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  • Writer's pictureDen Chan

Training methods of Xingyiquan masters

Updated: Jul 1

If you want to be skillful as famous Xingyiquan (形意拳) masters, it may be helpful to copy their training methods.

One of the most famous Xingyiquan masters is Guo Yunshen (郭雲深).

According to his disciple Wang Xiangzhai (王薌斎), Guo Yunshen woke up early every morning and did Hunyuanzhuang (渾元樁 standing meditation) and Old Three Methods (Laosanquan  老三拳).

The Old Three Methods refers to wrapping, drilling, and stepping.

Xingyiquan originally only had Old Three Methods.

The Five Elements Fists and the Twelve Animals Fists were created later based on the Old Three Methods.

The Old Three Methods is the most basic as well as important training method.

If you do Old Three Methods, your Five Elements Fists and Twelve Animals Fists would naturally improve.

Wrapping, drilling, and stepping are not something that are separately practiced.

All movements of Xingyiquan are supposed to contain these three methods.

To improve your skills of Xingyiquan or Yiquan, knowing what kind of training Wang Xiangzhai received from Guo Yunshen may give you an inspiration.

Every morning, Guo Yunshen made Wang Xiangzhai to provide incense in front of pictures of previous masters of Xingyiquan and Wang Xiangzhai had to do Hunyuanzhuang until the incense burnt down.

It took about one hour for one incense to burn down.

After this, Wang Xiangzhai had to provide one more incense and do Hunyuanzhuang again.

If the way Wang Xiangzhai had stood was not satisfactory, he had to stand one more hour.

According to disciples of Guo Yunshen and people of the village where Guo Yunshen and Wang Xiangzhai had lived, after doing Hunyuanzhuang, Master Guo made Wang Xiangzhai and other disciples swing a long pole (daganzi 大杆子).

Even after other disciples were done with swinging long poles and went to practice other things, only Wang Xiangzhai was made to continue swinging a long pole.

Wang Xiangzhai’s skills were developed not only by doing zhanzhuang but also doing intense training of swinging a long pole.

Copying these training methods of Guo Yunshen and Wang Xiangzhai or using these information as hints might help us improve our skills of Xingyiquan or Yiquan.

形意拳練功法 形意大槍で発勁 Xingyi long pole fajing training
形意大槍 / 意拳大杆子 / Xingyiquan long pole


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