Xinyi Meditation is a unification of select elements of two Internal Chinese Martial Arts: Liuhebafa and Yiquan. Although history makes mention of Liuhebafa and Yiquan practitioners crossing over and learning both arts, none prior to Grandmaster David Chan of Hong Kong, merged the fundamental aspects of both martial arts into one unified system with a comprehensive curriculum. Grandmaster David Chan thereafter named this unified system Xinyi Meditation, a name that took over 22 years of “meditation” (deep thought and careful consideration) to be realized.
Xinyi Meditation employs the notion of “xinyi” (intention) as the guiding principle of both Liuhebafa and Hunyuan Zhanzhuang, to develop a martial arts practitioner into a well balanced fighter having both superior movement and internal power. He has perfected his Xinyi Meditation system in order to be learned faster and easier than the traditional separate study of Liuhebafa and Yiquan.
Grandmaster David Chan learned from the lineages of Great Grandmaster Wu Yi Hui via Grandmaster Chan Yik Yan, and Great Grandmaster Wang Xiang Zhai via Grandmaster You Peng Xi, for about 18 years. He started teaching Xinyi Liuhebafa and Xinyi Zhanzhuang around the year 1976, in the Philippines. Over the course of 35 years of teaching Xinyi Meditation, Grandmaster David Chan has taught hundreds of students from all over the world. Despite this, he acknowledges only four disciples, to whom he has given permission to teach, since they are the only ones who have fully completed the entire Xinyi Meditation system. These disciples are: JR Rodriguez IV, Tristan Abara, Dylan Halili, and Emerson Champ, all from the Philippines.
Chen Xi Yi (871-989), a Song Dynasty Taoist Sage, is credited with the origin and development of Liuhebafa. He is a very prominent figure in Chinese history, with many discoveries credited to his name. One story tells us that he won the ownership of Wudang Mountain, where he meditated a lot, after a chess game with an Emperor. His writings form the basis for many styles, including Liuhebafa and Tai Chi.
Liuhebafa remained a closed-door art until Wu Yi Hui (1887-1958) opened teachings to the public in the late 1930’s in Shanghai and Nanjing. He learned the art from three teachers, who themselves learned from a mixture of six other masters. Wu Yi Hui himself put together the Liuhebafa dance that we have, making the moves complete, reasonable, and martial.
Wang Xiang Zhai (1886-1963) was the best and last student of Guo Yun Shen (also knows as the Divine Palm). Wang Xiang Zhai was believed to have learned all the secrets of Guo Yun Shen’s Zhanzhuang, which later became the most characteristic element of Yi Quan, which he founded. Wang Xiang Zhai named Yi Quan after Xingyi Quan and Xinyi Quan, and he was one of the first Chinese teachers to publicly teach the practice of Zhanzhuang principles. Wang Xiang Zhai became a close friend of Wu Yi Hui. Wang Xiang Zhai instructed four of his students to learn Liuhebafa from Wu Yi Hui, and these four later became known as the “4 Diamond Warriors” of Yi Quan.
Wang Xiang Zhai made a public statement in 1928 saying, “I have traveled across the country in research, engaging over a thousand people in martial combat, there have been only 2.5 people I could not defeat, namely Hunan’s Xie Tie Fu (Eccentric Style Master whose principles of Jing, Chi, and Shen are part of our curriculum), Fujian’s Fang Yi Zhuang (Xinyi Southern White Crane Master) and Shanghai’s Wu Yihui (Liuhebafa Master).”
Chan Yik Yan (1909-1982), was a disciple of Wu Yi Hui. Although Wu Yi Hui taught many students, it was only Chan Yik Yan who is known to have completed the entire Liuhebafa system. Chah Yik Yan also learned Yi Quan sometime in his martial career.
Lau Sam Muk learned under Chan Yik Yan and owned a Liuhebafa school in Hong Kong. He was very close to Chan Yik Yan.
Grandmaster David Chan learned from Grandmaster Lau Sam Muk, and later privately studied under Great Grandmaster Chan Yik Yan for about 2 years. He then learned YiQuan from his friend Great Grandmaster Wu Chi Chih for several years, and completed the entire YiQuan and Yang Tai Chi system from the same teacher.