Barefoot Doctor's Xing Yi Five Elements Training


Set your intention, project your power, bypass any obstacle

Taoist internal martial arts lie at the heart of all Taoist practice – moving meditations to focus the mind within the body along optimal lines.

Xing Yi (pronounced Shing Yee) – like Tai Chi & Pa Kua – is one of those internal martial arts.

 Tai Chi teaches you how to roll this way or that, yielding to life’s pressure without being pressed upon.

Pa Kua teaches you the power of circles and the ability to constantly get behind a situation hence always in command.

Xing Yi teaches you to project your power towards your goal and bypass any obstacle as if passing right through it – like walking through walls.

I teach Xing Yi (exactly how I do it myself every day) in a series of trainings:
The five elements form – five distinct fighting forms each relating to a different element – metal, water, wood, fire and earth – these are the five main martial arts moves required to stay safe in a fight and extrapolated into everyday life to keep you covered from all sides.

The twelve animal forms – helping you develop the fighting advantage of each animal and imbue you with the spirit of the animal in a totemic way which is incredibly helpful when you need a bit of extra push in a situation.

The Xing Yi long form – the real reason to learn the five element forms and the twelve animal forms – consists of a complex combination of the five elements and twelve animals and takes each far further in terms of expression and range of movement – it’s a super-graceful dance that feels like it’s occurring in a different dimension – and that’s because it is. It’s the closest thing to flying I’ve ever found.

  • Without intention you’re a rudderless boat in a choppy sea

    – without the power to take action you’re like a boat with a rudder but no means of propulsion. It doesn’t matter what stage of life you’re at, nor how much or little you’ve achieved even, to negotiate yourself round the morning bathroom rituals requires both intention and power, let alone propelling yourself along.

  • Xing Yi – Part 1 The 5 Elements Form can be used on its own or as part of the Xing Yi long form to:

    improve your coordination & dexterity; boost your balance & physical sturdiness; tone your muscles & increase suppleness; increase your agility, grace & elegance; boost your chi & generate more powerful energy flow; increase your general sense of wellbeing, confidence in your body & self-worth; ….all of which is what lends power to your intention – so above all your intention will become increasingly well-focused & powerful & your ability to make a beeline for something & not be deterred or waylaid en route will increase a hundredfold. a desirable trajectory through the day. And it doesn’t matter what sort of character you have – whether you’re backwards in coming forwards or a compulsive achiever, develop this vital combination of intention and power and you’ll get everything you need far more efficiently, economically and enjoyably.

  • The way you get through the day, the sort of outcomes that arise, the way you leave those around you feeling, your ability to avoid time-wasters and energy-snaggers – all of it depends on developing and using this vital combination of intention and power.

    And on a macro level as a species, for better or for worse we are defined by the power and intention that has against all the odds transformed a beautiful relatively unspoilt pre-agricultural wilderness into the highly complex techno-jungle we’re now all addicted to – whether you’d prefer us to have remained hunter-gatherers or not, all the great achievements, explorations, and breakthroughs that define our world have occurred through this vital combination.

  • It’s especially important to develop power & intention now in the face of a world becoming increasingly random & undependable.

    …where competition levels are exponentially increasing in inverse proportion to the rapidly dwindling vital resources, causing many to behave unscrupulously – you need to muster power and intentionality to determine a clear path through the potential danger. The Taoist approach to life is to trust the great flow, the Tao, to deliver you to safety and soundness at all times. But it also fundamentally requires intention – the intention for everything to work out and for it all to turn to your advantage and of course the power to roll with whatever happens and stay in one piece. And to acquiesce to whatever happens as an expression of the Tao loving you, somehow assuming everything is working to your advantage even if you can’t yet see how.

  • Taoist martial arts, which lie at the heart of all Taoist practice, though when trained in with that in mind comprise deadly boxing forms, primarily serve as a metaphor in motion

    – a moving mediation to focus the mind within the body along optimal lines. Overcoming an opponent requires the skill, the intention to overcome and the power to move your body in the appropriate way to achieve your goal. Training naturally develops this capacity. What’s special about Xing Yi? Xing Yi (traditionally spelt Hsing-I), is probably the oldest Taoist martial art. It developed in Northern China – records only go back a few hundred years, but the underlying technique is likely to be a few thousand years old. Xing Yi Chuan (it’s full name) means literally highly focused intention boxing – meaning you vanquish your opponent by intending to and moving your body correspondingly. Chuan translates as ‘fist’ Hsing means ‘to form something’ I, specifically in the word ‘hsing-i’, refers to the ability of the mind to create an idea and project it into the body, creating a functional physical form There are five corresponding forms/fists – each linked to the five elements: Pi Chuan – chopping/cutting fist, associated with the metal element; Beng Chuan – crushing fist, associated with the wood element; Tsuan/Zuan Chuan – drilling fist, associated with the water element; Pao Chuan – pounding fist, associated with the fire element; and Heng Chuan – crossing fist, associated with the earth element. I teach you those forms in this training. You can use them alone as part of your regular practice or, once you’re au fait with them, choose to proceed to the twelve animal forms to provide you a particular flare or style for when dealing with tricky situations that require a bit of extra magic, and finally the Xing Yi long form which combines the five elements and twelve animals and takes each far further in terms of expression and range of movement.

Who will benefit from Barefoot Doctor’s Xing Yi 5 Elements Form?

Anyone, unless you have a physical impairment which means you’re unable to stand or move easily. The beauty of this training is you don’t need to have done any other martial arts, you don’t need to be fit even – you merely need to get started and it will get you fit and able to defend yourself without you having to do anything more than the daily training.

If you’ve ever studied martial arts with other teachers, what you’ll find strikingly different here and may have to make accommodation, for is the high degree of fun involved. I’m not suggesting having fun learning something is the most efficient way for everyone to learn, but it’s the only way I know how and over the years I’ve found it to be effective for most people.

In terms of how it fits with all the other Barefoot Doctor trainings, whether the internal mastery you learn in School For Warriors, Qigongo, Pa Kua, or Tai Chi – they all depend on the same set of internal principles, and being abreast of those via the other trainings, as well as having developed the physical dexterity acquired in all the Qigongo trainings – you’ll find Xing Yi like coming home.

Myself I practice qigong and all the martial arts forms every day and would most strongly advise however that if time is a constraint, or you’re not willing to alter your schedule to accommodate it, you can always simply do qigong every day as the basis, then one day do the Xing Yi, the next the Pa Kua, the next Tai Chi and so on.

What does the Xing Yi 5 Elements Form Training comprise?

The training is online via a series of short, easy to watch, fun to follow videos. You have lifetime access to the training and can download the videos to your device, so you can learn anywhere you happen to be.

The Xing Yi 5 Elements Form won’t take you long to learn – you watch an introduction followed by a short video explaining and demonstrating each of the forms/fists. Watch one video a day – once you can make the movements without following the video, set aside approximately ten, maybe twenty minutes to practice and make it your own.

Practice is key, particularly if you’re intending to progress to the next two trainings in the series.

Barefoot Dctor’s Xing Yi Power & Intention Training

Part 1 – The Five Elements Form

What the training comprises