Hsing I Chuan is one of the three main internal styles of Chinese kung fu. We teach these three styles as three separate syllabus, although there is overlap in some of the exercises.
Hsing I Chuan is favoured by younger students - those with the energy required for the explosive movements and long hours of repetitive practice required.
The basic strategy of Hsing I Chuan is to close the gap as quickly as possible, and continue striking until the opponent is overwhelmed - a type of blitz attack. It relies on a unique type of two-stage step to close distance quickly and without much telegraphing. (Thanks to Colin Wee for teaching me the simple but essential ideas of linear power generation. You can check out his martial arts blog here: http://traditionaltaekwondo.blogspot.com/)
A quick overview of the syllabus forms:
- Foundation exercises
- Five Elements
- Five Elements Linking Form
- Twelve Animals and Suba
- Hsing I Linking Form
with applications and skills drills at each stage, accompanied by:
- Mountain Top Boxing for fitness
- Standing Form to develop power
- Self Defence drills and skills
Moving on to the Five Elements specifically, each of the Five Elements has two applications - a Closing application and a Close Quarters application. The Closing applications are all done exactly as per the form while the Close Quarters applications are more dynamic.
At Level 1, Splitting and Crushing are taught. The video below shows the Closing application for splitting. This is the first partner drill a Hsing I Chuan student will learn. It help to teach distance and gets them used to working with a partner.
Next time I'll make sure there's a few more angles. The basic idea is that the first hand sweeps the main obstacle away, allowing the splitting to come over and forward, with most of the power coming from the momentum of the whole body.
As always, comments are most welcome!