Detailed Collection of the Art of Xing Yi Quan (PDF)
Xing Yi Quan Shu Jue Wei
This book by Liu Wen Hua, written in the 1920’s, is perhaps the single best volume on Xing Yi Quan. Liu Wen Hua (also known as Liu Dian Chen) was the son of the famous Xing Yi Master Liu Qi Lan. Liu Qi Lan studied with one of Dai Long Bang's disciples. In this short, but incredibly informative book, Liu clearly and directly discusses the key points of Xing Yi Quan training methods including the Five Fists (Wu Xing Quan), Linking Form (Jin Tui Lian Huan Quan), Animal forms (Shi Er Xing Quan) and complete studies of the Xing Yi‘s seminal weapons, the Spear (Qiang) and Straight Sword (Jian).
Liu’s theoretical discussion of the Art of Xing Yi Quan is unmatched by any other Xing Yi book I have seen. The sections on training Dantian, and training the Qi and the Six Harmonies are enlightening and profound. The book is full of hidden gems of advice in unexpected places – for example: "Every other part [of the body], the bones, the joints etc. in every movement and action, without exception, exert force in the six directions. So also do the internal organs. The five Zang expanding outward and the tendons and bones gathering and contracting inward are not outside the theory of exerting force in the six directions."
Another gem that I have never seen in any other Xing Yi book, is Liu’s discussion of Tai Xing (Tai Bird). Liu describes Tai as a species of eagle and clearly discusses its attributes, and attacking and defending methods.
The sections of the book covering discussion of the sword and spear are unique. The weapon forms relate exactly to the hand forms and work with the same internal mechanics. Liu clearly shows the reader how the many movements of these weapons (Five Elements, 12 Animals and Linking Forms) can be reduced to and understood through 10 basic actions. This enhances practical usage of these two weapons and simplifies understanding and training methods.
When I asked my teacher and senior school brother Song Zhi Yong about the Xing Yi Spear, he made sure I understood the basic mechanics of the weapons and then literally tossed me this this book and said, “if you really want to learn Xing Yi sword and spear, study this book.”
The translators and editors, Tom Bisio and Huang Guo Qi, have added notes explaining Chinese terms and characters that are obscure or difficult to understand.
Detailed Collection of the Art of Xing Yi Quan is required reading for students in the NYIA/IAI Xing Yi Programs.
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