Hsing-i Earth Fist also known as Heng Chuan or Crossing Fist is one of the five basic techniques of hsing-i chuan. In Heng Chuan the physical motion focuses on the inside of the fist moving horizontally. It is the most difficult of the Five Elements to do well. It focuses on horizontally moving power, and combines the energies and applications of the first four elements (pi, tsuan, beng and pao) into one seamless technique.
The Earth Element, Spleen and Abdominal Cavity
The internal pressures initiated in the body by Heng Chuan, in addition to its basic chi work, directly affect the spleen. It is represented by the Earth element, and focuses on tightening the cross-linkages between the left and right sides of the inside of the abdominal cavity.
It is said it takes many hsing-i people ten years to fully understand Heng Chuan, because without completely grasping the internal mechanisms of the first four, the fifth and last punch always lacks important attributes in execution.
Heng Chuan Movement
The interchange between its hands is very circular as they move in opposite directions horizontally across the body, but this is difficult to perceive when observing an experienced practicioner. The basic punch combines the expanded action of a straight Beng Chuan-like punch with the twisting and sideways movements of Tsuan Chuan, as well as with inside and outside crossing blocks.
Each of the two hands is making circles in opposite directions. When Heng Chuan is incomplete, its form movement often resembles a karate block with the thumb side of teh forearm.
Heng Chuan Application
In application, Heng Chuan is used to go around the body of opponents and strike them from the opposite side. For example, without your feet moving, your hand begins in front of the attacking man’s right hip, but it strikes him on his left kidney as your waist turns.
From an advanced hsing-i practitioner’s perspective, the blocking, pulling hand of Heng Chuan is even more challenging than the attack hand, and eventually opens many internal connections, which enable the Animal Forms to reach their full adaptability.
Often hsing-i master can see just how far a practitioner has penetrated the hsing-i system by having them just do Heng Chuan. Although Heng Chuan is the most difficult of the Five Elements with which to generate full power, once mastered it gives the ability to enhance the capactiy of all your other hsing-i techniques.