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New Title: The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army

January 3, 2009

The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army Cover

Earlier this season, our fifth book on Xingyi Quan went on sale. The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army by Dennis Rovere with translation by Chow Hon Huen brings one of the most important martial arts manuals of the 20th century—Huang Bo Nien’s “Xingyi Fist and Weapon Instruction”—to the English-speaking world. Going beyond a simple translation, The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army also presents, for the first time in either Chinese or English, an in-depth explanation of the original text published in 1928.

With 200 photos and line drawings, a majority of The Xingyi Quan of the Chinese Army is dedicated to the actual combat applications of xingyi that were taught to select units of the Chinese army prior to and during World War II. The book contains both original photos of Huang Bo Nian and contemporary photos of Rovere demonstrating the applications of Xingyi Quan.

As a foreword to the original text, Huang Bo Nian writes:

The objective is to combine three categories—five elements and linking method; stab and thrust (bayonet) techniques; and chopping (sabre) methods—into one book. Diagrams and route patterns (stepping diagrams) are included to make it easier for the practitioner to learn.

Here’s a look inside Chapter 2 Section III: Explanation of the Half Turn and Opening Positions:

The half turn position is an important one and serves several purposes. The most obvious purpose is that it assists the arms in punching and striking. It is, in essence, the first link in the chain of energy transfer. From this position, the rear foot pushes against the ground. Because the ground resists, the force is sent back through the leg to the waist. As you turn back toward the front, using your hips and waist as a single unit, you allow this force to push out through the shoulder and arms to the fists, and ultimately into your target.

Your legs constitute approximately two-thirds of your body weight and are capable of generating a great deal of force. By assuming a half turn position you are preparing your body to transfer this power in one continuous, smooth action.

A second and less obvious purpose of the half turn position occurs when facing your opponent. When viewed from the front, your body seems to be facing forward with shoulders square. However, if someone pushes at the center of your chest, the half-turn angle you have assumed will cause the blow to “slip past” on the angle rather than being absorbed by your chest…

Other books published by Blue Snake Books that explore the martial art of Xingyi Quan:

Combat Techniques of Taiji, Xingyi, and Ba Gua
Nei Jia Quan, Second Edition
Xingyi Boxing Manual

Combat TechniquesNei Jia Quan



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