Sunday, August 7, 2011

Xing Yi Basics

This is a small explanation of some of the XIng Yi basics. This is a personal note that my master gave to me that I decided to translate into English for all those who may be interested. Keep in mind this is my own translation meaning some of the terms may be different than the ones they use traditionally for Xing Yi English.

Written by Wu Guo Zheng
Translated by Robert Jay Arnold

Xing yi is composed in three major parts. Namely the Fist of Five Elements , the Twelve Shapes of the Fist, and Connecting or Linking Forms. The Fist of Five Elements being the most basic and most important of the fundamentals of Xing Yi. If these five elements are practiced thoroughly then all the other movements will come together in success.

The five elements refers to Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. In terms of fists it refers to dividing fist, drilling fist, collapsing fist, exploding fist and horizontal fist. It is most important to pay attention to the order of the elements and techniques. Mutually the five elements both birth and repel each other. For example Metal births Water, Water births Wood, Wood births Fire, Fire births Earth and Earth births Metal. In terms of fist this means dividing strikes birth drilling attacks, drilling attacks birth collapsing hits, collapsing hits birth exploding punches, and exploding punches birth horizontal fist. So the horizontal fist is the mother of the Five Elements just the same way the Earth is the mother of all plant life. All life including the elements comes from the earth which illustrates the principles of Xing Yi.

From a martial artist's stand point it is also important to mention defense. So we need to know that Metal conquers wood as the dividing strike conquers the collapsing hit. Water conquers fire as the drilling attack dominates the exploding punch. Wood conquers Earth as the collapsing hit manipulates the horizontal fist. Fire conquers Metal as the exploding punch destroys the dividing strike. Earth conquers water as the horizontal fist breaks the drilling attack.

These are the general rules and concepts of the martial offense and defense. Xing Yi utilizes these principles into the foundation of their combat life style. This is merely a very basic explanation of Xing Yi's five element system.

But the root of Xing Yi involves training the "San Ti Shi" (A type of Fa jin or power exercise. Translates in to the three bodies method 三體式) It is also known as the Eagle Claw or the Three Principles concept. From nothingness comes a single breath. Then this breath develops into the Yin and Yang energy. The Yin and Yang form together into the The Three Principles (San Ti Shi). And from the Three Principles all things are born. Xing Yi uses this principle of life for the development and root of the style. So in order to practice Xing yi well one must first undergo serious training of the Three Principles.

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