Hsing-i (China)

Name of sport (game)


Name in native language

Place of practice (continent, state, nation)



Hsing-i came originally from the north of China (San Shih province) spreading to Hepei, then to Hunan and Peking. Weapons include the knife and sword. Hsing-i is a northern style that originated and spread elsewhere including Peking. A famous story recounts how the famous Hsing-i boxer Kua Yun-Shen challenged Tung Hai ch'uan, a famous pa qua teacher to a match. Pa Qua was known for it evasion and circularity of technique that lay in stark contrast to hsing-i's powerful linear style. The match lasted three days. During the first two neither could gain advantage. Both were equally matched. But on the third Tung defeated his challenger - the two ending up as friends and vowing to thereafter teach the two styles together. Thus, even today when you find one system the other is often taught along with it. Both are classified as internal disciplines that develop and utilize internal energy of Ki (chi in China). Both disciplines share the concept that the mind unites actions and thought into one, so that training the mind allows transformation of the internal to the external technique.


Also spelled Hsing-yi. "Mind Form." A powerful ancient Chinese martial discipline based on Chinese Cosmology (five element theory) that stresses direct linear techniques combined with the use of internal energy (chi). Hsing-i moves use power and speed to confront power directly and overwhelm it. Hsing-i also employs several weapons including the knife and the sword. Its forms are drawn from observations of animals and their fighting methods. The system mimics concepts of animal fighting, along with postures based on the five elements. The animals in some systems include: the horse, tiger, monkey, swallow, snake, bear, leopard. cockerel, calercaille, dragon, hawk and water skimmer. Other systems substitute the dove, turtle, falcon, eagle and others. While the system visually resembles the hard styles of Chinese kung fu (that emphasize muscle power), its real emphasis is the development and control of internal energy (chi kung). "Hsing" meaning "form" and "i" meaning "idea," or "idea behind the external form" which includes not only physical movements but knowing the intention or ideas of the opponent (intuition). The emphasis on intuitive knowing is shared with Pa-qua (often taught with Hsing-i) whose more circular, non-direct and evasive actions complement hsing-i's the more linear technique.

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