Hsing-i Chuan Martial Arts

Hsing-i Martial Art Qualities

Hsing-i's basic qualities as a martial art include:

  1. The energetic and combat intent behind a movement is emphasized more than the physical movements of the form.
  2. Functional power in each and every part of every movement, rather than only the ability to move well.
  3. Movements that are designed purely from the viewpoint of combat effectiveness. In hsing-i, any movement that is not functional or is wasted in either solo forms, two-person practices or in combat is to be the equivalent of a martial sin.
  4. Bu hao kan, hen hao yung (Chinese phrase that describes hsing-i), freely translated means that hsing-i does not look pretty, but works exceptionally well.
  5. A prime strategy that rests on the idea of never retreating.
  6. A mentality that is completely goal-oriented and based on a high level of calm aggression.
  7. A primary focus on developing yang (not yin) methods of internal power.
  8. Developing the outside of a practitioner's body to feel extremely hard to someone attacking it.
  9. A main philisophical orientation toward developing internal strength and unwavering focused intent.

The image frequently used to describe the technique of hsing-i is that of an iron ball rolling right over the opponent. Whether your body type is thin or heavyset, one of your major internal goals in hsing-i is to sink your chi to make your body and arms become incredibly heavy.

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I recently returned from a three week instructor training in a chi gung practice called “Gods Playing in the Clouds”. This intensive was held at Menlo College near San Francisco and I’d like to share some details about my experience.


Frank Iborra