UNDERSTAND XINGYI QUAN
Xingyiquan honors Yuefei as the founder of its school, its origin can be traced to Ji Jike of Shanxi in the early Qing dynansty.
It is said that Ji Jike created Xinyiba and was also proficient in the Liuhe Spear method. Later, he also obtained the posthumous martial-arts chronicle of Yuefei, wherein he employed the execution of the Big Spear, as fist methods and united it with his original study of Xinyiba to create this martial art. The descendants of Ji Jike are divided into various systems of Henan, Shanxi, Hebei etc, and are differentiated under various different lineages and names, including Xinyiliuhe, Xinyiquan, Xingyiquan etc.
The current, popular style of Xingyiquan is developed from Shanxi, Dai clan Xinyiquan, as modified by Li Luoneng of Shenzou, Hebei.
Li Luoneng considered the essence of Xinyiquan to manifest in the mutual interchange of "External Structure" and "Internal Awareness". Having "form" and "manifestation of awareness", it was initially named, "Shape Awareness Boxing".
Xingyiquan employs the Five Element Fist (Pi chopping, Zuan drilling, Beng crushing, Pao cannon pounding, Heng crossing) and Twelve Shape Fist as its basic fist methods. In standing, it utilizes the Three Bodies Posture, santishi as its basis.
Single and repetitive drill practice, as well as standing cultivation practices were transmitted by Li Luoneng to both Hebei Xingyiquan and Shanxi Xingyiquan.
Xingyiquan's special characteristics:
- Xingyiquan’s movements are concise, straight in and straight out. It utilizes calm and steady power, whereby awareness and qi are obtained.
- Emphasis is upon employing a foundation of single drills as fundamental fist methods and as a means of execution.
- Explosive strength is employed as the core of issuing power.
- Hard first and then soft is employed, the mutual interchange of hard and soft is thus its refinement process.
In regard to "whole body", it refers to proper structure, its movement is round and full, it has a distinct rhythm. Practice until there is coordination of awareness and power and coordination of the hands and feet.
Use the cultivation of the internal jing, qi, shen, yi and jin (essence, qi, spirit, awareness and power) as the principle of developing fighting skill. As there is mutual interchange between hard and soft, internal and external are mutually cultivated. Let the internal awareness, internal qi and internal power mutually unite with external shape, external qi and external strength, for cultivation and function.
In usage, one should at all times maintain the image of Chicken leg, Dragon body, Bear shoulders, Monkey spirit, Eagle seizing and Tiger springing.
There are three kinds of practice methods which belong to the execution and process of Xingyiquan:
- Obvious Power (ming jin), transforming bone is the first step of developing skill
- Hidden Power (an jin), transforming tendon is the second step of developing skill
- Transforming Power (huajin), transforming marrow is the third step of developing skill
Principles of pratical application
Take the initiative, when crossing hands with the opponent, be the first to take control.
Guard the center and use the center, strengthen the center and break the center, enter and dodge, dodge and enter, there is no need for distance.
Head, Shoulder, Elbow, Hand, Hips, Knee and Foot all seven methods are employed, they can issue at any location, "in distance increase the use of hands, up close increase the use of elbows, at a distance use the foot to kick, up close increase the use of knees."
Empty and full unite, hard and soft mutually interchange, hand and feet arrive together.
- Five Element Mother Fist
- Five Element Mutual Creation Fist
- Entering and Retreating Linking Fist
- Twelve Shape Fist
- Eight Stance Fist
- Twelve Phoenix Fist
- Miscellaneous Fist
Two Person practice includes: Five Pattern Cannon, Mutual Creation and Destruction, Secure Body Striking.
Chopping Fist, belongs to Five Element’s metal and cultivates the lung, its qi rises and falls, its force is smooth, then the lung qi is harmonized, its priority is qi, when the qi is harmonized the body is strong and healthy.
Drilling Fist belongs to the Five Element’s water and can tonify the kidneys. The movement of its qi is curvaceous and flowing, there is no place it is not present. When the qi is harmonized, the clear qi rises and the turbid qi sinks.
Crushing Fist belongs to the Five Element’s Wood and can soothe the Liver. Its qi extends and contracts. (When) Its fist is smooth then the liver is balanced and long spirit, it strengthens the bones and tendons and boosts the brain power.
Cannon Pounding Fist belongs to the Five Element’s Fire, it cultivates the heart, its qi opens and closes, like the cracking of an explosion, when its qi is harmonized, then the ethereal spirit courses freely through the body.
Crossing fist belongs to the Five element’s Earth, and can nourish the spleen and stomach. Its qi gathers together. Its shape is round. Its character is full, its qi is smooth. When the Five Phases are harmonious then hundreds of variations will be generated.
Xingyiquan Twelve Shape Fist
From Xingyi’s mother fist, “Five Element Fist” evolves. Five Element Fist requires the Six harmonies to become one. From six yin and six yang it originates, borrow its form then one can employ every skill upon heaven and earth.
That is, mimic the special characteristics of the movements of the twelve kinds of animals, Creating attacking methods, composing fist forms, to extrapolate the special characteristics possessed by the twelve animals in self defense and as predators. Resemble it shape, take its consciousness, form follows consciousness, consciousness creates form, to take the special skills and turn them into human ability.
Intent of the Twelve Shapes:
- Dragon possesses the ability to contract the skeleton.
- Tiger possesses the ability to spring upon its prey.
- Monkey possesses the ability to climb mountains.
- Horse possesses (churning) fast hooves.
- Alligator can (float) swim skillfully in the water.
- Rooster is born with a competitive fighting nature.
- Sparrow hawk possesses the form for piercing through heaven.
- Swallow possesses the ability to skim over the water.
- Snake possesses the skill to move grass aside.
- Eagle possesses the skill of seizing.
- Bear possesses the skill of shaking and pulling out.
- Vulture (Tai Bird) contains striking and ramming movements.