The CMA, CIMA times they are a changing

My training progression in Internal CMA over the last 30 years has been, in this order; Taijiquan, to Baguazhang, to Xingyiquan. But go back further, about 50 years, when I was in Japanese Jiujutsu, I read an article, in what was then "Kung Fu Magazine" about Xingyiquan and I was hooked. But it took me over 20 years to find a teacher who taught it. So, I stuck with Taijiquan, let Baguazhang go, and went with Xingyiquan. All were from the same teacher by the way. I like Baguazhang, and I wonder a lot about what would have happened if I let Taijiquan go back then and stuck with Baguazhang and Xingyiquan.

When I left my first shifu to look for a shifu who had more depth of knowledge in the styles I was interested in, I first looked for a Xingyiquan teacher and found none, I then looked for a Baguazhang teacher, also none close by. So, I decided to pursue more in depth Taijiquan and looked for a Chen, then Wu, again none in my area. I then was contacted by an old CMA classmate of mine who told me about his Yang teacher, who became my Yang shifu for many years. That is how I ended up in Yang Taijiquan, it was far from my first choice. I'm not complaining, it was very good training, and I did learn a lot from my teacher, but I have often wondered what it would be like if I chose Baguazhang with Xingyiquan, and stuck with my first shifu until I found another teacher with the background I was looking for.

And recently I was working with Bagua again. But at my age (60s) I have come to the same conclusion I have many times before when I thought to go back to Bagua. It is a very good martial art, but it is very complicate and for me to get any good at it, I would need to stop everything else I am doing and focus solely on Baguazhang. And even then, at my age, I doubt I would ever get to where I wanted to be with it.

I also am having a real hard time getting myself to work on any taijiquan forms these days. I have not done the Yang Long form in over 2 weeks now. I am enjoying working on applications and with push hands, but I just cant get myself to do anything with the forms. I am thinking of working specifically with the 13 postures for a bit, but beyond that, I am not sure I will return to Yang taijiquan anytime soon. I stuck with it so long I believe out of loyalty to my shifu and the fact that I am likely his only student who knows both sides of taijiquan, including the martial side. But after our 3rd fallouts, I think I can let it go. This one was minor by comparison to the first 2.

So, in my 60s, I think Xingyiquan is what I should try to return to (knees will be the judge, actually knee, I only have one real one to worry about these days), taijiquan may or may not come back in to play, and if it does, it may or may not be Yang, I have some training it a couple other styles. I am also now dabbling in Wing Chun, which will likely get more serious come summer. Also located 2 possible Xingyiquan teachers 1 hours from my house, one Hebei, one Shanxi style. And I have to admit, looking at the near future, being a Xingyiquan/Wing Chun guy..... looks pretty good right now.

I agree with my Yang shifu when he said no 2 people do the form the same way, since no 2 people have the same exact body. I am thinking of late that it goes further than that. I do think taijiquan has health benefits for some, but not for all, for the same reason, no 2 people are the same, and, as I have said before, your milage may vary. I have had knee surgeries, have arthritis in every joint, eye issues and I get sinus infections all the time, and throw in a constant battle with weight, so for me, I don't see major health benefits of taijiquan. Would I be worse if I did nothing at all? that is, IMO, a most definite yes. But would focusing on other styles, say Bagua and/or Xingyi, have given me more health benefits? Well, in all honesty I will never know for sure, but these days, I suspect they would have. But then the knee problems took name out of Xingyiquan, so who knows how it would have really gone.

Spent the last week training push hands and applications and doing stance training (Yang Wuji, Zhang Zhuan, Sun Wuji, Santi Shi). Also doing basic heavy bag drills, all Xingyiquan and Wing Chun strikes as well as working on Sil Lim Tao and turning drills, and other exercises, and you know what, I am feeling pretty good, now just wait and see it things improve.

Enough from me


Di Guoyong

Last edited: 15 minutes ago​


Changing even more I think. Just can't get myself to train Yang style. The only Yang style things I do are push hands and a 13 postures form I am creating myself to better understand, and possibly teach, applications and usage of taijiquan. But I am still toying with Sun, looking for a 73 form teacher, that is all that is taught nearby. And I am revisiting Chen style, and I am enjoying training both. Actually been spending 45 minutes to an hour training those.
I hear you. I switched gears and have started learning Hun Yuan Xing Yi Tai Chi, this past year. Why this style? First, the teacher. Second, as it is Chen style in nature; I am attracted to that- knowing the mother, one also knows the sons type of thing. Along the way, I am also learning some Xing Yi, Bagua, and Tong Bei. I don't know how proficient I will become in any of these arts, but am enjoying being exposed to their core trainings.

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Xue Sheng
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