On what, exactly, was based the teaching of master Wang xiangzhai ?
It was essentially based on 3 exercices :
- Zhanzhuang, basic stances for the training of body and mind.
- Shili, movement to test the force.
- The walking, principles of moving
The first exercice was the only to be practiced for, at least, three years. Then, the two others were aded and could be practiced with different levels of conscience, because without awakening, it's impossible to practice Yiquan. Patience and will are requiered. Then, he was teaching the sound, the fali, the tuishou with one arm and with two and then was coming the training of combat. It is a patern of training that absolutly need to be followed. Anyway, it's impossible to pass over this process, the "little things" are important. My master was insisting a lot on the details : How to hold a brush for the calligraphy, what is the right position for the little finger, the hand in zhanzhuang...
Boxing, beneath wild appearance, is based on refined theories wich have thousand years of experience. The deeper you go, the more you become conscious of the infinity. This "space to time" paradox become concrete in yiquan through the outside apparent immobility and softness runed by an inside high speed explosion. Master and students are looking in the same direction together and because of this, the relationship they have is different than the one a teacher have with his students. They are searching for the way that they are going to build together. The perfect comprehension of the relationship between the three fonctions wich are conception, intention and action is necessary to practice yiquan effectivly.
xianglongzhuang by master Li jianyu
In his famous treatise, master Wang xiangzhai is roughly criticizing the orientation that schools like taijiquan and baguazhang were taking in that time. On what were build those critics ?
My master did melt those arts in one. He did catch their essence and principles. He prooved by all the fights he did win in all China the good of his synthesis. Baguazhang and taijiquan have a lake of spontaneity. The habit is an inertia that make you loose the freedom and then the spontaneity. In yiquan, a well trained man works like a helix : from the outside you can't see any moove but if you try to get in, you are thrown away. It is not conscious.
Li jianyu and his master Wang xiangzhai
What difference is it between dachengquan and yiquan and what did the founder, master Wang xiangzhai, think about it ?
Actually, there is no difference. For master Wang xiangzhai, it was only a problem of perception of the real signification and deep meaning of the caracters (NB : Dacheng, the "great achievement" is a taoïst expression wich represent the ultimate state of realization of a human being.) I am affraid that politic battles, wich have nothing to see with the interpretation of the caracters, are going on about the two names. In fact, there is no difference, the important thing is to stay humble...
Short trailer of an american video introducing li jianyu's teaching
Westerner are more and more interested by the magnificient art that your master did create. Do you think that the yiquan is going to developp more in the future ?
Different aspects are interesting to the westerners but they don't know much about the history. They are going to do ordinary boxing if they don't follow the pattern fixed by master Wang xiangzhai. But it is true that it is difficult to know what is yiquan in the beginning. Its discovery depend on the intelligence of the sudent and on the relationship between students and master. It is only after long years of practice (10, 20, 30 years) that it becomes possible to feel the principles of yiquan. The future of this art in the west will, then, depend on the capacity westerners have to master it. It is a question of patience...
Master Li jianyu and me in 2004, Beijing