Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Two takes on 2-Man Xingyi Drills

Hal Mosher

Everybody has their takes on the simplistic whole-body techniques of the Xingyi Five-Element Fists.
Above, Hal Mosher (Website Here) demonstrates some attacks and counters, each partner using the same technique. I think Hal has some good ideas, but his video production could be better. (Hal, keep your other hand up!)
I have his Sun-style Bagua video and for the price I paid I got very little. Just Hal rolling through the palm changes one time with no verbal description or application. None-the-less, Hal has some good stuff which stimulates other ideas.

Below is another old favorite, Sifu Rudy and B.T. doing their version of a drill, alternating between fists:

For traditionalists, drills like these help students get a general idea of how the forms they practice can be used in application and as a bridge to some light free-sparring. I like to think about mixing this in with Tai Chi Chuan push-hands, so you get a little standing grappling with hitting and neutralizing an attack.
We have to remember, these are just drills, not actual fight training.


Hal said...


Just wanted to say I'm enjoying reading your blog. I learned the second of those sets ("tsan hat" in Cantonese) from Peter Ralston in the late 70s. I actually found your blog while doing a google search for Peter's stuff. Your take on Peter's work is insightful, I think, in that you're seeing something out of the norm in the vids, and have a pretty good sense in what he's doing. However, I would take issue with your closing comment in your last post about him.

Well, I'm not going to get into that in this post, Maybe next time you talk about him. Not meaning any disrespect.

As far as Xingyi ("hsing i" as I learned it) is concerned, tsan hat was the beginning double form. There was a second simple one, but I don't recognize it in the first vid. Then there was a much longer double form "on tsan p'au" I studied with Peter and later with Peter's teacher, Jack-man Wong, in SF. Think classical san shou, only hsing i type moves, the 5 elements and 12 animals. Very rapid and vigorous. Of course, you could perform it strictly as a double set, or evolve it into something more live.

Just as t'ui shou starts as a double set of peng, lu, chi, an, and later evolves into a free form practice. A little more dangerous, perhaps, but then, I've seen some people hurt pretty bad in t'ui shou, too.

I let all of that go a long time ago, though, just sometimes do my T'ai Chi set these days.

Dojo Rat said...

Hi Hal;

First let me say I have the utmost respect for what Peter Ralston has accomplished. I learn a lot from watching his movement and the way he approaches push hands. His Fight/Play video is a great learning tool, as is his second book "Cheng Hsin Tui Shou".
-His first book is almost unreadable to me however.

You don't have to go far to find criticizm of Ralston on the net forums, and not coming from me.

Ralston aside; I would like to see you put out some more video on Hsing-i and Bagua with a little more detail and description. Credit to you for just getting your stuff out there.

You can contact me at dojorat@gmail.com if you have any ideas, Thanks for writing in.

Hal said...

Oh, I'm sorry if I was confusing, I'm not the Hal who made the video. I am just someone who studied some of these arts pretty seriously back in the day, and was noodling around, found your blog and liked some of the things I saw. I'll just move along now...

Dojo Rat said...


That's a Hal of a mix-up!

Ha,ha, nice meeting you anyway!

Hal said...

Again, sorry for the mix-up. Also nice to be acquainted with your blog.