Here is a short article on training the Phoenix Eye Fist, from Sean (http://www.myspace.com/pen_and_sword).
Probably next to the standard fist and the open palm, the phoenix eye fist is a prominent technique of nearly every style of Kung Fu, especially southern styles. It is probably the core technique of Yau Kung Mun, Bak Mei and Xingyi. It appears in Lion's Roar, Hop Gar, Hung Gar and Choy Li Fut. It is considered an advanced technique in classical Okinawan Karate.
According to Yip Man's son, Yip Chun, the phoenix eye fist was a core technique in mainland versions of Wing Chun, but was removed by Yip Man because he thought it was too lethal. The Okinawan Karate sensei, Choki Motobu, used a phoenix eye fist to the temple of a Russian bare knuckle boxer on tour in Japan, knocking him out at the start of the second round.
Before I studied Yau Kung Mun, the only times I'd ever trained in the phoenix eye fist was when it was when it appeared in whatever form I was learning at the time. I never imagined I would actually consider it a viable technique in hand-to-hand combat.
But then, Don showed me how to train for it doing phoenix eye pushups. Trust me, it's not as difficult as it sounds. You just have to approach it with the same common sense you use when learning any other new exercise or technique.
1. Get yourself some nice, thick rubber padding. I have an old palm rest from my computer keyboard I use for that purpose.
2. Make a good phoenix eye fist with the thumb reinforcing the index finger.
3. Assume a pushup position with your fists on the rubber pad. At first, you should start out with your weight on the bottom three knuckles of your fists.
4. Slowly roll onto your extended knuckle of your phoenix eye fists.
5. As soon as you are balanced, attempt some pushups. Three should be plenty for a beginner. My personal best is ten.
If you do this exercise faithfully, you'll feel a lot more confident in your phoenix eye fists. As you use it in your forms, you'll actually feel that you could really cause some damage to someone if you use it against a vital area.
Prime targets are the solar plexus and the armpits, though it is also effective against the throat, eyes, gut and other soft targets of the body.
As Don likes to say, train hard, train smart.
To which I add, have fun while doing it.