5 fists/elements stand alone?

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by franksv, Feb 3, 2006.

  1. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    For all you folks that practice Hsing-I.Do you feel that if someone was only able to learn just sant ti,5 fists and a few linking forms that would be enough to reap health&self defense benifits?

    I have been practicing this material for about a year and a half(hsing-I),the fellow that taught me does not have the complete style.Hsing-I is a second style for him and he is not comfortable teaching his primary ima.The last few months I have been learning the yang tai chi short form(more giving it a try),with a longterm committment from my friend to teach me the long form if I desire/progress.I kinda feel like I am at a crossroad,either keep both or stick with just one.Again,if I stay with just Hsing-I,I was wondering what your take is on just practicing half the system with no way to go any farther.5 fists stand alone?

  2. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    If you are learning correct stuff,you should be able to at least develop good power.You should also have various types of partner training.Training correctly an hour a day will give you health benefits.If you really train yourself,and I don't mean an hour a day,you should be able to do things.Knowing more forms or the animals is fine,but they are just variations on the theme.Don't forget that eventually you can widen your knowledge from the occasional seminar,if possible.What your instructor is doing is not uncommon,to teach Hsing I to beginners before they move into the instructor's main system.The basics of Hsing I with a real transmission is better than a complete system on the outside without the real methods.If your teacher's knowledge is solid, more than skin deep,and he can keep it seperate from his main system, I wouldn't worry about it.As long as you learn function at some point.Not a Hsing I guy myself,tho',hope you don't mind.
  3. middleway

    middleway Valued Member

    Animals are important no doubt there. But the five fists are the core (some disagree) They give you the nei gung, power development, the xing yi body, the principles ... The animals then give you variation, tactics, intent and other stuff.

    Either alone are very good .... when combined in a traditional system pretty unstoppable! ;)

  4. polecat63

    polecat63 Valued Member

    My style doesn't teach the five fist seperately, so as to that I can't say. I think that as long as you can learn how to generate power with the five fist you could probably learn enough to be effective. But like Chris said, the animals are important to learn intent (a very important aspect of Xing Yi), tactics etc. Plus you have to learn how to flow, or track, or whatever you want to call it (To move without having to think about what comes next) and if you can do that with just the five fist you'd probably do alright. IMHO
  5. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    I think you should continue practicing what you have. Work out all the self defense applications of the material you have. There's probably more than you think. I believe the health benefits will be there too. It's important to have a solid foundation in the five elements. As stated above, you can pick up the animals later. If you were learning from an old style teacher, you would probably be working on the five elements, linking forms, etc. for several years before progressing to the animals anyway.
  6. Dog Welder

    Dog Welder New Member

    Yeah, you can go pretty far with just the five element fists. Seen video of a guy beat someone down just with only beng quan before :eek:
  7. averan

    averan New Member

    the foundation

    for xingyi, the 5 fists are the foundation upon which all movements arise.

    i think there is much to gain from focussing solely on the 5 fists....xingyi uniquely cultivates understanding of the 5 phases to a very high degree.

    and as previously posted...many a famous practicioner has earned his reputation on having perfected only a single fist!

    study the 5 and it will lead to all the variations.

    this is similarly true for bagua.....training in the 8 gua/animals is a complete and very deep form of training.

    and, personally, i prefer to simplify and focus my efforts. there are so freakin many forms out there....i find it better to master the fundamentals so that i can explore and discover the variations freely. plus, it feels good to have a solid foundation upon which to base your studies.

    these are wholistic arts. within each level you will find all that you seek.....
  8. Dog Welder

    Dog Welder New Member

    And also I think that after becoming very profecient with the 5 elements you could learn the 12 animals relatively quickly and would have enough knowledge to start figuring more out on your own. When you can use them all together really well in more live situations than form work, you can seek out other teachers at seminars or for private lessons. Maybe just having access to the 5 elements could be a blessing in disguise... a lot of us get impatient and try to learn the other stuff before we're ready. I did that when I wanted to learn xingyi quan and got nowhere. Didn't develop a solid foundation, and now if I were to go back to it I'd pretty much have to start over :p
  9. Artemisalive

    Artemisalive New Member

    Santi and the Five Elements can be a complete martial system unto themselves. Past masters would have been content to say that they had "mastered" all there was to learn from these "elements".

    Santi is the wellspring from which Xingyiquan's power arises. Without Santi, there is no Xingyiquan. From the foundation set by correct Santi practice, come the Five Elements.

    The Five Elements are five methods to develop five different types of force, or Jin. Each element is a deep study in and of itself. The whole body and mind ("form & will") must be active in the generation of the force in question.

    Once the basic method of generating the force is found, it must then be practiced and combined with every type of footwork, in all directions. This is repeated with each of the Five Elements. Once this proficiency is achieved, each of the Five Elements are to be combined with each of the others in every possible combination. An example of this would be: Pi to Pi, Pi to Zuan, Pi to Beng, Pi to Pao, Pi to Heng...Zuan to Pi, Zuan to Zuan, Zuan to Beng, Zuan to Pao, Zuan to Heng...and so on.

    Combined with the type and direction of stepping, this is a large amount of material. Considering that each "Fist" is a whole body movement, the applications and striking surfaces change with range, intent and timing...another slew of variety. Learning to deal with kicks, punches, takedowns, weapons...yet more to internalize.

    Some teachers claim that you can clearly express more than one Fist in the same movement. If learned, that would add even another dimension to the Five Elements.

    What qualities are being created through this particular Fist? How is this force developed? How is this force used? A teacher's guidance is invaluable.

    Santi and the Five Elements are more than enough for health and self-defense. If you are still looking for an addition I would suggest quiet, seated meditation. Nothing fancy, merely 20 minutes of quiet sitting while letting go of all thoughts. Many people find Xingyiquan to be an energizing practice and this can help to bring balance.

    Good luck with your training,

    Joshua Craig
  10. franksv

    franksv Valued Member

    I thank everyone for their thoughts/comments.It occured to me in my training this morning that Hsing-I WILL be with me for as long as I able to practice(animals or not).Hsing-I,feels right for me(really right).Where ever I am,what ever I am doing 10-20-30 years from now,Hsing-I will be the cornerstone of my training.I am going to keep what I have and learn the tc short form only and take a few years to keep digesting this material.Where my path lies from there,who knows?
  11. Tseek Choi

    Tseek Choi Banned Banned

    Totally agree!

    Practicing Wu Xing Quan for a couple of years or so is all you need.

    My Sifu explained to me that if you only practice Pi-Quan for a year you will develop the correct power generation and therefore be able to learn everything else relatively easily.

    Pi-Quan is your mother fist and practice of "static Pi-Quan" and then 3 stepping methods of Pi-Quan will keep most people busy for a year.

    Keep practicing what you have been taught, it is more than enough.

    Xing Yi Quan is not so much a journey of technique learning, but a journey of discovery within yourself.

    Too many people learn the "Xing" but not the "Yi".
    It is the apparent simplicity of Wu Xing that makes it so beautiful!

    12 animals really are just a method of expanding your technical repetoire.


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