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In this fifth edition of the Thoughts on Tai Chi Q&A series, teacher and author Jonathan Bluestein generously answers on my questions. Sifu Bluestein is one of those rare individuals who has dedicated his whole life to his interest in the Chinese Martial arts. He teaches Xingyiquan and Piguaquan in his home country of Israel and has made extensive research in the realm of Chinese traditional martial arts. He has travelled, met and interviewed many teachers around the world, and has summed up his discoveries in his book Research of Martial Arts, a work packed with interesting facts and fascinating stories.

If I would mention living teachers of today who completely dedicate their lives to their arts, someone who studies martial arts, breathes and eat, in that very order, Sifu Bluestein would probably be one of the very first persons I would come to think about. Please visit his homepage Research of Martial arts to order his book or download free samples. You can also access many free articles on the subject.

For your convenience you can also download the interview here in PDF format:
Q&A with sifu Jonathan Bluestein.

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Sifu Jonathan Bluestein

Thoughts on Tai Chi: Your favourite Martial Artists?

Sifu Jonathan Bluestein: Oh, that is a tough one! Definitely NOT Bruce Lee or any other ‘movie star’, which is the most generic answer out there. I cannot single out one man or woman to be ‘favourites’. Generally speaking, such notions are often childish, as excellence manifests through a wide variety of attributes, and Life is not really a competition. There are many people whom I respect. Some of these gentlemen are (beyond myown teachers, whom I obviously like):

Grand-Master Keith R. Kernspecht, from Germany – who is a good friend of mine, is the head of the EWTO. His modest organization has the upwards of 60,000 students. He is among the people I enjoy most spending time with, along his beautiful daughter Natalie, who is also a martial arts teacher. I gather that master Kernspecht’s business success in the martial arts is second to none in history. Furthermore, as they say in our circles – ‘his hands are high’. I am in the process of writing his biography nowadays, and hoping to get it published by late 2019 or early 2020. You would be hard-pressed to find a better martial arts biography once this one is published. It is going to be a massive tome, over 400 pages, with some of the most entertaining personal stories one could imagine, most of which were never previously made public. To be accompanied by over 300 rare pictures, too. Luckily as we are friends, Keith was willing to cooperate with my research, and there was no need for a contract or anything of this nature. But this is still my project, not an official biography or anything of this sort. The biography I am writing of his life would be the first in a series of books I shall produce about famous masters. Here is a photographs of Grandmaster Kernspecht and I, from 2017:

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Grandmaster Kernspecht & Sifu Bluestein

Then there is master Yang Hai from Montreal, Canada – who is a friend, colleague and a wonderful, extremely cheerful individual. Every time I speak with him, I learn something new. Master Yang’s enthusiasm for all forms of Chinese gongfu is truly boundless. His Xing Yi Quan is very close to mine in terms of lineages and methods, although he performs at a much higher level and is exceedingly accomplished in his understanding of the arts. I look up to him as a person from whom I would love to study one day. Here is a good picture of master Yang:

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Master Yang Hai

Morio Higaonna sensei from Okinawa – among my favourite karateka, and just a terrific human being. A very positive and inspiring practitioner whom I have been looking up to for many years, even though our arts and traditions are quite different. I would say that in his generation, few have equaled his ability and understanding, and among them was his contemporary, Tetsuhiro Hokama sensei.

This time of the year also marks the sad anniversary of the passing of my shigong (teacher’s teacher), later master Zhou Jingxuan. A paragraph would not do, so if you are interested, I have written an biographical summary of his life and my thoughts and feelings towards him, which can be read here (below the link is a picture of master Zhou):

http://cookdingskitchen.blogspot.com/2012/12/master-zhou-man-artist-teacher.html

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Late Master Zhou Jingxuan

Your favorite Martial Arts Movies and Series?

Once more, this is difficult to rank. To begin with, I find most martial arts films and series to be quite silly. How can one enjoy something he later tells his own students is ridiculous in class? It is one thing to have pure fantasy, which is alright, and another when something is claimed to be related to real martial arts, and is not. Frankly, in our time, even some Western martial arts films such as the John Wick movies, with their over-the-top battles, are still more realistic-looking than much of the needlessly-hyped Hong Kong cinema of the 20thcentury.

The Chinese film Wu Lin Zhi武林志, though certainly not ‘great’ by any standard, features some very nice scenes which are closer to the spirit of traditional Chinese martial arts, and teacher-student relationship within them. The image below is from that film.

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Wu Lin Zhi – Pride’s Deadly Fury

The famed anime series and manga Hajime no Ippo, though it exaggerates Western Boxing excessively here and there, does justice to that art form and to the viewers. I have always liked it, especially as I have background in Western Boxing. It has unfortunately somewhat deteriorated in later seasons.

The Cobra Kai television series, which is the sequel for the older Karate Kid films, has martial arts which are laughable most of the time. That being said, as a martial arts teacher I have enjoyed it immensely and found it to be hilarious. The reason is that it brilliantly and accurately portrays a lot of the politics and rivalries between martial arts schools, as well as all the fun and emotional moments between teachers and students that do take place in real life; at least, as these are experienced by teachers in Western countries and in modern times. It had done so more reliably than any other production I have examined. Though I have to admit, this show’s entertainment value is not as decent for those who do not operate a martial arts school, and some students of mine were ambivalent towards it.

There are a lot of good things to be said of the television series Avatar: The Last Airbender, which included both script and choreography inspired and in part written by legitimate teachers of traditional Chinese martial arts. I know two of the men involved – sifu Manuel Rodriguez and sifu Kisu Stars – both lovely people and skilled in their crafts. They have done a tremendous service for the traditional martial arts community through that project in which they had taken part.  Avatar not only features a relatively more accurate portrayal of the martial arts themselves (in terms of choreography and culture, not actual fighting). It also captures much of the Oriental spirit, philosophy and lure. The creators of that show were brave in exposing the audience to  types of teachings considered more ‘advanced’, including an exploration of the Chakras and complex concepts of Qi Gong and meditation practice. The irony is that most likely, the creators themselves did not fully comprehend in the flesh these novel ideas and methods, but were faithful enough to express them very near to how a real master would have explained such things – likely based on very thorough and genuine research of the subject matter, and the advice of experts.

As for gross violence which pretends to be proper martial arts, I would once again like to point out John Wick comes pretty close to reality with a lot of what goes on the screen (granted, Keanu Reeves is a very legitimate martial artist these days), and Marvel’s Daredevilis not that bad either much of the time. The Daredevil series even used legitimate martial arts weapons from Kingfisher woodworks, which make the sticks and staves my students and I use.

Here is also important to mention the infamy of the despicable and unworthy show ‘Iron Fist’. The choreography presented therein is a joke, and the main actor hardly practiced any martial arts before taking the role of a character proclaimed to be ‘a master’ who ‘trained many years in a temple’. That show should have never been made.

You know what the problem is, with martial arts films made in China? That they usually carry enormous potential in terms of the actor’s physical skills, and then tend to waste it with silly plots, political agendas and absurd choreographies. Take the example of the Yip Man films starring Donnie Yen. Great actor! Very good martial artist, too. But what a mess they made with these films…

Yip Man, the real historical persona (not ‘Internet Protocol Man’ – IP Man), was no saint by any stretch of the imagination. For a “devote Confucian”, he sure did not find it troubling to have a lingering opium addiction, and from what I heard, using his teenage students in peddling his stuff. He was a very skilled martial artist, but never fought against the Japanese for the pride of the Chinese nation, and certainly did not have a fist fight with Mike Tyson (that third film really went overboard). Take a close look at Yip Man’s disciples. You cannot tell which is higher – their skill, or the hatred most of them garner for one-another these days. ‘The Politics of Wing Chun of the Yip Man Lineage’ can be the title of a book series which can put to shame some of George R.R. Martin’s novels. But the films? They are about a likable kung fu superhero… who apparently can easily get through a slew of Southern China’s greatest masters fighting on shaky table-tops, but later has a hard time dealing with an average boxer?… Well, these plots do not make sense. But at least the production value is high, and they are visually entertaining; as opposed to the Bruce Lee flicks, which are distasteful in my opinion.

If you could study with any living or dead martial artist for two weeks, who would you choose?

I would have liked to spend more time with my deceased shigong, master Zhou, whom I loved very much (see details in my first answer). But had I to choose a teacher with whom I was never affiliated and has been dead a long time, one name which immediately comes to mind is Dong Haichuan. Famed master Dong was the originator of nearly all modern lineages of Bagua Zhang. He was known for being able to assess with uncanny accuracy the strengths and weaknesses of each student at first encounter, and had expertise in creating for these men a specialized curriculum which brought their innermost potential to fruition. His life story is quite fascinating, and some parts of it are well documented. I would recommend any martial artist to read about this man and his exploits.

Why did you choose to study Internal Martial Arts? 

Because I had the correct intuition, that they held answers to questions which other traditions were not even asking. That, truthfully, was the main reason. The internal martial arts of China are a unique cultural treasure, and their martial side is but one among a bunch of intricate facets and methods which they cultivate.

Honestly speaking, all martial arts are but a hammer, and what happens is that the teacher and student end up working together on what can be done with that instrument. Are you going to use the hammer to kill someone? Build a house? Repair your neighbour’s roof? Make a living? Do work for barter to learn something else? It is your call, and the teacher guides along the way.

But here is the thing: for many martial arts, in many schools, all that is taught is how to use a hammer so that you can smash it into people; or at times, choke someone with it. The internal martial arts can use that hammer for so much more. It is not a bloody hammer to begin with! These arts are rather, comprehensive systems for operating the body and mind – one’s daily reality – in novel and unusual ways. A short answer cannot really tackle the enormity of how this is done. Anyone interested can read a comprehensive explanation for what the internal arts are in my best-seller, ‘Research of Martial Arts’.

Put simply, humans chiefly covet three things in life: Happiness, Meaningand Continuity. All other things humans want, are in fact off-shoots of these three – Happiness, Meaning and Continuity. Most humans these days who dwell in cities and were ‘educated’ in public schools, live without Meaning. To find meaning is first necessary to invest in learning a comprehensive system for understanding the world. The internal martial arts of China are in fact such systems. That is because in order to fully understand them, one needs to also study history, philosophy, anatomy, physiology, medicine, psychology, sociology and much more – beside the actual martial side which is the obvious. In retrospect, I can tell you that I was drawn to the internal arts in part, because I was lacking in such a comprehensive system. Once a person has familiarized himself with such a system, whatever it may be, and have acquired gongfu in it, then any other modality of learning and reasoning becomes far more easily accessible.

You have to ask yourself though – are you being taught such novel ideas from your own martial arts teacher? In most martial arts schools, the story is the same: you come, you sweat, and you go home. Sometimes, there might be an ‘enlightening 5 minute lecture’ at the end of class. Come on. Do you seriously believe that this is all traditional martial arts have to offer? Teachers need to make a greater effort to have educational materials available to their students, and encourage them to educate themselves. But more so, it is the students’ duty to do their homework! I have trained every day in the martial arts for many years, but that is not the sum of my knowledge. For every hour in class, in personal practice or in teaching, I have had at least two hours of reading, writing, visiting other schools, watching videos, asking questions, etc. My honest, blunt and very politically incorrect opinion is this:  if you are only going to have 3 weekly hours of exposure to the martial arts, then you will forever make for a poor martial artist, if you can even be called that. Neither is it possible to reach a serious degree of competence in the traditional Chinese martial arts, without daily training.

Chinese martial arts are based on a culture with deep roots, going back over 3000 years. There are other, younger cultures, which possess but a few hundred years of history, who present this as a detriment to the Chinese, or the Indians or Native Americans for that matter. Some among those who promote the younger cultures attempt to portray reality, as if ‘newer is always better’. Have you noticed this? Wherein you have been brought up in the public schooling system of a Western country, especially in North America, then chances are you have been indoctrinated into this line of thinking from an early age. You might even be among those who think that books older than 50 years are redundant. Of this, Confucius had once said: “He who continuously examines the old in order to deduce the new, is worthy of being a teacher”.

Too many people these days sincerely believe that they, or their generation, can reinvent the wheel. The traditional Chinese martial arts, especially of the internal variety, are the complete antithesis to such a belief. Their theories and principles are ancient, and for a good reason. It is the same with classical Chinese medicine, to which they are related. Have you, the reader, ever tried to seriously look about classical Chinese medicine, beyond what the newspapers say? Open a translation of the Huang Di Nei Jing – ‘The Yellow Emperor’s Internal Classic’. Read the first chapter. This book was written over 2500 years ago, and I doubt any educated person today would dispute what that first chapter has to say about human beings and their health. Common sense just spills out of it.

Traditions should evolve with each generation. But principles are eternal. My point is that in our time, very few people seem to understand the principles, and without the philosophical principles, the basics of the traditional Chinese martial arts cannot be understood. They do not understand them because they do not do their ‘homework’. They do not explore beyond what is being presented in class. People who fail to do that, could never understand traditional Chinese martial arts as complex, ancient living systems of thought and action. For such people, they might as well pick up Muay Thai, Western Boxing or Krav Maga. These are all effective, easy-to-learn martial arts without deep philosophical and medical agendas. You come, you sweat, and you can kick ass within a relatively short period of time. Nothing fancy there. This goes back to you initial question – what drew me into the internal arts? I was looking beyond the simplistic. I wanted more. I knew that there had existed a knowledge more profound than jabs and push ups. I have found that pool and body of knowledge. Now, I hope to last several lifetimes so I could have a chance at mastering it.

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What is it with research that interests you the most and what more do you want to achieve in this field?

My previous answer covers a lot of that. Nowadays specifically I am interested in the interplay between the internal arts, Chinese Philosophy, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Jungian Psychology. These areas have been the focus of my most recent theoretical investigations. I am working on a new book, a long-term project, which will relate these areas of research with Chinese culture, sociology, history and more into one coherent and streamlined narrative. The likes of such a book has never been written before in any language. I am co-authoring this book with a colleague of mine who is a professor of traditional Chinese medicine and who has been practicing the Chinese internal arts for over 35 years.

People mistakenly think that martial arts are about techniques. It is like suggesting that painting is about colours, or that music is about notes. These ideas point to a rudimentary level of comprehending one’s craft – that of the layperson. The martial arts are about human beings, and at an even higher level – about forms of consciousness. Some talk of ‘transcending technique’, but their language forever remains technical – so how could they possibly do that? I have enough techniques to work with and explore in several hours of practice and teaching every day, and in some of my inquiries beyond that. But the more substantial part of my research, relates to what is beyond the technical. All of the genuine ancient traditions of the Orient point to the same Truth, often spoken of as The Dao (The Way), and the principles through which that structure of reality manifests itself. This is more important than martial arts themselves, because if you can understand the higher truths, then martial arts too become easy to attain at a higher level… assuming you train daily, have had excellent teachers and have received a proper transmission to begin with.

In terms of my personal martial arts practice, things are different. I will use the next two question to answer that.

Do you have a short-term goal in your art?

Currently I am working on creating more independent movement between my middle Dan Tian (Tan Zhong) and lower Dan Tian. This cascades throughout the body like an ‘internal ocean’ and is for me a more advanced elaboration on what some call ‘Chansi Gong’. This type of gongfu I am attempting to input into all kinds of techniques.
At the same time, I am working on synchronizing the movement of the Small Celestial Circuit (Small Microcosmic Orbit) with my breathing patterns while in motion, so that the energetic flow of the circuit matches with the movements – especially in striking. In other words, the latter refers to honing what is called the ‘Three Internal Harmonies’ – those between Xin and Yi, the Yi and Qi, the Qi and Li.

Additionally, while doing all of that, I am trying to open and close the cavities of my body on a minute scale, whilst extending or pulling on the tendons so to borrow from the methods of both the hard and soft Qi Gong I practice and insert them into combative motions.

Also, it would be good to go lower with one’s steps and stances. One can always go lower.

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Do you have any long term goal or something particular that you want to achieve?

In the more distant future, I would like to develop a ground-fighting curriculum which relies on traditional Chinese internal gongfu and body methods rather than on the Gracie variety or Penchak Silat (both excellent in their own ways!). Though I teach ground-fighting which is effective, I cannot claim to be an expert by any means, and I should strive to learn much more before I can undergo such a venture.

Just the other day I spent a long time breaking down an MMA fight with my students. I do not usually watch MMA, but some of the fighters even I can enjoy. One such man is my friend Natan Levy, about 27 years of age, who is striving to reach the top of the sport. He won yet another match against a fierce opponent. Natan, I should mention, has his background in a traditional Chinese martial art (Pangai Noon; a historically mispronounced name), and in traditional Okinawan Karate (Uechi-ryu). He is also a very accomplished practitioner of Brazilian Jujutsu.

My students and I looked into some of the more difficult combative situations which arose in Natan’s latest fight, especially on the ground. I then showed them ways, which we tested, to overcome some of the technical problems the fighters encountered, using principles and techniques which I commonly teach for upright self-defense. During this class, I repeated something which I say often: “Joint locks are easy to learn, but hard to apply. Once you have studied 20 joint locks well, it is very simple to understand how all the rest work”. This is true for all martial arts in my opinion.

One of the things you often see happening in sports martial arts, is what in Taiji Quan is called being ‘double-heavy’. That notion has many interpretation. One of the ways in which I understand it, is that a practitioner places too much pressure or weight into a single spot; especially, when two arms or two legs squeeze in a single power vector, when one could have sufficed; or, when a better result could have been had with the two arms or two legs or one arm and one leg coiling in opposing directions and doing differing motions, yet instead they are trying to force the same action together. Commonly it is seen, that this insistence on overt Yin or extreme Yang, causes two fighters to become ‘stuck’ in some form of entanglement, when by choosing to let go of one or two body parts and allowing them to operate more softly or with different modes of coordination, that situation could have been prevented.

Speaking and writing of this, is of course easier than doing it! And, as I have suggested earlier, I cannot claim to be an expert in ground-fighting methods. Here with what I have written of in the last paragraph, what is necessary is not a technique, but a complete change of heart and mind. One’s consciousness has to be altered for this to be possible, all the more when under physical duress. This is why traditional martial artists have always valued the benefits of meditation. Paradoxically, the most advanced methods of combat, cannot be obtained by practicing martial skills. This will be ridiculed by those who like the taste of blood and smell of agony. But then again, as is stated in the classic: “The Dao which is not ridiculed, is not the true Dao” (Dao De Jing, chapter 41).
As for my friend Natan Levy sensei – I believe it is in his capacity to win the UFC championships in the future. I wish him all the best, and hope that he remains injury-free throughout his arduous and challenging career.

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Do you have any favourite MA memory or story to share? 

Back in 2012 I was living in Tianjin, China, and studying with master Zhou. Chinese people come to the park very early in the morning. People can be seen as early as 3AM, and by 7AM half the visitors are already gone! So it is a good idea for curious practitioners to get to such parks around 4-5AM, to catch a glimpse or maybe even chat or learn something from ‘hidden masters’. Trust me when I tell you – the majority of high level practitioners, you will not see on Youtube.

Anyhow, for this reason, I used to get to the park early. Zhou shifu would arrive at about 7AM, and prior to that I would either practice a bit or simply walk around and marvel at the endless amounts of different skills one could witness. Beyond martial artists, there were people there with bull whips, giant yoyos, doing acrobatics, climbing on trees – a real crazy circus, all conducted to the overt sounds of big speakers, operated by amateur dancing troupes who were also common.

So one day I get there at maybe 6:30AM, which was ‘late’, though master Zhou has yet to appear. I begin practicing. I was spotted then by this fellow in his 30s, quite mischievous, whom I recognized was a buddy of master Zhou, as they used to laugh and speak a lot together while the students were sweating. The man had seen me training with a spear before. So he came over, said hello, then went and came back with a spear in his hands, gesturing me to practice with it. Well, I needed some practice before master Zhou was to arrive, so why not? I took the spear and practiced the Liu He Qiang (Six Harmony Spear) form. That wooden spear sure felt shaky and rusty, but the man who gave it to me was very enthusiastic, and was literally cheering and encouraging me to go harder at it. I became overzealous, went a tad overboard, issued too much power into the spear, and broke it in half. Now, I am not superman. This is what happens to these white waxwood spears when they are old enough – if you have decent gongfu, you can break them. It happens. But I did not expect what happened next.

Feeling slightly ashamed, I thought the man was going to be upset I broke his spear. Instead, he burst out laughing and could not stop himself. I was soon to find out why. Within seconds came over this short, grumpy dwarvish-looking Chinese grandpa, looking to be in his 60s, all mad and shouting incoherently. I immediately realized the sorry state of affairs – the angry grandpa was the real owner of the spear, and the other guy ‘borrowed’ his weapon looking to make trouble. Angry grandpa was in a foul mood, for a good reason, and nearly turned violent. I was not worried at the least, as he was in no physical condition to threaten me, but I felt bad, as this was my fault after all. Yet before anything could be decided, angry grandpa snatched the pieces of the spear from my hands, and went home (sooner than usual for him), all jittery about the ordeal.

Some minutes later, master Zhou finally arrived. A few folks from the general area who knew Zhou, told him of what had transpired. I wanted to explain things better, but with limited spoken Chinese, I could not plead my case. Thankfully, master Zhou was patient and understanding of the situation. It was decided that I would simply get the old fellow a new spear, and make amends as soon as possible. We then went along with the training as usual.

Come the end of the session, I drove especially to the other side of town to fetch angry grandpa his spear. It took 60 minutes by bike to the weapons shop, then a price of maybe eight good meals, then 60 minutes to my apartment, then back to the park the next day. Come tomorrow, I arrived early to be sure to catch the grandpa. Luckily, by about the same time as the day before, he appeared. Now, all the regular folks from the general training area were watching, to see what would happen. They all saw the new shiny spear, which was of a very good quality, and understood the nature of the situation. I cautiously approached angry grandpa, bowed down in a humble manner, and offered the new spear as a gift with my hands outstretched. I also held out my cell phone with an image of the Chinese character Qiàn 歉– ‘to apologize’. But the grandpa would not have it! Though I politely persisted, he would not take the spear out of my hands. He instead grumped some more, and then went to his regular corner to do his practice.

A few minutes passed, and master Zhou arrived at the scene. Before I could say anything, he grabbed the spear out of my hands, and hurried towards angry grandpa to offer his apology, not knowing I had already tried before. I followed him to stand by his side and bow in humility once more. The grandpa would not have it. Now, it was too much. Chinese culture, you see, is based on reciprocity. It is an insult to cause harm, and not repent. But it is an even bigger insult, at least in the scenario at hand, when a person tries his best and goes out of his way to repent, and the injured is nonetheless unwilling to forgive and accept the offering. Master Zhou and angry grandpa quickly escalated the ordeal to a shouting match. I could hear and understand that Zhou was protecting my good name and actions. But the two nearly ended up fighting, and master Zhou had to be held down by his friends. I am very happy that did not happen, as who knows what could have happened to the poor grandpa! He was far outclassed. Eventually it broke off, and grandpa once more went home. The next day we were all back in the park – myself, master Zhou and the grandpa, and everyone just pretended it all never happened. The spear? Master Zhou shrugged it off and said: “It is yours now!”.

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“My bike with the spear, the day I bought it.”

Do you have any favourite Martial Arts concept? 

I have many I like. One is called ‘Hun Yuan’ – ‘Smooth Roundness’. It is a recurring theme in all of the internal martial arts. The Zhang Zhuang (Standing Post) often called ‘Cheng Bao Zhuang’ (Tree-Hugging Post) was originally called, and is still called in my teachings, ‘Hun Yuan Zhuang’. To have ‘Hun Yuan’ means to be able to make your body and structure move and fight, when necessary, like a round, smooth inflatable ball, which can change its size and tension, as well as manifest as a single ball or several. This allows you to deal with power and pressure in a soft manner which is nonetheless very effective. The opponent feels as if he is trying to push down an inflated ball into a swimming pool, which, if you have ever tried, know can be challenging when the ball is big enough relative to your size. The ball can feel to the opponent quite yielding and deflated, or almost like concrete, depending on one’s intention. It is a quality to one’s gongfu which takes several years to develop. I also teach a taulu (movement form) called ‘Hun Yuan Quan’, which encompasses the entire curriculum of my Xing Yi Quan, and is focused on higher attainment of the abovementioned principle. In my teachings, developing and cultivating Hun Yuan is the gateway to all other internal methods and skills.

Please can you share a good advice to Tai Chi and Internal Arts practitioners?

There is a truth in the internal arts which no one wants to hear, and that those who hear it tend to ignore. It is that you need to invest in slow training. The slower – the better! I encourage my students to spend the first year or two in their Xing Yi Quan training moving slowly 90% of the time. The rest of the time, movement can be practiced at a walking pace or with movements at combat speed. Later, it evens out. Nowadays, I practice slowly about 50% of the time.

When I say slow, I mean – as a snail. Extremely slow. I have gone so slow at times as to make one movement last 2 minutes while continuously moving, and one form last over 60 minutes. I guarantee you that this is a fast way to excellence in the internal arts, and true masters will agree.

That being said, without correct internal methods, especially knowledge of what type of Yi to use with every movement, slow training is unfortunately not nearly as beneficial.

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Shifu Jonathan Bluestein is a martial arts teacher and author hailing from Israel. He is a practitioner and teacher of Xing Yi Quan, Pigua Zhang and Jook Lum Southern Mantis. He is the author of best-selling books, such as: ‘Research of Martial Arts’ and ‘The Martial Arts Teacher’.

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Thank you Jonathan for the generous and extensive answers. I appreciate your participation a lot. I wish you good luck with your teaching and look forward to continue to read about what you have discovered in your research.

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I will update the blog sporadically the next coming weeks due to work and a general lack of time, but hopefully I’ll be back soon with another edition of the Q&A.
/David

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