This salute, often called the sign of the ’enlightened’ or ’concealed’ fist, was practised by groups like the Red Turbans and white lotus society
. Dedicated to the overthrow of the Qing (Manchu) Dynasty and the restoration of proper Chinese rule, these trained in Martial Arts secretly with this purpose in mind.
More Senior members of such groups used more advanced salutes e.g. advancing the left leg, whilst making the slight bow and hand gestures listed above. The body-language involved in this incorporates the threat of a kick. The salute ’said’ to those in-the-know, ’Kick out the Qing! Return the Ming!’ Although not the way to greet a Qing Soldier, such salutes correctly performed served, within such Martial groups, to identify individuals as relative beginners (Si Di) or more seasoned veterans (Si Hing) and to screen out those in the wrong place at the wrong time and so on.