Xing Yi Quan

The known history of our Xing Yi Quan starts when a Chinese man named Li Luo Neng became determined to learn the secretive martial art system of the Dai Clan who lived in northern China. After a long period he was accepted as an inner door student and learned the skills of their Xin Yi Quan, which focused on direct powerful striking using whole body connected power. After many years of study he gained extraordinary skill and went on to further develop the art into a system teaching San Ti Shi (three bodies basic stance), Five Fists, and Twelve Animals, both barehanded and armed with classical weapons.

Farmer Li had many great students, one was Liu Qi Lan who lived a quiet life in the countryside training, farming and teaching. Another was Guo Yun Shen, famous in all China for his fighting skills! One of Master Liu’s most famous students was Li Cun Yi (1847 – 1927), and he was famous because he could really fight! In fact he was known as Single Sabre Li due to his amazing skill with that weapon, and he engaged in countless life or death battles, all of which he survived in his job as a professional bodyguard and caravan guard. He was the man if you wanted your stuff protected on the dangerous roads out of northern China, his Xing Yi Quan skills were truly awesome but he was also known as a man with high martial virtue and loyalty. One of Master Gou Yun Shen’s most famous students was Sun Lu Tang (1860 – 1933)

Our Xing Yi Quan lineage comes directly from Li Cun Yi and Sun Lu Tang. The system is very demanding as it involves daily training of the basic postures following a series of requirements (see curriculum for details). Our focus is on cultivating whole body connected power, direct practical application and a strong mind and fighting spirit. We do a lot of heavy push hands and free fighting to test our skills, obviously this starts more controlled but after some time and under the teacher’s supervision it becomes very quick and free.

This is a great martial art to train if you want to develop crushing internal power, strong spirit and practical skills of protection.



Basic Training

  • Sān Tǐ Shì (Zhang Zhuang) – holding posture, this is generally the first thing to learn in Xing Yi Quan.
  • Wu Xing Quan (five element fists)
    • Pi – splitting
    • Beng – crushing
    • Zuan – drilling
    • Pao – canon
    • Heng – crossing
  • Each movement has many variations, with a total of 36 altogether.

This is the foundation of Xing Yi Quan. Whilst studying Sān Tǐ Shì and Wu Xing Quan students will be introduced to the theory of Xing Yi Quan.

Theories of Xing Yi Quan

  • 4 extremities
  • 4 animals
    • Dragon
    • Tiger
    • Bear
    • Chicken
  • 6 Harmonies – internal/external
  • 6 straight and not straight
  • 8 Characters – (each has 3 variations)
    • Kai – enclosing
    • Ding – pushing
    • Yuan – circles
    • Du – poisons
    • Bao – embracing
    • Chen – sinking
    • Chu – bends
    • Ting – lifting
San Ti Shi – Tianjin, China 1995

8 Essentials

  • vertical
  • horizontal
  • forward
  • backward
  • up
  • down
  • left
  • right.

9 Songs

  • body
  • shoulders
  • upper arm
  • hands
  • fingers
  • buttocks
  • feet
  • tongue
  • anus.

The above are studied along with Sān Tǐ Shì and Wu Xing Quan. They are the foundation of Xing Yi Quan. A good level of understanding of the basics is required to progress.

Intermediate Training

Ba Shi – Eight Style Linking Form

Wu Xing Lien Huang – Five Element Linking Form


  • 5 Element Sword (Dao)
  • 5 Element Jian
  • 5 Element Staff
  • 5 Element Spear

Each weapon has its single practice and its combined form

12 Animals

  • Dragon
  • Tiger
  • Monkey
  • Horse
  • Crocodile
  • Chicken
  • Hawk
  • Swallow
  • Snake
  • Tai Bird
  • Eagle
  • Bear

Each animal has its own form and single movements. Some are simple, some are complex. With a good foundation in the five element training, learning the animals will give the student a broader platform from which to further explore the vast potential of mind and body.

Advanced Training

Students who have a good understanding of all of the above can continue to delve deeper into Xingyiquan. This advanced training includes –

Ba Zi Gong – An 8 character transmission of words and movements. Essential for deeper understanding.

Advanced weapons

  • 12 animals jian
  • 12 animals dao
  • 12 animals staff
  • 12 animals spear
  • Hammers
  • hooks
  • needles
  • big knife (sword).

Advanced theory

  • 14 hitting methods
  • 16 movements
  • The 10 power stages

Advanced handwork and footwork