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  Home  ->  Classes  ->  Hsing I (Xing Yi)  ->  Twelve Animals
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Hsing I Chuan (Xing Yi Quan) - Twelve Animals

Hsing I (Xing Yi) Twelve Animals:

Dragon, Tiger, Monkey
Chicken, Sparrowhawk, Eagle
Giant Bird (Tai), Horse, Snake
Swallow, Water Lizard (Tuo), Bear

Hsing I ("Chuan" is not always appended) is based upon twelve distinct animal characters (or Hsing). Ten are present in all of the regional and family styles. Hsing I stylists are intended to emulate the techniques and tactics of the animal, not necessarily directly imitate the movement as some other arts do.


The twelve common animals:

  • Dragon (Long)
    This is the only "mythical" animal taught.
  • Tiger (Hu)
  • Monkey (Hou)
  • Chicken (Ji)
    It is sometimes known as Cock (Gong Ji).
  • Sparrowhawk (Yao)
    Accipiter nisus
  • Eagle (Ying)
    In Hsing I "the Bear and Eagle combine". There exists a bird called the "Bear Eagle", which is considered by some to cover both of the Hsing I characters.
  • Giant Bird (Tai)
    "Tai" refers to a mythical bird or a flycatcher native to Asia. It is sometimes known as Roc (Peng), Dove (Ge), or Phoenix (Feng Huang).

    In Chinese mythology there live a kind of giant mysterious fish in the northern sea, called "Kun", which can turn into giant birds. When they are in bird form, they are known as "Peng". "Peng" is bird of giant size and terrific flying power, also known as the Chinese Roc. When they fly their wings are like the colorful clouds in the sky. They travel three thousand miles in one flap of their wings and can fly for six months without rest.

    "Peng" symbolizes ambitions and great accomplishments and is often used as a given name. Yue Fei was named "Peng".
  • Horse (Ma)
  • Snake (She)
    This includes both constrictor and viper.
  • Swallow (Yan)
  • Water Lizard (Tuo)
    "Tuo" refers to a type of water lizard, akin to the Yangze river aligator. It is also known as just Crocodile or Aligator. It is sometimes known as Turtle (Gui) as well.

    "Tuo" can also be translated as "horse", "ostrich", or "fish" but their symbols are different.
  • Bear (Xiong)

Our first focus is on these animals:

  1. Chicken
    (Press and Release)
  2. Dragon
  3. Bear
  4. Eagle
  5. Tiger

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