Xing Yi Quan - Martial Arts History

Xing Yi Quan's written history dates back almost a thousand years. Many of the well known names of martial arts history are part of the story from Wang Xiangzhai to Sun Lu'tang to Yeuh Fei, a guy who lived hundreds of years before flushing toilets gave mankind a place to sit and ponder things like having a long life or how many pieces of pie are left in the fridge.

This image below is a robust Xing Yi Quan lineage diagram created by Nitzan Oren and Jonathan Bluestein with help from Jon Nicklin, Per Nyfelt, and C. Fritz Froehlich.


A large version of this is included below

The bulk of this diagram starts with Li Luoneng (Li Nengran) who lived from 1807 to 1888. It shows his disciples Che Yizhai, Li Taihe, Liu Qilan, Guo Yunshen, He Yunheng, Bai Xiyuan, and Song Shirong. From Li Luoneng down, you can see seven generations of relationships between teachers and their disciples in addition to a few non-disciple students.

Above Li Luoneng on the diagram, it starts with the legendary General and poet Yueh Fei (1103-1142). The history of what happened nine hundred years ago is still debated, but General Yueh Fei may have been the creator of the first known flavor of Xing Yi. His military experience and proficiency with the spear maybe led him to create for "form intention boxing" or "form-mind boxing", or "form intention fist", depending on who you ask.

Xing Yi Quan is a weaponless martial art based on moves and intentions derived from the skilled use of a spear in military combat.

Whether it came from Yueh Fei or not, a man named Ji Ji Ke (姬际可) (or Ji Longfeng) who lived in the early 1600s is the next widely recognized name in the Xing Yi Quan lineage. He either somehow got his knowledge from Yueh Fei's old teachings or... maybe he just made it up himself with inspiration from the Shaolin Temple.

From there, the lineage appears to be more well defined. However, before it reaches Li Luoneng (1807-1888), it branches off in the early 1700s to form the trunks of Dai Xin Yi Quan and Xin Yi Liu He Quan. This diagram is great in that it also tracks those trunks down through the generations of disciple and student relationships. Some people in the lineage are recognized as being a part of the history for more than one of these styles of the "original" Xing Yi Quan.

There is a fair amount of controversy around who-taught-whom-what and how everything has developed over the past thousand years. A lot of the great masters throughout history learned more than one martial art, so there is cross-pollenation between systems dating back farther than any of us have recorded. Certainly today, we can witness first hand how masters of the arts learn from multiple teachers and incorporate their understanding of "the best of the best" from each.

It is a rich history and will continue to unfold as long as our interest in technology doesn't do too much damage to the dedication of a small group of true masters in each generation.

For further reading on the history of Xing Yi Quan and General Yeuh Fei, you can check out the Xing Yi Quan wiki page (the source of this diagram) as well as these other sources we have found in our travels:


If you want to dig deeper into Xing Yi and its history -- especially if you don't have a teacher of your own yet -- I can personally recommend all of these books available at Amazon. Each of them have interesting and unique stories about the history of the arts along with practical instruction from masters.

1

Xing Yi Quan and the Legend of Yue Fei

daoistgate.com / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

Xing Yi Quan can be traced back to a man named Ji Ji Ke (姬际可) who lived in Shanxi Province in the early Qing Dynasty. Legend has it that Ji Ji Ke was skilled at spear. One day, he came across a military treatise known as the “Book of Wu Mu” (武穆拳譜) written by Yue Fei. Yue FeiYue Fei (岳飞) was a Song Dynasty military strategist and folk hero. Legend has it that when Yue Fei was young, his mother tattooed his back with four large characters meaning “loyally serve and protect the country” (精忠报国). At age 19, Yue Fei entered the army, defeated many of the enemy’s most feared generals and helped resist foreign invasions. However, as Yue Fei grew in fame and influence, the emperor felt threatened. He had Yue Fei imprisoned and killed. Yue Fei’s patriotic ideals were embraced by later generations. In particular, Nationalist leader Sun Yat Sen, praised Yue Fei as a model of loyalty and strength that all young people and martial artists should emulate.

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2

Xing Yi Quan - Wikipedia

en.wikipedia.org / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

Xing Yi Quan is classified as one of the internal styles of Chinese martial arts.[2] The name of the art translates approximately to "Form-Intention Fist", or "Shape-Will Fist".[3] Xing Yi is characterized by aggressive, seemingly linear movements and explosive power that's most often applied from a short range. A practitioner of Xing Yi uses coordinated movements to generate bursts of power intended to overwhelm the opponent, simultaneously attacking and defending. Methods vary from school to school, but always include bare-handed fighting training (mostly in single movements/combinations and sometimes in forms) and the training of weapons usage with similar or identical body mechanics to that used for bare-handed intense fighting. The most basic notions of movement and body mechanics in the art were heavily influenced by the practice of staves and spears. Historically and technically related martial arts include Dai Xin Yi Liu He Quan, Liu He Xin Yi Quan and Yi Quan.

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3

Origins and Characteristics of Xing Yi Quan – Spirit Dragon Institute

spiritdragoninstitute.com / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

Xing Yi Quan is an internal styles of Chinese martial arts. Internal styles of Chinese martial arts are known for their emphasis on Qi development as well as martial capabilities. In modern times many people practice Internal styles for health and fitness. Xing translates as form or shape and Yi translates as intention or mind. Quan means fist or boxing. So literally the name Xing Yi Quan means form and intention boxing. There are several different theories on the origin of Xing Yi Quan. One such legend says that the style was founded by the Chinese General Yue Fei who lived between 1103 and 1142. General Yue Fei is renowned for his loyalty and is also credited with developing the Eagle Claw style as well as several Qigong sets. Many people claim that the story of Yue Fei founding the style of Xing Yi is just legend. There is a lack of evidence and it is a fairly common practice to attribute the founding of a style to a prolific figure in history.

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4

Xinyiquan -- Question-Answer 10

shaolin.org / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

Can you please elaborate a little about the background and character of General Yue Fei, who is regarded as the God of Martial Art in China? For people in leadership positions, what are the qualities that Xingyiquan will promote, enhance and strengthen? Sifu Lee Wei Joo

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Marshal Yue, Fei's Ten Important Theses—Part 1

ymaa.com / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

Marshal Yue, Fei's Ten Important Theses on Xingyiquan can be considered the essence or the root of the art. We can clearly see that all of the available documents and books written in the last 60 years derive almost all of their theories and principles from these theses. Like other ancient documents which have been passed down to us, they are very difficult to translate and even harder to write commentary for. We would like to point out a few things. First, many subjects are repeated several times in different theses. Since this document has been passed down through a period of over eight hundred years, these repetitions may have occurred during the process of copying, or they may stem from revisions by past masters.

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Xing Yi Quan Lineage Diagram

upload.wikimedia.org / Last updated: May 5th, 2020

This is a thoroughly researched Xing Yi Quan lineage diagram created by Nitzan Oren and Jonathan Bluestein with help from Jon Nicklin, Per Nyfelt, and C. Fritz Froehlich.

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