Download: Shaolin 7-star kung fu (qi xing quan)

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instructor: monk Yongzhi, from Shaolin temple

Shaolin kung fu 7-star and big defensive-intent style (七星拳&长护心意门: qi xing quan & chang hu xinyi men):

- 'strategy': the saying is "turn from guest into host (反客为主)." the normal logic is that the attacker actively advances and attacks and the defender passively retreats and defends. reverse these roles, i.e., actively advance while in defensive guard and seize opportunities to make defense act as offense. defense acts as offense via interception. a method of this is to "replace the beams with rotten timbers (偷梁换柱)," i.e., to intercept the logistics based on which opponent's move is going to be made. this is intercepting the beginning of opponent's move. for example, when opponent is going to attack with his arm or the leg, suppress his move by hitting a supporting part of his arm or leg, like his biceps or his shin, etc., or, as another example, instead of just blocking or avoiding his kicking leg, intercept his move by targeting his supporting leg. another method is to intercept the end of opponent's move. avoid his move and let it reach a proper position, then "remove the ladder after one climbs the roof (上屋抽梯)," i.e., interfere with his move and turn it to a bad end against himself. in such attacks, "befriend distant states, attack the neighbor (远交近攻)," target closer points, because short-range attacks are safer and quicker while in defensive guard. these are the main tactics of Shaolin defensive style.

- 'history': 'chang hu xinyi men' was first created by the Song dynasty monk Huiwei (惠威) in the early 1100s. it first had about 36 postures. his disciple, monk Haizhou (海舟), increased it to about 66 postures. in the late Yuan dynasty (1279-1368), monk Jinnaluo (紧那罗) increased it to 72 and monk Zian (子安) to 82. monk Juexun (觉训) and, in the Ming dynasty (1368-1644), monk Tongxiang (通祥) improved the form. in the Qing dynasty (1644-1912), in the mid 1700s, monk Jiran (寂然) removed 28 repetitive postures and added 30 new postures and it became about 84 postures in total.
meanwhile, after the Yuan dynasty, some Daoist concepts, like astrological notions, were introduced into Shaolin temple via outsider visitors. sometime before the early 1600s, Shaolin monks had developed 'qi xing quan' by combining parts of Shaolin xinyi ba style—which imitates daily and farming activities by using harmonious arm movements in small-frame stances—with the astrological notion of the 7 stars—another name for the big dipper constellation, which in Chinese martial arts refers to postures like the closed-guard formation of the arms in the 7-star form, which resemble the big dipper—and with the rooster-imitating gestures and postures. these small-frame 7-star and rooster notions were also combined into the chang hu xinyi men style in the latter edittings that were mentioned above. in this way, the qi xing quan and chang hu xinyi men were formed and perfected.
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