Xingyiquan - Santi Shi

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by Xue Sheng, Nov 20, 2018.

  1. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

    Not sure how many Crazy Xingyi people are on MAP but......

    I have been reading;

    The Internal Practices of Sun Lu-Tang
    Compiled and Translated by Bradford Tyrey

    And Sun Lutang had a different approach to Xingyiquan Santi Shi that what I have been shown or told by any of my teachers. And I kind of like it.

    Sun Lutang was concerned about building Qi in the body and balancing Yin and Yang and in order to do this he recommended doing Santi Shi at different times of day.

    To paraphrase what was written

    “While standing in Santi shi one must begin practice when the sun rides the southern Heavens {during the afternoon hours when the sun apexes in the southern sky”

    This practice is to increase old Yang (male) energy. You stand in Santi shi with your left hand forward and for 72 breathes concentrate on absorbing and concentrating Yang energy in the region of the solar plexus. Then relax and allow the energy to accumulate in the Dantian. I suspect this is also, as in the next section, stand for 36 breaths and then spend 36 breaths focusing on the solar plexus and then the rest of the time allowing things to circulate

    Then you are done with Santi for the time being and will resume in the evening.

    In the evening you stand in Santi Shi with right hand extended and you also need to be facing North since north is the direction Sun Lu Tang where Laoyin or Old Yin (female) energy is strongest. In the after evening Santi you are focusing on the Dantian to increase Yin Energy. For 36 breathes you try to feel the accumulate Yin energy around the body and then for 36 more breathes you accumulate Yin energy at the dantian. and then you need to continue standing for what can be at least 30 more minutes while allowing the energies (Yin and Yang) to mix and settle

    Not going to get into Qi, what it is or if it exist or not, I just find this approach of separating the time standing in right and left Santi interesting.

    I have always been trained to stand in left and then right one right after the other. I should also note that many of the old school teachers required thier students to stand at least 20 to 30 minutes per side per day. And that one lineage I trained in the Shigong had made the statement that you are not even a beginner if you can't stand for 20 minutes

    Just wanted to post this if there were any other Xingyi people that might be interested.

    And for those that have no idea what I am talking about with I say Santi Shi...TO BAD :D just kidding.

    This is Sun Lutang Standing in Santi Shi, left

  2. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I think, as with any form of zhan zhuang training, the objective should be on developing in the "neigong" aspect, rather than trying to hold for a set period of time. In taiji, this is softening down through the core, in xingyi (as I understand from my limited dabbling) the neigong work builds on the 8 directions of intent.

    As for training at different times of day; I've never really looked too hard at the theory behind it, though a few years back it did do a lot of zhan zhuang (and taiji form) in the middle of the night, and without wanting to sound too woowoo-y, there is a noticible difference in the post-practice sensation.
    I'm sure I've got a book somewhere that talks about the reasoning behind zhan zhuang at different times of day - I'll try and dig it out :)
  3. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    The idea is based on the Yin/Yang breakdown of the day:
    In the morning it is more Yang, actually Yang is considered "rising" from Midnight to Noon (Noon is the peak of Yang when Yang is at its maximum). Then at 12:01 the Yin starts to take over till Midnight when once again Yin is at its peak and the cycle reverses. So by practicing more during Yang times one can cultivate Yang Qi, and while practicing at Yin times one can cultivate Yin Qi. However, during the Yin time (afternoon to evening and night) the Qi will settle deeper into the body (the reason we tend to fall asleep), thus nighttime practice was practiced by Master Sun in order to cultivate Qi at the "internal" level (or where Qi goes into the body deeper).

    This is one of the reasons a very old tradition was for Old Clan's to practice at night time, the prime time being from 11pm-1am (When Yin is transitioning to Yang). This was usually combined with various Taoist meditations focused on working on the Qi on the deeper internal Congenital Acupuncture channels of the Ren Mai and Du Mai or more commonly known in the West as the Xiao Hou Tian or "Small Heavenly Cycle". This was also done while Standing in San Ti Shi (or other Standing practices) Thus allowing standing practice to be done morning and night and also for it to be highly focused during precise times.

    The left hand is forward because that would traditionally in Taoist thought be considered the Yang side, thus allowing Yang to build and South being Fire (Yang). The right hand then is Yin side and North being Water (Yin), this in turn helps also balance the Xiao Hou Tian (Small heavenly cycle) because it is frequently also known as the Kan and Li (Fire and Water cycle).

    The Old Sun Teachings are steeped in a lot of old Taoist teachings as Master Sun was well known to be a collector of ancient Taoist practices. The different times of the day are numerous, depending on the context of what you are seeking to do. In Taoism, context is everything, so for example if you want to nourish the 5 elements, say you want to work on Beng Quan in Xingyi (Wood element) it would benefit you to work on this in early morning (sunrise) or in the Spring time of year. Both of these are associated with the wood element, the evening or Fall conversely would be set aside for practicing Metal, Pi Quan, in order to nourish the metal element.

    There are also specific times of day that are associated with organs, spirit, Qi and blood development. Ancient Taoist cosmology is vastly complex.
    Xue Sheng and Dan Bian like this.
  4. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    Great post :) Good to see you still about, TQ!
    Taoquan likes this.
  5. Taoquan

    Taoquan Valued Member

    Yes, I still forum lurk when I have time my friends :)

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