The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army, by Dennis Rovere
I do not agree with some parts of the book, yet nevertheless see it overall as a positive step in the right direction of some classical Hsing-i internals fundamentals.
Since there are a number of concepts that were not published before the 2008 copyright; I highly recommend the book; let the reader sort out for themselves what applies and what does not.
I have not finished the book yet; but some things that caught my attention are outlined below.
“It is rumored that Yue Fei’s Xingyi fist book (a secret text) was developed by Da Mo while he was staying at Song Shan [Song Mountain]. He developed this system for conditioning the body.”
This gives a clear reference to Hsing-i’s Buddhist origin.
A number of good points that until then; had not been explicitly stated were on pages 8-9:
“Left shoulder bends while right shoulder follows the body. This allows strength to reach the hand. …
Left hand drops slightly while right hand stretches with power. …
Like a bow, but not exactly like a bow. …
All of the toes should grab the floor. …
If the position is too low the power will be lost. That is why it is better to be higher.”
These all apply to a scissor stepping a moving root and a firmness that is not externally fixed. This firmness is not rigid but ‘stretches’.
Although knowledge in book appears sound, not all of the example photos are. On page 17, it shows two pictures at the bottom; with what appears to the author Dennis Rovere;
Leaning his torso forward, and extending his head. I do not do this, nor do I recommend it, since it causes one to be less rooted, and more committed to a forward motion. One who is skilled will see this forward leaning and lead the person with their own energy. I do not see this in the photos of the old time practitioners.
Page 105: “Right foot gives support by pushing up against the floor. This position is the same as splitting fist.”
This drives the step and the strike.
‘Rising and Falling’ are used by many classics to describe the action in Metal/splitting Fist (Axe Hand). This is a tenet as well in the staring position.
Before the forward hand is thrust out and downward (splitting-chopping), the opposite hand should be raised up vertically; as in the uppercut in Water.
This is not done by Rovere in his photo on page 16; Figure2-3m1; the two hands are on a near horizontal plane; rather than increasing the angle to a closer vertical relationship.
Much of the sinking power is lost with this method; and even more when it is mistakenly applied in linking form turns.
Hsing-I Dragon, although not covered in this book; also uses the rising and falling also; even more so; so the mistake’s impact is even more debilitating. More detailed steps explained in the book Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout; under Metal.
The Author of the new book Axe Hand; Hsing-i & Internal Strength Workout