9/11/2012 7:28am, #151
I was thinking of what sort of training Cartmell himself would focus on personally given those parameters & his own background.
But yeah, good vid.
9/11/2012 7:42am, #152“Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
9/11/2012 10:12am, #153
12/06/2012 2:02pm, #154
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- May 2012
Thought some of you Xingyi/historians might enjoy this interview. There are some aspects of it that are a bit wonky/disagreeable, especially about development of fighting ability in a period of time and the importance of taolu, but its got some nuggets.
Technical comparison between dai xinyi and xingyi:
5) Which is better, the 'squatting monkey' posture of Dai style xinyi or the San Ti stance common to Taigu xinyi [sic] and Hebei xingyi?
Objectively speaking, the 'squatting monkey' stance is an element from the period before Dai style became an internal (neijia) art, actually it is San Ti which is the symbol of Dai style's transition to become an internal art. The thinking behind neijia arts comes from Daoism, and their basic neigong is derived from Daoist practices, whereas xinyiquan pre-Dai Longbang was only an offshoot of the Buddhist martial arts of Shaolin temple. There are no traces of Daoist cultivation methods in the 'Shi Yao Lun' (Ten Important Treatises), or the 'Jiu Yao Lun' (Nine Important Treatises), the practice methods are not entirely the same as those of internal arts. The term 'San Ti' originates from a 7-line poem in the text 'Insight into Reality' (Wu zhen pian) written by Zhang Ziyang, the founder of the Southern Daoist tradition, in the lines "The Dao is born of emptiness and becomes the one qi, the one qi then produces yin and yang. Yin and yang then combine to form the 3 bodies (San Ti), from which are produced the myriad things [of this world]". There are some who say that the San Ti stance was the creation of Li Luoneng. Given that 'Insight into Reality',long praised as the 'fount' of internal alchemy, is extremely profound and abstruse, and that Li Luoneng was basically illiterate, I'm afraid that Li might not have even been able to explain the meaning of the term San Ti, let alone create xingyi, based as it is on the Daoist theories of Yinyang and the 5 elements! Looking back at Dai Longbang, Guo Weihan, Dai Wenxiong and Li Luoneng, Dai Longbang had both the highest martial attainment and also the deepest understanding of traditional culture amongst the four, only he could have created the neigong system around the San Ti stance. The practice methods of the San Ti [system] involve a combination of static and moving postures, Sun Lutang and others call it 'Pi quan' (splitting fist), Li Cunyi and others in his line call it 'Shun Bu Ying Zhuo' (Sync-step eagle grasp). I consider that these two names are not accurate enough. The San Ti (set of exercises) is a combination of the San Cai (3 abilities) stance from Dai style xinyi's original 'Gorilla emerges from the cave' neigong set with the 'Single Seizing' (dan ba) and 'Eagle Grasping' (ying zhuo) of xinyi liuhe. Looking over the practice methods for San Ti in the various styles [of xingyi], many have lost the initial Daoist element of the practice. In fact, the secret to practicing San Ti is to have 'water and fire counterbalanced, transforming of hard yang', in order to achieve Zhang Ziyang's aim of 'thunder breaking through the niwan point (acupoint on top of head), true body riding a fire dragon, know not who is doing it , break through the great void' (v. hard to translate, meaning not clear!). Sun Lutang's saying 'If you want to become an immortal, practice pi quan more' has a lot of sense to it.
On the limitations of single movements:
I think the steps of development of Jin family gongfu and Dachengquan must have been roughly the same. In his famous contests, Wang Xiangzhai must have not encountered equal to his level, otherwise he couldn't possible have won with one move. Consider this: in contemporary sanshou or leitai competitions, bouts between two challengers of similar ability are overwhelmingly won on points; even where victory is achieved by K.O., this is usually achieved through punch or fist/foot/elbow/knee combos. For this reason, [someone who] purely trains single movement practice will find it very difficult to get used to modern sanshou. Not only do boxing and Muay Thai have advanced combo training, Tae Kwon Do and karate also have many routines for high dan grades to practice. Xinyi (xingyi) routines are the essence of combo practice, the training progression is first stance holding, then single movement practice, then finally forms practice. We cannot give up a complete system of martial training simply because of the extreme viewpoints of one famous master of the past.
Although I am a direct (di xi) inheritor of Dai family xinyiquan, but I'm not afraid to discuss its weak points. Firstly, xinyi (xingyi) is deficient in leg methods (tui fa), because in the neijia approach to fighting there is the concept of 'as soon as you raise the leg, half the body becomes unstable' (tai tui ban bian kong). The kicks that do exist in taiji and xinyi never go above the knee. Actually, this deficiency in traditional CMA has long been obscured by a halo of blindness and arrogance. Mainland martial artists are unwilling to mention incidents such as the one in the 1930s, when the renowned master Chen Zizheng was knocked out by a kick from a Muay Thai boxer. The most effective and most commonly used techniques on the modern leitai are tui fa, leg sweeps and side kicks are powerful techniques with which to attack your opponent. From this perspective, there is no way that the traditional concept of 'not raising the leg too high' can adapt to modern sanshou. Another weak point of xinyi is that the footwork is relatively monotonous, most routines are linear; hence, a lot of famous masters of xingyiquan of recent times have studied bagua as well, such as Song Shirong, Li Cunyi, Zhang Zhankui, Sun Lutang, Jiang Rongqiao, etc. There are also imperfections in xinyi's body methods (shen fa): particularly in Henan's Xinyi Liuhe and the Dai style xinyi from Qi county, a lot of postures end up leaning forward after issuing power (fa li), which is a big no-no in a real fight, as it would give a skilled martial artist the perfect opportunity to attack. Actually, an expert who has really mastered dousou ('shaking') neigong can swiftly retract their body, returning the body-weight to the back leg in an instant, leaving the opponent with no weakness to exploit.
As for whether xinyi can gain a foothold in modern sport fighting, apart from needing to have a certain amount of strength, [a xinyi practitioner] would have to practice sparring with gloves and other protective gear on. The most tragic aspect of traditional CMA today is that it is limited to shadowboxing, with practitioners intoxicated by a feeling of their own invincibility. Some people from my own xinyi group did sparring training with protective gear on in the early 1980s, but a sparring accident left someone injured; after that no-one dared to try out their kicks and punches on other people. Actually, xinyiquan's reputation was gained through fighting - it is said that Dai Wenxiong and Li Luoneng were originally good friends, then later Dai Wenxiong taught Li xinyiquan. The two of them would hit each other for real in fighting, regardless of the traditional teacher-student distinction, wearing protective vests made of cow tendons and bronze mirrors. Once, Li Luoneng shattered the bronze mirror covering Dai's chest with the move 'Hu Pu' (tiger pounce). If xinyiquan does not reform itself, in fists it will not be able to compete with boxing, in legs it will be no match for Taekwondo, in throws it will be inferior to Sanda, and its elbow and knee methods will be no match for those of Muay Thai; [if xinyi does not reform] many years from now, a martial arts system with no reason for existing will gradually die out.
Interesting to see some of that from a guy who is so distinctly TMA in some of his discussion. The history stuff is pretty cool too if thats what you're into, but I didnt include it here.
8/18/2013 4:18am, #155In actuality, there is no 'Internal/External' dichotomy, nor even separate 'styles', there are only individuals moving and fighting. Labeling movement and fighting skills as 'styles' is just a convenient way of organizing types of training and technique.
Now that I coach grapplers and professional MMA fighters, I realize I wouldn’t have the skills necessary to coach at this level if I would have only practiced and never competed. Competition is a great way to learn about yourself, your strengths and weaknesses, and your character as a human being. I’ve found that a five minute round in the ring or on the mats will often teach you more about yourself than a lifetime of solo forms or cooperative, non full-contact training.
Last edited by Jack Rusher; 8/18/2013 4:21am at . Reason: MOAR“Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
8/18/2013 3:39pm, #156
That quote is a constant refrain from Steve Morris, who has clear views on the shortcomings of any martial art that excludes competitive sparring.
10/16/2013 11:35am, #157I believe modern MMA fighters are far and away the best (unarmed) fighters in the world. [...] People study martial arts for a variety of reasons, so I don't think you can assign any kind of absolute "value" to specific styles. However, if you want to simply learn how to fight, you can't beat the training methodologies and techniques of modern MMA.“Most people do not do, but take refuge in theory and talk, thinking that they will become good in this way” -- Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics, II.4
10/15/2014 4:43pm, #158
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- Oct 2014
Jack, I disagree with that post. Whilst I appreciate that MMA is by nature a very diverse system in my experience (albiet fairly limited) most MMA schools leave out important concepts and aspects of traditional training. I whole heartedly agree that merely practicing forms/katas is not training to become a better fighter. You will never be able to beat anyone by practicing a form in its entirety. For learning how to fight there is no substitute for sparring or rolling. Forms do serve a purpose to teach you a wide range techniques that you can pick and choose which works for you. Although it may not be tailored to suit your needs, what you don't use your partner may well use so it's good to have an awareness for your own sake. I feel that MMA neglects conditioning (I mean traditional iron body conditioning and not cardio) which for a full contact system is madness - I know there are only so many hours in the week but many MMA fighters would do well to build up their bones instead of just their muscle in my opinion.
11/15/2014 12:03pm, #159A strike should take the shortest path. It must be fast, powerful, fierce, and accurate. It takes such qualities to handle a strong opponent. Training hard is the only way to acquire those qualities.
Emphasis on water-like maneuvering alone results in weak strikes that present no threat to an opponent.
(The whole thing is good. I can't find the original, but I suspect "sparring" was "san shou" in it.)
Last edited by Jack Rusher; 11/15/2014 12:09pm at .