Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shy Amir On Xingyi Short Staff

Our friend in Israel, Shy Amir sent us this nice video of him performing a Hsing-I (Xingyi) short staff form. I love the production quality, and it is a beautiful form.
It may be of interest to the Aikido guys out there for comparison to the Aikido Jo staff. Thanks Shy!
And remember; if other martial artists out there have any nice training pics or videos, drop them by dojorat@gmail.com and we'll see if we can post them. Introduce yourself to fellow Dojo Rats all over the world!


Man of the West said...

Hmmm. Interesting how he spends so much time handling the staff from one end.

Contrast that to the kata I will be spending the next bajillion years trying to get right.

Always interesting to see different approaches to the same weapon. Thanks for posting that.

Dojo Rat said...

Would you consider it a difference between Internal (Xingyi) and External (Kobuto)? The form you linked did not appear to be Aikido, but Okinawan. Am I correct?
Aikido Jo staff is handled much more like the Japanese sword.

Man of the West said...

It's Okinawan; We refer to it as Sakugawa no jo. As far as "internal" vs. "external" goes, I have a hard time telling where one begins and one ends anyway, so my opinion on the subject isn't worth much.

The principle difference I noted was that the xing yi form had far more instances where the weapon was being wielded with one hand, from one end. It looked mostly like striking to me, at least at first glance. Sakugawa no jo, on the other hand, has an awful lot of two-handed techniques, rather a lot of which involve joint locks and using the jo as a lever (often using the opponent's weapon as a fulcrum).

Not better or worse, just different.

JoseFreitas said...

The Chinese Bian Gun (Whip Staff) is slightly shorter and somewhat lighter and thinner than the jo. While the techniques of one will work more or less with the other, these differences have influenced the technical development of the weapons. Here's a great example of Xingyi Bian Gun (I wasn't crazy about Amir's rendition of his, by the way, not too much Xingyi body movement or footwork in it).


There's more two handed stuff in it and more that a jo practitioner would recognize.

Man of the West said...

Ah. That explains it. Thanks for the information.

JoseFreitas said...

So I went back and looked at the Sakugawa no Kon kata and found it quite good, I have to say. Is that you, or your teacher? The quality of the movement in the performer is reasonably compatible with that of Xingyi, and I can see how a lot of the old timers in traditional Karate trained in Xingyi (as well as some non-traditional, like the Kyokushinkai original group). That was a good performance.

Note in the following demonstration of the Whip Staff how this version uses a slightly shorter version of the weapon, which results in it being almost a "stick", using even more one handed techniques:

Zhou Jingxuan: Black Tiger Whip Staff: www.youtube.com/watch?v=8R_O8SPXU0E

I went back and looked at Amir's form (as well as his teacher doing it at Nanking Taiji) and my main objections is this, it looks like Taiji, not Xingyi, and the movements are mostly indistinguishable from sword; it's OK to use sword techniques and there is crossover, but the form should show also techniques that are clearly staff/stick. Perhaps one derives from the other: when you slow down stuff a lot it's hard to see where the momentum will carry the weapon, and staff blurs into sword. In any case, I find it quite weird to see a XY form without explosive movements or jump step footwork.

Man of the West said...

Is that you, or your teacher?

Neither one; it is someone practicing the same system somewhere in Texas.

I'm just starting to learn the kata.