Archives for September 2012

Do you teach the health part of Xing Yi in your Xing Yi program?


Our Xing Yi program is about how to fight.

You will develop the internal power and fighting methods of Xing Yi.

It will make you stronger, more powerful and your body will become more connected, and this does have some health benefit, But it’s a byproduct of the martial training.

It’s not something that’s taught in the course.

I have a shoulder that’s plagued me for some time.

Tai Chi helped a little.

So did Qigong and our Fa Kung Healing methods, but nothing could get rid of it.

(To much bad posture while working in front of the computer and no sleep keeps aggravating the problem.)

…But the Xing Yi seems to be just what it needed.

As long as I practice consistently I have no problems with it.

When we filmed most of the Xing Yi program in one weekend, I expected the long days and little sleep to aggravate the problem but instead it went away completely.

(Until I spent a couple weeks doing very little training while not sleeping and sitting hunched over in front of the computer for long hours every day.)

Still, DONT join our Xing Yi program if you are looking for the health side.

That’s not what its about.

Our Internal Combat Arts course on the other hand…

…is mostly martial. It has some of that fight first Xing Yi training (as well as some Kuntao Silat, Bagua and Tai Chi)

But it will also teach you the fundamentals of a strong Qigong practice that you’ll get a lot of great health benefits from. (in addition to enhancing the power of your martial training.)

I’m going to get away from this computer and go do some Xing Yi now…

WARNING: Quick high QUALITY skill is dangerous!

So, if you go around saying you can provide Quality skill Quickly…

(like when we point out that Xing Yi’s ORIGINAL DESIGN is to build effective, powerful & internal skill FAST.)

…then you’d better deliver… Quickly.

If you don’t,

then you loose all your students (and they tell all their friends.)

Much easier to say 4, 6 or 10 years is just scratching the surface.

(in a way it is… with Tai Chi or Bagua, but you should certainly be well past the beginner stage, have power and be able to fight by then.)

Now, if you CAN (and DO) deliver…

…and you start to become NOISY about it…

…then you are dangerous.

Because folks start to notice, and they begin to wonder about teachers who say it takes a long time.

Sigung Clear has been QUIETLY teaching Xing Yi for almost 2 decades.

…but now we’re getting noisy.

For two reasons:
  1. Folks keep asking us about Xing Yi and Bagua.
  2. We’d like to see a major improvement in the quality of internal martial arts training that’s publicly available. (within the next decade!)

So, now you know our ‘sinister’ plot.

You know the how (lead by example)
…and the why (because.)

But we can’t do it without your help.

All we need you to do is become a living example of what these arts can accomplish.

Learn and practice. Learn and practice. etc…

or to put it another way,

“Everybody get DANGEROUS!  (Boo yah!)” – weezer 

If you want to “get dangerous” with Xing Yi then you’re in luck. Our Xing Yi program is about the get underway.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Clear’s Kuntao Xing Yi Quan is a 6 Month Intensive Online Training Program.

It’s designed to take a small group of dedicated folks like yourself and help you build powerful effective Xing Yi skill as efficiently as we know how.

It contains 21 Chapters of yummy Xing Yi fighting goodness.
 – You’ll be able to watch them online with a PC, Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone or Android.

You will also get all 21 Chapters on DVD (8 discs.)
 – So you can watch it on your TV or share discs with your training partners. (we don’t recommend giving out your online login or password.)

This is a lifetime membership.
  – That means you only pay for it once. There’s NO subscription. NO recurring fees.
  – Next year when we run this program again you will already be a member.
  – Even if we raise the price for new members, you’re already in, no additional cost.

You get discounts on our annual Xing Yi workshop.
  – Including members only access to live training sessions in advanced Xing Yi material.


Enrollment will begin in a couple few weeks. If you miss the dates, or the program fills up before you get around to registering, then you’ll have to wait until next year.

Folks who are part of the 16 week Internal Combat Arts course will get first dibs, with access to early enrollment.

When Martial Artists ATTACK!

A couple days ago, I mentioned that someone with training can be deadly enough empty handed that you must defend yourself as if they had a knife.

And that brought this response:

“Realistically, when will I ever be really attacked by a Martial Artist?“

“If we’re talking self defense aren’t we talking about your common thug, street criminal or gang member?”

The answer is:

Yes, we are talking about self defense.

Yes, we are talking about thugs, street criminals, gang members and whoever else.

and Yes, those are trained and skilled martial artists.

They may not have a belt, a uniform or a pair of Boxing gloves. They may not have a name for what they do.

But they most likely have more real world experience than you.

And they most likely have at least semi-formal training from folks with a lot of hands on practice.

In Clear’s Silat we always assume the attacker is skilled, armed & has friends.

Training is much more fun that way.

(and useful)

You can get started learning all this fun and useful stuff with our 16 week Internal Combat Arts Course:

Bass Ackwards Xing Yi… Learn FASTER by doing the OPPOSITE of what most teachers teach.

(because what most Xing Yi teachers teach is bass ackwards)

If you follow the guidelines in this post you’ll greatly speed up your development as an INTERNAL Martial Artist.

Of course, if you use our programs what I’m about suggest will be easy.

…But even if you train elsewhere you can focus on this method and greatly speed up your development.

(I’m going to talk about Xing Yi but this applies to all the internal arts.)


Most teachers start with the form.

You learn how to stand in San Ti.

You start learning each of the 5 Element forms.

The teacher spends months (or years) going into maddening detail on every aspect of the postures.

Even if they did start showing you the function…

..You are so caught up in all those little nuances you’ll never be able to use it.

That’s a terrible way to learn how to fight. 

This is why many folks who have been doing the art for 2, 5 even 10 years can’t fight.

 Xing Yi is a military art.

That means it has to be quick to learn, powerful and brutal.

If you have less than 5 years in Xing Yi…

…You should AT LEAST be able to hold your own against a MMA fight or Thai Boxer who has an equal amount of time in their art. (assuming you train as hard as they do.)

The Secret…
  …The Key…
      …The Indoor approach…
 …The Kun Tao Way… is…

Function comes first. 

If you can’t USE IT to survive, it doesn’t matter how pretty your form is.

If you learn the fighting methods of Xing Yi and you learn the Internal Principles that power them…

…Your form will be correct.

(Though maybe a little rough, but you can always refine it later.)

If the function is correct the form will follow.

So, ANYTIME you are learning form…

 …Start by analyzing its function.

If you don’t understand the function, you have no way of knowing if your form is correct.

 (and you won’t be able to use it)

If the form you are working on doesn’t match it’s function PERFECTLY…

 …then one of two things is happening:

  • – Your form is wrong. 
  • – Or your understanding of its function is wrong (or incomplete.) 

In our 16 week Internal Combat Arts program:

…We DON’T teach you 5 element forms…

We teach you how to FIGHT with each of the 5 elements and by learning how to fight you learn the form.

And you can use it right away!

Our Xing Yi program (coming soon) is the same.

All the internal power and alignments and skills of Xing Yi…

(the ones people spend years trying to develop through standing postures and formwork)

…You develop those by learning how to FIGHT.

You can start learning this Function First method right now, right here:

Knife fighting & Empty Hand are the same

There is a MYTH out there,

…that empty hand fighting is somehow different from knife fighting.

 A lot of folks assume that an empty handed attacker is less dangerous.

 Because poor quality training is so common they are often correct.

 But a skilled attacker…

 …one who’s had some quality training…

 …can do a lot of damage without a weapon and with very little effort.

 In much the same way an unskilled attacker with knife can do a lot of damage with very little effort.

If you let them touch you, there’s a very high chance they can do enough damage to be a serious problem to your health.

So if you respond to an empty handed attacker as if they are any less dangerous than an armed one, you are setting yourself up for failure.

This is why we respond as if the attacker is armed.

Even when we’re training empty handed.

Learn how this works with the Internal Combat Arts Course:

Oh, and this also works the other way.

Even when I’m empty handed I move as if I had a knife. But I’ll talk about that some other time.

In case you need another reason:

A large percentage of knife attack survivors will tell you they had no idea a knife was involved until well AFTER the attack was over.

So, assuming you will know whether an attacker is armed or not is a big mistake as well.

How fast can you master Xing Yi Quan?

It’s said that “Xing Yi kills in one year.”

 …but how long does it take to master the art?

 Not just learn how to fight effectively.

 Well, Li Nang-jan started learning Xing Yi Quan when he was 37. 

 The story goes that he spend the first two and half years learning nothing but Pi Chuan (The first move in Xing Yi) and a small piece of the linking form.

 Now at this point a bunch of Xing Yi traditionalists are going to jump up and say:

“Yes, that’s the real Xing Yi training.”
“Spend a year standing in San Ti. Then another year and half doing nothing but Pi Chun. That’s how you know it’s the real stuff” 

Well that’s a bunch of BS.

It’s ONLY purpose is to waste your time. 

Ok, back to the story…

Li’s almost 40 years old now and his teacher, Tai Lung-pang, has been holding out on him. Only teaching him a little choreography, nothing of substance.

So what does he do?

He goes to a birthday party for Tai’s mother and makes such an impression that she scolds her son for not teaching him properly.

After that Li Neng-jan starts learning the whole art from Tai Lung-pang.

By the time Li was forty-seven he had mastered the art.

 …and was never defeated (or so the story goes.)

Li went on to train legendary masters such as Kuo Yun-shen and many others including Liu Ch’i-lan, Pai Hsi-Yuan, Li T’ai-ho, Ch’e I-chai, Chang Shu-te, and Sung Shih-jung.

This tells us several things: 

  1. If you’re 40 you can master the art before you turn 50. 
  2. Anyone who has more than 10 years of Xing Yi training is either: 
    • A) A Master of the System. 
    • B) The Xing Yi they have learned is not the most effective way to learn the system. 

B is unfortunately all too common.

and if you or your teacher fall into the B category…

That’s OK 

…as long as you are aware of that fact and working to find better information and more efficient training methods.

Xing Yi is deep and profound. 

You can keep learning and improving your skill with it for a lifetime.

But that is no excuse for putting up with time wasting exercises, info or teachers.

Our Xing Yi program in the fall won’t make you a master of every nuance of Xing Yi.

That’s not it’s purpose.

  •  – You WON’T spend time learning a lot of forms. 
  •  – You WON’T spend time learn a lot of traditional Chinese 5 element theory. 
  •  – You WON’T spend a lot of time standing around in various postures. 

What you WILL do is learn how to fight with Xing Yi. 

You’ll get straight to the heart of the art. No-nonsense, powerful and efficient.

That saying…

 …Xing Yi Kills in One Year…

That’s what our program is about.

 You’ll learn why and how.

 I’ll have the Xing Yi program ready for you around the end of October.

(and a bunch more info about it later this month)

If you just can’t wait to get started go ahead and check out the Internal Combat Arts Course: 

This 16 week program will teach you some basic ways to fight with Xing Yi (and a whole bunch of other stuff.)

You’ll learn simple and powerful methods you can really use in a fight.

(none of that archaic technical stuff that’s so common on youtube and would never work in a real fight.)

Join the Internal Combat Arts Course when you’re ready to stop wasting time and get straight to the point. 

Am I too old to start training?

Here’s another FAQ we get:
“Am I too old to start training? I’m well aware that there are many masters in their 60s, 70s 80s & older that are capable of tremendous feats…but I’m fairly certain that most, if not all, started their training at an age earlier than mine.”
There is a myth that Tai Chi & the Internal Arts take a lifetime to master.
This is a MYTH.
Teachers who don’t teach spread this myth so that in 5, 10 or 20 years you won’t question the fact that you are still at a beginner level in these arts.
There is a grain of truth hidden in the myth.
(this makes it believable.)
These arts ARE deep enough that you can continue to gain skill and knowledge throughout your entire life.
Don’t confuse “can be studied for a lifetime” with “takes a lifetime to learn.”
Mastery = Comprehensive knowledge and skill in a subject.
20 years is plenty of time to become highly skilled.
(for Tai Chi. Simpler arts will take a lot less time.)
Learning to fight effectively doesn’t take nearly as long.
When you look at masters that started young they were often considered masters in their late 20’s / early 30’s. 
Yang Chen fu for example began teaching publicly at 31 (so probably about 20 – 25 years of experience.) He was one of the first Tai Chi folks to teach publicly so there’s no way he started doing that without already being a master of the art at the top of his game.
There are also stories of masters who started in later in life. I’ll go look one of them up to share with you later.
So, what’s the best place to get started?
That would be our Internal Combat Arts Course.
This is a 16 week online training program that guides you through the fighting fundamentals of Xing Yi, Bagua, Tai Chi & Kuntao Silat.
In addition to all the combat stuff this program will also help you build a strong Qigong practice. Both for health and for more advanced fighting stuff later on.
You can start training right now:

Can you really learn Internal Arts from video?

I’ve been asked this several times in the last few days.

So, can people LEARN complex and difficult skills by video?

Yes, it happens all the time in many different fields. 

(even surgical techniques are taught by video.)

Can people learn from OUR videos?

Yes. We have many students who successfully study from dvd.

(in fact one of the more common comments from students with 15- 20 years of previous experience is that they learned more from one of our videos than from the last 10 or so years of live instruction.)

Can YOU learn from our videos?

I don’t know, Can you?

  ** Do you have the patience to pause the DVD every couple of minutes so you can practice what you’ve seen?

  ** Do you have the discipline to work that skill until you get it instead of skipping ahead on the video?

  ** Are you willing to do the work it takes to build these skills?

  ** Are you willing to do the work it takes to find 1 or 2 or 5 training partners to work with regularly?

In a dojo the training partners are supplied for you, the training times are scheduled for you and you have someone standing over your shoulder telling you to work harder and spoon feeding you new info as they deem you are ready.

In the beginning this makes things easier.

More convenient.

But the internal arts are not easy.

They are not convenient.

Ultimately, even with live training, you will need to step up and take charge of your education.

When you’re ready to progress at your own pace, on your own terms, we are here:

Why 90 year old masters look half their age.

The other day I made a quick comment about the old internal masters looking
half their age.

And, some of you have been asking me to talk more about that.

What’s their secret?

And, how can YOU do the same — so in old age you’re still flexible,
tough and looking like you’re in your 40’s when you’re pushing 60, 70
or even 80.

The answer:

Build Internal Skill. The same things we talked about last time.

But here’s the secret:

It’s gotta be real.

Doing some Qi Gong set over and over doesn’t cut it. You’ve got to be
able to FEEL what’s going on inside your body.

“Feel the Energy” is NOT some random slogan we dreamed up ‘cause it
looked good on our t-shirts.

We didn’t stick it on there to try to appeal to the ‘new age’ modern
hippy who’s scared of us because we can fight with our Tai Chi.

No, It’s on there because you have GOT to be able to feel it.

Not in some wishy washy abstract kinda way.

It’s gotta be real.

As real as that sick to your stomach, almost gonna puke, feeling you
get when you take a punch to the gut.

Now that’s real.

You know it because you can feel it.

To gain the health benefits of Internal training it’s got to be just as
real. (only in a good way.)

That’s where the Internal Power video comes in:

It’s got a bunch of carefully designed games & drills that teach you
how to really feel what’s happening inside your body.

Sigung Clear spent a long time developing this program so you could
actually learn it by video.

All you need is a training partner.

Sigung Clear has been researching this stuff for over 30 years now.

So far this is the fastest, most effective, method he’s found for
building Internal Skill.

Oh, and there’s one other secret:

You’ve got to do the work.

It’s powerful and effective training but you’ve got to put in the
effort, the Kung Fu, to make it happen.

This isn’t some magic pill.

If you’re looking for the easy path just go back to doing empty forms
and you’ll get the same health benefits as a walk in the park.

But if you’ll put in the extra effort, the rewards are profound.

 – Increased bone and muscle density.
 – Better boyd oxygen levels.
 – Lower blood pressure & heart rate.
 – Better balance, posture and alignment.

 – Learn to feel & manipulate Chi
 – Strengthen your mind intent
 – Build an immense reservoir of Chi

…and that’s just for starters.

As you build skill the benefits increase.

And the method is deep. So you can continue to add to it as you learn

It is work, BUT it’s also all two person games and drills. So it’s
a lot of fun  as well.

Much better than something like standing practice, which is not only
less effective but also incredibly boring.