For two weeks in April, we were fortunate to host Master Di Guoyong for a series of seminars on fundamentals, basic fist forms, and animal forms of Xing Yi Quan (an internal martial arts style known as Form and Will Boxing). Master Di taught the beginning linking fists form as well as an advanced international competition routine that combines the 5 fists, 12 animals, and 8 skills characteristic of Xing Yi Quan.
Master Di is a founding member and current President of the Beijing Xingyi Quan Research Association. In 1995 he served on the national committee to organize the official set of Xingyi forms. He has published numerous articles, books, and instructional VCDs on traditional Xingyi empty-hand and weapons forms.
His approach to Xing Yi Quan is dynamic and forceful, relying on fast footwork, long strides, and rapid turning of the body to give power to the strikes. He emphasized the importance of a clear rhythm, the alternation of stillness and movement, and the total coordination of body posture, breath control, and mental intent.
In addition to basic drills, we practiced standing postures to build internal and external strength. After each form, Master Di explained the derivation of the moves and demonstrated the fighting applications. For the animal imitative forms, he described the characteristics or spirit we should try to emulate. Master Diís lessons heightened our level of skill in the practice of Xing Yi Quan. We look forward to his return in the spring of 2006.