The five element fists of Xing Yi are very important for producing the different kinds of energy needed to apply the art.
After the basic of San Ti has been mastered and practiced the real hard work begins. The first and most important fist Pi Quan turns up throughout the Sun Style system and it is vitally important that this fist is learned and practiced correctly, the power at the Ming Jin level is a horizontal spiraling of the front palm downward as the split is made, it is important that correct form is kept and the coordination between the hand and feet is developed.
Next Beng Quan is learned, it is important that the fist spirals in a corkscrew fashion at the Ming Jin level and again coordination between the foot stepping and the punch is maintained.
Zuan Quan is the third fist learned and the motion is down then up for the power to develop correctly, the transitional step is like Pi Quan and we are aiming for a smooth motion.
Pao Quan is the fourth fist to be learned and the energy spirals outward then back on the transitional step, it is important that the hand travels up the centre-line and turns, but does not pull back.
Heng Quan is the last fist to be learned, this fist is difficult because it spirals forward but then turns outward without any movement from the shoulder. The difficulty in this fist is also coordinating alternate hands and feet when stepping.
This article is only meant to explain how we in Sun Style Martial Arts from the lineage of my teacher practice Xing Yi, I accept that others may practice similar or different methods. I am not implying what we do is better it is just our way of developing at the Ming Jin level.
The mastery of Xing Yi at any level can take a lifetime and I am very lucky in that my teacher understands what is needed to reach the highest level and has passed that knowledge on to me.