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Ottawa Chinese Martial Arts
Hsing Yi > Philosophy
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Hsing Yi
Tai Chi
Other Styles

sing Yi theory is based on the Chinese philosophy of the five elements as well as the combat spirit of the twelve animals.

For the ancient Chinese, the universe was thought to be composed of five elements: Metal, Water, Wood, Fire and Earth. Hsing Yi practitioners use this theory as a basic memory aid to teach the various attack and defence sequences of this style. The relationship between the five elements and five fists is as follows :

      1. Metal - Pi
      2. Water - Tzuann
      3. Wood - Beng
      4. Fire - Pau
      5. Earth - Heng

The application of the five elements is based on the dual concept of mutual production and conquest.

Mutual production
    1. Metal Produce Water - Pi turns to Tzuann
    2. Water produces Wood - Tzuann turns to Beng
    3. Wood produces Fire - Beng turns to Pau
    4. Fire produces Earth - Pau turns to Heng
    5. Earth produces Metal - Heng turns to Pi

Mutual conquest

    1. Metal conquers Wood - Use Pi to defend against Beng
    2. Water conquers Fire - Use Tzuann to defend against Pau
    3. Wood conquers Earth - Use Beng to defend against Heng
    4. Fire conquers Pi - Use Pau to defend against Pi
    5. Earth conquers Water - Use Heng to defend against Tzuann
Once the bases of the five elements are understood, the practioner will then continue with the theory of the twelve animals. The twelve animals is based on the form and spirit of a particular animal. For example: Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Chicken, Hawk, Snake, Bear, Eagle, Swallow, the Tai (a mythical bird) and the Tuo (a type of water lizard, akin to the aligator).


Copyright 2002

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Last update: 03/31/2002