Friday, May 18, 2007
More On Formosa Niejia
The Bagua Symbol
OK, fellow Dojo Rats; I hope everyone has had a chance to read Chessman's post on his challenge matches in the Parks of Taiwan.
While you need to read the articles for the details, here's the short version: While practicing in the park one day, Chessman was coaxed into some push-sparring with a strong Xing-Yi instructor. Long story short is, after the initial encounter in which he felt the other guy controlled him very well, he had a rematch in front of the instructors students.
For those not familiar with Chinese Internal Arts, Xing-Yi is the most linear and outwardly aggressive of the three arts. Taiji is both linear and circular, and Bagua (BaguaZhang; Eight Trigram Palm) is nearly completely spiral and circular in nature.
As strong as the Xing Yi guys were, Chessman was able to find counter-techniques from other arts (Taiji and Bagua) that helped him defeat a formidable Xing-Yi instructor and his top student. Please read the series of articles, they are the best training articles I have read in a long time.
Now my point of re-visiting this goes back to my previous post on "Why TaeKwon Do Sucks". In that post, the video shows a Karate fighter easily defeating a Taekwon Do fighter. My outrage (being a 2nd Dan TKD guy myself, 3d Dan Kenpo) was as to why the TKD guy stayed within the framework of polite WTF-style sparring when the Karate guy is sweeping him, using knee strikes etc. Why limit your arsenal of techniques?
Chessman's challenge matches in the Taiwan park shows us another example of this problem. The Xing-Yi guys he sparred with were strong, but they stayed within the limited framework of linear techniques. Chessman was able to use relaxation and sticking power of Taiji and Circular movements of Baguazhang to defeat the linear fighting style. A few sweeps and a headlock resulted in a humilitating defeat for the Xing-Yi guys, and when Chessman saw them attempt to review and correct their shortcomings, they were still off track because they were still operating within the framework of their chosen art.
In the old days, Masters kept their methods secret. This led to many styles and jealous skirmishes. When the Asian fighting arts gained world-wide popularity, people in the west were less concerned with the secretive nature of the arts. Westerners shared and compared, and arts became more whole while retaining their original nature. This is the value of cross-training. Do not fight a man against his strengths, find an alternative method that exploits his weakness.
Please read the posts over at Formosa Neijia, if you haven't already.