Xingyiquan, Hsing Yij Kungfu

The Santi Poise is a fundamental stance in Xingyiquan to develop internal force


Is the force generated practising Xingyiquan similar to that of the Iron Wire?

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The force generated by practicing Xingyiquan is quite different from that by practicing Iron Wire. We may, for convenience, look at the difference from the perspective of the nature of force, the way it is trained, and the benefits derived from the force.

The nature of Xingyiquan force is flowing, whereas that of Iron Wire is consolidated. If all other things were equal, Iron Wire force is more powerful. But this does not mean Xingyiquan force is less useful.

Indeed, Xingyiquan force is more useful than Iron Wire force unless the difference in amount of force is large. Having $1000 in your pocket is more useful than having $1200 in your bank. But if you have $12,000 in the bank, and you don't have difficulty drawing it out when you need it, having $12,000 is better than having $1000.

Please keep in mind that the description here and elsewhere in this answer is relative. If we take the following four different types of force and line them up from the most consolidated to the most flowing, which is also the hardest to the softest, the progression will be as follows:

Iron Wire --> Xingyiquan --> Flower Set --> Taijiquan

Hence, Xingyiquan force is more consolidated and harder than Flower Set force and Taijiquan force, or reversely less fluid and less soft than the other two. This is so if all other things were equal. We are not equal; we are elite because we have the magic of chi flow, the significance of which will be explained as the answer unfolds.

The orthodox way to train Iron Wire force is the force method. You consolidate energy to become internal force. Then you perform kungfu movements to let the consolidated energy flow. As an analogy, you accumulate money in your bank. Then you go to the bank to draw out some money.

The orthodox way to train Xingyiquan force is the flow method. You let the energy flow, and when the flow has become vigorous it becomes flowing internal force. Because the fist is frequently used in Xingyiquan, flowing force becomes consolidated. You increase your cash flow, and when your have more in-flow than out-flow, you save it in a bank.

In comparison, the dragon hand-form and the open palm are frequently used in Flower Set and Taijiquan respective. It is interesting to note that frequency in the use of the fist corresponds exactly with hardness and consolidation of the force. The fist is most frequently used in Iron Wire where the force is the hardest and most consolidated, and is the least used in Taijiquan where the force is softest and least consolidated.

Our chi flow gives us a big advantage in this respect. Instead of using kungfu movements to let the consolidated energy in Iron Wire to flow, which will take some time to have effect, we use our mind to let the chi flow with immediate effect. Instead of using the fist in patterns like Thrust Punch and Punch Below Sleeves in Taijiquan to consolidate flowing energy into internal force, which will take some time to have effect, we use our mind to consolidate energy into internal force with immediate effect.

Hence our students can feel internal force in an Iron Wire or Taijiquan course in just one day, other students in other schools will need a few months. We shall use this advantage of chi flow to generate internal force in the coming Xingyiquan course at the UK Summer Camp.

If all other things were equal, one can build more internal force practicing Iron Wire than practicing Xingyiquan in the same period of time. My earlier example of $1000 in cash flow and $1200 saved in a bank is not given at random. It approximates the amount of force developed in Xingyiquan and Iron Wire in a given period of time.

If one spends an hour practicing Xingyiquan he will generate 1000 units of internal force. If he spends the same hour practicing Iron Wire he will generate 1200 units of internal force. The same hour will give him 800 units and 400 units of internal force practicing the Flower Set and Taijiquan respectively. Of course he must be practicing correctly.

Iron Wire Set

The Iron Wire is a very powerful set to develop internal force

If he practices wrongly, the harmful effects are also in the same proportion. Wrong practice of Iron Wire will give the worst harmful effects, whereas wrong practice of Taijiquan will give the least harmful effects.

But for us, these outcomes may not apply. Because of our skills in chi flow and other advantageous factors, if other students can generate 1200 units of Iron Wire force practicing Iron Wire, our students will generate at least 12,000 units of internal force in the same given time period. Other people not exposed to our training may indignantly accuse us for being arrogant, but it is true. Students in our Iron Wire course developed internal force in a few days what other students would take months.

Will our students practicing Xingyiquan generate at least 10,000 unites of Xingyiquan force, which is 10 times that of other students. No, they will generate 12,000 units of internal force. Similarly our students practicing Flower Set or Taijiquan will also generate 12,000 units of internal force, which they can convert to Iron Wire force, Xingyiquan force, Flower Set force or Taijiquan force if they have necessary techniques and skills by attending the respective courses.

In other words, when a student has acquired 12,000 units of internal force by practicing Iron Wire, he will have 12,000 units of Iron Wire force. He will not have Xingyiquan force because he has not practiced Xingyiquan, as the techniques and skills of practicing Xingyiquan and Iron Wire are different.

But when he also practices Xingyiquan, besides the 12,000 unites of internal force that he acquires from Xingyiquan in the new practice, he can convert the earlier 12,000 units of internal force from Iron Wire into Xingyiquan, making a total of 24,000 units of Xingyiquan force. When he returns to Iron Wire, he will have 24,000 units of Iron Wire force. In other words, he has 24,000 units of internal force which he can use as Xingyiquan force or Iron Wire force.

This is the benefit of breadth and depth, which I believe is unprecedented in kungfu history. For other people, except kungfu geniuses like Bai Yi Feng and Pa Mei, training two arts at the same time would distract each other's benefit.

It is easier to practice wrongly with Iron Wire than with Xingyiquan. The damage due to wrong training is also more serious in Iron Wire. Shaolin Wahnam students need not worry about this. Their chi flow will erase whatever harmful effects due to wrong training. But this can be a serious problem to those without the advantage of chi flow.

In terms of benefit, comparing the two types of force the solidness of Iron Wire force is better for combat, especially in bulldozing into an opponent but without neglecting your own safety, whereas Xingyiquan force is better for health. Of course, here we are speaking relatively and presuming all other things being equal.

Iron Wire force is also excellent for health, and Xingyiquan force is also excellent for combat A more skillful exponent using Xingyiquan force is better in combat than one using Iron Wire force, and a more skillful practitioner using Iron Wire force is healthier than one using Xingyiquan force.

If one wishes to break his opponent's bones, Iron Wire force is more effective. But if he wishes to fell his opponent to the ground, Xingyiquan force is better. If he stays at his stance to fight, Iron Wire force is formidable. It is difficult for an opponent to break through. If he chases after a retreating opponent, Xingyiquan force is excellent, especially with Xingyiquan footwork. It is difficult for an opponent to escape.

In daily life Iron Wire force provides tremendous amount of strength for physical work. Xingyiquan force provides flexibility and agility. If you want to carry your wife or girlfriend in your arms, Iron Wire force is more effective. If she runs and you wish to catch her, Xingyiquan force serves your purpose better.

Xingyiquan force is superior to Iron Wire force in intellectual work. If you wish to plan a project or just enjoy reading a book, Xingyiquan force gives better results.

This is comparing Xingyiquan force with Iron Wire force. If we compare someone having Xingyiquan force or Iron Wire force with another person who has no internal force, the one with internal force will perform better than the other in both physical and intellectual work.

When practitioners have sufficient Iron Wire force or Xingyiquan force, they are unlikely to be sick, but if they are sick, if all other things were equal, those possessing Xingyiquan force will recover faster. On the other hand, it is relatively easier for one with Xingyiquan force to be sick or sustain injury than one with Iron Wire force. If they receive a same strike from an opponent, the Xingyiquan practitioner will be more injured. But he will also recover faster from the injury. Please note the word "relatively". It is actually much harder for Xingyiquan and Iron Wire practitioners to be sick or injured than for ordinary people.

Those in Shaolin Wahnam who are trained in both Xingyiquan and Iron Wire will have all the benefits of both types of force. It is because we can covert one type of force to the other with our chi flow. When you chase after your wife or girlfriend, you use your internal force as Xingyiquan force. When you want to carry her in your arms, you use your same internal force as Iron Wire force.

XTaijiquan, Tai Chi Chuan

Exploding force in Taijiquan

UK Summer Camp 2013
Xingyiquan Questions and Answers

The questions and answers are reproduced from the thread 10 Questions to Sifu about Xingyiquan in the Shaolin Wahnam Discussion Forum.


Preparation for Xingyiquan Course