You are here:

Self Defense/Xingyiquan/Hsing Yi?


QUESTION: Hi Marc, I read somewhere that you trained a bit in Xingyi/hsingyi.
I was wondering what were your thoughts/experiences on this style?

I was curious because while reading about it, it sounds like xingyi advocate charging or "hey diddle, diddle up the middle" approach... however going straight in tends to be a losing scenario against a bigger guy..

I also read stories about xingyi being used by soldiers of ancient China... It made me wonder if this style was simply made for cannon fodder... or maybe to build courage?

I'm not really knowledgeable about xingyi, I hope I don't offend anyone by asking these questions!

ANSWER: It really depends on the teacher.

Yeah I did it for a short time, but it didn't really work for how I liked to move. I'm not an 'immovable object' type of fighter. I'm more you lunge at me and I go wolverine/badger/ferret on you. But that's my weapons background.  You come straight at me and the last thing you'll wonder about is how I got onto your back as I'm tearing your throat out.

Conversely I know a few Xing-i players who will put you through the floor with it. It's not them coming straight at you, it's you get creamed if you go straight at them. You charge in and KABOOM! And it's getting nailed from angles that causes shit to break WHILE it's pounding you into the floor.

So people who are teaching it as hey diddle diddle are teaching it wrong. While folks who are teaching it as the attacker is sticking his dick into a blender for attacking are a lot closer to how it works. It can be -- when taught right -- a VERY nasty style. But finding people who teach that is hard (One of my friends had to work at his teacher's restaurant, his training was part of his 'pay.')

---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------

QUESTION: Would u recommend any xingyi teachers? I've heard of liang shou yu, and yang jwing ming, but not really sure....
If not, then that's cool too.

Not sure if this is the right place to put this, but... I also wanted to thank u for being awesome. I wanted to write this for a long time, but I'm a HUGE procrastinator...
I found out about your work in 2008.

I can't remember the exact details, but I was really sad and confused back then. I thought that to be a tough guy, you had to be like the guys in the movies and never smile or anything. And there was a nagging thought that I didn't have what it takes...

Your work changed me a lot... I first started reading your early books. I laughed a lot; it was really funny! :)
I learned from your books that it's ok to have a sense of humor. Which changed the way I interacted with others and I became happier.

As far as "having what it takes", "proving myself", & being a "tough guy"... I stopped caring about that, which also made me happier.

I meant to write this to you years ago.... But,yeah... Procrastination..

Anyways thanks again!!

Unfortunately my work has taken me away from martial arts and styles and moved into bigger issues regarding how our society deals with the concept of self-defense. So I can't recommend any teachers of a specific MA style.

As to the other things. You're welcome. That's why I write what I do

Self Defense

All Answers

Answers by Expert:

Ask Experts


Marc MacYoung


Street self-defense, crime avoidance and personal safety


I grew up in the streets of Los Angeles in 'situational poverty.' I have dealt with criminals and violent people all my life -- both personally and professionally. I have written 15 books and 6 videos on surviving street violence. I was originally published under the name Marc Animal MacYoung. (Animal was my street name). I've taught police and military both internationally and within the US. I've lectured at universities, academies and done countless TV, radio, newspaper and magazine interviews. I'm a professional speaker on crime avoidance and personal safety. And I am an expert witness recognized by the US court system. My bio is at My abridged CV (Curriculum Vitae) is at

See CV

Too numerous to list here. My CV (for my expert witness work in court) is at

Read "In the Name of Self-Defense" the streets don't give a Ph.D in scuffle.

Awards and Honors
See CV

Past/Present Clients
See CV

©2017 All rights reserved.