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Yong Chun: Chun: Same Source

Written by: Lin Ai Wei

All information within this book is free for public use, personal use, and distribution, and may not be copied, printed (published) photocopied unless all of the the following following conditions have been met: met: Contact the author State why and how you wish to use the following material within the pages of this book. Reference the use of the material in this book in your: publications, websites, or any manner of advertising used in reference to this material Come to an agreement of usage concerning your intentions for this material

The section of the Xiao Nian Tou commentary was written in 2004, and revised in 2013 by the author. Author: Erik J. Oliva (Lin Ai Wei)

Yong Chun Tong Men

Dedicated to my son, students and disciples; my Yong Chun brothers old and new, and all Yong (Wing) Chun Families. Though we may practice in a different way, Our Yong Chun came from the same source.

The seeds of a flower inevitably sprout roots, Yet tradition is neither in the soil, seeds, roots nor the leaves. It is in how they are personally cultivated. Lin Ai Wei

Erik J. Oliva a.k.a. Lin Ai Wei

About The Author

Founder and head teacher of Gui Zhen (Gway Jen) Philo-Cultural Society, previously called Jing Xin Yuan, Lin Aiwei began his practices in 1988 in Chan and Daoist meditation. In 1993 he began Qigong practice and study of Qigong and Tui Na Therapy, teachings were received via meditation. In 1999 he began Yong Chun Quan practice, and two years later, 2001, he started Taiji Quan and Bagua Zhang Practice which focused on application and internal cultivation. Lin Ai Wei took discipleship under his Yong Chun teacher in 2004 yet has formally/personally disassociated from that line in 2011 due to internal politics. He learned his Taiji Quan from Shifu Rudy Curry Jr., 8 Mother Palms of Yin Style Bagua Zhang from Shifu Novel Bell (a.k.a. Black Taoist), which he learned in a 1 day workshop in 2002 and maintains his practice till this day. Lin lived in China for several years teaching English and privately teaching Yong Chun Gong Fu and Taiji Quan in Shandong Province, China PRC under the founding of Jing Xin Yuan in the middle of 2006.

While in China, he became a Lay Disciple of the Buddha Dharma through Master Xuan Hua's guidance and teachings, and became a Lay Disciple under Liu Shifu of Wang Mu Chi Daoist Nunnery of the Hua Shan Sect of Quan Zhen Daoism (Complete Reality Sect of Daoism) in Taian City Shandong China. Lin was born in Brooklyn NY, to the name Erik Oliva. His father was from Italy and immigrated to America, and his mother born in Brooklyn NY, Puerto Rican and American Indian. He was fortunate enough to meet cultivation practices of meditation and guidance at the young age of 8 years old by his second oldest sister. As a young child he learned various Daoist cultivation practices of sitting, lying, walking and standing meditation. In 2005 he received Buddhist Pure Land and Chan teachings which thrust his Daoist cultivation to a higher level. At that point he realized both Buddhist and Daoist cultivation are truthfully no different except for one thing, one's intent of cultivation. By the time he was 22, he received Daoist practices such as Yi Jin Jing, various methods of Zhan Zhuang (Standing practices), Taiji Quan, Yin Style Bagua 8 Mother Palms, and Wu Dang Sword. Between the years 2003 and 2005, Lin wrote a manuscript on cultivation called "Shen Yi Zhi Dao", "The Way of Spiritual Intention". It is comprised of 3 chapters with each chapter consisting of over 40 sub-chapter-like paragraphs covering everything from energetic cultivation to mental, emotional and societal problems as well as solutions to these conditions. After the closing of his first two locations in China, which were semi public classes, he returned to New York and re-opened his school as a Lay Buddhist cultivation center. -Some HistoryIn 2006, Gui Zhen Society was founded under the name "Jing Xin Yuan" by Lin Ai Wei, privately, in China. At that time it was a center for martial arts where students, both domestic and international, would come and learn Taiji Quan, Qigong and Yong Chun. Most classes were held in the local city parks, or in its rented premises, and sometimes in the founder's home.

In 2009, Jing Xin Yuan came to NY, and was established in Bensonhurst Brooklyn. During its years in China, it developed to not just be a martial arts center, but a Chinese Cultural center, delving into Confucian behavioral practices, Buddhist and Daoist studies in terms of cultivation of mind and Qigong as well as establishing a clinic of Chinese Medicine; Acupuncture, Herbal Formulas, Tui Na and Qigong. From 2009-2011, Jing Xin Yuan evolved to not only include the above activities, but also take on minor community service roles like street clean ups, local assemblyman festivals and services, as well as personal services to the residents of Bensonhurst Brooklyn, which included, but were not limited to, translations of bills, social security paperwork, immigration advice (basic), and housing services all for free. Jing Xin Yuan began connecting with local community organizations to offer more help and also learn more about service in the community vector. Soon, Jing Xin Yuan began working on Chinese cultural projects with both the Confucius Institute at Pace University and the Chinese Consulate in Manhattan. The founder, Lin Ai Wei, began teaching, independently through the Confucius Institute, Taiji Quan, Yong Chun and Basic Wushu. Lin also gave a lecture as a guest to one of Pace University's classes on Buddhism in 2009. In 2010, Lin accepted 5 students of Buddhist and Daoist cultivation to be his disciples in those teachings, which meant that he would always be available for them to guide them in their spiritual and personal growth; and in 2011 accepted another 4 as his 1st generation disciples in Yong Chun. At the end of 2011, Jing Xin Yuan closed its doors and moved out of its premises in Bensonhurst for 2 reasons. The first was the founder had been offered opportunities in China to lecture on Chinese Culture and Taiji Quan, and could not pass up such a chance to do so. The second reason was internal conflicts of interest with his Yong Chun teacher. Such actions during that time period were the catalyst for Jing Xin Yuan to change its name to Jing Xin Tang, representing stability and growth. Later, upon returning to China, Lin further sought a change of his organization and not only changed the name, but also the

mannerism in which his organization was to go in. Thus, Gui Zhen Philo-Cultural Society was born. It is such that through conflict and pressure, growth is realized, and it is through said conflicts the realization of one's true strengths and visions can mature and manifest. Lins organization, Gui Zhen Philo-Cultural Society, has a history of 7 years of development from 2007-2013, and still progressing, as well as 22years of conceptualization, from 1991-2013.

Clarifying Statements

In preparation for the inevitable criticisms for writing this book, as well as for my history with Yong (Wing) Chun, I write this short statement to open any dialogue between any one who gets caught up in the politics of my past affiliation with my previous Yong Chun lineage, and wants to know what I have experienced and the factual story I have to tell. In my Wing Chun line, as well as various others, there has been, is, so much inner politics, and deceit, that at the end of 2011, I resigned out of my teacher's line. Even though one's "Sifu" is always their "Sifu", one does not have to sit back and not speak up when things are unjust, unfair, and just plain out wrong. I will not go into full details, for everyone is welcome to contact me and ask me personally what had transpired within my experience. What I may say is that just because one is a Sifu, that doesnt mean what ever one says is always true, reasonable, fair and beneficial to their students as well as peers and short/long term acquaintances. Due to inner conflicts, and various other influences, I am not a recognized Sifu by my old teacher as per late November 2011. In short, after I had closed my previous school, left the location, and offered and prepared the premises for my old teacher, as well as paid his first months rent for his commercial concession time; a week after he decided to not recognize me as a Sifu under his line, and began a character assassination campaign against me. Note, I already had taken disciples with his blessings in July of 2011, and had been given the Sifu title to use when I opened 2 locations for teaching Wing Chun in China in 2006, as well as permission to take disciples in 2009, along with several interviews issued by him with the

reference of me being a Sifu. Of course, after certain situations in late 2011, those articles have been taken off the internet, and or replaced with status of rank unverified. I have saved those articles and would gladly share them to anyone who asks for them in light of researching this situation. There is much more to go into, but for public eyes, its not necessary. Any inquiries you may have will be gladly responded to by me personally. I don't fight for things that have already been given to me. My problem with this situation is not about a title, but about principle, respect and character. Thus, I write this statement in order to make sure it is publicly known that this is the situation, that I have nothing to hide and am very willing to confront this issue if need be, as I always was and tried to. In this light, understand that this situation is common amongst western martial arts schools due to the misunderstanding of Chinese Martial Arts Culture, Chinese language and Martial Arts lifestyle, along with ones personal attachments to status and recognition. Understand that in the past, many stories of various martial artists history become embellished, or even misconstrued. Hence, I write this as a way of maintaining clarity as to my history, should anyone in the future who studies with me, and or is curious of my statements, may attain a written reference to work from.

Respectfully, Erik J. Oliva a.k.a.. Lin Ai Wei


I write this book for many reasons, building a name isnt one of them. I will not use the actual names or pictures of my old teacher of Yong Chun, or anyone I learned from or studied with within the pages of this book, for I did not ask their permission to use their identities as a reference in this publication, and it is not a book dedicated to specific people. One of the reasons I write this book is to contribute to the growth of those who practice Yong (Wing) Chun and those who are interested in practicing. In this book I will present my own personal history and experiences in practicing Y.C. (Yong Chun), western/eastern comparison of the title Sifu and its meanings, an un-biased perspective on Y.C. (Yong Chun) generally, and much more. In my years training Y.C. (since 1999) I encountered many different types of characters, both in myself and those around me. I learned that when we surrender our humility and judgment, and place it with anothers, we basically end adhering to that persons every whim. I figured not to let my own students become a follower, especially of me. Let them learn through me and take only what they need to push themselves further; To make sure they do not fail in questioning and researching what I tell them. Perhaps its a misunderstanding that student almost act as though they are worshipping their teacher, to adhere to every beckon call, which westerners have developed when observing how students treat their teachers in China,. Maybe it was an observance of some egotistical mannerisms from various schools of martial arts, and then believed to be the right way. Who knows, but at least we can make our own decisions when we have understood what kind of culture and behaviorisms lay as the foundation of Chinese Martial Arts.

I never found Yong Chun to be confusing. Though I was told many times that if it is not confusing, I dont understand it, I still felt something was just incomplete with that. Saying things that way may have worked when I was 19 and just starting Yong Chun, but now, at 33, I still say the same thing, Its not confusing, nor is it complicated or too simple. There are so many types of views people have about Yong Chun, and in the west it has gotten to a point that the more one tries to simplify their explanations, the more fluff gets spoken. Many also try to speak so simply as to almost make understanding Yong Chun a bit of a mysterious journey; or even speak in reference of scientific expressions to almost prove that the principles of Yong Chun are true and can not be proved wrong. Firstly, learning anything regarding movement, coordination, stability, and application martially will always revert to understanding anatomy, distance and placement. Yong Chun is not exclusive to this, for every martial art out there deals with close quarter combat in some manner or another. Many would love to say Yong Chun is so simple that its sheer simplicity presents a complexity of principles and thus one will never really understand its true uses until they spent years upon years of practicing and contemplating Yong Chun. I say, if that was the case, then how was it promoted back after it was created as a fast to learn art, to be proficient (not mastered) in a short amount of time, approximately 3-4 years? Also, those who began practicing Yong Chun were not scholars, at least the majority. Many were rebels, with little or no academic education. Some were singers, policemen, or even government officials. The capacity of these practitioners varied then, and still do to this day. I always figured that no matter the method being practiced, any one can gain a basic understanding and be very proficient in their basic skills, create and or emphasize with their own insight, the basic guiding principles of Yong Chun, or any other system. So really, ones development isnt based on how Yong Chun is as a system, but rather

the individuals capacity to understand and apply what they are learning. Given this, we can also find that different styles of Yong Chun have different mannerisms of practice, thus offering different views of application, different positioning for the various hand techniques, and last but not least different philosophical principles. Yet they all seem to have the fundamental concepts of Yong Chuns positioning to a degree. This point is their commonality, at least on of them, and we can come to understand that no one persons understanding of Yong Chun is superior to anothers. It is such that they may have specificity to their focus as their difference. One can learn much from observing and trying to understand the whys and hows of others explanations and concepts. Yong Chuns movements are amazingly easy to learn, simple to apply and its concepts are not difficult to understand. What brings complexity to the table is ones own character, fear, emotional state, personal views, world views and capacity to apply the techniques in sparring. We can see that Yong Chun is more about discovering the transitional combinations, rather than being taught and sticking to fixed technical practices. Using fixed technical practices is the first step, then understanding their practicality and how to augment it to certain changes that occur in application, is where discovery begins. There are myriad ways to combine and apply the hand techniques of Yong Chun. All you need is an imagination, open mind and the guidance to learn how to apply them. If Yong Chun was a maze of complexities, there would be much more to understanding it, and if it were completely a mass of simple applications, it most likely wouldnt have lasted too long. So, we can say here that it doesnt take much to truly learn Yong Chun, but it most certainly requires the practitioner to learn how to put down what they assume to be true, and re-learn the application of movement done daily all over again. How one chooses to practice Yong Chun is totally based upon their own lifestyle and understanding. What may seem complicated to one may be extremely simple to another. Thus is the dichotomy of the relative world.

Yong Chun faces a history many are familiar with. A history filled with untraceable origins and legendary people. Yong Chun must be one of the most confusing arts to understand in terms of its history. Because of this, many begin with Liang Zan (Leung Jan) as their origin, for he has a traceable history. I will not go into the various Yong Chun origins, for we can easily find such information online. Besides that, adding information that is simply stuffing will take away from the main idea of this book which is to share some views, practice methods and philosophical principles which may aid the fellow Yong Chun practitioner on their journey. Each practitioner of Yong Chun in the past made their own changes to the system. The reasons vary, and most likely we will not get a deep or profound explanation, or even one that we can research. I have made some changes due to my own development in this system, and felt some things I learned were just touching the surface, but were enough to thrust me into deeper contemplation of my character in terms of finding something which fits for my personal lifestyle. Instead of going out and learning another style altogether, I decided to work with what I had, and augment it to fit my development. To ease the journey of climbing a mountain, one must leave behind the unnecessary in order to not add extra burden along the path. The title of this book, Yong Chun, Same Source, comes from the realization that all types of Yong Chun come from the same people, no matter how far into the lineage tree we want to travel. Its development basically began in the same place as well, and then moved on to various regions for further development. Since all Yong Chun practitioners share this same origination of the art, we are all one family, of the same source. Actually, the words literally mean same door, yet we can translate it contextually, and make the door mean source due to the fact that all houses have doors, and we all use them to enter and exit from a house or building. In that, not all houses look the same, but they all have doors. We need to understand that Chinese language can be translated literally, and contextually, but most of the times contextually.

It, the Chinese language, is not like English at all. Many cultural aspects of Traditional Chinese Culture are not present in western culture at all, and so a translation would be impossible if it werent for behaviorisms and context. We will see this with the term Shifu/Sifu, later on. When a cultural art passes to another region of the world, that regions socio-cultural mannerisms do not change to fit the cultural art. The cultural arts characteristics change to fit the socio-culture of the region it moves into. Hence a watering down of, and or a changing of the meanings of literal aspects, as well as a manipulation of contextual aspects of the imported cultural art; This is prevalent in martial arts, art, music, philosophy, etc, and Yong Chun is not excluded. I hope those who read the following pages understand that what is presented here is my understanding of how things are, through my experiences and contemplations. It is only what I have come to understand, and will indeed change as the years go by. Hopefully what I write may be used as a reference, and possible guidance, yet not to take place of an actual in-person teacher. Also, when it comes to descriptions of the first form name translation, it is mostly not based on my previous training in my Y.C., but rather my own idea based on my understanding of the Chinese language, and cultivation practices involving the mind; Qigong, Chan (Zen), Buddhism and Daoism. Hopefully some things presented here can be of use to those who are cultivating Y.C. By all means, take what you find useful, and disregard what doesnt. Lastly, remember that there are so many different ways to practice the same exact thing, resulting in the same exact result, and some variations. One persons style of Y.C. will be different from another. What is more important is that the foundational teachings of the practitioner were that of what Y.C. was influenced by, or at least what we have come to know as its foundational influence. I have revised the first, second and third forms of Y.C., changing the appearance of several hand techniques and sequences, adjusting other hand techniques and positions, as well as combining various transitions from another Y.C. form.

I did this because I felt what I had learned, and am still learning, was missing a more in depth aspect to the physical cultivation of the issuance of force, as well as the internal cultivation as to the application of mind, breath and qi. It is thus my own expression, but nothing new.

Erik Oliva a.k.a. Lin Ai Wei

A Martial Artists Greatest Misconception

(Understanding the Title, Shifu/Sifu)
An article written by Lin Ai Wei in 2012, revised in 2013

A Martial Artists Greatest Misconception

(Understanding the Title, Shifu/Sifu)

In the last hundred years we have seen much from international trade and cooperation. This bridging of cultures has brought much traditional culture to the fore-front of our modern-era. One such culture is that of martial arts. When martial arts are introduced to a society, the first aspect that is seen as special is the fighting applications. The martial aspects are what catches peoples eyes at first glance, and becomes rooted in their minds as the most important aspect. This root-thought further breeds thoughts of superiority; empowering ego, separation; empowering ideas of various social levels, and thus manifests a culture of misconceived notions which points back to egotistical lifestyles and behaviors. One such idea is the title of Shifu, Sifu . What does this title mean, and what is the reason for its use? The title Shifu, in the Chinese National Language, or Sifu, in Cantonese, has two very distinct meanings. Lets investigate what it is, and then we can further realize the misconception that has been rooted deep in western culture. 1). Shifu (Sifu) : Refers to one who is skillful at what they do. For example; a computer technician, chef, driver, dog walker, doctor of medicine, window/dish washer, etc.

2). Shifu (Sifu) : Wrongfully translated to mean Master. Refers to one who teaches what they are skilled at, and accepts an apprentice, or many.

Both terms in Chinese carry the same intonation. In regards to the second translation of Shifu, there is a saying in Chinese culture, not just in regards to martial arts, but to anything one teaches, : One day a teacher, a lifetime a father. Obviously, the title of Shifu has nothing to do with the word master. If we were to say master in terms of how it is used today by martial artists, we would be better off using the term , ( Zhu Ren) which would best be described as an overseer of ones life, for example, someone who takes you in and takes care of you, if you are an orphan. An example of its use would be: Master, I bought the groceries. Using the term Shifu to mean one who is in mastery of their skills would insinuate that the person called Shifu would be undefeated in a fight. Unfortunately, there is no such thing. Yet, it is used to insinuate that the person is proficient in their practice. Traditionally, and just for respect, anyone who teaches a martial art, is called a Shifu out of respect. Whether or not their teacher gave them the title or not, most people in society bestow the title out of respect. In Yong Chun in the west, a majority assume that this title means one is indestructible, or at least almost undefeatable. A whole cultural context behind the use of this title is disregarded, and the modern movie idea of it is taken as fundamentally true. When looking at the term Shifu being used to refer to Buddhist monks, we must understand the culture behind its use. When calling a Buddhist monk, Shifu, we are stating that they are our teachers of the BuddhaTeachings for this lifetime, a teacher and father. The monk would be in a high skill of control over their mind, and in a state of great wisdom to assist those he has fate with in studying the Buddhas teachings.

In this case, the monk would be seen as doing something that is very hard to conceive of to non monks. That is, having put down sexual desires, greed, anger and ignorance. In comparison to martial artists, not many can do that at all. Referring to the first description of Shifu, meaning one skilled at what they do, we see that it is a respectful title offered by people as a way of having proper manners, being nice to the person. Calling one a Shifu at

what they do acknowledges that persons hard work and shows appreciation for them in giving us their service. This is a Chinese cultural behavior, and not exclusive to just martial art culture. Never has there been a martial artist who refers to another martial artist as Shifu (). If he did, then he is referring to the other as a father and teacher, his own. Yet, one martial artist calling another one Shifu (), is a very common, respectful mannerism. Due to the misuse of the term Shifu, many have held their martial arts teachers in a high regard, sometimes taking all they say as the golden rule, with no room for error. Some even have taken to the idea that because their teacher is very skilled at fighting, and teaching, that the teacher is some how spiritually enlightened. Last but not least, many see martial art teachers as one sees movie stars, and even in some cases a god. As it is, none of these views lead to wholesome lifestylesunless it is true that the martial art teacher has become spiritually enlightened; and if so, it most definitely wouldnt be from learning how to beat someone up, but from principles and proper education in the way towards enlightenment. That being the case, the teacher most likely wouldnt be teaching how to fight unless the student displayed mannerisms of humility and selflessness. The misuse of this term has resulted in such a deeply rooted misconception, and plagues the modern culture of the western martial arts world with infighting amongst schools, ego, superiority and separation. In taking on the title, realize that it is just a title, a word in the Chinese language, and any persona attached to the title is simply just the mannerisms of those who have been called such a thing. When being in the expression of the above first example of Shifu, the mannerisms of such a person vary, and there are billions of people with billions of different character traits to them. The term Shifu does not carry any character traits behind it, nor does it hold any standard of attainment. It is simply a term in the Chinese language. The same goes for the above second example of the term. The only difference between the two is the manner of responsibility one undertakes. Taking a specific responsibility doesnt make you any better than the next person. It only states that you have more on to do

than most people. Usually it is seen in movies how a Shifu has many disciples who serve and abide by all the Shifus demands.

Why would this be the case? Simply because that Shifu has taken in those disciples to live in his home, offer them work, give them money, food, a room to live in and guidance in their studies. I see this as a good reason to listen to ones teacher, given this would be the case. Yet, it doesnt mean that whatever a Shifu says is 100% correct, full of humility and good principle. Another point, it is just a movie, and life 100 years ago in China isnt what the movies depict. Usually when a Shifu took one into their home, the student was either an orphan, or chose to tend after the teacher. The relationship between student and teacher had Confucian ethics of Filial Piety as its foundation, yet nowadays, there are only remnants of certain behaviorisms within the martial arts; most of which neglect actually having the quality of virtue and merit, which determines ones personal character and level of given respect and regard. The quality of all tasks performed and all methods taught depends on the understanding of the person teaching. Their responsibility is to be sure their apprentices (s) are safe, educated according to the methods taught, and can develop the skill to apply what they are taught. Usually, the teachers personal character and views influence the apprentice(s), and the apprentice thus becomes a copy of the teacher, mixed with their own lifestyle and behavior. This is an important issue, and must not be taken lightly. Historically, the persona of a person taking on apprentices is one of a serious, wellmannered, well educated, and cultured with positive principles, conduct, virtue and stands for the morality they believe in; all for the good of the people. This kind of example is a very high standard within traditional Chinese martial arts culture as well as traditional culture generally. This kind of education has not been taken serious by a vast majority of western martial artists, and thus leads their students to focus solely on the aggressive mannerisms of martial practice. We have a saying in Chinese for this manner of lifestyle. It is called to : To walk along the fiery path and enter demonic states. Basically it means to

focus only on the aggressive and controlling aspects and thus causing the mind to mature to an overpowering, egotistical one. This way eventually leads to violence, health problems and conflicts. Martial Arts culture has within it an education of conduct, virtue, morality, humaneness, academics and service. Teaching requires one to not just be skilled at what they do, but to be educated so as to lead an example for students in principle and righteousness towards being a humane person. If one carries either of the Shifu terms, do not think you are someone better than most, and it would be wrong to think that others should respect you just because you carry that title. It doesnt matter how long you have practiced, and it doesnt matter how much other martial artists like you. You are still a human, and still must do human things. Do not let the idea of a title cloud your mind. To those who are students, it would be wise to observe the character of the person you wish to study under. Learning how to fight is only a small aspect of martial arts culture. One must investigate the culture of what they are studying and observe the potential teachers character, for such a person will be a big influence in your life and eventually shape how you behave and see the world. In conclusion, the term Shifu is just a word in the Chinese language. What is more important is the personal character of the one using the title. Choose your teachers wisely, and develop yourself with humaneness, virtue and conduct first. Because it doesnt matter how well you fight, what does matter is how good of a person you truly are.

Why The Plum Flower? Flower?

Adversity is the catalyst of change ---Lin Ai Wei

The plum flower has been an icon in Chinese Martial Arts culture for a very long time. Hong Quan has a form called Plum Flower Fist, Mei Hua Quan, Yong Chun also pays its tribute to the plum flower, in most of its traditions at least. Though many reference the plum flower in their Yong Chun, few know the cultural significance of such a flower, and usually many fail to even research. In my experience, knowing just the idea about something isnt enough to gain the actual merit and virtue of truly finding out by humble inquiry. For example, many in the martial arts simple place their fists and palm together as a way of greeting and saying thanks to another practitioner. Yet, is the use of such a gesture, along with its cultural significance understood? Is it enough just to have some idea, or is it better to actually be educated about what one is doing? When I didnt know, and asked my teachers and received a very basic answer, I researched to find out if anything I was told had merit to it. Most of the time, it didnt. That is because in Chinese martial arts, its very important to understand the culture behind it. That doesnt mean wearing Chinese style clothing and round-top cloth shoes and acting a part like in a movie.

It means actually inquiring to older generations, preferably those older than ones teacher, and only to those who are actually Chinese and are well versed in Chinese cultural history, literature, behavior and lifestyle. This is important because if you are studying a Chinese martial art, and can not, in a confident but humble manner, explain what you are doing, then whats the point? People do not have true respect for this kind of person, and one will be seen as a laughing stock. So, why the plum flower in Yong Chun? Well, I have heard a story stating that the Northern Shaolin Temple had five posts positioned in the shape of a plum flower which was used to practice standing and walking methods in the martial arts. Well, if this is true, then why would Shaolin utilize posts in the shape of a plum flower? Culturally, the plum flower is revered for its opposing the forces of winter. Basically, it stands in the face of adverse weather conditions and blossoms in the freezing cold. This says a lot about how to gain skill and perseverance. Martial arts practice is about eating the bitter. As a result, one develops proficiency in what they do and can handle most adverse situations. Just like the plum flower which blossoms in the winter, taking a beating from the harsh cold and freezing rain, snow and wind, we too can endure the pain and fatigue from martial arts practice. Eventually one will attain a proficiency good enough to protect themselves. We can look at the time that Yong Chun was said to be developed; between 1644-1911. Well, thats a big round about figure, so we will have to look at the conditions of government, society and lifestyle in order to understand the use of the plum flower in some Yong Chun traditions. The time period from 1644-1911 was full of mostly internal rebellions against the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) and foreign invasions. If one were to take the time to research this time period, one would find an enormous amount of stories of pain and suffering, though there were some good times, the bad out weighs the good to most.

With this in mind, we can understand why some Yong Chun uses a plum flower as its symbol. Due to the Chinese societys hatred for the Qing Dynasty, many rebellions took place; many militias were born to fight against the government. Yong Chun has a historical tradition of being used by those who were fighting against oppressive forces. It is said that the plum flower is revered for its endurance of the cold, its strength in dealing with freezing weather and its beauty. For within the cold brittle weather of winter, the plum flower blossoms into something very beautiful and perfect. Culturally, the plum flower represents the difficulty in enduring hardships and the perfection in the end result of successful efforts. In the past, those who practiced Yong Chun, at least those who were rebels fighting for their cause, felt that the times they were in were hard, tough and they needed to break free from what they felt was oppressive. Their winter would be the Qing Dynasty, and their spring time would be the return of the Ming Dynasty. Unfortunately that didnt happen, but throughout the time they utilized Yong Chun for their efforts, it is safe to say that they could have utilized the plum flower as a symbol of their fight against the oppressive forces. Maybe some would like to say that the plum flower represents the 5 elders of Shao Lin who created Yong Chun. Perhaps, yet that doesnt change the cultural significance of the plum flower. Also, the story of Yong Chun Quan has no written historical record of its founding, only oral tradition. Most traditions simply base their founder as Liang Zan, Leung Jan. One can basically say any story they feel they like, yet when met with someone who is educated in the field, one may be at a loss for words when certain things are brought to light. Therefore, it is best to educate oneself about the history, culture and behaviorisms of what they are learning. In the Yong Chun I practice, there is a turning method I was taught. Its name was Plum Blossom Turn. It only had two turns and had no reference to a plum flower whatsoever. When I mentioned it to others older than those I learned from, both in age and practice, they never heard of it. Perhaps it was a name given by my old teacher and or his

teacher, perhaps it was something specific to the tradition of Yong Chun I learned. Whatever the case may be, learning the cultural significance of the plum flower helped to clear up the emptiness in what I learned, thus leading me to remove the name from the turning method and affix something more fitting to its practice.

Form of Refined Concentration Xiao Nian Tou Tou

Xiao Nian Tou

Form of Refining Concentration

I have augmented the original first form I learned, slightly, in order to place more care on the joints. For example, in the past I was taught a full circular hand which meant to run the palm totally around, stretching the little finger and causing the hand to be able to stretch well. I noticed after years of doing this that my wrists began to ache, and soon was experiencing numbness in my fingers and forearm, along with

lack of strength and constant pain. I thus changed the circular hand to something more wrist friendly. The slightly augmented original form I learned is a basic foundational practice, and a prerequisite to the revised first form I have formulated; which allows for a more fluid and tighter center protection, as well as offer a different perception of angles and gates. So this slightly augmented form which we will see below will be called Old Form. Some names in this form have been changed as well. When I was taught Yong Chun, I was not told all the names of the techniques within the form, even upon asking, I guess my old teacher didnt know. Who would? Originally, it is a Chinese art, so its understood some names would be lost and remembering them would be nearly impossible. Since I speak Chinese, I decided to adjust the names according to their function. Therefore, names in this form may be different from other Yong Chun styles, yet they do the same thing. I have put together a few methods of practicing the first form in order to develop awareness of the various energies one cultivates when practicing a martial art. These methods of practice are put into stages, each with 3 levels, which practicing the first form simply to control the mind, relax the body from unnecessary tension as well as remember the techniques and their sequences is the first stage with no following levels. The cultivation of the form in the beginning, in and of itself, is the foundational practice and much effort should be used in order to remember and become familiar, not just with the sequence and techniques, but with ones own mind, emotions and personal views.

If one only has muscular strength applied to their discipline, they are only one half complete in their personal training. Internal strength must be developed in order to have completed their training. Therefore, the first form practice is necessary in order to develop the capacity to apply the concepts of application of all of the forms at a deeper level. In the first form, you will begin to understand the use of several different types of energies: Intention

Will Pressing Pushing Spiraling Sinking Rooting Pulling Bending Crashing Drilling Snapping Embracing Wrapping Sticking Grasping Controlling Cutting Expanding

It isnt till the 2nd and 3rd forms that these energies become apparent while in form practice. These energies are manifest within performing the movements of the form, as well as in hand to hand application. They rely on the alignment of nine aspects of the body which can issue force: Ankles Knees Hips Lumbar spine Thoracic spine Cervical spine Shoulders Elbows Wrists

These 19 energies and 9 joints are cultivated in Xiao Nian Tou, in the 2nd and 3rd stages of its practice, and are combined in movement in the Xun Qiao and Biao Zhi forms.

Xun Qiao Seeking the Bridge Old Form- A Brief Commentary

The Xun Qiao form will not be observed this time in full detail, for there is so much information to display regarding transitions and positioning. Thus, we will save the Xun Qiao writings for another book. Yet we can take a brief look at what it entails and get an idea of the revisions I made. The Old Form Xun Qiao is a name I gave to the original form I learned. I have thus revised it and made the revisions applicable as a 2nd level Xun Qiao practice, rather than having the revisions be the foundation. It is important to learn the movements in a stop and go manner in the beginning so as to understand the fluidity of the techniques as applied in the revised 2nd form. The Old Form is a basic representation of the movements and their fundamental positioning of each hand technique, stance movement and kicking posture. It is indeed needed to move onto the 2nd level Xun Qiao form practice. The revisions make the form more of an in depth practice providing more focus on internal cultivation and continuous movement than just a stop and go redundancy. The transitions within Xun Qiao, generally, are very important, for they display a live expression of Yong Chun. The first level Xun Qiao also emphasizes the basic foundation of movement for specific angles. The second level Xun Qiao emphasizes continuous movement in transition from each section of the form previously taught. Xun Qiao also lays out the positioning of a few hand techniques that werent emphasized in Xiao Nian Tou, such as the Upward Cutting Tuo Shou, Downward Thrusting Chen Shou, Angular Rotating Chen Shou, Tan Hu Shou combination, lower Bang Shou to upper-cut transition, Moving Bang Tan Shou, and Pulling and Stabilizing (done with simultaneous hand pulling and rear-foot extension). The stepping, kicking and turning methods found in Xun Qiao have been practiced prior to learning the 2nd form. These methods which are

not found in the Xiao Nian Tou sequence are; Forward stance, Kou Bu and Bai Bu, Zou Ma, Leg extension, San Jiao Zhuan Fa, Front heel kick, 45 degree side kick.

Form of Refined Concentration

Xiao Nian Tou This form should be done intending confidence in your character and skill, no matter what level of the form you are on, or how long you have been practicing the form (s). The name of the first form is , Xiao Nian Tou. It is usually translated as Little Idea Form, yet such a translation in English doesnt offer a deeper sense of understanding why Yong Chun has such

a name for a form. We can thus translate Xiao Nian Tou to Form of Refining Concentration, due to an observation based on Chan Buddhist practice. The term Xiao Nian Tou, through my observation, which is not to be taken as fact, only as reason, is referring to the Chan Buddhist practice of holding to one thought, or to apply concentration to the act of investigating a phrase. The word Xiao: refers to something small, or little; thus we can see that if one has no false thinking, their thoughts are lessened, and remaining thoughts become so miniscule that they appear small. We can also apply the use of the word Xiao to be that the application of the mind to what you are doing requires you to focus only on what you are doing at the time; thus minimizing your false thinking (flippant thoughts, daydreams) in order to not be disturbed in your practice. In order to do so, one must have refined their mind, and strengthened their concentration to be able to hold focus on one specific thing, without interruption. Refining ones mind means to have enough concentration power (ability) in order to not have your focus moved to something else, basically to not be distracted. This occurs after practicing the methods for a long while. The word Nian: , when put together with Tou: means thought, or idea. When adding Xiao to Nian Tou we see that applying concentration to a single thought is what is meant. The ability to gain strength in concentration comes after a long time of practice. The last part of the name of the form, Tou, refers to the term Hua Tou, or word head. This term is used in Chan Buddhism to refer to a stanza, or phrase, and the beginning of the idea, the Chan cultivator focuses on. So we can look deeply into the meaning of the first form of Yong Chun, and realize that we are to refine our movements and concentration not only to fit into our bodys range of motion, but also to strengthen our mind, which thus cultivates Qi. Not only that, but we are reminded that our Yong Chun comes from a background of Chan cultivation, and thus our application of our

concentration will allow us to develop a clearer, stronger mind, and a healthier body. Remember, this is in my opinion from my years of being unsatisfied with an explanation that seemed empty, as well as finding I n research that Yong Chun came out of the Shao Lin Buddhist monastery. I am only sharing some thoughts on this matter. Right or wrong, we will never know unless we go back and ask those who created Yong Chun. The following descriptions were written by me back in 2004, and have been revised throughout the years. They have been previously used, with my permission, by one of my older Yong Chun brothers in his book on Yong Chun. I had always made my developments available to those I associated with. This time is no different, yet if the following descriptions interest the reader, and they wish to use the following as a reference for students and or in any form of literary pursuits, please ask, and give an explanation as to how the following information will be used, as well as reference to where you found the information. If agreed upon, permission will be granted to use the following descriptions of the first form Xiao Nian Tou.

Beginning Posture
From upright position, feet together and hands at your sides; form a fist and lift your hands to the sidelines of your chest inline with your pectorals with the front of your fists facing forward; bend your knees, tail bone pulls down slightly, shoulders over hips, toes turn out, then heels turn out with toes slightly pointing inwards. Thigh bone and knee rotate slightly (left to the left, right to the right), causing the knees to be over the foot, neither pressing in, nor pushing out. This is to be done simultaneously. Left hand performs a Gang Shou (Downward block/cutting block) along with the right hand, palm up, meeting the elbow crease.

Simultaneously pull the left hand to chamber position while the right hand cuts downward to a Gang Shou. Then place the left hand back down to Gang Shou position over the right hand/wrist. Simultaneously pull both hands to chamber with fists facing forward (do not turn fist to have the palms upwards.

Er Zi Qian Yang Ma
All beginning students learn : Er Zi Qian Yang Ma. This has two meanings. I prefer the first one which refers to the compression of Yang Qi into the body, which is a manner of Qi Gong. The second meaning, which Im not too sure where it came to be used, in the above parenthesis, means "clamping the sheep". Your knees shouldn't squeeze inward. They should be placed over the feet, pushing lightly into the feet. Weight should be centered in the middle of the foot, and spread equally to the balls of the feet and the heels. The pelvis/tail bone does not press forward all the way, but only on certain instances in issuance of force, especially when posture dictates such a tail bone press. They are positioned where the tail bone feels pressed forward to a point in between all the way forward and all the way back. The lower back should be almost straight, spine upright, shoulders over the hips. Sternum, middle of chest, slightly pulled down.

Da Shou Punch
For any Dao Shou, or punch, performed in the first form, remember to let the elbow guide the fist forward into ones center. The fist, before extension, remains about three to four inches from the chest, between the nipples. Within executing extended punch, the elbow guides the fist forward. Extend arm forward, wrist relaxed, and elbow in the center of the pecs with forearm slightly angled in front of the chest/sternum. Stop extension just before the elbow locks, let the wrist settle forward with the bottom three knuckles pressing slightly forward and up.

Remember to not extend the shoulder. The shoulder remains relaxed and in its fixed position, not stiff.

Quan Shou
Circular Hand From above position, open finger pointing them forward, turn palm to face upwards. Then, flex the wrist causing the fingers to point towards your chest, and then rotate the hand stopping when the fingers are pointing downwards. Deviate the wrist causing the hand to be inline with the wrist and arm; making a Zhi Shou like movement: see Zhi Shou transition). After, bring your fist back to the chambering position, do not turn the fist.

Tan Shou
Dispersing Hand The Tan shou has an intention to pierce, cut, redirect and intimidate. When opening hands to perform Tan shou, fingers are open from the knuckles and are slightly pointed in the center line direction at a 45 degree angle. The elbow guides the hand forward, and stops its motion at a fist, and or fist and a half, distance from the chest. Since the fingers were pointed in a 45 degree angle into the center, the Tan sau automatically is placed in an angle to the center line, ending with the inner side of the elbow at the side of the solar plexus and half of the forearm and hand in the center line. From the tip of the fingers, one can measure a straight line to the top of the nose. This Tan sau alignment is proper.

Zhi Shou
Breaking /Forward Cutting Hand The Zhi Shou is performed off of the Tan shou in the first part of the form. From the Tan shou hand, make sure to keep wrist in center.

Perform half of a circular hand (quan shou)and snap wrist downward without dropping, and or pushing, the wrist, forearm and ridge hand down, passed the solar plexus. There is no tension through out the Zhi shou, yet there is intention placed forward during the Zhi shou motion.

Hu Shou
Protecting Hand In following the sequence of the form, Hu Shou will be next. The Hu Shou returning to center constantly has a forward intention until it is placed in the center. Its motion ends fist distance from the center, and wrist remains slightly above the tip of the sternum.

Fu Shou
Controlling Hand The Fu shou, following Hu shou, is performed with an intention forward focusing on the place between one inch of the back of the hand to the wrist. The lower portion of the palm to the wrist, as with all techniques, remains in the center of the chest, inline with the sternum. The elbow guides Fu Shou forward and stops a fist, or fist and a half, distance form the chest. Zhi shou is performed following Fu shou. This is done two more times on both hands individually.

Pai Shou
Parrying Hand/Slapping Hand On the last Hu shou, following form sequence, the wrist slightly loosens and elbow guides the palm to the side of the under arm, finger tips at shoulder level, for a Pai shou. The motion is done smoothly to the side, without dropping or raising the hand, and returns to the center.

For the forward palm strike, following side Pai shou and Hu shou transition, there is a forward palm strike and or Pai shou. The extension of the arm does not exceed the shoulder and does not lock at the elbow. Upon extension, the wrist loosens slightly; fingers slightly angle down and forward. Do not drop hand so the palm is parallel to the floor. After palm strike, assume circular hand and return fist to chamber following center line.

San Qin Zhang

The 3 Pressing Palms, San Qin Zhang: Shuang Ce Qin Zhang (2 sided pressing palms), Hou Qin Zhang (Pressing Behind), Qian Qin Zhang (Forward Pressing), begins with a cut and simultaneous snap downward to the side of the pelvis. Remember, elbows do not lock, palms are pressing down, and fingers are slightly pointing into the center. Turning the hand to execute the first section of this movement is done smoothly, and gradually. By the time you reach your extension, your hand will be finished turning. This is done on both sides individually. From the first part, transition to Hou Qin Zhang, back palm, behind the sacrum, and return to Qian Qin Zhang, or forward pressing hand, wrist positioned at the navel, fingers pointing inward in a triangle position. The transition from the first part to the backwards palm is very basic. Both wrists release while moving around to the sacral area. Elbows are pressed back, behind the body; they do not float out to the sides. After palms press downward from the sacrum in place of the buttocks, the fingers are pointed inward to form a triangle. To transition to Qian Qin Zhang, forward pressing palms, wrists release their press, and rise to the hip level. Elbows remain pointing backwards while wrists move to navel level, and arms extend forward wrists to navel level. Elbows are now in front center, fist distance away from chest.

Shuang Qiao Shou

Transition to Shuang Qiao Shou (Double Bridge Hands), elbows lift to shoulder level, as forearms lift, ending with left arm over right arm. Fingertips and elbows are in line with each other. Elbows lead transition for Hacking elbow. As this is done, wrists release gradually with fingers pointing to a side angle. Wrists lead for throat cutting hands, Bai Shou and gradually straighten, performing a throat cutting technique. Returning hands to front center, wrists gradually release, making the finger tips point backwards. Once both hands reach the center, the right and left hands cross, with the right hand over the left. This is done in a cutting motion; hands cut inward from backwards angled fingers, which lead to right arm over left to form Shuang Qiao Shou again..

Shuang Chen Shou

Performing Shuang Chen Shou, elbows and wrists slightly bend to clear the center for movement, and forearms and elbows fall into the center with fingers; Wrists in Zhi Shou position, fingers pointing in forward center, creating a triangle at the solar plexus level. There is a slight expression of forward energy when performing this technique focused at the wrists to the forearm.

Shuang Tuo Shou

This technique is done by causing the wrists to deviate with ridge of thumbs, from the first knuckle of the thumg to the wrist, turning away from the center from a Chen Shou. Fingers pointing towards the center line.

Shuang Quan Shou

Double Circular Hands Shuang quan shou: elbows and wrists stay in place while performing a circular hand, quan shou, stopping at palms parallel to the ground.

Shuang Qin Shou

Upon execution of Shuang quan shou, wrists press forward by extending the hand. Wrists will be in line with the solar plexus, positioned in front of the sternum, elbows will be an inch away from the chest.

Shuang Biao Zhi

This technique is done by releasing the wrists from Shuang qin shou to be inline with the arm, with a slight angle applied to the hand and forearm, as the arm extends on an upward angle towards eye level. The path is a forward upward angle. Finger tips will be at eye-brow level.

Shuang Xia Qin Zhang

Shuang Xia Qin Zhang (Double Palms in Downward Press) follows after biao zhi; wrists release gradually, settling downward at the navel level, elbows fist distance from the chest.

Shuang Ti Shou
Shuang Ti Shou, or lifting hands, begins with fingers pointing downward, wrists lift to shoulder level, turn wrists to allow the fingers to point inwards making a Hu Shou position; then from Hushou,

continue to Circular Hand. During execution of Ti shou, arms are straight but not locked at the elbows.

Pai Shou For Pai shou, fingers open pointing to the center. Once finger tips reach the center of the sternum; the hand turns with palm facing slightly forward, gradually snapping the palm forward to the side. The motion ends at the sideline of the axillary border. The snap is released upon returning to hu shou. Ke Da
Ke Da is a chin strike. Following pai shou, as the wrist is slightly relaxed, fingers are pointing in an upward angle. The elbow presses forward, leading the arm upward to chin level. Fingers lead the wrist to snap, fingers should be on a side angle upon snapping to the chin level. After completing chin strike, perform quan shou (circular hand), and return to chamber.

Geng Shou
Following Tan shou, release wrist slightly, and guide it down the center of the torso. Do not make this movement circular. Ridge of hand slightly cuts to a downward angle. Angle is to the direction of the hand being used. After executing geng shou, reverse the movement to return to tan shou, with a snap of the palm. Geng shou is a cutting hand.

Lei Da

In a similar motion as geng shou, lead the wrist down in the middle of performing quan shou, and leading the palm towards the lower rib level. Once your wrist reaches your lower rib level; slightly thrust forward with a snap. After, return to tan shou and perform quan shou without extending the arm. Keep the arm bent as though it is in a tan shou position when performing circular hand. The wrist is the only part which turns, thus guiding the forearm to turn slightly. Return to chamber. Lei Da is a lower rib strike.

Bang Shou
Bang Shou follows in the form sequence. Open fingers pointing to the center. The elbow leads forward, fingers are directed into the center line path going forward and turning. The hand turns gradually, and begins as soon as the wrist is in line with the nipples. Upon extension of the arm to bang shou, After bong sau is executed, the elbow drops to center in Tan shou.

Zhong Zhang
Following the tan shou, a lying, or mounding palm is executed, Zhong Zhang. The wrist pulls up from tan shou to chin level and snaps up. Fingers will be pointing slightly down with arm extended slightly upward, not locked at the elbow, with a 140 deg angle at the arm. Once this is finished, return hand to tan shou, and perform quan shou, return to chamber. Keep the transition from beginning Bang shou to full Bang shou, to Tan Shou, Zhong Zhang, and back to Tan shou very small. All movements should not be overextended. All hand sequences are to be repeated on the right hand.

Geng Shou/Jian Shou

From chamber, both hands open with fingers pointing towards the center. Left arms extends down in geng shou, right ridge hand meets the crease of the inner part of the left elbow, palm up, in the center of the chest. Simultaneously, the right hand cuts down the inner left arm, performing a cutting movement, as the left hand turns palm up, and follows up the right forearm to the right inner crease of the elbow. The right hand is now in geng shou. The left hand now cuts down the right forearm, right hand turns palm up and follows up the left forearm ending at the left inner elbow crease, palm up. Left hand is in geng shou. Perform one last hand cutting technique, and as the left hand follows up, it changes to a fist and is placed at the center of the chest, facing forward. Right arm in geng shou.

San Men Da (Punching the 3 Gates)

Following from left fist in center, and right arm in geng shou, is alternate thrust punches/chain punches; San Men Da. Simultaneously, as the left arm extends, with fist, to punch, the right geng shou moves to hu shou position closing to a fist at the center of the chest. The left fist punches to the chin level, right hand punches to the mid-chest level and finally, the left hand punches to the sternum level. This means, on the last punch, the wrist is in the center of the nipples. Right hand returns to chamber upon execution of the last punch.

Closing Xiao Nian Tou

After finishing San Men Da, you should be in Qian yang ma. Turn your left foot forward, and as you take a step to the left with your right foot, both hands open and turn so palms face and press down to end at your sides.

Xiao Nian Tou Manual Written by: Lin Ai Wei 2004 Revised: 2013

2nd Stage Form Practice

2nd stage focuses entirely on developing muscle, tendon and posture strengthening exercises. During the second stage, one may develop stronger arms, stance, technique and concentration. This stage has 3 levels of practice; Gradual tension Ending tension Snapping tension Each level requires breath control, and concentration. Without the first stage form practice, one may hurt themselves performing tension application during this stage. The reason is without familiarity of the first form sequence, your concentration may be diverted, and your breathing will become anxious. Without familiarity of the first form hand transitions, you may be unsure when to start and end your applied tension.

Gradual Tension
When starting the form, begin the opening sequence normally. Only after you are in Qian Yang Ma do you begin gradual tension exercises. Gradual tension application means upon beginning any technique, you are to apply a gradual tension within the movements leading to the end position of your technique.

Once you reach the end position of your technique, your applied tension should be at full level. For example, from the beginning motion of the form: As the punch extends forward, from the beginning of the arms motion forward, apply a slight tension which becomes stronger and stronger upon the full extension of the arm. Once you reach the end position of the punch, your tension should have become stronger and stronger. At the end position, your tension should be at full strength, maintaining the tension for 10 seconds and then release the tension gradually before applying the return motion tension. Before the return motion tension, you should be performing the Quan shou transition. The Quan Shou should be done with no tension at all. This allows for the previous applied tension to release from the tendons, and free up any residual tightness in the arm. After the Quan shou is completed, and your hand returns to the punch posture, apply gradual tension while moving to the chamber position where your technique started. As you arrive at the chamber position, your tension should become stronger and stronger until you are settled at the chambering position. At the chambering position, your tension should be at full strength and maintain the tension for 3 seconds due to your hand remaining in the chambering position while the other arm will be performing its technique. This example explains the manner of your applied tension while in transition of your technique. Applied tension should be done to every hand transition in your form except on Quan Shou and Quan Shou transitions.

2nd Level : Ending Tension

The second level of the 2nd stage form practice is called Ending Tension because your full tension is applied at the end of your technique posture. For example:

When transitioning from Tan Shou to Zhi Shou, once you arrived at the Tan Shou position, apply full tension to the Tan Shou. When transitioning with Quan Shou to Zhi Shou, the transition is performed with no tension at all. Once you are in Zhi Shou position, apply full tension. Hold the full tension on each technique for 10 seconds, then release to perform the movement to Hu shou. Upon Hu Shou apply full tension, and then release to apply Pai shou. This manner of applied tension is to be followed throughout the 2nd level tension application for this stage of the first form.

3rd Level: Snapping Tension

The 3rd level of the 2nd stage form practice is called Snapping Tension for when you have reached your ending posture for the technique, there is a quick snapping tension applied to the posture. The snapping tension is applied quickly, and with force. Make sure the force you apply does not cause your hand to come out of its fixed position. Meaning, do not jerk the hand causing it to move outside of your control, and outside of the techniques postural limitations. For example: When transitioning from Hou Qin Shou to Qian Qin Shou, there is no tension on the transition, yet when you are about to arrive at the end position of the technique, apply a snapping tension to the hands. This manner of snapping tension is applied to every technique in the form except on Bang Shou. Bang Shou Snapping Tension is applied, NOT at the turning of the arm, because it will cause you to apply the snap from the shoulder, which will harm your shoulder muscle and tendons. The snapping tension of the Bang Shou, when in application is applied 4 inches from where your forearm and opponents body (or arm or whatever your bong shou is contacting with) connects. In the form, the snapping is applied only at the end of completing the bong shou movement.

Make sure you follow the form explanation of where the energy is applied within the techniques. Meaning if the energy is to be in the palm, then apply the snapping tension at the palm, if it is at the forearm, wrist, and elbow or back of hand, apply it properly to those areas.

3rd Stage Form Practice

Third stage form practice is a revision of the first form itself. In the first form we focus on learning a fixed center-line position which enables our body to develop a muscle-memory like function of positioning. In the third stage revised form, we learn that our center-line is as wide as our chest and as small as our sternum, depending on the direction of rotation our hips and torso turn to. The 3rd stage form practice consists of 3 levels of practice. These practices focus entirely on softening your arms, stretching the tendons, maintaining a smooth transition from the beginning to the ending of your techniques, and learning how to perform the first form with two hands simultaneously. The 2nd and 3rd stages of the form practice are a manner of Qigong practice called Muscle and Tendon Cultivation. Due to the form techniques differing from the actual Muscle and Tendon Cultivation system of Shaolin called Yi Jin Jing, we can not call it actual Muscle and Tendon Cultivation of Shaolin itself, but only a variation of the actual system.

The 3 levels of the 3rd stage are called: Single Partial Continuous

Double Partial Continuous Complete Continuous

Single Partial Continuous

Single partial continuous means performing the first form one hand at a time, while stopping at the end posture of each technique. While performing each posture, there is to be no tension applied at all. Movements should be very slow, coordinating with your breathing speed, which should be slow as well. The tip of the tongue should be placed at the roof of the mouth, and anal muscles should be slightly tensed. This promotes the connection of the Ren and Du meridians in the body which run down the front of the body (Ren) and up the back of the body (Du). Breath is focused down to the Dan Tian which is located one inch and a half down from the navel, and an inch and a half into the body. On the inhalation, the breath is focused down the front of the body, flowing down to the genitals, around and up through the tail bone leading up the spine, to the top of the head and down again to the front of the body leading to the Dan Tian. Once your breath reaches the Dan Tian, and you cannot take in any more air, slowing exhale, keeping your focus on the Dan Tian. Inhalation and exhalation is done through the nose only, causing the abdomen to expand on inhalation and contract upon exhalation. This is called the Micro-cosmic orbit meditation. Each inhalation follows the extension of your arm completing one technique. Once you reach the end posture of the technique, exhalation begins. Upon transition to the next posture, inhalation begins again, and the M.C.O. (Micro-cosmic orbit) meditation can continue. This completes the first level of the 3rd stage first form practice.

Double Partial Continuous

Double partial continuous is the 2nd level of this stage. It means using both hands to perform the movements of the first form simultaneously, except during the punching techniques of the first part of the form, and stopping at the end posture of each technique. During this level, you will need to be aware of the space between the hands when performing certain transitions such as Quan Shou so as not to hit your fingers together during the transition. This level is to be done slow, and application of the M.C.O. is to be in accordance to the breathing speed, performed exactly as in the first level of this stage. Double partial continuous allows the elbows to move in their fixed position to the boundaries of the most lateral aspect of the rib cage. This level also shortens the time the first form is completed.

Complete Continuous
Complete continuous is the 3rd and final level of this stage of the form practice. It means to perform all movements with both hands simultaneously without stopping at the end posture of each technique. This level allows you to develop a flow of continuous motion, piecing together all techniques within Xiao Nian Tou. Pay attention to the extension of the elbow, and transition of the hands upon performing each technique. The non-stop application allows your internal energy to flow freely, which promotes better blood and Qi circulation throughout the joints, muscles and extremities of the limbs.

It also allows the techniques to be freed from their fixed positions of their end postures, and allows an easier transition to other techniques used during application. The first part of this level is to become familiar with continuous movement and the second part is to apply the M.C.O. meditation. This final level completes the first form 3 stages practice.

In observing how the transitions of the 2nd and 3rd stages are done, we can see that each movement from the 1st stage are interchangeable, and that they intermingle. Intermingling of techniques means that any one technique can change into any other technique, not just flow into the sequential positioning of how the techniques of the first form are laid out. Some transitions within the 3rd stage require a bit of commentary. These transitions are from the first portion from the Hu Shou and Pai Shou:

Hu Shou/Pai Shou Transition: After the sequence of Tan Shou, Hu Shou and Fu Shou is completed, both hands would be occupying the center. Therefore, the lead hand should be 2 inches in front of the Hu Shou, and at an angle forward, perform Pai Shou and Zheng Zhang (Palm Strike, which is forward in center). On the return of the lead hand to the chambering position, the Hu Shou begins its Pai Shou at a slight forward angle from the center and proceeds to Zheng Zhang. San Qin Zhang Transition: During San Qing Zhang (3 Palms Down), both hands move simultaneously in their respective patterns. Pai Shou and Ke Da Transition:

During the Pai Shou and Ke Da (Chin Strike), follow the above explanation of Hu Shou/Pai Shou transition, but replace the Zheng Zhang with a Chin Strike (for Chin strike reference, please see 1st form explanation).

Technique Combinations

And Practice Methods

Technique Combinations and Practice Methods

The following technique combinations and practice methods may vary from different Yong Chun families, but overall, the ideas of application follow similar guidelines. Some of these practices I have learned, some I have put together myself, and overall they have been revised through my own experiences in application. Over the years I have found Yong Chun to be a system of specific technical combinations. That being said, if a person only learned the first form, basic shifting and forward stance practices along with a few technique combinations, yet never learned the rest of the forms, etc, they would be proficient enough to hold their own.

If a person only learned basic shifting methods, and a few technical combinations, they would still be proficient, as long as they practiced what they learned. In light of this observation, we can see that understanding Yong Chun isnt in the quantity of what you learn, but the quality of effort put into what you learn. By all means, if some of these methods seem useful to you, let the following information be a reference for your own practice and feel free to adjust them according to your understanding and way of practice.

Training Exercises
In the year 2003 I began studying basic Shaolin martial arts practices. Basically low stances, high kicks, a basic fist form, horse stance, cat stance, etc. Once I started practicing, I felt as though my stances in Yong Chun became more stable, legs stronger, and body more awake. From that time I incorporated in my own personal practice, various low stance training methods to strengthen the legs, root and body. In 2011 I began studying Hong Quan (Hung Keun), and again began practicing horse stances, cat stances and a few more that really grew on me, and ultimately changed my bridging and rooting power. I saw the difference in Yong Chun, and decided to teach my students such stances as part of their practice regimen in Yong Chun. Soon after,

my students reported back to me stating they felt their legs getting stronger, body feeling tighter, and their Yong Chun applications feeling more of a substance. Contrary to popular belief, Hong Quan isnt a stiff, low stance fighting, external only martial art. Dont take my word for it. It doesnt hurt to go and learn things we are unsure about and come to an educated perspective.


10-15 minutes
4 Point Horse Stance (Si Ping Ma ) Bow Stance (Gong Bu ) Unicorn Stance ( Qilin Bu ) Cat Stance

This sequence is to be repeated for 15 minutes. Each posture held for at least 30 seconds to 1 minute.

Basic Conditioning and Training:

500 Punches Forearm conditioning training 30 each arm 500 punches with one leg, switching feet every 50 punches. Feel free to also do Tan Da and or Gang Da within your 500 200 palm - Either the 3 set palm striking( Palm, Ridge Hand, and Back of Hand) or just the palm. Slightly cup the palm, do not hit a flat palm 80 kicks each leg Pole Work, First stage pole work First Stage "Xiao Nian Tou" - Up to what you are familiar with for 15 minutes

Partner Practice
Choose a partner for the following exercises and change your partner every 5 minutes: Partnering Stationary Practice: Crossed Over Punching (connecting the outside of the forearms) Pai Shou/Da La Shou/Da Bong Sao exercise Chong Shou exercise Tanda pad Application (shifting only) Gengda pad Application (shifting only) Tanda and Gengda Application (shifting only) Ban Chi Shou (full)

Shifting Practices
45 degree Shifting: 45 degree shifting: 100 shifts switching hands 45deg. and Triple punching: 30 shifts 45deg. and Bong sao: 30 shifts 45deg. and Tan da: 30 shifts 45deg. and Geng da: 30 shifts 45deg. and kick: 30 Shifts 7 Point Shifting: 45deg. and triple punching: 30 shifts 45deg. and Tan da: 30 shifts 45deg. and Geng da: 30 shifts 45deg. and kick: 30 Shifts

Stepping Practice
If you are up to stepping practices, please do the following using 45 degree angles and Triangle Stepping:

Forward and Return Stepping: (adding the following) Stepping forward and returning Triple punches Front Kick Tan Da Geng Da Moving Partner Practice: Kicking Pad application (forward and return stepping) 1 leg Rooting Exercise (forward and return stepping) Stepping Pai shou/Da, Bang sao exercise Forward and Return stepping with Piercing Palm Continuous stepping and kicking

Technique Instructions
Strength Training: 1000 punches Thrusting Tan Da, first stage expression Geng Da, first stage, no changing Tan da and Geng da One leg standing and switching feet One leg over bench and switching every 50 punches equaling 500 punches. Do not let the heel touch the bench

Forward Stance and Switching Feet

center-line, at a 45 degree One foot turns out, away from the center Weight then shifts over the foot, keeping the hips/pelvis pointing forward. angle.

Then take the foot with no weight on it, and bring it forward with both knees bent. Both knees bent, knee over the ball of the foot. Front foot position is in position with the front of the shoulder muscle (deltoid), or at least in line to the front part of the hip of that side. Front foot's toes slightly pointing inward. Weight can be felt as distributed 80% on the back, 20% on the front. 70% on the back, 30% on the front leg. (Some forward and return stepping transitions may require a 50%-50% stance.)

Switching Feet: Front foot pulls back and replaces the other foot, while the previous foot shifts forward. Heel replaces heel.

4 Count Kicking
From any forward position, left or right foot forward: knee lifts up into the center line and curves to its opposite direction with heel in the center line, knee pointing outside of the body's boundary. heel kick forward, toes pointing opposite from the center line. leg pulls back, heel in the center line. leg comes down following the first step's manner, and back to forward stance.

3 Kinds of Pai Shao

When I began learning Yong Chun, one of my elder brothers told me of 3 different Pai Shou (Pak Sao) energies. Though he used slightly different terminology, I later contemplated their qualities and changed the names to the following: Penetrating, Snapping and Yielding.

Pai Shou can be applied as a stable and fluid slap of the opponents arm, a direct and forward trapping of the forearm, elbow or arm itself; also a slight redirection of the opponents attack as well as receiving and seizing of the opponents attack. Below I lay out details as to performing each type of Pai Shou:

Penetrating Pai Shou

Pai Shou follows the punching mannerism, only with palms open and a slight angle at the palm allowing the palm to face its opposite direction at a 45 degree angle. There are a few variations of the straight, penetrating Pai Shou: Elbows follow punching elbow positioning. Palms are pointed downward at a slight 45deg. angle. Hu Shou becomes Pai Shou upon contact with the partner's wrist. Hu Shou moves straight over the front hand, moving between the index finger and thumb area of the front hand. Extension of the arm, firm and forward ensures penetrating energy.

Snapping Pai shou

Snapping Pai Shou, as with all Pai Shou, follow the punching elbow positioning. The only difference is the snapping aspect of this manner of Pai Shou: Hands move in the same manner forward as with penetrating Pai Shou. Upon contact with partner's arm there is a short touch and retraction from the forearm/wrist of the partner.

The elbow returns to a fist distance from the chest.

Yielding Pai Shou

Yielding Pai Shou is a receiving hand. It doesn't allow the partner's punch to penetrate the middle gate. No matter how much force the partner thrusts at you, the yielding Pai Shou can receive the force and stabilize it by simple elbow and hip positioning. Hips/pelvis must be pressed slightly forward and should be adjusted upon force, or it is a useless hand, as well the legs must has enough strength to hold and direct oncoming force into your root. Thus one needs to maintain their Bu Fa, or foot work. Elbow extends fist and a half from the chest upon application. Elbow returns to fist distance after receiving force. There is no forward force pressed into the partner's wrist/forearm. There is a slight forward extension, but not a thrusting forward force in this Pai Shou.

La Shou/La Da
La Shou and La Da have multiple applications within the practice drill. Firstly, you must develop a strong extended bridge by practicing first the Chong Shou.

Chong Shou
Both partners stand off with left wrists touching/engaged with each other. The rear (Hu Shou) hand extends forward with wrists firm and fingers pointing forward. Pressure/forward force is applied forward as in the over punching drills.

There can be applied snapping and or penetrating energies to the exercise. Yet first start with penetrating (direct forward energy) in the beginning. Then work the student to snapping applications.

La Shou Stage 1
Partners face off touching wrists in Qian Yang Ma. One partner punches from rear (Hu Shou) hand. The other partner extends the Hu Shou hand straight forward and upward, performing Chong Shou, to the chin direction of the partner. Connecting to the wrists, or 3 inches passed the wrist to the forearm, the La Shou partner turns palm towards the partners wrist and simultaneously slides down to the base of the partner's wrist. Then, the La Shou partner grips the wrist, and slowly pulls and turns the punching partner's arm inward. This way develops wrist, and finger gripping power as well as tendon integrity. Eventually one will not grab, but slightly make an angled hook-like positioning with the hand connecting the ridge side of the small finger to the opponents thumb area.

La Shou Stage 2
Beginning the same way as stage 1 La Shou partner thrusts Hu Shou hand forward connecting at punching partner's wrist. Upon contact, La Shou partner slides hand down forearm, and simultaneously grips the wrist.

Upon gripping wrist, La Shou partner applies a slight jerking motion to the punching partner's arm while pulling in. Upon a feeling of resisted force from the punching partner, the La Shou partner thus releases the arm and returns to center. Return to center by placing the La Shou "hand" back to forward position, which should be now connecting to the punching partner's grabbed/locked wrist.

Pai Da
Pai Da is both a Pai Shou (slapping hand) and a punch at the same time. Yet, it is not applied as pretty as the practice drill. Beginning the same as Pai Shou drill Punching partner, at slow speed in the beginning, thrusts out 3 punches. One Pai Shou for each punch Upon the last Pai Shou, the returning hand, previous Pai Shou hand, thrust forward in a punching manner, straight forward. The punching hand returns to Hu Shou position.

Tan Da
Following Tan Shou principles, the arms are placed in front in a stand off position. Then forearm turns with palm facing upward, and extends forward; simultaneously thrusting opposite hand in a punch along side the extending Tan Shou. Tan Shou returns to fixed elbow position one fist distance from the chest.

Geng Da
From extended hand position, lead hand turns at the forearm with wrist in line, with forearm, while the hand begins to cut downward. Elbow fist distance from the chest, wrist at the navel level, hand/forearm at a slight 45 degree angle. Punching hand from Hu Shou position goes forward, not up, not down.

Geng Shou returns to Hu Shou and punching hand returns to forward off hand position.

Ban Chi Shou (Dan Chi Sao): First stage Ban Chi Shou (dan chi sao) begins with one partner in Tan Shou position, and the other in a Fu Shou position. The Fu Shou partner waits for the Tan Shou partner to extend their hand to a palm strike. Upon movement, the Fu Shou partner changes into a Zhi Shou. Then, the partners return to Tan Shou and Fu Shou positioning. This is to be done 10-30 times each hand.

8 Directional Cuts
This technique is fairly new in that I decided to add a few more angular wrist deviations to the already present 3 directional wrist deviations of the 3rd form. In the revised version of Xiao Nian Tou, after the Punch, I perform the 8 directional Cuts (wrist deviations). The reason is two fold: To loosen and relax the wrists, and tendons of the forearm, and to offer a close quarter awareness of continuous protection of the middle/upper gates with one hand. Its use can be used for distance fighting, but stronger in close quarters. 8 Directional Cuts:

In following the directional map above, we can at least get a better idea as to the angles which we are utilizing. We can utilize the above picture and reference the directions as a map of our movement. Placement: Begin on the left side, from the extended punch of the first form First direction: Wrist deviates to the right side - East Turn the palm facing down, and extend the fingers to the left, hooking the thumb in towards the palm, thrusting wrist, slightly, to the right. Second direction: Wrist deviates to the left side -West Simply thrust the wrist to the left, ending with fingers pointing go the right, or towards the center line. Third direction: Forearm turns slightly, while wrist deviates up and outwards from the center - NW Turn the forearm slightly, allowing the arm to almost flex into a Tan Shou position. Thrust the wrist to the upper left hand corner; Palm is upwards, fingers facing the right at a slight angle, and forward. (Its the only position they can be at this position.) Fourth direction: From NW position to SE position Wrist performs a Zhi Shou movement, and ends in the center line. Ending position is likened to an angular Tan Shou. Fifth direciton: From SE position to NE position: The forearm lifts slightly with a very slight forward extension, and turns where palms face right at a 45 degree angle. Wrist deviates to that direction, and the fingers point to the left, at a slight angle forward.

Sixth direction: From NE position to SW position: This movement is a simple Zhi Shou (Jut Sao) movement in an angle to the downward left. Resembling a Geng Shou, just in the middle gate at the solar plexus level. Seventh direction: From SW position to North position: Forearm and hand turn together, as usual, and end up directly on the center line. The wrist deviates upwards, causing the fingers to point downwards. Deviation leaves the wrist at collarbone level. Eight Position: From North to South: This motion is a simple Chen Shou movement. Wrist deviates downwards and ends up at solar plexus level, ending with forearm slightly in a flexed position, and palms facing right.

Remember, all fingers are kept close to each other, try not to open them up too much, but leave enough room for comfort. The in depth explanation of this will be further discussed in the Revised Xiao Nian Tou form commentary to be written at another time.

Stepping, Turning and Moving the Stance

The techniques of the first form are prevalent throughout the remaining 2 forms of Yong Chun. Xiao Nian Tou, as with any first form within Chinese Martial Arts, is the foundation of all techniques that follow throughout the rest of the system. Therefore, all there is needed to do in your Yong Chun training is to practice using your imagination when applying the techniques you learned. An outline of how to apply some techniques is given here. These, as with all outlines, are a simple theory of application. Meaning, the following outlines are combinations of techniques that give you a foundation as to how to use different techniques simultaneously, and for different applications. Since you already learned Xiao Nian Tou, the following outline is based on a combination of those hand techniques, and are also within the Xun Qiao form. After the Xun Qiao form outline, there will be several different hand combinations due to different positioning of certain hand postures. For example; within the Xun Qiao form there is a lower gate bang shou which transitions through an upper cut like motion, connecting to the lower ribs, moving up to the chin level. This is not seen in the Xiao Nian Tou, but it is similar to the Lei Zhang transition leading from geng shou to tan shou.

Technique Combinations
Middle Gate Bang Da Tuo Da Biao Da Ti Da Fu Da Qin Da Pai Da Chong Shou (Piercing Hand and Punch)

These techniques can be performed within the shifting and stepping practices for coordination between hands and feet.

Shifting and Stepping Practices

Shifting and stepping practices develop the awareness of distancing and timing, as well as issuance of force. There is a time and placement for the issuance of ones force when applying techniques. All shifting practices can be done in a forward step or return step. Shifting and stepping allows for the awareness of the following: Weight distribution upon the foot and its influence on the rest of the body Hip rotation and stabilization Hip flexing Body height changing Shoulder and hip alignment 3 Aspect of Spinal flexing and extension (utilization of the 3 aspects of the spine) Joint alignment while moving Foot positioning and timing on transition

: San Jiao Zhuan Fa 45 degree Shifting

The San Jiao Zhuan Fa, known as Triangular Turning, or 45 degree shifting, allows one to develop short power from a close distance by stopping full movement abruptly. Shifting is initiated from the feet, weight on the middle of the foot, distributed equally to the heel and ball of the foot. Depending on which side you wish to shift to, right or left, you will push off the opposite foot of the direction you wish to end up in. Begin as follows: Qian yang ma, either hand forward in Wen Shou, with one hand in Hu Shou If turning to the left; push off the right foot accordingly Keep shoulders inline with hips, knees over the ball of the feet

Thrust Wen Shou (seeking hand) slightly, performing a short snap on the extension Upon transitioning to the right side, and upon initiating the transition, Wen Shou, simultaneously returns to Hu Shou position, and while previous Hu Shou extends forward into a Chong Shou Chong Shou, upon extension, initiates a short forward snap To return to Qian yang ma, Chong Shou, upon initiation of movement, gradually returns to Hu Shou position, and Hu Shou extends forward into Chong Shou with a short forward snap

(Qi Xing Zhuan Fa): 7 Star Shifting

7 star shifting is named after the Pleadian Star system, and this star system has its influence on many Chinese Martial Arts forms as well as Chinese Culture; Qi Xing Bu, in Bagua Zhang, Qi Xing Jian, a sword form, etc. 7 star shifting has 2 extended angles; angles 2 and 5. These angles offer a wider range on applying forward snapping force upon extension. Begin as follows:

Qian yang ma, either hand forward in Wen Shou, with one hand in Hu Shou If turning to the left; push off the right foot accordingly Keep shoulders inline with hips, knees over the ball of the feet Thrust Wen Shou hand slightly, performing a short snap on the extension. Stop your turn slightly smaller than 45 degree angle position. Approx. 15-20 degree angular shift. 1st angle Upon transitioning to the right side, and upon initiating the transition, Wen Shou, simultaneously returns to Hu Shou position, while previous Hu Shou extends forward into a Chong Shou Chong Shou, upon extension, initiates a short forward snap Stop your turn a bit wider than 45degree, at approx. 70-75degree. 2nd turn. Follow the same transition instructions for the hands on all turning angles

3rd, 4th and 6th turning angles are 45 degree turns. The 5th turning angle is approximately 70-75 degree, same as second. From 6th turning angle, to return to Qian yang ma: Chong Shou, upon initiation of movement, gradually returns to Hu Shou position, and Hu Shou extends forward into Chong Shou with a short forward snap

; Si Xing Bu fa 4 star Stepping

Si Xing Bu Fa, 4 star stepping, is also known as Box Stepping for the stepping movements seem as though it forms a square shape. This stepping method allows for the practitioner to evade, create distance, close distance and gain a close quarter advantage while forward stepping to the opponent. You would have already learned to stand in a forward stance at this point. Begin as follows: From forward stance position; Starting with left foot forward, step out and move to the left, repositioning the back leg underneath your tail bone Once in position, return step leading with back leg stepping back about a foot and a halfs distance, and reposition front left leg into proper forward stance position Once in proper forward position, with back leg (right leg), step to the right and move to the right, while repositioning the left leg into forward stance position Once in proper forward stance position, take a forward step leading with the front leg (left leg), and reposition the back leg under the tail bone Once in position, switch feet and perform the stepping method with the right leg in forward position

: San Xing Zou Ma 3 Star Stepping

San Xing Zou Ma or 3 star stepping; is a stepping technique which allows for evasion and angular advantage over the opponent. It requires prior familiarity in San Jiao Zhuan Fa, 45 degree turning method. There are two ways to performing this stepping method. One way is with a circular step upon forward stepping, and second is a rooted step and thrust with the advancing leg upon forward stepping; means the rear leg thrusts from its original position, directly into the desired angle.

Begin as follows: 1st method; Qian yang ma, starting on left side, slight turn to the left, while advancing forward Once left foot presses the ground, shift weight completely onto that foot Once weight is completely settled, turn the hips towards the right side While turning the hips, pull in the right leg towards the left foot, and circularly place the right forward As you are doing this motion, push off the left foot and advance in the right side direction, ending in a forward stance while in a 45 degree angle 2nd method; Qian yang ma, starting on left side, slight turn to the left, while advancing forward Once left foot presses the ground, shift weight completely onto that foot Once weight is completely settled, turn the hips towards the right side leaving the back leg (right leg) in its position While hips are turning, begin turning the right leg, making the toes point towards the right side direction Upon advancing into the right side direction, the right leg advances from its fixed position making a cutting-like motion forward, ending in a 45 degree angle on the right side

Both stepping methods are to be performed on both sides continuously, starting from their end positions. Returning the angular stepping; These stepping methods are to be performed on the return step or stepping backwards method. Begin as follows: Starting from the right angular forward position, return step leading with the left foot Upon pressing the ground firmly with the left foot, turn hips to the left side direction While turning hips to the left side direction, step back swiftly with the right leg and place the right leg under the tail bone As the right leg is positioning under the tail bone, swiftly thrust the left leg into a forward stance position and adjust the foot properly This method is for a cut-like motion of the lead leg. If choosing to apply the circular stepping method to the lead leg, then while hips are turning, the lead leg should circularly come towards the back foot and reposition itself under the tail bone accordingly as the back foot swiftly moves into its forward position. All stepping methods; San Jiao Zhuan Fa, Qi Xing Zhuan Fa, San Xing Zou Ma as well as the following Kou Bu and Bai Bu can be performed while advancing forward.

Kou Bu / Bai Bu
The Kou Bu and Bai Bu stepping methods were originally taught in the Bagua Zhang system, yet its positioning and applications are slightly familiar to the a turning method found in the Yong Chun style I learned, which was called Plum Blossom Turn. Since it doesnt resemble a plum blossom whatsoever, I changed the name to its function; detaining (kou) and breaking (Bai) turn/step.

This stepping method allows for a swift control of the opponents foot and knee, causing the opponent to lose postural stability. This is the Kou Bu method. The Bai Bu method allows for the opponents leg attacks to be deflected, and or for their leg to become locked and broken. Both Kou Bu and Bai Bu also offer a turning evasion away from an attack, away from the opponent as well as turning into the opponent, adding a spiraling momentum/force to the application of your techniques. The Kou Bu and Bai Bu have two methods of transitional application.

Begin as follows: 1st method, Kou Bu Starting from a forward stance, left leg forward; left leg cuts diagonally into the center-line Left foot toes meet the front of the right foot toes Kou Bu technique is to be done swiftly

1st method, Bai Bu Upon completing first method Kou Bu, your weight should be completely on the left foot As weight is shifted onto the left foot, turn the hips out to the right As the hips are turning to the right, turn the right foot out to the right, circling inward left then outward right with toes pointing outward right Foot is placed firmly onto the ground, knee over the ball of the foot, weight distributed equally on the right foot 2nd method, Kou Bu Starting from a forward stance, left leg forward; left steps diagonally into the center-line Left foot toes meet the front of the right foot toes

Kou Bu technique is done with knees pressing forward and placed over the ball of the foot 2nd method Bai Bu Upon completing second method Kou Bu, your weight should be completely on the left foot As weight is shifted onto the left foot, turn the hips out to the right As the hips are turning to the right, the right leg thrusts forward and settles at the heel into a forward stance As the right foot is settling into position, left foot and hips should be simultaneously turning to the right and should abruptly stop This 2nd method Bai Bu is actually a thrust forward of the leg, striking with the shin of the lead leg, if the toes are turned away from the center, then it can be used to lock and break the opponents leg and knee. It can also end as a heel strike/sweep to the opponents lower aspect of the leg, ankle and heel itself; that is if you didnt turn out the toes to lock the knee, and break it.

Eight Directional Shifting Exercise

Eight direction shifting exercise develops stability on the root-leg and while shifting from a closed stance (closed stance here means when feet are close together, knees bent). The exercise focuses on keeping balance and further developing a stationary-moving root while kicking. This allows for the awareness of kicking from any position, and turning on one foot. Begin as follows: Stand with feet at a closed stance Knees bent, hands in chambering position Shift left: Body shifts to left 45deg angle, while turning, adjust right foot for the shift

While shifting, lifting the left foot to kick at the angle turned to Return left foot back to closed stance position Repeat on right side after having completed a full 8 shifts ending in the position you started in.

6.5 Point Pole Practice Methods

9.5ft Pole Exercises

When I began learning Yong Chun, I was taught to use the long pole for strength training. I personally enjoy such exercises, and have even created more exercises to work with, along with incorporating the actual pole form positions as practice postures for developing strength for the form and structure; Though the pole form itself isnt taught till much later, in the beginning it is totally okay to exercise with the pole. Pole exercises work on several areas of strengthening: rooting, stance, spine posture, shoulder and elbow positioning, muscle toning and development, tendon strengthening and power development. These areas are very important for your martial arts practice, as well as for your physical health. You can gain all these different types of development from your form and technical practice but using a 9.5ft pole will help speed things along in a beneficial way.

First Stage Pole Practice:

Each level is to be done 10 times to complete 1 set. Complete 3 sets of 10

Stand in Qian Yang Ma, holding the far end of the pole with your left hand. Place the right hand in front of the left. The end of the pole should be placed at the center of the sternum, pole held straight out. The hand placed at the end of the pole holds the pole firmly; this hand is called the back hand. The hand in front of the back hand holds the pole with light tension and its function is to stabilize the pole. The back hand rotates with force, while the front hand gradually applies force upon full rotation. Upon full rotation, both hands snap with a forceful snap upon ending the rotation. Elbows should be bent, finger nails facing up. Do not over turn the wrists for you will place too much strain on the tendons running over the wrist bones causing joint problems.

First Level: Upward snap

Rotate pole directing the tip of the pole upward at a 45 degree angle from the starting position. To do this, you will have to snap and rotate the end of the pole, where you are holding, downward to the pelvic bone level. Return the pole back to its beginning position by rotating the held end of the pole upward to be level with the center of the chest, with tip of the pole pointing straight ahead, parallel to the ground.

Second Level: Middle Snap

Rotate pole while extending your arms directly forward. The end of the pole that you are holding will only extend forward. The hand rotates the pole and arms extend forward. Snap upon stopping at full extension.

Return pole back to its original position: end of the pole at the center of the sternum, tip of the pole pointed straight.

Third Level: Downward Snap

Rotate pole while extending the arms outward and directing the pole at a downward 45 degree angle from the starting position. Snap upon stopping at full extension. Return pole to its starting position.

Second Stage Pole Practice:

The second stage pole practice is performed on one leg. Each level of the first stage is to be done in 4 sets of 10 switching legs after each set.

Third Stage Pole Practice:

The third stage pole practice is done stationary in a forward stance, done completely the same way as the first stage. Each level is done in 4 sets of 10, switching legs after each set.

Fourth Stage Pole Practice:

The fourth stage pole practice is done in a moving forward stance. Upon stepping forward, snap the pole in following each individual level of the first stage pole practice. Stepping sequence is done forward for 5 steps, each step snapping the pole completing half of the stepping pole set. Return step for 5 steps, each step snapping the pole to complete a full stepping pole sequence.

In Reflection

As we can see, this book has laid out some fundamental practices for one who has already begun their journey into Yong Chun. I have purposely left out the more commonly known concepts and principles, in terms of centerline and immoveable elbow, due to loads of that information available online, in other books and from ones own teacher. Thus, this book isnt for the novice to utilize as a practice guide, but a novice may use it as a reference for specific cultural concepts from the early chapters. I personally hope many can find benefit from some of the practice methods and philosophy I presented. I have personally practiced these methods since 1999, and from 2008 till the present time of writing this book, 2013, have revised many of my old training exercises over and over again. Of course, this book only briefly covers the functions of the techniques, and does not go into how to apply them, or their transitions in application (how techniques change upon contact of anothers force.) This book is intended to simply offer another perspective to some techniques, offer some things others may not have in their Yong Chun, but feel useful and fitting, as well as open the lines of communication for those with questions about the training material presented.

Good luck on your journey in the Chinese Martial Arts Much success in your cultivation of Yong (Wing) Chun Quan!

Respectfully, Erik Oliva a.k.a. Lin Ai Wei