The San Ti Shi posture is the fundamental standing posture of Xing Yi Quan. You could describe it in terms of angles, vectors and structures, but my interest lies more in reviving the animals of Xing Yi, and trying to move conversations in Xing Yi circles back towards nature and animals.
So, with that in mind, I thought I’d take a look at the 5 animals that make up San Ti Shi in more detail through a few videos that present simple animal routines (linking sequences) that can be easily learned and followed.
The animals of San Ti Shi are (in no particular order):
- Dragon (Long)
- Eagle (Ying)
- Bear (Xiong)
- Tiger (Hu)
- Chicken (Ji)
…and the final element is Thunder Sound.
Let’s look at each one in more detail and what it contributes to the San Ti Shi. Because we’re currently on lockdown I can’t show applications on somebody but I talk about how they would work and show how the moves would work with a sword.
From the Dragon comes the concept of Dragon Body – the counter-rotation in the spine that means you are always ready to produce power. The dragon emphasises loose, relaxed coiling movements.
Eagle is a powerful predator and has the most exaggerated postures of all the Xing Yi animals. Eagle provides the Eagle Claw to San Ti Shi. Eagle and Bear are always practiced together, but this sequence has more emphasis on Eagle than Bear.
Bear provides the concept of Bear Shoulders – a very round structure to the shoulders. Bear is heavy, relaxed and rounded.
4. Tiger Embrace
The Tiger lends Tiger Embrace to the San Ti Shi posture. This is the feeling of always embracing something. The tiger is a powerful animal, and the linking sequence is fast-paced and full of energy.
5. Chicken Leg and Thunder Sound
The last animal we’ll look at is Ji – Chicken. The chicken provides the Chicken leg quality to San Ti Shi. The ability to keep almost all your weight on one leg and the fast-paced stepping. We combine this with a look at Thunder Sound, since it’s related to the stepping.