The Thesis of Unification, is probably the most important document in my study of Xing Yi. It is from the 10 important theses which are attributed to Yue Fei of the Song Dynasty, the legendary founder of Xing Yi. It’s unlikely Yue Fei actually wrote the theses but these is no way to say who in fact did write them.
The Classic of Unification is almost like the Dao De Jing (Tao Te Ching) in that it deals with somewhat abstract ideas. However, it is clear that bringing everything into a unified state as was the original nature of things is an important theme. It says that when the top leads the bottom follows, when the bottom moves the top is directing, when top and bottom combine the centre advances or attacks. It talks about how the internal organs and parts of the body combine with the external, how structure and energy interact as one.
“Internal and external, front and rear, are combined. This is called “Threading Into One”. This cannot be achieved through force or mimicry”
So we were talking a little about this in class yesterday. How we progress in training in different ways learning different skills.
In particular how to develop the skill of “threading into one” these are not necessarily learnt in a purely linear fashion but skills which develop throughout training and begin to come together, again becoming unified or threaded into one.
- develop root, structure and robustness
- learn the fundamentals of movement
- begin to understand energy flow, momentum, moving the structure and body mass
- move in a continuous nature (no stoping – though energy flow may be cut)
- move in a connected nature (without cutting the energy flow)
- how the intention (yi) manifests within the above skills
- how to change the focus of intention, change and adapt
- bringing everything together (threading into one) solo in linking sequences and forms
- bringing everything together (threading into one) in partner sequences
- bringing everything together (threading into one) within free partner work – light and heavy sparring, weapons work and more.
All these stages can be worked on from day one of training to some extent, some will be limited at first and the practitioner may not understand that they are developing certain skills. All of these points will be revisited over and over again, each time further levels of understanding and sophistication will come to light, things you may have neglected will be re-learnt and improved upon, other things will become stronger.
The video I’ve linked to shows a little bit of the training where we begin to think about continuous and connected movement, energy and movement flow and focus of intention in relation to the Pi Quan form. This kind of work is used throughout our Xing Yi, from each of the 5 elements forms to linking sequences, animal patterns and free sparring. Our upcoming online courses will delve into some of these ideas and provide some of the fundamental exercises we use to develop some of these skills. We have been working really hard on filming and hope to have the course ready for release before the end of the year!