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Xing Yi Master Shang Ji on Heng Quan – Crossing Fist (Part 1)

This month we look at  Xing Yi Master Shang Ji’s discussion of  Heng Quan (Crossing Fist), extracted from his book Xing Yi Quan Fighting Skills.

Heng Quan (Crossing Fist/Transverse Fist)

Oblique body, twisted step, form rises transversely,                           斜身拗步起势横

Sixth Heavenly and Second Earth dwell in the Middle Palace,        戊己二土居中宫,

Yin and yang ebb and flow to join Great Ultimate (Tai Ji),             阴阳消长合太极,

Dragon and Tiger combine to form the Great Path (Da Dao).         .龙虎相交大道成 。

1. Fundamental Training Method

From San Ti Shi the right hand becomes a fist at the right side of the navel, with the fist heart facing downward. The left fist goes to the left side toward the left shoulder and makes a fist and drills outward with the fist heart facing upward. The shoulders are level, the elbow is bent 130° to 150° and the point of the elbow hangs down. At the same time the right foot advances up to the inside of the left foot. The right foot is substantial. The body crouches with bent knees and the eyes look at the left fist. Inhale (Fig. 2-48).

Exhale and the left fist follows the underside of the left arm, twisting and turning over as it goes out transversely. Turn it over until the palm heart faces upward and keep the shoulders level. The four limbs bend and the elbow hangs down. In synchrony with the right fist, the left foot steps out and advances. The left fist is above the right arm as rolls, turns over, and withdraws to rest by the navel with the fist heart facing downward. Exhale and look at the right fist (Fig. 2-49). All relies on the twisting/wringing (Ning) of the waist, following the kua. The shoulders must relax. Strike with a twisted step, the same as Pao Quan. This is the right form of Heng Quan.

To strike with the left form, the left foot makes a small hook step (Kou Bu) toward the right. Inhale. The right fist becomes a palm, grasps in an arc and then makes a fist and drills outward with the fist heart facing upward. The shoulders are level. At the same time the right foot advances up to the inside of the left foot, the tip of the toe touches the ground and the foot is empty. (Fig. 2-50 to 2-51). Exhale. Heng with the left fist as the right foot gathers and the right foot advances. Everything is the same as the right form Heng Quan (Fig. 2-52).

When turning you can go either to the right or left. , If you wish to turn from the left form, the hands maintain their position. The footwork is the same as in Pao Quan in order to turn 180°. Afterward, the right foot becomes substantial and the left insubstantial. Then the left advances and the right fist goes out with Heng, while the left fist withdraws to the navel. If you wish to gather (close) the form, you can end in the same way as Pao Quan

3. Requirements for Employing Jin

Heng Quan’s marvelous subtlety lies in its twisted step and oblique body, while advancing and striking transversely. It arises horizontally unseen and pushes aside and pokes horizontally/transversely. Let’s take the right form of Heng Quan as an example.  To advance with a right Heng Quan you must connect, turnover, carry and twist. The fist heart overturns outward to face upward. It goes outward and drills forward from under the left elbow, like a screwdriver twisting and turning a screw, spinning and rotating as it goes forward. Its transverse Jin is hidden, and its power within the forearm. The left arm goes inward with hooking Jin (Kou Jin). The two arms move as though twisting a rope. Internally substantial and externally round, body integrated, like a loose and supple silk thread. The head presses upward (Ding) vertically, the shoulders sink and follow the twisting Yao. The shoulders unify, the knees hook/button (Kou), and the throat goes forward slightly.

When stepping, the forward foot makes a tiny adjustment and the tip of the toe does not turn outward. When the rear foot steps it takes a big stride forward, passing the inside of the forward foot in a curving step so that the hollows (of feet) brush each other. When advancing, the upper body stays level. It does not rise and fall. When issuing force the foot has stamping Jin, and the Yao exhibits Ting Jin.[1] The arm wraps inward. Outside there is horizontal drilling force. Three forces blend into one integrated Jin. The Boxing Manual says: Its form is similar to a bullet, and horizontal (transverse) but does not seem horizontal.

[1]Ting: stand up; bulge out; stick out.