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Animals

The Animal form is another core part of Xingyi training.  There are different types and number of animals according to different schools of Xing Yi training.  Those variations are minor. The common objective is to infuse the student with the power, grace and spirit of a particular animal - as lively as the dragon leaping out of the water; as fierce as the tiger attacking its prey; as majestic as an eagle soaring high in the sky; as agile as a monkey skipping through the forest.  Through consistent practice, the student becomes the powerful and elusive Xingyi fighter that everyone fears!

 
 Contents
 1.  Introduction
 2.  Internal Style
 3.  Xingyi Basics
 4.  Five Elements
 5.  Lianhuan Quan
 6.  5 Element 2 Men
 7.  Xingyi Animals
 B. Videos
 8.  Advanced Training


The Five Element fists are expanded further through the practice of twelve animal styles. Each of the animals contains variations of the five fists which differ from the original. The key point here is that externally the form may vary, but internally, the energy expressed is the same. For example, Zuan Quan (Drilling Fist) is first taught with the left foot stepping forward in conjunction with the left fist as it drills up and forward. Now, Zuan may be done with the opposite foot forward, with the body turned to the side, etc. As long as the energy expressed is that of pi, beng, zuan, pao or heng, then the external body is not limited by form. The energy becomes the form and body mimics the mind's intent.
 



Felipe Bido crouched in Long Xing.



The Dragon form is one of the tougher animal forms to master in Xingyi. Both the waist and legs are put to the test. It primarily works these muscles while focusing on twisting the torso.

Dragon contains quick vertical leaps that land a low scissor-step crouches while the hands split into Pi Quan. It takes a dedicated practitioner diligent practice to utilize this correctly in a real fighting situation.

The crouch in Dragon Form can be very effective when used in application. It is not just a crouch, but a forward attack coupled with a sudden drop of the entire body's weight. The results can be devasting, shattering an opponent's kneecap or snapping the shin bone like a twig.


 



Gong Zhong Xiang in "Tiger Rotating Body Fist"



Tigers are known for their ferocity and strength. These traits are empahsized in the Tiger Form which is similar to Pao Quan. The zigzag stepping pattern is done while the arms move in a forward swatting matter, backward drawing and upward drilling. This motion is similar to a tiger pouncing on it's prey. The tiger form produces a great amount of energy. Pushing forward with the arms and hitting the chest or the kidneys can be lethal.

Stength is emphasized in Tiger. While practicing you should concentrate your attention on guiding your qi down to the the Dan Tian.

The shoulders and waist are relaxed so you can thrust both palms out swiftly with a thunderous roar.


 



Gong Zhong Xiang in Monkey.



The monkey form of Xinyi is quick and vicious. It especially focuses on agility development in the eyes, limbs and torso. Of the twelve animals it is the most active one. The footwork involves skipping and hoping, crossing in many directions. The spirt of the monkey is captured in the dodging, stretching, rising and shifting of the form.

In the form of monkey there is a slap that may appear to be a light hit, but can cause enormous damage. The power of the slap must not be underestimated.


The slap also has an aftershock that can take the eyes out with the fingers. There are several kicks also.

 
 




Felipe Bido in Ma Xing.



The horse form of Xingyi represents the valor of a horse charging into battle. It imitates the way the horse strikes with its hooves, or the way a horse is taken by the reins to be lead. When it is practiced with the correct harmony between the upper and lower parts of the body, and with the six harmonies correct, the strength of the form is evident. The fists strike forward with great force, and the body advances with considerable speed, with no hesitation.

Horse is similar to the Tiger form in that both hands must rise and fall. They turn outwards and circle inwards together.

The rear leg stomps the ground to send the front leg forward and propells the body forward in a zig-zag motion.


 




Felip Bido advancing in Tuo Xing.



Depending on the style of Xingyi, the Water Lizard is also known as the aligator or tortise form. The practicioner imitates the way a water lizard or an alligator advances in the water. In this form, it is very important that the joints of the whole body move in harmony. If done correctly, the body becomes alive and gains great flexibility.

The form strikes with a circling motion, like the Heng quan, but with the palm open, the three last fingers curl, and the index is extended, to grab and twist the joints and the throat, poke the eyes or strike with the palm.


 




Felipe Bido in Ji Xing.



The chicken form of Xingyi is an important one considering Ji Long Feng formulated the art of Xingyiquan after he spied two roosters fighting.

Chicken mimics the accurancy of a chicken's pecking and it's one legged stepping. Just as a chicken running at top speed comes to a sudden halt when it hears something strange, you must emulate this in the form as "Golden Cock Stands on One Leg."

Chicken is similar to the Snake Form in that the hands shoot quickly outwards, but sections of the form, such as "Golden Chicken Shakes it's Feather," capture the amazing vitality and braveness of the bird. The chicken is a good fighter. That spirit must be harnessed in this form.


 




Lin Jian Hua in "Sparrow Hawk Flips Over It's Body"



Sparrow Hawks are birds of prey, known for their ability to turn and flip it's body in midair and swoop down to attack. This form captures the spirit of the flying bird.

Sections of the form such as "Sparrow Hawk Turns Over It's Body" uses a lower version of Pi Quan in which the hands are balled tightly into fists.

Application-wise, many sections of Sparrow Hawk are brutal attacks to the groin area - grabbing, twisting and following through with a Pi Quan thrust or drilling fist.

Sparrow Hawk is important and is sometimes taught first, for it is used in many of Xingyi's other forms such as Za Shi Chui and Ba Shi Chui.


 




Gong Zhong Xiang in Yan Xing



Although the Swallow is not known as a fighting bird, the form imitates it's way of flying and taking water from the river. The bird is very light and can turn quickly without stopping.

The Swallow form is heavy on attacks to the throat and the eyes, and the lower parts of the body (groin and knees). It also gives the practicioner the ability to improve his skill to evade attacks with very little movement.

Both hands can be combined to move like a swallow fluttering, thus fooling the enemy, who will not see the definitive strike. The form is special in sinking down the body, thus gathering Qi. It uses


 




Deng Fu Xing in a transitional movement of She Xing.



The snake form imitates a snake sweeping trough the grass. Both hands move down the body, like snakes coiling and rolling in the grass. The use of the waist and low stances is also emphasized.

The techniques of snake are very quick and concealed, with the hands moving quickly and trapping, taking down or hitting the enemy´s body with speed, with force that moves downward and spinning.

Some Xingyi systems stick out the middle knuckle (In a phoenix-eye fist manner) at the exact time of contact with the opponent´s body. This produces a concentration of energy in the strike that causes a great amount of internal damage if done properly.


 




Lin Jian Hua holding the trademark double fists of the Tai Xing.



The Tai is a mythical bird, sometimes referred as to as the "phoenix." In the form, the Xingyi practicioner imitates his way of attacking: The Tai Bird flies and strikes its enemy with a straight blow with both wings, issuing power in a straight/outward way. The form proves to be a great conditioner of the shoulders and chest muscles. The arms are moved in a circular way above the head while the body moves, and then, both arms shoot forward, and issue power outwards, separating the fists when the body stops.

In some Xingyi systems, there are two Tai Bird Forms: Tai Yin and Tai Yang. Tai Yang is the most common, performed with the 'yang' fists (palms upward), and outward energy. Tai Yin is executed with 'yin' fists (palms downward), and crossing both fists in front of the body.


 



Gong Zhong Xiang in the combined Yin/Xiong Xing.



The Hebei style of Xingyi combined the last two animal forms of the bear and eagle into one form. This form, also called "The Fight Between the Bear and the Eagle" combines the raising aspect of the Bear, and the falling action of the eagle.

This form attempts to capture the best characteristics of the two animals and combine them into one. The relentlessness of the eagle and the prowess of the bear. The eagle form is like Pi Quan except the splitting is lower and the hands contain eagle claw seizing.

Raising up like a bear, the practitioner attacks by locking the opponents joints like an eagle's talons snatching a prey. Then, using the strength of the bear, pushing downward with considerable force, and smashes him to the floor.