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Two Person Sparring Forms of Xing Yi Quan

Xing Yi Quan has a several great Two Person Sparring Forms.  Two person sparring forms of Xing Yi Quan are done with a partner.  Two person forms are basically pre-planned fights were both people counter all of their partners moves successfully.  Think of them as move fight scenes between two equally matched fighters who are good a both offense and defense. Good two person forms uses the main techniques of the style in a realistic way.  They also teach you how to counter, escaping, reversing or blocking the opponents attacks.  The opponent might kick punch, use other strikes like palm strikes, elbows, shoulders, or knees.  Or they might attack with throws, sweeps, or joint locking techniques.

The two person sparring forms of Xing Yi Quan help to bridge a student from solo practice to real self defense in a serious fight.  In sparring forms, each person knows what the other person is going to do in advance.  They also know how to counter each move.  Because each player knows what the other is going to do, sparring forms are much safer than jumping straight into free sparring.  In addition, these forms help you learn how to control the distance and timing between you and your partner.

In sparring forms, you can also practice techniques that would be too dangerous to use in free sparring.  you can practice these extra dangerous techniques safely because your partner knows that they are coming, when they are coming, and how to successfully defend against them.  You can also practice them safely because your partner is cooperating by keeping their power and speed to a reasonable level while you build up your skills.

At first, when you learn a two person form you and our partner will have to practice slowly.  You’ll need to go slowly so you don’t hurt each other as you learn.  You also want to go slowly so you actually do each move correctly. As you become more proficient with each move and counter, you and your partner will naturally start to push the speed and intensity up higher.  This is really fun.  It becomes sort of a game where you test each other, but you’ll restrain your power so you don’t hurt your partner if they screw up their defense.  As you get better you’ll to go much faster and use full power, and you’ll be able to receive and counter your opponents power.  This is when the forms get very valuable for bridging you to full power sparring, and real self defense.

Here are four of the main Two person sparring forms of Xing Yi Quan:

Three Elements Sparring Form –

– This form uses three of the Five Elements to counter one another.  It is done in a flowing line across the floor.  One person advances and attacks the whole way across the floor and the other defends.  When you run out of room then the roles reverse and the other person now attacks all the way across the room with the other defending.  Then you end in the same spot that you began or you continue to loop them back and forth across the floor. Sometimes there are several of these very short drills in the same system.

Five Elements Sparring Form

– This form uses the Five Element Fists to counter one another.  It flows in a tight loop with each person reversing roles and both people using all the same moves.  It is quite clever how it is constructed.

Twelve Animals Sparring Form

– This form is really the top form in the Xing Yi Quan system.  This form is long for a sparring form with about 44 moves.  In this form you use all 12 animals against each other with a few of the five elements thrown in.  Its a great, fun, fast, aggressive two person form.  This form also flows in a loop with both players reversing roles and getting to practice all the moves.  If you practice this form fast with a willing partner you can definitely develop some good sparring skills quickly.

Seizing Hands

– This form is not actually from Xing Yi Quan.  Instead it is a specialized form used in different variations by many “Shaolin” oriented Kung Fu styles.  It is also about 40 moves per side and loops so both people play both all the techniques.  This form specializes in Chin Na.  Chin Na are joint locking and other grabbing techniques.  This form teaches you how to apply many different locks and also how to reverse or counter them.

Most students will start with the Three and Five Element Sparring Forms first and then gradually learn the more advanced forms.

We have Xing Yi Quan classes four days a week in San Rafael and in San Anselmo in Marin County California. I also teach them in private lessons in Berkeley, Oakland, San Anselmo, San Rafael, Fairfax, Lagunitas, San Geronimo, Woodacre, Kenfield, Ross, Greenbrae, Larkspur, Corte Madera, Larkspur, Novato, Sausalito and Mill Valley.

Wishing you great success in your practice of this magnificent art.


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