Footwork is Xingyiquan’s essential Skill Method, lacking this even if you have the will & power you’ll be unable to actually fight. Past generations of the Boxing Family were not wrong in esteeming footwork to the utmost. The Hands are weapons, the Legs stand like a horse, if not moving than nothing moves, if one moves than everything arrives. The Superior Method must first be fixed in the upper body, hands & feet simultaneously arriving at a place is real, to have the torso not manifest visible intent is the Footwork’s key requirement. Xingyi’s Footwork Advances & Enters like water entering a hole, Retreats like a wind blown goose feather, suddenly arriving in a flash, steady & whole, sensitive, coordinated, pay particular attention to putting in effort every step of the way. Both feet appear to lead, the steps turn around like the wind, & the steps stand as if nailed down. Catch the opportunity & Advance, miss the opportunity & Retreat, while attending to the right, expect the center to determine the posture you take. Dodging, Extending, Moving, & Shifting are the root of emitting Li, footwork’s success or failure is certainly change according to the situation, emitting Li while Following the momentum requires agility, this is footwork’s next achievement. Genuine fighting is located in the space between Advincing Half Step & Retreating Half Step, the outcome of a battle is determined by yourself. Advancing & Retreating are not simply mechanical movements, rather the whole body is unified, & the torso is coordinated. Advancing contains Retreating, it appears to Advance & then really Retreats; Retreating doesn’t just draw back on a straight line, moving the steps diagonally forward & moving the steps in an arc shape are step methods that belong to Retreating Step, like Triangle Step & Winding Ring Step. Ultimately however, in coming to a final descision precisely the most direct & effective is Inch Step.
一、寸步:左三體式站立,以脊柱催動後胯部,以胯催動膝,以膝催足節節而動,以後腿催動前腿向前進一步,後足隨之跟上,成三體式動作.動作要領:1> 前腿不是先動,而是後腿先動,前腿打人後腿用力.2> 不要撥跟掀腳,前栽後仰.寸步在形意拳中至關重要,所謂不鑽不翻,一寸為先,練習寸步時上下齊動,節節相頂,浑身費勁,周身一致,破之而不開,撞之而不散,上欲動而下自隨之,下欲動而上自領之;上下動而中間應之,所謂一動百動無有不動,一動一靜合為混然,精神貴乎含蓄不可外露.
1. Cun Bu/Inch Step: Standing in Left San Ti Shi, use the spine to prompt the movement of the rear kua section, use the kua to urge the movement of the knee, use the knee to urge the foot to move little by little. Use the rear leg to urge the front leg to move forward a step, the rear foot subsequently keeps pace, completeing the San Ti Shi movements. The gist of the motions are: 1) The front leg doesn’t move first, rather the rear leg moves first, the front leg strikes people & the rear leg uses Li. 2) Don’t turn the heel or lift the foot, the front foot plants & the rear foot faces upward. It is extremely important that you Inch Step during a strike in Xingyiquan, what is called Not Drilling & Not Overturning, then One Inch Early, is practicing Inch Step while the Upper & Lower simultaneously move, each section mutually bumping. From head to foot effort is required, the whole body is unified, damage it & it won’t open, knock it & it won’t disperse. When the Upper wishes to move then the Lower naturally follows it, when the Lower wishes to move then the Upper naturally leads it, when Upper & Lower move then the Middle complies with it. What is called One Moves & Hundreds Move lacks motionlessness, One Movement & One Stillness combines Chaos & Thusness, the Essential Spirit is precious & must be contained, you must not expose it.
2. Gai Bu/Covering Step: Standing in left San Ti Shi, the right foot uses the Body Carrying Step & passes one step ahead of the left foot, the tip of the foot is pointed to the right, the leg bends forward, the left foot subsequently follows up with a Half Step, the heel of the foot slightly rising, the body’s strategy is to crouch down, both knees slightly bend, & the upper body completes the San Ti Shi movements. Main Points: During Advance Step take hold of the main part of the foreleg, the front & rear feet are located at opposite points on a straight line, the right heel & the left foot tip, the crotch internally clamps, the upper body is upright, & sits on top of the forelegs, the rest of the main aspects are the same as Inch Step.
3. Die Bu/Dropping Step: Standing in right Covering Step, the forward (right) foot passes the left foot, toward the back one step to complete the San Ti Shi motion. Main Points: When drawing back the body’s form must rise & fall, dropping back when you need to put down roots is the idea, a single drop quickly appears, Advance according to the situation.
4. Cha Bu/Inserting Step: Having assumed standing in left San Ti Shi, the left leg passes the right leg inserting a step backward, the tip of the foot points forward, only slightly raising the heel succeeds in becoming right Covering Step. The main Points are the same as above.
5. San Jiao Bu/ Triangle Step: Having assumed standing in left San Ti Shi, the left foot pulls back to arrive at the inside of the right foot, subsequently it takes a step horizontally, the right foot thereupon keeps pace & stops at the inside of the left foot, the right foot subsequently takes an Advancing Half Step forward, with the rear leg following it with an Following Advancing Half Step, successfully completing the San Ti Shi motion. The main Points are the same as Inch Step.
6. Rao Huan Bu/Coiled Ring Step: Having assumed standing in left San Ti Shi, the left foot pulls back to arrive at the inside of the right foot, thereupon it steps forward diagonally to the front right, the right foot passes the front leg to move forward a step, left & right legs successively arc towards the right side with the coiling motion. When exchanging forms, while the center of gravity is located in the right leg, the left foot horizontally pulls a step toward the left side, the right foot subsequently keep pace to support the left side coiling motion.
7. Niao Qiao Bu/Bird Leg Stance: Having assumed standing in left San Ti Shi, the spinal column drives both legs toward the front with a bouncing motion, the steps should be small, it should look like a magpie walking around on the ground & is why it’s named Bird Step. The main Points are the same as Inch Step.
8. Zha Bu/Exploding Step: Having assumed standing in San Ti Shi, the front leg lifts its knee, the foot tip points toward the right, the upper body leans forward, the leg then prompts motion itself by dropping toward the front, the rear foot subsequently Following Half Steps, completing the San Ti Shi motion.
以上是形意拳格鬥時最具突戰威力的步法,必須做為一個專項技術來專門訓練方能掌握,在步法單練純熟之後就應進行雙人的踩步訓練,結合形意拳各種手法,拳法,腿法進行互相的步法攻防, 提高步法移動的實效性如雙方以三體式站好,甲方以三角步向乙方進攻,腳踏乙方之中門,練習數次後乙方再以三角步搶佔甲方之中門,雙方互相配合練習,隨後打亂程序,甲方搶攻乙之中門,乙則向後插步或繞環步避開,甲則再進,搶佔中門則甲步法成功,這是形意拳格鬥時必須的基本功, 通過以上訓練,可以提高雙方的反應能力和步法移動的準確性與距離感,最後在亂踩花中檢驗步法訓練的效果,也是發現不足的重要環節.
The above-mentioned is Xingyiquan fighting’s must have Footwork for sudden fights against a strong force, as you must have an individual specialized technique in order to develop specialized ability, only then can you seize the initiative. Once your Footwork Solo Training is proficient then engage in Responding to Advancing Two Person Stamping Step Training, combining all kinds of Xingyiquan Hand Methods, Fist Methods, & Leg Methods to advance each other’s attack & defense footwork, to improve the quality of the footwork’s movement, such as if after have both assumed San Ti Shi, the first part uses Triangle Step towards the second party in order to attack, the foot Treading the second party’s Center Gate. Practice repeatedly, afterwards the second party then seizes the first party’s Center Gate by means of Triangle Step, both sides mutually cooperating to practice, soonafter striking in random sequence, the first party steals & attacks the second’s Center Gate, the second then uses Backward Inserting Step, or Coiling Ring Step to evade. The first party then once more advances to sieze the Center Gate, then the first party’s footwork succeeds. These are Xingyiquan fighting’s must have basic skills, by means of the above mentioned training it is possible to raise both sides’ response ability & the accuracy of the footwork in judging distance, finally during Disordered Steps & Flowery Strikes test the footwork training’s results, this is in order to discover deficiencies in the major sections.
Xingyiquan’s Footwork pays particular attention to stability, compliance, quickness, & liveliness, not losing the center of gravity, neither stiff nor sluggish, abundant in flexibility, one steps & one stands, by means of the footwork arriving urge the movement of the frame, the whole simultaneously moving, the entire body then issues, the arms are the warheads, the hips are the gun barrel, the rear leg is the mechanism, & the “Back Sitting Li” intention is the trigger. When the rear leg steps out, use the waist to urge the kua, use the kua to urge the knee, use the knee to urge the foot, the whole movement is one individual explosive strike, & absolutely not just the leg section’s local power.