Xingyi – Five Elements

Pi – Metal- Chopping – Lungs

Beng – Wood – Smashing – Liver

Tzuan – Water – Drilling – Kidneys

Pao – Fire – Exploding/Speed – Heart

Heng – Earth – Crossing – Spleen

The way we train the elements conform to Taoist philosophy which affords us a broader interpretation of the energy inherent in the initial training movements. When you first learn xingyiquan you start with san ti shi and then move on to the elements. The important thing in your xingyi training is to consistently go back to the fundamental movements and experience the elements at their core, which is a manifestation of the energy.

For example, beng’s crushing fist is an example of beng energy…but could you also exhibit crushing energy with another attack? An elbow perhaps? A kick? Xingyi’s philosophy attempts to discern the elemental nature of the universe, are we really, truly confined to beng being simply a vertical punch to the heart? It is this type of small mindedness and limitations that keep traditional kung fu in the dark ages. It isn’t because these styles are antiquated, it’s from poor teaching. The responsibility is on the practitioner to study and learn and embrace the ancient teaching but then to use it in modern times, against modern fighters.

This is what will keep Kung Fu and Xingyi relevant and is the best way to respect the art and carry it forward. The is what we do at our kwoon, we train traditional styles with modern fighting in mind. Xingyi means Form and Mind boxing, but many practitioners’ minds live in the past, which is disrespectful to the art. To train is to study, is to learn is to acquire mastery. True mastery takes time but begins with freeing your mind from the past.

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