories are similar. However, the methods of practice may vary. Normally people’s breathing is not fully completed, so the practice of deep breathing through the Dantian which is your lower abdomen can complete you breathing. In this way, your breathing can guide more oxygen to every organ and nerves, and activates the nerves to be more sensitive, which makes the immune system stronger and more resistant to viruses and illness. So the body can generate more internal energy. That’s how some people who practice Qi-gong are able to be cured their own illness that conventional medicine cannot cure.
In traditional Shaolin training, there are some advanced methods and forms for internal training such as Yi Jin Jing and Shi Sui Jing, these forms enable you to manipulate the Qi and produce more physical power in fighting movements. The movements are led by one’s mind, only when you can purify your mind, combined with your intent, and your mind can control the Qi to flow through all the nerves smoothly, then you can bring out the power generated through Qi in your movements. To follow the theory we explained above, your Mind, Intention, Qi and Power must be well combined, which are three internal combinations of Liu He.
The key points of practicing are about the “void” (also know as Emptiness). Which are”the emptiness of heart”,the Emptiness of body , “the Emptiness of eyes” .
The emptiness of heart (Xin Kong) enable you to purify your heart calm your mind, which can make the practitioner thoughtless and fearless.
The emptiness of the body (Sheng Kong) makes you release any tightness of your body so you can move fluently and smoothly.
The emptiness of the eyes ( Mu Kong) makes you consider everybody and everything beneath one’s notice, so that you can be supercilious, and show no fear when facing your enemy.
So when you practice gong-fu, first you must understand the theory behind the method. Also you have to understand every part of your body within the movements and what it is used for. Only when you understand these, your practice will be effective and efficient. The theories we have explained above are only a part of the requirements of the practice of Xin Yi Ba. There are much more theories which can not be put into words, but the practitioner must experience personally through training.
Xin Yi Ba is known as the highest level of Shaolin gong-fu, there are some certain postures and movements to practice with the requirements we explained above, by this practice you body can generate the most power and you can be proficient in the fighting strategy. And the practice can improve your gong-fu to the unlimited state. If one can reach the peak of the practice of Xin Yi Ba, then any movements performed can be called Xin Yi Ba.