Forming the First Fist
Long Fist, at its most basic, is predicated upon the fist extending from the knuckles to the elbow. The simple explanation is that other styles would miss a punch and have to perform an elbow strike. This would involve two or more movements. Often a block would be in between each strike. Long fist, upon missing a punch, would simply shift the body or step such that another part of the limb would strike the opponent. This does not seam like a big deal until you realize how happy people are to lean back or block at the last inch. This concept effectivly nullifies that whole level of training since you can't lean far enough and simpler blocks only stop one type of strike. Changing the direction or power generation of a strike can make blocks an embarrasing and painful mistake. Forming the First Fist is the first form to present the concepts of Long Fist with techniques designed to take advantage of those concepts.
It should be obvious, but I keep having to deal with this concept, this form has been modified. It is the result of understanding that the style I was taught and teach has a finite amount of knowledge and there is a time limit. I do not have forever to teach information. Therefore those qualities which are no longer taught, due to improvements and other modifications, were removed from the choreography and replaced with movements which build skills that the advanced information requires. If your school has different advanced knowledge then it will have different modifications. Different schools have different forms, suck it up.
The form teaches a pattern which involves straight lines of power, complexity, and direction changes. As the form continues, FtFF increases the deveation from the straight line in order to teach a student how to take advantage of all the power which is being generated. Rather than using only a few knuckles to convey power, FtFF teaches how to use the whole body to move and strike. You are literally trying to strike in the same way that you put on clothes. When you are done the opponent will be a hollow garment laying on the ground.