This article was originally written by Wang Xin Ming in an old copy of Wushu magazine from the 1980s. Wang Xin Ming is a famous martial arts historian and has written many books on Xingyi and Xin yi. Although Xinyi is now much better known in the West, the following article is still worth reading.
Xinyi Quan (full name: Xin yi Liu He Quan) (Heart Intention Boxing) and Xingyi Quan (Form Intention Boxing) have a deep relationship, but they are not contemporaneous styles, and were created at different times. The basic stances are different and should not be conflated together. Xingyi is a branch that evolved out of Xinyi.
For many years now, people have mentioned both styles together, thinking that is one style with two names. In the “Sports Encyclopedia” there is an entry stating that “one of the names of Xingyi is Xinyi quan.” Many experts of Xingyi quan also insist on this interpretation. This is due to a number of martial arts historians working backwards from the currently popular Xingyi Quan, rather than placing an emphasis on the how Xinyi was first developed and broke off into its different branches. They have performed a vertical study of the geographical areas where Xingyi had spread, but have neglected to do a horizontal study taking into consideration the Xinyi of Henan (Ma Xueli) and Shanxi (Dai Longbang). They have narrowly focused only on the few extant historical materials, neglecting to do more research in the ancestral villages on the on the founder of Xinyi Quan and other representative individuals of the style, as well as a detailed study of other martial arts styles in those areas. Hence they reach erroneous conclusions.
This author’s opinion is that Xinyi and Xingyi should not be put together for discussion. The reasons are the following:
2) The difference in name
3) The difference in the basic stances
4) From the perspective of fighting
5) From the perspective of lineage