Wednesday 4 May 2011

The Establishment of Tang Shou Dao

            Of the three Hong brothers, Hong Yi Xiang did the most the promote the Yi Zong System. Hong Yi Xiang had a large physique, and was famous for his San Shou. In order to interest students to the school, he would try to get many of the students to enter competitions. Hong wouldn’t talk a lot, instead his school would focus on practical applications that could be used for competition. Hong would often say,”the so-called one-courage, two-strength, and three-skill, you can have strength and skill, but if you aren’t brave, it’s useless.” After students reached a proficient level in the Tang Shou Dao curriculum, Hong would return to teach students deeper theories from Xing Yi and Ba Gua.
            In his early days Hong had a lot of contact with foreign martial arts groups. Especially in terms of seeing the expansion of Japanese martial arts. This made Hung realize that the traditional method of teaching Chinese martial arts did not correspond to the trends of the times, Japanese martial arts was what his organization should be modeled after and he started to make changes. In the early days of Taiwan, Karate had been brought into the country, But it wasn’t until some time had passed before Hong realized the organization of Karate would be worthwhile using. It was then that Hong established Tang Shou Dao, in order to have an organizational system for traditional Chinese martial arts.
            Hong wanted in everyway to copy Japanese style teaching methods. Therefore he needed a style that could be taught on a large scale, he then combined his Shao Lin, Xing Yi, and Ba Gua to make his own style. Students were separated according to their skill level into, beginner, intermediate, or advanced groups. In the beginning, students would learn the newly organized sets to lay the foundation. Only in the advanced classes would he teach Xing Yi and Ba Gua. On the surface, in order to reach his objective, he would promote Tang Shou Dao. However, the heart of his system came from traditional Chinese martial arts.
(tanslated from Taiwan Wu Lin Magazine)

Saturday 26 March 2011

Oakland Yizong Bagua and Xingyi Seminar

Two morning seminars on April 16th & 17th.                                                               

Saturday morning : Bagua Houtian & Xiantian concepts

Sunday morning : Xingyi 5 elements 

These seminars will cover the basic ideas and training methods of the Yizong system as practiced in Taiwan. Both beginning students as well as seminar students of the yizong system will walk away with clear ideas on how to make their practice more efficient.

Some of the ideas covered will be:

  • nei gong
  • fighting strategy
  • applications
  • forms

Matt is the first Yizong instructor trained in Taiwan to be teaching in the bay area.
Matt has studied with Luo De Xiu in Taiwan for 8 years, as well as having studied privately with Marcus Brinkman for over 5 years. 

  Location: Lake Merrit Park - near the childrens amusement park   We will meet at the gazebo.

Time: Saturday & Sunday  10:00 - 12:30

Price: $30 per morning
Pre registration is required

For more information contact:
Matt Autrey               
email: yizongwest@gmail.com

Monday 21 March 2011

Taiwan Videos

This video was taken about four years. In it you can see Luo Laoshi, Lin Guo Zheng, and Simon Finn.
Simon has been in Taiwan for 7 years and if you go to Taiwan you will definitely meet Simon. He is a class leader and his ability to explain things clearly is shown in class and in in his yearly seminars in England. If you want to meet one of the best Bagua people in Europe, be sure to go to his seminars.


This video is a combination of the first video as well as footage of an exhibition we did in Yilan a couple of months later. In the beginning we see Monkey Chen. 
During the exhibition a couple of my classmates can be seen. Marcus Opalenik from Boston, and Shai Tamir from Israel. Together they demonstrate a two person set from Xing Yi called Wu Hua Pao (Five Pattern Cannon).
Marcus also does yearly seminars in Boston.
After that I can be seen demonstrating the Xing Yi animal Tai bird.
The last part shows Lin Guo Zheng about to start the pre heaven forms. The biggest disapointment from the video is that they did not include Lin doing more palm changes. His body movement and knowledge of the palm changes is nothing short of amazing.

The two most interesting parts of the second video are as follows:

1:22  Luo talks about our san shou and how using sticking and adhering are the main focus. In particular, using the nine joints of the body. How these can be combined to issue power or separated to control the opponent.

1:36 Lin Guo Zheng talks about the difference between internal and external arts. He says that most external martial arts and shaolin express the power towards the outside. However, in internal martial arts the mind and the spirit are emphasized. The spirit is the unifying power of the body, whereas, the mind controls the body and its muscles. The combination of mind and spirit lead the movements.

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Annotations on Taijiquan by Wu Mengxia

Translated by Dr. Marcus Brinkman

Gu Zai San Qian
(Attending to the three fronts)
Pan Zai Qi Xing
(Awareness is on the seven stars)

        These are two of the Songs of Eighteen Necessities from Wu Mengxia's taiji book. These eighteen songs are followed by annotations from Wu himself. The order of the songs are as follows:

Peng-Ward Off
Lu- Roll Back
Ji- Press
An- Push
Cai- Pluck
Lie- Split
Zou- Elbow
Kao- Bumping
Jin- Advancing
Tui- Retreating
Gu- Attend
Pan- Observe
Ding- Stability
Zhong- Centrality
Shuang- Double
Xu- Empty
Shi- Full
        The first song is to attend to the three fronts. The three fronts are the forward eye, forward hand and forward foot. These three points are to be taken notice of so that your power is always centralized. If the opponent takes one of these points off the centerline an opening is made. However, looking at the opponent we can use the song in an opposite way. By knowing that keeping these three points is safe for ourselves, also we want to take advantage of any weakness the opponent may show by not keeping his three fronts.

        The second song is to be aware or observe of the opponents seven stars. The seven stars are the ankle, knee, hip, wrist, elbow, shoulder, and head. These are all areas that the opponent can use to attack us. On the other hand, these are places on our body that we can use to strike the opponent. Each of the seven stars should be capable of attacking and defending.  So we can look at these songs from a yin/yang paradox and extract much more information.

        In our school we put these ideas into our martial skill set by including one idea that integrates these two songs in a seamless way. We use another very famous internal martial arts poem, Han Xiong Ba Bei Chen Jian Zui Zou, which means seal the chest, pull up the back, sink the shoulders, and drop the elbows. By conforming our body to this mold we find that defense of the three fronts, and awareness of the seven stars is created naturally by this posture.
        Some modern  internal arts practitioners have mistaken parts of this song. This song is meant to describe the posture of san ti shi or the starting position for fighting(similar to a boxers starting position). However, during martial arts practice and qigong the chest is not meant to always be sealed. In Internal arts in general there should be an opening of the sternum as well as an opening of the thoracic spine. These two openings oscillate between an open and closed posture much in the same way as the lumbar spine does. If the lumbar and cervicals open and close, then the thoracic spine naturally cannot stay in a static state.
       This translation shows many of the ideas that we practice in internal arts but are not often talked about. These are many chapters in this book with many songs in each one. Dr. Brinkman did a great job translating this text which helped understanding it in Chinese. For practitioners of Yi Zong internal arts or Taiji, Xingyi, and Bagua in general, this is an outstanding resource.

Monday 7 February 2011

Colorado Seminar

Bagua and Xing yi seminar with Matt Autrey

Saturday Feb 26th and Sunday Feb 27th, 10:30 am.- 5:30pm
• Xing yi: Swallow, -10:30-1:30
• Bagua: huo tian 4.3 Dai (carrying methods), -2:30-5:30 
• Bagua: line 3, -10:30-1:30 pm
• Bagua: Integrating striking and throwing, - 2:30-5:30 pm

Anybody interested in private lessons can email Matt at yizongwest@gmail.com or they can talk to him at the seminar.

Matt has spent the past 8 years studying with Luo De Xiu in Taipei, Taiwan, and is one of Luo's senior students. He has also studied Chinese medicine, energy cultivation, and martial arts with Marcus Brinkman privately for 5 years.

Price: $150 for both days, or $ 80 a day.
PreEminence Hall is conveniently located off of 30th and Walnut, at 3213 Walnut Street in Boulder.

Driving Directions:
Go east from Walnut and 30th, then left (north) into the driveway just past 32nd. We are located across from Boulder Foam Source, which is located just behind Twisted Pine Brewary (which will be on your left). When you pass Twisted Pine, look for the two garage doors, and the bright red door on your right (across from Boulder Foam Source). 

Any questions call Matt Schonhorst at 303-728-4971 or matthewschonhorst@yahoo.com

Sunday 30 January 2011

Yi Zong Internal Martial Arts Special Charecteristics and Theory

(translated from Taiwan Wu Lin Magazine)
            Yi Zong has many special characteristics, there are three that most obviously stick out, Tian Gan, San Shou, and Wei Zhao. The ten big Tian Gan are the special training methods from Wu and Zhang’s Ba Gua. Other styles have never heard of this training but they may inadvertently have similar training methods. The training purpose of Tian Gan is opening your range of motion and extending your body’s power range.
            Many martial arts have different frame sizes in which they practice. However, before you want to practice small frame you must first pull open your structure and practice a large frame. The larger frame you practice, the more relaxed you want your mind and body to become. Only then will your power be able to reach an even deeper level. This is the same as when the Tai Ji classics talk of [ You first need to extend, then you can become more compact].  Ba Zi Gong is a Xing Yi set that comes from the Tian Jin area, its function is nearly the same as Tian Gan, to extend the bodies power range. After following Zhang’s training methods both his students and disciples found that their ability to use their southern shaolin skills had improved greatly. 
            There is another training methodology called San Shou that Yi Zong uses that is absent in other schools. This style of San Shou is distinctly different than other styles of San Shou or San Da. Yi Zong San Shou is a training method that aims at teaching neutralizing skills within the conceptual framework of sticking, adhering, and using Fa Jin. This practice helps develop lots of body methods and stepping methods while also developing realistic fighting training.
           Wei Zhao: Wei =feed, Zhao= technique. This means that the teacher will do the techniques with the student in order to give them the right flavor and corrections. When people talk about transmission this is the direct way for a teacher to transfer information to the student. By doing the application continuosly on the student, the teacher is showing how the energy is expressed. Sometimes painfully. Also, when the student sees the movements demonstrated over and over with concepts that help them explore the movements. They are able to understand the principles expressed in the forms.