Joseph Crandall and Helin Dong
INTRODUCTION TO MY ART
Yue Fei was betrayed by the
evil minister Tai Gui. At that time he admonished men to be bold
and daring. He also wished to reveal to them this martial art.
At the time of the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty, Ji Longfeng, also called Jike, of Shansi was seeking to refine his fighting skills. He unexpectedly came to a temple and met a high monk living there who gave him a book. This book was the Fighting Treatise of Yue Wang. Mr. Ji contemplated the book day and night. He worked with it for many years. Eventually his skill became great. He later taught Dai Longbang of Shansi and Ma Xueli of Henan. These two men were very skillful and received the pure teaching of this martial art. This transmission comes down to the present day after 10 generations.
This is a book about a martial arts style. The forms of the techniques are short and single. There are only five fists and twelve forms. It does not appear to be difficult to practice. But it is not very easy to attain the complete skill. What kind of martial art is it? All one needs in this style is to be greatly determined and have a firm grasp of vitality [jingshen]. With it one will be ever successful. Previous men practice the fists. For many years they practiced the hands, and for many years they practiced the legs. Then they understood the fists. But today's society is fast paced, intense and complicated. People cannot find the time to study like the previous generations could. But, to, become proficient in the martial arts you should only study two or three forms. You must practice all year round, no matter what and practice arduously. Practice to strengthen the body and fill it with power. Therefore Xingyi Quan emphasizes the internal energy [nei jing]. Value quality, not quantity. Value simplicity, not complexity. The principle is to train the qi and train the skills. If one trains daily, eventually the skills will be complete and you will be able to terrify men.
Teacher Liu Fengshan,
also called Caizhen, was from Ningjin County in Hebei Province.
He was highly skilled in Liu He and Xingyi. He was adept with the
big spear and was called Big Spear Liu. In the prime of his
life he set up a guard service to protect homes. In his later years
he taught at Qing Hua University. Every day at dawn he taught at
the Beijing University. He was responsible for many students in Beijing
City and set up a Martial Arts School. It was open to all and thousands
When I came to the Beijing area, I entered the Martial Arts School. Because I was always there and made use of Sundays I was noticed and selected. Shifu Caizhen was responsible for the class. Because I had studied martial arts when I was young and because I had studied with Gu Ruzhang and Tan San, two martial arts teachers, I had a good foundation. Therefore Master Liu paid special attention to me. He invited me into his home where we would talk late into the night. I was there for four years. Then the Japanese Army entered Beijing. I hid in my master's house for 40 days. The Japanese army was arresting students from Guangdong in the capitol every day. The resistance fighters were executed. My master sent me to Natai County and he returned by car to the capitol. I continued on to Hankou and then returned to Guangzhou. With all of this traveling, I was never to see my teacher again. Two years after we parted lie died at age 82. He has one son named Qingchuan also known as Wenhai who is now 80 years old and one grandson named Lukui who also practices some.
In practicing Xingyi Quan, the main parts are: Splitting, Pounding, Drilling, Exploding, and Crossing. Each is one action. Each must be inseparable from the "8 Characters" and the "9 Songs". One should practice to get the dantian full of qi, and strength abundant throughout the body. When the Five Fists are perfected then there are the 12 Forms, Four Seizes [Sibal, Connected Links [Lianhuan], Eight Forms [Ba Shi], and Mixed Forms Fist [Za Shi Chuil. The Four Extremities, Eight Characters and Nine Songs are explained below.
THE FOUR EXTREMITIES.
Inside man's body blood, flesh, bones, and sinew make the extremities. The tongue makes the flesh extremity. The teeth make the bone extremities. The fingernails make the sinews extremities. The hair on the head is the blood extremity. It the four extremities are strong, then what is common can quickly change.
1. The Blood Extremity: Angry qi fills the breast. Upright hair on the head pushes up against the helmet. The blood circulation quickens. The enemy's courage gives way. The hair on the head is small. Yet, to push the enemy is easy.
2. The Flesh Extremity: The tongue lifts up and the qi descends. The strong mountain also moved. The flesh is firm like iron. The mind is brave and bold. A word's awesome power. His spirit will fall and lie will be afraid.
3. The Bone Extremity: There is bravery in the bones. With cutting teeth then issue. The enemy's flesh is eaten. The eyes protrude. Only by the skill of the teeth. It causes men to become dizzy.
4. The Sinew Extremity: The tiger's awesome power, the eagle's fierceness. They use claws like hooks. The hands grab and the feet tread. The power of the qi is abundant and brave. When the fingers arrive anything can be accomplished.
THE EIGHT CHARACTER MYSTERY.
Pushing up [Ding], Bending [Kou], Rounding [Yuan], Quickness[Du], Embracing [Bao], Suspending [Chui], Curving [Clu], and Stretching [Ting]. (Inside each character there are three methods.)
Pushing up [Ding]: The head pushes up, it has the bravery of shooting to heaven. The hand pushes outwards and has the skill to push mountains. The tongue pushes up and has the looks of a hungry lion swallowing an elephant.
Bending [Kou ]: When the shoulders bend, then the qi and strength reach the elbows. When the elbows bend, then the qi and strength reach the hands. When the fingers and toes bend, then the whole body strength is complete.
Rounding [Yuan]: When the back is rounded then the inner strength pushes the body. When the front of the chest is rounded then both arms' strength is complete. When the mouth is are rounded then there is a brave and fierce outward appearance.
Quickness[Du]: The mind is quick like an angry cat catching the mouse. The eyes are quick like the hungry eagle seeing the rabbit. The hands are quick like a hungry tiger catching a goat.
Embracing [Bao]: Bravery must be embraced by the body, then when you draw near the enemy you will not be afraid. If the dantian embraces the qi, then the qi will not be dispersed outwards. If both elbows embrace the ribs, then leaving and entering will not be confused.
Suspending [Chui]: If the qi is suspended, then the qi descends to the dantian. If the shoulders are suspended, then the qi and strength arrive at the elbows. If the elbows are suspended, then both arms are naturally curved.
Curving [Chu]: Both arms should be curved. If both arms are curved, then the strength is abundant. Both knees should be curved, if they are curved then the strength is sufficient. Both wrists should be curved, if both are curved then the strength comes together.
Stretching [Ting]: If you stretch the energy, the sticky qi permeates to the top. If you stretch the waist. the qi permeates the whole body. If you stretch the knees and both feet, the strength is stable.
THE NINE CHARACTER SONG
(Body, Shoulder, Arm, Hand, Fingers, Legs, Feet, Tongue, Anus)
Leaning to the front or back, this posture is not good. Leaning to the left or the right is a sickness. Straight and yet like diagonal; diagonal and yet like straight.
Shoulders: The top of the head wants to push up, the shoulders need to hang down. If the left shoulder completely twisted then the right shoulder follows with it. For the body strength to arrive in the hands, the shoulder place is where it happens.
Arms: The left arm reaches out to the front. The right arm is by the ribs. Like curved but not curved; straight but not straight. If they are not in the right place the strength will be insufficient.
Hands: The right hand is by the ribs. The left hand equal with the breast. In the back pressing down, in the front reaching out. Both hands equally together use strength.
Fingers: The five fingers each separate. This form is like hooks. The tiger's mouth is round and open. Like hard, like soft. Strength must arrive in the fingers and cannot be forced.
Legs: The left leg is in the front, the right leg supports in the rear. Like straight, but not straight; like bowed, but not bowed. Although it looks inadequate, each looks like a chicken form.
Feet: The left foot is in the front-, aslant or sideways is wrong. The right foot posture is diagonal. Front precedes opposite the shin. A foot distance is probably right. The toes are fixed like hooks.
Tongue: The tongue makes the flesh extremity. If it is lifted up, then the qi descends. The eyes are wide-open and the hair stands on end. The dantian increases, the muscles are like iron, inside the organs are strong.
Anus: If the anus is raised up, then the qi permeates to the four extremities. Both legs twist and wind so that the flesh of the buttocks comes together. If it is low then the qi separates, therefore it ought to be somewhat high.
THE MEANING AND SIGNIFICANCE
XINGYI WUXING QUAN.
Among my country's martial
arts, there are many different schools. There are many distinct styles.
To investigate them all is not possible. There are two families:
Inner and Outer, hard and soft and no more. There is hard and yet
soft, soft and yet hard. Also there is completely soft and completely
hard. Many take the actions of animals and use them to make the fists.
Xingyi takes its forms and shapes its ideas. It uses idea, shape,
and form. It uses form combined with the idea.
For instance, the form of Splitting Fist is like an ax. It corresponds to metal. The ax can split the arrow. Therefore metal destroys wood. Instantly Splitting Fist can destroy Penetrating Fist. Splitting is also Chopping. Chopping down is certainly like it. Chopping to the front, also, what cannot it try? Blocking and intercepting the incoming posture. It can attack and it can defend.
The form of Penetrating Fist is like an arrow and corresponds to wood. The arrow can pierce when shot. Therefore wood destroys earth. Instantly Penetrating Fist can break Crossing Fist. The outgoing hand is like a sharp arrow issuing forth. The forward fist has the energy of pulling a bow. In issuing, the fist goes out to the middle and suddenly goes up. It appears to go up and suddenly sinks down. Up, middle, down, to and fro, the directions are not fixed. In attacking there is yet a penetrating defense. In defending there is yet solid attacking. Out of one attack there should be 10,000 ideas for defense. The forward fist defends and also contains attack.
Drilling Fist's form is like Drilling. It corresponds to water. Water can extinguish fire. Therefore Drilling Fist can destroy Exploding Fist. Drilling is turning energy also. It has the shape of water's flowing motion, whirling and eddying endlessly. It can dodge and evade. It can rule and smash. It can knock down and it can flick up. It can rise and it can fall.
Exploding Fist's form is like a cannon. It corresponds to fire. Fire melts metal. Therefore Exploding Fist can destroy Splitting Fist. Fire rides the wind's power. It shoots up towards the front. I follow the man's thoughts. Break the enemy and break his fist.
Crossing Fist's form is like a spring. It corresponds to earth. Earth can destroy water. Therefore Crossing Fist can destroy Drilling fist. What is springing? It breaks into fragments. Scaling and plowing postures defend the front of the chest. It can neutralize the advance of the incoming fist. It can break the path of the enemy's retreat. Outer flicking can press. Inner cover can press. If his stepping is flawed, then leap into the center gate into his face. If you come to a fissure then step to the side gate and advance. Use the principle of the middle path. Through arduous practice you will begin to understand.
XINGYI QUAN'S PRACTICE METHODS
THREE TYPES OF PRACTICE METHODS
1. Practice Jing (essence): In practicing the martial arts one first must curb desire. One cannot allow the distraction of alcohol and lust. Therefore cut out lust and eating meat. Everyone knows this. it is very good to start this as a child begins to practice. As the youth becomes a man, lie definitely must have determination. Regarding alcohol and lust, one cannot complete cut them off. But one must, as far as possible, lessen them. If not then you will plunder your body and cause the vitality [jingshen] wither and waste. How can this not be?
2. Practice Qi: There are two kinds of practicing qi. One is nourishing qi. One is practicing qi. Doing sitting elemental skills makes nourishing qi. Early morning deep breathing, drawing in the morning air, is practicing qi. Many types of practice methods have been transmitted for generations. There is striking method, and the twisting by rubbing method. The root schools are then distinguished as having a small metal bell. They mutually transmit the whole doctrine of Yue Fei.
3. Practice Shen: If indeed one relies on the true method then one will reach perfect. Hopefully there is not any partial error in language. For sure one can practice to arrive at the jing being full and the qi abundant. Then the spirit will naturally fill and be copious. All year around one cannot usurp its vessel. Wind and rain cannot injure its body. With this style, the benefits are longevity. It is an unimportant matter to just hear about. These words must be studied. Pray take notice!
THREE STEPS GONGFU
(1) Ming Jing: Obvious Energy: First practice the basic body strengths. When you have strengthened the energy, then you can advance and retreat with facility. Otherwise it is just words. An outgoing hand, a rising foot. Make you become aware of qi floating and qi tramped. Body breath of not relaxed. What inward returning has superabundant strength? Therefore, in the original school, first step gongfu puts importance on Obvious Energy. A standing post works towards having the eight characters all be complete and the nine verses all totally complete. Then the power will be naturally strong and you will terrify men. Moreover this energy also gives a distinct strength to the body. When the time is right you will naturally understand it.
(2) An Jing: Concealed Energy: After you have practiced and are good at Ming Jing, (you very much manifest a body and soul that are firm and strong. The vitality [jingshen] is full.) then advance and yet seek the return of the qi drawn throughout the whole body. Do not esteem outer strength. Moreover seek the inner energy. The touch is soft. If it is heavy then it is firm and hard like iron. It the touch is hard, then it is also soft and yielding like cotton. Investigate this area and make the above true.
(3) Hua Jing: Transforming Energy: Transformed energy has no form and no shape in the hand method. He doesn't see it coming, and lie doesn't see it going. As soon as lie comes into contact, lie cannot fathom it. Without defending yourself, lie is thrown down. Practice to arrive at this stage and your skill will be like magic. The true proverb says : "The good stuff is hidden deeply. The gentleman with abundant virtues appears like a silly fool." These words are important!
THREE DEGREES OF DAOIST PRINCIPLES
(1) Practice Jing Transforming to Qi
Practice qi, filling and consolidating. Repeated practice of this causes it to travel up and consolidate in the Heavenly Gate. By degrees it drops down to condense in the dantian. It advances and permeates the whole body.
(2) Practice Qi Transforming to Shen:
Man has a heart, liver, spleen, lungs, and kidneys. They are all governed by the brain. Regardless of whether the heart qi, liver qi, spleen qi, lung qi, or kidney qi is high, low or in the middle, it moves to consolidate in the center. Also all are guided by the mind's qi. We, as a result, decide to practice qi. The principle causes the qi to become fixed and the shen to become firm and complete.
(3) Practice Shen Returning to Emptiness:
When the five qi's are firm, then the shen congeals. It becomes consolidated without separation. I then return to emptiness and nothing. There is no me, no thing. Although the principles are three they are really only one and are to be experienced in man's body.
(1) Yue Fei ------- (2) Ji Jike ------- (3) Cao Jiwu -------
(4) Ma Xueli|--(4) Dai Longbang --------- (5) Li Feiyu
(5)Li Feiyu -----(6) Li Guangting
|--------(6) Li Jingzhai
|-------(6) Zhang Shude
|-------(6) Liu Xiaolan
|-------(6) Guo Yunshen-------(7) Xu Zhanao
| |-------(7) Li Kuiyuan--------(8) Sun Lutang
|-------(6) Liu Yuanheng
|-------(6) He Yongnian
|-------(6) Song Shide
|-------(6) Song Shirong-------(7) Song Tielin
| |------(7) Jia Yungao
|-------(6) Che Yonghui-------(7) Bo Xucbao
| |------(7) Li Fuzhen
|-------(6) Bai Siyuan
|-------(6) Liu Jilan
(6) Liu Jilan -------- (7) Geng Jishan ----------(8)
| |---(8) Zhang Dianhua
| |---(8) Deng Zhifeng
| |---(8) Liu Caizhen ------ (9) Qingchuan (Caizhen's son)
| |---(9) Huang Shunting
| |----(9) Yin Ruchuan [Shiceng]
|---------(7) Zhang Zhaokui------(8) Han Muxia
|---------(7) Li Cunyi --------------(8) Shang Yunxiang-------(9) Zhao Shuhao
|------(9) Li Zhankui
|------(9) Liu Huapu
|------(9) Xu Xiaoyu-(10) Gai Tien
| |---(10) Bao Yuzhao
| |---(10) Yi Binghun
(9) Huang Shunting ------------- (10) Xie Xishao
|- ----------------(10) Cheng Jixiang
|------------------(10) Liang Weijia
|------------------(10) Huang Shaoping
|------------------(10) Wang Suikui
|------------------(10) Liao Yuhua
|------------------(10) Tan Shulun