On this page we will discuss the Core Principles
Nearly every reference
or commentary on LHBF verses or school-style, begins with the nearly same standard information :
>School Identity Naming :
The verbose 'Xi-yi'
Men sect, from 'HuaYo' mountain, and the xin-yi central ideas therefrom in conjunction with the teaching verses ....
LiuHe -six-hamonies with BaFa -eight-methods
verses, as chuan -pugalism,
華嶽 希夷門 + 心意 六合八法 拳
is basic but which may also be further addended with :
三盤十二勢 San Pan Shi Er
the Three Levels of practice and Twelve
Collectively this is no more than an
extended description of the style. It also represents an inability of 'students' to unravel their 'teachers' narrative as
both story telling, collective naming, and 'just passing alone' what he was told without any understanding nor attempt at
exploring why? There is a possibility that various similarly branches of related exercises have been passed along and that
their differing names joined; this in itself does not verify the stories.
The succinct 'simplified'
cheng3, name is :
六合八法 LiuHe BaFa- [without the added 拳 quan or chuan for boxing]
The common aka, also known as name, is 水拳
shui3 chuan2, 'water boxing'. which is too often used as a synonym ...which it should not be and which seems more correct
for an early Shanghai version.
Note: 勢 shi, innate 'power-tendency', appears in the Lu-hong 8-shi boxing name and in other boxing arts.
I think that 勢拳 would be better than to use the unclear 内 nei for internal.
|Song Dynasty Coinage
譜 LHBF-Reading Resources :
譜 pǔ, listing, chart; score-theme ]
are three main documents of LHBF written resources :
1. The Cave Codex:
[ alledgedly from a Mt. Hua Yo Shan
華嶽山 grotto ]
called either :
的意义 yi4 yi4 thinking
ideas, correctly or as, 要義 yao4 yi4, necessary, essential, right-conduct-actions...as embodied in the
two part poem:
the 六合 liuhe six-harmonies and
the 八法 bafa,
eight exercise methods.
These are the
core versed concepts [6x8] ..the LiuHe BaFa divided in two :
the action-theories and the methologies.
This codex is very succinct,
of much philosophical and symbolic depth. Similar codes for other martial arts exist and parts are similar. Its' origins are
unclear. In effect, they could be called terse 'lecture' notes as 'memory clues'.
2. The Five
Word Verses : [ allegedly from 'East wind' Li.]
These are generally refered to as: quan2 xue2, 拳學, boxing knowledge in verse format, wu3 zi4 五字
5-character-word, ge1 jue2 歌訣 'verses', of farewell,
五字 歌訣 : 李東風
The 'said' author is always given as Li, 'East-wind' [ Li Dong-feng] with the locative
claim that 撰于鹿邑 隱山, 'composed at' 'Lu district' 'yin-shan,
hidden mountain' 隱山.
East Wind Li's first protege, is
said to be : Song Yuan-tong. [ See coinage],[the name 'east wind' is a popular allusion to a fortuous change in the wind currents.]
The Taoist Canon, 'bible' reference, the Daozang ( 道藏) compiled during the Jin, Tang,
and Song Dynasties; the surviving Ming dynastry version of today. (The Ming Daozang) includes almost 1500 texts, is
divided into three dong ( 洞, "caves", "grottoes" ).]
As much as
the verses are 'claimed' as related, ...they are for the most part redundant and likely
dedacted by later writers. In their favor, it can be said that they do follow the numerical verse patterns as used by Song
to Ming Dynasties, usually as 3-word verse, 4-word verse,..etc. They, however do not offer much beyond the core
verses LHBF; also there existence does not verify claims that they were scribed in the Song Dynasty.
[ NOTE : school lineage
is given as : 陳希夷 taoist Chen Xi-Yi
[Chen Tuan], to
=> 李東風 => 宋元通
Li Dong-feng, to Song Yuan-tong;
from Hua-Yue-shan 華嶽山 - to -Yin-shan, 隱山
the Song Dynasty [ AD 960 - 1279 ]
[ Northern Song 北宋
(960-1126) Southern Song 南宋 (1127-1279)
[ Some sources say 'yun shan' would be
雲山, cloud mountain ]
3. The 66-Verse Form-series : [ qi shi ]
六合八法 [六十六] 起式
The Form Names, as 66 verses, [ 六十六 ] of 4 character-concepts
each, is of greater use; it demonstrates a knowledge of the 'scholarly' four-arts and an adeptness of twisting various idioms
and homonyms to present or to conceal.
[ To my knowledge I am the only researcher-author that has considered them in this manner.
[ see text within publication.]
4. Personal Additions :
To the above documents, attention can also be focused on 簡介
jiǎn jič or school-origins summary and introductions. The start from Chen Bo is the most doubtful, but the modern history
from the 1900's onward is well documented.
There are also suplementary verses to further explain obscure, needed aspects; these are
not part of the traditional LHBF canon, but do present alternative and often simplified viewpoints.
Forms Series of LHBF :
The exercise form series of Nanjing
LHBF, as it is given, is also a teaching tome. As it has come down historically, itself with little explanation of its'
origins, it consists of 66 four character strings, these are grouped according to the exercise series [thus 5+ each on the
average] and the entire listing divided into two parts of 33 lines each, thus a first and a second half.
All of the translations that have come before
are simple and adequate. None go into the details of 'prepartation and starting'..preliminary activities prior to the
66-form series that follows. [ This is covered in detail in my own publication. ]
None go into the multiple common
idioms that some of the 4-character strings express nor to they go into the often allusion to similar hand motion themes expressed
in Chinese Qin 'zither' poems and music. A common expression is to pluck at the stars, plucking strings as restricted by the
'stars' of the Qin.
This opens up a reverse way to view the form
names and intents: from Qin classic music to martial expression. [ http://silkqin.com/ ] Chinese IMA often applied weaving and twisting motions, these are similarly discribed in Qin.
of poems with numerical code, to formulate ideological principles in a brief, but complete teaching verses, is
common at any time and for any subject through out chinese history.
The often given origins of these verses is that
they are from the taoist-buddhist sage Chen Bo Tuan from Mt.Hua in Shensi Province [this is unproven].
Teaching lineage gives the name of Li Tong-feng
> 'found' them 'in the cave tomb'
> written on a wall' as a document;
alternate 'his-story' is that
> 'attracted by a light coming from a
[This story enhancing continues today as part of chinese martial
It is also a presumption that the 5-word 'secret'
was a 'departing' wisdom for his first protege Song Yuan-tong. Both the 6x8-verses and the 5-word verses have been
translated into english. [ Foxx for the 6x8 verses and Paul Dillon for the 5-word secret.] The 5-word 'secret' or 'songs'
as first translated from Chinese to English by teacher John ChungLi, are available.
Three things can be said of these poems
(1) they come from a time when numerological-mysticism
and both the place, time, and mutability of things took on a oracle-like significance, and
(2) their terseness is intentional, first like 'lecturers'
notes they rely on single word brevity which only the addept understood and secondly, to obscure a secondary or tertiary meaning
from all others; the verses are in a sense, an 'alchemical' test of the students' insightfulness and of the teachers intent
to obscure a deeper idea. An insight is most of the ideo-pictograms chosen are composed of two parts (which
interplay into deeper concepts) and that most of the characters are divisable into three categories: 3 chi's, 3 shen-spirits,
(3) It also can be said, the poem-verses are not unique,
and that as written, a terse alternative would be: 'to obtain unity'...'use a universal method' Although there now exists
about (4) English language offerings of the form name each is unremarkable and similar.
|He-Fa: harmonious method
|concordance by instruction
The Liu-He Ba-Fa Poems :
The only indepth, sholarly approach to deciphering
and translating the teaching poem into english remains that previously offered by practitioner-author Khan Foxx. Copies
are only available by direct request.
|Six Harmony Verses
|Liu He Verses
Six Harmony-Combination : Liu He
(Ti, Xin, Yi, Qi, Shen, Tung, Kung)
bodys' structure harmonizes with the minds' awareness,
>2. minds' awareness harmonizes with 'intent',
>3. intent harmonizes with the chi (energy-flow),
>4. chi harmonize with the 'spirit',
spirit harmonizes with 'motion',
>6. motion harmonizes with the 'everywhere',
The seven-item union of aspects of importance is grouped in six-couplets
1. physical-body : the mantle of muscle bonded to the boney infrastructure
2. minds' feeling the corporeal awareness of events
'intent' of the intrinsic~intuition
4. chi or qi : intregal and acquired flow-flux is energy-dynamic
5. shen 'spirit' or espirit' is connected to exhuberence
6. motion forms tropy, tropy and
atropy limits motion
7. space-awareness of 'everything', 'everyplace', 'everytime' and 'nothing'
The lesson is to regulate, mediate, adjust, reconcile, transfer, 'tiao' a
union of these attributes :
1. the body exterior mantle to the interior support and integral power
and from this base....structure-form : feel-intuition : flow-motion
2. regulate the synergtic union of the breath-flow, the mind-feel,
with the Spirit-nexus as the dominant leader.
The adept student with greater insight will see that each of the seven aspects
can be further divided in groups of
san-ti (the three-way, three-level, three-segments
san-yi, the three-ideas,
san-qi ( the three-sources of qi-flow), etc.
To read through without perceiving the diversity of each aspect is to only understand
the top vineer of this teaching. Also, many 'students' and their 'teachers' tend to be dogmatic in the use of the 'three treasures'
whose use will not unlock this verse. The verse does have segments, but it does not progress by 'pushing' the development
of lower to higher aspects. There needs to be a 'leader' to pull the aspects into order to empower the leading element, the
spirit; without espirit...impetus, there is no unity to the cause. Implementing 'mind', 'feelings', or 'intuition' only results
Rather than track through the verse as: ..this with that yields...thus,
It is more useful to understand the verses objective, or goal..harmonizing of all
parts to unity. Therefore, it is Ti, Xin, Yi, Qi, Shen, Tung, Kung = one (1),
The seven aspects
are unified via six couplets.. yielding a resultant of unity (1).
This is simple 'philosophical' arithmetics. The 'shen' or esprit
of spirit pulls the chains advance.
|Eight Method Verses
|Ba Fa Verses
Eight Methods : Ba Fa
Move the chi and concentrate the spirit
Genuine-structural energy when bones are correct
Shapes exchange freely, follow a model, pantomime
Flexible, adaptable, and coordinated in union
Lift the head upward as if suspended from space
The interchange of motions reverses and reciprocates
Restraint is needed to harness the dynamic forces
The intrinsic force arises from natural obscurity
[Note: the last method, number 8, does not mean to 'practice'
hiding or to use the tactic of deception to mislead to hide intentions. It simply says, all that has preceded, is innate..and
thus requires no intervention to hide it..it already is.]
Other View Points : Huang Shou
Huang Shou Ting, 黃手庭 of the Shanghai Wu Shu Association,
with Song Guang-yu 宋关羽 in XuShou;
in a magazine article, he discusses 8 Physical aspects :
1> Qi-Luo: 起
: 落 rising + falling
動 : 靜 moving + stillness
進 : 退 advance + retreat
開 : 合 open + close
5> Yin-Yang: 陰 : 陽 in+out, soft+hard
Xu-Shi: 虛 : 实 empty + full
7> Wa-Qiao: 跃
: 远 jumping + bridging
Liu-He: 六 : 合
internal six-pairs in harmony
Other Points of View :
Lu Gui-yao, 盧桂耀
was likely the longest practicing student of LHBF founder
Wu Yi-hui; he would have likely been chosen to succeed Wu, but was imprisioned for his traditional
practice of marital exercise by Red China.
Msr. Lu is credited with the following verses :
六合八法 歌訣 李東風著
ge1 jue2 歌訣 verse-praise, farewell
[ Seven-word verse ] [ Seven-word verse ] Lu Gui-yao
[ Note: it is generally
known that these principles are not originally part of LHBF, but are addended from contacts with
Bagua- and Yi-chuan concepts. They are helpful but make the knowledge set to unnecessarily large. Unfortunately, they are
mentioned too often with LHBF..that they are becoming textual baggage. ]
...and ...the Six Harmonys :
The Internal Six Harmonies, which train
the coordination of
mind and reflexes, chi and power, without all these elements,
a movement is not considered complete.
Harmony : Body and Heart.
The basic principle is to copy the
natural image of something. For example, copy the image of animals or things. When animals are fighting, you must see
(intentions of actions), speed, and power. You must imitate the feeling and take that feeling into your body.
The heart means confidence. We must build up our confidence, which means to develop strong heart
(not the organ,but spiritual
Harmony : Mind and Heart.
When you get the image and you can
imitate the feeling in your
body you must build up the feeling by practicing it over and over again.
By practicing you build confidence.
Third Internal Harmony: Mind
and Chi (energy or oxygen).
Once you practice enough to become
then you can move without hesitation. The body and breathing(chi) will move naturally and automatically without
Four Internal Harmony: Chi and
Spirit ( heighten awareness).
The spirit needs to be trained to be
highly alert. When your spirit is highly alert the chi automatically circulates through the whole body at
fast blood circulation which carries the oxygen or chi throughout the body).
Fifth Internal Harmony: Spirit
In martial arts, the spirit uses the
eye, ear, and sensitivity
(heighten sense of touch or feeling). When you fight your opponent you see hear or feel. If you
have the benefits of all the first four harmonies together, your spirit will recieve a signal and send a message to
mind which will instantly react and power will automatically follow.
Sixth Internal Harmony: Movement
(not blankness of the mind but clarity
and openess, ready for any experience to arise beyond presetting or calculating something to happen or anticipating something
to happen) When you have the benefits of the first five harmonies, then you will know how to react. You won't need to focus
(calculate) on technique or anything else, just react. The real meaning or technique is to move without thinking. This is
what Zen Buddhist practitioners call No-Mind (the mind free of conceptual idea, spontaneous fully
aware and open to all experiences).
These principles are the key in developing perfect movement and the ability to conserve energy when in
When your body moves in harmony or as one unit you have speed which translate into power.
This is real martial arts training.
Learning alot of techniques and forms do not even constitute martial arts
training. True technique is being able to move
appropriately with ease without thinking. This can only be achieved by mind and body harmony.'
The Six 'External' Harmonys
...trains the coordination of arms and legs,
shoulders and hips, elbows and knees, so one can attain a unity of body mechanics.
This is also viewed as the
First External Harmony: Body
Joints Move as One:
The three joints of the body are in the lower spine
the middle of the back and the neck. Move from spine, to the back, to the neck.
Second External Harmony: Arm
Joints Move as One.
The three arm joints move from the
shoulder, to the elbow, to the wrists.Third External Harmony: Leg Joints Move as One.The three leg jointsmove from hip, to the knee, to the ankle.
Fourth External Harmony: Hand
and Foot. The hands and feet move together as one unit.
Fifth External Harmony: Elbow
and Knee. The elbows and knees move together as one unit.
Sixth External Harmony: Shoulder
and Hip. The shoulders and hips move together as one unit.
All main joints (call root joints, shoulder, hip, and lower spine) must start together and stop together
in harmony with each other.
NOTE: the same 'joints above align with the
joints below' is used in Yi-chuan.
'The LHPF style and all the internal styles of Chinese martial
arts are concerned about the body moving as one unit, and only way it can move this way is that all the joints of the body
must move together in a coordinated fashion.
Masters notice that there are nine joints in the whole body.
There are three joints in the trunk of the body, ... the lower spine, the middle of the back and the neck.
three joints in the arm, which are the shoulder, elbow, and wrist.
There are three joints in the leg, which are the hip,
knee, and the ankle.
These 3 sets of joints total to 9 joints. It is these joints that must move in harmony or coordinated
The nine-joints dynamically linked as one has been viewed and taught as the principle of the Six
External Harmonys; of course this is starting from the outside to the inside and working piece by piece intending to achieve
NOTE: This teaching is unlikely from the LHPF-school,
but is more a part of the BaGua-school teaching. The 'Six Harmonys' thus have two aspects: outer and inner.