Hong Kong Martial Arts Science Association
What is "Yiquan"?
The characteristic of “Yiquan” is the utilization of “Yi” (which means intent or mind), aiming to obtain “integral power” (the literal translation is whole-body power). Through various imageries and intents, practitioners will be able to perform correct movements easier. There are no complicated moves or forms (katas) in “Yiquan” as it emphasizes in the development of a person’s natural ability and power. By practicing Pile Standing, Strength Awareness Exercise, Friction Step, Power Explosion, etc., so as to train the use of integral power (also called all-round power), internal energy will exist naturally in all kinds of movements. When you understanding “Yiquan” deeper, you will discover the science behind it. For instance, the component force that manifests in the structure/angle of the arm, the use of leverage in uprooting an opponent’s center of gravity, the inertia force that emanates in power explosion via expanding/swinging, the centrifugal force that is used in delivering the circulation punch (looks like a hook in boxing but delivers continuously by both hands in circular motions), the gravitational/elastic potential energy that is used during power explosion with the intents of shocking and springing, the relationship between power balance and structural balance, the application of opposite-power lines and opposite-power field, etc., are complied with the laws of Physics and the essences of martial arts. “Yiquan” focuses on Pile Standing and intent training and discards prearranged forms. Through awareness training, practitioners advance from stillness to movement, from small motions to big motions, from slow movement to explosive movement, gradually and solidly elevate their combative ability and body reflexes. Although “Yiquan” does not contain traditional martial arts forms (katas), it does have seven basic training methods, namely Pile Standing, Strength Awareness, Friction Step, Power Explosion, Push Hands, Sound Awareness and Combat.
The fundamental training of Yiquan begins with Pile Standing. Pile Standing can transform mere physical strength to internal strength, unlock potentials, turn weakness to strength, transmute clumsiness to agility and above all, to obtain integral power in a relatively short period of time. Beginners in Pile Standing can start with around 15 minutes each time, and progressively increase to the standard level of 40 minutes. In practising Strength Awareness, practitioners can cultivate awareness on the unity of intents and motions through moving his/her body and limbs slowly, and try to maintain integral power, which is acquired through Pile Standing, during various movements. Unlike the crispy motion in Power Explosion, practitioners should remain slow and seemingly sluggish in practising Strength Awareness Exercise. Friction Step can change a “dead” pile stance to an “alive” pile stance - when moving in different speeds, practitioners can still maintain strength and body balance, integral power can be preserved when the feet are moving, while the mind still keep a sense of stillness during body movement. Power Explosion is the high-speed explosion of movements trained during the Strength Awareness Exercise through the ignition of the mind. Integral power should be able to be released continuously in multiple times. Push Hands trains the instinctive sensibility of a practitioner’s body and serves as a supplementary training for combat. The purpose of Sound Awareness is to increase the abdominal pressure through the emission of sound, which assists the unleash of integral power. Combat means free sparring and practitioner try to deploy the holistic fighting tactic of Yiquan in actual combat.