I’m a big advocate of learning and studying the 12 animals found in Xing Yi as a way of connecting ourselves to nature. Xing Yi’s animals are a vast, rich and often untapped resource for all martial artists. I’ve collected together a few of my posts on the subject here.
The Animals of Xing Yi’s San Ti Shi
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.
The importance of Dragon to Xing Yi
The Dragon is unique amongst Xing Yi animals because it is the only mythical one. Yes, I’m aware that some lineages of Xing Yi include a Phoenix as one of their 12 animals, but I think this is simply a mistranslation of Tai, a kind of flycatcher bird native to China. You sometimes also see it mistranslated as Ostrich, which is even stranger. You occasionally see Tuo translated as “water lizard”, or “water strider”, but it’s clearly a crocodile, another animal that is (or effectively was) native to China.
Make Xing Yi Wild Again
Rewilding is an environmental process that brings nature back to life and restores living systems. Apex predators and keystone species are reintroduced and we let nature reclaim parts of the landscape, without human intervention.
The “Make Xing Yi Wild Again” podcast episode
[PODCAST] My last post, “Make Xing Yi Wild Again“, about how the global coronavirus pandemic is offering us a chance to reconnect with nature and change our approach to martial arts practice, inspired the latest episode of our Heretics podcast with my Xing Yi teacher Damon Smith.
Xing Yi Part 7 – Animal strategies for the battlefield
[PODCAST] As a background to our upcoming discussion of late Song Dynasty armour and weapons, in this episode we give a brief overview of a few animal strategies applied on the battlefield at strategic and tactical levels, as well as in individual combat.