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This page features information about classes offered by Stephen in Hebei Xing Yi Chuan, which is among the oldest of the 'internal' martial arts.

Stephen teaches the Hebei Style of Xing Yi Chuan, which he began learning when he was a High School student. Over the years that have been spent learning and mastering the style, Stephen has developed a very structured and scientific method of delivering the knowledge it contains to willing and hard working students.

Initial Training

Training in Xing Yi Chuan begins with Zhan Zhuang Kung which is stance training designed to correct and strengthen postural alignment. This stance training helps develop whole body power, whole body strength and begins the internal power development that Xing Yi Chuan is renowned for.

The stance training places emphasis on the postures known as:

  • Wuji Zhuang
  • Taiji Zhuang
  • Han Ji Bu Zhuang
  • San Ti Shi

San Ti ShiSan Ti Shi or the "3 body posture", is also known as the King of Zhan Zhuang Kung and is most important in the development of a Xing Yi Chuan student. The more time spent perfecting San Ti Shi, the more stable the platform and hence the ability to deliver whole body power and internal strength.



The stance training also includes the Xiong Bang Zhuang or "Bear's shoulders", the Li Mao Pu Zu Zhuang, or "Wild Cat pounces", the Li Mao Shung Shu, or "Wild Cat climbs up the tree".

After the postures are able to be held correctly without strained breathing, then the student naturally progresses onto learning Yuan Di Wu Xing Chuan, or "standing on the spot (static) 5 elements".Each element (or fist) is performed both on the same side, "Shun Shi" and cross body or "Ow Shi".The 5 elements (fists) are taught in the following order:

  • Pi Chuan, chopping fist, representing the element metal.
  • Beng Chuan, smashing fist. representing the element wood.
  • Tzuan Chuan, drilling fist. representing the element water.
  • Pau Chuan, pounding fist. representing the element fire.
  • Hern Chuan, crossing fist. representing the element earth.

Master BaotangAfter these movements are practiced until the Jin "power delivery" is smooth and coordinated, the student is introduced to Shang Bu Wu Xing Chuan (or walking forwards 5 elements), this set introduces students to new stances and turning maneuvers. The set also helps to limber the body and build on the foundation of Jin the student has previously learnt.


The last stage of initial training is Jing Bu Wu Xing Chuan (or fighting steps, 5 elements), this introduces the Cun Bu (inch step) the most important step of Xing Yi Chuan.

The Cun Bu allows the Xing Yi student to move quickly without loss of their fundamental structure which enables very effective Jin.The Xing Yi Lian Huan Chuan (or shape/intent 5 element linking sequence) and the Wu Xing Shan Shen ( which shows the creative cycle of the 5 elements) soon follows when the appropriate skill level is reached.

Two Man Sets

After all the single man practice has been taught, the student pairs up with Stephen who assists them in learning the 2 man sets.The first 2 man set taught is Wu Xing Chuan Dway Lian ( or 5 elements 2 man set) which has Tzuan Chuan and Pau Chuan performed together in the same 2 man set while all other elements are trained seperately. The second set taught is Wu Xing Shen Ke (or 2 man paired practice).

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First Weapons

2 Man JianAfter the empty hands have been trained to an appropriate proficiency, students are introduced to the weaponry of Xing Yi Chuan. The weapons taught by Stephen include the following:

  • Wu Xing Dao (5 elements large double handed broad sword)
  • Wu Xing Lian Huan Dao (5 element linking large double handed broadsword)
  • Wu Xing Jian (5 elements double handed straight sword) and Wu Xing Jian Dway Lian (5 element double handed straight sword, 2 man set)
  • Wu Xing Guin (5 elements staff)
  • Wu Xing Chang (5 elements spear) which includes the Wu Xing Chang Dway Lian ( 2 man paired practice spear set)

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12 Animals

When the correct time in the students development has been reached, the student moves on to the "Shr Er Xing" or "12 animals".

  • Lung Xing (Dragon)
  • Hwu (Tiger)
  • Ma (Horse)
  • Ji (Chicken)
  • Tou (Water lizard)
  • Hou (Monkey)
  • Yao (Sparrow hawk)
  • Yan (Swallow)
  • She (Snake)
  • Ying (Eagle)
  • Xiong (Bear)
  • Tai (Tai Bird, a mythological creature).

After the Shr Er Xing are performed empty handed to a satisfactory degree of accuracy, the student learns the associated weaponary for each set.

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Other empty hand and two man sets

Other empty handed sets taught by Stephen usually contain a mixture of movements students have learnt in the other forms. These sets include

  • Ji Xing Si Ba (chicken shape, 4 strikes)
  • Shr Er Hong Chui (12 giant fist)
  • Za Zhi Chui (castle gate/portcullis fist), this form is commonly misunderstood as meaning mixed fist.
  • Ba Zi Kung (8 words/characters)
Other paired practice forms also available are:
  • San Shou Pau (3 hands/striking cannon)
  • Wu Hwa Pau ( 5 flowers beating, 2 man paired practice)
  • An Shen Pao (protect body cannon)

Other Weaponry Jian

Other weaponry taught by to advanced level students includes:

  • San He Dao (3 harmonies broads sword)
  • San He Dway Dao (2 man set broadsword)
  • Liu He Dao (6 harmonies broadsword)
  • San He Jian ( 3 harmonies single handed straight sword)
  • San Chai Jian (3 powers "heaven, earth and man", single handed straight sword)
  • San Chai Dwai Jian (3 powers, single handed sword, paired practice)
  • Liu He Jian (6 harmonies single handed straight sword)
  • Liu He Guin (6 harmonies staff)
  • Liu He Chang (6 harmonies spear)
  • Liu He Da Chang (Large spear )
  • Pu Dao (large bandit knife)
  • Feng Zhi Tang (Phoenix winged large weapon)
  • Lin Jiao Dao, a Lin is a mythological creature with the head of a Lion and the body of a Dragon. This weapon is from Shanxi Xing Yi Chuan (Song style), it is a short weapon, used with 2 hands, some people call it a "unicorn hook sword".

And last but not least, there is additional Xing Yi Chuan Nei Kung (shape/intent, internal exercises), for health recovery, health maintenance and internal power. Stephen also teaches theory, philosophy, history and sutras ("songs" or "poems") related to Xing Yi Chuan as it was handed down to him.

Any student, whether new or well versed in Chinese Martial Arts is welcome to contact Stephen for more information.

The New Zealand Wu Tao Society
Wellington, New Zealand
Phone: Stephen Yan on (04) 471 1818

Wu Tao and all associated pages©2006 Stephen Yan Zi Yuan - All Rights Reserved

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