Hsing-Yi Chuan translates as Mind-Body Boxing. It was initially conceived by General Yeuh Fei (1103-1142) as a method of training his troops for battle. He was legendary in military annals as a superior commander of troops defending the country. The basic movements of Hsing-Yi Chuan consists of five fist forms referred to as the Five Elements. The five elements are metal, water, wood, fire and earth and correspond to the Five Element theory in different aspects of Chinese culture including Chinese Medicine (acupuncture).
Each one of the fists influence one of the other fists and can be used in sequence in an altercation. The basic development of Hsing-Yi Chuan was the five fists forms. The five fists are incorporated into animal styles that mimic the movements and energy of specific animals. Usually there are twelve animals represented in the complete system along with a linking form to help the student understand the principles of the art. Hsing-Yi Chuan is rather simple in its structure, but the simplicity of the movements allows for the development of its tremendous power.