The exercise groups in Yiquan 意拳 and in Yongchunquan 咏春拳[1] serve in the beginning to develop and enhance the different forces[2] such as inner strength[3], the strength which comes from the whole body together with the vital force[4] and the flexible force[5]. At advanced levels, these basic forces merge to become the complete, general force[6], which can also be called a whole-body-force. It is this force, which can be explosively released[7] – at will, anytime, and in any direction –, that characterises the true objective of Yiquan and Yongchunquan in the area of combat[8].

Wumeishu Model of Energies & Forces
Model of Energies & Forces

Based on Zhanzhuang 站桩[9], one should try to generate these forces gradually within movements[10], for example within Shili 试力, then Mocabu 摩擦步, and to consolidate this process within increasingly complex exercises, like Tuishou 推手, Chishou 黐手 and Sanda 散打, culminating in the absolute, free fighting, in other words, Sanshou 散手[11].

Free fighting, as a matter of life and death, speaking metaphorically, is to be understood exclusively in a figurative sense[12]. Still, without the real experience of having gone through all the necessary levels, there is nothing to be applied or transferred. It is impossible – and this is one of the most important realisations – to practise a path to awareness like Gongfu 功夫 in martial arts purely intellectually. Indeed, one can grasp quite a lot on intellect alone, but never truly ‘understand’ in the sense of the real experience.
For instance: a person who never takes up a competition, will deprive himself/herself of the experiences that can be drawn from such an event.
[1] See Yiquan and Yongchunquan.
[2] Often also described as ‘energy’. The following is my personal interpretation in cooperation with Daniel Hulliger. Wu Mei Shu Model of Energies & Forces 五梅对于气的理论.
[3] Neili 内力 (Chinese, inner strength), especially Qi 气 (Chinese, vital energy), Li 力 (Chinese, physical force), Yi 意 (Chinese, imagination), Xing 形 (Chinese, form), Shen 神 (Chinese, mind) and Xin 心 (Chinese, heart).
[4] Zhengtili 整体力 (Chinese, strength which comes from the whole body), the inner strength (Neili 内力) becomes Zengli 争力 (Chinese, compact strength), and Huoli 活力 (Chinese, lively force).
[5] Tanli 弹力 (Chinese, elastic/flexible force), the compact strength turns elastic and flexible.
[6] Hunyuanli 浑元力 (Chinese, complete general and round force), resulting from Neili, also Qi 气, Li 力, Yi 意 etc., as well as from Zhengtili 整体力, Huoli 活力 and Tanli 弹力, and including the application of Baofali 爆发力. Or force from the body as a whole, which acts to unify the different forces.
[7] Baofali 爆发力 (Chinese, explosively released force).
[8] Jiji 技击 (Chinese, combat applications); in contrast to orientation solely towards Yangsheng 养生 (Chinese, health care), which has other priorities and is represented by the first four exercise groups.
[9] Zhanzhuang 站桩 (Chinese, standing like a pole).
[10] As a force, that can also be released from the body Fali 发力 (Chinese, release of force) and, if further developed, this with an explosive impact Baofa 爆发 (Chinese, explosively released).
[11] Shili 试力 (Chinese, force testing), Mocabu 摩擦步 (Chinese, friction step), Tuishou 推手 (Chinese, pushing hands), Chishou 黐手 (Chinese, sticking hands), Sanda 散打 (Chinese, free fight), Sanshou 散手 (Chinese, free hands).
[12] This cannot be found intentionally, but eventually confronts one sooner or later. As an analogy: when an artist transcends the limitations of his/her extraordinary skills, thereby creating an extraordinary work of art.

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