Yi Chuan Training Methods

Master Cheuk Fung demonstrates Yi Chuan footwork

Standing, called "Jam Jong" in Cantonese, is the core practice of Yi Chuan, or as Master Han Sing Hwan described, "the original within the original practice." Standing teaches students to link their body into a single unit using intent while training and conditioning the muscles, ligaments, tendons and nuero-muscular pathways. Often misunderstood as holding one of many postures for a period of time, standing can be practiced for a wide variety of purposes and in any position. All aspects of Yi Chuan training are rooted is standing practice and every other aspect of practice serves to enhance it.

Sensing Strength is an aspect of Yi Chuan training where practitioners take the linkages and feeling states cultivated through standing and learn to maintain and use them in movement. This begins with "searching for strength" within a new orbit or route by using imagery to align the body with space and gravity. When done properly a sensation that feels like magnetic force or pressure appears within the movement. Overtime practitioners will elongate the range of motion within which this feeling can be maintained before condensing it back down into an orbit that subtle enough to be hidden yet actually involves the entire frame.

Footwork practice helps Yi Chuan practitioners deliver Hunyuan strength to their target. Various stepping patterns are explored with the goal being to maintain center and unity even while moving and changing direction rapidly. When properly developed Yi Chuan footwork makes it possible to intercept an opponent, causing his or her strength backfire like a bullet fired into a plugged barrel. Depending on the intent behind a particular practice session kicks, sweeps, stomps, throws, checks and traps can also be refined through Yi Chuan footwork practice.

Master Fung instructing a student on Jam Jong

Push Hands is a game like practice that helps students learn to use Hunyuan strength against an opponent. The rules of the push hands game range in flavor from extreme cooperation to extreme competition. The purpose of Yi Chuan push hands is not to "win" in the classic sense but to play and learn. Whether giving or receiving each player is constantly working to refine their skill in applying Hunyuan strength. In fact, its better to loose a game of Yi Chuan push hands while trying to apply Hunyuan strength than win by another means.

Explosive Strength training teaches the Yi Chuan practitioner to condense his or her expression of Hunyuan strength into a single explosive and spontaneous gesture. In a split second the body preparation learned in standing must combine with the orbits forged in sensing strength, the control of distance gained through footwork practice and the intuitive timing cultivated in push hands. Explosive strength training helps make the strength and skill developed in the other chapters available even under duress or surprise.

Sensing Sound practice use tones and sounds to vibrate the body and helps to bring relaxation and awareness to a deeper level. Eventually these tones can also be used as triggers to help link the body and activate Hunyuan strength

Fighting practice helps practitioners learn apply the skills developed through Yi Chuan training in self defense without prearranged conditions. Of the seven aspects of Yi Chuan training, fighting practice is the least beneficial to health.

The philosophy of "no fixed forms, no fixed rules" is central to Yi Chuan training. Practitioners are truly only limited by their ability to maintain the required body state and their imagination when it comes to applying any Yi Chuan training method. These aspects of Yi Chuan training can be mixed and matched in any way that helps the practitioner develop and appreciate his or her strength. Like a great book each chapter reveals a little more to the practitioner every time its "read".

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