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Yi Quan (Mentality Chuan)

Yi Quan or the mentality Chuan, also called Da-cheng Quan, was created by Wang Xiangzhai during the reign of Emperor Guangxu (1875-1908) of the Qing Dynasty. Wang (1885-1963) was born in Shenxian County in Hebei Province. From a young age, he followed Xingyi Quan master, Guo Yunshen to learn the art. After years of hard practice, Wang mastered the art of Xingyi Quan, got its gist, and ventured off the track to create Yi Quan by absorbing the suppleness of Tai Chi Quan, and the agility of Bagua Zhang.

Yi Quan centers on standing stances and uses the mind to guide the movements and actions in order to achieve the coordination and cooperation between the mind, the body and the external world. It stresses the development of energy and potential of the human body. The mentality boxers believe that looseness and tightness form the basic contradiction of the movements of the human body. The physical qualities-power, speed, agility, coordination and endurance-are all conditioned by the looseness and tightness of the muscles. Yi Quan, therefore, is intended to solve the question of how to correctly control and use looseness and tightness through practice. When we talk of looseness or tightness, we talk not only of loose or tight muscles but also of a loose or tight mind. The latter is in fact more significant. Therefore, this style of Chuan came to be called the mentality Chuan (Yi Quan).

The major features of mentality Chuan lie in the fact that it does not have fixed routines and that it stresses mental function. It requires relaxation, concentration and calmness-its movements are like running water, while its standstills are like floating air. It passes explosive forces throughout the body. Mentality boxers do not expose their bodies to the attacks of the opponent during a fight, nor do they display their thoughts. They seldom generate power but when they do they do it completely and thoroughly and often benefit from the force of the opponent .

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