Xing Yi Quan is by far the eldest of the Internal Kung Fu styles dating back to the Song Dynasty (960-1279ce). As with many old things the history is heavily disputed however the art is classically attributed to Song Dynasty General Yue Fei. The modern history of Xing Yi began with a revival in the 18th century that was headed by to Ma Xue Li and Dai Long Bang.
As a fighting style Xing Yi Quan is characterized by aggressive short-range strikes and explosive linear movements. The health benefits of Xing Yi Quan are derived from the sophisticated intramuscular coordination and full body articulations required to practice the art and included improved strength, flexibility, balance and body alignment.
For any student of Internal Kung Fu Xing Yi Quan is indispensable. The art clearly breaks down the act of coiling and uncoiling and gives step by step instructions on how to deliver explosive power. Going back over one hundred years it has been said that anyone seeking to use BaGuaZhang for combat would be remiss to not study and learn the power of Xing Yi Quan.
At Flying Tortoise we practice the He Bei style of Xing Yi Quan, focusing primarily on the Five Element Fists and 12 Animals Shapes. Portland Movement Arts instructor, Josef Haber studies Xing yi Quan under Beijing Master Zhang Xue An who in turn learned from his Master Zhang Jun Min. Josef Haber teaches Xing Yi Quan with a focus on fundamentals. In his classes he dissects the complex principles of internal Kung Fu into easily digestible pieces