Xing Yi: A Devastating Internal Martial Art
Xing Yi is one of the three internal arts of China. (It is pronounced shing-ee and sometimes spelled Hsing I.) The other two internal arts are Tai Chi and Ba Gua. Like the other internal arts, Xing Yi focuses on the use of internal and external body alignment as well as the use of chi energy in combat situations instead of simply focusing on training for sheer physical force. The word “Xing” is most commonly translated as ‘shape’ or perhaps ‘form.’ The word “Yi” is translated “will” or “mind intent.” In combination, these two words can be translated in many different ways. The title of this martial art may actually have been created in order to give a number of different possible meanings. However, loosely speaking, the phrase could be translated “spirit and mind intent boxing,” “mind intent boxing” “mind and heart boxing” or simply “mind boxing.”
While Tai Chi uses soft movements and a Ba Gua uses circling and evasive movements, Xing Yi has a much more direct and simple approach to combat situations. The martial artist moves in a straight line directly for an opponent and lands devastating hits immediately. A person being attacked by someone trained in Xing Yi would see the martial artist coming directly at them in a straight line or perhaps not at all since this kind of attack can come very quickly.
In Xing Yi, the knees are bent like when a person is about to jump into the air. However, the force is sent forward instead. In addition to this forward force, the martial artists uses somewhat circular hand motions. Consequently, while there is a direct attack happening, it is very hard for an opponent to grab on to anything. Xing Yi is a little bit like having a fan on wheels coming directly at you.
The force tranferred using this martial art can be extremely powerful. It is not simply based on the muscle power someone has in their arms. Instead, the martial artist puts the power of the whole body into a punch and the energy built up in the approach as well. Master Kuo Yun Shen, a well-known Xing Yi practitioner, became known as the Divine Crushing Hand because on more than one occasion he killed his opponent with only one blow.
As a fighting art, this style focuses on a few moves training them in many different ways. This way, in a combat situation, the moves will easily be recalled by a martial artist. This way, rather than having a situation where a practitioner has a large number of moves to choose from and would have to spend time trying to choose the right move, a Xing Yi artist can immediately act without having to think about which move to use.
There are only five basic techniques in this fighting style: crossing, pounding, crushing, drilling, and splitting. These five basic moves are sometimes referred to by the names of the five elements: earth, fire, wood, water, and metal. Beyond these basic forms, practitioners can be trained in 10 to 12 animal forms. However, these animals forms are based on the first basic five moves
Xing Yi is a powerful internal art that is very useful in a combat situation.