•Here’s the other text I used as reference for my piece on the Meaning of “Xingyi.” Broaden your understanding to deepen your Kung Fu!•

by 李劍秋 – Li Jianqiu, excerpted from 形意拳術/Xingyi Quanshu – The Art Of Xingyi Boxing

形者式也,式在外人得而見之,意者志之所在也,意非形,人莫得而見之,意主手形,形不能自動,凡形之動,多意使之,難心肺等無意而終不息其運動,然心肺實未嘗自動也,此近世生理學家所公認者,凡形之動,其機在筋肉,筋肉強壯,而意不鋭敏,則力雖大而其動遲,筋肉既強壯而意又鋭敏,庶乎善矣,雖然,猶未也,設令其驟遇強敵,倉卒之間,欲其處以常態,應以妙手,上難矣哉,是猶令未學之孩童,初試其手工也,鮮克心手相應,然久習形意拳者,則以不難為之矣,夫今之新教育家,每竭力提倡工藝,工藝之要,惟在心手相應耳,然則設有精通形意之術,以習工藝者,其習之也,當較易矣,由是觀之,形意之功用,册僅限于強身自衛哉,抑又有進于是者,聚氣于胸,則喘而不久,聚氣于小腹,則久而不礙呼吸,漸積漸充,而此氣浩然,更可以意導之,若當拳擊出時,則導之于拳,是不啻以全身之力,運而聚于拳之一點,其勢之猛,寧可當耶,若偶犯不適,則導氣于病處,血來貫注,其中白血輪,實能殺微生物而去其病,且剛直之氣,充塞兩間,精明強干,神色粲然,孟子所言豈欺吾哉,必如此,始可以膺重任其為社會,為一己,謀事均無遺憾矣,今但舉其大概如此,若夫神而明之,尤在于善悟者。

The “形/Xing – Shape,” is the physical form. The form is what other people are able to see. The “意/Yi – Intent,” is in the will. Yi is not Xing, for there is no one who can see it. Yi is the master of the hands’ shape. The shape cannot move on its own. Whatever the shape or movement, the intent causes it. With the exception of the heart & lungs, which move endlessly without intent & end, continually moving. Thus the heart & lungs are not really voluntary, as is accepted by the world’s physiologists. The movement of all shapes is located in the muscles. If the muscles are strong, but the Yi isn’t sharp & agile, then although the Li is great it will be slow moving. If the muscles are already strong & robust, & the Yi is also sharp & agile, this is very good although not yet best. Suppose you are suddenly ordered to meet a powerful enemy. If you are hurried, it is usually very difficult to be in a normal state & respond using mysterious hands. It is just like when having an unlearned child first try their hand skills, they’re rarely able to cause the Xin & Hands to Mutually Correspond. Certainly, for one who has practiced Xingyiquan for a long time then it’s not a bother. The modern new educators each do their utmost to promote arts & crafts. The essential of arts & crafts is in the mutual correspondence of the Xin & Hands, that’s all. In that case, for one who has proficiency in Xingyi’s Art, using it to practice arts & crafts is sure to result in comparatively easier practice. From this point of view, to limit Xingyi’s Function to only Strengthening the Body & Self Defense is quite restricted. If you amass Qi in the chest, then you’ll gasp before long. If you amass Qi in the lower abdomen, then breathing will be unhindered for a long time. Gradually accumulating & gradually filling, this Qi will then be vast, & the Yi is able to easily lead it. If during boxing you lead it to the fist it is no less then using the whole body’s Li. When you use it & gather it in a single point in the fist its potential is awesome. When you casually find yourself feeling unwell, then lead Qi to the area of illness. Blood will arrive & concentrate, including white blood in turn. It is definitely able to kill a microorganism & remove its illness. Moreover, the Qi is strong & direct, the Jing is bright, strong, & stern, & the expression is clear & bright. Mengzi’s saying “How could he deceive ME?”, can certainly be taken in this way. Only then can one receive heavy responsibilities for society & for oneself, & plan matters all without regrets. This only cites the general idea, whether you can look & understand it rests on improving your comprehension.

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