The autumn leaves are falling like rain. Although my neighbors are all barbarians and you, you are a thousand miles away, there are always two cups at my table.

T’ang Dynasty poem

Ten thousand flowers in spring, the moon in autumn, a cool breeze in summer, snow in winter. If your mind isn't clouded by unnecessary things, this is the best season of your life.

~ Wu-men ~

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

2 Man Sets

Several martial arts are two man forms. Several Chinese martial arts came up with a clever way to construct them.

Rather than have A and B stand side by side and perform two separate forms which interact as the fighting form, there are some that are the front and back halves of a single form. For example A and B stand next to each other. A starts at the beginning while B starts in the middle. By the time B gets to the end of the form and is about to start over again at the beginning, A is now in the middle, so they in fact reverse roles.

An individual student can practice the whole form on his own and just work on timing and distance when he gets a chance to work with a partner.

An example of this is from Xing Yi Quan; the An Shen Pao.

The Chinese weren't alone in being so clever. Mozart wrote a "Table Top" duet for Violins. Two violinists are on either side of a table with a sheet of music between them. One of them is reading the music normally, while the other is looking at the sheet upside down; which means he's playing exactly the same notes but starting at the end and in reverse order! Incredibly enough, this still results in a beautiful piece of music.

This last video has nothing to do with anything I've been writing about. I just like it.


Pancho said...

That's just beautifull.
I had the oportunity to watch a Tai Chi form similar to this.

Bob Patterson said...

Going from tae kwon do step sparring to kung fu's two person sets was interesting.

The big difference is that KF sets are like combing about 4-6 TKD step sparring routines.

Overall the KF are much longer whereas the TKD are much shorter.

One of these days I need to blog about the advantages and disadvantages of both.