In this seminar, Andrea Falk outlined 4 different stepping techniques:
- MaGui Bear Walk: Our regular, heavy Bear posture step. This is the central practice for this style. It changes the body, by strengthening the tendons.
- Controlled Stepping: The step is separated into three phases: step; hold; grab - counting 3 or more seconds with each phase. The practice helps to clarify and clean up the stability of the supporting leg and ankle; the full extension of the front knee; and the grab with the front foot
- Mud Stepping: The step extends forward by setting into the back ankle. This is where the stepping starts to resemble the other more sliding styles of Bagua, while still maintaining the characteristics of the Magui style.
- Camel Stepping: This is a cool-down step. It is more relaxed and encourages the energy to settle into the low back.
A fuller discussion of Bagua Circle walking, including an excellent outline of key points and types of walking are on the www.maguibagua.ca
The Dragon Changes 1, 4 to 8 were reviewed. Below are links to written descriptions of each change and for current students, a video of each change.
The Snake/Double Hook Changes 3, and 5 to 8 were practiced. Below are links to written descriptions of each change. The emphasis was on using the shoulder girdle and connecting the action of both arms. Training with Deer-horn Knives or changing the hand posture to a tight grip was suggested as a way to stabilize the wrist and find the alignment to the hands.
The seminar also included three applications drills.
For both of these drills the emphasis was on the transfer of power for the back leg and using the mid-back to power the strike. For this, the strike comes from the back leg and lands before the back foot steps in.
The emphasis for this application was the transfer the power from the back, through the upper arm and to the backfist.
The seminar ended with a cool down from Di Gouyong. The cool down consisted of acupoint tapping of Bl57 Cheng Shen and GB40 Huan Tiao. This was followed by meridian slapping starting with the arm Yang channels, then the arm Yin channels, then the front of the torso, then the back of the torso, followed by slapping the leg Yang channels and the leg Yin channels.
The Santishi stance
is characterized by a center-line alignment, the stance is back weighted and there is a dynamic tension between the front and back legs. Andrea Falk’s translation, “Di Gouyong on Xingyiquan
" includes a full discussion of the role of stance training for Xingyi. One of the goals of this training is building the Xingyi body structure;
"Standing for a long time sets the body into the correct position. The beginner learns to self-correct and gradually builds correct and unchanging positions. This creates a solid foundation for learning future movements and skills, and the body will naturally hit the correct positions when moving into stances.”
The knee of the back leg needs to point forward, with a slight inward rotation of the thigh and dorsiflexion of the ankle. This brings the weight distribution to the 67/33 ratio back leg to front leg and allows each step to drive forwards without wasted effort.
The shoulder of the lead arm extends slightly. A dip in the anterior deltoid becomes more prominent when this shoulder finds this position.
The five fundamental strikes were taught.
- Pi (chop)
- Zuan (drill)
- Beng (drive)
- Pao (cannon)
- Heng (crosscut)
The Pi (Chop), like all of the fundamental techniques requires a centre-line alignment and application of full body power. It is a downward strike; the standard Pi is done with the palm. It requires the movements be continuous and connected - especially the timing of footwork and hands.
The Zuan (Drill) is an upward strike. It requires a settling of the body and rotation of the forearm as the strike is performed.
The Beng (Drive) is a direct forward strike. While the hands alternate between left and right, the feet don’t change - one leg (back leg) always pushing off. The timing of the strike can be either front timed (hitting as the front leg lands) or back timed (hitting as the back leg lands). Front timed Beng is faster, but the back timed Beng can generate more force.
The Pao (Cannon) practice involves zig-zag footwork, and combines simultaneous blocking and striking.
The Heng (Crosscut) also uses zig-zag footwork and strikes to the outside. It make use of a rotational force, and as a fundamental drill is practiced in a cross aligned stance (the foot opposite to the striking hand is the front foot).
Returning students continued to practice the two-person routine, An Shan Pao. This routine builds on both the five strikes and the twelve animal techniques. Practicing it helps to refine power and alignment of the various techniques as well as teaching timing and correct distance. Many of the techniques control or block at the forearm or elbow.
This seminar, Andrea Falk taught the opening portion of Battle Body Spear Routine
, a Cheng Style Bagua Spear routine. The first four strikes of the routine are on the straight-line, followed by techniques that use the spear as a short-distance weapon, followed by techniques off the straight-line.
Andrea Falk’s next visit will be in the summer, dates and times to be determined.