Xingyi Quan is an ancient form of boxing in China, and is an attacking art that has been developed from generation to generation by ordinary people. It has evolved from simple forms to an elaborate art and over time has changed from a deadly all-out attacking form into an internal boxing that promotes health and strengthens the body. The Xingyi Quan system is mainly divided into Xing Quan (Form Boxing) and Yi Quan (Intention Boxing).
Xing Quan imitates the form of animals, and takes the survival techniques of various birds and animals as its method. Using the rapid means of grabbing their prey, the way they aim for the vital spots of predators, and imitating how each action is intended to take the life of its opponent, Xing Quan studies how the animals use the specialized weapons of their body to scratch the face, to trap and twist, and to strangle and beat the opponent to death. From a few simple movements taken from nature, Xing Quan has adapted 7, then 10, and finally 12 representative types of animal boxing.
Yi Quan uses the intention to lead the movements. Yi Quan uses the ancient Chinese study of Yin and Yang and the Five elements and infuses it into boxing. It uses up and down, right and left, and the front as the five directions to attack and has used the formless elements, “the breaking strength of metal, the wave-like strength of water, the hardness and sharpness of wood, the explosive power of fire, and the firmness and stability of earth,” and adapted them to striking and the breaking of defenses to create the constructive and destructive cycles of the Five elements Fists.
Yi Quan belongs to internal martial arts, because it is able to infuse the philosophy and principles of human life and adapt them to the development of the theories of The Book of Changes. When training hardness, it emphasizes training a single breath internally, and using the Qi to move the body. When throwing a punch, the power is tightly coiled and strong; it hits hard and enters hard without anything able to block its power and without any firmness that it cannot break.
In terms of fundamentals, one first trains Zhan Zhuang to stabilize the lower basin 1 and to strengthen the body against attacks. Then one proceeds to advancing and retreating in line with the Five elements, paired practice involving the constructive and destructive nature of the elements, and finally to sparring attack and defense. If one is able to practice hard and sincerely, this should be sufficient. one supplements this with the animal forms and weapons, and through this the practice becomes pure and true.
The movements of Xingyi Quan are elegant and simple, so that it is easy to focus and not change shape. Through repeated practice of single movements, this will lead to the back being expansive and a straight upright posture for the head and neck, leading to the practitioner being full of confidence and energy throughout the day. each movement of Xingyi Quan has the characteristic of an explosive breaking force and is able to bring out the ability to make quick and firm decisions in daily life. As long as one has trust, sincerity, a willingness to try new ways of doing things, and perseverance, there is nothing that is not possible.
For more information about the book “The Mysterious Power of Xing Yi Quan“