Xingyi Quan

The Legend

Xingyi Quan is one of the three most famous styles of internal wushu. It is believed to have been developed by Song Dynasty wushu hero and general, Yue Fei and gained wide spread popularity during the Qing Dynasty.Xingyi Quan usesing a Five Element Theory in its application and relies on the Six Harmonies in its practice and cultivation.The Six Harmonies can be broken down into the Three External Harmonies and the Three Internal Harmonies(see below) The whole concept of this form is based on contemporary Chinese doctrine ,Moreover, there are other twelve imitative techniques which are based on the movements of the following animals; the dragon, tiger, horse, cork, pear, sparrow, hawk, monkey, eagle, swallow, crane, cat, and snake.,

The Style

Xingyi put great emphasis on the intention leading the power through the body – the body must work as one cohesive unit to allow for full expression of the explosive power. The intention, internal power, and external movement must coordinate and be synchronized – requiring total focus

Here is an example of the internal and external intentions

Three External Harmonies:
1.The arms and legs in synchronicity and harmony.
2.The elbows and knees in synchronicity and harmony.
3.The shoulders and hips in synchronicity and harmony.

Three Internal Harmonies:
1.The heart/mind acts in harmony with the will/intention.
2.The will/intention acts in harmony with the internal energy.
3.The internal energy acts in harmony with the power.

As in all systems of wushu practice, the fundamentals are most important. And in Xingyi having correct posture is paramount. In Xingyi one starts by first learning the correct posture which is maintained throughout all different aspects of the practice; as can be gleaned from the Three External Harmonies. When practicing Xingyi one must keep the neck and back straight while at the same time being sure not to tense the muscles and tendons; the hips must be relaxed and dropped while the tailbone is tucked in so that the entire spine is straight – from the base of the skull, to the tip of the tailbone.This practice allows for a natural realigning of the spine as the muscles and tendons in the back begin to relax.For this reason it also promotes a release of tension that may be built up in the neck, shoulders, hips, and waist.

The practice of Xingyi Quan is also helpful in building up the strength of the leg muscles, particularly the thigh muscles. It is also helpful in strengthening the tendons and ligaments of the knees and ankles. As Xingyi focuses on the synchronization of the intention and body, and requires focus, one can certainly improve their focus as well as mental organization. In the standing posture and moving practices deep dantian breathing is important to maintain which is helpful in lowering stress and bringing clarity of mind.

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