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It’s what’s inside that counts. Yiquan, also known as mind boxing, is a martial art with no fixed movements or techniques. Instead of focussing on developing specific outward forms, students are taught to devote themselves to improving their natural inner fighting capabilities – making them formidable opponents.
Looking for a great way to stay in shape, as well as a form of self defence? Not only will taking up Yiquan help to keep you physically fit, but it will also help you to unwind after a hard day – always a bonus.
Yiquan rejects many of the concepts that form the basis of other, more traditional martial arts. Instead of relying on stylised techniques and sparring, you’ll be encouraged to move freely, whilst improving your perception of your own body. You’ll also spend time engaging in actual combat, in addition to using your voice and breath to further explore the notions of force and power. It may all sound a bit intense, but fans swear by it...
Yiquan can be practised by anyone, as long as you have the physical stamina and the mental determination to pursue it. As with any martial art involving direct contact, it’s best to avoid this activity if you’re pregnant, ill or injured. Ask your instructor if you’re unsure whether classes will be suitable for you – they’ll usually be happy to help.
Yiquan was created in the 1920s by Wang Xiangzhai, who wanted to develop a martial art that focussed on the essence of internal energy. He felt that, rather than being distracted by external forms, students should concentrate on developing strength and power.