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Numbers 3 4 5

There is a great deal of literature on the theory and method of Xingyi practice.  Unfortunately, they are mostly in Chinese.  Recently some of those source material have been translated into English.  The old, site did a remarkable job highlighting some of the key points of those Xingyi Classics. have reproduced their work since the site went dark.    

 1.  Principles
 2.  Numbers 3-4-5
 3.  Numbers 6-8-9
 4.  Numbers 9-10-16

The tip of the nose, the tip of the front hand's index finger and the tip of the front foot must all be on the same vertical plane. These are the Three External Coordinations.

When the lead hand is in a fist with the palm heart facing up, the pinky should line up directly in front of the nose.

Deng Fu Xing in San Ti Shi,
all three points observed.


The four extremities are the tongue, teeth, nails and hair.

Tongue is the flesh extremity
Teeth are the bone extremity
Nails are the sinew extremity
Hair is the blood extremity

Qi is the main source of Jing, and Jing occurs when qi is manifested in these four extremities. In order to fill up the qi and make it abundant, the qi must be able to reach the ends of these four extremities. Only then can the qi reach everywhere in the body and energize the entire physical body to its maximum for fighting.

It is believed that the tongue is closely related to the muscles. If the tongue is curved upward to touch the roof of the mouth, it will close the circuit between the Conception (Ren) and Governing (Du) meridians and allow the qi to circulate freely. This also allows qi to be built up. If you let this qi sink to and accumulate in the Dan Tien below your navel, it will energize the muscles to a very high level. The higher energy level will also raise your spirit of vitality and make you braver.
In order to make the qi reach the hair, which is the extremity of the blood, you must first have plenty of oxygen to energize the blood to a higher state. Blood cells are the carriers of qi and oxygen. When blood cells are raised to a higher energy level, the qi will reach the hair.

The old translation say that the four extremities must be equal and strong. Then your normal behavior can be changed and you will be able to strike fear into your opponent. Like a tiger's hatred and dragon's fearsome power, the qi will issue following a sound in conjunction with the raising hand.


Long Shen - "Dragon Body"
Ji Tui - "Chicken Leg"
Ying Zhao - "Eagle Claw"
Xiong Bang - "Bear Shoulders"
Hu Bao Tou - "Tiger's Head Embrace"

These are known as the five body methods of Xingyiquan. The original song contained a sixth method of "thunder" ...

Body has six forms
Chicken leg and Dragon body
Bear's shoulders and eagle claws
Tiger's embrace and sound of thunder.

Thunder was later dropped because the "sound of thunder involves commonness." Grandmaster Guo Yun Shen was found of this one and used it often. One could see he would ... his incredible half-step Beng Quan probably sounded like thunder cracking the ground when he struck.

Dragon Body - this imaginary beast is common in Chinese fables and folklore. The dragon could fly high, riding the mists, contracting and twisting it's body like a snake through the clouds. Xingyi places high importance on this for every transitional movement in the art should embody the spirit of the dragon, expanding and contracting, striking out with mystical prowess.

Chicken Leg - this is one of the most basic fundamentals of the art of Xingyiquan. A chicken can run very quickly and stop suddenly, keeping it's weight on one leg, ready to peck. Xingyi's five elements all encompass this theory by stepping forward onto one leg before it issues it's strike much like a chicken does. By mastering this, you can advance, retreat, turn and change forms very quickly because the weight is always ready to transfer.

Eagle Claw - while the hands are relaxed and held in gentle curves when in transitional movements, when striking, they must become like the fearless bird of prey's attacking talons, digging and grasping with an iron grip. This is especially seen in the beginning movement of Pi Quan when the hands draw down towards the Dan Tian. This is also very important in Xingyi, for many of the art's applications consist of grabbing with one hand while simultaneously striking with the other.

Bear Shoulders - bears are large animals that can can generate a great deal of power from their great rounded shoulders. The Xingyi practitioner must mimic this to obtain maximum power in his art. By rounding the shoulders and hollowing the chest, the body actually "gets behind" the arms and hands, so when you strike, the power doesn't come from the arms, but from the whole body.

Tiger's Head Embrace - the tiger is a very regal beast. They are powerful and strong animals that exude the finest and most fearsome aspects of nature. In Xingyi, the head must be held erect and slightly back, but spiritually, it must also capture the imposing manner of the tiger, letting it's blank cunning show in your eyes and it's ability to pounce suddenly from motionless in your limbs.