The Name, the Beginning, the Linage, and the Present
or the beginner martial arts student, words like Kung fu, Karate and Tae Kwon do often mean the same thing, basically oriental fighting systems. In reality, for example the three systems above represent fighting systems from different countries. Kung fu is the “umbrella” term for the Chinese arts, Karate is the umbrella term for the Japanese arts, and Tae Kwon do is representative of the Korean arts. Once the arts are categorized by country, they are then subdivided by styles. The Chinese arts for example can be divided into animal or insect styles, hard or soft styles, Northern or Southern styles and so on. All this is to say that once you tell people you are studying Kung fu you probably will be asked “what style?”, “what school?”, and “who’s your teacher?”
To make your life a little easier let’s start giving you some of the answers to these questions (questions I will be asking you though out your studies). The first question is what style do we study? The answer is Xing Yi Quan. Xing Yi Quan is one of three Chinese internal martial arts, collectively called Nie Jia. The other two Chinese internal arts are Tai Ji Quan and Ba Gua Zhang. The relationships between these three arts will be discussed at a different time. The name Xing Yi Quan translates many different ways, but Mind-body boxing is one of the most often used. The desired achievement of Xing Yi Quan, as the name implies, is to harmonize the mind, body and fist into one working unit. Xing Yi uses a ratio of 80% hands to 20% feet and is also considered a soft style. This is a misconception in that Xing Yi is really a soft-hard style. This means that Xing Yi uses soft, fast, relaxed movements until the point of contact, either blocking or striking, at the point of contact Hsing becomes very hard and then immediately relaxes again. This “soft-hard” concept is referred to as a “wipe” like motion which will be discussed in the Intermediate manual. Xing Yi is based on the Chinese five elements which will also be discussed in detail in the Intermediate manual.
Our branch of Xing Yi Quan, which will simply be called Xing Yi from here on out, is from the Shen Long school which traces back through four generations of teachers and is also associated with different Tang Shou Tao (Way of Chinese Hand) associations both nationally and internationally. For now, you only need to know that our school of Xing Yi is part of the national American Tang Shou Tao Association of which I am the president.
To answer the question as to who is your teacher? I am Shifu (father-teacher) Mark Kimzey. I started studying Xing Yi in Kansas City, Missouri in August of 1975. I received my black sash in June 1978. I am the number two student of Shiyé (grandmaster) Dale Akio Shigenaga. In August of 2005 I will have completed 30 years of study. A much more detailed biography is available elsewhere on this site.
 See Bibliography for books that discuss the translation of the name more thoroughly
Let us now turn to the beginning of Xing Yi Quan. Most legends attribute the beginning of Xing Yi to the famous general Yue Fei (YU-EH Fay). Yue Fei lived from 960-1127 A.D. Yue Fei is attributed with the creation of a hand full of styles. Many of these styles can not find enough evidence to support their claim. A little later, a more complete list of genealogy will be presented, which traces Xing Yi from its origin through to this author. Unless you read Chinese phonetic spelling for English most of the names will mean little to you except to give you a historical name to link you to a very honorable linage of Xing Yi. Many of these masters are recognized by their peers as great martial artists. But to help keep your life a little simpler, all you need to know of the Xing Yi linage, as a beginner, are four names: Master Hong Yi Xiang the teacher of Master Xu Hong Ji, the teacher of Shiyé Dale Shigenaga, the teacher of Shifu Mark Kimzey. If you are a history buff and would like to learn the whole linage some of my other students can help you with the correct Chinese pronunciations. Pictures of the four teachers are seen to your left. Master Hong is on the top, always start with the highest ranking, Shifu Kimzey is on the bottom:
The following is a straight line genealogy of the American Tang Shou Tao Association. There are many fully branched charts that are easily found in books on Xing Yi Quan and on the web if you want a more complete chart of Xing Yi teachers through the years.
Linage of Xing Yi Quan From Yue Fei to the Present
List complied by Read Wall
This is a list of our Xing Yi Lineage. It is not comprehensive to all Xing Yi but it traces our line back to General Yue Fei and includes a few notable "Uncles" in the list. Bolded names indicate people in our lineage, while names in parenthesis list alternate names by which they were known .
General Yue Fei 岳飛: Creator of Hsing-I
Ji Ji Ke 姬際可 (Ji Long Feng 姬隆丰)
Cao Ji Wu 曹繼武, Ma Xue Li 馬學禮
Dai Long Bang 戴龍邦, Dai Lin Bang
Li Luo Neng 李洛能 (Li Neng Ran)
Che Yi Zhai 車毅齋(Che Yong Hong), Song Shi Rong 宋世榮,
Liu Qi Lan 刘奇兰, Guo Yun Shen 郭雲深
Li Cun Yi 李存義, Keng Cheng Xing, Zhang Zao Dong 張兆東
Chen Pan Ling (Chen Jun Feng), Huang Po Nien, Shang Yun Chang, Zhang Jun Feng 張俊峰
Hong Yi Wen 洪懿文, Hong Yi Mian 洪懿棉, Hong Yi Xiang 洪懿祥: Founder of the Tang Shou Tao
Xu Hong Ji 許鴻基: Founder of the International Tang Shou Tao Association, Black Snake, Li Laoshi
John Price, Mike Patterson, Dale Akio Shigenaga: Founder of the American Tang Shou Tao Association, Mike Bingo, James McNeil, Vince Black
Students of Dale Shigenaga: 1st Generation ATSTA Students
[pronunciation guide for chinese names: Q = ch; C = ts; e = uh; Y = silent at beginning of word;
O = uh in middle of word; X =sy; Zh = dj; U = oo]