"If anything is worth doing at all, take the time to do it correctly."
My name is Instructor Matthew. I hold both a MAT English Language Arts Education w/ ESOL endorsement from University of Central Florida and a BA English Literature from Florida Gulf Coast University.

I began studying the art of Hsing-I in Orlando, FL while pursuing my master's degree in education at University of Central Florida. I studied at Da Dao Hui initially and at Dancing Dragon Kung Fu some years after. In addition to Hsing-I, I also studied Aikido in Orlando at Orlando Aikido Dojo for a total of two years. After my graduation, I moved to Gainesville, FL to pursue my career in education. While I was there, I studied Chen Style Taijichuan (Tai-Chi) at Lair of the Whirling Tiger. After that first school year, I relocated to Cambodia for 15 months and came back to Greensboro, North Carolina where I studied Hsing-I again at Triad Nei Jia Academy. While I am back in Florida again, I began studying Gao Style Bagua at Naples Bagua Club, where I currently study.

Yue Fei statue (West Lake) 1 2016 January

Statue of General Yue Fei at Yue Fei Temple in Hangzhou, China.

Hsing-I is one of the three internal arts among China's many schools of martial arts, the other two being Taijichuan (Tai Chi) and Baguazhang. Widely credited with the creation of Xingyi is Marshal Yue Fei of China, a general of Song Dynasty China who lived from 1103 AD until 1142 AD. He was considered to be a man of extrodinary character and virtue. When discussing the art, the word "internal" refers only to the emphasis on proper body mechanics associated to the function of Hsing-I techniques, rather than the sheer brute force one can generate by simply throwing a body limb with as much force as one can muster. The reasoning for this is to train the body and the mind to get as much impact from each strike as is possible while avoiding injuries.

Emphasizing proper body mechanics is not an excuse to avoid conditioning and hard work in Hsing-I. Of the three internal martial arts, Hsing-I is considered the most external as all parts of the body, including the legs, hips, waist, back, shoulder, and finally the arms, are used simultaneously to execute a strike. Each of Hsing-I's five basic strikes can be learned quickly, yet it takes many years of practicing to fully master them.

Among Hsing-I's basic strikes, all are performed with the arms, rather than the feet. The following are Xingyi's five basic strikes:

*Pi Chuan: An open-palm chopping motion.
*Tsuan Chuan: A high punch.
*Beng Chuan: A low punch.
*Pao Chuan: A simultaneous parry and strike.
*Heng Chuan: A low, forward, and flanking strike.

These five strikes are considered to be the core of Hsing-I training. Even more fundamental to the function of Hsing-I is the art's central stance, known as San-ti. All of the five strikes, or elements as they are more commonly known, begin and end with San-ti in order to give the practitioner a momentum-neutral posture from which to execute the next strike, or element, that is appropriate to their self-defense situation.

Each of the five strikes, or elements, are intended to be flexible enough in application to respond to nearly any standing self-defense situation.

Beyond Hsing-I's five elements lie Hsing-I's twelve animals, a collection of applications of the five elements that were originally intended to imitate the motions of the animals they are named for.

In addition to the twelve animals of Hsing-I, a number of weapon forms exist that seek to incorporate the motions learned from both the five elements and the twelve animals.