Hsing-i Wood Fist also known as Beng Chuan or Crushing Fist is one of the five basic techniques of hsing-i.
This technique uses straight-ahead physical motion along with the internal energy of Press Forward. Press Forward or Ji is an internal energy that projects forward from its source, on a straight line, along whichever angle you direct it: up, down, sidewards, diagonally or straight ahead.
Beng Chuan is hsing-i’s most well-known attack technique. It is often considered to be the most powerful straight punch in all the Chinese martial arts.
The Wood Element, the Liver and the Fists
The internal pressures initiated in the body by this movement, in addition to its basic chi work, directly and positively affect the liver. Beng Chuan is represented by the Wood element, and focuses on making fists “grow” out of the body.
It is often compared to the force of a powerful plant growing and expanding through concrete with a steady, inexorable force.
Beng Chuan Power Punch
Beng Chuan is not like a normal straight punch, which depends on its momentum for much of its effectiveness. Rather, Beng Chuan’s power is most likely to be applied from a very close distance, after,say, your arm has broken your opponent’s balance in the act of moving forward for an attack.
It is often used to stop the incoming attack of opponents and steal their power, after which either arm may attack. Beng Chuan is usually done with a quarter turn of the fist. It is applied both pressing down from above or pushing up from below an opponent’s arm.
Beng Chuan’s retracting arm is used to push internal power downward to make the opponent’s arm and body stand still (that is, not run away) while your other arm strikes. It also uses an elliptical rolling action to climb up an opponent’s arms, and small defensive circular arm movements to set an opponent up for a counterattack.
In back weighted stances, Beng Chuan is known for power punches with the arm of the forward leg. As the arm advances, Beng Chuan often neutralizes the opponent’s attack with the front half of the extending punch and hits with the finishing second half of the arm’s extension.
Transitioning to the Last Two Hsing-i Fists
The first three techniques of the Five Elements – Pi Chuan, Tsuan Chuan and Beng Chuan – are usually first practiced walking in straight lines only. They are considered sufficient for most to understand the basic internal substance of hsing-i.
After these three are mastered, it then becomes profitable in terms of practice time to work with the next two techinques, which complete the full balance. The next two methods of Pao and Heng Chuan normally begin with using the the seven-star stepping pattern of hsing-i. In these steps, body moves in a zigzag pattern of connecting 45-degree angles.