"Dragon Body - This imaginary beast is common in Chinese fables and folklore. The dragon could fly high, riding the mists, contracting and twisting it's body like a snake through the clouds. Xingyi places high importance on this for every transitional movement in the art should embody the spirit of the dragon, expanding and contracting, striking out with mystical prowess.
Chicken Leg - This is one of the most basic fundamentals of the art of Xingyiquan. A chicken can run very quickly and stop suddenly, keeping it's weight on one leg, ready to peck. Xingyi's five elements all encompass this theory by stepping forward onto one leg before it issues it's strike much like a chicken does. By mastering this, you can advance, retreat, turn and change forms very quickly because the weight is always ready to transfer.
Eagle Claw - While the hands are relaxed and held in gentle curves when in transitional movements, when striking, they must become like the fearless bird of prey's attacking talons, digging and grasping with an iron grip. This is especially seen in the beginning movement of Pi Quan when the hands draw down towards the Dan Tian. This is also very important in Xingyi, for many of the art's applications consist of grabbing with one hand while simultaneously striking with the other.
Bear Shoulders - Bears are large animals that can can generate a great deal of power from their great rounded shoulders. The Xingyi practitioner must mimic this to obtain maximum power in his art. By rounding the shoulders and hollowing the chest, the body actually "gets behind" the arms and hands, so when you strike, the power doesn't come from the arms, but from the whole body.
Tiger's Head Embrace - The tiger is a very regal beast. They are powerful and strong animals that exude the finest and most fearsome aspects of nature. In Xingyi, the head must be held erect and slightly back, but spiritually, it must also capture the imposing manner of the tiger, letting it's blank cunning show in your eyes and it's ability to pounce.
- Xonghua Xinyiquan
Xing Yi Quan (Hsing I Chuan): Bibliography, Links, Resources, Quotes, Notes. By Mike Garofalo.