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#90033 - 03/14/05 09:15 PM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sa Bum Nim, at the very least since you ignore my posts, could you please explain why exactly you "lost" months of training because you smothered a flame.

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#90034 - 03/14/05 11:31 PM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


meijin, here is the history of

BAIXINGQUAN; YILI'S ANCESTOR FROM SHAO-LIN

Baixingquan (aka. Pai-Hsing Chuan) translates as "White Star Fist" and is the unusual form of northern Shao-lin boxing from which Yiliquan draws many of it's techniques and some of it's basic forms.

Baixing originally hails from the Shao-lin Monastery located in Honan Province and dates back to the end of the Ming Dynasty (1644). It's founder was, I believe, a monk surnamed Chou. He combined the "northern" styled techniques and movements with those of the southern school(s). This is why Baixingquan (which is classed as a northern system) contains elements and even a form (Sanbaoquan) of the southern art(s). While it can be surmised that Baixing's founder trained in the northern art taught at the Shao-lin Temple at the time, we cannot know what southern system he learned or who taught it to him. We can say that it certainly bears some of the earmarks of Wing Chun, but the development of Baixing pre-dates Wing Chun's development.

Baixing takes it's name from an unusual technique of punching which is also found, oddly enough, in the arsenal of Xingyiquan. Baixing's "White Star Fist" punch was learned by all Baixing seniors and was never taught to junior students.

Baixing includes a wide variety of bare-handed form which include Ferocious Tiger Descends the Mountain (the forerunner of Diyi Guan Nien), five "animal" forms based upon the movements of the Leopard, Tiger, Snake, Crane, and Dragon, Methods of the Five Masters (Teachers), Hidden Strength Great Victory, Light Step Iron Hand, Dragon and Tiger in Conference, Three Jewels (Sanbaoquan), Chase Eight Tigers, Heavenly Whirlwind Thunderbolt Fist, and many others which bring the total to 21 forms.
Unlike most kung-fu forms, Baixing's forms were divided into "sections" which were first performed on one side and then immediately repeated on the other. Most of it's forms demonstrate the techniques and strategies of a typical northern form of Shao-lin kung-fu. However, as mentioned earlier, Baixing includes one outstandingly southern form (Sanbaoquan) and the influence of the southern schools can be clearly seen in most of Baixing's other forms. Many of them seem to attempt to combine southern kung-fu principles with long-range techniques.
Baixing has never utilized any "two-man forms" at all.

Baixingquan also carries a full arsenal of weapons and forms for most of them. Of course, this included the basic four weapons; the staff, sword, spear, and broadsword. However, it also included other weapons such as the Guandao, tiger-fork, double broadswords, double daggers, three-section staff, stick, short stick, and the butterfly swords....a weapon normally found only in the southern schools of kung-fu!

Baixing is an aggressive system. That is, the emphasis is on powerful forward movements which are intended to drive deeply into the enemy's territory (very much like Xingyi's, and hence, Yili's fighting theory). It's typical fighting posture is forward-weighted and spring-loaded for quick, surging attacks. Unlike many of the "long fist" systems of northern kung-fu, Baixing loathes "flowery" movements and focuses on practical, direct techniques which are intended to penetrate an enemy's defense(s) very quickly. Unlike Yili which does not advocate attack, Baixing's primary tactic is attack, attack, and attack...kind of a Chinese version of "The best defense is a good offense" sort of thing.
This unusual style allows it's practicioners to begin from "long range" and then quickly close with the enemy while simultaneously applying "short range" in-fighting principles and techniques. Unlike most northern systems which utilize the corkscrew punch as being their primary method of thrusting, Baixing emphasizes the so-called "standing fist" which we know as the "sun fist."
Yili's very few jumping kicks are all derived from Baixing; the butterfly kick, the flying knee stroke, and the hurricane kick. Oddly, Baixing states that the butterfly kick should never be applied at long ranges and it teaches methods for it's application at medium range.


Baixing also includes a wide variety of throwing techniques and take-downs as well as numerous joint-twisting techniques, chokes, and holds. It is safe to say that more than half of Yili's throwing techniques and almost all of it's joint techniques and chokes are derived from this ancestor.

I cannot guess at the reason(s) for Baixing's lack of popularity. Perhaps it is the system's lack of flowery movements and emphasis on aggressive, bone-crushing attacks. While it is not as aesthetically pleasing as many northern arts, it is not as homely as some of the southern boxing schools. In any case, Baixing had no interest in how it looked; only in how it worked.

In 1982 I was fortunate in being able to visit China and take Baixing back home and demonstrate it to the Chinese people. They appeared to like it very much and were most impressed with it's practical and powerful fighting techniques (which were demonstrated in sparring exhibitions).

Baixingquan forms the base for training in Yiliquan. It is safe to say that much of our "basic training" consists of basic Baixing techniques and stances. Our first basic form is actually a Baixing form, and the close-quarters combat form which is popular amongst many Yili seniors, Sanbaoquan, is a Baixing form.
Baixing is utilized as a base for development of physical conditioning and coordination prior to training in the so-called "internal" methods of Yiliquan.

Love,
Sifu
June 9, 2002


"The History of Pai-Hsing Chuan

"As is the case with most Chinese Boxing Styles, the History of Pai-
Hsing Chuan is full of legend and color.

"It is said that around 1300 A. D., a monk of the famous Shao-lin
Monastery named Cho Hung-tung was trying to develop his own boxing
style from the boxing style of Shao-lin Chuan which he mastered.
Although he tried, he could not find within himself the answer which
he sought. He simply felt that the Shao-lin art was not complete and
needed changing; how to change it was another question.

"One day a great storm blew over the mountains. The monks in the
courtyard fought their way through the powerful wind to seek shelter
inside the monastery. Cho was one of these monks and on his way back
to the monastery, he noticed a small sparrow gliding gracefully on
the wind. Whilst the monks fought against the storm and tired
themselves, the bird used the storm's great strength to help it reach
it's destination and used little of it's own strength.

"Cho had discovered something and felt that he was beginning to
realize the answer to his problem. He understood that hard must be
complemented by soft and vice-versa. Thereupon, he left the
monastery to work with his idea. He traveled to Fukien Province, and
while enroute to a small village there he met an old man by the name
of Yee Sung-ti who was traveling to the same village. Cho was glad
for the company and he and Yee walked together. Cho explained that
he was very interested in the martial arts and asked if Yee knew
anyone who could teach him. As it turned out, Yee himself was a
practitioner of a little known art called Hsing-I Chuan. Thus, Cho
and Yee remained in this small, nameless village and spent many years
combining the arts of Shao-lin Chuan and Hsing-I Chuan.

"Here we have to stop and consider something. The legendary founder
of Hsing-I boxing was General Yueh Fei of the Northern Sung Dynasty
(960-1127). Although almost all schools of Hsing-I Chuan insist upon
Yueh-Fei as the founder, modern boxing historians say that there is
insufficient historical evidence to support this claim. They say
that the recorded founder was Chi Lung-feng who learned the art while
traveling in the Chung-nan Mountains between 1637 and 1661.

"According to the traditional history of Pai-Hsing Chuan, Yee was a
boxer of the Hsing-I Chuan style. This was long before Chi's
travels. Therefore, Hsing-I Chuan was known before Chi's time
although where Yee learned it is not known. There is a possibility
that Yee did not know Hsing-I Chuan per se - but learned an earlier
art upon which Hsing-I Chuan is based. General Yueh-Fei's original
art was called "Yueh's Shan-Shou" and was based on the use of the
spear. Hsing-I Chuan cannot be based on the use of the spear (in my
opinion). Although legend says that Yueh-Fei's pupils renamed the
art "Yi-Chuan" which is essentially the same as "Hsing-I Chuan" (it
is still sometimes called by the former), there is a distinct
possibility that Yee had actually learned Yueh-Fei's art. The Pai-
Hsing Chuan history would say that he learned "Yi Chuan" or "Hsing-I
Chuan" because of the legend that the general's students named his
original art so. But it may not be Hsing-I Chuan at all; it may have
been an art which is long since dead.

"In any case, Yee married and although rather aged, he produced a son
named Yee Ling-kung. Cho was a monk and never married. Thus, young
Yee learned the new art which his father and Cho developed. Cho is
thought to have died around 1350 and old Yee followed soon after.

"Young Yee ventured out - why is not known; to seek his fortune or
what ever. But he found himself eventually in a small town in Hunan
Province and arrived just in time to observe a small man engaged in
mortal combat with a much larger adversary.

"I well imagine this was a duel of some sort. The small man deftly
touched the big man's chest and with much to-do, the big man died in
a few minutes. This astounded Yee and he knelt before Ming Liong-
shih. Ming practiced an unknown form of boxing and was accomplished
in what we call "Forbidden Hands."

"Yee somehow talked Ming into returning to the source of his own
boxing style; the Shao-lin temple. Here they stayed and learned the
legendary boxing art until Yee's death. Why he died or when he died
is not known, but afterwards, Ming left the temple.

"Ming was a merchant of some sort and often traveled to the south of
China; Canton. Once while traveling there, he happened upon a group
of boys bullying a small boy. Ming stopped the bullies and found the
boy to be an orphan who hunted food in the streets and alleys. His
name was Yip-man koy. Ming took Yip under his wing and taught him
the boxing art. Ming remained in Canton, invested in a small fabric
shop, and never married. Yip did marry and had two sons of which
only one would carry on the art. This was Yip-man gu. Ming died
around 1425.

"Yip-Man gu changed the terminology of the northern art to Cantonese,
took control of his father's shop, and traveled throughout China. On
one trip, he met another fabric merchant named Li-Pai tu who
practiced an unknown boxing art. Yip and Li became partners of a
sort until Yip's death. Li then maintained the partnership with
young Yip and they decided to move north to Hunan Province. However,
Yip died of a fever during the trip.

"This left Li alone with the art. He felt compelled to leave an heir
and upon finding a small pagoda, he offered a fervent prayer.

"As he turned to leave, he saw a small boy standing behind him. This
was Choy-Fut gu. He had been listening to Li's prayer and said he
was an orphan and would be happy to stay with him.

"Choy was the first boxing genius to learn the art. Up until this
time, the art had no name which is still common with "family"
styles. Choy named it. The name he gave it was Mandarin; Chin-Shou
Ssu. "Chin" means "To Enter;" and "Shou" means "Hands." "Ssu"
means "Death; To Die." So it means roughly "the Entering Hands of
Death." Years ago, my teacher tried to explain this old name and I
thought he meant "Inside; As Inside a Building" when he actually
meant "Enter." So I mistook the name.

"Li taught Choy until Choy's skill surpassed his own and then passed
away. Choy buried him at the site of their first meeting - the
pagoda. He then traveled to Lanchow and came upon a girl whose
husband abandoned her and their son, Lung-Chin hu. Choy felt very
sorry for them and took them in. He remained in Lanchow and adopted
the boy. When he felt Lung had learned all he could teach, he
returned to the pagoda where he first met Li and it is said he died
there.

"Some years later, Lung met Wun-Tsai pai who is said to have mastered
the "Forbidden Hands" techniques. They became close friends. When
the Manchus invaded China, they fought and killed many enemies. Some
time later when Wun was in his nineties, the Manchus arrested Lung
and subsequently beheaded him. I do not know why.

"Wun was very angry and opened an underground school to teach
boxing. His most senior student was Hua-Lin ho. Hua took care of
old Wun until Wun left to avenge his friend's death. He was never
seen again. However, this would have made him over 100 years old and
I think it is more likely that he died in bed.

"Wun's school was the first school to teach our boxing art to non-
family members. Hua kept the school open for a short time, closed
it, and left for his home in Nanking (now Peking). When he arrived,
he heard of a new art called T'ai-Chi Chuan. After making some
inquiries, he met Fun-Gnoy tok and Hsiang-Lan mai, both of whom
claimed mastery of this new art. This is not likely since their
names do not appear on the record of senior students of the great
T'ai-Chi Chuan teachers of that day. In any event, Fun refused to
combine his art with anything else, but Hsiang was not disagreeable
to it.

"While Hsiang and Hua worked and trained, a young boy named Pai-Yu
cheng sat and watched them. After some time, he performed for them
and so impressed them that he was taken in and taught the art.

"Hsiang and Hua opened an underground school, but were found out by
the Manchus. Around 1810, they were both summarily executed. Pai
fled to Canton where he married and produced two sons; Pai-Fi k'ang
and Pai-Sou tung. When Pai's wife died, he and his sons traveled
throughout China until 1882 when Pai attacked a Manchu outpost. It
is said he killed 45 men before he died. However, I imagine that
Pai's sons had a hand in this attack. The Manchus were probably
heavily armed and I doubt that old Pai could have killed 45 men
singlehandedly.

"Pai had taught his sons his great "secret" technique which he named
after himself; the "Pai-Hsing Chuan" or "Pai Star Fist." I believe
this was a technique of striking with a relaxed fist which tightened
upon (and because of) impact. They traveled to Schezwan and met two
men: Ch'in-Sun wing who studied T'ai-Chi Chuan and Wang-Kai ho who
studied a new art called Pa-Kua Ch'ang.

"The Pai brothers wore their swords (which was forbidden by Manchu
law) defiantly and the two were asked if they were boxers. They
performed their art for the two men who were impressed.
Subsequently, they combined their arts.

"Wang died around 1906, before the others had finished the
development of the style. They searched for another Pa-Kua Ch'ang
practitioner and after some time, they came upon a large estate where
they saw a man performing the style for his son. T'ai-Ling lang was
his name and he agreed to work with them as long as he did not have
to travel. His business was most profitable and he had no desire to
leave it. The trio agreed.

"T'ai outlived the entire group. His most famous pupil was Chen-Wing
chou. Chen remained with T'ai until the latter's death in 1932.
During WW II, Chen learned English from an unknown American
missionary. He remained in China as the communists took power in
1949, and in 1961 fled to Taiwan.

"The following year, Chen made his way to the United States and to
Washington, DC. He lived in McLean, VA, and worked at the Pentagon
as an interpreter.

"Chen renamed the art Nei-Shou. "Nei" means "Inside; From Within"
and "Shou" means "Hands." Thus, "Hands From Within" or "Internal
Hands." In 1962, he was approached by the first non-Chinese to learn
the art. This was myself. I heard of Chen from a classmate of his,
Ho-Ming lan, who fled to Taiwan earlier than Chen, and found his way
down to Panama City in Panama.

"Ho did not know where Chen lived, but he told me of him and his
great skill. By chance, when my parents moved to McLean, my
Kyokushinkai Karate teacher had heard of this Chinese gentleman who
possessed incredible skill. How he heard of him I do not know; but
he did know where Chen lived. Again - by sheer luck - Chen lived not
more than mile from me.

"Many times I approached his home and was told by Chinese (students)
that he did not live there. I kept returning. One day Chen himself
opened the door and admitted me. I hurriedly told him about studying
with Ho and with a smile, he began to teach me.

"In 1970 Chen moved to Chinatown in New York. Here he died from a
kidney aliment on February 26th, 1970 at the age of 54. He left with
me the responsibility of teaching the art. Thus, the history of the
Chu-Mo T'ang is the continuing history of the art."


This was written by my former Sifu Grand master Phillip Star

[This message has been edited by Sa Bum Nim (edited 03-15-2005).]

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#90035 - 03/14/05 11:39 PM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


THE LIFE AND TIMES OF W.C. CHEN

As most of you already know, W.C. Chen was my primary kung-fu teacher. I have trained and studied under numerous other instructors, but he is the one I name as my main teacher. I am writing this from all from memory and I fear that it will be woefully inadequate; I cannot hope to do justice to the man who taught me so much. But one of our seniors asked if I might try to write down some of what I recall as a student of Chen's in an effort to provide current Yili practicioners a more complete sense of where they came from.

Chen Wingchou was born in the city of Longyang in Fukien Province in 1908. Actually, the family name of Chen is very common in that area. Unlike stories concerning many other martial arts figures, Chen was neither sickly nor poor. He was quite healthy as a child and his family was actually quite well-to-do. His father owned a mill of some kind and provided well for his family so that Chen was very well-educated. He had two sisters whose names I never learned.
Chen aspired to learn martial arts from his youth and studied the southern Chinese form of Hung-Gar for some time before going to Beijing to attend college around 1926. In college he was primarily interested in the sciences, but he had a natural aptitude for learning other languages and he began to study english in his free time. He found Beijing to be a real haven for anyone learning to learn martial arts and he studied a unique form of northern Shao-lin boxing known as Hochuan (named after the person who originally developed it) from a teacher surnamed Tai. This form of boxing required very severe training and Tai accepted only a few students at a time. Chen often indicated that much of this training was spent on basic postures and movements which were repeated dozens of times in each and every class. It included not only striking and kicking techniques, but also throwing and joint-locking techniques. As I recall, he told me that broken bones were not uncommon!
It wasn't long before he was introduced to Zhang-Zhaodong, a famous teacher of both Baguazhang and Xingyichuan. Zhang had studied Bagua from the legendary Cheng-Tinghua although he was already well-known as a Xingyi boxer who made his living as a bodyguard or convoy escort. One of Chen's senior classmates, Wang-Shujin, would eventually become world-famous. Zhang had also been introduced to and studied briefly from the founder of Baguazhang, Dong-Haichuan. Zhang favored Xingyi and emphasized the utility of the basic postures and the development of striking power. He favored the "KISS" principle ("Keep It Simple, Stupid...") and his Bagua shows a clear Xingyi influence. Although Zhang's teacher, Cheng, had a strong shuai-jiao (grappling) background which heavily influenced his practice of Bagua, Zhang disdained the use of many grappling techniques and stripped his form of Bagua to the bare bones.
After college, Chen remained in the Beijing area and worked for a company which produced some kind of paint. He continued his study of martial arts. I suspect that martial arts training was the real reason for his remaining in the area and not returning home to take part in his father's business. It was during this time that he met the woman who would become his wife (her first name was Mei, but I never learned her original family name).
After they were married, they rented a small apartment and Mei became pregnant. Sadly, the child was stillborn and she did not conceive again.
In 1935, tensions with Japan were at a high level and the Chinese feared that war might break out. Chen decided to return home during that time. His Shao-lin teacher, Tai, was very ill and knew that he was going to die. Chen had promised Tai that he would remain with him to the end. He lived up to his promise, remaining in Beijing until Tai passed away. The following year, the Japanese bombed Shanghai and Chen joined the Army as an officer. He served in the infantry but later worked in the field of intelligence. This experience left him with a permanent dislike of things Japanese; a common phenomenon with many Chinese of that time.
At the end of the war in 1945, fighting broke out between the communists (led by a youngster named Mao-Zedong), and the "republic" which was headed by a former warlord known as Chiang-Kaichek. When Chiang's army was eventually defeated and fled (with many civilians) to the island of Taiwan, Chen remained with his family in China. He spoke little of these times and I believe that both of his parents passed away prior to his decision to leave China in 1952.
I believe that Chen and his wife escaped to Taiwan on a boat, but the details were never revealed to me. I do know that after he arrived in the new Republic of China in Taiwan, he went to work for military intelligence there. He wanted to come to the United States and did so in 1960. Just how this was arranged, I do not know...but he went to work immediately as "an interpreter" (as he told me). I was quite young at the time and my Father was a U.S. Army colonel who was stationed in the Pentagon. I naturally assumed that that was where Chen worked since he indicated that his work as an interpreter was used by the U.S. military and intelligence agencies. Looking back, it is altogether possible that he actually worked for CIA or perhaps DIA or some other intelligence gathering agency. The town where he lived, McLean, Virginia, was loaded with CIA personnel. It is altogether possible that he was recruited by one of these agencies when he was living in Taiwan and they arranged for him to move to America. In any case, he spoke very, very little about what his job. When I would ask about it, he'd just brush off my questions and move to another topic.
I do know that he despised the communists and what they had done to his homeland. He would never, ever trust anyone who was, or had been, communist.
In any case, Chen's first love was martial arts and once in the U.S., he began teaching. He referred to the northern Shao-lin system he'd learned as neishou ("inside hands") and sought to find a way to blend Xingyi and Bagua with it. He never really succeeded in this effort and continued to teach these arts seperately, hoping that his students would learn to "blend" them according to their own levels of understanding and skill.
Like virtually all Chinese kung-fu teachers of that time, Chen taught martial arts only to other Chinese. He did not believe that Americans (or anyone else) could really grasp the essence of the Chinese martial arts, and that they also probably lacked the discipline to learn it in it's fullness.
I met Chen in 1962, having been told about a "kung-fu teacher" in the area by a couple of my karate classmates. As it happened, he lived only a few blocks from my house (a distance of perhaps a mile or a little more) and, after making several visits to his home and telling him that I had studied a form of kung-fu previously, I was allowed inside. I suspect that Chen was amused with this young teenager who insisted that he'd studied kung-fu and who kept pestering him and his wife. After some questioning, he determined that I had, in fact, studied kung-fu under one of his junior Shao-lin classmates! He took me under his wing and introduced me to his other students.
Virtually all of his other students were adults and none of them looked favorably on having an American classmate. Kung-fu was a part of Chinese culture that only the Chinese could really understand and more importantly, it was a secret which was not to be taught to "outsiders." So for the most part, they simply chose to ignore me. I think this actually worked against them as it forced Chen to spend more time with me, explaining various aspects of the art. I asked many questions (not knowing that this was normally forbidden) and Chen happily answered them as best he could. This brought us closer together and in time, he began to look upon me as the son he never had.
I trained with Chen several times weekly, often staying at his home until well after dark (which really irritated my parents). He was very proud of his english and tried to explain virtually everything in my native tongue. This made things difficult at times. When he explained the lineage of the art I was learning, I tried to phonetically sound out what I thought were names of various people, but it turned out that many of these were nicknames. Some words which I thought were names of people were actually names of certain martial arts with which Chen was familiar. He also knew many other martial arts teachers in China and some of their names became confused with the names of those instructors of my lineage.
Since he hailed from the Guangzhou area (ie., "Canton"; southern China), Chen spoke fluent Cantonese. He also spoke fluent Mandarin due to his time in Beijing. When referring to something in Chinese, he usually spoke Mandarin but this was often difficult for me. Young American teenagers are not predisposed to learn how to make the odd sounds of Mandarin, so when difficulties arose he would simply switch the name(s) to Cantonese. For example, the word for "teacher" in Mandarin is shih-fu which can be tough to pronounce correctly. It's Cantonese equivalent, Sifu, is much easier for Americans to enunciate.
Chen's life was centered around his practice of martial arts. He stood perhaps 5'6" and weighed maybe 130 lbs. soaking wet and after a substantial meal. He had coal-black hair with a severely receding hairline and very dark eyes. His upper body was very strong (and looked like it) with a powerful chest and back and sinewy arms. His hands and fingers were thick and muscular and his legs were like two small iron pillars. In a word, his body was hard and he trained daily to keep it that way. His grip was akin to that of a vise and he often liked to jokingly poke me with his fingers which were like iron spikes and quite thick.
He came to understand that karate was a fine martial art, even if the Japanese did practice it...although sadly, he never lost his distaste for the Japanese themselves.
To him, life was training and vice-versa. Work and social life were placed below training on his lift of priorities. Mei was happy to leave him to whatever made him happy; she was a kind of ideal Chinese wife.
In the late 60's, Chen developed a kidney ailment. I never found out exactly what it was, but his passing (in 1967) was a heavy blow to me. I believe Mei returned to Taiwan as I was never able to contact her after her husband's death. Only one of my students, Larry Hart (who, I think, became a psychologist in Rhode Island), ever spoke to Chen (by phone). None of my students had ever met him. My classmates scattered to the four winds and I never heard anything from any of them - they wouldn't have known my address anyway; we weren't real close.
Chen's teaching and way of living had a tremendous influence on me. To this day, I measure my skill and progress by what his was. I took what Chen taught me and ultimately turned it into what is now known as Yilichuan. I am certain that he would be more than pleased with what I have managed to accomplish and with the fine students; his "grand-students", who I have taught over the years.

Phillip Star

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#90036 - 03/14/05 11:45 PM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


In today's martial arts world which is often filled with so much "eclectic" homemade martial arts (and everything else), it is often important to sit back and reflect on the true roots of the martial art(s) which we practice. In this way, we can come to understand why our system is structured the way it is; why we do what we do. To know where you're going, it's important to know where you've been...
Yilichuan is a system which is comprised of four traditional styles of kung-fu. Each of these styles has it's own unique history and flavor and it's important to understand how those histories have affected the development of those arts and thus, Yili. It should be understood that Yilichuan is a traditional system in that it insists of training in the traditional manner as it were. A good many so-called "traditional" styles of kung-fu or even karate and other martial arts have allowed themselves to "change with the times," thus losing more or less of their original nature and essence. Yili has steadfastly refused to go this route, save for adding special training such as defensive maneuvers against firearms and the like, and in doing so it has retained many very old and "traditional" methods of training which are rarely seen in other schools.
But for now, let's look at how the history of each style (used in Yili) has affected it........

BAIXINGCHUAN (White Star Fist) was a sort of "underground" form of northern Shao-lin kung-fu. Originally said to have been conceived by a Shao-lin monk named Cho or Chou (or Zhou), it moved away from the older forms of Shao-lin which often relied heavily on meeting force with force and hardening the body.
One must remember that there is really no such thing as a single style of kung-fu known simply as "Shao-lin." Over the years of Shao-lin's existance, many forms of kung-fu developed there. These would include Fut-Ga (Buddha Family), Hung-Ga (Hung Family), Choy Ga (Choy Family), Mok-Ga (Mok Family), and many, many others. Some were developed within the temple walls while others were developed by Shao-lin monks outside of the monastery. I believe that Baixingchuan was developed outside of the actual temple itself.
It should also be borne in mind that most of Baixing's development occured during the Ching (Manchu) Dynasty. The northern Manchus (who are not han Chinese) invaded China and crushed the prosperous and legendary Ming Dynasty. One of the insults they heaped upon the Chinese people was the wearing of the queue (long pigtail) by all males......because for them, it resembled a horse's a**. However, the Chinese being the kind of people they are, assimilated this new custom and it actually became quite popular.
The Ching Dynasty, much to the chagrin of the Chinese and their efforts to overthrow it, would last until 1900 when the infamous Boxer Rebellion took place and the establishment of the Republic by Dr. Sun Yatsen which ultimately failed. The end result was what we see today; a communist state.
In any case, during the time of the Ching, the practice of martial arts was not looked upon with favor because the government feared that people might try to use it to rebel against the new regime. It was during this period of terrible unrest, rebellion, and violence that Baixingchuan developed.
Baixingchuan emphasizes yielding to the opponent's attack and then countering with an overwhelming blitz of powerful, bone-crushing techniques. It certainly wasn't a style favored by the weak of heart; the training was spartan and extremely rigorous (does this sound familiar?). It emphasized that one must develop the ability to destroy the enemy in a single blow and so it made extensive use of the striking post and other pieces of equipment.
Although not much is known about those who developed this style, it is known that a few of them were revolutionaries who were openly hostile to the Ching government. They had little use for "flowery" techniques or forms; everything was direct and "to the point." They trained for long-range fighting (as seen in forms such as Ganbahu) as well as close-quarters combat (look at Sanbaochuan).

TAIJICHUAN originated in Chen Village. It's origin is traditionally attributed to a legendary figure named Chang Sanfeng, but there is little evidence that such a person really existed and newer research (on the mainland) has uncovered the truth.
Wang Sungyueh had been a general in the Chinese army under the famous Chi Jiguang who provided extensive matial arts training for all of his commanders and their troops. Therefore, Wang had learned parts of various styles, but what they actually were remains a mystery. After defeating a number of challengers in Chen Village, he taught his art to Chen Wangting who subsequently combined Wang's art with the local boxing style known as "Pao-Chui." Thus, the so-called "Chen" style is actually the original style of Taijichuan.
Yang Luchan learned the Chen style and became very famous, especially after developing his own version of the art (Yilichuan emphasizes Yang's Taiji as well as Sun's). He had two sons; Yang Panhou and Yang Chien (his third son, Yang Chi, died in his youth).
Yang Panhou liked to fight and actually killed several men in duels. He died young. Yang Chien, on the other hand, had two sons, Yang Shaochung and Yang Chengfu. It was Yang Chengfu who took the art to southern China and popularized "Yang's Taiji" such that it became the most popular martial art in the world.
The founder of Yang's Taiji, Yang Luchan, became so famous that he was ordered to appear before the imperial court to perform and later to teach the nobles there. This presented a considerable set of problems. First, Yang had little love for the Manchus and determined that he would not teach them the true art; he'd give them a watered-down version. However, he also knew that the court officials led soft lives and were in poor physical condition (and not likely to be very fond of rigorous exercise). How could he teach them without causing them considerable physical pain and thereby lose his head?
His idea was to practice primarily in slow motion so as not to cause too much discomfort. Taiji was normally taught in slow-motion to beginners so as to lalow them to "get the feel" of the movements and allow them to learn how to move "from the inside" but Yang determined that his new pupils would ALWAYS do it in slow motion. Stances were made higher and shorter, too.
His idea worked and Yang died an old man with his head intact. Unfortunately, his popular method of constant slow-motion practice became the "norm" for many Taiji practicioners of the day...and it still remains so. Yang emphasized the health aspects of the art and it's slow, graceful movements and because of this Taijichuan was and still is practiced by millions of Chinese every day. Unfortunately, most of them have no idea of how one might apply this art combatively.
Sun Lutang was already a famous practicioner of Xingyi and Bagua when he took up the practice of Taiji under Kuo Weijin and Hao Weichen. Kuo had developed his own style of Taiji after training with Wu-Yuxing (founder of the compact Wu Style) which never became popular outside of China, and Hao had trained under Yang Panhou and learned the "secret" family style of the Yang's.
Sun created his own version of Taijichuan (Sun's style) which blended some Xingyi and a touch of Bagua with Taiji. This is mostly seen in it's sudden explosive movements which are not to be found in Yang's style at all.

XINGYICHUAN is attributed to the legendary general, Yao Fei but there is no concrete evidence to support the claim. The first known practicioner was Chi Longfeng who is said to have been an expert in the use of the lance. Just where he learned the art of the spear is not known, but it was likely during military service. The art's early practicioners and teachers were men who took their training very seriously and many worked as bodyguards and convoy escorts; vocations which normally reduced one's lifespan considerably. This is a marked contrast to Yang Taiji's early practicioners being of royal blood.
Xingyi practicioners had little time for much in the way of fancy movements. Their art emphasized very quick and penetrating "blitzing" techniques which sought to overwhelm and literally run over or through the opponent. They favored interception and "wedging through" the enemy's attack so as to penetrate through his center with an array of powerful blows which would not cease until he was down. Unlike Taijichuan which utilized a wide variety of techniques (including kicks, joint locks, and throws), Xingyi stuck to the minimum, using almost no kicks and de-emphasizing grappling of any kind.
It should be borne in mind that convoy guards would often have to fight multiple enemies at the same time. Grappling with one opponent would allow the others to close in and finish the job. Thus, Xingyi's emphasis on bone-crushing, gut-wrenching blows and it's KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) principle.

BAGUACHANG was first practiced by Dong Haichuan. Although there are legendary tales about how Dong learned the art, the truth is that he spent a decade or so at the Shao-lin Temple in Honan Province and he developed a great fondness for their open-hand "palm" techniques. He later chanced upon a group of Daoist hermits who practiced a strange form of chigong which involved walking around the rim of a large circle. Dong must have been a most ingenious fellow because he combined his striking techniques with this chigong exercise to develop a whole new martial art. One should also remember that after ten years at Shao-lin, Dong would also be highly skilled in various techniques of kicking and grappling as well as other things.
Dong taught many pupils but his two best known were Yin Fu and Cheng Tinghua. Dong refused to teach anyone who did not already have extensive training in another martial art. When he did accept a new pupil, he would teach them the Single and Double Change Palm (forms) and then assist them in developing their own "way" of performing the art. This certainly didn't help standardize the style and today there are dozens of different forms opf Bagua.
Yin Fu had trained extensively in Tan-Tui (The Springy-Leg art which emphasizes kicking) and northern Shao-lin. His form of Bagua looks very much like Shao-lin boxing performed on a circle. Cheng Tinghua was an expert in Shuai-Jiao (grappling), and so this is reflected in his method.
One of Cheng's students was a certain Chang Chaodong who worked frequently as a bodyguard and convoy escort. An expert in Xingyi, he took up the study of Bagua with Cheng and was able to train for a short time with the founder of the art, Dong himself. Chang had little use for grappling maneuvers (although his teacher favored them) and preferred the short, direct approach which is typical of Xingyi exponents. This was my teacher's teacher.

YILICHUAN has synthesized these arts by blending them into one and adding it's own special principles and concepts. At the same time, I will confess that Yili has been influenced by Japanese culture and the spirit of it's arts (this is sacrilege to many traditionally-minded kung-fu practicioners, especially those who are Chinese). How could it be otherwise? I spent many years training in traditional Japanese karate.

And so, Yiliquan is a most unique art. Let's look at some of the things which come out of the histories of our foundations:

* Yili's emphasis on evasion come directly from Bagua as do it's various methods of stepping and body movement (insofar as evasive maneuvers are concerned). All of Yili's evasive maneuvers can be found in the circle-walking exercise of traditional Bagua.

*Yili's principles of "changing the point of focus" of the enemy's attack are taken mainly from Taiji.

*Yili's emphasis on penetration over and through the opponent come straight out of Xingyi which features exactly the same thing. Yili's careful analysis of body timing also comes from Xingyi.

*Yili's extensive use of grappling is derived from Baixing, Taiji, and Bagua.

*Most of Yili's kicks come out of Baixingchuan.

*Yili disdains traditional methods of falling (when thrown) as used in traditional Chinese grappling because it is impractical and dangerous. Instead, it uses Japanese forms of ukemi (breakfalling) and this is being found more and more in kung-fu schools.

*Yili's insistance on developing the ability to "kill in a single blow" actually is derived more from Japanese sources than anything else. And insofar as Japanese martial arts go, this concept seems to have originated in the art of kenjitsu (swordfighting).

*Analyzation of and training in the principles/concepts of timing, distance, and rhythm come largely from Japanese sources although some of them are peculiar to Yili itself.

*The use of horizontal and vertical strength (as defined in Yili) are peculiar to Yili.

*The various pieces of training equipment found in most Yili schools come from a variety of sources. The striking post from Baixing, the candle and paper from Japanese karate.....

*Yili's extensive practice of One-Step actually comes from Baixing and karate, and it's heavy emphasis on Freestyle One-Step comes from Baixing (although it was once very common in traditional Japanese karate schools).

The truth is that most schools which teach Taijichuan, Xingyichuan, Baguachang, and forms of Shao-lin no longer utilize the older training methods. Why? Because many of them are extremely rigorous and severe or because they have become misunderstood and their value depreciated. This is unfortunate because it has led, I believe, to a terrible degeneration of the real martial arts of both China and japan. Instructors (particularly those who teach full-time) fear that forcing students to undergo such severe training will result in heavy losses when students quit. Certainly, some will give up because they lack the spirit for such training and perhaps because they have entered the training hall for the wrong reasons, but in my schools we let students know that they were part of a very special group; they were linked directly to their martial arts ancestors bcause they underwent the same kind of training and developed the same strong spirit. This actually helped maintain a fairly high enrollment much of the time.

I intend to present a short series of lectures on the old, traditional ways of training in our founding arts and this lecture will serve as a sort of introduction.

Love,
Sifu

meijin, these are letters from Sifu Star
I hope this answers your questions about Baixingquan/ Pai-Hsing Chuan/ Bai-xing Chuan
However you want to spell it



[This message has been edited by Sa Bum Nim (edited 03-15-2005).]

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#90037 - 03/15/05 03:19 AM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


definately a mixed internal martial art. From that description...wherever it is from it definately is a bastardization of hsing-i.

what I don't understand though is this:

[QUOTE] Baixing has never utilized any "two-man forms" at all.[/QUOTE]

Thats like leaving out one of the most important aspects of hsing-i and the other IMA.

And again...Why did you lose all your progress for smothering a flame....I'm like a broken type writer. I really would like to know though. Very curious about the explanation for that.

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#90038 - 03/15/05 04:27 AM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by hardluck:
definately a mixed internal martial art. From that description...wherever it is from it definately is a bastardization of hsing-i.

what I don't understand though is this:

Thats like leaving out one of the most important aspects of hsing-i and the other IMA.

And again...Why did you lose all your progress for smothering a flame....I'm like a broken type writer. I really would like to know though. Very curious about the explanation for that.
[/QUOTE]

Because I was willing to sacrifice the three months of training to try the experiments to see if I could project my jing. No big deal when you look at the big picture.


Philip "Pete" Starr was born in 1949 to a career army officer and started his kung fu training with master Ho Ming Lam in 1956 at the age of seven. In his teens he took up Shito Ryu karate and later Kyokushinkai, earning black belts in each of them. But his real training came when his family moved to McLean, VA. There he would find master Chen Wing Chou, who taught the Shaolin system of Baixingquan (White Star Fist) and the internal systems of Xing Yi, Taiji, and Bagua. Later he became Chen's most senior student.

Around the time of Chen's death in 1970, Mr. Starr completed college and began work in law enforcement. In 1974 he joined the USKA and was placed on their National Research Board and National Rules Committee. He also became the head of the USKA Chinese Boxing Committee. Thus his life in martial arts politics began.After winning a few national championships (in karate tournaments - there weren't any kung fu tournaments at the time) and becoming a chapter leader in JKD and a certified instructor in Pekiti-Tersia he moved to Cedar Rapids, IA and set up his school and headquarters.

In 1982, Mr. Starr was chosen as one of 30 U.S. instructors to travel to China to perform and study with some of China's greatest masters. There, they nicknamed him "Thunderbolt Fist" and made him an honorary member of the All China Sports Federation. Upon returning to the U.S., he had an epiphany of sorts as to how martial arts should be taught and practiced and Yiliquan was born. As with many works of art, a great idea went through many trials, changes and tweaks until it was ready for demonstration to the public.

That demonstration came years later when Mr. Starr became the first National Chairman for the AAU's Chinese Martial Arts division. When he took the position, the Chinese Martial Arts division was the smallest of the AAU clubs. When he left, it was the second largest. During those years he organized and hosted the first recognized National Chinese Martial Arts tournament. It was through his efforts here that he was named "Man of the Year" for Inside Kung Fu's Hall of Fame.
Yiliquan= one principle boxing

Sijo Miskimen's style is called. Fu Shi Tao
and my TKD GM is Woo Jin Jung. I hope that answers your questions If not Sorry

Meijin, although shotokan and tang soo do are mostly external styles You can't have one without the other. I would also like to note that when steping in shotokan and tang soo do as well as in all hard sytles you should be grounding your internal energy mid step. If you know what I mean and if you don't you will figure it out.

[This message has been edited by Sa Bum Nim (edited 03-15-2005).]

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#90039 - 03/15/05 06:42 AM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


[QUOTE]Originally posted by Sa Bum Nim:
Because I was willing to sacrifice the three months of training to try the experiments to see if I could project my jing. No big deal when you look at the big picture.[/QUOTE]

why did projecting your jing cause you to lose all your progress?

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#90040 - 03/15/05 11:18 AM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


Go train in LKJ and find out.

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#90041 - 03/15/05 11:53 AM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


Sabum nim,
This has been an utterly fascinating read. Sa bum nim, You managed to do on this thread the very same thing you did on previous TKD threads. You begin with a vauge assertion, offer to instruct or enlighten, then condesend. Then you generally become irritated and say something like" I didn't come here to fight with you"You then post long quote from recognised masters, i.e. General Choi, to support the vagaries of your supposition.
Do you really have trouble understanding why it is people find themselves at odds with you at times. I would like to think of myself as a person who doesnt hold grudges but to be honest on previous threads you made some accusations toward me that were untrue and it has continued to irk me. When I addressed the issue, then and asked a question (POOF) you were gone like a Qi blown candle. I hope that you will judge the participants of the energy arts forum as fairly as you judge tournament sparring.

oldman

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#90042 - 03/15/05 12:17 PM Re: Zhan Zhaung/Standing the stake
Anonymous
Unregistered


HardluckL

I would assume, from dealing with other such issues and claims that the "tremendous efforts to put the candle out drain the jing from him and it took that long to replentish it". I am not saying at all that I buy that, but I am assuming that is what it means.

Sa Bum Nim:

Please...let's get one thing straight very quickly. One does not project jing (or jin for that matter). Jing (and I will use the common wording here, not the correct wording) is the outward physical manifestation or expression of internal energy. It is not something that can be sent outside of the body no more than a car can emit horsepower outside of an engine. If you want to say that you project qi to get a desired result, then we can certainly debate that...but what we cannot debate is the projection of jin[g].

Michael

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