The session began with bear circle walking practice. Full extension of the front leg and use of the ankle to grip the ground was emphasized.
The more free-flowing Cheng style Mud step walking was taught. Because of the relatively longer step, this stepping practice requires greater attention in both setting into the ankle and gripping with each step.
All eight Dragon Changes were reviewed, aiming for more squared alignment for full body power.
Lion walking and Lion Changes one to four were taught. Each builds on the previous by adding additional movements. So, Change Four contains the movement of changes one to three. The Lion posture trains “ball rolling” - a large circular connection between the arms and upper torso. It also helps to keep the body upright. Andrea Falk has posted a YouTube video showing Lion techniques
The Lion changes emphasize connection between arms to find the “Ball Rolling” feeling.
The Lion Changes are based on the Bagua Dao. Bagua Dao is a slicing, cutting weapon, but because of its size, it requires moving the body more than swinging the blade. The Lion changes were then used to teach Bagua Dao techniques. Differing sabre techniques are contained within each Change, depending on whether the Left and Right hand is the upper hand. The was followed by a more free flowing sabre practice which emphasized smoothly changing from posture to posture, incorporating a variety of sabre techniques and postures.
Bagua Spear Seminar
This seminar was a continuation of the Battle Body routine, up to 0:42 in Sun Zhijun’s video
. Two additional drills were also taught:
Sculling Spear drill -key points: full extension of lower arm when pulling spear down; and raising the spear above the armpit
Theading Spear drill - key points: can be practiced at waist height and throat height; keep spear level by having the left hand following, palm face up, with each toss to right hand.
Anshenpao - the 2 person routine was taught. This routine helps to train proper distance and timing as well as helps to clean up footwork and alignment with techniques.
Di Gouyong says the following about the routine:
It exemplifies the fighting characteristics and flavour of Xingyi, with its well-organized path, its smoothly flowing movements, its realisitc attack and defense, and its practical applicability. The classics say that this routine involves the whoe of the Xingyi system. (pg. 269 “Di Gouyong on Xingyiquan, vol. 3" trans and edited by Andrea Falk.)