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Xingyiquan at Summer Camp UK 2013

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  • #16
    Some of my learnings from the Xingiquan Course

    Greetings to all!

    I have had a couple of days to reflect and some time to type up some of the things I learned at this great course based on my personal experiences. I realise they are not very 'technical' and perhaps not specifically linked to Xingyiquan itself but this is what came to mind:

    This was my 5th Summer Camp and my 6th intensive kung-fu course with Sifu. Each time I attend one of these courses it is a great moment for me to pause and reflect on progress and change.

    Things I noticed this time :

    -- I have so much more stamina and mental clarity than even last summer camp. Sometimes during the year progress is slow so you don't notice, but at a course like this where you are on your feet for 5 consecutive days, pushed to your limit, then the effect of your training really shows! This time round, even though I had periods of being overwhelmed, I always felt good after the day was over and mentally I could quite easily keep up, even if my body was sometimes out of synch... It was great not to have the 'burnt out' feeling like I used to in my early years...

    -- Maintaining a chi kung state of mind: we covered so much ground that it seems 'ridiculous'. Also this time round for various reasons I was not able to spend a lot of time learning the sets before the course -- only a few hours of familiarisation. This time, however, I remembered to try to always keep in the 'zone' by following the three golden rules (relax, don't intellectualise and enjoy) . I was truly amazed at how effective this was. I recall at one point Sifu was moving very quickly through teaching us the sets, and I began to feel lost. I thought it might be a good idea to change position in the room to move behind someone who I knew had spent much more time learning the set than I. Unfortunately they were also lost and they made quite a few mistakes, but somehow just by relaxing and enjoying, I noticed that I actually recognised their mistakes and spontaneously knew the correct movements -- so I just reverted to following my own mind . I didn't execute the set perfectly (not by a long shot) but I think the correct essence was there. This moment was a big realisation for me -- it's really important to maintain a chi kung state of mind and trust Sifu's teaching and our own abilities -- especially when things get out of our comfort zone! I think this is one of the keys to maximising the benefit of the course.

    -- Nourishing keeps you on your feet -- I tuned into the fact that Sifu often asked us to keep our flows gentle and tried to follow the intention behind this. So I kept many of my chi flows during the day quite gentle and sometimes even still, although there was strong inner chi flow. I noticed that this had a powerful 'nourishing' effect and greatly contributed to keeping me in a good chi kung state of mind and also feeling happy and peaceful as we went through the intense syllabus. I think that the recent forum thread with Sifu's answers on cleansing, building and nourishing was invaluable in helping me to crystallise 'nourishing' as a distinct skill, and this awareness made it much easier to obtain this benefit during the course. Of course I did have a few vigorous flows as well every now and then!

    -- Gentle is best: I think one of the reasons I managed to avoid severe 'burn out' was that I tried not to get carried away with force experience -- which can be tempting! Whenever we did force training I allowed the force to arise and build naturally, and tried to keep the 'volume' at a stable level without letting it build to a peak that might lead to 'burn out' afterwards. I find that I'm getting more and more conscious of this as well as my ability to regulate force. I knew from previous experience that once you have learned the force skill (e.g. the three modes of three body stance), it's not going away -- so no need to seek immediate and intense experiences of it -- you have a lifetime to gradually build...

    -- Its great to see, once again, and each time more clearly, the essential simplicity and efficiency of Sifu's methodology. Even though we were learning an entirely new style, Sifu followed the same step by step methodology (although as always subtly improved). Each time I go to one of these courses I gain a better appreciation of the methodology itself in addition to the specific style we learn. There are so many ways that this will help me in my everyday training and also to everyday life! Having done the 36 Strategies course also greatly helped me to observe and appreciate the genius behind Sifu's training methodology.

    As always, there were so many other insights and learnings, some of which I feel will take some time to crystallise in my mind.

    It was a great joy to see Sifu again as well as all my fellow Wahnam brothers and sisters each of whom had something to teach me and a smile to keep me going during the intense training.

    I wish everybody happy training and looking forward to the next one!


    • #17
      Dear Family,

      I feel extremely lucky to have attended the Xingyiquan course this year at the U.K.S.C.

      For two simple reasons to get to learn and practice what General Yue Fei and the past Masters practiced.
      And secondly to get to learn it from our beloved Sifu for I honestly don't think there is any one in the world that could teach it better then Sifu. Sifu's simple,direct and effective approach was more apparent to me during this course then any other course I have taken before.

      I would like to mention just a few of the highlights for me at the course for each day. When we started with the stances and the three different modes to practice, correspondence mode, flow mode and expansion mode. I've never enjoyed stance training as much. If these different modes of stance training was the only thing I was to learn at the course I would still walk away very very happy. It was an extraordinary experience.

      We moved onto the five elemental fists which was such a joy to practise the force generated from them was very powerful. My favorite being the spiral fist. It felt like a really strong flow of water flowing through my arms. You could instantly feel that if you practised this right in sparring that your opponent wouldn't stand a chance.

      We also covered the twelve animal forms which felt allot different in terms of force to the five elemental fists with the exception of one or two the Hawk and Bear. But again it was such a great experience to practise and feel the different types of force from each of the animals. The Monkey and Cockerel were a little tricky for me to learn but also the most fun. the word fun might be mentioned quite a bit threw out my post.

      On the second day we again started of with stances. This time doing expansion mode first and then the Flow mode. Again the stances were a wonderful experience and very different then the first day which I enjoyed a little more by having the flow mode first. On each of the days doing the stances you really felt rooted and grounded yet very agile and powerful.

      Doing the five elemental fists in form, flow, force method was again great fun although a bit challenging to keep all three going at the same time. Especially when going in any direction. What it did do though was open your eyes to how versatile this set is.

      On the third day using different applications of the Five elemental fists and the twelve animal forms against other Martial Arts was really enjoyable not only to work out different applications my self. But to also see others work out there's and to see how one application can be used in many different ways. There was quite a few eye openers for me on the third day.

      The fourth day was again started with some beautiful stance training. What a perfect start to a perfect day. Learning the Five Elemental Continuous Fists and then coming up with our own sets was challenging in the sense it pushed me out of my comfort zone but it like most of the course always remained allot of fun and so enjoyable. When I think back over the last few days and looking at every body all I see is happy smiling faces every one helping each other out. Memories like these I will cherish for ever.

      The fifth day in the Morning well this is where I really felt fried. Coming up with sequences for the Five Elemental Fists and the Twelve Animal Forms and being able to apply them against an opponent. Every time I got my sequence and thought I had it two seconds later I would forget it. Thanks to Siheng Andy for his patience in allowing me to go over them again and again until I had something that resembled a set.

      After lunch coming up with our own pressing sequences and applying them on our opponent and then removing our weaknesses that we found was a very good experience and it also helped to build confidence in your self when applying the set against your opponent.

      So all that is left now as Sifu says is'' practise,practise,practise, you cannot run away from practise''

      For me this course didn't feel like a regional course. It felt so much more and as I said earlier I feel very lucky to have been apart of it. Thanks to the Three Wise Men for organizing the course. It was a great course with great people in a great place. Thank You.

      Thank's to Sije Fleur for all her hard work filming the course and to David for taking some fantastic pictures.

      To everyone who took part in the course I thank each and every one of you for making it such a wonderful experience.

      Thanks to Sifu, Yue Fei and all the past Masters,

      Shaolin Salute,


      • #18
        An Art for Masters, taught by a Grand Master

        Well what can I say? Another revelatory course from Sifu. After giving us the mysteries of Baguazhang last year, we now have the secrets of the general's art of Xingyiquan in the school!

        The opportunity to preserve the four great internal martial arts of China for posterity within the school has now been realised through Sifu's kungfu genius and unparalleled understanding of chi, force training and spiritual cultivation! I hope many others from inside and outside the school will take up the opportunity to learn if the art is ever offered again.

        Some of the highlights of the week:

        Day 1

        Santi stance
        I never realised quite how powerful a force training method this stance is.
        I also never realised the subtleties of what is possible in force training!

        Correspondence mode gave the ability to build a kind of circuit between the arms and legs - like a small universe but using the merdians of the limbs rather than ren and du! Incredible! I also found it deeply therapeutic.

        Expansion mode starts from the dan tien and spreads out. It seems a very spiritual practice, and makes you very rooted and forceful.

        Flow mode allows a continual flow from the cosmos through the bai hui to the palms and outwards. A wonderful chi training method. You feel light and powerful afterwards.

        I have never practiced Iron Wire, but from Sihing George's comments I can now guess what it is like. After training Santi stance for the first time, the meridians in my arms were full of internal force. It is quite a different effect from the whole body nature of Shaolin horse stance, or the diffuse flowing 'auric' feel after Bagua circle walking. Another treasure to add to a school full of treasures

        Day 2

        The five elemental fists are a wonder of martial training.

        Although basic looking, they are channels for the incredible force built in Santi stance. Whether you want to go over, under, close or open the opponents guard, the five fists give you the choice to do just that - and once you have breached the guard, the opening revealed allows the space for another of the five fists to go through....and this continues as you chain the fists ad infinitum, until the opponent is on the floor or against the wall!

        Day 3

        The 12 animal forms add so much depth to the Art.

        Even though you can counter any attack with the basic Set, each animal form gives a new 'toolbox' of options, adding up to a very complex and versatile art with a variety of options for different combat situations.

        They also revealed how manoeuvrable, versatile and deep Xingyiquan is; as well as how soft and flowing it can be. Indeed, without flow Xingyiquan could not be used properly at all!

        Day 4

        Making our own sequences was a wonderful exercise.

        It was great to develop and share with other course participants, and to see what other groups came up with. Some wonderful applications, tactics and strategies were on show - all the way from the basic levels to the very advanced.

        Day 5

        Sparring with Xingyiquan confirmed Sifu's advice of the need to continually press the opponent until victory is achieved. Hesitation allows the opponent to counter, retreating allows the opponent to turn the tables against you. However Xingyiquan is ideally equipped to chain attacks infinitely, and to counter any response that does happen to get through! As such it is a perfect art for fighting - either sports or real.

        After a focused day of training, the pressure was released with some Fully Alive magic tricks!

        The free sparring afterwards was highly enjoyable, and gave us a taste of what Xingyiquan could do - all with great spirit between course participants. An amazing highlight to an amazing course!


        Sifu's mastery of teaching came through once again during the course; the pacing seemed just right. Sifu pushed us to and beyond our boundaries on occasions, then eased off considerably and allowed us to think and relax and laugh and play on others. The 'catch a fish' nature of the training has improved us all as martial artists. The parallels with daily life has improved us all as people. Despite this being probably the most intensive martial course I have experienced under Sifu, it was also strangely the easiest I am not sure if it is the cumulative effect of past courses, but I think it is also due to Sifu's continued development of his teaching methodology at an age when most teachers have retired.

        I feel deeply honoured and privileged to have taken part.

        Thanks and well-wishes (I couldn't make the graduation dinner) to all participants; it was wonderful to share before, during and after the training!

        Shaolin Salute to Sifu, Yue Fei and the past Masters,
        Sifu Andy Cusick

        Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
        Shaolin Qigong


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        "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
        - ancient wisdom


        • #19
          I am glad that you all enjoyed learning Xingyiquan from Sigung! This course looked amazing.

          I am also shocked to see that there are different modes in Santishi and that these secrets are generously revealed so openly to the public. Thank you on behalf of those who could not attend the course.

          On a side note, I find the Santishi poise to be particularly simple and effective in deflecting western boxing jabs. Was this practiced during the course?

          Best regards,


          • #20

            Hi all,

            Well another amazing summer camp with yet another amazing kung Fu course Xingiqaun!!

            As my fellow course members have already given insights into the depth of this course I want to personally say thank you to Sitaigung, only Sitaigung could take group of keen kung fu students in the course of 5 days through Xingiqaun, not only showing them the foundation stances but taking us through to the point of developing our own combat set and using the skills of Xingiqaun to press boxers, kick boxers out of the room using effective pressing sequences.
            I have taken a lot from the course I’m looking forward to increasing my skills using this art ready to take direct in to competitions over the next six months.
            Even thought there were many lessons learnt there were a couple of gems that keep coming to the forefront, The first is one of the rules of three and I love it as it has some much benefit -
            Don’t worry, don’t intellectualise and enjoy your practice
            The second is how to develop skills in all of our chosen Kung Fu training if we take our foundation for example.
            We start and we learn the stances, when we have picture perfect form we then start moving in stance one by one with picture perfect form, then we continue moving in stance with flow, when we are flowingly moving in stance we then add in force. So the end result we are moving in stances flowingly with picture perfect forceful form.
            I found when I started my foundation i was keen to move on and as I progressed I would try and speed up even lose the picture perfect form. we must remember that the form gives us our advantage and it’s not a case of getting to the end result but taking the time to develop the skills so if you are learning at point 1,2,3,4,or 5 take your time and when you move up to the next level in the skill you are learning and you lose the picture perfect form go back and work on the foundation of the level before. this is how you can increase your skills and get there quicker using the correct training method.

            I will be paying particular attend to these points in my upcoming training

            Thanks and best wishes



            • #21
              Originally posted by DarkCosmoz View Post
              On a side note, I find the Santishi poise to be particularly simple and effective in deflecting western boxing jabs. Was this practiced during the course?

              Best regards,
              YES! simple answer ;-)

              Perhaps I will elaborate when I have a little more time!

              All the best
              ++ smile ++ from ++ the ++ heart ++
              Rich Denyer-Bewick
              you can connect with me on: Facebook (personal/social), Linkedin (professional) and Twitter (a bit of both!)


              • #22

                A lot has been covered by my brothers already, but just have to repeat that the course was marvelous!

                It's been a few weeks now since the course, and I am amazed by the results.
                It like it so much, this is perhaps my most favourite style to date. I will specialize in it if I can.

                The Santi stance is amazing. It is stance training but so unique to everything I practised before. There are multiple "modes" to this stance, the expansion mode, the correspondence mode, and in the stance there are moments where my hand and arm feel like "hardening" up, and by will I can make it a flowing force from the shoulder while still in the stance. It is really amazing.

                When I prepared for the course at home I spontaneously felt force coming from the dan tian. Now, after the course, the force is very noticable coming from the shoulder. This feels very powerful, like a battering ram almost. Heng Quan or Horizontal Chop, feels like the full arm is an axe. Combined with the fast and very effecient footwork all angles and sides can be covered with any of the 5 Elemental Fists.

                And there is this "fast" energy to the whole style, hard to describe, but you can not only feel that fast energy during sequences, but also after and during the Santi stance training.

                My favourites would be all 5 Elemental Fists, and from the Animal styles my most favourite (for now, they are all great really ) would be the Cockerel. It has this fiery enery to it Imagine a great General, on the battlefield, with the typical long bloodred pheasant feathers on top of his helmet/ headress, performing the cockerel! Must have been an overwhelming sight.

                It is just incredible and marvelous that Sifu not just passed down the forms but the typical energy and force of Xingyiquan, the essence.

                I want to thank Sifu for everything, my life has been made richer once again, and also for Sifu's patience, for opening my heart and allowing me to build my character.

                It was great meeting up again with my Brothers and Sisters, and meeting new ones, I had a great time, and thank you to Barry Siheng, Tim Siheng, Mark Siheng and Fleur Sije for the organizing, the venue was fantastic, it was perfect

                Best regards,


                • #23
                  My experience in the summer camp (xingyiquan)

                  I did everything wrong in the xingyiquan kung fu course, despite spending more than 40 hours learning from the video clips on the website. SiGung was very patient and generous by repeatedly correcting my mistakes, but still I performed them wrong. I learned my mistakes by watching other people doing the forms in the class. I have learned how to perform the santi stance correctly by asking four people the same question after the class. It took me more than four weeks to do the stance training properly. This was because I have damaged my knees while running to work. I could not do the stance training for more than three minutes. I mention this to point out that you cannot always learn martial arts from a video clip. A competent instructor is needed to teach you and correct your mistakes while learning the form and applications.

                  Three days after learning the applications of the five elemental fists and twelve animal sets, we were divided into four groups, with six people per group. SiGung told us to design our own combat sequences. Thirty minutes later we then demonstrated our combat sequences. Afterwards we were asked to make comments on the combat effectiveness of those sequences and how to improve them. SiGung then corrected our mistakes.

                  The last day we were told to create our own combat sequence and test it out on our sparring partner. My performance was not good. I was punched, kicked and thrown to the floor by SiBak Tim. I was outmatched and handled as though I was a child. Two hours later I realised the mistakes I made. I was confused by his kick boxing movements, and had I have just ignored his fancy movements and concentrated on using the xingyiquan combat sequences; I would have been able to handle some of his attacks. He would still have defeated me easily, owing to his superior skills, but I would have lasted longer than expected.

                  I have learned from the sparring sessions the things I need to improve on.

                  I have showed SiGung three different martial arts books and told him what those books were about. He glanced through them and told me to learn xingyiquan instead. Three hours later I was agreeing with his comments. In theory Xingyiquan kung fu has the counters to the techniques shown in those books, but I still need several years of hard training in order to apply xingyiquan kung fu against high level opponents.

                  Xingyiquan is a simple, direct and effective form of martial arts, but very few people can apply it in real life. At the moment I can only find xingyiquan students using boxing/ kickboxing techniques in sparring matches on YouTube.

                  Some of the applications in xingyiquan are similar to the techniques used in wing chun. I have realised there are kicking techniques hidden within the five elemental fists.

                  SiGung is an excellent teacher and willing to share his knowledge. His instructions are simple and direct to the point. Thank you SiGung for teaching us xingyiquan kung fu, and also to everyone else for helping me to learn xingyiquan.

                  Last night when I was practising the santi stance (expansion mode), I felt chi flowing through my body after two minutes of training. My legs were shaking several minutes later, and then my upper body was shaking as well. I stopped doing the stance training twenty seconds later and quickly did a chi flow. After the chi flow I felt some pain inside both of my knees and chest for about five seconds. I got pain inside both of my knees for the last four and half months. Therefore, I could not tell whether I have practised the santi stance (expansion mode) wrongly or not.
                  Is it possible for anyone to tell me whether shaking the upper body and legs are normal when doing the stance training for more than eight minutes?

                  Thank you very much for your help


                  • #24
                    Hi Brother,

                    Good to read about your experiences at the Summer Camp. You seem to be being hard on yourself as usual! Try looking at the positives of the experience more

                    In regards to your question on stances, there are a number of very good Instructors in the London area who will be able to review your practice and make sure your Santi is correct.

                    Best wishes,
                    Sifu Andy Cusick

                    Shaolin Wahnam Thailand
                    Shaolin Qigong


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                    "a trained mind brings health and happiness"
                    - ancient wisdom


                    • #25
                      Andy is right Kam, you are being too hard on yourself again. You made many improvements during the course, so my advice is to focus on that, not on what you think you did wrong.

                      Just practice what you have been taught, not just the physical aspect of correct form but also the not worrying and enjoy your practice part as well.

                      As Andy says, there are many good instructors around London that you can tap into, as you know your Sipak Mark Appleford is a great teacher in London that has practiced Xingyiquan for many years. You should contact him, listen well and set aside your worries.

                      Kind wishes to you,
                      Tim Franklin

                      A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

             Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

                      Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

                      UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit



                      • #26
                        Thank you

                        Thank you Sibak Tim and Andy for both of your advices. I will see Sibak Mark in two weeks time. I cannot take time off from work at the moment, because my work place is short of staff. My body is no longer shaking when practicing the santi stance.