Five phases or “elemental fists” of Pi (metal) generating Zuan (water); Zuan producing Beng (wood); Beng bearing Bao (fire); Bao begetting Heng (earth); and Heng moving into Pi all transcend form and function in multiple applications. Perceiving how these five elements, likewise, allow you to counter your opponent as in tui shou – push hands, is essential for discerning how your internal motion moderates your external form. You must remain at rest, quieting your internal energy in the process of harmonizing the Liu He or six major joints of hips/shoulders, elbows/knees, wrists/ankles. Then, sink your qi to your lower dan tian and move in every transition through your center equilibrium stance – the balance point beneath your perineum that is found somewhere behind your front heel and the middle of your front inner thigh.
Use offensive form as defense, and defensive forms as offence. For instance, although hern and tsuan are used to clear the way for further strikes, they can be used directly as an attack when there is no obstacle. In any case, most applications feels like whole body perpetuation of ji or “pressing” as found in taijiquan. Be relentless in it’s explosive rapid repetition. Don’t float up and down.