Henan Xingyiquan is called many different things including:
– Henan Xingyi Liuhe Quan (“Mind-Intention and Six Harmonies Boxing”)
– Muslim Xingyi Quan
– Ten Animals Xingyi Quan in the West
For more than two centuries, Henan Xingyiquan was passed secretly among Chinese Muslims of the Hui nationality. In the 1920s and 1930s, the style came out into light after people like Lu Song’gao, Sun Shaopu and others brought it from Henan’s conutryside to Shanghai, the largest and most modern city in China, and started to teach non-Muslims. It was at that time when Henan Xingyiquan became known as the most cruel of all Chinese martial arts. Almost unknown in the West, the style is worth further research because of its close relations with Dai Family Xinyi and Xingyiquan. It is said to have preserved the features of early Henan Xingyiquan as practiced in 17th and 18th centuries.
Henan Xingyiquan is characterized by powerful swinging movements of the arms and the ability to strike effectively with every part of the body. This system is very powerful and aggressive in nature and the movements are simple and straight forward.
Henan Xingyiquan style is a very simplified style of Hsing I Chuan practiced exclusively by the Muslim Chinese community for generations. It has only Ten Animal structures which are extremely simplistic one or two movement forms only. The Five Elements are present only as concepts in this method, having no movement representations at all.
Training in Ten Animal Henan Xingyiquan includes basic movements designed to condition and develop the striking ability of the “Seven Stars” (the head, shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees and feet). From there the student will progress to learning the basic animal forms. Form practice consists of repeating single movements while walking foward in various straight line patterns. Later, the single movements are combined into linked forms. The techniques arerelatively simple and straightforeward and rely on the ability to generate force with almost any part of the body (the Seven Stars). Also included at more advanced levels are weapons forms (including the straight sword, staff and spear).
The Ten animal style is closest to the original Henan Xingyiquan in form and practice. The movements in the forms are patterned after the spirit of various animals in combat, including the Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Chicken, Hawk, Snake, Bear, Eagle and Swallow.