Xingyiquan’s Five Elemental Fists

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating Thrust Palm (also known as Splitting Fist) from the Five Elemental Fist set in Xingyiquan. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating Thrust Palm (also known as Splitting Fist) from the Five Elemental Fist set in Xingyiquan. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

I had a brief discussion with some pals about Xingyiquan after showing them the videos posted below. Here’s what I had to say about this art. One of these days, I’ll have to get my brother (who actually practices Xingyiquan) to make a guest post here…

Continue reading

Advertisements

Cross training and sparring methodology

Free sparring is used to test, not train, fighting skills in Shaolin Wahnam. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Free sparring is used to test, not train, fighting skills in Shaolin Wahnam. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

Back in mid-May of 2013, I posed a question to the G+ Martial Artist community regarding cross-training and sparring methodologies used in their schools. After a few responses, someone asked my opinion on their situations. Here’s what I replied with:

Continue reading

Northern or Southern, Internal or External?

Baguazhang, demonstrated here by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, is often considered an internal style of kung fu. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Baguazhang, demonstrated here by Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit, is often considered an internal style of kung fu. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

Someone asked the very good question of what kung fu system would be best for them. Naturally, this is informed by many factors such as what you want to get out of kung fu, what you are willing to put up with, if a master is willing and able to teach you, etc. Here is what I replied with:

Continue reading

Kung fu footwork

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating the Bow Arrow stance of Shaolin kung fu. Though stances are very awkward for beginners, they are literally the foundation of martial arts and they, along with associated footwork, should be trained properly. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating the Bow Arrow stance of Shaolin kung fu. Though stances are very awkward for beginners, they are literally the foundation of martial arts and should, along with associated footwork, be trained properly. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

A discussion on G+’s martial artists forums turned to the difficulties some people have in maintaining their stances in sparring and fighting. Here is the advice I gave to someone which worked very well for me:

Continue reading

Harmonies and planes in kung fu stances

A discussion on the G+ forums turned towards stances and directions used in different styles of kung fu. There are certain difficulties involved even in discussing different types of kung fu thanks to certain phrases meaning different things to different people. One example in this thread came from the Three Body stance of Xingyiquan:

Continue reading

Does form follow function or function follow form?

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating Black Tiger Steals Heart. Many generations worth of lessons and fighting experiences were crystallized into this basic pattern. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit demonstrating Black Tiger Steals Heart. Many generations worth of lessons and fighting experiences were crystallized into this basic pattern. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

We had a great discussion on G+’s martial artist forums regarding the question posed above. On the kung fu side of things, first there was random and haphazard fighting. Eventually, people figured out (and more importantly, passed on) the idea that certain ways of moving and fighting were better for their purposes; folks moved from the typical “boxing” jabs and hooks to crystallized kung fu patterns like Black Tiger Steals Heart (a level punch to the chest at the Bow-Arrow stance) or Hang a Golden Star at Corner (a punch to the side of the temple at the Bow-Arrow stance) because of certain advantages (a protected groin, more agile footwork, and being able to use waist rotation to generate and send spiral force from the abdomen into the opponent to deal injury).

Continue reading

The historical relationship between Eagle Claw and Xingyiquan

Golden Leopard Trains Claws, an exercise from the Eighteen Lohan Art force training set used by many Northern Shaolin kung fu systems, including Eagle Claw kung fu. Image taken from www.shaolin.org

Golden Leopard Trains Claw from the Eighteen Lohan Art set, from which internal force training in Eagle Claw kung fu is derived. Image taken from http://www.shaolin.org

One of my kung fu “uncles” has been on a Youtube uploading frenzy lately and recently compiled the Fifty Sequences of Eagle Claw kung fu as practiced in Shaolin Wahnam to his Youtube account: 
鷹爪五十路連拳 50 Sequences of Eagle Claw Kung Fu

Continue reading