Well, I did survive the Xingyi seminar down at Jake Burroughs' Three Harmony Martial Arts Center this weekend. Above is a picture of me in the Xingyi "San Ti" posture from a couple of years ago. Jake has corrected several posture issues that I now see in my stance. I use this pic because I haven't completely figured out how to extract small clips and still photo's from my new Samsung video camera, below:
My wife snagged this camera for my birthday, and I had to have a kid from the video generation help me figure it out. It was very reasonably priced at about $230, and of course came with a new software that I am stumbling through right now. When I learn it better, I should be able to have better video production and all the bells and whistles. If anybody else has this camera and has suggestions, let me know.
--But back to the seminar:
Jake taught us two forms; the Horse, and the Tuo (which is variously refered to as the Water-skimmer or Aligator).
The Horse is a bold, agressive form as many Xingyi forms are. Horses rear up and hit with their hooves. In this way, the applications have two fist variations; one is with conventional fists; the other uses the knuckles of the fingers to "rap", like knocking on a door. This is the version I prefer. The knuckle rap is not for heavy knock-out hits; it is for attacking the opponent's hand metacarpals (back of hand/fist), pressure-points on arms, or bony areas on the skull etc.
Used in this way, the horse form attacks sting and numb the opponent's guard or draw blood above the eyes. They can be used in angles that a boxing punch can not.
-- The Tuo (water skimmer/alligator) moves in a zig-zag pattern and unlike the other Xingyi forms I have learned it does not turn back, it moves foward and moves backward. One arm is held high in a conventional block level, the other is low, palm out for groin slaps.
The Xingyi that Jake teaches is heavily influenced by master instructor Tim Cartmell, author of "Effortless combat Throws" and other titles. As you can imagine, the gap with the opponent is closed using the form applications described above, and then many options open up for throwing and sweeping the opponent.
After the seminar, Zac and I stayed for another hour with Jake, which included correction on other forms but focused on infighting skills. This begins at San Ti crossed-hands range, closes with slaps and strikes and goes to the takedown set-up. Then the partners re-set and the game begins again. This is done at a 70% speed, is non-cooperative for a sense of reality, but not done so aggresively that it is beyond the capability of learning speed.
Lots of fun, I'll keep working on my new video software, and maybe pull a few stills or clips.
***** For information on Chinese Martial Arts In Seattle, contact Jake Burroughs at Three Harmonies Martial Arts Center