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 My relationship with  Xingyiquan (shortened: XYQ) or more simply Xingyi (this name means "Form and intention")  has always been alternante.Cause my interest  has always been turned mainly to the Baguazhang, the Xingyiquan, with its linearity and apparent simplicity,  has been at times from me left apart. On the other hand its easy applicability  has always been a rubber band for its use. At times I had hot flashes of interest that lasted a period, then the Xingyiquan returned in the shade of the Baguazhang. It also has very in common with the BGZ. Right the position is similar (but not equal) and some schools of Bagua as that of Gao Yisheng (<Cheng Tinghua)  use it as a basic and as static meditation (zhanzhuang) to pick up inside energy, to develop a solid rooting and to create the calmness. The form of the hands is the same one of the BGZ of the  Cheng  school with the difference that the back hand is not near to the elbow of the anterior one but next to the navel and as pushed downward. The footstep of the XYQ is more easy of that of the BGZ and it touches earth with the heel and not with the foot level (but it can be remembered that the famous  Bagua master Ma Gui used this same footstep, as ago also the  Fu Zhensong school ); the foot behind it follows (genbu) . This also happens in the linear BGZ of Gao Yisheng. In all the schools of Bagua the influence of the Xingyiquan, or better of the fa-jin (to express the strength) of the Xingyiquan, it is evident. To make it the Xingyi gives a lot of importance to the feet; every hit is generally accompanied by a footstep with the idea that we want to penetrate in the ground and that the ground returns us the push. This, "bouncing", it goes up again along the body and, medium the waist, it is transmitted then to the arms and to the hands. Also when giving more hits from a single position and therefore the feet are relatively firm, however "they work", directing the energy in the ground and reabsorbing it upward . The same thing is found in the Taijiquan of the Sun school  (Sun Lutang was mainly in effects a teacher of Xingyi; he practised with various teachers : already a mature man, he went to the Shanxi area  to learn at  the school of Song Xirong - to which he transmitted its BGZ). Sun practised the BGZ with Cheng Tinghua for only three years and the Taijiquan of the school Wu/Hao it was a slow acquisition (it became then the TJQ of the  Sun school, distinguishing itself because it contained a lot of techniques of XYQ and some BGZ). It must be said that in the orthodox school of Sun Jianyun the strongest features of XYQ have been a little dissolved but in the  Fu Zhensong school  they have been retained.


YAOZI SHUSHEN ("The Hawk with the tied up body") first movement of "Bashi."


 Xingyiquan divides itself in various tradizioni: the original seems to be that of the region of Henan , characterized by a strong Islamic imprint of the  Huihui (Uyghur) nationality and called XINYI LIUHEQUAN, that is "kungfu of the Six Harmonies of the mind and the intention". It is a very interesting and rather hard school that sets emphasis on the head-butt, on the low kick and on delivering hits using all the various parts of the body. It has as basic ten animal forms. The school of the XINGYIQUAN or school of the "Form and of the intention" it is an evolution of the preceding one (at times the similarities are remarkable) but the forms of the animals are twelve and they are often preceded by five basic techniques  called "Five Elements", even if the most correct translation could be the "Five Actions", with reference either to the action of the Five Elements or to the real techniques. The Five Elements are countersigned by two series, a creative (Wuxing xiangsheng = " The Five elements produce themselves, the one after the other") and a destructive (Wuxing xiangke = " The Five Elements are mutually overpowering one after the other"). When the Five Actions are performed "solo form"   it is used the creative phase; when they are performed by two persons (duilian) the destructive phase is used. The creative phase is as it follows: Metal (Piquan, to break)> Water (Zuanquan, to drill)> Wood (Bengquan, to crush)> Fire (Paoquan  "esplosion")  > Earth (Hengquan, transversal). To  these five actions, as we have seen, they follow the 12 Animals that are: Dragon (Longxing), Tiger (Huxing), Monkey (Houxing), Horse (Maxing), Alligator (Tuoxing), Rooster (Jixing), Hawk (Yaoxing), Swallow (Yanxing), Snake (Shexing), Tai-bird (Taixing), Aquila-bear mixed forms (Ying-Xiong xing). Although the school of the Xingyiquan has a lot of subdivisions (there are particularly the Hebei and the Shanxi branches), having studied her both it doesn't seem to me to be able to gather in them meaningful differences. The first Xingyiquan that I have studied (already in the distant 1988) it was that of Li Tianji, therefore of the Sun school. Although since then I studied other schools,  to it I have been faithful. The first love cannot  forget , they say. Many  Xingyiquan principles we find again  in the Yiquan or Dachengquan: in effects some static exercises are the same and also the visualization to create the strength is similar. Apparently accustomed to other richer schools of movements and more fanciful, many don't appreciate the XYQ; but I find that it is really in its apparent simplicity that effectiveness and beauty are found .