Cultural Features

The principles of the martial art should be understood, the method should be correct, simple and practical, where success over your opponent is achieved by clever moves. It has living examples, is easy to practice, the harmony between Form and Intention can be examined. One can only practice martial arts well if the principles are clear; knowing movements and routines. Applications are not enough. Since this martial art is a practical science, it has many examples showing its methods and principles. The requirements in Xing Yi regarding movements, postures, co-ordination, rhythm, breathing, use of Intention (Yi) have specific expressions in Xing Yi routines. The harmony between Form (Xing) and Intention (Yi) means relation between external movements and internal intention. These two should be united. There is an old saying that goes "Once he stretches his arm, it is clear if he has it or not", which means once a martial arts practitioner makes a move, it can be seen whether his Form and Intention are united or not.

Important Points on Practice

Hardening exercises are forbidden, do not practice too many of the still methods. Qi and Strength should combine so that the Internal and the External are connected; Do not practice until exhausted but be persistent with it; the skill should grow but good health preserved, so balance your practice with Tuna (breathing) exercises. Hardening exercises like hitting sand bags, lifting weights, hitting wooden targets ( Iron Sand Hand practice) are forbidden in Xing Yi. Still methods like sitting meditation, standing practice should be practiced but not for extended periods of time. Although very hard training can improve one's skill, it is very easy to overstrain and hurt oneself. A high level of skill is good for nothing if you are not healthy.

Routine practice

Traditional boxing, self-defense, art of defeating enemy with three pieces; broadsword and straight sword are short weapons, spear and stick are long ones, reach the position in two steps, do not confront hard with hardness. As has already been stressed, martial arts should first of all be the art of self defence and fighting ability is the key skill. In Xing Yi, routines can be divided into three categories: traditional ones, for self-defense and for actual fighting (most advanced). In the last category many kicks are added to hand movements, so often one would use both hands and a kick at the same time - this is called "striking enemy with three pieces". This is also one of Xing Yi features.

While using weapons, one should neutralize or break opponent's attack with the first step and strike with the second step - this is called "reaching position with two steps".

Fighting Strategy

Iron triangle - linked hands, using the whole body as a fist.

Step with Tiger Step - body is like a wind, fists like water.

"mobile war" - where you neither go against opponent's power nor lose contact with him.

Santi Shi is the most basic body posture in Xing Yi and the main combat position. In fighting the movements of both hands should be well co-ordinated, as if both hands were linked. Tiger Step is a footwork composed of three steps: Ce Bu done with front foot; Step Forward with rear leg forward; Following Step with rear leg. This footwork is very useful in fighting

XingYi requires the body to move like a wind, be in a constant movement, hit the opponent in movement; fists (e.g. shoulders, elbows, forearms, hands, hips, knees, legs, feet) should strike like water filling all gaps (e.g. parts of opponent's body that are not protected); fighting should be based on guerilla tactics, always in movement, sticking to the opponent, never using power directly against his power.

Power and Fighting Methods

Power should be soft and elastic, strength explosive, line of softness and point of hardness, circle connected with straight line; know obvious and hidden, be able to change and link, do not be in a rush or panic when you break opponent's defense or defend yourself and attack. The power developed during practice and used in fighting should be soft and relaxed, elastic, neither stiff nor completely loose. Only then in fighting one can strike with explosive strength.

Soft power moves in lines, both straight and round, like a circle and its chord - this is called "circle connected with straight line".

Hard power is used in an explosive manner for a very short time, that's why it is called "point of hardness". "Line of softness and point of hardness, needle hidden in cotton, circles and straight lines mutually transforming, like wind or water" - these metaphors describe well Xing Yi.

Obvious (Ming) and hidden (An) mean obvious and hidden applications of certain techniques. One of the most important skills in fighting is an ability to change according to your opponent's reaction.

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