In our Xingyiquan, when you first begin there are two very important things to learn: the mother posture (母式) and the mother fist (母拳). The old saying is "万法源于三体式" - 10,000 methods all originate from San ti shi. The mother posture is called Santi Zhuang Gong, a type of standing meditation. It seems simple and boring but Xingyi Quan ancestors have always insisted that " Santi Zhuang Gong is a treasure. Only when you have mastered it could you become any good". M Shang equally focused on its importance setting very specific requirements for its practice. He was concerned that whilst many imitate they do not understand the internal and structural mechanics that allow Zhuang Gong to be truly effective for combat or health.
The practice of Santi Shi (Xingyi's fundamental stance) is crucial for anyone wanting to study Xingyiquan. However the requirements to practice it correctly are very specific and many guiding principles were passed down from our ancestors as to take note when practicing. There are three key poems to help in this practice this includes the Eight Character Poem and the Three treasures nine postures song. However whilst they guide some aspects there are additional principles. The Eight Characters are Thrust, Arc, Round, Agile, Embrace, Hang, Bend, & Straight. The Stake Method type of Boxing is standing for fixed periods of time. These Eight Characters are must have, therefore, so as to store up Li & nourish Qi, causing me to have no handles for the enemy to use. Thus the Eight Characters each have three types, divided which relate it’s differences: