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Xing Yi Rhymed Verses: 劈拳 Pi Quan (Splitting Fist)

The “songs” or rhymed verses of Xing Yi Quan give the practitioner insight into the essential internal and external actions of the movements. This post covers three verses pertaining to Pi Quan (Splitting Fist).

Verse 1

                         Master Li Gui Chang – Pi Quan

Splitting Fist (Pi) is like an axe and is attributed to Metal,

It is wonderfully unsurpassed in generating drilling (Zuan) and overcoming bursting (Beng).

The Lung is moistened, the nose opens and Qi circulates smoothly,

Rise, drill, fall, and overturn, there must be twisting (Ning) power (Jin).





Translators Note:

Jin (劲) can means force, energy and even spirit. In internal martial the arts Fa Jin (发劲) – literally “emitting force” refers to a sudden shocking emission of power. Ning Jin is “Twisting Power/Energy.”

Verse 2

Splitting Fist belongs to metal, and exemplifies its sharp, cutting property,

Its Qi emits from the lung.

A slight exertion of the sinews opens up the lungs,

Therefore, Splitting Fist is able to nourish the lungs.



Discussion of the Rising & Falling of Pi Quan


From the mouth, come the two fists closely held,

Up to the eyebrow drills the fore-fist.

Close behind follows the hind-fist,

Both arms embrace the ribs as the heart unites.

Qi follows the body movements and sinks to Dan Tian,

The two hands sink together as the back foot follows.

The fingers spread and Hu Kou Is round,

Fore-hand is at the height of the heart.

Hind-hand is hidden beneath the armpit.

Hand, nose, foot form the “3 points set.”[1]

The small finger turns upward to the eyebrow.

Pi Quan striking method drills upward,

As hands and feet sink, upthrust the tongue.

Advance, change styles, and the Yin hand sinks.

兩拳以抱口中去, 拳前上攢如眉齊.

後拳隨跟緊相連, 兩手抱脇如心齊.

氣隨身法落丹田, 兩手齊落後脚隨.

四指分開虎口元, 前手高祗與心齊.

後手只在脇下藏, 手足鼻尖三對尖.

小指翻上如眉齊, 劈拳打法向上攢.

脚手齊落舌尖頂, 進步換式陰掌落.

[1] 3 Point Set: hand, nose and foot in a line.