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STEP AS IF YOUR CLOTHES ARE ON FIRE

THE ORTHODOX,
CHUNG - NAN
HSING - I - CHUAN
COPYRIGHT 2001 -M. E. ROTTMANN
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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DISCLAIMER
Please note that the International Wang Shu - Chin Memorial
Association, its members, instructors, and M. E. Rottmann are NOT
responsible in any manner whatsoever for any injury that might
result due to practicing the principles, techniques, or instructions
contained in this publication. The physical activities described may
be too strenuous for some persons to engage in, safely. Therefore,
a qualified physician should be consulted prior to training.
The techniques, principles, and applications in this publication are
for informational purposes, only. Any martial arts training should be
conducted, ONLY, under the guidance of a qualified, martial arts
instructor.
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TO
FIND
AND
USE
THE
HAIR
TRIGGER
ENERGY.
Manfred Erich Rottmann-2001
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TO
OCCUPY
THE
OPPONENTS
TERRITORY

Manfred Erich Rottmann-2001

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STEP AS IF YOUR CLOTHES ARE ON FIRE


THE ORTHODOX,
CHUNG - NAN
HSING - I - CHUAN

Figure 1

Grandmaster Wang Shu - Chin.


(Picture taken in 1978).

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INTRODUCTION
document is comprised of four parts. Parts one and two are intended
This
to convey a general introduction to the Hsing I Chuan and the splitting

fist/palm element that was taught by Wang Shu - Chin. Initially, Grandmaster Wang
taught the shape and outer shell of his technique. It was up to the student to
watch, analyze and practice the basics. When the student was ready, he would
observe further intricacies in Wangs execution. These changes, once assimilated by
the student were corrected by Wang. An expert can make the complex look simple.
A beginner can make the simple look complex. Those who accomplish the higher
levels in this art admit that while performing 10 steps of the split fist, only five may
feel correct. There were many students, some instructors, and fewer disciples that
followed Wang Shu - Chin. This publication conveys only one interpretation of his
instruction. There is much conjecture as to: who inherited the system, who are the
true disciples? There are concerns about his history, his purpose in traveling to
Japan, etc. Since only a few individuals knew him in both Japan and Taiwan,
perhaps these areas of conjecture should simply be laid to rest. His past is relatively
unimportant - Wangs methods of practice and attitude are very important.

three methods of internal arts (nei chia) as taught in Grandmaster Wang


The
Shu - Chins (1904 - 1981) School are Tai Chi Chuan, Pa Kua Chang and

Hsing - I - Chuan (intent of mind fist boxing). Wang Shu - Chin felt that training in all
three internal arts was beneficial in that they were interrelated and could assist the
practitioner in understanding their applicability and philosophies. His primary instructor
on the Chinese mainland was the famed Master Chang Chao - Tung, who in turn
learned his Hsing - I - Chuan from the ancient teachers Liu Chi - Lan and Kuo Yun Shen. These two ancient instructors were noted as establishing the orthodox, Hopei,
branch of Hsing - I - Chuan, named the Chung - Nan line. The famed Master Wang
Hsiang - Chai was also a student of Kuo Yun - Shen, and established the natural
school of Hsing - I, which he named great achievement fist boxing. Wang Hsiang Chai became Wang Shu - Chins instructor in the mid 1930s and taught him the post
or stake standing methodology and other aspects of his Hsing - I - Chuan. This
article will focus on the method passed on to Wang Shu - Chin by Chang Chao Tung. The Kuo Yuen - Chen form of mind boxing utilizes an inch step of the front foot,
no follow up rear leg, and shorter bridging arm postures. The flat palm used in the
splitting fist is also formed, coiled and flexed with a different intent.
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1948, Wang Shu - Chin left Shanghai, and finally settled in the city of
InTaichung,
Taiwan where he founded the Cheng Ming association. In the late

fifties, he traveled to Japan for the purpose of imparting Chinese pugilistic techniques
to Japanese and Chinese martial artists, who had urgently requested his instruction.
In 1971, for his own reasons, Wang Shu - Chin initiated a more open attitude in his
instructional content. This was the first time in which Hsing - I Chuan and Pa Kua
Chang would be openly taught in Japan. Thereafter several other schools were
established in his name and with his seal, in the countries: Japan, Taiwan, Canada,
and others. Before his death in 1981, Grandmaster Wang was asked to instruct
these methods by individuals in several countries, who had heard of his skill in the
Nei Chia. He never traveled to North America.

THE BEGINNING STUDENT


first techniques learned in Tokyo, Japan - in the early seventies were
The
those of the staking or motionless, meditative standing, nei kung/chi kung

and usually required 30 minutes of training. Thereafter the Tai Chi Chuan drill was
performed for several hours. Once a trainee completed the 99-step form (which
required 30 minutes for one repetition), he progressed to either the Hsing - I - Chuan
or Pa Kua Chang. It should be noted that unless Wang Shu - Chin deemed the
student worthy of further instruction, his tutelage might well end at this point, or
techniques were taught at the speed of a snail running. Grandmaster Wang only
taught in Japan for three to six months of the year, and detailed depth instruction
was completed in Taiwan. As a matter of fact the difference in the apparent quality
of the techniques taught in the two countries made a person wonder if they were the
same systems. Many students gave up, for one reason or another - even before they
might have been invited to travel to Taiwan. Once the student began his training in
Taiwan, his practice sessions increased to eight hours per day. Knowledge was
imparted at a rapid pace, and retention, analysis, and adaptation became the
only items on the trainees mind. To advance in these systems required constant
practice, and constant thinking. There was little time for other activities.

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Figure 2 - above shows two different applications of the Tsuan drilling fist
which precedes the splitting action of the Pi Chuan. In both cases the strong
forward, accelerated thrust from the rear leg is shown. This not a push or a jump.
The action is an additive function of force vectors. As the opponents torso or head is
touched, all weight is dropped and simultaneously all compressed joints (muscles,
bones, and sinew) are expanded. Any coiled structures are twisted in the opposite
direction. This is a change of energy from the potential form to the kinetic or active
version. The action of the forward thrusting leg is seen in figures C and E. If the
opponents shin is a possible target, then this limb is attacked, if not the thigh, or the
groin. The concept is to assault any vulnerable target, while taking the territory of
the attacker. Therefore while moving in rapidly towards the opponent, shearing
attacks would force any possible strikes to the side. There are very few blocking
then strike actions, or rearward steps in this system of the mind-intent boxing. This is
one interpretation of the direct action school of Hsing - I - Chuan taught by
Grandmaster Wang Shu - Chin.
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CHUNG NAN HSING - I - CHUAN SYLLABUS


are five elements (with two variations of Peng/crushing fist), twelve
There
animals, six linked forms, two single sword drills (double -edged), and two

staff sets, within the Wang Shu- Chin Hsing-I. syllabus. There are also a variety of
Tanden (Japanese for ching - nei Kung training). Some of the above techniques are
no longer taught. Upon a students completion of the preliminary methods, the
various basics and linked forms were modified with extensions and alterations of the
technique. For instance, the lightning fist variation (Peng Chuan) innovated by Chang
Chao - Tung was introduced after a decade or so of immersion within this pugilistic
art. Some students were also indoctrinated into the more animalistic methods of Kuo
Yun - Shens Hsing - I - Chuan.

basic primer of Hsing - I - Chuan are the five elements. These are of
The
utmost importance and unfortunately, many trainees were more motivated

in learning beyond them. Wang Shu - Chin could be observed practicing these five
elements repeatedly. The five are Pi, Tsuan, Peng, Pao, and Heng which represent
splitting, drilling, crushing, pounding, and crossing. These elements (metal, water,
wood, fire, and earth) were taught in the orthodox order and some schools do
reverse Tsuan and Peng. The philosophy of the five elements can assist in
understanding Hsing - I - Chuan, including the generation and destruction cycles.
However, practice, and more practice to create a mind-body (natural, subconscious
and reflexive) action/reaction is of greater importance. The trainee can analyze with
a greater degree of understanding, after the body absorbs and the mind senses.
Each element can be broken down into several major sections. We will begin with a
detailed analysis of the Pi Chuan. The splitting fist was chosen for this publication
because this element is considered as the most important in the vast number of
Hsing - I techniques taught within all Hsing - I - Chuan systems. The three essentials
(heaven, earth and man) Pi Chuan posture is also used for the post standing (staking)
chi kung. Grandmaster Wang Shu - Chin once commented that the Pi Chuan staking
was the only posture needed for the quiet standing practice..
cyclic, reciprocative nature of the yin / yang philosophy is followed within
The
the Pi Chuan technique. The upward arcing drilling fist follows the

downward arcing, splitting palm. This follows the pattern of what goes up must
come down. What is not readily apparent is that there is a dual function to the
falling, splitting palm. After it reaches the end of its orbit, it returns to the center of the
user. While returning, the palm becomes a scraping- half palm, half fist that is
meant to grasp, adhere to the opponents limbs and draw him into the next action,
the drilling fist.
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Figure 3 - The basic signature palm of the Wang Shu- Chin school of Hsing- I Chuan. This palm formation is the first one taught in this system. The shape,
curvature, and intent of the basic palm are considered by many practitioners as the
most efficient for cultivating chi. It is also structurally sound, for use in combat.

Figure 4 - Shown above is a more advanced version of the splitting fist, palm. The
basic, first palm used by advocates of the Wang Shu - Chin system concentrated
power in the heart or center of the palm (i.e.- strength was placed at the
fingertips, and the palm base), In the second shape, strength is placed at the exact
center of the palm (i.e.- immediately below the base of the fingers). Students
should investigate the use of each palm shape in terms of personal feeling,
application on an object (testing surface), and in two man training. Both long
distance and short distance striking should be trained in equal parts.
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Figure 5 - A comparison of the overall structure of a mid level practitioner with that
of a experienced teacher. Chang Chao - Tung assumes the long, extended shape
of someone with over thirty years of training. This is in contrast to the front facing,
posture of a relative beginner in the art.

Figure 6 - The path and striking effect of the Tsuan (drilling) fist is shown above. This is
one application of the technique. There are several versions of the fist application.
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Figure 7 - above shows one application of the splitting fist, axe hand (Pi Chuan). The
palm strike creates hydrostatic shock, and may result in a concussion.

Sequence 1 to 4 - The opening. Flow of technique is from left to right.


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Sequence 5 to 6 - show two important staking postures within the opening


sequence of the Pi Chuan.

7
Sequence 7 to 10 - above, continues the opening (coiling and winding movements)
of the drilling fist.

11
Sequence 11 to 14 - details the arcing , shearing motion of the drilling right fist.
Note that the opponent can be hit with ching at all four of the above positions.
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14A

14B

Sequence 14B & 14B - The above two models show the oblique and front view of the
same completed Tsuan, drilling fist which precedes the splitting fist element. The left
arm movement is a simultaneous, lower sweeping block from right to left.

PI CHUAN (SPLITTING FIST) BASIC ANALYSIS


I. Opening (begins coiling actions and Chi flow).
II. Unite the arms and legs. (To split something, you must first bring it together).
This also includes the 1/3 forward step, to joining (contraction inwards)
III. Pause (in the united leg and arm stance).
IV. Split. (Expand apart)
Which incorporates the 1 and 1/3 stance-length forward step, - i.e. striding
step, and then bring up the rear leg to your normal stance, with the follow step.
V. Repeat 2,3 and 4 above as many times, as space allows, alternating sides.
VI. Turning
All Hsing - I - Chuan elements use different turning principles and each
element has both a long and short variation, depending on the application - i.e.
throwing, evading, striking, or blocking. Practice both sides, not just one.
VII. Repeat 2 to 5 above in the other direction until you arrive back at the point of
origination.
VIII. Closing (ends coiling action and caps chi flow").
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15

18

21A

21

Sequence 15 to 21 - The sequence shows the action from the winding, coiling
opening movements to the joining of the upper and lower limbs. This contraction
(inwards-Yin) is changed to a forward directed expansion (outward-Yang) as the torso
is propelled forward via the downward thrust of the rear leg against the ground
plane. The opening sequence does not use the rear leg drag leg step. The
difference between the two methods should be thoroughly investigated as there is a
reason why the ancient teachers included both in this basic, yet complicated
element. Sequence 21A shows a front view of 21.
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Sequence 22 - Page 16

Sequence 23 - Page 17

Sequence 24 - Page 18

Sequence 25 - Page 19

Sequence 26 - Page 20

Sequence 27 - Page 21

Sequence 28 - Page 22

Sequence 29 - Page 23

Sequence 30 - Page 24

EXPLANATION - THE POSTURE SEQUENCES


Parts I and II.

Camera Position
Sequence 15 to 21.

Camera Position
Sequence 75C

Camera Position
Sequence 14A & 14B,
21A, 22 to 30.
Sequence 75A & 75B

Camera Position
Sequence 1 to 14.
Sequence 31 to 75.
Sequence 76.

Note that the red sequence count pertains to Part I, whereas the green refers to
Part II.

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