A Brief History of XingYiQuan (hsingichuan) as an Internal Martial Art Form by Mike Patterson
XingYi (hsing i) HISTORY
XINGYIQUAN - is a very old "internal" art most often attributed to General Yueh Fuei, a famous Chinese military hero who died circa 1130 A.D. Although most scholars agree that General Yueh did not invent the art, he is often given credit as the founding father as a result of his attempts to promote Xingyi through his military endeavors.
The origins of this most ancient of Chinese systemized combative art forms are unknown. Yueh attributed a wandering Taoist as his teacher whom had no traceable name. And the history of evolution of the art is sketchy at best, although it certainly does pre-date Yueh’s time frame. Some scholars believe the art should be dated at least as far back as the Liang Dynasty (550 A.D.) which is certainly possible. Likely the myth of creation is attributed to Yueh because it makes for a very nice story. The art is so sophisticated it likely was several generations in evolution to its complete form.
What is known about Xingyi, is that it is one of the oldest and most famous systems of Kung Fu to ever come out of Chinese Culture. The skills of Xingyi masters are legendary, and their kung fu prowess is the subject of numerous tales and songs throu ghout Chinese History.
Suffice it to say that Xingyi is known as a most powerful form of Chinese Kung Fu and good teachers of this mighty art form are much sought after even today.
The Art of Xingyi is divided into three main schools of thought. They are the ShanXi School, the HeBei School, and the Honan School respectively. The ShanXi and HeBei methods are based upon the five forces of Taoist cosmology and the twelve animal styles, although the names of the animals sometimes vary a bit from family to family.
The ShanXi method is definitively the more complex of the three main styles, and is also considerably more rare. The HeBei style is much more common and contains its own unique characteristics as well. The Honan School is devoid of any actual physical representations of the Five Forces in form. They are conceptual ideas only. And the Structure has only ten simplistic Animal movements contained.
It should also be duly noted that there are many variations in training method from family to family, even within the same style. Many of these differences likely spring from the extreme age of Xingyi as a discipline and the inevitable "cross pollination" of ideas from family to family and style to style.
To read General Yueh Fuei's Ten Important Theses On XingYiQuan select the following link: