Learn Yan Yi with Paul Andrews



Xing Yi Academy teaches authentic Hebei Style Xing Yi Quan as practiced in Beijing and Northern China.

Yan Yi is an essential part of the practices Xing Yi Academy use to develop practical skills.


Xing Yi is a rare and powerful Northern Chinese martial art, developed by a battle hardened warrior in the Ming Dynasty and evolved through generations of fighters, bodyguards, armed guards and martial artists.


Yan Yi translates as "The Research of Intention" and is even less well known than Xing Yi Quan, it is a separate yet complimentary practice which some schools of Xing Yi use to augment their training.  The exercises within Yan Yi could be said to be Qi Gong (Energy Work), Nei Gong (Internal Work), or even Shen Gong (Divine Work), combining the Yi (Intention) with energy and movement in a holistic practice connecting Mind, Body and Spirit.


Yan Yi can be practiced completely non-martially as a separate art to Xing Yi focusing on movement, energy and awareness. It may also be used as a way to explore and experiment with your Xing Yi, other martial art styles, or just about any other disciple that involves physical movement or engagement, it could be anything from dancing to a whole range of sports, the principles can be adapted to different movement methods.

Paul Andrews has over 20 years martial arts experience across a number of styles but specialises in traditional Hebei Style Xing Yi Quan. His unique style of Xing Yi has been passed down from three lineages to Xing Yi Academy, Paul has also trained in and incorporated exercises from Taijiquan (Tai Chi), Yi Quan, Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling) and more, creating an art with a huge amount of content and depth including the secretive practices of Yan Yi.  

Access content anywhere in the world

Xing Yi is a rare martial art, and the practice of Yan Yi more so! Even in China it can be difficult to find a good teacher nearby and chances are they won't have a full system of movement exercises or principles quite like Yan Yi. Wherever you are you can get access to the Yan Yi Course via the online membership portal. Connect at home on your computer or on the move with a tablet or phone.

Train any time, at your own pace

Sometimes life gets in the way, we have other responsibilities. Log in and train whenever suits you. Our online courses can be worked through systematically and you can go back over material whenever you like. You can purchase lifetime access or decide to enrol to our premium subscription to get access to all our courses and keep access only as long as you remain subscribed.

Guided Support Direct From Paul

We want to pass on our art to the next generation not simply sell some routines and techniques. The Yan Yi Course is fully accessible from day one with a simple modular progression to guide you from complete beginner to Yan Yi movement expert.  Support is also on hand, email Paul or send in film of your practice to get feedback and answers to all your questions

Clear, In-DepthContent

The course consists of 5 modules with 23 practical lessons. Starting with simple drills and exercises, working towards free movement.  The modules work include examples of all Xing Yi's Five Elements and 12 Animals to link Xing Yi and Yan Yi practice, developing a deep understanding of Xing Yi movement and intention. In many cases lessons are provided with detailed training notes and links to other resources, allowing you to continue to research and develop your own Yan Yi practice. 

Yan Yi is not often taught publicly and is uncommon even within established schools of Xing Yi. It is most similar to the practice of Jian Wu - Health Dance, which is a spontaneous movement exercise practiced at the higher levels of the martial art of Yi Quan (which was developed from Xing Yi Quan).


Yan Yi provides a framework for the examination of your body, energy and movement from the perspective of the Yi - Intent/Intention. Yi is difficult to fully describe in English but it is in part a focus of awareness and will, it can be directed and it can quickly change and move from one area of the body to another, emptying or filling the body with energy in a manner that could be explained with the concepts of Yin and Yang.


The process of learning Yan Yi is broadly concerned with - Firstly becoming aware of the body, then beginning to move mindfully to discover and become further aware of movement and energy within the body.  Then moving on to more complex movement patterns, working to remove restrictions on your movement imposed by your rational and logical mind. Eventually allowing your intention to drive the movement and practice without any restriction. Finally, in the more advanced stages you develop a connection to the energy and movement of the world around you, other people, obstacles in the environment, and natural movements of energy in nature (heat, wind, water, vibrations). 


With this course Paul Andrews will teach you everything you need to know to develop your Yan Yi practice, using the framework of Xing Yi Quan's body methods this will help the martial artist explore Xing Yi's energetical aspects through the Five Elements and Twelve Animals of Xing Yi. This practice will add intention, energy and vitality into your Xing Yi practice.


But Yan Yi can be applied to many other areas of movement, from other martial arts, to sports, dance or more.  This course will give you enough understanding of Yan Yi and it's theory to be able to apply the method to whatever movement discipline you might choose.

Okay sounds good! HOW DO I SIGN UP?

We know that people have different needs and circumstances. With this in mind we have three options to purchase the course.


The course is yours immediately and indefinitely.

You make one simple payment and start your Yan Yi training right away.


Need to spread the costs a little bit - no worries we can help you with that.

Split the cost over three months and you will end up paying a little bit more overall but without breaking the bank. At the end of the three months the course is yours forever.


Want the full package?

Access to all Xing Yi Academy courses and content, live online classes every week, a huge vault of recorded classes, the flagship Foundations of Xing Yi Course, this Yan Yi course and access to all future courses for as long as you remain a member?* Direct support and feedback from Paul and Xing Yi Academy? Additional online links and resources, publications and articles?

If you want all of the above and more! Then our Premium Membership is for you!

*Xing Yi Academy aim to release two additional courses each year.  Upcoming courses in 2021 include: 1. Xing Yi Five Elements Sparring and Fighting. 2. Xing Yi Xiong Ying Bear-Eagle.  3. Xing Yi Lian Huan (Linking Sequences)


Choose your plan below, head to the checkout and get instant access to Foundations of Xing Yi Quan


Pay it all now and get going straight away and keep it forever



Spread the cost and still get the same great content


3 months


PREMIUM SUBSCRIPTION - Access all Xing Yi Academy Content: Online courses, weekly classes, hours of archive recordings, extra resources, direct support from Xing Yi Academy.



Ongoing monthly subscription - cancel anytime


Paul Andrews

Creative Director/Head Instructor - Instruction, Application, Fighting, Weird Esoteric Stuff

Paul has studied martial arts for over 20 years with a special interest in Xing Yi Quan.  He primarily studied under Sifu Damon Smith in the UK but has cross-trained widely seeking out other skilled martial artists to learn from. 

He competed in the European Chinese Full Contact Sword Tournaments 2011 and 2012 where he placed in the quarter and semi-final respectively. There he met Scott M Rodell Laoshi and began training Chinese sword fighting, holding regular UK seminars, and becoming an accepted apprentice Jianfa student in 2019. 

Paul has also travelled and trained in China. First in 2016 when he trained intensively in Yi Quan with Yao Cheng Rong and Shuai Jiao (Chinese Wrestling) with Wang Tong Qing in Beijing. In 2019 Paul travelled to Tianjin and Shanxi to meet with representatives of various Xing Yi and Xin Yi Styles.

Paul has inherited his Xing Yi from Sifu Damon Smith who learnt from four masters in three different lineages. Firstly, Master Yeoung Ko Te, a Malaysian of Chinese decent, whose grandfather studied under the renowned Xing Yi Master Gou Yun Shen. It is from Master Yeoung that much of the Yan Yi content comes from. Secondly Master Zhu Guang from Beijing who had studied under the prominent teacher Luo Da Cheng.  And finally with two masters in Beijing who taught a family style again descended from Gou Yun Shen. 

The merging of these three lines as well as Paul's own experiences from Yi Quan and other groups means that this style is uniquely rich in variety, depth and detail, especially the Twelve Animals.

Paul has also studied esoteric traditions with Sifu Smith including eastern and western traditions and was introduced to Kato Eiichi Sensei and Kato Kaoruko Sensei who taught him much about Japanese shamanic tradition.

Paul previously worked as a professional ecologist for over 16 years before pursuing Xing Yi Academy full time. His professional experience has given him a deep understanding of animal strategy and behaviour able to be applied to the Xing Yi Animals   

Josef Sykora

Technical Director - Camera, Editing, Making Awesome Content, Creative Thinking

Josef began training in Xing Yi with Paul around 2011 and has also trained with Sifu Damon Smith.

Joe is a competent Xing Yi Practitioner with a good grasp of the Five Elements and Twelve Animals as well as having cross-trained in a number of other martial arts to lesser extents.

Paul and Joe have trained together in Shamanic technique and esoteric arts under Damon Smith, often practicing together doing strange and unusual tasks from social experiments, to deeply meditative techniques, in cities or out in nature. 

Joe's expertise also extends to the technical and since 2014 has been behind the camera and the editing desk for Xing Yi Academy. Joe's background as a musician and music producer has expanded into the realm of film and his attention to detail and creative flair means that our content is always has a high production value.  

Joe also hosts the Woven Energy podcast on Practical Shamanism with Damon Smith and run his own YouTube Channel and music tuition business - Creative Piano Academy.

14 Days

Money Back Guarantee

Not sure about signing up? We have a 14 day money back guarantee on Lifetime Purchases. Sign up today and access the Foundations Course right now.  If after 14 days you are not convinced and want to cancel your membership we will give you your money back.

© Copyright 2020 Xing Yi Academy. All Rights Reserved.