|Literal meaning||"Mind Boxing"|
|Literal meaning||"Great Achievement Boxing"|
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YiChuan, "Yi" meaning Intent, (but not intention), "Chuan" meaning to grasp that which has been scattered.
Having studied Xingyiquan with Guo Yunshen in his childhood, Wang Xiangzhai travelled China, meeting and comparing skills with masters of various styles of kung fu. In the mid-1920s, he came to the conclusion that Xingyiquan was often taught wrong, with too much emphasis on 'outer form', neglecting the essence of true martial power. He started to teach what he felt was the true essence of the art using a different name, without the 'xing' (form). Wang Xiangzhai, who had a great knowledge about the theory and history of his art, called it "Yiquan" (意拳) In the 1940s one of Wang Xiangzhai's students wrote an article about his "school" and named it "Dachengquan" (大成拳), which means "great achievement boxing". This name was not used by Wang Xiangzhai. Wang thought the name was a poor choice as it was boastful and not very descriptive of the intent.
In the 1930s in Shanghai, Wang's school became famous. A few of his core students were training with him at that time. Brothers Han Xing Chiao and Han Xing Yuen, Shao Dao Sheng (perhaps Wangs most accomplished student), all came together during this period. Han Xing Chiao, who was formally adopted by Wang as a son and lived with him for 15 years, was studying One Finger Tway Na (massage), with a scholar and doctor named Qian Yan Tang. Wang studied medicine and culture with Qian Yan Tang, a famous scholar and doctor. The two hit it off and were brothers in researching many mysteries. It was here that Qian introduced the idea that further exploration of Zhang Zhuang (standing practice first and most foundationally taught by Wang's uncle and teacher Guo You Sheng), might be fundamental to the development of Yiquan. Wang researched this idea in the doctor's library, which was full of classic texts. Wang was always changing the practice and method of Yiquan, always innovating, based on natural principles. Much of the development of Yiquan was done in Shanghai. With the help of Han Xing Chiao, Wang set the Zhuang in order, creating a system of 24. Later, the basic eight postures were refined into Ju, Bao, Peng, Tway, An, Hua, Ti and closing with Jia So Su. These basic eight postures are still the core of Zhang Zhuang. After this, Wang moved to Beijing, and Han Xing Chiao followed later. When Han arrived there, he found Wang was only teaching three Zhuang. Bao is the universal Zhuang, and so Wang only really taught Bao from that point on. Most of the other practices were dropped as well,(push hands and Fa Li.) However, students still try to use improperly use Fa Li. When the students saw Wang move fast, they thought of it as Fa Li, or issuing force. There is actually no difference in practicing fast or slow. There is no force at all. The misconception is caused by the mind. The mind conceives of the result as based in two different states, hard and soft, as well as fast and slow. As long as the mind clings to this dualistic model, the student will break everything into two. But the moment of experience is only one. Wang continued development of his art, but few, if any, could follow. Only those who could grasp the one state, and keep it, can move with it. Schools that were founded by students who never progressed this far are numerous to this day. This has always been the social factor of true transmission.
||This section is written like a personal reflection or opinion essay rather than an encyclopedic description of the subject. (March 2011)|
Yiquan is essentially formless, containing no fixed sets of fighting movements or techniques. Instead, focus is put on developing one's natural movement and fighting abilities through a system of training methods and concepts, working to improve the perception of one's body, its movement, and of force. Yiquan is also set apart from other eastern martial arts in that traditional concepts like qi, meridians, dantian etc., are omitted, the reason being that understanding one's true nature happens in the present, and that preconceptions block this process.
Yiquan Is a distillation of the internal aspects at the core of all arts that Wang was exposed to, including Fujian hèquán, T'ai chi ch'uan, bāguàzhǎng, and Liuhebafa. Other arts as well, such as the swimming dragon posture, present in shiao jiao, is transformed through feeling, understanding, and the condition of the practitioner. In fact, typical movements and postures from other systems abound in yiquan. It was the internal core of these other arts that made them effective. This core is what Master Wang decoded. In essence, there is only one principle of merit in all martial arts, one core, one moment of truth, one Natural Fist.
The actual training in yiquan can generally be divided into:
- Zhan zhuang (站樁) Standing pole postures where emphasis is put on natural condition, working to improve listening to the body and on developing hunyuan li, "Natural living force" or "all things that make the whole".
- Shi li (試力) Testing force moving exercises, trying to bring the sensations of hunyuan li developed through Zhan zhuang into movements.
All of the other practices can be put into one of these two methods.
Different schools practice some degree of different footworks, (Bu Fa and Mo ca Bu), and different movements leading towards free expression of the collected state.
Principle of Nature: All truth and action occur in Shunjian, the split second of now. Everything before and after this moment is 'Wu', the Void, and thus, uncontrollable or unknowable. All objective and preconception is fixed and not in accordance with this undetermined state of Nature. "The Dao that is called the Dao is not the eternal Dao".
Famous schools include the Han Xing Yuan (韓星垣) School, the Han Xing Qiao (韓星橋) School, the Han Shi Yiquan school (founded by Han Jing Chen), son of Han Xing Qiao), the Li Jian Yu (李見宇) School, the Da Cheng Dao (大成道) School，US. Teachers of modern yiquan include Yao Chengguang (姚承光) and Yao Chengrong (姚承榮), twin sons of Yao Zongxun (姚宗勛) and Cui Ruibin of Beijing. Teachers in Japan include Hidetoshi Mitsuoka (Head of the Japanese branch of Han Shi Yi Quan 日本韓氏意拳学会), Teachers in the USA include Fong Ha of Berkeley, CA (student of Han Xing Yuan), Andrew Plack (Han Shi Yi Quan), Glenn Pasion (Han Shi Yi Quan) of Hawaii, Sifu Gregory Fong of Portland, Oregon, Sifu John Koo of Portland, Oregon, and Master Wang Ren Gang(王仁刚, Queens, NY.
- The Way Of Power, Lam Kam Chuen, Gaia Books, 2003
- Accademia Italiana Yi Quan
- About Wang wiangzhai's teaching
- Grandmaster Wang Xiang-Zhai (1885-1963)
- Wang Xiangzhai - General Principles for Dachengquan
- Wang Xiangzhai’s directions in verse for Dachengquan
- Yiquan's Mocabu friction stepwork
- Han Shi Yiquan Hawaii Homesite
- Chinese Healing Arts, Sifu Gregory Fong
- Beijing Yiquan Academy, Master Yao Cheng Rong
- Orange County Fight Center
- French Academy of Kung Fu Wushu and Qi Gong (French)
- Yiquan and Qigong Institute Walter Marek (German)
- Internal Martial Arts Association of Serbia
- Russia Yiquan Academy
- Da Cheng Dao(US)
- Chinese Fistology, Sifu John Koo
- Russia Centr Yiquan
- Yiquan Club Munich
- Yiquan Academy - Andrzej Kalisz
- Beijing Yiquan Training Center