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Strangler2
12/22/2003 10:05pm,
I found this article on:
http://www.chinafrominside.com/ma/xyxy/dongxiusheng.html


PRACTICE


PART ONE
Martial arts regard practical results as of prime importance. Since martial arts are profound and mysterious, one must always learn practically to have any achievements. The theory is merely like a compass in navigation. In this world all practical studies are (based on) becoming skillful, not on clever tricks; on practice, not deep thinking. Even if one receives transmission of the essence of holy art, one still (must) value observing the rules (methods) with focused mind, let alone the movement doctrine of Xingyiquan. It absolutely cannot be achieved by thinking. That is why practice is so advocated. However there also has to be a method in practice. This (method) will be described in detail in the next chapters.

First Chapter - Points for Attention during Practice


Points for attention in practice are generally divided into three periods. First is called points for attention before practice. Second is called points for attention during practice. Third is called points for attention after practice.

Before practice one must neither be hungry nor full. (one) must neither think intensively nor get angry. Because when hungry, (one) has no strength; when full, then one will hurt one's stomach; when one thinks intensively, then one can easily get dizzy; when angry then one is short-tempered and may easily get confused.

During practice one must neither talk nor laugh; must not spit; must not release gases. Because when one talks and laughs, then spirit becomes distracted and not concentrated; spitting makes throat dry and rises inflammations; releasing gases lets Qi out and scatters strength.

After practice (one) must neither drink nor eat; must not urinate or defecate; must not lie. Because eating or drinking can easily make one sluggish; urinating or defecating disperses Qi; recumbent posture restrains and stops the flow of Qi.

Second Chapter - Methods of Practice


In practice there are generally two methods.

The first one is called practice in two stages. Every set of boxing (practice) is divided into two stages. In the first one one should practice softly and slowly to limber up muscles and joints, and to induce Qi and strength. In the second one one should practice with hard (power) and vigorously with speed to make full use of internal power (Nei Jin). It is suitable for applications.

The second one is called practice in three stages. In first stage one should practice softly and slowly; in the middle stage - with vigor and hard (power); in the last stage - in a smooth and balanced way. It is like writing an essay. In first section one writes an outline concentrating on main points and covering whole contents. The (literary) style is slow and soft, broad and rich. In the middle the (subject) is already amplified. Discussed in length and breadth.

Third Chapter - Special Practice

Those who practice martial art do it in 80% for themselves and in 20% to use it against others. Hence it is said that strengthening the body gives long-term benefits while defeating the enemy is temporary. (This saying) talks specifically about strengthening the body.

Any martial art can be practiced to defeat the enemy and Xingyi specializes in it. The principle of defeating the enemy is to value quality over quantity. (You can) defeat one opponent with this (one) technique, and every opponent can be defeated with this technique. If (you) devote you efforts to practice of multiple (techniques) then they will degenerate. If (you) look for complicated (movements) then (you will only) get confused. If the body is not tempered through correct practice, then (one will) have no technique (that one is) well acquainted with when fighting the enemy. (In this way one will face) two loses.

Those who devote their efforts to friendship value the depth of this relation; how broad and not restricted it is; how intensive and not ordinary it is. A lonely pine without branches does not make one as refreshed as flowers and green willows; but it can be said with certainty what will not wither and remain green after cold frosts and severe snows. (That is why) Xingyiquan contains mainly single movements; since this is the correct way of everyday practice.

Fourth Chapter - Long Practice

Only martial arts are regarded profound without limits, broad without boundaries. Those who attained elementary level can defeat one enemy; those who attained the highest level, why can't they defeat ten thousand enemies? First of all (one) should study martial art modestly; however (even if one practices martial art modestly) if (one) stops after gaining a little knowledge, sometime practice, sometimes not, then one cannot expect progress. It is especially difficult with Xingyiquan (practice) where already after a few months (one) thinks (one) has a considerable skill. But (even) after ten years one does not necessarily acquire a consummate skill. Those with superficial knowledge think that perhaps the later is inferior to the former and long-time practice is not as good as temporary one. However with reaching the utmost level of skill (one is) filled with inner strength and the external strength reduces. Only after many years of constant practice one may attain this utmost level. Those who attained it were modest and had perseverance.

Many people often say that there are many secrets in martial arts. This is because when (martial artists) are asked they do not answer, and (even if) they answer, they do not say everything. Is it like this? Those (students) who are easily satisfied (with their achievements) either rashly try their skill and bring trouble on themselves or like to fight and bully people; these are ways to self-destruction. Those (students) who do not have perseverance think they know enough when they have just a smattering of knowledge; their morning interest in practice disappears in the evening and they think they have already attained high level of skill. However when they try it without result, they either explain that their teacher cheated them or that what they learnt was wrong. (However in fact) not only they were wrong people to pass (martial art) to but also they disregarded the art for all their lives. Isn't this (true) selfishness?

Jenfucius
12/22/2003 11:03pm,
i like the last bit. i hate people who try out xing yi once and think they know anything about it. i don't think you start to grasp the essence of an art until you've studied it for at least a year. i also hate the people described in the beginning of the article-stupid theorists who try to break everything down into sets of techniques or sets of applications. classification distorts the essential unity of the techniques.