Xingyi Chuan

2013-02-05 12:12 ChineseTime

Xingyi Quan or the form and meaning Chuan is also called Xinyi Quan (free-mind Chuan), Xinyi Liuhe Quan (free-mind six-combination Chuan)* or liuhe Quan (six-combination Chuan). There are two propositions about the name of this school of Chuan. One holds that the body actions and movements should be guided by Mind and that this school of Chuan is an identity of mind and body; the other proposition states that this school of exercises are mere imitations of animal actions and movements and adopted the form and meaning of animal movements.

According to historical records, the creator of Xingyi Quan was Ji Jike (1602-1683) from Village Zuncun in Yongji County in Shanxi Province. A resident of the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, Ji Jike was also known as Ji Longfeng. On his trip south to the Shaolin Temple and Luoyang in Henan Province and Qiupu in Anhui Province, Ji Jike passed his art on to Zeng Jiwu. During the reign of Emperor Qianlong of the Qing Dynasty, Xingyi Quan was spread in Henan, Hebei and Shanxi provinces. Ma Xueli, a Luoyang resident in He-nan, Dai Longbang, a resident of Qixian in Shanxi, and Li Luoneng, Dai's disciple from Hebei, all contributed to the dissemination and development of the Chuan. Over centuries, this school of Chuan is now practised in different styles. The Shanxi style is compact, delicate and yet forceful while the Henan style is powerful, vigorous and substantial. The Hebei style stresses steadiness, stur-dihess and comfort. As regards routines of fist fight, a similarity is seen between the Shanxi style and the Hebei style, both using three postures of the body, five major movements of axing, bursting, penetrating, hurling and traversing and imitations of 12 animal forms (dragon, tiger, monkey, horse, turtle, chicken, hawk, swallow, snake, owl, eagle and bear. The Henan style mainly imitates 10 animal forms (dragon, tiger, chicken, eagle, snake, horse, cat, monkey, hawk and swallow) (see picture).

liuhe (six combinations) is a special term used in Wushu, Chinese martial arts. In the Shaolin school of Wushu, there is a special branch called Liuhe Men (six-combination-group), which includes Uuhe Quan (six-combination Chuan), Uuhe spear (six-combination spear), Uuhe sabre (six-combination sabre), etc. One explanation is that the six combinations mean spirit, breath and mind (inner three combination) and hand, eye and body (outer three combination). Another explanation is that the six combinations are the combinations of eye and heart (or mind), heart (or mind) and breath, breath and body, body and hand, hand and foot, foot and hip.

Xingyiquan (Chinese: 形意拳; Pinyin: Xíng yì quán; Wade-Giles: Hsing I Ch'üan) is one of the three major "internal" (nèijiā) Chinese martial arts. The other two are T'ai Chi Ch'üan and Baguazhang. Xingyiquan translates approximately to "Form/Intention Boxing", or "Shape/Will Boxing", and is characterised by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power.

Its origins are traceable to the 18th century and may go back even further. There is no single organizational body governing the teaching of the art, and several variant styles exist.

A Xingyiquan fighter uses efficient coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending. Forms vary from school to school, but include barehanded sequences and versions of the same sequences with a variety of weapons. These sequences are based upon the movements and fighting behaviour of a variety of animals. The training methods allow the student to progress through increasing difficulty in form sequences, timing and fighting strategy.


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