Feel the benefits of real Chinese martial arts!  Xingyiquan is one of the oldest and most powerful forms of kung fu, with its origins tracing back to General Yue Fei during the early years of the Chinese Empire.  Xingyi, or Hsing I, was developed from the spear techniques that his soldiers used and has evolved into a complete health and self defense system.  Xingyi is one of the three internal martial arts, the others being Tai Chi and Ba Gua.  A demonstration of performance, or competition Xingyi can be seen in "The One" starring Jet Li.

 


  History of Xingyi  

    As stated before, General Yue Fei was the founder of Xingyiquan, and the techniques are derived from spear fighting.  Yue Fei became the leader of the Chinese army at a young age, and simplified the combat training of his soldiers.  They originally learned one style for each weapon, and then several other styles for hand to hand combat.  In ancient China, the spear was considered the king of all weapons, and most soldiers were equipped with one, so Yue Fei thought that the best solution would be to pattern the empty hand fighting after spear techniques.  This way, if a soldier lost his spear he would be able to continue fighting and not have to change styles in the middle of combat.  It also shortened the training time for soldiers, and let them achieve a higher level of skill in a short time.  This proved very effective and Yue Fei never lost a battle.  Xingyi then became rare after Yue Fei died, and was passed on until Ji Ji Ke started teaching openly.  The art traveled around China gaining fame for its explosive power and earned many followers, and many Xingyi masters became legendary as far as skill and ability.


 Xingyi for Health

    Health is emphasized in Xingyi so the student can practice well into old age, while rehabilitating old injuries and preventing new ones.  Xingyi uses natural movements and stances to open up the body and loosen all the joints, so the benefits of practice can be felt all day long, not just in class.  Proper body structure and alignment is used so eliminate problems such as aching back and neck, pain in the knees, tight shoulders, etc.   

 

Xingyi for Combat

     Xingyi fighters spend much time developing the six harmonies for fighting, which trains the whole body to be involved in every attack.  This gives smaller people the strength and stability to defend themselves against much larger opponents, while giving larger students a solid foundation and more speed than normal.  Each time an attack is launched, the whole body starts and stops at the same time, with all of the power being generated from the core of the body.  Without the six harmonies, most attacks are a jumble of arms and legs, with each moving separately of the others.  Not only does this reduce power, but the fighter loses his balance and can be thrown easily.  Xingyi also trains the feet to be fast and nimble, so they can be used almost as well as the hands.  Footwork is extensively utilized, as moving targets are harder to hit than stationary ones.  Body conditioning is used to toughen the fighter so more powerful strikes can be issued and received. 

 

 

  

 

Xingyi for Meditation

      Peace and stillness is very important in todays high stress society, and the benefits from gaining these show in every aspect of life.  Xingyi starts in the WuJi or emptyness position and all movement comes from there.  Xingyi people move without having to think everything through, which is very important for self defense as well as dealing with stressful situations.  Classes end with meditation or Qi Gong, which is energy cultivation, and breathing exercises.  This relaxes the student and allows them to more fully absorb the information the was given during class.

 

   Class  Structure 

    Every class follows this basic schedule

 

  • Warm ups-  Our stretches focus on the joints as much as the muscles, since warm joints help loosen the muscles faster and with no pain.
  • Footwork-  Footwork is a major part of Xingyi, because mobility opens more combat applications and helps the practitioner dodge attacks.  Also, strong legs are essential for stability and are necessary for throwing and grappling.
  • The 5 elements-   This is the core of Xingyi, with each element teaching a different striking angle.  Any strike ever thrown is made up of one or more elements, and the practice of the five elements teaches the most efficient and powerful way to deliver each attack.  This is also where the six harmonies are stressed.
  • Individual exercises-  Each student is taught for their body type and interests.  These exercises vary from stance work to forms and many things in between.  Also this is when weapons and power training exercises are taught.  
  • Breathing, meditation,  Qi Gong-  These exercises end the class, and allow the students to relax and cool down.  The breathing is very important to developing power and the meditation is used to calm the student and create faster reflexes.  Qi Gong is energy work and helps to build a better mind-body connection.  It also helps circulate the blood and releases tension from injuries.

 

 

 

Curriculum

    Many styles of martial arts are taught here, but the focus is always on Xingyi.  Each student will learn the following Xingyi material, plus anything extra they are given to develop specific skills:

  • Footwork
  • The 5 elements, traditional and Wudang style
  • The 5 elements combined set, traditional, Wudang, and Stone Tiger style
  • Staff, Spear, Broadsword, Straight Sword as basic weapons
  • Knives, Long Spear, Axes, Short Staff and others as advanced weapons
  • The 12 animals
  • Several 2 man combat sets
  • The 5 element 12 animal combined form
  • Competition forms if the student wants to compete
  • 8 step form, both traditional and the Stone Tiger styles 
  • 8 word form
  • 12 Red Hammers form 
  • Several animal variations of the 8 step form
  • Long Rooster form
  • Iron Palm
  • Nei Gong
  • Qi Gong

     Each of these are trained for combat, and each can be modified to increase health and well being.  With in all these forms and training sets, a complete training method can be found for an aspiring martial artist.

 
     Wude 

     Wude means martial ethics, and is the foundation of all Chinese martial arts.  Respect is an essential part of martial arts and is required at this school.  This includes respect for your school brothers and sisters, as well as your teacher and his teachers.  Also, practicing Wude shows others that you will be careful when practicing with them, so everyone goes home uninjured after class.  Any student who does not follow this code will be removed from the school. 



Instructor

     My name is Jesse Conley, and I have been studying Xingyi since 1999.  I have been fortunate enough to have studied with many excellent masters in several different styles.  My first instructor was Sifu Daniel K Lee in the Lee family Xingyi style and I became his formal disciple in 2002 and was allowed to start teaching in 2006.  I studied Bagua under Sifu Jessie Cole, and also have trained Xingyi with Sifu Alan Marshall at the Gompa, a world famous internal arts school in Texas run by Dr. John Painter.  In 2005, I  studied Xingyi in China at the Wudang Temple.  I learned from Monk Bing, who recently moved to Colorado.  Also I have training in Freestyle and Greco Roman wrestling for 8 years when I was in school.  Lately I have been furthering my studies in Xingyi with Laoshi Jake Burroughs in Seattle, WA since early 2007.  He has also shared some knowledge of Praying Mantis since that is his main practice.  My focus has  been with Xingyi, but the knowledge gained through my exposure to other styles and teachers has helped me to understand my style better and personalize my instruction for each student, rather than only having one set curriculum for everybody.  My main goal is to pass on the information I have been given in a through and safe manner.  I keep my classes small, so more attention can be given to each student, and I try to bring out the unique potential of each person who comes to my classes.