Xing Yi Quan
|This article needs additional citations for verification. (August 2007)|
Sun Lu-t'ang standing in San Ti Shi
|Also known as||Hsing I Ch'üan|
|Focus||Internal mechanics (neijia), Striking|
|Hardness||Both hard and soft, depending on application|
|Country of origin||China|
|Creator||Yue Fei (attributed)|
|Parenthood||The origins of Xing Yi Quan are disputed. It has originated from Dai Liu He Xin Yi Quan, was heavily influenced by military spear techniques, and was possibly influenced by other styles. The origins of branches which predated Xing Yi Quan remain unclear. Some speculate there is a connection to an art called Shaolin Xin Yi Ba.|
Xing Yi Quan (Chinese: 形意拳; pinyin: Xíng Yì Quán; Wade–Giles: Hsing I Ch'üan) is classified as one of the Wudang styles of Chinese martial arts. The name of the art translates approximately to "Form/Intention Fist", or "Shape/Will Fist".
Xing Yi is characterized by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power that's most often applied from a short range. A practitioner of Xing Yi uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending. Forms vary from school to school, but always include bare-handed fighting training (mostly in single movements/combinations and sometimes in forms) and the training of weapons usage with similar or identical body mechanics to that used for bare-handed fighting. The most basic notions of movement and body mechanics in the art were heavily influenced by the practice of staffs and spears.
There is no single organizational body governing the teaching of the art, and several variant styles and sub-styles exist. Although there are classical texts which include specific encoded instructions and general guidelines for practice, many of these are ignored by most modern practitioners. As a result, over the decades and especially the last few dozen years, branches of the art have considerably differentiated and diverged.
- 1 Origins
- 2 Branches of Xing Yi Quan
- 3 Characteristics and principles
- 4 Overview of the art and its training methods
- 5 Famous Practitioners of Xing Yi Quan
- 6 The Xing Yi Classics - Important texts in the art
- 7 In popular culture
- 8 See also
- 9 External links
- 10 Further reading
- 11 References
The exact origin of Xing Yi is unknown. The earliest written records of it can be traced to the 18th century to Ma Xueli of Henan Province and Dai Long Bang of Shanxi Province. Legend, however, credits the creation of Xing Yi to renowned Song Dynasty (960-1279 AD) general Yue Fei.
According to the book Henan Orthodox Xingyi Quan written by Pei Xirong (Chinese: 裴锡荣) and Li Ying’ang (Chinese: 李英昂), Xingyi[disambiguation needed] Master Dai Long Bang"...wrote the Preface to Six Harmonies Boxing in the 15th reign year of the Qianlong Emperor . Inside it says, '...when [Yue Fei] was a child, he received special instructions from Zhou Tong. Extremely skilled in spearfighting, he used the spear to create fist techniques and established a skill called Yi Quan [意拳]. Meticulous and unfathomable, this technique far outstripped ancient ones."
Throughout the Jin, Yuan and Ming Dynasties few individuals had studied this art, one of them being Ji Gong (also known as Ji Longfeng and Ji Jike) of Shanxi Province. After Yue Fei's death, the art was lost for half a millennium. Then, during the Ming and Qing Dynasties in Shaanxi Province's Zhongnan Mountains, Yue Fei's boxing manual was discovered by Ji Gong.
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General History (Ancient Times - 20th Century)
Yang Jwing-Ming argues that aspects of xingyiquan (particularly the animal styles) are identifiable as far back as the Liang Dynasty at the Shaolin Temple. Yue Fei, therefore, did not strictly invent xingyiquan, but synthesised and perfected existing Shaolin principles into his own style of gongfu which he popularised during his military service. Nonetheless, according to Yang, Yue Fei is usually identified as the creator because of his considerable understanding of the art (as shown in the work The Ten Theses of Xingyiquan, credited to Yue) and his cultural status as a Chinese war hero.
Other martial artists and Chinese martial art historians, such as Miller, Cartmell, and Kennedy, hold that this story is largely legendary; while Xing Yi Quan may well have evolved from military spear techniques, there is no evidence to support that Yue Fei was involved or that the art dates to the Song dynasty. These authors point out that the works attributed to Yue Fei's role long postdate his life, some being as recent as the Republican era, and that it was common practice in China to attribute new works to a famous or legendary person, rather than take credit for oneself. One source claims that the author of the "preface" is unknown, since no name is written on the manuscript. Most practitioners just assume it was written by Dai Long Bang. Some researchers of martial arts believe that it was actually written in Shanxi during the final years of the 19th century. In addition, historical memoirs and scholarly research papers only mention Zhou Tong teaching Yue archery and not spear play. Yue historically learned spear play from Chen Guang (陈广), who was hired by the boy’s paternal grandfather, Yao Daweng (姚大翁).
With the late Ming-era and Ji Longfeng, evidence for the art's history grows firmer. Ji Longfeng, also known as Ji Jike, is the first person which all agree had both existed and practiced the art. Ji Longfeng's contributions to the art are described in the Ji Clan Chronicles (姬氏族谱; pinyin: Ji Shi Jiapu). Like the Preface, the Chronicles describes Xingyiquan as a martial art based on the combat principles of the spear. The Chronicles, however, attributes this stylistic influence to Ji himself, who was known as the "Divine Spear" (神槍; pinyin: Shén Qiāng) for his extraordinary skill with the weapon. Nowadays, many believe that the style Ji Longfeng was taught had been Shaolin Xin Yi Ba (a style which still exists today, and bares minute resemblance to XinYi LiuHe Quan). Ji Longfeng referred to his art as Liu He, The Six Harmonies, a reference to the most highly developed spear style practiced in the late Ming military.
From Ji Longfeng, the art was passed down to Cao Jiwu. From Cao Jiwu, the art split into its two biggest branches. One branch came down from Cao's student Ma Xueli, and became Xin Yi Liu He Quan - an art still widely practiced today, which compared to other lineages, have not undergone many changes over the generations. The other branch that came down from Cao Jiwu was through his other student, Dai Longbang. The latter passed the art into the Dai clan, which had made many changes to it, mixing it with several arts and skills that had already existed in the Dai family. The art remain in the Dai clan to this day, but have also spread elsewhere in China and around the world.
Xingyiquan remained fairly obscure until Li Luoneng (also known as Li Nengran) learned the art from the Dai family in the 19th century. It was Li Luoneng and his successors — which include Guo Yunshen, Song Shirong, Che Yizhai, Liu Qilan and Li Taihe — who would popularise xingyiquan across Northern China.
Recent history (20th and 21st centuries)
A condensed version of Xing Yi Quan was taught to Chinese officers at the Military Academy at Nanjing during the Second Sino-Japanese War for close quarters combat. This included armed techniques such as bayonet and sabre drills alongside unarmed techniques.
Sun Lutang, a later famous exponent of the art, exchanged knowledge with Fu Chen Sung, who subsequently took this branch of the art to southern China (after it had been mostly practiced in the Northern parts of the country for centuries). Later, many others have spread the art across China and the world. Yi Quan, which had been evolved from Xing Yi Quan by Wang Xiangzhai, became especially widespread during the 20th century, in China and across the world.
Following the Cultural Revolution in China, some Xing Yi forms have been adapted to fit the needs of modern practitioners of the competitive sport of Wushu. The style is relatively rare in competitions because all wushu practitioners must compete in several mandatory events, which make xingyi, a non-mandatory art, a secondary priority in wushu competitive circles.
The art began to be taught in the West somewhere along the 1960s-1970s. However, it only rose to prominence among martial arts communities worldwide during the first decade of the 21st century. Currently, it is still not well known among the general public. One explanation for this situation is that unlike other traditional oriental martial arts, Xing Yi was not a notable style in movies which became popular in the West (and though a modified 'wushu' version of it appeared in The One, starring Jet Li, this was not told or hinted to the viewers as part of that film's script).
Arguably, the most common Xing Yi Quan lineage in the West today is of the Yi Zong branch, which came down from Zhang Junfeng. Many of Zhang's students and grand-students, such as Kenneth Fish, Hung I-Hsiang, Su Dongchen, Luo Dexiu, Xu Hongji and others have been teaching his Xing Yi to Westerners since the 1980s - especially Americans. This branch became the most popular because Taiwan was open to Westerns during the 20th century, while throughout most of that century, the Communist regime on mainland China did not allow Westerners to visit regularly, and thus people were not exposed to branches of the art from the mainland. Contrary to popular belief, spread by some Taiwanese teachers, the art had not 'died out' on the mainland, but was simply inaccessible to outsiders for several decades. Another popular Taiwanese branch in the West is Wang Shujin's lineage, which was chiefly transmitted by his student Wang Fulai.
There are also several lineages from Tianjin which are nowadays taught in the West, namely in Canada and Israel. Lines of Dai XinYi and XinYi LiuHe are still rare in the West, and can be said to even be relatively rare in China, though they are not at risk of becoming 'extinct'. In the United States, Dai XinYi is taught by Li Tailiang and several of his students. Yi Quan, on the other hand, has become exceedingly popular in the West. There are no statistics as to the number of practitioners in any of these arts in either China or other countries.
Ancient Chinese texts, the source of xingyiquan knowledge, often contain characters whose meanings are obscure or have disappeared completely from the language. Specialised terms which describe historically specific concepts (names of ancient weapons for example) are commonly interpreted with regards for their closest, modern linguistic equivalent. The results can be problematic, producing translations which are linguistically correct but inconsistent within a fighting or martial context.
The recognised founder of baguazhang, Dong Hai Chuan, was reputed to have fought Guo Yunshen with neither able to defeat the other - though it is possible that they were training together. It would have been controversial at the time for Dong Hai Chuan to have studied under Guo Yunshen, since Dong was the older of the two. The most neutral viewpoint would be to say that they trained together, which may explain the stylistic similarities between baguazhang and the xingyiquan monkey. Frantzis argues that this encounter never took place and that Guo and Dong had little contact with each other. Frantzis argues that a xingyiquan-baguazhang exchange was more likely to have occurred in Tianjin c. 1900 where xingyi masters Li Cunyi and Zhang Zhaodong, Bagua master Cheng Tinghua, and four other xingyi and bagua teachers lived together (Frantzis, 1998, p. 179). Sun Lutang states in his autobiography that the legendary fight between Guo Yunshen and Dong Hai Chuan never happened. The book states that the truth of the matter is that Guo Yunshen actually fought one of his older xingyi brothers and lost. Sun Lutang was a student of both Guo Yunshen and Cheng Tinghua so this stance on the subject seems to be one of the most accurate.
Treating the story of Dong Hai Chuan and Guo Yunshen as allegory, however, reveals a common training protocol among xingyiquan and baguazhang practitioners. Often, because baguazhang requires significantly more time for a practitioner's skill to mature, it is acceptable to learn xingyiquan first or simultaneously. Such a practitioner develops a tactical vocabulary that is more readily apparent than the core baguazhang movements.
Branches of Xing Yi Quan
From Cao Jiwu, the art split into two branches:
- Ma family's Xin Yi Liu He Quan.
- Dai family's Liu He Xin Yi Quan.
These two branches survive to this day. Later, Li Luoneng developed Xing Yi Quan out of the Dai family branch. From Li Luoneng's time onward, the art has been said to have three main developmental branches:
- Shanxi (including the Song-family sub-branch)
- Hebei (Most commonly practiced Xing Yi Quan, and the branch Yi Quan evolved from)
- Henan (an alternative name for Ma family's Xin Yi Liu He Quan)
However, the identification of three separate branches is tenuous because of the extensive cross-training that occurred across their lineages. This suggests that the branches did not evolve in isolation, thus diluting any major differences between them.
Schools of the Shanxi branch have a narrower stance, lighter footwork and tend to be more evasive. They emphasize the development of relaxation before the practice of intention (Yi). Schools of the Hebei branch emphasize Xing and Yi before developing a higher level of relaxed structure, and have a slightly different evasive footwork. Schools of the Henan branch are typically the most aggressive of the three.
The Henan branch is known as the Muslim branch because it was handed down within the Muslim community in Luoyang to which its founder, Ma Xueli, belonged. Henan branch is sometimes referred to by practitioners as Xinyi Liuhe Quan instead of simply xingyiquan. This may be attributed to the fact that the Muslim community of China was historically a very closed culture in order to protect themselves as a minority, thus retaining the older addition to the name of Xingyi. Liuhe means "Six Harmonies" and refers to the six harmonies of the body (three external harmonies: wrists-ankles, elbows-knees, shoulders-hips; three internal harmonies: xin-yi, yi-qi, qi-li i.e. spirit or "emotional mind" (xin) harmonises with your intention (yi), intention harmonises with your breath and physical momentum (qi), breath and physical momentum harmonise with your physical strength (li) that contribute to correct posture.) This is not to be confused with the separate internal art Liuhebafa.
Both the Shanxi and Hebei branches use a twelve animal system with five elements while the Henan branch uses ten animals. Depending on the lineage, it may or may not use five elements. Due to the historical complexity and vagueness of the lineages, it is uncertain which branch would constitute the "authentic" Xingyiquan.
Characteristics and principles
Xingyiquan features aggressive shocking attacks and direct footwork. The linear nature of xingyiquan hints at both the military origins and the influence of spear technique alluded to in its mythology. Despite its hard, angular appearance, cultivating "soft" internal strength is essential to achieving power in Xingyiquan. Also, the advanced practitioner always contains right spirals within his movements, so even the seemingly direct and linear ones are circular on a very small scale. Such circles and spirals also exist in other martial arts, but Xing Yi (like Southern Praying Mantis) likes to keep them smaller than others.
The goal of the xingyiquan exponent is to reach the opponent quickly and drive powerfully through them in a single burst. The analogy with spear fighting is useful here. This is achieved by coordinating one's body as a single unit and the intense focusing of one's Intent (Yi).
Efficiency and economy of movement are the qualities of a Xing Yi stylist, and its direct fighting philosophy advocates simultaneous attack and defense. There are few kicks except for extremely low foot kicks (which avoids the hazards of balance involved with higher kicks) and some mid-level kicks, and techniques are prized for their working within key principles rather than aesthetic value. Xingyiquan favours a high stance called Sāntǐshì (三體勢 / 三体势), literally "three bodies power," referring to how the stance holds the head, torso and feet along the same vertical plane (As a Zhan Zhuang method, this stance is trained lower).
Overview of the art and its training methods
This is a general name given to postures which one holds in place for prolonged periods of time - anywhere between 2 minutes and 2 hours. These postures are related to postures used in actual fighting, and are sometimes identical to them. Initially, these postures are taught as static training stances. After a short amount of time though, the practitioner would be taught how to move the muscles and connective tissues on a minute level from the inside of the body, making these stances very dynamic internally, and more challenging to train. The most common Zhan Zhuang among all Xing Yi schools is San Ti Shi. Other common stances are: Hun Yuan Zhuang, Wu Ji Zhuang, Fu Hu Zhuang, Xiang Long Zhuang and their many variants. There are many reasons for training Zhan Zhuang. Among them are, in general:
- It is the simplest method to work on the training of one's Intent (Yi).
- They are used to develop one's martial structure.
- One can learn the bodily alignments of the art and perfect them in a more relaxed state.
- Correct breathing can be trained more methodically while holding Zhan Zhuang.
- There are certain health benefits involved in such training.
Some teachers consider Zhan Zhuang to be the most important practice in Xing Yi, while others neglect to train and teach them altogether. The use of the Santi Zhan Zhuang as the main training method in Xing Yi dates back to Li Luoneng - the founder of modern version of the art. In Dai XinYi, the central and most important training method is called 'Squatting Monkey' - a dynamic movement exercise rather than a dynamic posture held in place. Similarly, in the Geng Jishan/Deng Yunfeng/Rose Li tradition, the phrase Santi is not used at all, but rather "central equilibrium stance".
Since the 1980s, Zhan Zhuang had become more and more popular in other martial arts; many of whom, such as some schools of Chen style Taiji, borrowed these methods from Xing Yi schools. Other martial arts sometimes had their own Zhan Zhuang methods beforehand. Today, the posture Hun Yuan Zhuang in particular has become a mainstay of many styles; its spread probably owing to the growing popularity of Yi Quan.
This exercise is meant to ingrain in the practitioner the correct forward-stepping habits and methods of Xing Yi, which are different to those of other arts (though similar to those found in some styles of Bagua Zhang). Plow stepping is a precursor to Xing Yi's 'Chicken Stepping', which is the faster and more explosive stepping method in the art. In Yi Quan, Plow Stepping had been replaced with 'Mud Stepping'.
Shi Li / Mo Jin
In many lineages, there is an intermittent stage between the stationary Zhan Zhuang and the more complex Five Elements. The two names above are interchangeable for a few exercises developed to fulfill that purpose. Shi Li movements are basically simplified versions of the more advanced body mechanics and circles found in the Five Elements and the Animals. Their focus is on training one's structure and Yi, and can be thought of as 'Zhan Zhuang in movement'. They are usually trained very slowly, one movement at a time, repeating the same movement for many minutes on end. The more advanced practitioner many also spontaneously link up and flow between different Shi Li movements, or train them more explosive with Fa Jin. In Yi Quan, the original Five Elements and 12 Animals have all been 'condensed' and 'refined' into forms of Shi Li, and replace them as the core exercises in the art (together with Zhan Zhuang).
Five Element Shapes
Xing Yi uses the five classical Chinese elements to metaphorically represent five different states of combat. Also called the "Five Fists" or "Five Phases," the Five Elements are related to Taoist cosmology although the names do not literally correspond to the cosmological terms.
Xingyiquan practitioners use the five elements as an interpretative framework for reacting and responding to attacks. This follows the five element theory, a general combat formula which assumes at least three outcomes of a fight; the constructive, the neutral, and the destructive. Xingyiquan students train to react to and execute specific techniques in such a way that a desirable cycle will form based on the constructive, neutral and destructive interactions of five element theory. Where to aim, where to hit and with what technique—and how those motions should work defensively—is determined by what point of which cycle they see themselves in.
Each of the elements has many variant applications that allow it to be used to defend against all of the elements (including itself), so any set sequences are entirely arbitrary, though the destructive cycle is often taught to beginners as it is easier to visualize and consists of easier applications. Some schools will teach the five elements before the twelve animals because they are easier and shorter to learn (though eventually more difficult to master).
|Chopping||劈||Pī||Metal||Like an axe chopping down and over.|
|Drilling||鑽||Zuān||Water||Drilling forward diagonally.|
|Crushing||崩||Bēng||Wood||Like an arrow shot directly forward.|
|Exploding||炮||Pào||Fire||Exploding outward like a cannonball, while blocking at the same time.|
|Crossing||橫||Héng||Earth||Crossing across the line of attack while turning over.|
Each of the Five Element movements has many vectors of movement contained within it. Together, they are used to explore all the useful ways through which one could advance on a straight line. Each of the Elements may be used as a Zhan Zhuang in-itself, and in some schools this is encouraged.
A common saying originating from the Xing Yi classics is: "The hands do not leave the heart and the elbows do not leave the ribs". This is most evident in the Five Elements.
Xingyiquan is based on twelve distinct animal forms (形; pinyin: xíng). Present in all regional and family styles, these emulate the techniques and tactics of the corresponding animal rather than just their physical movements. Many schools of xingyiquan have only small number of movements for each animal, though some teach extended sequences of movements. Once the individual animal forms are taught, a student is often taught an animal linking form (shi'er xing lianhuan) which connects all the taught animals together in a sequence. Some styles have longer, or multiple forms for individual animals, such Eight Tiger Forms Huxing bashi.
|Bear||熊||Xióng||In Xingyi, "the Bear and Eagle combine," meaning that the Bear and Eagle techniques are often used in conjunction with each other. There is a bird called the "Bear Eagle," which covers the characteristics of both forms. The Eagle is a Pi Quan variation. It mimics the downward clawing action of this bird.|
|Snake||蛇||Shé||Includes both Constrictor and Viper movements.|
|Tiger||虎||Hǔ||Features lunging with open-handed clawing attacks mimicking the pounce of a tiger.|
|Dragon||龍||Lóng||The only "mythical" animal taught (except in those family systems where the phoenix is one of the 12 animals). In some lineages it is practiced separately from tiger because they are said to clash (this is a minority opinion).|
|Chicken||鷄||Jī||Mimics the pecking movement of a chicken and the flapping of its wings. This form also mimics the quick and aggressive combat style of the rooster.|
|Horse||馬||Mǎ||Combination of Pi and Heng movements that mimics the action of a rearing a horse.|
|Swallow||燕||Yàn||Follows the swift and random movements of the swallow by rotating position and circling the enemy with strong but quick foot movement. May refer to the Purple Swamphen (Rallidae) Coot.|
|Goshawk||鷂||Yào||This can mean 'Sparrowhawk,' though the more common word for "Sparrowhawk" used to be Zhān (鸇), which has fallen from use over the years. The Chinese word for "Goshawk" covers both the Goshawk and the Sparrowhawk. Note - in some lineages this animal is translated to mean the Grouse or small pheasant, as well as the phoenix. Among other things, trains the ability to penetrate between the opponent's limbs and body with strikes or takedowns.|
|Monkey||猴||Hóu||Performed with light, agile and simple striking combined with parrying and deception of distance.|
|Crocodile||鼍||Tuó||The animal it is meant to represent is the Yangtze River alligator. Sometimes referred to as a water-skimming insect, or water lizard. The movements of a yangtze river alligator have been compared to those of a pig crossed with a dragon.|
|This is a flycatcher native to Asia. Due to the rarity of this character it may be translated as ostrich, dove, hawk or even phoenix. The Chinese for this animal is a single character (𩿡), not two (as written); this character is not in the earlier versions of the Unicode standard so not all computers are capable of displaying it.. For further information, check the Unihan database for complete data on this character.|
|Turtle||龜||Guī||Represents the snapping turtle which uses quick head snapping motions to catch fish. Some schools will teach this in combination with Tuó (crocodile), considering them to be the same animal.|
|Ostrich||鴕||Tuó||Similar in stepping to Fire and Tiger, with counter-directional circling and double uppercuts. This animal represents the Chinese Ostrich, which some sources speculate could actually be the source of the Chinese Phoenix.|
Ba Zi Gong
These are 8 fighting combinations that exist in some lineages of the art. They emphasize direct combat applicability, and elaborate further on the movements vectors and powers explored and trained with the Five Elements. Sometimes, there exist two variations for the Ba Zi Gong - one for gongfu development, and another for actual fighting usage. There might also exist in a lineage a linking form for all 8 combinations. The eight Ba Zi Gong are: Zhan (Chopping), Jie (Intercepting), Guo (Wrapping), Kua (Carrying), Tiao (Lifting), Ding (Erecting), Ling (Leading) and Yun (Cloud).
Weapons in Xing Yi Quan
Traditionally xingyiquan was an armed art. Students would train initially with the spear, progressing to shorter weapons and eventually empty-handed fighting. Xingyiquan emphasises a close relationship between the movements of armed/unarmed techniques. This technical overlap aims to produce greater learning efficiency.
- Spear. This is the most synonymous weapon with the art. Spears are usually 1.8–5 meters in length, though those over 3 meters long are meant solely for increasing training intensity and challenge, and historically people would not commonly fight with spears that large.
Less common weapons:
- Large Sabre (used by infantry against mounted opponents)
- Long Staff
- Short Staff (at maximum length you could hold between the palms of your hands at each end - techniques with this weapon may have been used with a spear that had been broken)
- Needles (much like a double ended rondel gripped in the centre - on the battlefield this would mostly have been used like its western equivalent to finish a fallen opponent through weak points in the armour)
- Fuyue (halberds of various types)
- Chicken-Sabre Sickle. This weapon was supposedly created by Ji Longfeng and became the special weapon of the style. Its alternate name is "Binding Flower Waist Carry".
Weapon diversity is great, the idea being that an experienced Xingyi fighter would be able to pick up almost any weapon irrespective of its exact length, weight and shape.
Famous Practitioners of Xing Yi Quan
Since the validity of lineages are often controversial, this list is not intended to represent any lineage. Names are presented in alphabetical order using pinyin romanization.
|Bu Xuekuan||布学宽||布子容||Famous disciple of Che Yizhai.|
|Cao Jiwu||曹繼武||Reported to have won first place in the Imperial Martial Examinations sometime in the 17th or 18th century. Student of Ji Jike and teacher of the Dai family. From him, the art split into the two lines of Dai XinYi and Liu He Xin Yi Quan.|
|Che Yonghong||车永宏||Che Yizhai 车毅斋||First disciple (kaimen) of Li Luoneng.|
|Chu Guiting||褚桂亭||Disciple of Li Cunyi. He mastered Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji.|
|Dai Long Bang||戴龍邦||First student of the art from the Dai family. Was taught by Cao Jiwu.|
|Fu Chen Sung||傅振嵩||Chief instructor of baguazhang at the Nanjing Central Goushu Institute. Was good friends with Sun Lutang and exchanged martial arts skills with him.|
|Guo Yunshen||郭雲深||A famous student of Li Luoneng. A legendary tale reports him as having been incarcerated for killing a man with his Beng Quan, and when confined to a prison cell only being able to practice the Tiger shape movements due to his hands being tied by chains.|
|Hong Yixiang||洪懿祥||Student of Zhang Junfeng. Founder of the Tang Shou Tao school in 1960s Taiwan. Teacher of Xu Hongji, Luo Dexiu and Su Dongchen.|
|Ji Longfeng||姬龍峰||Ji Jike (姬際可)||The first person to be have historically been shown to practice the style that later diverged into Dai XinYi, XinYi LiueHe Quan and Xing Yi Quan. Taught Cao Jiwu.|
|Li Fuzhen||李复祯||Famous disciple of Che Yizhai.|
|Li Luoneng||李洛能||Li Nengran (李能然)||Nicknamed "Divine Fist Li"; The founder of modern Xing Yi Quan.|
|Li Tian Ji||李天骥||Li LongFei (李龙飞)||Author of "The Skill of Xingyiquan". Was the first Chairman of the Chinese Wushu Administration under Communist China. Helped to preserve Xingyiquan during the Cultural Revolution.|
|Li Cunyi||李存义||Li Kui Yuan (李魁元)||Famous Boxer. Disciple of Liu Qilan and Guo Yunshen (1847-1921). Was the owner of an armed protection services company in which many Xing Yi practitioners worked, including some of his own students.|
|Ma Xueli||馬學禮||Founder of the Henan or Muslim branch of XinYi LiuHe Quan.|
|Shang Yunxiang||尚云祥||Founder of the Shang or "New Style" of the Hebei branch. Was a disciple of Li Cunyi.|
|Song Shirong||宋世榮||Founder of the Song Family Style - a sub-style of the Shanxi Xing Yi branch.|
|Sun Lutang||孫祿堂||Sun Fuquan (孫福全)||Author of several books on internal arts, also known for developing Sun-style taijiquan and Sun-style Bagua Zhang. Disciple of Guo Yunshen and Li Cunyi.|
|Zhang Baoyang||张宝杨||Disciple of Wang Jiwu 王继武，Zhang Xiangzhai 张祥斋 and Hu Yaozhen 胡耀贞. Founder and honorary president of the Beijing Xingyi Research Association. Author of the book "Xing Yi Nei Gong", written with grandmaster Wang Jinyu and translated by Tim Cartmell. Still has a few highly skilled disciples in Beijing.|
|Zhang Junfeng||張俊峰||Founded a major school in Taiwan in the 1950s. Later, via the lineage of his student, Hong Yixiang, his branch became one of the most popular lines of Xing Yi in the West.|
|Zhang Zhaodong||張兆東||Zhang Zhankui (張占魁)||Famous Boxer. Disciple of Liu Qilan. Founder of the Xingyi-Bagua-Palm system. Taught many people in the Tianjin area who later became masters in their own right.|
The Xing Yi Classics - Important texts in the art
A variety of texts have survived throughout the years, often called "Classics", "Songs" or "Theories".
- Classic of Unification
- Classic of Fighting
- Classic of Stepping
- Classic of Six Harmonies
In popular culture
The Xingyiquan style has been featured in various media through the years. In the Dead or Alive series of video games, Gen Fu and Eliot employ the style while in the Tekken series, Wang Jinrei uses pure Xingyiquan, while Michelle Chang and her daughter, Julia Chang, use Xingyiquan mixed with wrestling and Kung fu. In the Mortal Kombat series, Shao Kahn employs Xingyiquan as well as Tai Tsu Chang Quan. Jet Li also performed Xingyi in the action movie The One. In the manga series Negima! the title character studies Xingyi as part of his Kung fu training.
- A translation of chapters from Li Zhongxuan's book on Xing Yi Quan practice and history
- Xinyi Liuhe Quan - the secret art of Chinese Muslims: Part One - Brief History
- XinYi LiuHe Quan video demonstrated by Master Wu QiuTing
- Li Tian-Ji (tran, Andrea Falk) (2000). The Skill of Xingyiquan. TGL Books. ISBN 0-9687517-1-7.
- Xing Yi Lianhuan Quan, Li Cun Yi (Translated by Joseph Crandall)
- Damon Smith (2004). Xing Yi Bear Eagle. Jeremy Mills Publishing. ISBN 0-9546484-4-7.
- Smith, Robert W. (1974). HSING-I Chinese Mind-Body Boxing. Kodansha International Ltd. ISBN 0-87011-230-9.
- Robert Smith and Allan Pittman (1990). Hsing-I: Chinese Internal Boxing. Tuttle Publishing. ISBN 0-8048-1617-4.
- Smith, Robert W. (1999). Martial Musings (See chapter on Rose Li). Via Media. ISBN 1-893765-00-8.
- Sun Lu Tang (tran, Albert Liu) (2000). Xing Yi Quan Xue: The Study of Form-Mind Boxing. Unique Publications. ISBN 0-86568-185-6. (Translated)
- Jin Yunting (tran. John Groschwitz) (2003). The Xingyi Boxing Manual. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-473-1.
- Sun Lu Tang (2000). Xing Yi Quan Xue. Unique Publications. p. 3. ISBN 0-86568-185-6.
- The name is pronounced 'Sheeng E Chwen?' in English (the word Quan has a tone that sounds like one is asking a question)
- (Chinese) Shao Xiaoyi. "Yue Fei's facelift sparks debate". China Daily. Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Pei, Xirong and Li, Yang’an. Henan Orthodox Xingyi Quan. Trans. Joseph Candrall. Pinole: Smiling Tiger Press, 1994.
- (Chinese) Heart Chinese boxing emphasizing flexibility and confusing the opponent
- Yang, Dr., Jwing-Ming & Liang Shou-Yu (2003). Xingyiquan : Theory, Applications, Fighting Tactics and Spirit. YMAA Pubn. ISBN 0-940871-41-6.
- Kennedy, Brian; Elizabeth Guo (2005). Chinese Martial Arts Training Manuals: A Historical Survey. Berkeley, California: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-557-6.
- Miller, Dan; Tim Cartmell (1999). Xing Yi Nei Gong. Burbank, California: Unique Publications. ISBN 0-86568-174-0.
- Jarek Szymanski. "Dai Family Xinyiquan - The Origins and Development". China From Inside. Retrieved 2007-08-09.
- Toktoghan (脫脫). Song Shi-Yue Fei Zhuan (宋史•岳飞传 – "History of the Song: Yue Fei Biography") (Volume 365), 1345. A rewritten version of Yue Ke's memoir. (See also, (Chinese) "岳飞子云". Retrieved 2007-07-17.)
- Kaplan, Edward Harold. Yueh Fei and the founding of the Southern Sung. Thesis (Ph. D.) -- University of Iowa, 1970. Ann Arbor: University Microfilms International, 1970., pg. 10.
- Yue, Ke (岳柯). Jin Tuo Xu Pian (金佗续编), 1234 - Chapter 28, pg. 16.
- Kaplan: pg. 13.
- Translation of an historical article by Wang Xinming on the history of Xin Yi and Xing Yi
- Some historians believe Ma Xueli was taught by Ji Longfeng himself. However, the traditions of the Ma family itself say only that Xueli learned from a wandering master whose name is unknown.
- Ma Xueli was of the Chinese Muslim Hui minority, and to this day, most of the practitioners of this art are of that minority
- The Preface identifies Cao Ji Wu as a student of Ji Longfeng and the master who taught Xing Yi Quan to Dai Long Bang. However, other sources identify Dai's teacher variously as Li Zheng or Niu Xixian.
- Rovere, Dennis (2008). The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army: Huang Bo Nien's Xingyi Fist and Weapon Instruction. Berkeley, California: Blue Snake Books. ISBN 978-1-58394-257-4.
- Frantzis, Bruce Kumar (1998). The Power of Internal Martial Arts. Berkeley, CA: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 1-55643-253-4.
- Yang, Dr., Jwing-Ming (1999). Ancient Chinese Weapons: A Martial Artist’s Guide. Boston, MA: YMAA. ISBN 1-886969-67-1.
- ScrewAttack. DEATHBATTLE: Shao Khan vs. M. Bison. http://www.screwattack.com/shows/originals/death-battle/death-battle-shao-kahn-vs-m-bison