Form / Intention Boxing (Xingyiquan)

Form / Intention Boxing (also named Shape / Will Boxing or Xingyiquan) is the representative of the Internal Boxing Arts (Neijiaquan) of Chinese Kung Fu together with Eight Diagram Palm and Tai Chi. It is characterized by the its short fists and quick attacks which are well suited for fighting against the enemy. As with other kinds of Chinese Kung Fu, besides the function for fighting, it is also beneficial for physical fitness. However old you are and wherever you are, it can be practiced even in a very small space.

In the beginning of the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911), it spread widely in Shanxi, Henan and Hebei Provinces, which led to the formation of the three branches in the three provinces. Later Hao Enguang, a master of Form / Intention Boxing, went to Japan and taught Chinese students studying there, by which this boxing style was introduced to the overseas. After 1949, the Form / Intention Boxing was set as one of the events in the national Kung Fu performances or competitions in China. Now, it has been very popular in southeastern Asia, Japan, the USA and other areas in the world.

Form / Intention Boxing uses the forms of Chinese Five Elements - Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth - as the symbols to create the five elementary boxing skills. The seemingly-gentle movements are always full of explosive power. Besides, most of its movements are direct and cadent which is considered being steel file in fight. The fighting motions match well with the body and feet. All in all, the main fighting skills are based on the six principles: handiness, coherence, speediness, no hesitation, no mercy and no escape. To practice the skills, the most-required weapons are spear, sword, saber and long staff.


The strength practice is of great importance in learning the boxing. The strength can be achieved through two steps: the first is to enhance the body-building laying solid foundation for further improvement; the second is to fight by concentrating on the combination of the spirit and shape. Based on the two steps, Shape Boxing forms two main basic styles: Five Elements Boxing (Wuxingquan) and Twelve Shapes Boxing (Shierxingquan).

Five Elements Boxing: Created based on the traditional Chinese Five Elements (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth), it is also called Will Boxing or Five Boxing. As the fundamental and leading style of Form / Intention Boxing, it plays an important role in learning the corresponding skills. The ancient people held that the Five Elements composed the physical universe and use this theory in traditional Chinese medicine to explain various physiological and pathological phenomena. The Five Elements are said to have a close relationship with the organs of human body. Accordingly, boxing styles are created to well match humans’ physical features - Chopping (like a metal axe), Shooting (like an arrow leaving a wooden bow), Drilling (fast and flexible like lightning in water), Bomb Fist (powerful like fiery explosives) and Horizontal Fist (as steady as the earth). Because of the simple actions and rules, they are easy to learn.

Twelve Shapes Boxing: Nearly all of its Kung Fu skills are created based on the habits and fighting strength of twelve animals: dragon, tiger, monkey, horse, chicken, snipe, swallow, snake, alligator, falconet, eagle and bear. Compared with Five Elements Boxing, Twelve Shapes Boxing adds more styles of hands, shapes, legs and feet. It is beneficial to improve the physical conditions, cultivate human temperament and grasp some basic skills of self-defense.

- Last updated on Apr. 26, 2019 -
Questions & Answers on Form / Intention Boxing
Asked by raghab from AFGHANISTAN | Nov. 09, 2015 01:41Reply
can we get this to learn in Changsha?
near by Changsha medical university. Or address in Chinese please!
Answers (3)
Answered by Mark | Nov. 09, 2015 02:59

Raghab, I am afraid that there is no martial arts school that teaches Xingyiquan in Changsha. Perhaps, you might go to Changsha Helong Stadium or Martyr Park to try your luck. There are some people who practice Chinese boxings.
Answered by raghab from AFGHANISTAN | Nov. 09, 2015 03:29

can you provide me address in Chinese please?
Answered by Mark | Nov. 09, 2015 03:56

They are 贺龙体育馆 and 烈士公园.
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