Xingyi Quan Basic Skills

(The information presented here is taken from an article in the March 1987 issue of Wushu Jianshen Magazine which was written by Shang Ji of the Xi’an Xingyi Bagua Sanshou Research Institute.)
 


Xingyi Quan basic skills, that is the specific regulation of inner door Xingyi Quan, are for prolonging years and nurturing life.  Study the routines well and the correct grasp of the essential skills is absolutely necessary for fundamental training. This is the so-called “If the roots are deep, the leaves will be profuse; if the roots are solid, the branches will be luxuriant.”

Xingyi Quan is an excellent combination of Body, Function, and Skill.   It is one of the Internal martial arts.  It pays attention to inner and outer dual cultivation combining spirit qi and form into one.  Inside has the qi flying and soaring.  Outside has the posture changing and transforming.  The energy has rising and falling, vertical and horizontal, sucking in and spitting out, hard and soft, three combined to make one.  The methods allow for nurturing life and subtle function in fighting. Because of this, the beginning student must first progress through the basic training exercises of the three aspects of qi, form and energy.  Then you can begin to practice the fists. Therefore Xingyi Quan basic skills must include the four aspects of regulating the meridians, nurturing the zhen qi, fixed forms, and solidifying the lower basin.

All the old martial arts teachers each had their own methods for training these basic skills. The author studied with Mr. Liu Weixiang in Beijing.  Mr. Liu had Guo Yunshen’s strength,  Song Shirong’s softness, and Bai Siyuan’s skills.  His basic exercises emphasized the post skills. These train simultaneously the qi, form and energy.  His training methods can be divided into standing post and moving posts which are described below.


STANDING POST SKILLS

“Standing Post” is a type of training method where one stands erect without moving according to specified requirements. It is the foundation of the inner door patterns of Xingyi Quan.  The skills of the old masters come from post training.  Mr. Liu Lao commonly said, “Three Pi Quan’s are not as good as one post.”  Shang Yunxiang’s students first had to stand in the post for three years. When they were tested on their ability to do fixed step Pi Quan, the importance of standing post was clearly seen.  There are many forms of standing post. These are four fairly commonly used one, Fixed Energy Post, Qian Kun Post, Chicken Leg Post and San Ti Post.

1.  Fixed Energy Post

Both feet are parallel and open to about shoulder width. Both arms naturally hang down. Both hands are by the outsides of the thighs. The palms face inward. The knees are slightly bent. The kneecaps are aligned directly over the toes.  The upper body is straight. The muscles of the back and chest must be relaxed. The waist relaxes. The buttocks hang.  The head pushes up.  The neck is vertical. (picture 1)  Then both arms gradually rise up to the front until they are level with the shoulders.  Bend the elbows and sink the shoulders. It is like embracing a ball in front of the chest. The palms face inward. Both middle fingers point at each other from about three inches away.  (picture 2)  Stop slightly, then both forearms rotate inwards. The palms overturn to face outward (toward the front). The tiger’s mouths are rounded. Their height is even with the mouth. The eyes look between the fingertips.  (picture 3 front and side)

At this time the vitality must be lead inward. The eyes are like they are closed, but not closed. Emphasize looking inward. The mouth is like it is closed, but not closed. The tongue pushes up to the upper palate.  Naturally purify the breathing from rough to fine, from quick to slow, from having to not, from moving to stillness.  Imagine the qi inside the lower abdomen rising and falling turbulently. Imagine the qi in the four limbs flowing up and down. The mind arrives in the lower limbs.  Gradually become aware of the lower legs and soles of the feet.  The toes feel like they are swollen with sinking qi. The toes grip the ground with the idea of having them enter three feet into the ground.   The mind arrives in the hands causing an awareness of itching and tingling in the fingers. Both palms generate heat and swell. Feel that the changes are deep and profound.  At this time if you close your eyes. You should be aware of the emptiness between heaven and earth, only a remnant of yourself in the two hands, it is great boundlessness.  This is then created throughout the body.  The beginner, after standing for 10 minutes may become aware of being tired. You can move ever so slightly and then continue to stand. Eventually your skill will progress and the length of time you are able to stand will become longer and longer. Every morning set aside a time for standing.  Each period of standing should not be less than 40 minutes, there is no limit on the maximum time.

2.  Qian Kun Post

Both feet are parallel about shoulder width apart. The soles of the feet are empty and arched, like walking in the mud.  The knees are relaxed and slightly bent and aligned with the toes. The arms gradually rise up to the front.  Bend the elbows and sink the shoulders. The palms face inward. The height of the palms is even with the chest. They are like embracing a ball.  Do not use strength. (picture 4)  The head pushes up and the neck is vertical.  The spine is straight. Expand the back and hollow the chest. The muscles are completely relaxed. Allow the qi to flow naturally and sink into the dantian.

Maintain this form without moving.  Concentrate the vitality. Eliminate mixed thoughts. The brain is empty and clean, spotless.  Then emphasize looking inward.  Carefully adjust the breathing.  After the breathing is even, push the tongue up to the upper palate.  Use the idea of leading the qi from the Tian Xin (that is the Yin Tang) and again down. It lingers in the Shan Zhong (the area between the nipples), again it moves along the Ren channel down to the dantian.  You can move the qi like this many times.

After the qi is flowing, both arms naturally drop down.  The inside and outside laogong points of the hands come together. The hands rest on the dantian area with the left hand on the inside and the right hand is on the outside.  (picture 5)  Relax the shoulders and sink the elbows. The soul is empty and the belly sinks and is full. The breathing gradually becomes deep, long, careful, and even. It is like it is there, but not there. Gradually become aware that you have hot qi moving up and down. This is the skill of moving the breath and moving the qi.

Do the above method each day until you can do it for 40 minutes without disruption.  After a while you will be unable to stop even if you wanted to.  When you practice for a long time, the qi in the dantian  will feel very full.  Then the inhaled qi must not again be carried down.  Breathing must gradually be allowed to still and stop. Do not allow the dantian to emit too much heat.  Strong fire eats qi. This is most important! Most important!

After your skill is pure and deep, sometimes you will manifest the zhen qi thrusting movement phenomena, your movements will arise. This type of phenomena should not be insisted upon. Also you must not force it to stop.  Allow it to be natural.  Then you  will have the benefits and not the harm.

3.  Chicken Leg Post

Both feet front and back stand open. The toes of the front foot hook inward. The toes of the back foot also slightly hook inward.  The distance between the front foot heel and the back foot toes is about one and a half feet.  Both knees bend as much as possible causing the rear foot kneecap to be about two inches from the back of the front knee. The head pushes up. The neck is vertical. The spine is straight. The waist is relaxed. The buttocks hang. The sacrum rises up. The chest is curved inward. The left palm pushes on top of the dantian.  The right palm is on top of the left palm.  The inside and outside laogong points are in contact.  The shoulders relax. The elbows drop. The side of the upper  body is open and extended.  (picture 6)

Both knees close inwards.  The toes of both feet hook inward.  Both heels twist outward. Up and down, left and right, and everywhere the energy is closed.  The tongue pushes up to the upper palate. Breathe evenly through the nose.  There should not be too much noise. When inhaling, the qi is swallowed down. The eyeballs must overturn up to let loose the yang fire, causing the zhen qi to return to the dantian.  When you get tired of standing, you can change your feet. This posture is similar to the one described above. Take turns changing the post like this.  Do two sessions every day early in the morning. Each session should be a minimum of 40 minutes. There is no maximum time limit.  This form is for training lower basin skills in Xingyi Quan.  It is simple and easy to study.  You can quickly gain skill.  It you practice for a long time then the stance will be firm and stable.  For the time being, do not treat it lightly.

4.  San Ti Post (also called Ziwu Post or San Cai Post)

Stand erect. The heels are next to each other. The toes are open about 45-60 degrees. The body faces halfway to the right (45 degrees). The left foot toe points to the front. The knees are slightly bent. The knee caps are aligned over the toes.  Both hands make fists next to the dantian. The palms face up. (picture 7)

The right fist rises up. The forearm rotates outwards. The elbow sticks next to the ribs as the fist drills out to the upper front. Inhale as the drill goes out. The palm of the fist faces in toward your face. The height of the fist is even with the nose.  Inhale as much as possible as the form is completed. (picture 8)

When exhaling, the left fist rises up. The forearm rotates outward. The elbow sticks next to the left ribs and the fist reaches out toward the front of the chest. The eye of the fist faces left. It passes over the right fist towards the front. When the fists separate, it changes to a palm.  The palm rotates inward, overturns and simultaneously splits towards the lower front.  The left palm height is even with the shoulder.  Simultaneously,  the right fist also changes to a palm. The center of the palm faces down. It is pulled back and pushes down below the right ribs by the Riyue point.  The left foot steps straight towards the front simultaneously with the splitting palm. The distance between the front foot and back foot is about 18 inches. The hand and foot must move simultaneously. The palm follows the exhale and drops down. Exhale as much as possible as the form is completed.  (picture 9)

When the form is complete, the body is angled at 45 degrees. Both knees bend about 135 degrees. The back arm bends 120 degrees and the front arm bends 150 degrees.  The three points of the rear foot heel, front foot heel and front foot toe  are aligned in a straight line.  The tip of the nose, the tip of the front hand middle finger,  and the tip of the front foot must be aligned. The base of the sacrum is suspended directly over the back heel. The hand is aligned over the foot.  The elbow is aligned over the knee. The shoulder is aligned over the hip.  These are the so-called “Outer Three Combinations”. The head pushes up. The neck is vertical. The shoulders relax. The elbows drop. The chest is hollow and the back is expanded. The tiger’s mouths are rounded. The eyes gaze forward.

The requirements for using energy are:  The whole body is relaxed.  The head is like it is suspended from a lintel. Both shoulders naturally hang down. This causes the muscles of the upper arms and upper spine to have the feeling of sinking down.  Start from the cervical vertebra.  Relax and hang the thoracic vertebra one by one straight down to the sacrum. Then carry the sacrum toward the front.  Move it up and around and overturn it. Bring the lower abdomen to uphold and stop.  The gudao contracts inwards.  Have the idea of holding back your stool. This is what is spoken of as “raising the anus and contracting the kidneys.” Both knees have closing energy toward the insides. Both hips have embracing energy.  The toes grip the ground. The palm presses toward the front.  The hearts of  the palms contract.  Both knees bend as much as possible. The sacrum must be as straight as possible. The energy of the entire body is unified. The inner qi jumps and rises.

Your mood should be very peaceful. The vitality is gathered within. The body is relaxed but the manner is moving.  It is bent like a crossbow and ready to issue. The mind moves and the will follows it. The breathing is pure and natural. Not one thread is strained.  Use the will to lead the qi.  If you cause it to rise, then it rises.  If you cause it to descend, then it descends.  When inhaling, the qi rises up and the internal zang organs follow it and contract. When you exhale, the qi descends and the internal zang organs follow it and relax.  When both hands and both feet feel warm,  swollen and tingly, then you have qi passing through the four extremities.  It feels like strength fills the palms and fingers.  This is the so-called “Inner Three Combinations.”
After you have practiced the above for half a year, you will feel that the dantian is full of qi. The qi moves throughout the body and the qi of the four limbs and four extremities feels very strong.  This can be like practicing “Jin Gong” [energy skill].  Also you instantly follow the breathing of the outer qi and the rise and fall of the inner qi.  This makes the fixed form of the relaxing and contracting exercise.  The practice method is first gazing fixedly at an object forward three or four meter in the distance (perhaps a tree). Use the mind to guide you.  Reach out with your qi and energy. Cause the palms and fingers to work with the object as though they are joined in coming and going. When the qi rises up, the energy returns and contracts. I imagine that I have gripped the object and pull it back to me.  When the qi descends, the rear leg has kicking energy and the front leg has treading energy. The toes grip the ground. The qi penetrates to both hands. Use the qi to hasten the strength to issue out to the front. Feel as though the strength is pushing the object away.  Like this one rise one fall, one relax one contract, one suck in one spit out.  Instantly you have the fundamentals of being able to strike down with explosive energy.  You must pay attention, when practicing to do these things. The outer form of the Standing Post cannot move.  Only use the will to direct and coordinate the degree of movement.  For strength to be issued from the dantian to the wrists palms and fingers, etc., the extreme joints must be temporarily relaxed, and the shoulders, hips, and waist etc. (the root joints) then must also be loose.  You must avoid having a tight strained energy simultaneously all over. This causes the body to have a root like a wooden post, and lose it springy nature. You will not achieve the results that the standing post must have.



MOVING POST SKILLS
(Coiling Root Moving Skills)

Meticulously investigate the skills of the Coiling Root. It is also the training of the fundamental skills.  What are the dissimilarities?  The fixed post is nurturing the zhen qi in an unmoving form.  It solidifies the lower basin. The form is fixed.  The moving post then uses advancing, retreating, and  changing as a way of training the inner qi. It solidifies the lower basin. It is a more advanced level of training the basic skills.  After practicing for a long time, whether in the walking frame or in fighting, even if you are advancing or retreating, quick or slow, you will be light and yet not lose your sinking stability. The inner qi is not separated.  The method’s changes are nimble and normally can have the inner energy sucking in and spitting out smoothly. Strength permeates to the four extremities. It is as Song Shirong said, “I have the coiling root and maintain a true count, revolving turning flying leaping skill unbroken ...” The Coiling Root skills are Mr. Song’s version of Baguazhang, as he envisioned it and trained it.

The specific training methods of the Coiling Root Moving Skill are very similar to Baguazhang, only in Baguazhang the circle is comparatively large (about 3 meters in diameter) whereas the Coiling Root circle is relatively small (Mr. Jia Yun’gao’s circle had a diameter of about one meter).  When walking in Baguazhang, the outer foot toes-in but the inner foot does not toe-out. The Coiling Root step then is one toe-in and one toe-out.  Baguazhang’s steps rise levelly and fall levelly.  In the Coiling Root stepping, the heel touches the ground first and then the whole sole of the foot touches the ground.  In Baguazhang stepping, both feet walk on a single line. In Coiling Root stepping, the feet walk along two lines.  The proper body method is relatively low. There are eight forms in the Coiling Root Moving Skill.  There methods are given below.

1.  Qi Sinks into the Dantian

Begin by using the Chicken Leg Post (you can also use the San Ti Post).  Both hands make fists opposite each other. The palms face downwards near the sides of the dantian. The distance is about 2 inches away. Both shoulders sink down. Both elbows open to the outsides. The chest is slightly concave and the back is rounded. The spine is straight. The head pushes up. The neck is erect. The eyes look toward the front.  (picture 10)  This posture is said to make Chicken Legs, Dragon Body, Bear Arms, and Monkey Back.

The posture of the upper body and upper arms does not change. The feet walk counter-clockwise (left) along double lines around a circle with a diameter of 1 to 1.5 meters. Walk many circles without limit.  When walking use Xingyi stepping. The bottom of the foot is even with the surface of the ground. The distance from the ground is about half an inch.  When falling, the heel touches the ground first, then the whole sole of the foot touches the ground.  In walking, the height of the posture does not change, the body cannot be rising and falling.  The steps must not be fast and the steps must not be big.  The waist must be relaxed.  Completely rely on using the strength of the kneecap and lower leg. The inside foot toes-out and the kidney meridian’s qi moves.  The outside foot toes-in and the bladder meridian’s qi moves.  When raising the foot,  inhale.  When the foot falls, exhale.  The qi descends to the dantian.  One rise, one fall; one swallow, one spit out.  Inhaling is without intent.  Exhaling has intent.

When changing direction, the upper body does not change.  The right foot toes-in as much as possible.  Turn the body 180 degrees toward the left.  The left foot steps up half a step.  The right foot rises up next to the left ankle. It is about an inch from the ground. Rub the shins. (picture 11)  The right foot stops slightly and then steps towards the front.  It drops down half a step in front of the left foot.  The foot slightly toes-out. (picture 12) Then walk the circle clockwise (to the right). The stepping method and breathing are like before. Walk the circle without limit.

2.  Three Basins Drop to the Ground

Begin using the Chicken Leg Post (you can also use the San Ti Post).  Both forearms rotate inwards.  They turn until both hands face outward.  Instantly push diagonally down towards the right and left directions. The elbows must open outwards. The shoulders must sink down.  The arms are rounded. The chest is concave.  Open the back.  The spine is erect.  The body turns left 45 degrees.  Look towards the left front direction. (picture 13)

The upper body posture does not change.  The weight and height do not change.  Walk the circle to the left.  The stepping, breathing, and turning are like in Form #1.

Both arms are rounded and push down.  The fingers are spread open.  The centers of the palms are concave.  Then the qi moves freely along the hand’s three yang and three yin meridians.  Push up the head.  The neck is erect.  Open the back, then the Ren and Du meridians flow together.  As a result the qi in the dantian moves along the du meridian up the spine, divides into two branches along the hands’ three yin meridians spreading down the arms and filling the fingers. Then it also returns up  the hands’ three yang meridians. It passes through the six organs and again descends into the dantian. It follows the rise and fall of the feet.  The inner qi billows. The yin rises and the yang descends. It flows everywhere without stopping.  After practicing a long time, you can get the movement of the will, qi, and strength to subtly mutually transform each other.

3.  Heavenly King Upholds the Pagoda

 Begin using the Chicken Leg Post (you can also use the San Ti Post).  Both forearms rotate outwards making the palms face up.  The palms rise up from the chest and uphold toward the front. The palms rise up until they are even with the center of the nipples and then reach out toward the front.  The hands open slightly to the left and right until they are about three feet apart.  The palms face up level with the shoulders.  The fingers are spread open. The tiger’s mouths are rounded.  The bends of the elbows is about 130 degrees.  The elbows are closed inwards. The shoulders relax toward the front.  The armpits pull down as much as possible.  The head pushes up.  The neck is erect.  The chest is concave. The back is rounded.  The head turns slightly toward the left.  The eyes look toward the front left direction.  (picture 14)  This form is also called Tiger Upholding Form.

After the form is finished, first walk around the circle toward the left.  Walk many circles without limit.  Then change directions and walk toward the right.  Walk many circles without limit.  The stepping method, breathing, and turning methods are like in Form 1.

This form, as before,  is for guiding the qi of the hands’ three yin and three yang meridians. And opposite the heart embrace the meridian qi lead single or multiple.  Each change is one step. The inner qi can be transported from the bubbling well up to the laogong causing the heart and kidneys to mix, get the water and fire already aid of skill.

4.  Push the Mountain into the Sea

Begin using the Chicken Leg Post (you can also use the San Ti Post).  Both hands make fists and overturn making the palms face up.  They drill up in front of the chest until they are even with the mouth. (picture 15)  The waist then turns left 45 degrees.  Simultaneously, the forearms rotate inwards and the fists change to palms.  The hearts of the palms face outwards.  They push together towards the left front direction.  When the form is completed, the fingers are spread open and the tiger’s mouths are rounded.  Both tiger’s mouths are opposite each other.  The index fingers are about three inches apart.  The elbows are open and, as before, must hang down. The back is spread.   The chest is concave. The head pushes up.  The neck is erect.  Both shoulders are loose towards the front.  The centers of the hands have returning contracting energy.  The eyes look towards the left front direction.  (picture 16)

The upper body posture does not change.  Walk the circle towards the left.  The walking method is like Form #1.  Walk many circles without limit.  Each change is one step. When the foot drops, exhale. The qi descends to the bubbling well and feels like it sinks three feet into the ground.  Simultaneously with the dropping foot and sinking qi, both shoulders relax towards the front.  Both palms push towards the front. One step, one push. They must be well coordinated.  When pushing, the arms must not straighten towards the front.  Only use the will to lead the qi to permeate the fingers.  Issue strength from the spine.  Use the back to push the shoulders.  Use the shoulders to push the elbows. Use the elbows to push the hands.  The extreme joints contract and the root joints relax.  This is the conscious mind leading the relaxing and contracting actions of the fixed forms.

When changing directions, both hands go down and grip like eagle talons. They return to make fists by the sides of the dantian. Simultaneously the right foot steps up and toes-in as much as possible.  The body turns to the left. The left foot rises up next to the inside of the right ankle. The sole of the foot is about an inch from the ground.  Rub the shins.  (picture 17)  Slightly stop. Then the left foot steps forward and drops down half a step in front of the right foot.  Then the right foot steps forward.  Simultaneously both fists drill up in front of the chest about level with the mouth. They then change to palms and overturn so that the palms face outward. They push out to the right front direction. This form is  similar to the beginning form only it is a mirror image.  (picture 18)  After the form is complete, walk the circle to the right. The stepping method is the same as before.  Walk many circles without limit. This form not only regulates the yin and yang meridians of the hands and feet so that the qi and blood flow unimpeded, but it also connects the taiyang bladder meridian with the du meridian on the spine.

5.  Scaly Dragon Swims in the Water

Begin the form like before.  Both hands make the Alligator Form palms.  The index fingers are slightly hooked and the thumbs make crab pincers. The tiger’s mouths are rounded.  The remaining fingers are curled back.  The left hand drills up along the right front of the chest.  The palm faces left.  The right palm is below the left elbow. The palm faces up.  (picture 19)  The above form does not stop.  The body turns left.  Simultaneously the left forearm rotates inwards.  The left palm continues to overturn, pull, and twist. It pushes out to the left front direction.  The left arm slightly bends making a half moon shape.  The palm faces outward.  The right forearm also rotates inward. The hand overturns so that the palm faces the lower left direction below the inside of the left elbow.  Look toward the left front direction. (picture 20)  As before, the head must push up. The neck is erect.  Open the back. The chest is concave. Twist the waist. Embrace the hips.  The shoulders relax toward the front. The elbows hang down.

The upper body shape does not change.  Walk the circle towards the left.  The stepping method and breathing are like the first form.  Walk many circles without limit.  The falling step makes the exhale. The qi sinks down and the shoulders sink down.  The back pushes toward the front.  The forearms, wrists, palms, and fingers are like they are relaxed, yet contracted.  They have stretched energy but are not stiff.  One step, one change of the energy, changing endlessly.

When changing directions, the right foot steps up and toes-in as much as possible.  The body turns 180 degrees to the left.  Raise the left foot. Rub the shins like before.  Simultaneously, the right palm drills up inside the left arm and arrives at the left shoulder.  The palm faces right.  The left palm overturns causing the palm to face up below the right elbow.  (picture 21) The left foot steps to the front.  It drops down a half a step in front of the right foot. Simultaneously, the body turns 45 degrees to the right.  The right arm rotates inwards and wards-off to the right.  When it overturns, it causes the palm to face outward and is rounded.  The left palm overturns so that the palm faces the lower right direction.  Everything is like the previous form, only it is the mirror image.  (picture 22)  The right foot goes out.  Walk the circle to the right.  Walk many circles without limit.

Because the back is rounded, the arms are rounded, and the tiger’s mouths are rounded, this form is also called the “Three Rounded Form.” The energy of stretching outward must be round and have a springy nature. The whole body has strength, is lively and not stiff. The whole body is moved by the waist and hips rotating and turning.  Give free reign to the big or small cosmic orbit actions.  The idea is that both hands’ thumb and index fingers cause the Lung meridian and Large Intestine meridian to become unblocked.  When changing the forms and overturning the palms, use energy in the palm’s outer edge and little finger. The elbow is slightly lifted and has hanging down energy.  This causes the qi of the Spleen meridian to travel up the inside of the legs along the heart meridian and penetrate straight to the shao chong.  Yin and yang change.  Its flavor is unfathomable.

6.  Push the Window to See the Moon

The beginning form is like before.  Both forearms simultaneously rotate outwards. They overturn causing the palms to face up.  (picture 23)  The right arm rises up.  The forearm rotates inwards.  As the right arm rises, it overturns so that the palm faces outwards.  It rises until it is close to the upper front of the forehead. Its distance from the forehead is about two inches.  Simultaneously the left forearm rotates inwards. It overturns so that the palm faces outward and downward. Its distance from the left front of the belly is 7 or 8 inches.  The body turns left 45 degrees.  The eyes look toward the left front.  (picture 24)  Both shoulders must relax towards the front. Both elbows open to the outsides. They must also hang down.  The fingers are spread open.  The tiger’s mouth is rounded. The right hand upholds upwards.  The left palm presses outward. The center of the palm contracts.  The head pushes up.  The neck is erect.  Relax the waist.  Embrace the hips.

The upper body posture does not change.  Walk the circle toward the left.  The stepping method, breathing method and moving are like the first form.  Walk many circles without limit.  When changing directions the right foot steps up and toes-in.  Raise the left foot, Rub the shins.  The body turns towards the left... this is similar to the “Push the Mountain into the Sea” form.  Simultanesouly both forearms rotate inwards and retract.  The right palm drops down. Both palms face upwards.  Bring them together in front of the lower abdomen.  (picture 25)  As the left foot steps to the front, the left palm rises up and overturns. The right palm presses down.  They are like the previous form, only left and right are reversed.  (picture 26)  Then walk the circle to the right.  Walk many circles without limit. The stepping method, breathing, and actions are like the previous form.

7.  Hold the Tablet toward Heaven

The beginning form is like the previous one.  Both arms drill up in front of the chest.  The drilling stops when the middle finger tip is even with the eyebrows. The palms face your face.  Their distance from the face is 5 to 6 inches.  Sink the shoulders, drop the elbows. Open the back. Concave the chest. The head pushes up. The neck is erect. The eyes look towards the front.  (27)

The upper body and upper arms do not change.  Walk the circle towards the left. Walk many circles without limit.

Changing directions is like the first form. Turn the body then walk the circle to the right,  Walk many circles without limit.

This form is used for getting the qi into your palms.  The qi emits from the laogong points and returns to the point between the eyes.  Use your own outer qi to stimulate  your own inner qi. This called makes “Create things in myself return back method.”  When you practice this for a long time, then the face and forehead will always be fresh, the eyes bright, and spirit full.

8.  The Woodsman Points the Way

Begin the form like before.  The left hand palm faces inward. It passes the front of the chest and drills up the center.  When the middle finger rises up even with the eyebrows, it rotates inwards and reaches out to the left. It is level with the shoulder.  The elbow hangs down. The bend of the elbow is about 150 to 170 degrees.  Simultaneously, the right hand reaches out toward the left.  It is below the inside of the left elbow.  The body turns toward the left.  The eyes look at the tip of the middle finger. (picture 28)

The upper body posture does not change.  Walk the circle toward the left.  The stepping method, breathing, and walking actions are similar to the fourth form.  Walk many circles without limit.

When changing directions, toe-in the right foot and raise the left foot.  Rub the shins like the previous form.  The upper arm actions are like picture 28, only reversed.

After the form is complete, the upper body posture does not change.  Walk the circle to the right.  Walk many circles without limit.

When closing the form, the left foot is in the front and the right foot is in the rear. Stop.  Both arms bend the elbows and return. Both palms inner and outer laogong points come in contact. The left is on the inside and the right is on the outside. They are placed on the dantian.  As before make the Chicken Leg Post.  (picture 29)  Both legs gradually straighten up.  Stop for a short while.  Then you can walk.

In this form, both palms rise, fall, overturn, and turn.  The hands’ three yin and three yang meridians together make turning and transforming.  The Heart meridian and Pericardium meridian qi flow is unimpeded. It can rise to nourish the heart and regulate the heart’s main functions.

The above eight forms  can be used as single form practices.  They can also be combined together . Only no matter how you train,  in general the use of the will is pre-eminent.  The posture must be the standard. The post steps must be rigorous. The advancing steps must be well coordinated with the rise and fall of the qi. The relaxing and contracting of the muscles and spitting and swallowing of the energy, all must follow the will.  The extreme joints moreover have the transformation of relaxing and contracting. The shoulders, back, waist,  and hips must definitely be relaxed. The qi must drop down. The vitality must rise up. Be sure to carefully commit this to memory and not forget.