5 Steps to Learn Xing Yi in Less Than 1 Year & Be Able to Fight With It.

Xing Yi is the art of courage.

Xing Yi is the art of courage.

Xing Yi Quan is a powerful and effective art that can be learned fairly quickly if approached using these 5 steps.

In Kung Fu Skill comes from hard work over time.

Skill = Work x Time.

To increase skill you can squeeze more training time into each day…

…and you can increase the quality of your work by focusing on the most efficient and effective training methods.

For most people more time is hard to come by.

Fortunately, there is the 80/20 rule. This general rule of thumb states that 80% of the benefit comes from 20% of the effort.

In martial arts this ratio is often closer to 90/10 or greater.

The hard part is figuring out which 5 – 20% is going to give you all the skill you’re looking for.

Sigung Clear has been working on this for the last 35 years and he’s still studying and researching. Continuing to look for more efficient and effective ways to train.

Step 1: Purpose and Strategy

The first step is to define the purpose of the art.

Be detailed and specific. Martial Arts are different because they’re designed for different purposes.

Knowing what your art is trying to do is essential. Xing Yi’s purpose is to make someone a strong and powerful fighter quickly.

In Xing Yi strategy is to attack as soon as a threat presents itself.

“Xing Yi is the Art of Courage.”

It’s goal is to dominate the opponent’s center and overwhelm them. You do this by fortifying your own center and running over the opponent with a barrage of blasting strikes.

Once you understand what your art is trying to do then it becomes much much easier to keep your training focused on achieving that goal.

Sigung Clear in Beijing

Sigung Clear in Beijing

Step 2: Form VS Function

The next step in learning efficiently is to identify the signature techniques / movements of the art and learn their function.

When identifying the signature techniques of the art look for movements that are common to all lineages and variations of the art.

In Xing Yi this is the 5 Elemental Fists.

  • Pi Chuan
  • Tsuan Chuan
  • Beng Chuan
  • Pao Chuan
  • Heng Chuan

Now that you’ve identified the signature movements.


Many people have spent years learning the forms of the 5 elements and combined forms and animal forms, etc… and they’re still no closer to being an effective Xing Yi Fighter.

Form was designed to achieve a function.

If you understand what a movement is supposed to do and how that helps the art achieve it’s overall purpose and strategy (covered in step 1) then refining and correcting your form will be easy.

…and you’ll be able to use what you are learning right away.

The function of the 5 elemental fists.

There are 3 basic things to know about the 5 fists.

1. Basic self defense application of each.
These are simple fighting methods that embody what each fist is about. These are taught in the introduction and prologue of the Xing Yi Intensive.

Sigung Clear in Beijing

Sigung Clear in Beijing

2. The physical action of each fist.

Keep this as simple as it sounds. It’s very easy to get sidetracked with very ornate versions of a move.

  • Pi Chuan is a downward falling or choping movement.
  • Tsuan Chuan is an upward twisting movement (think uppercut for now)
  • Beng Chuan is a forward driving movement.
  • Pao Chuan is an expanding upward and outward movement with a bit of rotation.
  • Heng Chuan is a crossing & closing movement.

By sticking to the simplest crudest version of a movement you will be able to fight with it very quickly, It will be very easy to understand what that move is about and how it helps you achieve your overall strategy.

…and as you gain skill it will be easy to add more complex variations of the movement to your skill-set.

These physical actions and how to use them are taught in Chapter 1 of the Xing Yi Intensive.

3. The Internal Action of Each Elemental Fist.

Because Xing Yi is an internal art, what’s happening inside your body is just as important as the physical movement.

Each of the 5 fists embodies a specific internal expression.

(keep in mind that all these expressions happen simultaneously to varying degrees.)

  • Pi Chuan is a heavy weighted drop. Your whole body should take on this heavy quality so that anywhere the opponent makes contact they should feel like they’ve been hit with a heavy sold sledge hammer.
  • Tsuan Chuan is drilling. This is a spiraling twisting action that connects the entire body from head to toe.
  • Beng Chuan is an expanding & contracting at the same time. It creates a crushing feeling through the whole body. Like pulling a very strong bow.
  • Pao Chaun is an internal condensing and release that expands and explodes outwards.
  • Heng Chuan is a simultaneous contraction & expansion that then releases. (similar in some ways to Beng but distinctly different as well.)

How to build and use these internal actions is taught in Chapter 2 of the Xing Yi Intensive.

Once you understand the function of the 5 elements and can use them then you’re ready for step 3.

Step 3: Critical Fighting Principles

Step 3 is to determine the most important characteristics / principles of your art.

Xing Yi is described as a cannonball skipping across the battlefield taking out anything in it’s path. It’s said to fortify the center. Xing Yi also dominates the opponent’s center and runs over and through them.

That’s 3 main things we need to do.

  1. Become the Steel Ball.
  2. Run over the Opponent while dominating their center.
  3. Explosive, sudden, powerful movement.

Let’s break down what skills make that happen.

Become the Steel Ball.

Structure, Heavy & Bone Shields are the 3 beginning ways to make this happen.

1. Structure – you need to build impeccable internal alignment from head to toe and be able to fight with it.

If someone makes contact with you it should feel like they ran into a telephone pole.

Be careful, if you train structure with too much stationary standing or solo work it will fall apart as soon as you need to use it.

The key to making this functional quickly is training it while moving with a partner who can provide resistance and check for errors. (you can get by with a heavy bag while you’re trying to find a training partner.)

Chapter 3 in the Xing Yi Intensive teaches you the drills and exercises you need to move and strike with impeccable structure.

2. Heavy / dropping root with every hit.

You’re already familiar with this as the primary internal action of Pi Chuan.

At this stage it’s important to build this quality so you can move quickly and explosively with it so that no matter what you’re doing or how you make contact with the opponent they feel you’re whole body weight behind every action.

How to maintain full body-weight while moving rapidly is covered in Chapter 4 of the Xing Yi Intensive.

3. Bone Shields – The opponent should always be getting hit by or be running into the hard parts of your body. The movements of the 5 fists are all designed to facilitate this. In Chapter 7 you’ll learn how to make sure this happens automatically.

These are the 3 beginning ways to become the steel ball.

Many of the other internal skills of Xing Yi will enhance this quality as well but we’ll address that later.

Run Over the Opponent While Dominating Their Center.

The first step is learning to find the opponents spine.

Every time you hit the opponent the impact should cut right through their body and affect the spine.

The drills that build this skill are taught in Chapter 3 of the Xing Yi Intensive.

Next is learning to use your fortified center to find and cut through the opponents center.

You’ll need to build the sensitivity to find the opponent’s center and learn how the action and shape of the 5 fists helps you get to the opponents center and dominate it.

Xing Yi does not meet force with force.

Even though you are driving right through the opponent’s center you are using subtle positioning skills to catch them at angles and directions that are bad for them. The drills in Chapter 5 teach you to do all this.

The last step is learning to close the distance

…and run over the opponent.

Most fighters close on the opponent until they get to the range they are comfortable in and then work from there.

Kickers try to keep a fight at kicking range, boxers try to work at boxing range, etc…

Xing Yi is a closing art.

It’s goal is to run through the opponent and come out the other side.

To do this you need to be able to get right next to the opponent without leaving yourself open & you must be able to strike with full power even though there is no space between you and them.

The skills we discussed earlier in Becoming the Steel Ball and Dominating the Center are the foundation.

Chapter 6 expands on those and teaches you how to keep yourself protected as you run over the opponent and how to maintain full power in every movement you make.

Sudden Explosive Power

You will already be developing power and explosiveness from the principles we’ve covered so far.

Once those have been developed use the following principles to add more suddenness and power to your movement.

Bamboo Art.

Every time you bend, rock or shift your body should feel like a piece of flexible Bamboo that will spring back into place.

Movement that would have broken your structure will instead stretch it loading more power into your frame to be released.

Chapter 15 teaches you how to use this expression of the art.

Spring Power

This principle uses the body like a spring. The secret to using this principle is that the retracting loading action of the spring has just as much martial application as the releasing expanding movements.

In order to be effective you’ll need to understand both aspects of this principle. This is taught in depth in Chapter 16.

Compression to Explode

This was introduced as the primary internal action of Pao Chuan.

You want to build this until you can use it all the time in all your movement.

The compression aspect adds power and increases the steel ball quality. The exploding aspect adds suddenness to your movement and increases power as well.

Compression & how to combine it with these other power sources is covered in Chapter 16.

Recap Steps 1 – 3.

At this point you’ve learned the fighting strategy, the signature fighting methods and the core principles of Xing Yi.

Your movement at this stage will be unrefined but you should be able to use the art effectively.

Step 4 Fighting Applications

Now it’s time to broaden your understanding of the 5 Fists.

The key here is that you DO NOT learn new movements. Instead learn new ways to use the movements you are already familiar with.

The primary things we recommend focusing on are:

  • The particularly evil applications of each element. (chapter 9)
  • Limb Destructions – how to take out the opponents limbs as you attack their center. (chapter 10)
  • Grappling – How to use the 5 Fists to break the opponents joints. (chapter 10)
  • Small Frame – Small compact uses of the 5 Fists. (chapter 10)
  • Animal Expressions – How animal expressions are derived from the 5 Fists. (chapter 11)

Step 5 Unusual Situations & Opponents.

Now it’s time to look at any situations or opponents that might give you trouble based on your current understanding of the art.

Find the holes in your understanding and learn how the art fills them in.

  • How to deal with an aggressive opponent who is good at staying just out of reach (chapter 12)
  • How to make your defense your offense against a close opponent (chapter 13)
  • How Xing Yi deals with Grapplers & Cagey moving opponents (chapter 14)
  • How to use the art in very confined spaces (chapter 17)

How long should this take?

That’s everything you need to become an effective Xing Yi practitioner.

With an art like Xing Yi this process should take about 1 year. You can certainly spend several more years honing these skills.

However, as long as you practice diligently, 1 year is all you need to be effective with the skills outlined above.

The Clear’s Xing Yi Intensive covers everything above in 8 months. It includes a whole bunch of training drills and games that will help you and a partner develop these skills at home.

Continuing Education

The next stage of training is to look at intermediate and advanced practitioners of the art and begin breaking down what training and skills will take you from proficient to master.

In Clear’s Xing Yi, once a student finished the Xing Yi Intensive, there are 8 training modules that help them take their art to an advanced level.

Can Silat or Xing Yi be applied in MMA?

MMA is just like any other sport.

If you want win at Tennis, you need to spend most of your time studying and practicing Tennis.

You can use training from other sports and disciplines to enhance aspects of your Tennis game…

…but when you walk out onto the court you’re either playing Tennis or you’re going to lose.

Xing Yi and Silat were designed for a very different setting.

Using the full art in a ring would get you disqualified pretty quick.

(…and that’s assuming they’ll even let you into the ring carrying that machete 😉

An mma fighter could use training from Kuntao Silat or Xing Yi to increase their power, speed and explosiveness…

…but sorting through all the BS that’s out there on these arts and finding a good teacher takes a lot of work and effort.

Until top quality examples of these arts are a lot more common I doubt we’ll see them having much influence on MMA.

Though I could be wrong…

30 Xing Yi Lessons & 7 Qigong Lessons

Internal Combat Arts 16 Week Course:

Kuntao Xing Yi Quan (Weeks 5 – 8)

 ** Lesson 1. Xing Yi Quan

In our Xing Yi training we focus on the Internal Principles and the Fighting Methods first.

We find this is a much more effective way to learn Xing Yi than starting with forms and postures.

  ** Lesson 2. The Five Elements

The 5 Elemental Fists are the core of Xing Yi. All other forms (animals, weapons, linking) are just variations & combinations of the 5 Fists.

** Lessons 3 – 5. Pi Chuan – The Chopping fist

You learn how to add more power & body integration to what you already learned
You learn how to overwhelm the opponent with a rapid barrage of continuous Pi Chuan strikes.

** Lessons 6 – 7. Tsuan Chuan – The Drilling Fist

You learn the powerful ‘drilling’ method of this fist and, just like with Pi, you learn a continues fighting method. (not just the application of a few techniques)

** Lesson 8. Chopping & Drilling

You learn how to combine the Pi and Tsuan methods and use them together.

** Lessons 9 – 10. Beng Chuan – The Crushing fist

You learn the fighting method of Beng Chuan

  ** Lessons 11 – 16. Pao Chuan – The Pounding Fist

You learn another aggressive, overwhelming, powerful and continuous fighting method.

You also learn some important strategic principles you can apply to all of your Xing Yi.

  ** Lessons 17 – 20. Heng Chuan – The Crossing Fist

You learn how to fight with the Crossing Fist.

  ** Lesson 21. Run Over Your Opponent

You learn to use the primary strategy of Xing Yi.

  ** Lessons 22 – 26 Responding to Grabs 

You learn how to destroy a grappling, tackling, takedown type attack with each of the 5 Fists.

  ** Lesson 27. Fortify the Center

You learn how to ‘Fortify the Center.’

This principle is one of the key distinctions between Xing Yi and the other internal arts (Tai Chi & Bagua.)

We will build on the understanding you develop here and add a lot more power and skill with it in the full Xing Yi program.

  ** Lesson 28. The Thorny King

You will learn how to make every contact painful to the opponent.

This principle is important in many Kuntao & Silat systems. Xing Yi in particular uses it very well and very often.

  ** Lesson 29. Spring Power

You learn another way to generate power. You’ll want to drill this to the point where you can combine it with all the power generation methods you’ve learned so far.

  ** Lesson 30. Kun Tao Sticky Hands

You learn a two person freestyle game. It uses the principles you learned to build your skill & power.

Whew, that’s a lot for an introduction.

If you practice all that you’ll build a lot of power and you’ll be able to fight with all 5 Fists.

Sure, it’ll be a little rough at first but you can use it AND you’ll have a solid foundation on which to refine your skill and build advanced ones.

You’ll also learn this Qigong stuff too:

7 Qigong Lessons

  ** Lesson 10. Three Dan Tiens Linear

You learn this important internal alignment exercise. For now this is just an energy building & activation exercise. Eventually this has martial uses as well (Xing Yi for example uses this a lot.)

  ** Lesson 11. Balance and Correct the Meridians

You will learn how to put away and store the energy you build from your qigong practice. You will also learn to balance the meridians.

  ** Lesson 12. Foot Breathing

You learn to breath down to the bottoms of your feet. This is very healthy and it’s also a prerequisite for more advanced breathing methods.

  ** Lesson 13. Bone Marrow Washing & Breathing

You will learn a very powerful energy building, bone strengthening, rejuvenation method.

  ** Lesson 14. Building Physical Constitution & Chi

  ** Lesson 15. Squats & Wall Squats for Kidney Breathing

The exercises you learn here is very good for your kidneys.

  ** Lesson 16. Packing & Storing Chi

You will learn more about storing Chi and you begin learning about ‘packing’ chi.

So, when you’re ready to start learning all that stuff head on over here:


Here’s the short outline of the entire 16 week program:

Weeks 1 – 4: Kuntao Silat & Qigong part 1 (I outlined this section a few days ago.)
Weeks 5 – 8: Xing Yi Quan & Qigong part 2 (Includes everything I outlined in this email)
Weeks 9 – 12: Bagua Zhang
Weeks 13 – 16: Tai Chi Chuan

I’ll talk about the Bagua and Tai Chi sections soon.

Grab them by the insides! (Internal ‘Na’)

The ability to Na (hold or control) is important in all martial arts.

But it’s application is profoundly different between Internal and External systems.

(This is the same ‘na’ in ‘Chin Na’)

The external version is simple.

Just grab the opponent and you’ve done it.

You can then use that grab to break something or pull them into a strike or whatever.

INTERNALLY this gets a little more interesting.

We’re now talking about holding or controlling something INSIDE the other person.

A simple example would be to grab someone’s wrist and yet be able to control their shoulder.

If the person you grab is tense this will be easy. The more they relax the more skill you’ll need to do this.

With training there are many things you can ‘na.’

– Tension (one of the easiest)
– their root
– their balance point
– their breath

In the Internal Combat Arts course you’ll learn how to find and ‘na’ someones center.

(Tai Chi Chuan Lesson 16. http://www.clearsilat.com/internal-combat-arts)

Have you ever heard Xing Yi and Bagua folks talk about touching the opponents spine anytime you make contact?

This is another example.

Any time you make contact (anywhere) you make sure that contact effects the opponents spine.


The key is to build the ability to feel inside your opponent.

You need to be able to put your hand on their wrist and feel the tension in their lower back, or their spine, or their kidney.

That’s why we do so many hands on, tactile games.

Like this one:

And each of the 4 sections in the Internal Combat Arts course includes various games that will continue to build this skill (and many others).


(and they must not know you.)

Being able to see where their head is so you can throw your fist at it is a start…

…but it you want to practice an INTERNAL art you need to go a little deeper than that.


Internal VS External: Application

What’s the difference between Internal & External?

This is a common question and there are a bunch of confusing and misleading answers online.

So here’s a simple answer:

– Internal = Inside the body.
– External = Outside the body.

So to help make things clearer lets talk about application of technique.

So the External is where you put your hands and feet.

1. Smack their arm to turn them, then punch them in the kidney.


2. As they punch, trap their wrist and drive you fore arm through their elbow to break the arm.

So if we want to make these applications Internal then we need to start looking at what’s happening inside the body.

We’ll start with inside the opponent.

When you punch them in the kidney…

– Is the force going into the kidney you’re striking?

– Or maybe you direct it across to damage the kidney on the other side.

– Or down into their lower intestine.

– Or up into the lung, heart or head.

In the 2nd application when you drive your forearm through their elbow…

– Instead you could direct the force to their shoulder to dislocate it instead of breaking the elbow.

– Or you could target their point of balance and turn into a throw instead of a break.

You can also look at what’s happening inside you.

– Are you using a heavy body state?
– A light one?
– Do you have Chan Si Jing (spiralling energy) turned on?
– Are you using compression?
– Are you expanding or contracting?
– Are you using Peng, Lu, Ji or An?

Each one of these body states will change the power of an application and how it affects the opponent.

Ok, here’s the cool part:

Say I’m doing the second app. I’m using a heavy body state, a little bit of An Jing (push) and I’m trying to break their elbow.

What if they counter?

They put enough strength and intent in their elbow that there’s no way I could break it.

Well, an External Martial Artist will need to change his technique. He’ll need to move his hands and feet into a different position so he can apply a different technique.

This takes time.

The Internal Martial Artist only has to change his mind.

– Heavy becomes light.
– An becomes Ji.
– and the target becomes his shoulder.

With a little training, this change can happen almost as fast as you can think.

Much faster than moving your hands and feet.

…and if the opponent doesn’t have the sensitivity to pick up the change and the internal skill to counter you fast enough then they don’t have much of chance.

And you can keep changing. Again and again in an instant.

Or you can strike (issue power) multiple times to multiple targets without changing your position or point of contact.

This is ONE of the key differences between internal and external.

We’ll talk about a few others over the next couple days.

When you’re ready to start learning how to fight at the speed of thought,

Go check this out:


Do you teach the health part of Xing Yi in your Xing Yi program?


Our Xing Yi program is about how to fight.

You will develop the internal power and fighting methods of Xing Yi.

It will make you stronger, more powerful and your body will become more connected, and this does have some health benefit, But it’s a byproduct of the martial training.

It’s not something that’s taught in the course.

I have a shoulder that’s plagued me for some time.

Tai Chi helped a little.

So did Qigong and our Fa Kung Healing methods, but nothing could get rid of it.

(To much bad posture while working in front of the computer and no sleep keeps aggravating the problem.)

…But the Xing Yi seems to be just what it needed.

As long as I practice consistently I have no problems with it.

When we filmed most of the Xing Yi program in one weekend, I expected the long days and little sleep to aggravate the problem but instead it went away completely.

(Until I spent a couple weeks doing very little training while not sleeping and sitting hunched over in front of the computer for long hours every day.)

Still, DONT join our Xing Yi program if you are looking for the health side.

That’s not what its about.

Our Internal Combat Arts course on the other hand…


…is mostly martial. It has some of that fight first Xing Yi training (as well as some Kuntao Silat, Bagua and Tai Chi)

But it will also teach you the fundamentals of a strong Qigong practice that you’ll get a lot of great health benefits from. (in addition to enhancing the power of your martial training.)

I’m going to get away from this computer and go do some Xing Yi now…

WARNING: Quick high QUALITY skill is dangerous!

So, if you go around saying you can provide Quality skill Quickly…

(like when we point out that Xing Yi’s ORIGINAL DESIGN is to build effective, powerful & internal skill FAST.)

…then you’d better deliver… Quickly.

If you don’t,

then you loose all your students (and they tell all their friends.)

Much easier to say 4, 6 or 10 years is just scratching the surface.

(in a way it is… with Tai Chi or Bagua, but you should certainly be well past the beginner stage, have power and be able to fight by then.)

Now, if you CAN (and DO) deliver…

…and you start to become NOISY about it…

…then you are dangerous.

Because folks start to notice, and they begin to wonder about teachers who say it takes a long time.

Sigung Clear has been QUIETLY teaching Xing Yi for almost 2 decades.

…but now we’re getting noisy.

For two reasons:
  1. Folks keep asking us about Xing Yi and Bagua.
  2. We’d like to see a major improvement in the quality of internal martial arts training that’s publicly available. (within the next decade!)

So, now you know our ‘sinister’ plot.

You know the how (lead by example)
…and the why (because.)

But we can’t do it without your help.

All we need you to do is become a living example of what these arts can accomplish.

Learn and practice. Learn and practice. etc…

or to put it another way,

“Everybody get DANGEROUS!  (Boo yah!)” – weezer 

If you want to “get dangerous” with Xing Yi then you’re in luck. Our Xing Yi program is about the get underway.

Here’s how it’s going to work:

Clear’s Kuntao Xing Yi Quan is a 6 Month Intensive Online Training Program.

It’s designed to take a small group of dedicated folks like yourself and help you build powerful effective Xing Yi skill as efficiently as we know how.

It contains 21 Chapters of yummy Xing Yi fighting goodness.
 – You’ll be able to watch them online with a PC, Mac, iPod, iPad, iPhone or Android.

You will also get all 21 Chapters on DVD (8 discs.)
 – So you can watch it on your TV or share discs with your training partners. (we don’t recommend giving out your online login or password.)

This is a lifetime membership.
  – That means you only pay for it once. There’s NO subscription. NO recurring fees.
  – Next year when we run this program again you will already be a member.
  – Even if we raise the price for new members, you’re already in, no additional cost.

You get discounts on our annual Xing Yi workshop.
  – Including members only access to live training sessions in advanced Xing Yi material.


Enrollment will begin in a couple few weeks. If you miss the dates, or the program fills up before you get around to registering, then you’ll have to wait until next year.

Folks who are part of the 16 week Internal Combat Arts course will get first dibs, with access to early enrollment.


Bass Ackwards Xing Yi… Learn FASTER by doing the OPPOSITE of what most teachers teach.

(because what most Xing Yi teachers teach is bass ackwards)

If you follow the guidelines in this post you’ll greatly speed up your development as an INTERNAL Martial Artist.

Of course, if you use our programs what I’m about suggest will be easy.

…But even if you train elsewhere you can focus on this method and greatly speed up your development.

(I’m going to talk about Xing Yi but this applies to all the internal arts.)


Most teachers start with the form.

You learn how to stand in San Ti.

You start learning each of the 5 Element forms.

The teacher spends months (or years) going into maddening detail on every aspect of the postures.

Even if they did start showing you the function…

..You are so caught up in all those little nuances you’ll never be able to use it.

That’s a terrible way to learn how to fight. 

This is why many folks who have been doing the art for 2, 5 even 10 years can’t fight.

 Xing Yi is a military art.

That means it has to be quick to learn, powerful and brutal.

If you have less than 5 years in Xing Yi…

…You should AT LEAST be able to hold your own against a MMA fight or Thai Boxer who has an equal amount of time in their art. (assuming you train as hard as they do.)

The Secret…
  …The Key…
      …The Indoor approach…
 …The Kun Tao Way… is…

Function comes first. 

If you can’t USE IT to survive, it doesn’t matter how pretty your form is.

If you learn the fighting methods of Xing Yi and you learn the Internal Principles that power them…

…Your form will be correct.

(Though maybe a little rough, but you can always refine it later.)

If the function is correct the form will follow.

So, ANYTIME you are learning form…

 …Start by analyzing its function.

If you don’t understand the function, you have no way of knowing if your form is correct.

 (and you won’t be able to use it)

If the form you are working on doesn’t match it’s function PERFECTLY…

 …then one of two things is happening:

  • – Your form is wrong. 
  • – Or your understanding of its function is wrong (or incomplete.) 

In our 16 week Internal Combat Arts program:

…We DON’T teach you 5 element forms…

We teach you how to FIGHT with each of the 5 elements and by learning how to fight you learn the form.

And you can use it right away!

Our Xing Yi program (coming soon) is the same.

All the internal power and alignments and skills of Xing Yi…

(the ones people spend years trying to develop through standing postures and formwork)

…You develop those by learning how to FIGHT.

You can start learning this Function First method right now, right here:


How fast can you master Xing Yi Quan?

It’s said that “Xing Yi kills in one year.”

 …but how long does it take to master the art?

 Not just learn how to fight effectively.

 Well, Li Nang-jan started learning Xing Yi Quan when he was 37. 

 The story goes that he spend the first two and half years learning nothing but Pi Chuan (The first move in Xing Yi) and a small piece of the linking form.

 Now at this point a bunch of Xing Yi traditionalists are going to jump up and say:

“Yes, that’s the real Xing Yi training.”
“Spend a year standing in San Ti. Then another year and half doing nothing but Pi Chun. That’s how you know it’s the real stuff” 

Well that’s a bunch of BS.

It’s ONLY purpose is to waste your time. 

Ok, back to the story…

Li’s almost 40 years old now and his teacher, Tai Lung-pang, has been holding out on him. Only teaching him a little choreography, nothing of substance.

So what does he do?

He goes to a birthday party for Tai’s mother and makes such an impression that she scolds her son for not teaching him properly.

After that Li Neng-jan starts learning the whole art from Tai Lung-pang.

By the time Li was forty-seven he had mastered the art.

 …and was never defeated (or so the story goes.)

Li went on to train legendary masters such as Kuo Yun-shen and many others including Liu Ch’i-lan, Pai Hsi-Yuan, Li T’ai-ho, Ch’e I-chai, Chang Shu-te, and Sung Shih-jung.

This tells us several things: 

  1. If you’re 40 you can master the art before you turn 50. 
  2. Anyone who has more than 10 years of Xing Yi training is either: 
    • A) A Master of the System. 
    • B) The Xing Yi they have learned is not the most effective way to learn the system. 

B is unfortunately all too common.

and if you or your teacher fall into the B category…

That’s OK 

…as long as you are aware of that fact and working to find better information and more efficient training methods.

Xing Yi is deep and profound. 

You can keep learning and improving your skill with it for a lifetime.

But that is no excuse for putting up with time wasting exercises, info or teachers.

Our Xing Yi program in the fall won’t make you a master of every nuance of Xing Yi.

That’s not it’s purpose.

  •  – You WON’T spend time learning a lot of forms. 
  •  – You WON’T spend time learn a lot of traditional Chinese 5 element theory. 
  •  – You WON’T spend a lot of time standing around in various postures. 

What you WILL do is learn how to fight with Xing Yi. 

You’ll get straight to the heart of the art. No-nonsense, powerful and efficient.

That saying…

 …Xing Yi Kills in One Year…

That’s what our program is about.

 You’ll learn why and how.

 I’ll have the Xing Yi program ready for you around the end of October.

(and a bunch more info about it later this month)

If you just can’t wait to get started go ahead and check out the Internal Combat Arts Course: 


This 16 week program will teach you some basic ways to fight with Xing Yi (and a whole bunch of other stuff.)

You’ll learn simple and powerful methods you can really use in a fight.

(none of that archaic technical stuff that’s so common on youtube and would never work in a real fight.)

Join the Internal Combat Arts Course when you’re ready to stop wasting time and get straight to the point.


Bamboo Art.

Bend like a piece of bamboo.

You give way only a little while at the same time loading a powerful spring that adds a lot of power.

Relaxation is required,

…but the body is not soft.

To someone striking you it feels hard like a piece of bamboo.

Be careful.

It’s very easy to injure your partner while training this method.

We had to spend one extra day filming (last friday) to finish up the Xing Yi program. The Bamboo Art is just one of the internal principles we got to work on in depth.

Now that filming is done I’ve started going through all the footage to get everything ready for you.

The course will start in October or November.

I’ll have more details for you next month.

Until then the Internal Iron Body video will give you a head start on your internal development.

It’s more on the Qigong / Neigong side of things. It doesn’t emphasis the combative aspects like our Xing Yi program does.

(The Xing Yi course is all fighting all the time)

However the energy and body state you build will enhance everything we’re doing the in Xing Yi program.

And it’ll put you a step ahead of the folks who haven’t trained it.


Take Care,
Ben Sterling

Xing Yi Updates

You missed a great workshop last weekend. (Jul 20, 21 & 22)

(in my completely biased but still accurate opinion.)

We were scheduled for 10 – 7 or later each day so we ended up with:

Fri:   10:30 – 7:30
Sat:  10:30 – 11:30
Sun: 11:00 – 9:30

When you take out time for lunch we spend just under 30 hrs working on Xing Yi.

11 of those hours ended up film.

And none of that is form or standing practice…

Just how to fight with the 5 Elements. Both the external movement and usage and the internal principles that make Xing Yi such a devastating fighting method.

We didn’t quite finish though.

We’ve got to get in one more day of filming and then I’ll start getting this footage ready for you guys.

It’ll be ready in Oct or Nov.

But if you can’t wait, head on over to amazon and get this video:


Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. Willem (Uncle Bill) Dethouars will be in Maryville TN on Aug 11 & 12. Email me for workshop details. 

Don’t miss this workshop. Uncle Bill has over 60 years of experience in Chinese Kun Tao, Indonesian Silat & the internal arts (Tai Chi, Hsing-I, Pa Kua.)

Which internal art do I start with?

Here’s a common question:

“I really love the Internal Arts and I want to do all 3. Where do I begin?”

Start with Xing Yi.

It’s powerful, aggressive and it will get you up to fighting speed quickly.

Xing Yi is the steel ball. It fortifies the center. You can see it. You might be able to hit it, But it IS GOING to run you over.

Then move to Bagua.

Bagua adds a lot more complexity to the movement. It will refine your understanding of position as you train for multiple attackers.

(The only down side here is that you need at least 4 (6 is better) training partners to really develop the skills Bagua is striving for.)

Bagua is the barbed wire ball. It moves the center. You can try to hit it but you’ll just get tangled up and hurt.

Next move to Tai Chi.

In Tai Chi your physical movement will become a lot smaller and more refined as you take your internal skill to another level.

(Longevity benefits also increase.)

Tai Chi is the energy ball. The ghost. It dissolves the center. You can’t find it, you can’t hit it and when you try it pwnes you.

Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. If health is your top priority start with Tai Chi. If self defense is your primary motivation try out Kun Tao Silat program.


(It also follows the Xing Yi, Bagua, Tai Chi progression once you get past the basics.)


Why is Xing Yi so deadly?

“Xing Yi Kills in One Year. Bagua is 10 years indoors.”

That’s the old saying anyway.

Now, we’re not trying to pick on Bagua (we like that art quite a lot too)

The point is folks who study Xing Yi learn to fight very effectively and very powerfully…

..And they learn this very quickly…

…Or at least they’re supposed to.

Unfortunately that’s not usually the case. In today’s world it’s tough to find Xing Yi at all much less find someone who will really teach you how to use it.


..Without lots of forms and standing practice.

We’d like to see that change.

We’d like more people to have access to quality Xing Yi training.

So, Sigung Clear has designed this program to help us achieve these goals.

Why is Xing Yi so deadly?

That is the question this program will answer.

This program is fast, powerful and efficient.

We are not going to waste any time on forms or the other public trappings of the art that you can get on dvd from amazon for $10. (or find for free on youtube.)

This program contains just the good stuff.

Only 5 moves… (the 5 ‘elements’ of xing yi)

…and how you really use them…

..With all the power, explosiveness and effectiveness that Xing Yi is famous for.

Our goal is to train folks who want to teach. Folks who will become instructors in the art and who will go out and teach it to others.

With your help, we can make sure this art grows and flourishes in the coming years.

On July 20, 21 & 22 we are holding a workshop where we will film this program.

And we just added an option where you can pre-order the dvds at an extreme discount when you register for the workshop:


So not only will you be able to train live with Sigung Clear, you will be able to take that training home with you and review it over and over.

Workshop is in 6 weeks…

Deadline for registration is in 5 weeks…

I hope to see you soon,
Ben Sterling

Tastes Bitter But It’s Fun (6 weeks left)

Just a little reminder today.

Our Hsing-I Chuan workshop is only 6 weeks away.

Make sure you’re working on the prep materials and ask me any questions you have so we can have everybody on the same page when you get here.

If you haven’t signed up yet the deadline is drawing closer.

Get your travel planes made and let us know you’re coming so we can give you the material to work on before the workshop.

If you’re into Hsing-I (Xing Yi) or you just want more power. This is the workshop to be at.

It’s an intensive immersion experience that will build a lot of power and make sure you can move with it.

Our goal is to cover the entire curriculum during this weekend so you have a complete package to take home with you and train.

Me and a few of the other Hsing-I students started getting together in the mornings for a few hours to train and get ready for this event. I’m sore and tired but I’m already seeing faster improvements.

Tastes bitter but it’s fun!

I recomend you up your training in the coming weeks and make sure to get plenty of sleep in the days leading up to this workshop.

Here’s the link if you still need details on the workshop:


Take Care,
Ben Sterling

P.S. We are considering offering a morning Hsing-I warm up/ workout each day of the workshop.

Let me if you are interested (those who are attending.)

‘The Power Source of Xing Yi’

That was the title of a seminar I went to a little while ago.

It sounded good. I thought I might learn something about how to add more power to my Xing Yi or at least how to use some of what I already knew more effectively.

It was only a 2hr seminar so I didn’t expect a lot. but worst case I’d get to do Xing Yi for 2 hrs.

Or so I thought.

Instead we played follow the leader for 2 hrs as the teacher did his version of the 5 fists.

Not a word about power.

No explanation on why he likes that particular flavor of the 5 fists.

Just a bunch of choreography packed into a short period of time so even if that’s all you wanted you wouldn’t be able to learn it.

This kind of thing is all too common. It’s a big part of why the Internal Martial arts have little or no respect among the greater martial arts population.

Our Xing Yi workshop in July will be different.

Instead of 2hrs you’ll get 3 full days. We’ll start around 10am. Break for lunch in the afternoon and then keep going until at least 7pm. Probably later on some days. (I recommend you bring some snacks.)

You’ll learn many different flavors of the 5 fists (include animals) and WHY they are important. You’ll learn how they add power or change how a fist is used.



Don’t get me wrong you will learn the 5 fists but you WON’T be trying to follow along and memorize choreography.

Instead you’ll learn how to USE Xing Yi. You’ll learn the method behind the madness.

You’ll learn the different ways that Xing Yi generates the internal power it’s famous for and you’ll learn how to use them.

Oh, and instead of standing for hours each day, we’ll show you ‘inner door’ methods for building the internal alignments, energy and power of Xing Yi that are much faster than standing practice.

They’re not shortcuts because they still ‘taste bitter.’ you still have to do the hard work it takes to build internal kung fu but you get a lot more reward for the effort you put in.

Come play Xing Yi with us in July:


The workshop in July 2012 was excellent and our Xing Yi program is now available online here: http://www.clearsilat.com/xing-yi

Xing Yi Q&A

We’ve been asked several questions about our Xing Yi program.

Why Xing Yi?

Because it’s efficient, explosive, effective, powerful.

Because it builds internal power quickly and is quick to learn.

Why Now?

Because it’s time…

Sigung Clear began learning Xing Yi (and I Chuan) in the early 80’s. Since then he has pursued it in depth because of its street effectiveness and internal power.

He began teaching it in the mid 90’s.

But, until now, it was embedded in the Kun Tao Silat program as the last step before earning a Black Sash (phase 4.)

Over the last couple years, more and more people have been asking about our Xing Yi training.

So he felt it was time to put together a straight Xing Yi program for Xing Yi players and enthusiasts who want to get to the essence of the system and build skill as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What is Kun Tao Xing Yi?

Kun Tao are Kung Fu systems that have been refined & streamlined by their exposure to the fighting systems of South East Asia.

So Kun Tao Xing Yi is a Xing Yi system that has been streamlined to build skill as efficiently as possible.

Sigung Clear has studied Xing Yi with Kun Tao Silat masters from the islands as well as traditional Xing Yi masters in mainland China.

He has put together a curriculum that will take beginners and bring them up to fighting speed with Xing Yi (if they’re willing to do the work.)

…And it will take experienced Xing Yi players and help them understand the purpose behind the form. It will give them the tools to build the skill they’ve seen from other Xing Yi Masters.

Clear’s Xing Yi will be accepting new students in the fall.

Xing Yi Intensive Workshop July 20, 21 & 22

Kun Tao Hsing-I Chaun

We have set the dates for our Xing Yi Intensive Workshop.

Sigung Clear strips away the fluff & filler to teach you how Xing Yi really fights and why it is so powerful.

Click here for all the workshop details.

Clear’s Xing Yi Video

Here’s a teaser for those of you who have been asking to learn SiGung Clear’s Xing Yi. This program will open up again in the fall.

For those who can’t wait, we do have 30 Xing Yi lessons available as part of the Internal Combat Arts course

Here’s a short video of two students trying out their Xing Yi in a Karate tournament.