[QUOTE]Originally posted by Michael:
[B]"Some" say that Taiji is a Bachelors degree, Hsing I, a masters, and Bagua the Doctorate.
Its actually the other way around. Xingyiquan's direct linear movements, the fact that is has only 5 basic techniques, and that it has a hard/soft jing, makes it the perfect introduction to internal arts. Baguazang includes more movement, strategy and stepping, fighting in diferent ranges, so a student can then progress to bagua after he has particed xingyi for a while. At least this was the way in wich the famous Sun Lu tang, master of the 3 arts and creator of Sun taiji used to teach.
The soft sharp powe rof taiji, the neutraliztions and yielding aspects, and the ability to overcome hardnesss with softness, makes it the highest art of the three, Beleive it or not is the hardest to master if you're looking to develop the martial and combative aspects, and is the toughest to apply but also the deadliest.
Using sun lu tang as an example again, after practicing xingyi and bagua for many years, he learned zhao bao taijiquan and then mixed it with some bagua and xy principles to crate sun style taijiquan. Later in his life he would practice taijiquan exclusively, since he felt it was his highest level of achevement as a martial artist. The same is true for many other famous masters.
Maybe for this same reason, after practicing taijiquan for several years, and even though Im by no means an expert, It was really easy for me to learn xingyiquan. When I spar, I use Xingyi almost exclusively, unless partner (not my opponent I dont like to fight!) closes the distance a lot. In that case I find the sticking? adhering skills aquires in push hads easiers in that situation. Also, My teacher places a lot of importance on chinna aplications of taiji, so its really cool touse them when you're in close range.
However, since I also practice for relaxation, health and spirituallity, the feeling I get when I practice my taiji form is not matched by any other practice, so it remains my first love!
Like I said, Im not an expert but at least I have begun to understand the mechanichs of the art(s) and I dont look that sloppy anymore!!!!
And let me tell you about "agression" on xingyiquan! Actually this art was created for war. Its a military system that was designed fro soldiers to learn lethal skills in a really short time. Thats why its basic techniques are simple yet effective, and its the only chinese art (as far as I know) that is offensive in nature. The practitioner is encouraged to attack and to make the fisrt move in a fight. This is because it was created for war, and you needed to finish you opponent quickly so you could take on the next one comming!
Other arts like taiji for example use deffense as an offense, that is, they will receive the attack, redirect it, blend with it, and then counter attack in the same action, therefore making this counterattack really powerful and adaptable to his opponent's intention. This is actually a higher lever strategy, but it takes longer to understand, so it wasnt very suitable for soldiers in the Marshall Yue Fei's army (one of the forefathers of xingyi), who would be recruited one day only to find themselves in battle a week later!!!!
However, xingyi its also an internal art, so if you practice it correctly you should feel calmed and realxed, so if you've met xingyi people acting like bullies and fight starters, there is something obviously wrong with their training!
But enough about xingyi! this is a taijiquan forum! I apologize for such a long reply but...I just love internal arts!