Santi Shi and more rambling from a Xingyi addict

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
I have had to admit to myself that no matter how much I try I just can’t stop training Xingyiquan so I am just going to keep training what I have been taught until the right Sifu shows up.

But in the mean time I have been doing a lot of reading on Santi Shi from multiple authors; Li Tanji, Di Guoyong, Sun Lutang, Jin Yunting, Tim Cartmell and Dan Miller, Liang Shouyu, and Jiang Rongjiao and the discussion goes form the incredibly vague to the incredibly detailed and to be honest, IMO, neither is what you need to understand Santi Shi. It really is not all that complicated and not much more than stand there, shut up and relax in general but there is a bit more to it. I think the vagueness is due more to the separation of years and culture. I imagine it would be much less vague for a native Mandarin speaker that knows many of the metaphors being used but to a 21st century westerner it is a bit confusing. And to detailed is just that, to detailed and produces way too much thinking. It can get so detailed as to make you want to whip out a protractor and measure degrees of arm bend.

But I think, and here’s a surprise in you are talking CIMA, the middle way is the best way and that appears to come form the book by Tim Cartmell and Dan Miller when talking about the Xingyi of Wang Ji Wu (Shanxi Xingyiquan). There are several pages dedicated to standing practice in their book Xing Yi Nei Gong and it is well worth the read if you train any CIMA (possibly even any MA) but it all came down to the following from this book which appeared to summarize all the rest quite well.

Our goals in practicing stance keeping are mind/body unity and a return to the natural balance

From the book
Xing Yi Nei Gong
Xing Yi Health Maintenance and
Internal Strength Development
Complied and edited by
Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell

in practicing the San Ti Shi standing posture, the student “trains to keep his or her center”

From the book
Xing Yi Nei Gong
Xing Yi Health Maintenance and
Internal Strength Development
Complied and edited by
Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell

And after reading copious songs of Xingyiquan, all I do recommend anyone learning Xingyiquan read, it all can down to what Zhang Bao Yang and Wang Ji Wu said were the most important fundamental principles to remember when practicing San Ti,

These are also found in the book Xing Yi Nei Gong but they are originally part of the Boxing Cannon

The Six Harmonies
1) the hands harmonize the feet
2) the shoulders harmonize the hips
3) the elbows harmonize the knees
4) the heart harmonizes the intent
5) the intent harmonizes with the qi
6) the qi harmonizes with the power

1 – 3 are the 3 external harmonies and 4 – 6 are the three internal harmonies

Eight Vital Points
1) the inside must be lifted
2) the three hearts must unite
3) the three intents must follow one another
4) the Five Elements must flow smoothly
5) the four terminus must move together
6) the heart must be at ease
7) the three points must be on a line
8) the eyes must focus on a single point

Also I tried the Shanxi style Santi Shi as described in the book which is a 50/50 stance as opposed to the Hebei style I have been trained that tends to be either 60/40 or 70/30 back weighted stance. I am only at best at the level of mingjen (beginner – obvious power) t best in Hebei style and all I know of Shanxi is from books and I was surprised that I found the 50/50 stance harder on my knees and it did not seem that it would be able to cover distance as much as Hebei but I am of course biased since I train Hebei and I have no training in Shanxi so I could be doing something very wrong as it applies to the posture.

And in re-reading this I do see that it still would not be clear unless you read the other books so I will post more of a description of what some of the things listed in the eight vital points and the six harmonies mean, if there is an interest, although some of them are pretty obvious,

Bottom-line is that my second Xingyi Sifu had it right when he said “if you have joint pain let me know and I will adjust your posture…. If you have muscle pain…shut up and stand… I don’t want to hear it”

Basically it is shut-up stand and relax, you can’t rush it, there is no short cut, it will hurt at first, and in time you will learn a whole lot about yourself, your body structure, how it moves as a unit not as a bunch of separate muscles and you will keep your center

Additionally -
There is also a great section in "Xing Yi Nei Gong" that discusses internal power that is very good and very much based in reality that I would recommend to anyone wanting to get to the real bits and leave much of the mysticism behind.
 

blindsage

Master of Arts
Joined
Mar 5, 2009
Messages
1,580
Reaction score
109
Location
Seattle, WA
And in re-reading this I do see that it still would not be clear unless you read the other books so I will post more of a description of what some of the things listed in the eight vital points and the six harmonies mean, if there is an interest, although some of them are pretty obvious,
There is interest, please do.
 

Tensei85

Master Black Belt
Joined
May 16, 2009
Messages
1,097
Reaction score
29
Location
Michigan
Xue,

Suggestion: Maybe it would be useful to set up a blog & link it or whatever, personally your posts are insightful & useful but it would be great to have access to all the info at once. Haha, or I guess I could just use the search function, but maybe something to check out in the future I know I would like to subscribe...

Thanks,
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
The Six Harmonies
1 – 3 are the 3 external harmonies and 4 – 6 are the three internal harmonies

These (1-3) I feel are pretty self explanatory
1) the hands harmonize the feet
2) the shoulders harmonize the hips
3) the elbows harmonize the knees

These (4–6) are pretty much “three intents must follow one another” from the Eight Vital Points
4) the heart harmonizes the intent
5) the intent harmonizes with the qi
6) the qi harmonizes with the power


Eight Vital Points
1) the inside must be lifted
This is basically lifting the anus, although I have been told by my last Sifu and I have read that this may not be necessary or helpful. It is suppose to assist in raising the Qi to the dantian

2) the three hearts must unite
This is also known as the 3 centers which are the head, the feet and the hands.

3) the three intents must follow one another
Yi, intent Shen Yi, Qi Yi and Li Yi which leads to the saying yi qi li. This is kind of like a post I made awhile back on Sandao (sometimes I have seen this written San Bao) Shen is spirit but not in the religious sense most westerns interpret it as it is mind to the Chinese. So your Shen (mind) controls your Yi (thought, intension) which controls your Qi (energy) and your Qi controls your Li (muscle power)

The description form Liang Shouyu’s book is this
You can see that the Shen and Yi do the planning and the Qi is the marshal which activates the muscles and generates Li. The Li is the soldiers which carry out the action.

4) the Five Elements must flow smoothly
Five external elements or the 5 fists; Pi, Beng, Zuan, Pao, Heng

5) the four terminus must move together
These are the tongue which is said to be the extremity of the muscles, the teeth said to be the extremities of the bones, the Finger nails said to be the extremities of the tendons, the hair is said to be the extremities of the blood. Don’t take this to literally it is more to the unification of the body when it is moved

6) the heart must be at ease
must be calm and relaxed

7) the three points must be on a line
The tip of the nose, the hands and the feet.

8) the eyes must focus on a single point
This is, from what I can gather 2 things. One is focusing on a single point while standing such as the index or middle finger or where the thumb meets the index finger, depending on style. The other is something that I have seen in Xingyi people it is more of a focus on the fight that appears in the eyes. Kind of a spirit of feeling that is shown externally, which explains why the Xingyi sifu I meant in Beijing scared the hell out of me with a look. I was, I guess, being tested and I failed.

Also I will add this on internal here and make it a separate post. I mentioned it earlier in this thread so I thought I would put it here too

The following quote is from the book
Xing Yi Nei Gong
Xing Yi Health Maintenance and
Internal Development
Compiled by
Dan Miller and Tim Cartmell
Page 60

Although many teachers on internal arts like to talk about internal power and qi as something fantastic and mysterious (especially in the west), this is almost invariably a result of misunderstanding (on the part of the teacher) or outright deceit (because it is good for business). We, as physical beings, are subject to the laws of physics; mass, energy, and gravity. Our bodies are constructed a certain way, our minds produce real energy and we are all under the influence of gravity, at all times. The internal martial arts (actually any of the higher level martial arts) seek to work with our natural strengths, to utilize our internal (mental energies most efficiently and produce the most effective movement relative to our environment (gravity and outside forces). The result internal power. “Internal” refers to working with our inherent and inborn strengths under the guidance of the mind. Once again, mental direction is the key, one’s actions and reactions are in harmony with the natural laws and inborn strengths, rather than random, inappropriate external reaction to stimuli
 
Last edited:
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
Xue,

Suggestion: Maybe it would be useful to set up a blog & link it or whatever, personally your posts are insightful & useful but it would be great to have access to all the info at once. Haha, or I guess I could just use the search function, but maybe something to check out in the future I know I would like to subscribe...

Thanks,

Thanks, but I wouldn't even know where to or how to begin a Blog
 

punisher73

Senior Master
Joined
Mar 20, 2004
Messages
3,604
Reaction score
630
I have had to admit to myself that no matter how much I try I just can’t stop training Xingyiquan so I am just going to keep training what I have been taught until the right Sifu shows up.

But in the mean time I have been doing a lot of reading on Santi Shi from multiple authors; Li Tanji, Di Guoyong, Sun Lutang, Jin Yunting, Tim Cartmell and Dan Miller, Liang Shouyu, and Jiang Rongjiao and the discussion goes form the incredibly vague to the incredibly detailed and to be honest, IMO, neither is what you need to understand Santi Shi. It really is not all that complicated and not much more than stand there, shut up and relax in general but there is a bit more to it. I think the vagueness is due more to the separation of years and culture. I imagine it would be much less vague for a native Mandarin speaker that knows many of the metaphors being used but to a 21st century westerner it is a bit confusing. And to detailed is just that, to detailed and produces way too much thinking. It can get so detailed as to make you want to whip out a protractor and measure degrees of arm bend.

But I think, and here’s a surprise in you are talking CIMA, the middle way is the best way and that appears to come form the book by Tim Cartmell and Dan Miller when talking about the Xingyi of Wang Ji Wu (Shanxi Xingyiquan). There are several pages dedicated to standing practice in their book Xing Yi Nei Gong and it is well worth the read if you train any CIMA (possibly even any MA) but it all came down to the following from this book which appeared to summarize all the rest quite well.





And after reading copious songs of Xingyiquan, all I do recommend anyone learning Xingyiquan read, it all can down to what Zhang Bao Yang and Wang Ji Wu said were the most important fundamental principles to remember when practicing San Ti,

These are also found in the book Xing Yi Nei Gong but they are originally part of the Boxing Cannon

The Six Harmonies
1) the hands harmonize the feet
2) the shoulders harmonize the hips
3) the elbows harmonize the knees
4) the heart harmonizes the intent
5) the intent harmonizes with the qi
6) the qi harmonizes with the power

1 – 3 are the 3 external harmonies and 4 – 6 are the three internal harmonies

Eight Vital Points
1) the inside must be lifted
2) the three hearts must unite
3) the three intents must follow one another
4) the Five Elements must flow smoothly
5) the four terminus must move together
6) the heart must be at ease
7) the three points must be on a line
8) the eyes must focus on a single point

Also I tried the Shanxi style Santi Shi as described in the book which is a 50/50 stance as opposed to the Hebei style I have been trained that tends to be either 60/40 or 70/30 back weighted stance. I am only at best at the level of mingjen (beginner – obvious power) t best in Hebei style and all I know of Shanxi is from books and I was surprised that I found the 50/50 stance harder on my knees and it did not seem that it would be able to cover distance as much as Hebei but I am of course biased since I train Hebei and I have no training in Shanxi so I could be doing something very wrong as it applies to the posture.

And in re-reading this I do see that it still would not be clear unless you read the other books so I will post more of a description of what some of the things listed in the eight vital points and the six harmonies mean, if there is an interest, although some of them are pretty obvious,

Bottom-line is that my second Xingyi Sifu had it right when he said “if you have joint pain let me know and I will adjust your posture…. If you have muscle pain…shut up and stand… I don’t want to hear it”

Basically it is shut-up stand and relax, you can’t rush it, there is no short cut, it will hurt at first, and in time you will learn a whole lot about yourself, your body structure, how it moves as a unit not as a bunch of separate muscles and you will keep your center

Additionally -
There is also a great section in "Xing Yi Nei Gong" that discusses internal power that is very good and very much based in reality that I would recommend to anyone wanting to get to the real bits and leave much of the mysticism behind.

What was interesting to me was in reading the 8 points, how it relates so much to Sanchin kata (yes, I know that Santi Shi translates to roughly the same thing). You can definately start to see the source material that the okinawans were working with.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
What was interesting to me was in reading the 8 points, how it relates so much to Sanchin kata (yes, I know that Santi Shi translates to roughly the same thing). You can definately start to see the source material that the okinawans were working with.

That is interesting and I didn't know that Sanchin meant roughly the same thing, thanks.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
I should also add to this that the breathing required for Santi Shi is natural breathing. Also the time to stand in santi varies from Sifu to Sifu and my view of it has changed from rereading all of this. My second Sifu’s Sifu said that to be a beginner you had to stand in santi for 20 minutes (Per side) I have also read that 15 to 30 minutes per side was good and I have never gotten further than 15 minutes but some amazing things start to happen at 15 minutes and I am told it is better at 20 minutes. Nothing magical just greater awareness of connections and awareness of your own body and what is going on inside and out. At this point my goal is 30 minutes per side but I have a long way to go to get back to 15 minutes. I stopped Santi for a while and I am back at the beginning at 2 minutes per side, but I do believe I could go 5 if I wanted to. But then with Santi it is never good to rush things in this beginner’s opinion because it is very important to Xingyiquan training it is the basic stance, the foundation of Xingyiquan and so far all the authors I have read my last Sifu and the few I have been lucky enough to talk to appear to agree that it is important. All Xingyiquan techniques come out of Santi Shi.

the ten thousand techniques come out of santi shi
--- Li Tianji

However this is not to say there are no other forms of standing training in Xingyiquan. There are a few of them and they can very per style. There is Wuji standing, Zhan Zhuang standing, Ape standing, tiger standing, bear standing, dragon standing, and a few more that I just can’t remember the name of at the moment.
 
OP
Xue Sheng

Xue Sheng

All weight is underside
Joined
Jan 8, 2006
Messages
31,031
Reaction score
5,262
Location
North American Tectonic Plate
XY_SanTi-4a.jpg


articles-fundamental-moving-patterns-of-xingyiquan.jpg


DGY%20santi_jpg.jpg


Santishi_sunlutang.jpg


misc%20shanxi%20santi_jpg.jpg
 

Latest Discussions

Top