Xing Yi Quan Theory

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Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Thu Sep 01, 2011 6:07 pm

Hello everyone. I'm making my first post, though I'm a long time lurker-in-the-shadows. I've recently returned to the Xing Yi class at YMAA Boston, so the subject of Xing Yi's theory is going to be coming up more & more. I plan on posting some of the Xing Yi Songs that are most relevant to building a solid foundation. Hopefully, we can have some discussion as well. The first selection is, "Xing Yi Theory." It's a sort of general introduction to the style. I hope you enjoy!

形意說
Xing Yi Theory

形者,形象也。意者,心意也。
What is “Form?” It is the physical form. What is “Idea?” It is the mind‘s intention.

人為萬物之靈,能感通諸事之應,是以心在內,而理周乎物,物在外,而理具於心。
Of the Ten Thousand Things, human’s have “Ling,” which is able to feel & communicate with everything, responding naturally. This is by means of the mind within understanding surrounding objects. Though the objects are external, the understanding is in the mind.

意者,心之所發也 ; 是故心意成於中,而萬事形於外,內外相感,不外一氣之流行。
What is thought? It originates in the mind. Therefore, when both mind & thought are fixed internally, the ten thousand things appear externally. That the internal & external affect each other is nothing but the flowing of the One Qi.

故達磨祖師本之,而創是拳,其旨在養氣,在益力,動作簡而功用無窮,故名之曰〝形意拳“ 也。
Therefore, the ancestral teacher Da Mo, using this as the basis, created this style. His purpose was to nourish qi while increasing strength. Its movements are simple, but its functions are endless. Therefore, its name is “Xing Yi Quan.”
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Individual lines of "Xing Yi Theory"

Postby ZERO » Thu Sep 01, 2011 9:36 pm

形者,形象也。意者,心意也。
What is “Form?” It is the physical form. What is “Idea?” It is the mind‘s intention.

The song opens with an explanation of the name "Xing Yi." Xing + Yi, Form + Intention. But what does that mean? There are a few particular explanations to be kept in mind, concerning the unity of the body & mind. They reflect each other, reveal each other, & influence each other. The enemy's intent is revealed by his form. Consequently, a Xing Yi boxer wants to assume a form which reveals no intention to the enemy. Tactically "I can see you, but you can't see me," is a way to greatly increase your chances of winning a fight. Fighting to win, & win quickly, is the mindset of Xing Yi Boxing, its intention is to run the enemy down.
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Postby ZERO » Sat Sep 03, 2011 9:30 am

人為萬物之靈,能感通諸事之應,是以心在內,而理周乎物,物在外,而理具於心。
Of the Ten Thousand Things, human’s have “Ling,” which is able to feel & communicate with everything, responding naturally. This is by means of the mind within understanding surrounding objects. Though the objects are external, the understanding is in the mind.


Now comes the slightly deeper explanation of the ideas behind Xing Yi Boxing. "Ling," is the sensitivity of the Spirit (Shen) which, as the song says, "is able to feel & communicate with everything, responding naturally." Natural, spontaneous response is highly valued in Xing Yi, & when combined with a Form that gives no hint as to your intention, is a major part of winning quickly & decisivly. How does this sense & response resonance come about? It is "by means of the mind within understanding surrounding objects." It isn't enough to percieve what's happening around you, there must be comprehension as well. The final statement of this section serves as the best summary : "Though the objects are external, the understanding is in the mind."
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Postby ZERO » Fri Sep 09, 2011 6:37 pm

意者,心之所發也 ; 是故心意成於中,而萬事形於外,內外相感,不外一氣之流行。
What is thought? It originates in the mind. Therefore, when both mind & thought are fixed internally, the ten thousand things appear externally. That the internal & external affect each other is nothing but the flowing of the One Qi.

The "Yi," in Xing Yi is often translated as Mind, Intent, or some similar term. Yi is intent, in the sense that it is thought that is kept on something for an extended period. It is primarily about sustained focus, secondarily about a will or desire to do something specific. That is the Xing Yi definition of yi : focused, sustained attention paid to the enemy. "When mind & thought are fixed internally, the ten thousand things appear externally," refers to Xing Yi's Internal Training Methods, which seek to unify mind & body, upper & lower, inner & outer, by increasing coordination & eliminating dissonance. The object & means of training is identified as the One Qi. Ultimately, all things are connected by the One Qi, & are therefore "One," not "individual." How much moreso a single human body?
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Postby ZERO » Sat Sep 10, 2011 2:35 pm

故達磨祖師本之,而創是拳,其旨在養氣,在益力,動作簡而功用無窮,故名之曰〝形意拳“ 也。
Therefore, the ancestral teacher Da Mo, using this as the basis, created this style. His purpose was to nourish qi while increasing strength. Its movements are simple, but its functions are endless. Therefore, its name is “Xing Yi Quan.”

The mutual influence exerted on all things by all other things is made possible by the One Qi. Therefore, using the Qi to train ourselves, mentally & physically, is the basis of Xing Yi's Training Method. The One Qi is the primary focus of training, the body is the secondary focus of training. Why? Training the Qi also trains the body, mind, balance, etc. Mechanical & postural requirements are kept simple to encourage a deep understanding, & even deeper PRACTICAL EXPERIENCE. "A few things trained to perfection," is the Xing Yi way. When you train the basic mechanical components until they are highly refined it becomes very easy to vary those motions to fit a given situation. The "Form," varies & adapts according to the "Intention," of the enemy. My body changes its "Shape," according to my spontaneously arrisen "Thoughts." Ultimately, the body is directed by, & a reflection of, the mind. That's why this style is named Xing Yi Boxing.
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Postby ZERO » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:02 pm

http://sites.google.com/site/abodeoflau ... d-practice

Enjoy this brief look into Xing Yi Partner Training's most wide spread exercises. "Threading the Ear Strike," is becoming a favorite of mine. I'm starting to see why they love it so much in the Shanxi style.
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Postby ZERO » Thu Sep 22, 2011 6:02 pm

http://wulinmingshi.wordpress.com/

And then there's this. There's articles on more than just Xing Yi, mostly Ba Gua. I recommend the one on Che Style Xing Yi.
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Xing Yi Quan's Eight Essentials

Postby ZERO » Thu Oct 06, 2011 8:01 pm

形意拳八要
Xing Yi Quan's Eight Essentials

八要者何? 一. 內心要提 ; 二. 三心要并 ; 三. 三意要連 ; 四. 五行要順 ; 五. 四梢要齊 ; 六. 心要暇 ; 七.三尖要對 ; 八. 眼要毒也。
What are the “Eight Essentials?” 1. Internally, the Center must rise. 2. The Three Centers must merge. 3. The Three Intentions must link. 4. The Five Phases must be smooth. 5. The Four Tips must be even. 6. The Heart must be relaxed. 7. The Three Tips must match. 8. The Eyes must be poisonous.

The next selection from Xing Yi's Theory is the Eight Essentials. These are a collection of ideas that are partially basic & partially primary. "Basic," because you can't talk about Xing Yi without referring to these ideas, & "Primary," because it isn't Xing Yi if any one of these is absent or lacking. They are a mix of internal & external concepts, defining then standard of quality Xing Yi practice.
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby brer_momonga » Fri Oct 07, 2011 6:25 am

Thanks for posting ZERO.

The three centers - 3 Dan T'ians - Dan Tian, Upper Dan Tian ("3rd eye") and Middle Dan Tian ("Solar Plexus")

Four Tips - are these finger tips and toe tips?

What are Three 3 tips?
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby Ralteria » Fri Oct 07, 2011 5:58 pm

MIght be a translation issue. If "forwards" can be substituted for "tips" it would most likely refer to the your hands, feet, and eyes.
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Sat Oct 08, 2011 12:55 pm

Thank you for posting, as well, guys. Explanations are easier to make when you know what is & isn't clearly understood.

Generally, the 3 Centers refers to the upper, middle, & lower dan tian's. But in the Xing Yi context, the 3 Centers are Bai Hui, Lao Gong, & Yong Quan. The 4 Tips are usually the hands & feet, but again, the Xing Yi context is a bit different. The hair, nails, teeth, & tongue are the 4 Tips of Xing Yi. I'll explain in more detail a bit later, as I still need a shower after Xing Yi class, & maybe some lunch. Please forgive me! Be back in an hour...
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What are the “Eight Essentials?”

Postby ZERO » Sat Oct 08, 2011 5:01 pm

1. Internally, the Center must rise.

This refers to lifting the perineum & anus in order to store qi in the dan tian. Without building up the qi here, it is useless to try anything else, as Xing Yi is an internal style.

2. The Three Centers must merge.

This refers to the centers of the crown, palms, & feet being engaged in the internal training of San Ti Shi. Dr. Yang calls this Five Gates Breathing, as the basic idea is the same. When the Three Centers breath with you, you've taken a huge step towards "Threading the body into One," which is a major mechanical & energetic concept in Xing Yi.

3. The Three Intentions must link.

This refers to Xing Yi's Inner Three Harmonies, which forms the root of power generation. In this context, the Intention's ability to control & refine the Xin, qi, & strength is emphasized. Again, the Internal Style is obvious, as the body is progressivly subordinated to the mind. Ideally, thought & action become simultaneous.

4. The Five Phases must be smooth.

This refers to the proper practice of the Five Fists. If the Five Fists are not understood & trained properly then nothing else can possibly be correct. The Five Fists are the essential motions of this style, the clearest presentation of the fundamental mechanics. In addition, the Single Training Method of Xing Yi is detailed very well in the most common versions of the five Fists. Everything else is a matter of variation when the Five Fists are well practiced & understood.

5. The Four Tips must be even.

This refers to the tongue, teeth, nails, & hair, which are considered the external manifestations of ones internal condition. The tongue is the tip of the muscle. The Teeth are the tip of the bones. The nails are the tip of the tendons. The hair is the tip of the blood. This is usually confusing to people when they're just starting to learn Xing Yi's Internal Methods, but it's not all that complicated. Essentially, the quality & quantity of qi permeating these Four Tips indicates the level of development attained internally. The Four Tips are a sort of biofeedback type of exercise, in that the focus is on leading the qi from the dan tian to distal points in order to improve sensitivity & articultion.

6. The Heart must be relaxed.

This refers to keeping calm when practicing & fighting. Calm must be the foundation for all practice, in order to advance in an orderly fashion. Losing sight of the big picture during a fight can get you killed, or worse.

7. The Three Tips must match.

This refers to an extremly importan concept with many names. The Three Tips are the nose, index finger, & big toe. "Matching," means keeping them in alignment, also know as Three Points on a Line, & Outer Three Harmonies. When standing, the lead hand & foot are oriented according to the nose, which is short hand for the central line of the body. When the lead hand & foot align with central line, then everything along that line is protected. Crotch, Solar Plexus, Throat, & Nose are all on the central line, & all favored targets of anyone who has ever fought or practiced martial arts.

8. The Eyes must be poisonous.

This refers to the proper spirit. Fighting Spirit, the drive to never give up, is key to winning. Xing Yi's Spirit is brave, strong, & resolute. When you have a strong & brave Spirit, your eyes will shine brightly. But why is it said the eyes are "poisonous?" Xing Yi's Strategy is aggressive, & the spirt of a Xing Yi Boxer must reflect that. An enemy should feel uncomfortable when facing you. Your fighting spirit should be strong, reflecting your intention to win quickly & decisivly.
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Xing Yi Quan Theory : Song of Five Jins

Postby ZERO » Tue Jan 03, 2012 1:42 pm

五勁歌
Five Jins Song

三節明後,五勁相佐,踩撲裹束,惟決勿錯。
After clearly understanding the Three Sections, the Five Jins mutually support each other. Stamping, Pouncing, Wrapping, Binding, but only Bursting must be correct.

五勁者, 踩撲裹束決。 踩勁如踩毒物也。 撲勁如兔虎之
撲也。 裹勁如裹物而不露也。 束勁如上下束而為一也。
決勁如水決也。 踩要決, 撲要決, 裹要決, 束要決, 決
要決。 一決而無不決, 非決而不靈也。
The Five Jins are Stamping, Pouncing, Wrapping, Binding, & Bursting. Stamping Jin is like stepping on a poisonous creature. Pouncing Jin is like a tiger attacking a rabbit. Wrapping Jin is like wrapping something so nothing is exposed. Binding Jin is controlling upper & lower as one. Bursting Jin is like water breaching a dam. Stamping must have Bursting, Pouncing must have Bursting, Wrapping must have Bursting, Binding must have Bursting, and Bursting must have Bursting. All have Bursting & none lack Bursting. To lack Bursting is to be ineffective.
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:05 pm

Hi again! This entry is the Song of Five Jins, a very short item about the primary trained/refined forces of Xing Yi Boxing.

三節明後,五勁相佐,踩撲裹束,惟決勿錯。
After clearly understanding the Three Sections, the Five Jins mutually support each other. Stamping, Pouncing, Wrapping, Binding, but only Bursting must be correct.

"Three Sections," refers to Three Sections Theory & its embodiment, San Ti Shi. Three Sections is about stillness, Five Jins is about movement. "The Five Jins mutually support each other," means that, to a certain extent, these five happen constantly & simultaneously within our own bodies. In another way, we use these five interchangeably against an enemy.
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Re: Five Jins

Postby ZERO » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:19 pm

五勁者, 踩撲裹束決。 踩勁如踩毒物也。 撲勁如兔虎之
撲也。 裹勁如裹物而不露也。 束勁如上下束而為一也。
決勁如水決也。 踩要決, 撲要決, 裹要決, 束要決, 決
要決。 一決而無不決, 非決而不靈也。
The Five Jins are Stamping, Pouncing, Wrapping, Binding, & Bursting. Stamping Jin is like stepping on a poisonous creature. Pouncing Jin is like a tiger attacking a rabbit. Wrapping Jin is like wrapping something so nothing is exposed. Binding Jin is controlling upper & lower as one. Bursting Jin is like water breaching a dam. Stamping must have Bursting, Pouncing must have Bursting, Wrapping must have Bursting, Binding must have Bursting, and Bursting must have Bursting. All have Bursting & none lack Bursting. To lack Bursting is to be ineffective.

This section explains the finer points of the Five Jins. Each gets a very neat little image, & their relationship to each other is summed up in no uncertain terms. The Five Jins are Stamping, Pouncing, Wrapping, Binding, & Bursting.
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Fri Jan 06, 2012 12:48 pm

Stamping Jin is like stepping on a poisonous creature.
The action of the feet in Xing Yi is firm, full, & delivered with intention. Rise & fall levely, this is Compacting Step, seen in the foot stamping motions & heard in the loud footfalls of Xing Yi Boxers. Stamping Jin is best expressed by the Stamping Kick, Xing Yi's representative leg method.

Pouncing Jin is like a tiger attacking a rabbit.
The action of the hands are quick yet overpowering. The hands pounce on the enemy's face or chest without warning. The psychological effect of slapping someone in the face is very easily confirmed on your own. That is the essential point of Pouncing Jin in the hands : even if you try to prepare, your still stunned when it happens.

Wrapping Jin is like wrapping something so nothing is exposed.
The two primary uses of Wrapping are protecting one's self & exposing one's enemy. Wrap your kua to protect the crotch & firm the body's Lower Section, wrap the elbows to protect the ribs & heart. Wrap the enemy's hands to leave him helpless before your true attack, or wrap his joints to attack with Xing Yi's Eagle Seizing Methods.

Binding Jin is controlling upper & lower as one.
Primarily, this indicates total coordination of the Upper & Lower. Secondarily, it means using the waist to guide, drive, generate, & control all bodily movement. This is a case of saying one thing but meaning another. The statement directly refers to the first idea, but actually means the second. One is obvious, & true to a point. The other is obscured, & true whatever else you may say.

Bursting Jin is like water breaching a dam.
Bursting is the way the qi issues forth from the dan tien to circulate in the body & the way jin issues form oneself when striking an enemy. Sudden, violent, forceful, & often hard. It is the basic expression of jin in Xing Yi. All other jins, even the other primaries, are variations on Bursting. As the song says, "All have Bursting & none lack Bursting. To lack Bursting is to be ineffective."
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby SzJoska » Sun Jan 22, 2012 5:30 am

Hi everybody! I started practicing Xingyiquan at home for 3 weeks. I'm practising from Liang Shou-Yu and Dr. Yang Jwing-Ming's book and read some else from the internet. I have a question to you, when i practise San ti shi for about 5-8 min i have a shoulder ache in my outstreched arm, what's in front. Is this normal? If i practise a while it will be atronger and then the ache would disappear?
I'm practising the Ba Duan Jin (8 pieces of brocade), too.
I'm waiting for answer's, good practising!
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Wed Jan 25, 2012 4:33 pm

Hi SzJoska, welcome aboard. yes, its normal for the lead arm to ache when first beginning to stand in San Ti Shi. Since San Ti builds the body internally 7 externally at the same time, you're guaranteed to feel some aches & pains. Remember, the Xing Yi method of training emphasizes regular practice of a few things. Try to avoid overly heavy workouts, & standing for too long. Especially as a beginner, you want to emphasize correct positions, & stability. You'll get stronger over time, so don't try to rush it. hang in there, & enjoy your training! Xing Yi is a lot of fun.
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby SzJoska » Sun Feb 12, 2012 6:31 am

I have another question
What exercises do u use for warm up? (some special) I don't know if 8 pieces of brocade or Tim Cartmell's Xingyi nei gong 16 warm up (whitch has similar exercises to 8 pieces of brocade) is better. I read that first thing in Xingyi practitioning is warm up (like in others) second is San Ti Shi and the forms, the latest are some qigong exercises.
So I think the Qigong exercises from Liang Shou-Yu's book are done at the end of the training, and the first exercises from it can be done separated so the Pick up the Moon from Sea bottom in one day, the Lion turns the ball in second day, The Spiritual dragon turns his head in third day and the others are actually done one day because they continue each other. I think so, am I right?
Thank u good practise for all of u!
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Re: Xing Yi Quan Theory

Postby ZERO » Fri Mar 02, 2012 11:32 am

Hi again. Sorry for the lag, but I'll be posting more regularly from now on. Moving stinks! The Qigong in Master Liang & Dr Yang's book are set that can be done individually or in series. Its always best to spend a bit of time with a single exercise, to build up the unique feeling within. But to get the most benefit you should train them regularly in series. The exercises are more Wai Dan in nature, meaning they're concerned with strengthening & conditioning the physical body. The exercises in Mr Cartmell's book work on multiple levels, depending on your mindset. While incredibly valuable as war up or conditioning drills, they have the added benefit of being simple, general motions. The speed,tension, angle, & power type can be varied in each case, allowing these drills to serve different purposes at different times in a students training. This is a defining feature of Xing Yi's mindset: simple, straightforward, & functional. As long as you find something that works for you, without violating the rules, it's still Xing Yi. As far as the training routine, I recommend using the outline in Mr Cartmell's book. Warm up, San Ti Shi, Single Techniques, Forms, & Partner Drills. First slow & soft, then quick & strong. If you make a special point of being patient, you will see results. Good luck, & please keep us updated on your training!
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