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.