Friday, July 10, 2020

Dai Family Xinyiquan - 1985 - Early Footage

Rare footage of early Dai Family Xinyiquan from Qi County, the cradle and until now the center of the style. The video features two famous disciples of Dai Kui: Ma Erniu (1906-?) and Wang Yinghai (1926-2012), as well as Gao Xiquan (1948-2017), son of Gao Shengzhen (another disciple of Dai Kui). Apart from the common parts of the system - Five Elements Fists and Ten (Animal) Shapes - less known methods are also presented, including the famous Three Fists, Seven Canons and Five Shoulder (Strikes), as well as a few very rare routines.
Perhaps the most interesting aspect of the demonstrations are differences in the signature movement of the system - the Body Method. The core method of Dai style is the Squatting Monkey exercise, which trains Contracting and Expanding (Shu-Zhan) of the body. While Gao Xiquan presents very standard - clear and obvious - Body Method which most of the practitioners nowadays display, Ma Erniu's body shows hardly any Contracting and Expanding. Sun Yemin, Song style Xinyiquan practitioner and a researcher of the history of Xinyi/Xingyi, who spent many years in Shanxi in the 80s, speculated that Dai Kui had probably changed the training methods of the family system after working as the martial arts instructor for Yan Xishan's army in Inner Mongolia. The main change was done to the Squatting Monkey exercise - making the range of the movement bigger. This could also explain why Contracting/Expanding is not very pronounced in Xingyiquan of Li Luoneng.
While this is only speculation, there is general agreement that Ma Erniu's method is very valid - and Ma was very respected in Qi County. On another note: Ma Erniu was famous for his hard power - while the general principle in Dai Family practice is to release power (use hard power, so-called "fast power"), he could release power with each movement. This was apparently linked to the fact that he began his studies of Dai style Xinyiquan very early, as a boy, and never married. Please note the footwork of Wang Yinghai - this was his signature skill. Wang was famous for his footwork, Ma Erniu - hard power, Wang Buchang - for shoulder strikes. According to oral stories told in Qi County, Dai Kui passed the family system not to just one disciple, but instead taught one skill to each of them.

More information about Dai Family Xinyiquan: Dai Family Xinyiquan - The Origins and Development: Dai Family Xinyiquan - Technical Characteristics: Please note that the explanation on the soundtrack not always point at the movements that are performed at the moment, hence I provided the above details for easier navigation. For more information about traditional martial arts of China please visit: Source:

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