Sole contraction Relaxation activity in Yiquan

In Zhan zhuang nothing but your sole movement,

Upward, downward, leftward, rightward, forward and backward movement.

Rapidly, slowly and perduring movement.

Running, jumping, trampling, rubbing, contraction relaxation movement.

Expanding, pronating, sliding, filing and peeling off bone movement,

Hand and foot are combining in stretching tendons movement,

Pulling powerfully as body unified movement,

Amazing springs, hooking pulling: mental kinetics move

Reference:
Zhan zhuang and the Search of Wu
by Yu Yong Nian

p. 210

Linking Activity in Yiquan

Local parts of body request:
Sole stepping onto the ground,
heel slightly lifted,
sole like a spring,
avoid ankle from shaking otherwise body will quiver.

Both knees expanding,
buttock tight and leg twisted,
anus and belly (retracted as in) inspiration,
hip twisting and crotch wrapping.

Back and waist keep vertical,
chest slightly withdrawn,
shoulder expanding and elbow horizontal,
wrist hooking and finger pointing.

Head and neck all erecting,
mouth open and jaws withdrawn,
hair like pointing up,
teeth like chewing.

Whole body request:
Whole body swelling,
force rushing to a distant place,
linking with all-around,
each hair pointing as a halberd.
Form is bending then force is straight,
Form relaxing then mental should keep contracting,
Relaxing but not slacking off,
Contracting but not stiffening.

Mental request:
Spirit of raging tiger,
Mental of evasive snake.

Spiritual verve:
As a rooster in combat, spreading wings.
As a fish fighting meeting it opponent, turning its gill and erecting.
As a winning cricket relaxing wings, grasping claws and shaking
body.

As a wild horse galloping, its body burnt by a raging fire.
As a cyclone blowing off trees, raising them from ground and then
them spreading out.

Under the slightest touch, bursting immediately, explosive power
undisrupted from combat posture.

Reference:
Zhan zhuang and the Search of Wu
by Yu Yong Nian

p. 198 – 199

The concept of Space and Time in Yichuan

Master Master Cheuk Fung talks about Hun Yuan strength, space & time in Yichuan

“Hunyuan strength refers to oneness, whole body strength or six surfaces strength. It is different from regular strength. The easiest way would be to show you, but, since you’re writing this down the best we can do is compare it with regular strength. In contrast to Hunyuan strength, regular strength would be called sectional, broken or one-sided strength. It is not to say that regular strength can’t be strong and forceful, only that the entire body is not contributing to whatever function the strength is required for. With regular strength the majority of the load is born by the local muscle groups in the limbs. With Hunyuan strength, the majority of the load is carried by the legs, waist and back. Regular strength is delivered directly, like a ram where the force is the inertia of the weight moving forward. Hunyuan strength is delivered indirectly… the inertia of the weight moving away from the target is more than that moving into it. Regular strength dissipates with movement. Hunyuan strength is stored within movement. This stored strength results in torque or martial velocity in each movement. That’s why it’s called oneness or whole body strength because the entire frame supplies torque to the limbs within each gesture.”

“Sensing Strength is an aspect of Yi Chuan training where practitioners take the linkages and feeling states cultivated through standing and learn to maintain and use them in movement. This begins with “searching for strength” within a new orbit or route by using imagery to align the body with space and gravity. When done properly a sensation that feels like magnetic force or pressure appears within the movement. Overtime practitioners will elongate the range of motion within which this feeling can be maintained before condensing it back down into an orbit that subtle enough to be hidden yet actually involves the entire frame.”

“Explosive Strength training teaches the Yi Chuan practitioner to condense his or her expression of Hunyuan strength into a single explosive and spontaneous gesture. In a split second the body preparation learned in standing must combine with the orbits forged in sensing strength, the control of distance gained through footwork practice and the intuitive timing cultivated in push hands. Explosive strength training helps make the strength and skill developed in the other chapters available even under duress or surprise.”

“Sensing Sound practice use tones and sounds to vibrate the body and helps to bring relaxation and awareness to a deeper level. Eventually these tones can also be used as triggers to help link the body and activate Hunyuan strength.”

Reference: www.yichuankungfu.com

Martial aspects of yiquan and its fighting application

Internal “Intention” for Health and Self-Defense

By Fukui Yang as told to Bob Feldman

A Short History of Yiquan and My Family’s Relationship to this Martial Art
Yiquan is a relatively new Chinese martial art created by the great master Wang Xiangzhai. Master Wang was the last and favorite student of the Xingyiquan master Guo Yunshen. After Guo died, Wang, although he was very young, was already a formidable fighter. He spent more than ten years traveling throughout China meeting other masters and improving his skill. Even as a teenager, Master Wang was already an excellent martial artist who rarely lost a challenge. After spending time at the Shaolin Temple as well as with numerous other masters, Wang incorporated many Buddhist and Daoist principles directly into his practice.

Master Wang originally came from Shen County, Hebei Province, and later moved to Tianjin City which was at that time a crossroads for many Chinese martial artists. In Tianjin there had developed a unique open exchange of ideas and techniques within the martial arts community in the early years of this century, common in the rest of China. My maternal great uncles Zhai Yuwen and Zhai Yongwen became students of Master Wang as their father, my great-great uncle, Zhai Xujin, was friendly with him. Master Zhai and Master Wang were from the same county in Hebei and had much in common. Our family’s traditional martial arts, however, were predominantly Xingyiquan and Baguazhang, as taught by Master Zhang Zhaodong, who had also introduced Master Wang to my family. My great uncles, however, always had a healthy respect for Yiquan and its fighting capabilities, although it was not their predominant system.

Another student of my great grand Uncle, Zhao Daoxin, also began to study with Master Wang and became one of his most accomplished disciples. He later followed Wang to Shanghai where he trained the resistance during the war years but, because of his association with the Guomingdang Nationalist party, was subsequently imprisoned by the Communists, only to be released after the Cultural Revolution. Master Zhao was quite well known in his own right throughout China. He was both educated and had won the 1936 All-China Full Contact Championship in Nanjing. This competition attracted representative competitors for many martial art styles all over China. It was a famous “Leitai” competition and was subsequently banned because of the numerous deaths that occurred during these fights.

After being released from prison and his reunion with my great uncles, Master Zhao agreed to teach Yiquan to both my older brother and myself. He also taught us the system that he created, Xinghuizhang, or “Spirit Meeting Palm” in which he combined Yiquan mind training with the spiralic postures of Taijiquan and Baguazhang, and the explosive movements of Xingyiquan, the “mother system” of Yiquan.

As a child I met Master Wang Xiangzhai on numerous occasions, as he spent his final years in Tianjin. I was finally given a chance to study Yiquan with his closest students in my late teens and early twenties, after I finished my university education at the Tianjin Sports Institute, and studied Yiquan for over 8 years in Tianjin with Master Zhao and several other first generation students of Master Wang.

What is Yiquan?
Yiquan can be translated as “intention” or “will” boxing. It is, according to some, the distillation of the “essence” of “Xingyiquan” and other Neijia, or internal martial arts. The core of Yiquan is standing meditation, practiced in a variety of postures, with the goal of merging one’s intention, and internal energy, with the physical power required for martial arts. If in one’s practice one only concentrates on intention, or “Yi,” but not upon energy, or “Qi,” the effects of practicing postures are weak and empty. If there is only energy practice, but no intention, one cannot apply or utilize this energy efficiently for fighting or for healing. Therefore, in order to succeed, one must practice both intention and energy in order to use Yiquan effectively as a martial art.

Master Wang had developed his unique philosophy after studying martial arts and Chinese medicine and was of opinion that one cannot see or feel energy, only the effects of it. If one attempts to focus upon feeling or moving the energy, it is very easy to have mental delusions and misinterpret somatic feelings as being the energy itself. This is perhaps the case historically with many uneducated martial artists who were not capable of explaining their own internal feelings.
In his later years, Wang Xiangzhi made an extensive study of traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as of anatomy and physiology. After the Second World War and the Communist Revolution, he began to work in a traditional hospital, and turned his attention to healing. Master Wang felt that one can feel the effects of Qi or energy, such as an increased vitality, or developing the ability to perform “fali,” that is, the emission of explosive force during fighting, or use the energy for healing. With further refinement as one’s practice advances, the energy increases within the internal organs and within the meridians. The blood circulation is also heightened, which enables us to react faster to challenging physical situations. This internal energy circulating within the organs and the meridians is called “Shen” or “Heart Spirit.”

While it is beyond the scope of this article to present an in-depth discussion of the concepts of Traditional Chinese Medicine and qigong practice, it should be noted that many current Yiquan students outside of China are taught solely to utilize standing meditation to increase their internal energy. By practicing the standing postures alone, they are not practicing the complete system of Yiquan, and it is difficult to use this energy for fighting.

While practicing the standing postures is excellent for health, it is unfortunate that some Yiquan teachers are either unfamiliar with the complete system of Yiquan or purposely withhold its martial aspects. Such teachers give their students the impression that their standing meditation will, in and of itself, enhance their fighting ability. Usually these students must study other martial arts in order to substitute for their inability to use Yiquan for fighting. While this is especially true for the majority of Western practitioners of Yiquan, in China it is still very possible to find qualified teachers and study the complete system, particularly in Beijing, Tianjin, and in Hebei Province. Personally, I am not familiar with the extent that authentic Yiquan as a fighting system is taught in other parts of China, such as Shanghai or Hong Kong, although Master Wang had some good students who moved there.

The Essential “Mind Set” Needed for Yiquan Fighting
In order to fight, one must use both intention and qi to utilize the power of the standing meditation postures, to conduct the “li” (force) outward. By engaging in standing mediation and in learning how to externalize the internal force, Wang Xiangzhai felt that Yiquan would stimulate both the circulation and the bone marrow to harden the bones and toughen the connective tissues, similar to the “Marrow Washing” which is a part of many Daoist and Buddhist practices. Yiquan does not stress the use of external techniques and applications in order to harden the body as do other systems, but rather it relies predominantly on internal meditation, push hands and fighting to harden the body and test one’s internal strength.

In order to stimulate the bone marrow and specially harden the bones, one should imagine that during both fighting and “Fali” practice, that is, the process of directing force externally outward, that the body is primarily made of bone. When one imagines this, the connective tissue, namely the muscles, tendons, ligaments and fascia, will relax and not tighten. This is because tense muscles during a fight do not allow the force to be emitted efficiently. Therefore, standing meditation is utilized both to relax the mind and the soft tissues, as well as to create an environment for hardening the bone and centering our mental state.

Paradoxically, in Yiquan, one’s mental state must be both relaxed and focused simultaneously, Intention, or yi, cannot be only concentrated, as this too will lead to tightening of the soft tissues and inefficient force emission during fighting. Although to be both relaxed and focussed at the same time may seem to be paradoxical, in truth, it is not contradictory; both processes can occur simultaneously in a natural state of awareness. For example, one can be both relaxed and attentive when driving an automobile.

In addition, the postures will allow us to sink our energy and lower the center of gravity to the Dantien in order to develop a deeper root. This permits our emitted force to be conducted up from the ground through the legs, hips, waist, shoulders and upper extremities, as opposed to only from one part of the body. This greatly enhances the power and speed of “Fali.”
While the emitted force appears to be sudden and explosive to outsiders, internally one may first sense an internal drawing-in of the energy prior to its emission. This process is called “She Sen,” namely, the ability to gather energy and emit force. If one has a blockage or imbalance of the energy within the meridians or insufficient qi when one emits “Fali,” at best one’s force is minimal; at worst, this explosive stress, particularly if repeated over and over, can be stressful to the internal organs, and cause health problems later. The practice of repetitive Fali, without relaxation during standing meditation, is called “Qijieh.” Such improper repetitive Fali practice can also damage the bones, tendons, ligaments, muscles and joints.
In addition, Wang Xiangzhai felt that the movement of internal energy was intimately connected to the circulation of blood. When a practitioner “feels” or “senses” the energy circulating, the practitioner may be feeling the results of increased blood circulation; it is certainly not the actual increased circulation of energy, as energy is invisible and not something we can specifically feel, although the energy may be causing it. Wang Xiangzhai advised that during standing meditation, try to “imagine” the energy moving according to whatever internal imaging one is practicing; however, if one does feel “something,” forget about it, don’t dwell on it, let it pass.

When one has sufficient energy, one can focus the intent of the posture and emit force. This aspect of Yiquan practice is called “She Li,” during which the internal energy is accumulated for maintaining health and for fighting. While practicing She Li, one’s mind should attain a state that is relaxed and calm, confident and open during the daily practice of meditation. However, during a fight one must also bring out a “crazy” tenacious intention in order to win. This is similar to what we observe in animal fights. The difference, however, is that animals do not have higher thinking processes as do we humans, and, as humans, we must also confront our habits, fears, prohibitions and predilections during a fight. This “crazy intention” is called “She Shen.”

She Shen is often translated as the use of sound, such as in the Japanese “Kiai.” This is perhaps true in part, but it is not totally correct. She Shen rather refers to the mindset of crazy intention during which sounds may be emitted like those of an animal. The sound should be natural and spontaneous, and should, in fact be emitted from the Dantien. Regular standing meditation helps us not be become tense, not allowing our emotions to take over, thereby greatly increasing our fighting efficiency.

Real fights are usually intense and short in duration. There is little or no time to think of what techniques to utilize. Wang Xiangzhai felt that techniques in and of themselves are not useful in fighting. Rather, fighting applications should be spontaneous and natural and should appear when needed. The “techniques” of Yiquan are therefore infinite variations of natural movements found within the postures. Wang Xiangzhai often said, “The best technique is no technique.” Different postures allow us to open different types of energy. Realistically, however, we need only practice several postures to fight efficiently and naturally, if one has good yi and qi. This is because we are all different in our strengths and weaknesses.

Master Fukui Yang began his practice of internal martial arts at the age of 6 and his practice of external martial arts at the age of 8, under the guidance of his grandfather and great uncles. Master Yang and his brother began their study of Yiquan and the related martial arts of Xinguizhang and Loshuenquan under the tutelage of Masters Zhao Daoxin, Chu Jenhe and Master Zhang Entong, all first generation students of Master Wang Xiangzhai. Master Yang is the Director of Heath Mind Martial Arts (Xinyi Wushu Guan), in New York City.

Reference:
KUNGFU QIGONG – July/August 2001 MARTIAL ASPECTS OF YIQUAN AND ITS FIGHTING APPLICATION xinyiwuguan.com

Links:
Fukui Yang on youtube.com

Interview with Zhao Daoxin

Recorded by Huang Jitao Translated from chinese by Andrzej Kalisz

Zhao Enqing originally was disciple of Zhang Zhankui (Zhang Zhaodong). Later he learned from the founder of yiquan – Wang Xiangzhai and became one of his best students, receiving from Wang a honorary name Daoxin.

The original interview was made by Huang Jitao in 4 sessions over 4 days and is quite long. Here is only a translation of small part.

Huang:
So also traditional wushu is not efficient in fighting?

Zhao:
People from traditional styles say that the modern wushu from national institutes is just „flowery forms”. But it still doesn’t mean that themselves they possess „true gongfu”. The wushu from institutes neglects fighting side, while traditional wushu is talking about fighting. But it doesn’t mean that it really got it… Contemporary traditional wushu, just like the wushu from institutes is mainly about training forms. Moreover there is a lot of symbolic or ritual gestures, with no relation to fighting. Looking from point of view of training – they still use old methods of low efficiency. In theory they should help to develop practical skills, but in fact are more like kind of praying, method of developing patience, and just a lot of useless efort. I don’t know how many dozens of thousands of people practice traditional wushu in China. But I also don’t know about any of them, who could prove their abilities in fighting on international stage.

Huang:
But in times when foreign fighting experts and strong men kept coming to China, Chinese masters of that generation defeated them many times…

Zhao:
If there are so many examples of Chinese master defeating foreigners, why we can only hear about it from our side, and they don’t mention this? Maybe they don’t want to talk about being defeated. But on the other side how many Chinese were defeated, but we didn’t talk about it, because it would be humiliating. Anyway we don’t know what were the proportions between victories and defeats. And if Wu Song had fought not a tiger, but just a cat, there wouldn’t be reason to praise him for centuries. And what kind of opponents were those foreigners, who were defeated by our masters? My teacher (Zhang Zhankui) met Russian „strong man”, I met Danish „boxer”. Other friends had similiar situations. But our opponents were defeated after just one action, there was no real fight. But this was only because traditional Chinese wushu didn’t meet real tigers. In those times you could easily became famous because of „defeating” some foreigner, but it was only because they were not any real experts. 

More challenging was fighting with other Chinese at that time. No foreigners signed up for the leitai tournaments in Hangzhou or Shanghai. And the people from traditional styles, no matter if they were some monks or great masters famous in some place, they either became injured in fights or were not brave enough to fight. And the winners, although they signed up as representatives of some traditional systems, instead of forms and other methods of those systems, they were using completely different methods preparing for fighting. 

Huang:
Could you tell us your opinion and views about chinese martial arts?

Zhao:
There is not much time. So I will only outline some issues. This will not be very systematic disscussion. And because people all the time talk a lot about advantages, I will say rather about problems.

Huang:
First tell us, what you think about the internal and external division, and division based on territory. 

Zhao:
If we want Chinese martial arts develop, we must reject such divisions. It doesn’t mean that there is no meaning in them at all. But they only partially describe way of demonstration, and they don’t really say anything about way of fighting. Divisions in martial art should be based on effect in fighting, and not the way of practice, and they should not be effect of swindle. They should express human body and developing technique, and not sect-like customs nourished for hundreds and thousands years. The division for Shaolin, Wudang, Emei and Zhongnan arts is only expressing fact, that communication was difficult in old times. But it is past. And the internal-external division was made up by literatti fascinated by the style which they practiced, so they started calling it internal family art – skillfull writers created flowery descriptions. But in fact nobody would talk about himself being representative of external family art. In fact, in real fighting there are no styles.

Huang:
But the internal-external division is at least representing the real division for soft and hard.

Zhao:
This division is even more muddled. Some just use it to criticize other schools. But when they talk about their own school, they stress that „soft and hard supplement each other”, that „internal and external are trained together”. They maintain that it’s only them who keep right balance between soft and hard, while others tend to much toward softness or hardness.

Huang:
But the concepts of internal-external, soft-hard, at least led to developing sophisticated theories of internal training – concept „from yi to qi to jin”.

Zhao:
„Yi, qi, li”, „jing, qi, shen” – those concepts related to internal training are hard to express with normal language. We could say that it is about using self-suggestion to induce feeling of comfort and strength. There are new concepts, at least evenly useful, and even more efficient in practical use.

Huang:
What are the shortcomings of Chinese martial arts if we are talking about way of fighting?

Zhao: 
There is a lot of shortcomings and taboos. Apart from those which are common for all Chinese martial arts, there are other, specific for some school. For example everybody fears that his style will resemble some other, so they try hard to make it look different. If you tell some person doing baguazhang, that his movements resemble taijiquan, he will hardly accept such opinion. If you tell some xingyiquan practitioner that you notice some similarities to western boxing he will feel bad about it. But actually the differences between styles are more in ritual gestures than in the way of figthing. But those gestures are usefull only for demonstration or meeting, in fight they are useless and stupid.

There is also taboo of falling down. In challenges there was an unwritten rule, that touching ground with part of body different than feet meant defeat. So in the south they stress „ma”, and in the north „zhuang”. In many styles long, low postures and centered torso are stressed. But what is real value of those stable techniques? The principle „when leg is raised, half body is empty” results in loosing opportunity of efficient kicks and hitting with knee. And the force which can be generated from non-balance is not used conciously yet. Constant talking about „not loosing center” disturbs developing agile body work and fast footwork. What is rejected in Chinese martial arts, is exactly what is most valuable on the international martial arts stage. Traditional Chinese martial arts are old men arts. Old is seen as equal to saint, authority, deep knowledge. But for old man it’s hard to raise leg for kick, and each falling down can be dangerous. So this hidden weakness of old master, in teaching process becomes taboo of „not loosing balance”. But fighting is not limited to shuaijiao competitions. In many cases loosing balance or even falling down is not big price for getting opportunity of executing efficient action.

Huang:
Let’s now talk about training methods.

Zhao:
Our martial arts teachers like to seek for differences in techniques and to hide „secrets” in techniques. But in fact, where can be real differences, and where could be secrets is training methods. Combat efficiency is decided by way of training. And methods of traditional training have low efficiency. You need a lot of time, and even after long time you are not sure if you will be able to use your skills in fighting. Training is a complex science – on border of many disciplines. Just repeating some exercises for dozens of years is not enough. I will not talk much, I will only mention several discrepancies.

First there is discrepancy between training and use. No matter which style, the problem is lack of actual fighting training. In which traditional school most time is spend on fighting training? Traditional teachers make two funny mistakes. First – they say that fighting training can only be the last part of training process, that only when you have gongli, you can start testing it in fight. Second – they think that when you become proficient in tui shou and other exercises with partner which resemble fighting, it means that you developed fighting skill. Of course it is difficult to introduce hard fighting during training. Martial arts hobbysts don’t want to go to work next day with swollen face, and bruised legs. But if you want to achieve high level in martial art, you must make it. From the beginning you should train like you will fight.

Next is discrepancy between fatigue and intensity of training. Traditional teachers talk about practicing many hours a day. This is long time training but with low intensity. Muscles and nervous system are not activated in a way which is necessary for fighting. Those teacher hate using modern training equipment, and will not ask other person to train together. They prefer to hide in dark place, keep repeating some movements and pondering over theory.

Then there is also discrepancy between theory and practice, between technique and physical attributes, between what is practiced in public and behind closed door. These are only some examples.

Huang:
We were talking about Chinese martial arts in general. Would you care to talk about specific styles? 

Zhao:
Let’s start from xingyiquan and baguazhang…
…first xingyiquan. In 1920s and 1930s there were many representatives of xingyiquan among winners of leitai tournaments. But today „power” of xingyiquan decreased. The reason is that apart from problems common for all chinese martial arts, this one which stresses harmony-unity has many aspects where there is lack of such harmony.

For example there is lack of harmony between technique and force. In xingyiquan hitting technique is powered by pushing force. Fists or palms mainly push opponent, in small part causing damage. But it also doesn’t allow pushing opponent far away in pushing hands. Actually, it seems as if xingyiquan people have not decided whether their technique is for san shou or for tui shou.

And lack of harmony between form and intention. All are talking about form and intention both being important, but actually they go close toward one of the extremes… There is also lack of harmony between fighting methods and exercises. 

People like comparing xingyiquan to western boxing. But they also fear this comparing. They think that Chinese „thing” should be pure. So when there is even coincidencal similarity, they prefer to get rid of it. But I think, that as for training methods and competition, xingyiquan should learn from boxing.

Huang: 
Was creation of xingyibagua a result of trying to fill shortcomings of xingyiquan by using baguazhang?

Zhao:
Mutual supplementing started from friendly contacts between Dong Haichuang and Guo Yunshen and between their students. Then Zhan Zhankui linked them together into one system. But shortcomings of xingyi cannot be filled by using bagua. Bagua also has a lot of shortcomings, and they cannot be filled by using xingyi. Baguazhang has a thick outside layers through which it is difficult to see anything. If you look from outside, there is only impression of complexness and mystery. Big part of first layer are legends about Dong Haichuan and his students. Second layer is the unnecessary and forced use of the theory of eight trigrams. Baguazhang teachers always talked about „Book of changes”, but nobody could explain at least one necessary link between this martial art and that classic book. Third layer is not distinguishing between basic exercises and fighting. Even teachers think „how to use this change”, „how to move around opponent with tangnibu steps”, „how to move behind opponent and attack his back” – that’s just illusory thoughts. And beyond the third layer – practitioners expand their arms and move around, like people starting to learn skating, and sometimes they make some change into extremely twisted position. So this is mix of legends, old saint books and strange techniques.

Huang:
Taijiquan is attracting a lot of people, because of theory and health benefits. But many people doubt that such soft and slow method could work against explosive power…

Zhao:
Layman has not developed prejudice, so his first impression can be quite right. Taijiquan has its own form of comparing skill – tui shou. Why not be happy with just this? Not every martial art must be good for real figthing. I remember as in period of Republic of China taijiquan experts explained that the reason for no taijiquan people being able to prove their fighting skill at leitai tournaments is because taijiquan is too profund and it’s difficult to master it. Was this some kind of excuse or sincere statement? Taijiquan theory looks great and could be a model for other classical theories of martial art. The main idea is relation between yin and yang. You want to be hard? So start from being as soft as possible, because ultimate softness changes into hardness. You want to be fast? Then start from slowness. This philosophy, that after achieving extreme some attribute changes into its opposite is attracting many people. But did anyone test it? No, if you see what those taijiquan masters, who can demonstrate issuing power are practicing in secret, you will understand what I’m talking about.

Huang:
So you say that those young people who want to develop fighting skills are in some part misled by taijiquan concepts. If so, then maybe Shaolin is more sincere? They stress hard, fast, fierce, using both hands and legs. People think that Shaolin monks are the last kings of real fighting.

Zhao:
Ming dynasty generals went to Shaolin temple, having such opinion, and they became disappointed. Today many young people leave school and go to Shaolin. With the same effect – their faith in Shaolin becomes ashes. They come with thought of developing incredible fighting skill, not available for normal people. But in fact they just learn some acrobatics tricks. Training methods which they learn are outdated and not useful for developing real fighting skills. Breaking stones, standing upside-down on fingers, taking hits, when you make such demonstrations, with addition of some tricks typical for illusionists – public will be delighted. Ma Liang’s new wushu (Ma Liang published book „New Chinese wushu” in 1918) and modern wushu, despised even by representatives of traditional systems, are based on Shaolin. And I remember as in 1920s and 1930s those „last kings of real fighting” kept loosing at leitai tournaments and were going away like rats, one after another.

Huang:
And what you think about southern systems.

Zhao:
When we look at southern styles, we can see that they have their own, quite different character. But I cannot say much, as I didn’t study them. But from what I saw at the tournaments at end of 1920s „southern wind is not making you freeze”.

Huang:
Finally, please tell us about the martial art created by yourself.

Zhao:
My „thing” comes from mistakes and losts. When I was young I liked to fight with famous experts. I had no respect for them, and when I defeated them, I didn’t care about some good things they had anyway. It not only disturbed exchange of knowledge, but also hurt feelings. And because disputing and maintaining different views from the main stream of Chinese martial arts, I kept some distance from the martial arts circles. Until now people call me excentric and stubborn.

At beginning I created xinhuizhang, in order to explain traditional methods of using force, but actually this is just a form, and cannot efficiently improve practitioner’s combat abilities. Only now I’m working on summarizing all those training methods and fighting methods which I benefited from, with thought of supplementing xinhuizhang. But the way of competitive fighting on international scene is constantly changing. So my „things” are constantly being outmached by others. If will not work on improving it, there will be no progress. Lately I’m worried about xinhuizhang explosive issuing power with legs, so far I have not resolved this problem. And I hope that younger will criticize me.

Reference:
Interview with zhao daoxin yiquan-academy.eu

Yiquan’s Mocabu friction stepwork

Asume the basic standing posture, but with the arms out to the sides at about navel height an sligthly forward crouch a little as if sitting down slightly and keep the back erect. When one is relaxed and the attention collected, shift one’s weight completely onto the right foot and strain on the hip. Move the left foot straight back a half a step then forwards in an inward curve, brushing past the right instep and out forwards to a place in front of its original position, turning the toes out a bit as is lands. Shift the weight forward on to the left leg, turning the torso slightly to the left as one does so, then bring right foot forward in a curve past left instep and out to the front, turning toes out slightly as it lands. Shift weight onto the wright leg again, turning torso slightly to the left as one moves, then take another a step with left foot. Continue forwards and then backwards in this was for as long as comfortable.

When taking a pace, raise the knee slightly, keep toes straight and do not raise foot to far off ground. It should feel as if dragging one’s feet through mud, and as gentle as if one were rolling a ball along with one’s toes. Again the motion must be smooth and unbroken.

Traditional Chinese Therapeutic Exercises: Standing Pole (Traditional Chinese Therapeutic Exercises and Techniques)
J.P.C. Moffett, Wang Xuanjie
ISBN 9787119006963

p. 65-67

There are many kinds of stepwork in Dachengquan, and Mocabu or friction step is the most basic one. The posture is as follows: Stand naturally with two feet in parallel, apart form the legs which bend slightly at the knee, the posture is like standing attention. Keep torso erect, shoulders relaxed, arms stretched sideways, forming an angle of about 60 degrees with the body. With fingers parted naturally and palms facing downward as if you where pressing two big balloons, raise the head upright and drop to half a squat, with chest in and back intense. See that you have abundant energy, a quiet and easy mind and a substatiel abdomen. After standing in this way for some time, with the body weight on the soles of the feet, shift weight onto the left hip and slowly move right foot horizontally in a small arc to the right with the toes forward and land right on outer right side. The shift the weight onto the right hip, and move left foot in the same way as the right one has just done, and lands on the outer left side. The feet are desirably keept one foot length and a half apart all the time. Repeat the above mentioned movements alternatively with one foot and another. In practising this skill, care must be taken that the knee-cap is accompanied be an intention of a slight up-lift, toes are slightly hooked and the sole is not to high above ground. At the same time imagine that two feet are walking in shallow water, overcoming resistance. All the movements should be steady and flexible flowing easy and comfortable. This is the advacing posture. For retreating posture, just reverse the order of movements.

A ballad for Mocabu goes as follows:

With the torso erect and the head upright, He walks like a chicken but with torso a bit inclined.

Advance or retreat at will as the hip and shoulder move, Weaves rise and fall as the knee leaps and the foot circles.

Dachengquan
by Wang Xuanjie
Hai Feng Publishing Co. May 1988
ISBN: 9622381111

p. 48-49


Yao Zongxun


Wang Xuanjie