Monday, February 16, 2009
Review: "The Xingyi Quan Of The Chinese Army"
Now here's a book that may interest students of Xingyi (Hsing-i), Chinese military history, or just guys that like to play with rifles with fixed bayonets.
Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army is authored by Dennis Rovere, with translation assistance by his wife Chow Hon Huen. Rovere was the first civilian to train with the Bodyguard Instructors' Unit of the Chinese Special Military Police. This overview of Chinese Military tactics and training are based on the 1928 publication by Huang Bo Nein's "Xingyi Fist and Weapon Instruction". This text, primaraly an instructors manual, became the manual for training soldiers at The Chinese Central Military Academy. This was at a time when hand-to-hand combat was quickly being replaced by combat with firearms. Rovere's Xingyi translates the original text, and offers contemporary explanation sand photos that suppliment those from the 1928 text.
Rovere's book offers a basic explanation of Xingyi's 'Five Element Theory", with the simple yet effective fighting methods. Those familiar with military training methods realize that there is a short window of training time for soldiers. They must be taught basic, large body motions that can be applied in a variety of conditions, wearing heavy clothing and packing gear.
As it is, the book shows the fist forms and fighting applications, but the second half of the book is designed for military enthusiasts with instructions on basic rifle/bayonet and sabre combat. On that note, I found the evolution of the Chinese combat sword interesting; it seems that the Chinese military sabre of the era looks very much like the Japanese Katana sword. Someone more knowledgable than me may have an opinion of that sword development.
"The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army" is somewhat of a "niche" book, of special intrest to practitioners of Xingyi for historical reasons, or for military enthusiasts.
Check out this book, and hundreds of other martial art titles at this link for Blue Snake Books!