Liuhebafa, or Xinyi Liuhebafa, is also known as the Fourth Internal Art and has also been referred to as "the last of the closed door styles". The actual name of the style is "Hua Yue Xi Yi Men", where as Xinyi Liuhebafa is merely a description of the principles involved.
In Liuhebafa, the student trains to learn how the body works in terms of how it generates force, how it channels energy, how it transitions from one movement to the next, etc. Training in the style requires understanding bio-mechanics and physiology, a very technical process that requires a great deal of physical and mental effort from the practitioner.
The practical aspect of Liuhebafa as is related to combat has been called "Water Boxing". This name was adopted by early generations who discovered the greater depths of the art. The common perception of the name Water Boxing is that Liuhebafa moves smoothly as if one were floating in water. This is a misconception however and quite misleading from the true meaning. The actual concept of Water Boxing refers to the 3 States of Water; solid/ice, liquid/water and gas/steam. This can hold many meanings but essentially refers to not only ones level of progression and ability in the style but to their application of it as well. Moving against oncoming force and overpowering the opponent is an application of the solid state, moving with oncoming force (different from yielding) is an application of the liquid state, and avoiding the exchange of force all together is an application of the gas state. This water concept is a very important practice of Liuhebafa and its knowledge and application show true depth in the internal arts. In short, Water Boxing is a stage or element of Liuhebafa, not an alternative name nor a separate art.
Liuhebafa is about physics, utilizing principles of fulcrums and leverage, refining angles to find the optimal position to channel force to and from the ground and opponent, using directions and intent like an antenna to guide and focus force... it’s all there and this is the approach the proper Liuhebafa practitioner trains his art by!
In the past Liuhebafa has been said to contain the firm softness and fluidity of Taiji, the power-issuing and dynamic of Xingyi, and the coiling and variable footwork of Bagua. Though that may be true to some extent it must be understood that Liuhebafa is not a product of these arts, nor was there any historical relation or development connected with these styles. Study of Liuhebafa requires that one follow a teacher who is exclusive to the style, as it is far to easy to misinterpret the vast amount of seemingly similar material. Liuhebafa has its own unique theory and core principles that not only don't mix with that of Taiji, but also contradicts it in theory and principle. That being said, sometimes to know something is to know what it is not, as contrast can often bring clarity.
The late Master Chen Yi Ren demonstrating the opening movements from one of the system's many forms called "Zhu Ji". Each movement is demonstrated with precision and physically structured with the 6 Harmony 8 Method theory.
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