lundi 22 septembre 2008

the origins

In the establishment of his teaching and all along his life, Wang xiangzhai has been in constant research of his ancestor's knowledge, those men who created the chinese martial art. He did study always more and more to understand this ancient knowledge, considered in China as supperior to the contemporary.

More than a great martial artist, Wang xiangzhai was a great historian and theorician of the arts and traditions of China.

Wang xiangzhai, great master, historian et theorician of martial art

Many expressions and many terms used in his teaching are coming from lost ancestral knowledges that he did use back again.

As an exemple, in the book "Everything about xingyiquan art" (Xingyiquan shu daquan) written by a group of experts in this school, we can find this paragraph on the practice of zhanzhuang :

"The standing postures of xingyiquan were called, in the ancient school of xinyiquan, "meridian posture" (ziwuzhuang) or "three wholes posture" (sancaizhuang).
The expression ziwuzhuang is refering to the zi caracter, wich stand for midnight - moment when the yin is at his maximum - and to the wu caracter, wich stand for noon - moment when the yang is at his maximum. The importance of this posture is suggested in its name : it must be practiced "from noon to midnight" !

Yiquan's ziwuzhuang stance by Li jianyu

Moreover, in the chinese tradition, noon is a reference to the south and to the fire, while midnight is a reference to the north and to the water. When practicing, it should be facing the south and back to the north, while mixing fire and water with the intention...

...In the ancient xinyiquan, the ziwuzhuang method goes with two steps. During the first step, man practice the accumulation of qi in the dantian using the monkey stance, also called "squatting the monkey" (dunhouzhuang). During the second step, man learn how to "squirt out from the dantian" (shedantian). This practice consist in a steping method forward while doing the "sound of thunder" (leisheng, the name used for the emission of sound in the old xinyiquan) that teaches how to make the qi flow out from the dantian. Dai longbang and his son did both put a lot of importance on the dantian practice."

"Squatting the monkey" by the xinyiliuhequan master Wang yinghai

The linking of the three body parts (santi) wich are the legs, the trunk and the arms, goes by three majors articulations, designated in the Dai style of xinyiquan as "the three curves".

Those three parts unified correspond to three of the six harmonies (liuhe) : the three external harmonies.

(To be continued...)