ManojBParticipantApril 21, 2018 at 4:32 pmPost count: 20
Creating a topic for ideas surrounding sparring training and setting it off.
We’ve (Seattle folks) have created a number of different drills over the years. Some have been better than others. I’ve more recently tried to at least write the good ones down. The general idea with most of them is to work a concept in a drill then introduce degrees of freedom. For instance, we work a drill that uses the Bagua turning and spiraling to slip and defend attacks. First, we start standing in place starting with straight punches, varying levels, then moving around and introducing other types/angles of attack. We’ve also tried using this concept to close the distance as well. Turning and parrying attacks while getting close.
In our last practice, we created a mitt drill using Pao as an entering strike (similar to a jab) then defending in close using the six harmony posture and creating distance with Pao to finish. Close -> explode -> defend -> explode -> retreat. This could be used with other elements but the overall principle is to attack when entering and when exiting and always keeping in mind defense during attack.Nancy FianoModeratorApril 22, 2018 at 8:11 amPost count: 17
We sometimes put everyone in the room in a grid. Sometimes 9 people. You have to run to the other side as they tap and kick you. All very light contact
They are allowed to move and close the gaps
The only way to get through without muscle is to spin and turn in all directions , spiral up and down
Low and high strikes.
ManojBParticipantMay 13, 2018 at 4:58 pmPost count: 20
- This reply was modified 10 months ago by Nancy Fiano.
We’ve been working on some mitt/pad drills with the five elements. They are a bit rough at this point and I already see some improvements to make. Curious what everyone else may have come up with and what you think.Nancy FianoModeratorMay 14, 2018 at 6:27 pmPost count: 17
Master Li always tells us the power is in the footwork. Beng has two way power, maybe try some drills stepping in with the power from the second step driving the punch. I found an old clip that shows Shifu Mark using the stepping in, driving forward instead of just circling https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nrrjv1CH2dI Footwork.Nancy FianoModeratorMay 14, 2018 at 6:36 pmPost count: 17
At the end of every class Master Li has had everyone training for more power. He does this using sit-ups. Not your usual kind. They have to be done very slowly, to a slow count of 10. You have to use dan tain turning to lift yourself into a sit up position. He uses the five fists of xinyi to do this. First Pi Chuan. Lay flat on the ground, legs out straight. Hands in front of body like santi stance. Now lift one shoulder and turn all the way right, continue and turn all the way left, lifting the body even more, now spiral into the center and end up doing pi chuan from a seated position. To the slow count of 10. He makes new people do 2 or 3, more advanced students 10. Then move on to the next four fists. Quite a challenge. I can’t do them from the floor, so I sit on the edge of a folding chair, feet on the ground and do them from that slanted position. Build power, spiral from center, always turning. Shifu turns the fists, wrists, elbows, shoulders, waist, head. Oh, did I mention that you are not supposed to exhale until you complete the fist.Nancy FianoModeratorMay 14, 2018 at 6:44 pmPost count: 17
I just remembered another sparring training drill that Master Li sometimes has the class do. He sets them up as if they were going to do push-hands, tournament style. One leg forward, one hand on partner, the other on partners elbow. He instructs that they are to use Xinyi strikes to push, staying connected, leaning in close with lots of shoulder, head and elbows and he has them wear big boxing gloves. This allows people to take a shot without getting creamed. Always something new in class. He is quite inventive.ManojBParticipantMay 14, 2018 at 11:36 pmPost count: 20
Thanks for the suggestions, I think I have an idea to implement that forward footwork into a drill with a pad. Something like striking into the pad with a step and then driving forward. I’ll record it and add it to the list.
That sit-up type exercise sounds interesting. I think I understand from the description you’ve given. I’ll give it a try.
We’ve done a similar sparring drill to what you’ve described. We both put on chest pads and do push hands with striking to the padded area. We all thought it was a very good free form drill to practice offense/defense all while using Xinyi elements. It’d be a good idea to practice with gloves to work protecting the head properly.GeoffParticipantMay 22, 2018 at 4:23 pmPost count: 5
Thanks Manoj, I enjoyed the mitt drills. I just started trying to do more of those. Lack of partner means my wife’s long-suffering continues.
Thanks Nancy for all your posts. Coincidentally, the sit-ups are something I’ve been thinking about: using the dantian on a horizontal plane (lying down) and in more “fitness-y” exercises. Haven’t tried engaging the hands in that way yet though.ManojBParticipantMay 24, 2018 at 12:34 amPost count: 20
Haha, I’m guessing sparring is out of the question then too! I’ve been mucking around with a couple heavy bags drills too. I have just a freestanding one so they are more focused around power and in-close footwork.ManojBParticipantJune 17, 2018 at 3:30 pmPost count: 20
One of the questions Peter asks everyone in his podcast got me thinking about what would be a good sparring/competitive format for Xinyi-Dao or chinese martial arts in general for that matter. One thing that I’ve noticed is that sportive combat ends up utilizing more space. I think for Xinyi-Dao we’d want to emphasize the close range nature of it. A typical Sanda or boxing size ring allows for distance attacks to be done with less risks as there is plenty of space to retreat and move. I’ve been thinking something the size of a sumo ring with a mixture of striking and throw/takedowns would be more suited for expressing the flavor Xinyi-Dao. A smaller space I think is better for emphasizing the self-defense aspect as well as attacks more likely will be in a small space such as an elevator or stairwell rather than out in the open. If there is space you’d just run away.Steve ChanParticipantJune 17, 2018 at 6:34 pmPost count: 10
A comment that I meant to make earlier is that when doing pad/mitt drills, I think its important to train the footwork to get in close ASAP using dantian based footwork. For example, this focus mitt drill looks really good to me:
But it has the standard boxing game of dancing just inside or just outside of punching range. Training this way, means that you’re going to train a boxing game instead of a Xinyi game where you close in hit with elbows and shoulders. I think you’d need either Thai pads or a torso shield/armor to train a punch/close-in/kao combination. There are quite a few that Shifu has shown us over the years that could be trained with mitts and pads. Some of the Bagua entries could be trained as well.
I’d look into how people train elbows and knees – if you’re serious about finishing up a fight ASAP, you’ll really want to be working on combinations that use knees and elbows. If you can actually see this guy’s elbows, I think it would be good fodder for figuring out training elbows with pads:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5s89dZhnA8ManojBParticipantJune 18, 2018 at 12:03 amPost count: 20
But it has the standard boxing game of dancing just inside or just outside of punching range. Training this way, means that you’re going to train a boxing game instead of a Xinyi game where you close in hit with elbows and shoulders.
I completely agree which boxing/kickboxing uses that in/out out and lateral footwork far more the Xinyi-Dao and I think this is due to the amount of space in a typical combat sports ring. This is why I’m thinking if you had a smaller area it would emphasize the Xinyi flavor instead and better reflect self-defense situations as well. I was thinking of a possible competitive/freeform format that would emphasize the Xinyi techniques and restrict the distance game. In essence, if there were a “sport Xinyi” what would it look like? I think it would be good for not only Xinyi-Dao but other arts to have a free-form/competitive format which expresses the restricted close quarter nature of fighting. I know that other TCMA would benefit from this (Wing Chun and Mantis off the top). I know Sanda was intended to do this but I feel the distance/boxing type style becomes dominant due to the large space. I’m thinking Sanda rules with knees and elbows allowed and a small ring. I think you could get rid of the elbows and knees (for competitor safety) and still be able to express Xinyi quite well though. Competitive chisao is sort of like this but I think it’s far to restricted.
I think you’d need either Thai pads or a torso shield/armor to train a punch/close-in/kao combination. There are quite a few that Shifu has shown us over the years that could be trained with mitts and pads. Some of the Bagua entries could be trained as well. I’d look into how people train elbows and knees – if you’re serious about finishing up a fight ASAP, you’ll really want to be working on combinations that use knees and elbows. If you can actually see this guy’s elbows, I think it would be good fodder for figuring out training elbows with pads:
I agree Thai pads along with a chest protector or belly pad are the way to go for training the in-close techniques. We’ve trained a number of combinations this way as well.GeoffParticipantJune 18, 2018 at 11:15 amPost count: 5
Love this conversation.
One question going back to the sit-up training Nancy mentioned a while back.
Nancy, when you do the sit-up, the strike is coming on the stomach contraction, right? So the limbs come to full expansion when the body is at full contraction?Forrest ChangParticipantJune 18, 2018 at 12:01 pmPost count: 9
On the note of “good sparring/competitive format for Xinyi-Dao” – is what you’re suggesting basically sanda with a smaller ring? I think throwing off the Leitai isn’t too useful – although it reflects tradition, it’s easy to game (i.e. sumo style sanda to shove the guy off the platform — Tim Ferris basically gamed the system to win a sanda championship w/”sumo sanda”), and isn’t reflective at all of self defense unless one happens to work on a wharf or something. A cage would actually benefit, as there is a fair amount of against the cage tactics that has developed in MMA due to having a cage vs a ring.Forrest ChangParticipantJune 18, 2018 at 12:07 pmPost count: 9
Ok now seeing your reply to Stephen, so then I think you’re implying a caged smaller ring or similar. That said, competition might likely lead to mma clinch work being something that would evolve in that condition — which I don’t believe is incompatible with CMA – My thoughts lately have been along the lines that if we “weaponize” (someday I’ll write a blog post on this topic), CMA skills in a similarly progressive fashion as has been applied to MMA, we will come to similar conclusions, though we open the door to some different techniques/options and tactics.
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