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  #21  
Old 21st February 2008, 07:31 AM
TheDirtyDigger
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Here's the link to the school.
http://ziranmenkungfuacademy.street-directory.com.au/

Almost certain it's ba gua. Please forgive my ignorance.
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  #22  
Old 21st February 2008, 09:37 AM
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Head of the school appears to be a grand-student of Wan Lai-Seng 萬籟聲. Wan's own teacher Du Xin-Wu 杜心五 was famous for being the "modern" promoter of their art Ziranmen 自然門 early last century. Wan's forte was Shaolin Liuhe 六合. He did have some knowledge of the 3 sister arts (Xinyi, Bagua, Taiji) like many Northern boxers who were active in the Shanghai/Nanking social circle at the time.

A clip from of Wan (in his 90s) from his DVD:

http://hk.youtube.com/watch?v=bI_6jx6lRnI
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  #23  
Old 21st February 2008, 10:51 AM
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I usually see "Liuhe" translated as "Six Harmony" and "Baguazhang" is translated as "Eight Trigram Palm" although it is often just called "Baguazhang." I think Liuhe would be pronounced as "Roku-ai" (or possibly "Mutsuai") in Japanese - I know that Baguazhang is "Yakkeshou" and Taijiquan is "Taikyokuken."

Kyle: thanks for the kanji! I'm not familiar with Ziranmen but at least I know what the name means now ("Nature's Gate?" <--not sure what the more conventional translation is). Ziranmen is pronounced as "Shizenmon" in Japanese.
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  #24  
Old 21st February 2008, 11:01 AM
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So am I correct to assume Ziranmen is the style and ba gua is the class/lesson?
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  #25  
Old 21st February 2008, 04:34 PM
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no, they're both different styles of internal Northern Kung Fu. I don't know much about Ziranmen, but Bagua is based on moving/walking in circles (a common joke is that people practising Bagua forms look like tops ;p) - they fight from the outside of the circle (circumference) in toward the centre.

Xingyi, Taiji and Liuhe are also different forms of internal Northern Kung Fu. Xingyi is more linear than Bagua - taiji is basically the combative form of tai chi. That site doesn't mention which style of Taiji they teach (e.g.: Yang, Chen, Wu etc) so I can't tell you much more than that. I don't know much about Shaolin Liuhe, my knowledge of Six Harmony is mostly in regard to Liuhe Tanglangquan (Six Harmony Praying Mantis), and even there it's admittedly quite limited - all Northern Praying Mantis is classified as internal, and from what little I've seen of Six Harmony Mantis it's a traditionally "soft" internal mantis form.

Classes/lessons don't have individual names. You will have names of styles and the forms (set pattern of movements) in which they practice.
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  #26  
Old 22nd February 2008, 01:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
...taiji is basically the combative form of tai chi...
形意, 八卦, 太極...

"Hsing-I, Pa Kua, Tai Chi" were earlier translations used by some, with certain degrees of Hong Kong/Cantonese influence.

"Xingyi, Bagua, Taiji" are the more modern translations used by most Mandarin speaking Chinese nowadays.
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  #27  
Old 22nd February 2008, 11:25 AM
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You mean Romanisation. A translation would be conversion to another language like English, e.g.: "Bagua" (or Pa Kua) translates as "Eight Trigrams."

"Hsing-I," "Pa Kua" et al. are Romanisations based on the Wade-Giles system of Sino-Romanisation (that's writing Chinese words in the letters of the Roman alphabet) whereas "Xingyi, Bagua" etc are based on the Pinyin system of Sino-Romanisation. The Pinyin system is in more common usage amongst most texts but I think the Wade Giles system is older so you see it being used in some older texts, and it's also still commonly used in Taiw--, uh, I mean the Republic of China.

I think "Tai Chi" is the Wade Giles way of writing "Taiqi" as opposed to "Taiji" - as in...
Taiqi = 太気 (Taiki in Japanese)
Taiji = 太極 (Taikyoku*)

Here's an application of Bagua; knife defence (in this case, Wolverine's claws)

You can see that the Bagua fighter (Mirage) is fighting from outside of the circle in.

*For any Karate practitioners out there, it's the same Kyoku as in Kyokushin (極真); for any Taekwondo people Taiji is pronounced as "Taegeuk" (although your Taegeuk form is nothing like Taiji - the fact that they're written in the same Kanji is probably the only thing they have in common )
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  #28  
Old 22nd February 2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GoktimusPrime View Post
You mean Romanisation.
Thanks! "Romanisation" is the term I should have used.
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  #29  
Old 3rd March 2008, 11:17 PM
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Default Training With Noobs

Training With Beginners

I haven't been going to my regular school because the venue that they use for Sunday classes has been repeatedly damaged by hail and rain - although I'm tentatively considering changing one of my training days from Sunday to some other day (it would have to be either Tue or Fri... considering changing to Fri). But anyway, in the meantime I've been going to another local place every Monday just to keep up with training and exercise.

I've only been at this school for a few months and I've never graded - I haven't even purchased a uniform and I don't even hold a white belt. So for these reasons I'm usually stuck practising with white belts... occasionally higher belts, but not too often. Whenever I train with someone, I'm always keen to exchange information with them... I like to give them tips or pointers if I see the need arising, or sometimes just generally exchange notes (which is more fun with more experienced fighters). Some newbs don't think much of this - I think some of them lack the experience to appreciate some of the advice I'm giving them, others have trouble understanding it because this school is primarily focused on competition cage-fighting, which has a completely different mentality from self-defence fighting which is what I exclusively train for (comp fighting and self defence go together like oil and water :/). Other newbs - i.e.: those who have come to actually learn self defence, are more appreciative of the advice I give them.

One white belt that I trained with last week told me that he really enjoyed training with me and told me that I was a "very good training partner." He explained to me that most other more experienced/senior students simply focus on their own training and improvement without really caring about helping him as a less experienced student. i.e.: they're happy to simply have him play the role of attacker or defender, but don't give him explicit advice on how to improve his techniques. Often they will pwn him without stopping to explain why and how they were able to do it and also how he could counter that pwnage technique.

Whenever I pull a move that pwns my less-experienced partner, I will usually stop and try to explain to them why I was able to do it. For many newbs martial arts applications can seem almost like "magic" because all they see is a flurry of movement, and suddenly they've lost. They don't understand the process by which they were defeated - and even when people explain how they were beaten, they seldomly explain how they could counter that technique. Every technique has a counter-technique (and counter-counters, and counter-counter-counters etc).

Newbs are often led to believe that if they screw up a technique, that all is lost, and I often see them despairing. Like you throw a hit at them, and they might screw up their block and they go, "aw crap," but I try to tell them not to give up hope and show them that there are always other techniques you can fall back on when others fail - i.e.: if Plan A fails execute Plan B, if Plan B fails execute Plan C etc etc. I've found that in doing so, it really builds the beginner's confidence and enthusiasm... and generally they're appreciative of the fact that I'm willing to openly share my knowledge with them.

The culture of secrecy in martial arts, especially in Kung Fu, is really silly in the context of modern day society. In the old days masters were reluctant to reveal all of their knowledge to students because they were afraid that their students may use their techniques to betray them and usurp leadership of the school. As a result, many styles faded into extinction and to this day it's really really hard to find any decent traditional schools of Kung Fu (well, it's really hard to find any decent martial arts schools period). You actually see some martial arts schools where students are told NOT to teach their martial arts to anyone outside of their school... sometimes they're not even allowed to show their techniques outside of their school unless it's an organised public demonstration. IMO that's a load of bollocks - in this day and age where the culture of challenging your teacher to a death match to win ownership of the school is long gone I just don't see the need in maintaining the culture of secrecy. But I digress...

The point I'm making is that whenever you train with a beginner-level student be helpful and share your knowledge with them! Don't be overtly too picky - correct them within the context of their relative skill level. And when correcting them, give a brief explanation as to why what you're showing them is more correct. I don't bother correcting people if they're doing a technique differently from me so long as I don't see any inherent flaws in the technique. By 'flawed' techniques I mean correct them if they're moving in a way that exposes them to danger (e.g.: moving in a way that leaves your nuts open! <---veeerrrrry common mistake I see, especially in schools that do comps). Sometimes I see other people correcting someone on a technique just because it looks different, but otherwise isn't effecting the outcome of the application... what's the point? If the technique works and it isn't exposing the exponent to harm then who cares? (this is especially important when I'm training with people from different styles - which is the case at this school I've been attending. I don't correct my partners on 'stylistic' differences unless they specifically ask me).

Helping newbs is beneficial for everyone. It's obviously beneficial for the newb who would be getting more benefit from training with a more experienced/senior student (instead of just getting blindly pwned without understanding why/how). It's beneficial for the more skilled fighter because you often teach yourself stuff when teaching others (it's good revision for more basic techniques too). And it's beneficial for the teacher because you're making life easier for him/her - especially in larger classes where his/her attention is more divided.

Sparring With Noobs

I sparred today at the aforementioned school, and because I'm new there I sparred with a whitebelt. Sometimes when I spar with low level students I will set a "handicap" usually by placing one or both hands behind my back which means that I only allow myself to fight with one or no hands. It's beneficial for my partner because it gives them an upper hand (and better fighting chance to whup me) and it's beneficial for me because I can work on my core fighting technique (all fighting comes from your footwork where you float like a butterfly and sting like a bee (or at least try to )).

Once I sparred with an "extreme noob" (i.e.: he wasn't just inexperienced in martial arts, he was just generally unco) so I not only restricted my hands but I also intentionally distracted myself by singing the tune to Strauss' Blue Danube (still managed to majorly pwn my opponent which had all the other students laughing ). Another time I was sparring with someone even worse so I had my opponent tie my hands behind my back and asked him to blindfold me (still pwned him though).
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  #30  
Old 5th March 2008, 12:27 PM
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hey gok, have you ever been in a real street fight? HARDCORE!
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