One of the principal aspect of Xing Yi is the study and development of power. Power is Xing Yi is different from ordinary ways to think about power as it is characterized by being whole and internal.
Whole body power (Zhengti Jin) is the result of unifying the internal aspects of heart, intent, qi, physical power with the external coordination’s of hands, feet, elbows, knees, shoulders and hips resulting in a way of moving the whole organism as a coherent unit. See the section on 6 harmonies for more info.
Internal here refers to the expression of power being rooted in the heart/mind (xin yi) in such a way that instantaneously manifests when there is a spark of intent.
There are also three levels of power namely obvious (ming), hidden (an) and transforming (hua).
Power in Xing Yi at obvious power level (Ming Jin level) is mainly generated through:
Moving the body
By moving the body through stepping we generate power through our body weight and also to keep the body together so that we can easier maintain whole body power. Moving the body is the art of managing ones balance and of footwork. Bear in mind that the foot steps can be very short – even shorter than inch steps (cunbu) but also very long as in rooster stepping (jibu) where we really practise to stretch out the steps.
- Five bows i.e. legs, arms and back.
There are other things that also are important in power generation such as breathing, sound, intention, interest, focus, relaxation and ability to suddenly tense (similar to a sneeze), body alignment, angles, and body collaboration (how different parts of the body collaborates to maximize power while at the same time maintain balance and ability to change).
Intention and power are one in Xing Yi. When there is intention (意 yi) there is shape (形 xing) – there is no shape without intention and no intention without shape.
Rotation of the hips and waist (these are part of what is traditionally spoken of as rotation of Dantien – an energy center 2 inches below the navel.
There are 5 ways to rotate the hips in Xing Yi: Horisontal turning, two forward vertical turns – forward roll and backward roll, and two sidewards vertical movements – roll over and roll under. These five can be combined into innumerable combinations and variations. It is vital that the hip movement actually generates power. If the movement is to big it inhibits both the power and the connection of the body (six harmonies) so that whole body power is broken. If it on the other hand is too small the whole body will not be engaged in the movement.
Besides the movements mentioned above there is swallow and spit (tun tu) which is something not directly related to hip movements)
Expressing power (發勁 Fa jin)
Power is expressed from any point of the body and is expressed immediately and directly. We never ”wind ourselves up” –e.g. pulls back the hand to strike. This does not mean that there are no changes such as contraction (束 shu) and expansion (展 zhan) but both contraction and expansion can be strikes (Shu shi da, zhan ye shi da). When we express power it is somewhat similar to a sneeze – from being relaxed it is like a lightning that suddenly strikes from a clear blue sky; and immediately afterwards it is completely calm and relaxed again as if nothing has happened.