Bajiquan Wikia

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Bear and Tiger

Many Chinese martial arts styles and systems are named after or feature techniques named after various animals. Several imitate the movements of said animals, while others imitate their behaviours, attitudes or mentalities. Bajiquan generally isn't thought of as being an "animal style", however, the Wu family describes the footwork as being based on 5 fundamental positions, and reflecting the characteristics of 10 animals (dragon, tiger, bear, etc)[1] and is said to be based on the Bear and the Tiger.[2][3]

The sayings "moves like a tiger and settles like a bear" and "like a tiger rushes out of the forest, like a bear clashes into the woods" are sometimes used to refer to how bajiquan fights. Equally the concept of "hands and feet arrive at the same time" exemplifies how the "tiger" and "bear" influence bajiquan techniques. This coordination can be seen in techniques like "fu hu" where the "bear" takes the opponent's legs and the "tiger" dominates their upper body.[4]


The "tiger" refers to the upper body in bajiquan, specifically the arms.

Using the concept of Tong Bei, or connecting the arms to work as one, like a rope- note: this is not to be confused with the Northern martial art of Tong Bei Quan. This concept is not exclusive to Bajiquan. It is achieved by drawing apart the shoulder blades and concaving the chest. This concept can be seen in various techniques such as "tiao da dong zhou" and "ji do chuei" where the arms synchronise and coordinate in offence and defence.


The "bear" refers to the lower body in bajiquan, specifically the legs.

The proverb "Like a bear crashes into the woods" refers to how the lower body crashes into the opponent's with the goal of taking over or occupying their space. Ideally, your single (lead) leg should be stronger than both of your opponent's in order to uproot them and take their "territory".

Techniques named after animals

There are also several techniques and taolu



  • Hei Fu Quan (Black Tiger Fist)
  • Five Tiger Broken Door Spear
  • Xingzhe Bang ( 行者棒, Monkey King Staff)