As Shanxi merchants would often encounter unexpected difficulties and dangers when traveling afar for business, they attached great importance to the study of martial arts. A significant number of merchants practiced martial arts themselves to build up their health and defend against attacks, with some even having participated in military battles against invading pirates.

The origin and development of Xinyi boxing and Xingyi boxing were closely related to and supported by Shanxi merchants from Qixian and Taigu counties near Taiyuan.