Techniques

Techniques (4)

Whilst Wudang is well known for its Sword methods, few if any of the Swords practiced on Wudang Mountain have their origin in that fame. The most renowned Wudang Sword Master in recorded history was "God of Sword" Li Jinglin (李景林, 1885-1931) . Today a number of swords have appeared into the Wudang Curriculum, each with their own focus and techniques. Taiyi Xuanmen Sword is stated as belonging to the sword methods of the Taiyi School. The sword methods are special as it combines the slow and fast mutually, it integrates the Hard and the soft, in practice the sword must pursue the body’s directive so the body leads the sword. The six harmonies between the Hands, Eyes, Body, Method and stepping reach a marvelous spirit. A nice poem explains “As the earth trembles the birds disperse and fly away, the dust rolling above ground does not settle down, between a hit, Flurried like a gentle breeze the sword cannot be seen, within thousands of transformations, yet the sword still cannot be found” The Xuanmen Sword is said to move like a grey dragon exiting water, light as a lively cat pouncing on a mouse, within each movement, the clarity of Yin and Yang is obvious, the body conceals the Bagua, whilst the footwork steps along the Nine Palaces, the internal combines with Qi, the external combines with the shape. Amongst the sword methods of Wudang Mountain it is considered a treasure, a secretly transmitted method. The Taiji Xuanmen Sword…
Of the many sword methods within the Taiping Institute, there are three significant systems including Wudang Sword, Qingping Sword and Qimen Sword which all share Daoist origins or influences. Qimen (奇门 ) which is reference to ancient Daoist divination. Qimen Sword, often also known as Qimen 13 Sword (奇门十三剑), Qimen Bagua Sword (奇门八卦剑) Ending Life 13 Swords (绝命十三剑) or simply as 13 Sword (十三剑) has two legends of origin. The first is based on the Qimen Dunjia, a type of Daoist metaphysics that was used in ancient hsitory to help with military strategy (e.g. during the Warring States period and supposedly used in the battle of Red Cliff). During the Ming dynasty, Liu Bowen (1311-1375) was a well known military strategist who applied the method in supporting Zhu Yuanzhang in the rebellion against the Yuan Dynasty, thereby securing the throne for the ’Hongwu’ emperor. Qi Men Dun Jia is based on astronomical observations, and consists of various aspects of Chinese metaphysics, including the doctrines of yin and yang, five elements, the eight trigrams, the ten Heavenly Stems and the twelve Earthly Branches, as well as the twenty-four solar terms. There are a number of martial methods based on it’s themes such as Qimen Sword (奇门剑), Qimen Spear (奇门枪) and Qimen Staff(奇门棍). In the central plains areas (Shandong, Hebei, etc) the cradle of Chinese civilization is where the martial arts were developed to an advanced level and many methods integrating the concepts from chinese culture and belief systems were established. Due…
Sun Tong, the founder of Yanqingquan was said to have been able to acquire the skills of other martial systems with ease due to his solid foundation. Such a foundation is achieved through the practice of Yanqing Jiazi (The Yanqing Framwork). Bitterness of Yanqing Jiazi towards excellence in martial skills Soon after the traditional Yanqingquan (Mizongquan) student commences their journey of practice they are confronted by a great challenge known as Yanqing Jiazi. Jiazi, or Frame/Structure, is the foundation and most important set of practice in Yanqingquan. Whilst in the modern age many have created shorter versions of this set, the original practice is where the value lays. Consisting of over 135 postures and more than 280 movements which can take up to 45-60 minutes with much of the techniques conducted on a single leg or in a low crouching stance, it is no walk in the park. Although initially, practice leads one to sweat profusely and strains the breath, the achievement is to maintain a calm and well harmonized breath throughout, mouth should be closed naturally and the circulation of breath and qi should be consistent. In Yanqing quan it is often expressed "Slowly one trains skills, quickly one trains combat (慢练功,快练攻)" where the ability to undertake slow movements enhances ones precision, effectiveness and speed of attack. Yanqingquan is renowned for integrated the hard and the soft, the fast and the slow. Mother Fist of Yanqingquan Yanqing Jiazi is considered the Mother fist of Yanqingquan (Yanqing Quan is also…
In thousands of years of history, great strategists and practitioners of military skills have appeared in China. There are cultural heritages that are rare and in many cases even lost. One such special set of practices is concerned with the Staff. A simple yet highly dynamic weapon, the Staff is thought to be the easiest yet one of the most powerful weapons. In Chinese Martial arts there is a saying "Spear Strikes in a line, The Staff Sweeps in a large area". Zhao Kuangyin, the First Emperor of the Song dynasty was said to leverage his Qimei (eyebrow height) staff when fighting for the various states/provinces and helped him become the leader of a Dynasty. Wuhu Gun (Five Tigers Staff) is originally known as Wuhu Panlong Gun (Five Tigers Coiling Dragon Staff), and sometimes as Wuhua Gun (Flowering Staff). It was said that before Zhao ascended the throne, Zheng Ziming had defeated the five tigers of the Dong Family. Many generations this staff had been passed down in the Xinzhuang village of Hejian County, Hebei Province. It was said that throughout its over 600 year history, the practice came to consist of over 420 postures/techniques, which today has basically become extinct, no longer found. Feng Keshan had studied the boxing (Taizu Changquan and Bafanquan) and some weapons from Hejian, considered the likely origin of this staff. Chuojiao Master Feng Keshan, was one of the greatest martial artists in history. He had acquired many martial arts systems throughout his life, be…
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