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Why is San Ti Shi important in Xing Yi Quan?

San Ti is at the same time the most fundamental aspect of Xing Yi Quan and also advanced training. This seems like a contradictory sentence. In the West we have a hard time equating something that is fundamental training with something that’s important and high level. But we must remember that it is the fundamental training that allows us to advance into high-level skill.

San Ti Shi is fundamental but at the same time it is the basis for the entire art. San Ti is a stance but it is more than that. It is a series of alignments. These alignments are physical, energetic, and mental. It is a way to hold the body. It is a way to connect the body.

All the forms of Xing Yi Quan take San Ti as their fundamental position. This is the starting point. The stepping and moving through the postures usually ends with the release of power (Fa Jing) in the San Ti Stance. Sometimes Xing Yi is even described as moving San Ti. This is how important San Ti is.

By practicing San Ti the alignments become second nature. They get stored in the bones. The muscles build memory. The structure become integrated and powerful. As movement is trained, these alignments allow for power to be expressed outward. These alignments also allow for incoming force to be absorbed, transformed, or dissipated as an automatic response. Small circles and an attack. The defense is integrated with the counter attack. They are not two, but are one and the same.

San Ti allows for this high level of skill to develop. Without San Ti it is not possible. So San Ti is the most fundamental aspect of Xing Yi training. It allows for the proper use of the body, integrated with the intention and the internal energy. It is the most fundamental and advanced at the same time. As you continue to practice over time, your understanding of San Ti will change and deepen.

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