Red Jade Martial Arts
Traditional Martial Arts for All Ages
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Sifu's Tea Table

Sifu's Tea Table

Iron Bar 鐵棒 - Xinyiliuhe

Since we are starting out the live xinyiliuhe classes and I have been reviewing the movements of the students on video I thought I would write a bit about our first movement we are studying - Iron Bar. I thought I would share some of the essay here on my blog while the whole of it is sent out to the subscribers who are helping me live out my dream of training and teaching via patreon. So here is the first few hundred words on Xinyiliuhe's Iron Bar method - to subscribe to all my ramblings visit and get all the info I tend to never shut up about! 


Iron Bar 鐵棒


Iron bar is one of the foundational movements in Xinyiliuhe and needs to be studied in depth in order to gain the benefit it has to offer. Since it contains a large part of the skills of Xinyi within its practice looking at its various parts individually will help correct the whole of the movement and provide a basis for the art to begin from.


Softness is the first and most important requirement in Xinyiliuhe. Releasing the muscular tension of the body allows for the body’s weight to be utilized through movement. Xinyi is constantly looking to drive the body weight into the opponent through various weapons and its idea of aggressive offense rather than defense relies heavily on this. In Iron Bar one must release the idea of ‘hitting’ with the fist in order to allow the weight of the arm to simply swing through space, the space where an opponent happens to be.


Swinging is a result of the coordination of the body through the six harmonies. By turning the spine as an axle, the weight of the body is thrown outwards towards an opponent and the limbs swung through space. Gaining heavy power is a result of relaxation and softness, the use of momentum of the bodies weight and the coordination of the parts of the body in unison – Six Harmonies.


Six Harmonies is a central principle of Xinyiliuhe and has external and internal variants. The external six harmonies are the pairings of joints in the body moving in a rippling cascade from the bodies centre outward to the extremities of the limbs. The hips and shoulders are the first pairing and work together, the elbows and knees second, and the ankles and wrist third. By turning the torso and allowing the momentum of the turn to extend through the limbs the bodies movements becomes a long cascade of muscular contraction accelerating the limbs through a movement and into the shape of the technique being done.


Targeting on an opponent in Iron Bar, as with most Xinyi methods is often misunderstood as ‘trying’ to hit a particular place. Xinyi instead swings through the opponents centre of mass and does not target any particular points, looking instead to shock the enemy with the impact and then follow up with aggressive continuous attacks. In Iron Bar people tend to see the movement as an uppercut and target the chin of the opponent. Instead swinging through the opponents centre of mass, their chest, and riding up it towards the head is more in line with the idea of Xinyiliuhe. Hit them hard and often and where matters less.


Bridging is always a part of Xinyi movements and needs to be paid special attention...... 


The rest is in the email. 


Neil the Kung Fu Guy