Yi Quan
yi quan kung fu wushu qigong

Da Cheng Quan (Great Achievement Boxing) like Tai Ji, Ba Gua and Xing Yi is part of the Chinese Internal Martial Art family. This art was developed by renowned Master Wang Xiangzhai in the 1920's and first taught under the name. Yi Quan, pronounced "Ee Chuan" (Will or Mind Intent Boxing) in Shanghai.

Wang Xiangzhai was born in Shenxian county, Hebei province on 29th October 1890. When still a boy, he practised Xing Yi Quan under one of its greatest masters, Guo Yunshen, who taught him a great deal before he died. Thereafter, Wang dedicated himself to learning martial arts and travelled China seeking out masters, including a visit of several months to the Shaolin Monastry in Henan.

The results of his studies, was the development of his own unique style, developed to stress the importance of the "Will" and to "re-establish the original sense and quality of Xing Yi Quan".

Later, he moved to Beijing and further developed the style into Da Cheng Quan (Great Achievement Boxing), and taught several students before his death in Tianjin in 1963 at the age of 73.

 

Yiquan is a relatively new system, developed in 20th century. But it has roots in xing yi quan - one of traditional internal systems of kung-fu (wushu).

Yiquan's founder Wang Xiangzhai (1885-1963) was one of the greatest masters of Chinese martial arts in 20th century. In childhood he learned xingyiquan from famous Guo Yunshen .

Travelling all over China he was meeting masters of various styles of  kung-fu (wushu), comparing his skills with them and exchanging experiences.

Apart from xingyiquan/xinyiquan he was especially inspired by baguazhang, taijiquan and baihequan. His and his students contact with representatives of western boxing also influenced further developments of yiquan.

Yiquan is:

1. Method of seeking the basis of combat efficiency,

2. Opportunity of using the same exercises for improving health and well-being,

3. Fascinating hobby, method of self-improvement.

Yiquan training can be divided into two parts:

1. Basic training,

2. Combat training.

yi quan kung fu wushu qigong


At first you repeat simple single exercises, so you can concentrate on their essence. Gradually the exercises become more complex. You also start linking them, creating improvised forms.

Then there is more and more modifications. You stick to the principles learned through basic practice, but paths of movement, speed, rhythm, ways of using power, are changing endlessly. You develop ability of adapting to unpredictably changing situations. The basic methods are also used as a system of practice for health and well being.

In the basic training stress is put on improving perception of body, movement, strength, energy. This is seen as a basis of the ability of efficient use of body. Mind is focused in each exercise, which helps to achieve better coordination between mind and body, enabling fuller exhibiting of natural potential.

Although the basic exercises of yiquan are so different from typical forms of sports training, they can develop strength, stamina, speed, agility, fast reaction etc. The way of using muscles is gradually changing toward more efficient, when whole body is better unified.

yi quan kung fu wushu qigong


The most basic training methods of yiquan are: 

Zhan zhuang - relatively static exercises, enabling (due to the simplicity of form) concentrating completely on the subtle co-ordination and improving perception of force which you are using,

Shi li - slow movement exercises, where situation is more complex, but movement is still slow, so you can observe all its important elements.

Moca bu - steps practiced in the same way as shi li - it is shi li for legs.

Fa li - dynamic exercises - issuing force explosively - this is build on zhan zhuang and shi li practice. You are learning issuing force with any part of body (e.g. palms, forearms, elbows, shoulders, head, hips, knees, feet), in various directions, at any point of movement. It can be hitting, but also other movements, used for unbalancing opponent, pushing him away or throwing down.

 

Another part of curriculum is training with partner:

Tui shou - "pushing hands".

In most basic variant it is kind of shi li with partner - apart from awareness of your own body and force, you should feel and understand relation of your body and force to your partner's.

The exercises are done slowly, with focused mind. Later various ways of issuing force in pushing hands are introduced - both hitting and methods of unbalancing opponent. You also learn reasonable ways of neutralizing and countering opponent's force.

On next stage free tui shou is practiced, which is kind of sparring - you are trying to unbalance opponent, push him away or throw him down. As pushing hands is a bridge between basic training and free fighting, also a version of tui shou mixed with hitting is practiced.

San shou - free fighting training.

You learn basic, simple principles, which can be used according to changing situations. It is not about learning big amount of complicated techniques.

When you start san shou, you should have already some abilities and skills developed through basic training and tui shou. Only then can you improve the skills of using your body in fighting situations.

Various kinds of sparrings are used, from very limited to those with minimum rules (but protective equipment is usually used). Additionally hitting ba
g and hitting pads is practiced.

Tui shou and san shou training can help to understand what is important in combat. Thanks to this practitioner can better understand the meaning of basic training and use it more efficiently in order to improve actual skills.

Through longer training yiquan practitioner develops ability of intuitive, spontaneous reaction also in situations different from typical training patterns.

In jianwu - improvised yiquan dance, the high level of skill, experience and spontaneity of advanced practitioner is expressed.

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