Wu Tan Bajiquan is a style taught within the Wu Tan Chinese Martial Arts System.
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- 1 Bajiquan
- 2 Jī Běn Gōng
- 3 Chángquán [長拳]
- 4 'Gōng Mǎ Chuí'「弓馬捶」
- 5 級零 : 'Jingang Bashi' [ 金刚八式]
- 6 'Xiao Baji' / 'Xiao Jia' [ 小架 ]
- 7 級二 : 'Da Baji' 「 大八極 」
- 8 級三：'Liu Da Kai' 「 六大問 」
- 9 級四：Baji 'Lian Huan' [ 連環拳 ]
- 10 級五：'Baji-Pigua Combination' [ 八極劈掛和 ]
- 11 級六：Baji 'Five Movements' [ 八極五行形意 ]
- 12 級七'：Continuous Infinite Baji Boxing [ 八極羅漢戳脚拳 ]'
- 13 級八：Ba Da Zhao [ 八大招 ]
- 14 Influence Of Bajiquan & Beyond
- 15 What is Unarmed Combat in Wu-Tang?
- 16 Notes
- 17 References
Before a student can start to learn Bajiquan, they are first taught a number of other styles of Kung-Fu that together develop the mind and body into a high quality weapon, with a process of softening, shaping, hardening and sharpening. The purpose of Bajiquan, ultimately is for fighting or for war. Wu-Tang institutions will only teach Bajiquan to students who bare no ill will, A moral heart, and sound mind and will only use what is learned for professional or necessary actions. Exceptions are made on case basis to visiting martial artists.
Other reasons for the purposeful delay of the availability of Bajiquan is because of the intensive and advanced regime. It is highly recommended to already be physically and mentally fit, and so the training cannot be offered to beginners. A Bajiquan class will usually last 2-3+ hours, Traditionally at night and will include a higher level and pace of muscle conditioning, bone conditioning, weight lifting, stamina and endurance training, Pressure testing, sparring as well as repetitious grinding of the forms.
Following the ideologies of several of the most famous practitioners of Bajiquan, That have traditionally and historically followed the practices of handing down their "secret" martial arts only among trusted disciples and communities. Indeed, it would have been a extraordinary rare, privileged, lucky, and testament to dedication of skill to have learned Bajiquan formally, even just 'Xiao Jia' prior to the 1970's. This mentality has slowly changed, as the worlds knowledge & history has grown exponentially since then.
Jī Běn Gōng
The Jī Běn Gōng (基本功, basic skills or essential technique) is a term of Chinese martial arts that indicates the basic exercises and basic techniques of a style. Basic training may involve simple movements that are performed repeatedly; other examples of basic training are stretching, meditation, striking, throwing, or jumping. Without strong and flexible muscles, management of Qi or Breath, and proper body mechanics, it is impossible for a student to progress in the Chinese martial arts.
Chángquán 長拳 or "Long Fist" was inducted by Wu-Tan as a necessary style to study to compliment Li Shu Wen's Bājíquán, in order to develop high quality Martial Artists. Bājíquán takes a very long time to develop and is not recommended for teaching children. Yet it cannot be ignored there is a distinct advantage and incredible development of instinct when a child grows up with Martial Arts. This phenomenon across the world happens in every style, and such the some of the greatest champions in history often started training young. Following the traditional Bājíquán curriculum, A student may not be "Combat Ready" for 3 years or more. Thus, it was expected for students to have already become competent with another style. In short, True beginners would be excluded and lost. Chángquán and Tánglángquán were chosen to fulfill this purpose.
'Gōng Mǎ Chuí'「弓馬捶」
One of the first variations in the Horse Stance training involves the development of full-body punching power from a relatively static posture, shifting from a horse to a bow stance. Gong Ma Chui is a highly important exercise as it will open the door to understanding Jìn (勁).
'Mabu Chong Chui Stage 1' [馬步衝捶ㄧ階]
DEVELOPING DYNAMIC MOVEMENT
For Bajiquan, The first series of Jinzhong; the moving one-punch, although simple in appearance, is relatively complex in terms of body mechanics. Initial training and development require that continuous movements be punctuated with transitional static postures. Transitional static postures require the practitioner to hold the one-punch posture with relaxed breathing and then move into the next one-punch posture, releasing the power in a split second. The practitioner must remain at the same height and acquire a relaxed flexibility while delivering the power.
A the first level, the aforementioned details are seldom taught; the student is simply told to practice and move in a relatively relaxed state. The body must initially expand and be kept loose as the student often tenses before delivering the power if he thinks about the static transitional posture. Movement starts in the Horse Stance with the upper body facing north with a relaxed extended left fist (3-A). The left foot is picked up and rotated to face west then the right foot is moved forward, almost brushing the right ankle (3-B). As the right foot moves forward, the right fist moves with it. The left fist is pulled back while the right simultaneously goes forward, much like a pulley system. When the right fist is thrust out, at the point of imagined impact, everything is tightened for one split second, then immediately relaxed and the posture ends in a horse stance with the right fist now forward (3-C). This repeats with the opposite side (3-D through 3-E).
Jinzhong in Wutan refers to eight similar "basic" routines, The method in practice is very different and should be used as an callisthenic, and conditioning approach. There are also a number of singular exercises outside of forms for the purpose of developing Strength & Conditioning.
Chán sī jīn [纏絲劲] 'Silk Reeling Power'
The Moving Punch should have moved or slid about three to four feet. The movement resembles the side-to-side step of a crab. Done properly, the movements display a predominately relaxed, but powerful Chán Sī Jīn expression. Traditionally, the student is asked to do about one hundred of these punches per day. They can be broken into sets of ten or twenty, but the last posture requires the horse stance to be held for a couple of relaxed breaths.
This training is carried over the practitioner's whole lifetime. As the student becomes more comfortable in the movements, further corrections in structural alignment are made. The eventual outcome is for the student to move continuously while keeping the relaxed structural alignment. If done properly, punching power is greatly increased because it now involves full body usage.
Another addition to this movement is the employment of stomping (Zhen Jiao) while keeping the height of the moving posture fixed but low. Bobbing up and down between punches simply dissipates power. Stomping helps teach the student to drop the weight of the body from the kua area. With deep relaxation, this stomp is done with the entire lower body and not simply the leg. Without relaxation, it is possible to severely damage the knee and/or hip area, especially if training on concrete floors. Beginning practitioners often force the stomp rather than letting the entire body control the force. Although a loud sound can be made, it lacks a deep resonance and often has a shallow, slapping-like tone to it.
A more subtle principle embodied in the movement is the development of two important energies: Xù Jìn (蓄勁) and Fā Jìn (發勁). Xujing literally means "to store or save money". This requires that the stomach area (Dānt'ián) fold inward at a slant, with knees bent. Almost like a crouching tiger, the movement unfolds and expands into a short burst of power. Although basic to almost all baji movements, it is very difficult to master and requires consistent, supervised practice.
級零 : 'Jingang Bashi' [ 金刚八式]
THE GUARDIAN WARRIOR'S EIGHT POSTURES
Wu-Tan continues to follow the principle of "Basic Movements" before forms, in this case Xiao Baji. While Jingang Bashi is taught early on, especially to newly advanced Tanglangquan students, Following after 'Mabu Chong Chuei stage 1'. The layers are slowly revealed as the student progresses, gradually adding on and expanding after grinding repetitiously and meticulously. Thus, It is common for WuTang students to continually revisit the basics and the forms, even after many years; Again after Xiao Baji, Again after Da Baji and Again after Liu Da Kai and beyond. Developing Chén Zhuì Jìn, or Sinking Power is the main focus for early on.
The Duojia of Bajiquan
As we all know, Bajiquan has three powerful methods, namely, cross-strength, tangling-strength and sinking-strength. Earlier we talked about the relationship between the cultural connotation of "Eight-Poles" and "Liuhe" and martial arts, and then we will discuss the philosophical principles and Yi Li contained in "Cross" and the connection with boxing skills. Duojia, Play Sparring, Light Sparring, Hard Sparring and competition is essential to make sure a student develops proper fighting form, structure, composure, discipline and to avoid Wáng Bā Quán.
Usually, there is the concept of "cross" in some types of boxing, such as "cross hand", "cross leg", "cross swing lotus" in Taijiquan, "cross collapse" in Xingyiquan and Bajiquan There are "Cross" and "Cross Hammer", and there are "Cross Feet" and "Cross Change" in Shaolin Boxing. However, these definitions of "Cross" are the external shape of crossed hands, and there is no inner mystery. "Jin" is completely different.
'Xiao Baji' / 'Xiao Jia' [ 小架 ]
The first complete form routine in the Baji/Pigua system is termed Xiao Baji Jia. Xiao baji is the routine upon which the structure or foundation is built, emphasizing a symmetrical squareness in deep postures. The practitioner is required to try to reach the point of holding eight breaths per posture for a total of twenty four postures. Eventually, Three primary energies are to be further developed: Chén Zhuì Jìn (sinking, dropping); Shí Zì Jìn (crossing) and; Chán Sī Jīn (spiraling, tangling) or Sān Jīn. In each posture, eight breaths are directed one at a time toward one of eight body areas: the head, shoulders, elbows, hands, tailbone, kua/hip, knees and feet.
It is technically tradition to spend three years on the Xiaobaji stage. Particularly talented and dedicated students might move on after 2 years. The reason is to make sure Sanjin is being understood and developed. However most (70%+) students do not complete this stage, and many leave in frustration before progressing or understanding beyond another form. For example, Practice Tantui or Basic Mantis 6 as if it were Jing Gang Bashi. The further study of Changquan, Tanglangquan and weapons helps curb these frustrations and slowly promote discovery of how incorporating Baji changes everything.
Harmony exercises derived from Shaolinquan. These concepts are included in all martial arts, the study of stretching, warming up. There are many exercises designed for this purpose, many modified, changed, lost, forgotten over time.
級二 : 'Da Baji' 「 大八極 」
By this level of Bajiquan training, The student should have developed the necessary conditioning and training to generate large amounts of kinetic power with singular strikes, Possible after some understanding of Sanjin. However there is still a focus on further development of Shí Zì Jìn. The ancestor of Bajiquan cited the word "Baji" as the name of the boxing, which is very wonderful. "Eight poles" belong to the concept of paleogeography, "eight" is a number, and "ji" means the top and the far end. "Eight poles" refer to the extremely distant places between heaven and earth in all directions. The "Huainanzi · Topography Training" records: "Nine states and eight poles between heaven and earth" and "there are eight chus outside the nine states, there are eight hus beyond the eight chus, and there are eight poles outside the eight hus." "Chu, Yuyuan Yehong, Weiye, Weiluo Tiandi is the table, so it is called Hongye." This is the correct answer to the term "eight poles".
External 'Six Harmony Big Spear' [ 六合大槍 ]
Students of Bajiquan should begin training in the big spear at this point.
The spear training in the baji system requires the use of, at a minimum, a ten foot tapered spear that is much more than a weapon: It represents one of the most significant methods for developing chan si jing, fajing, and overall internal/external strength. These internal methods are similarly found in both the Yang and Chen taijiquan styles. However, Unlike Taijiquan, The added weight training maintaining heavy weapons accelerates the process. Without this training, the real potential for delivering power in Baji applications is severely limited.
The first exercise (Figures 3A and 3B) requires the practitioner to hold the spear in a relaxed horse stance posture and then to move into a bow stance while simultaneously turning the palms and spear over while rotating and slowly thrusting the spear forward. From the bow stance, the spear is turned counterclockwise as the practitioner simultaneously returns to the horse stance posture. The chan si jing literally starts with rotation of the feet, dan tian, arms, shoulders and back. Although simplistic in appearance, it is one of the most superb conditioning neigong-like exercises (the breath is also coordinated with the movement). Many students are lucky to successfully execute thirty to a side, for the exercise requires far more than simple external strength. This exercise must be practiced daily for many, many years.
The second exercise, (Figures 4A and 4B) tong qiang, involves thrusting the spear forward from the horse stance position to the bow stance position and incorporates all of the movements from the previous exercise plus the explosiveness of the punch. The body goes from a relaxed state to a split second tightening in the explosive thrust and back to a relaxed state. In drawing back the spear, three circular spirals should be observed when the practitioner reaches a high level of practice.
Shaking the spear, Figures 5A - 5C develops not only external muscles i.e. forearms, back, abdominals, and kua area but also incorporates coordinated breathing. The practitioner holds the spear outward in a horse stance, 5C, until the tip of the spear stops shaking and then slowly returns the tip to the ground.
級三：'Liu Da Kai' 「 六大問 」
「 六大問 」
Should be taught alongside basic and rudimentary Piguaquan methods. We further focus on the belief of "crash and destroy", to fully immerse our body weight and momentum into each strike. This is to bring out an almost sacrificial method of generating extra power, fully engaging and facing an opponent for "in-fighting" territory. Because of the close distance, Liu Da Kai will also incorporate "counterstriking", 'momentary retreats', explosive re-engagements and 'angling'.
Bajiquan also contains significant elements of shuai jiao, two-person fighting (san shou) and post and bag training. In the highest levels of baji, the jins of both baji and pigua are expressed in the techniques and applications.
Few practitioners ever reach this level. An example of #4 of Liu Da Kai is found in Figures 9A through 9H.
This routine is practiced for three years on a daily basis, three times a day, with at least three sets per session and in conjunction with spear training. Beyond this, advanced baji forms include:
Cùn Jīn ( 寸勁 ) Pelvic rotation in short distances
I will tell you a way to induce energy: stand facing the wall, keep your feet apart, hold your hands against the wall, and bend your legs slightly. First relax your whole body, then press your right foot on the ground and turn your pelvis to the right. Isn't this the principle of pelvic rotation? You boxers, do the same, and experience the feeling of "power is generated by pedaling on the ground, then acceleration is generated by turning the waist (pelvic rotation), and then the power is sent out through the limbs". Do it, and experience the feeling of "stretching silk" and "strengthening continuously". Practitioners of Wing Chun also did it, and realized the feeling of short-distance jin, it is "Cùn Jīn (寸勁) or Short Power". If you really like martial arts, I suggest you stand up and practice your skills. This is a better way to exercise and gain strength that many people have verified. Use the Promise pile to modify the body method, the Hunyuan Bajiquan (Baji-Xingyi) pile to change the strength, and then the three-sana or Taijiquan routine to practice the strength. After further training, the effect is very significant.
Think of traditional Chinese martial arts, rich in cultural connotation, broad and profound. This kind of incomprehensible profoundness that many people in modern times can't understand is superficially regarded as backward! From Chinese medicine and martial arts, Many people who practice martial arts have an inexplicable interest in traditional martial arts, but they lack the guidance of a master, and it is difficult to understand martial arts objectively and correctly. . Because of the spread of misunderstandings about martial arts, we urgently need to correct the chaos. One such instance is even at this stage, We revisit and refine "basic" techniques further with; The Six Fajin Forms.
Piguaquan / Piguazhang [ 劈掛拳 ] [劈掛掌]
Once a student has progressed several layers of Bajiquan, The next layer is revealed, Piguaquan [劈掛拳]. While Wu-Tang teaches basic Piguaquan style stretching and conditioning exercises early on to all beginner students, Liu Yunqiao's piguazhang system contains only two routines in the beginning but a significant number of single moving exercises.
Iron Palm / Waigong has always been martial respected profession, no matter what door what school, learning how boxing, Iron Palm and practitioners who are no shortage of past and present, including the achievements of those who have ancient, but left a lot of things for Wu Linyi According to posterity, the power of war is actually recognized by the world. Li Shu Wen was renowned for the power of his palms and in practice, Palm Strikes and Flicker Jab like Slaps. This is due to the power of iron sand palm and eight-pole exercises. However, the practice of this exercise is always owned by a few people, especially the hand-washing prescription is even less secret, and it is rare to see if it is not a direct descendant. Today, martial arts practitioners are calling for a lot of desires, but few have achieved their skills. In view of this, I will now introduce the "Iron Sand Palm Technique of Huo's Bajiquan", More info can also be found in Piguaquan.
HeBao & ShuaiSo (合抱)、(甩手) are just some examples of how Piguaquan was always in WuTan since Jibengong.
級四：Baji 'Lian Huan' [ 連環拳 ]
Utilizing 3 or more precise moments of power generated from the rotation of the shoulders, hips and legs, Bajiquan is condensed, sharpened, amplified and "sped up'' in preparation for combat usage. The torque generating from the "grinding of the gears" is another form of energy, and it can only be harnessed by extreme control of the body's momentum and biomechanics. Optimizing momentum into a small surface area within a fraction a second. The impulsive emission power should now be fluidly chaining for striking and movement combinations. Advanced practices of Piguaquan and Tanglangquan are used to achieve this level. To perform Lian Huan it requires an understanding of Sanjin, Xujin, Cunjin, and Neijin, This combination is known as Míng Jìn (明勁).
Internal 'Six Harmony Big Spear' [ 六合大槍 ]
A similar exercise, bong, is illustrated in Figures 6A and 6B. This involves moving forward while simultaneously circling the spear clockwise until the tip of the spear is thrust upward in a burst of power while the practitioner simultaneously sinks into a half horse, half bow stance. Although this appears external in nature, the practitioner must remain relaxed until the split second burst of power. Breathing is coordinated as in the other exercises. A final variation of the spear methods is presented Figures 7A through 7E. Advanced training requires two-person applications similar to the pictures found in Olson's book in the chapter on "Two Man Drills for the Thirteen Spear" (Olson, 1985, pp. 69-76).
The True Baji Big Spear (da qiang) training is very intense and must be continued throughout the life of the baji practitioner and also done in conjunction with xiao baji jia, da baji, liu dakai routines. This training is an important point of contrast with the contemporary wushu player, for the energies and power produced by this type of training have no counter part in contemporary wushu training.
The student should also continually advance in the spears length, weight and progression
- Hard Wood density; White Oak, Thick White Wax,
- Spear tapered Length 10' - 14' (3m - 4.5m) (Space issues force some students to use a short, heavy spear)
- Attachment of the hair tassel when ready, “blood stopper” (xue dang)
- Attachment of the metal spear head when ready, 500-800g, (0.5-2lbs)
- Additionally, You can also soak the wooden spear rod in natural oils for added weight, grip, longevity to preserve, toughen and maintain the spear.
At this stage, Internal Neijin will refer to the practice of 3 Internal Powers Nèi Jìn (內勁); Míng Jìn (明勁), Àn Jìn (暗勁) , Huà Jìn (化勁). It will require revalidation of past material, and the necessary determination to further refine the soul. It is recommended to study an internal Martial art to incorporate Liuhe as it is very common for Jiāng Lì (僵力) to occur.
級五：'Baji-Pigua Combination' [ 八極劈掛和 ]
The Piguazhang conditioning also includes the infamous "dog skin" hand training. This is accomplished by striking the inside of a dog skin and requires no medicine. Crafted from the skin of a loyal and beloved dog carefully harvested after 10-16 years of age. Soft and supple leather from other domestic animals will work as well, However we must remember the practice was invented when such animals were prized and rare.
The exercises can be performed without the dog skin and is used to develop the whipping relaxed chopping power. Such practices are no longer common, and so acceptable alternatives include canvas bags filled with sand, beans, rice, stones, iron pellets. However, Medicine and high fat and protein diet will be required. The amount of time to develop sufficient waigong [ 外攻 ] conditioning of the palms, hands and fist varies greatly per individual.
All advanced Bajiquan / Piguazhang requires solid systematic training in the basic fundamentals. For modern day practitioners, this step alone could take as long as five to eight years. Nonetheless, should the practitioner complete their training, they will find themselves to be superbly conditioned with a substantial amount of punching power that would even rival some of the best boxers. The punching power would also include the "yin" chopping strategies of the piguazhang system resulting in a very formidable fighter.
Only with years of dedication and commitment will a student truly harmonize both Bajiquan and Piguaquan.
This is all driven by the waist and dantian. The two of the four basic training exercises are illustrated in Figures 11A - 11H.
"Yin and Yang" is the methodology of our ancestors, and the concepts of "movement" and "static" are one of the typical examples of this methodology. Therefore, we can regard the "support hammer" as a unity composed of static posture and dynamic strength. Therefore, if you want to practice the "support hammer" well, you must start with these two aspects: 1. Posing. 2. Practice hard.
Bajiquan has been in circulation for nearly 300 years, and the practice of "Supporting Hammer" has also changed with the emergence of genres, which is normal. Any kind of cultural form will produce genre as long as it reaches the advanced stage, and genre is a symbol of the vitality of this culture. While acknowledging the rationality of the existence of various schools, we must also acknowledge the existence of the mainstream, which is the direction we want to follow. How to judge whether a genre is mainstream? It depends on whether its ideas, methods, etc. conform to the "Tao", the most obvious manifestation of which is in the "Zhong". Everything in line with "China" is the essence of our culture. Therefore, even though there are multiple postures and multiple training methods for "support hammer", we should still start from "middle".
The static posture of the "pigua hammer support" should be placed like this: facing the opponent, one step forward on the left leg (left and right legs can be used, take the left as an example) bending the leg into four or six steps (the two feet are neither vertical nor parallel, and shoulder distance Wide left and right, both feet’s Yongquan acupoints are sucked up to make the feet feel like they are grounded. With your abdomen facing forward, turn your waist so that your left shoulder is forward and your right shoulder is backward. Extend your left arm forward, clenched your left hand with a fist, stick your finger belly on the palm mound, revealing the Laogong acupoint, and your curved thumb is leaning against the middle finger of your index finger. Bend the elbow of the right arm, place a fist under the right rib with the right hand, and the middle finger is level with the navel.
Keep this posture. If you are tired, turn around 180 degrees on the spot and practice to the right. Repeatedly experience whether each part of the body meets the requirements.
The dynamic force of the "support hammer" should be divided into the following steps:
1. The horse step supports the hammer, stands in a horse step, elbows with both arms, and a fist is placed at the waist. (Take the right fist as an example) Inhale deeply. When you are about to inhale your foot, push your legs and twist your waist to make a fist. At the same time, exhale in a hurry. Then, practice left fist. As a reminder, only pay attention to breathing at this stage and forget about breathing later. Breathing is human instinct. It will naturally cooperate with your movements, and it will be true naturally.
2. Four or six steps to support the hammer (take the left leg in front as an example), take a static support posture, relax and concentrate. Without moving his legs, he immediately punched his right fist with his shoulder level. At the same time, the left arm is bent back to under the ribs, the middle finger is level with the belly button. Stop for a while, bend the elbow of the right arm to the original position, and at the same time move the left fist forward.
3. In the previous step, hold the hammer, (take the left leg in front as an example), and the left leg will not move, and the right leg will be flattened by the left leg. At the same time throw a right fist (such as four or six steps to support hammer). Pause briefly and withdraw your right leg to the original position, paying attention to the feeling of landing.
4. Step up and support the hammer, (take the left leg in front as an example), take a small step forward on the left leg, move the right leg forward as far as possible, and make a right fist based on the forward collision of the whole body. (Support the hammer as in the previous step). Stop slightly and practice on the left. Continue to move forward and repeat left and right.
5. With the aid of a Spear, if you can strictly train according to the first 4 steps, then the hammer will definitely be trained, but the strength required for the hammer (this "disease" is the disease of the water, the disease of the storm .) Can not be fully practiced, but also need equipment assistance, Spear is the best choice. How to use a Spear to match the practice of supporting the hammer really varies from person to person, so I will skip it here.
In short, once you have mastered the supporting hammer, you will get the key to open the door of Baji-Piguaquan. The day of entering the hall is not far away. At the same time as practicing hard for supporting the hammer, the practice of Piguaquan should also begin.
級六：Baji 'Five Movements' [ 八極五行形意 ]
Baji 'Five Movements' [ 八極五行形意 ]
Baji ' Six Shape Fists'「 八極六形拳 」
'Baji 'Twelve Shape Fists' [ 八極十二形拳 ]'
Wu-Tang institutions with an Xinyiquan instructor will best suited for this topic.
There are hidden intricacies, missing footwork, applications, and simultaneous striking emphasis with Xinyiquan influenced Bajiquan.
Xingyi Quan, one of the traditional Chinese boxing techniques, emphasizes the unity of inner meaning and appearance. Its three-body posture, five-element fist and twelve-shaped fist are all combined with traditional Chinese culture. Bajiquan, the term "eight-pole" comes from "Between Heaven and Earth, Kyushu Baji". Similar to its name, its boxing style is simple and unpretentious but it exerts rapid force. Moreover, it exerts force on the heel, walks on the waist, and Penetrates the fingertips, so it has a great explosive force and is full of martial arts characteristics. Regardless of the type of boxing, there will always be different ways to the same goal, so there is not much difference between the two types of boxing when you practice to the extreme. But at the beginning, Bajiquan emphasized the change from rigidity to softness, while Xingyiquan focused more on training. Bajiquan pays attention to shaking the feet, while the Xingyiquan footwork emphasizes straight forward and straight back.
級七'：Continuous Infinite Baji Boxing [ 八極羅漢戳脚拳 ]'
Wu-Tang institutions with an Liuhe Tanglang instructor are studying this topic.
A glimpse of what Ohio Wu Tang is Studying. A deep study of Liu He, Bagua, and Baji-Pigua into a seamless walking combative art. This form was composed to help practitioners gain repetitive natural instinct by James Rodgers II under the direction and tutelage of Tony Yang. Baji-Tanglang is also the specialty of the late Su Yu-Chang and his continued work on Mì Mén Tánglángquán.
級八：Ba Da Zhao [ 八大招 ]
The final 'Anxian' knowledge of Wu-Tang style Bajiquan.
(1) Hell three-pointed hand, (2) Tiger climbs the mountain hard, (3) Three ignorances at the door, (4) The king folds the rein, (5) The palm of the wind and Chaoyang, (6) Hard to open the door, (7) ) Yellow Oriole with double claws, (8) Heaven and earth cannon
Influence Of Bajiquan & Beyond
It is important to note that not all locations will have the following within availability at any given time. Everything is meant to be connected, and to be seamlessly incorporated with Bajiquan or rather, as a Martial Artist. Wu-Tang has always seamlessly incorporated all styles of martial arts from around the world when developing it's system and the students. Besides archiving, researching, promoting and developing many traditional Chinese Martial Arts styles prior to the cultural revolution, Wu-Tang students are always encouraged to participate, learn and study the rest of the world; Boxing, Wrestling, Kickboxing, Karate, BJJ, MMA, Wushu, Sanda and many more. Muay Thai and Muay Boran in particular remains a popular choice among Bajiquan enthusiasts. The concept of "style" must be broken after years of training. It is also important to note human, physical differences. What may work well for a tall fighter, may not work for a fighter of shorter stature. Thus, It is important and essential for the institution and instructor to dedicate time and guidance for an case by case particular individual's training. It is also important to learn from many and multiple sources, As it is also common for students to bring with them further martial arts knowledge, to be shared, discussed and tested.
"Realistically, If you want to be unbeatable, You should carry a AK-47" - Master Alex Shen, NY, 2002.
'Mingxian' [明顯] & 'Anxian' [暗顯]
Many techniques of Bajiquan have several layers, meanings and applications. These techniques with multiple levels are similar in appearance to each other, but differ in application and jin generation. The method taught openly and to the masses are 'Ming', While a select few of students are taught privately the secrets of their lineage or particular family, style, teacher, This is the 'An' methods; '明顯大八極' / '暗顯大八極'.
Further Yang Style Training
A high accomplishment within WuTang is when a student is able to demonstrate fluidity and understanding as well as versatility in the three main styles interchangeably and seamlessly combined; Bajiquan, Piguaquan and Tanglangquan. 「八極劈掛螳螂拳」The goal is to integrate both perspectives to combine and create; Baji-Pigua [八極劈掛拳] Some schools will also offer the opportunity for further understanding, with the parent art, Tongbeiquan [通背拳]. Changquan may be revisited, with Mízōngquán [迷蹤拳]
Additionally, Advancements and evolution to previous and new Tanglangquan is highly encouraged.
Essence of Baji-Tanglangquan & GM Su-Yu Chang
The vast resources and inclusion of northern Tanglangquan styles in Wu-Tang associations, As well as becoming taught before Bajiquan, are attributes and contributions made by 'Su-Yu Chang' [ 蘇昱彰 ], (1940-2019). A Taiwanese martial artist who began studying with Liu YunQiao in 1963, Su-Yu Chang was already a gifted martial artist and brought the knowledge of Qiqing Tanglang, Babu Tanglang, Pimen Tanglang, Mizonquan to WuTan.
As most if not all modern Wu-Tang institutions agree to no longer further create new styles, re-naming's, family lineages and brands of Martial Arts. Together with Liu Yun Qiao and others, Su-Yu Chang's Secret Door Preying Mantis research and contributions to what is now more commonly known as Baji-Mantis or Pachi Tanglang [八極螳螂拳 ] The branch institution of Su-Yu Chang has spread globally under 'Pachi Tanglang Martial Arts Institute' [八極螳螂武藝總舘 ]
Further Ying Style Training
Plum Flower Praying Mantis Boxing [梅花螳螂拳]
Taiji Style Praying Mantis [太極螳螂拳]
Six Harmony Praying Mantis [六合螳螂拳]
Xìng Yì Liuhe Quán [形意六合拳]
Essence of Baji-Taijiquan
While many Wu-Tang institutions offer Taijiquan or Tai-Chi to the public, Students of Bajiquan and Tanglangquan are encouraged to learn in preparation, emphasis, and re-softening of the body, and to incorporate the redirection and flow methods of Taijiquan into Bajiquan. Taijiquan exercises will also benefit as an expansion of Bajiquans further understanding of Neijin, Internal Martial arts, Breathing, Yi Jin Jing, development of Liuhe, and the Ying harmonious exercises. Some elements of realistic combat usage from Taijiquan exists, but practice of Taijiquan primary focus for Bajiquan is to 'fill in the gaps & weaknesses'. Chen Style Taijiquan is also studied for it's similarity and ideology to Bajiquan.
What is Unarmed Combat in Wu-Tang?
Outside of clean sparring, body conditioning and development of comradery in WuTang's brotherhood / sisterhood. 'Dirty Boxing' has always been prevalent in combat, especially older competitions; Hidden Headbutts, Hidden Elbow strikes, Bronchiacial Strikes, Forearm Strikes, Stiff Arms, Trapping, Breaking or slipping into Guards, Hip Strikes. Concepts of Bajiquan are regular utilizers of these tactics as well a deep development of controlled "Death Force". Thus it is often powerful misconception to label Bajiquan as simple looking. Combined with the vast arsenal of Chinese Kung Fu styles, Bajiquan has the reputation of becoming the basis as one of the most powerful striking systems in the history of China. Wu-Tang especially favors Tánglángquán (螳螂拳) for more concepts of evasive and trick fighting. In Boxing terms, Bājíquán is our power and In-Fighting, Liuhe for Mid-Range, Pīguàquán for Out-Fighting, and Tánglángquán for Switch / Trick-Fighting. While Sport Sanda has taken the seat as the premier Kung Fu system in China publicly today, Many traditional Kung-Fu styles have changed greatly over the years into contemporary wushu, A genetic term for a collection of modernized Kung Fu styles designed for performance and athletics. The dramatic and interesting solution of current CCP is to promote Sport Sanda and Wushu to the young athletic and gifted, and keep traditional modernized Kung Fu styles as artistic, cultural, touristic, or historic icons. The Bajiquan forms of Wu-Tang have not been changed or stylized away from Li ShuWen and Liu Yun Qiao's, It is unfortunately common for lineages to mistakenly change too much, Even worse change fundamentals that work for the specific individual and mistaking it as a new style, worthy of a new name. Ultimately, similar to how Bajiquan and Piguaquan was separated out of dispute for a time. Brothers of Bajiquan become rivals, and disputes lead to dilution of what was once a more simpler process. The need to change, to add on, to leave a personal legacy, It is the residue that comes with martial arts pride. Principles of traditional Bajiquan and a few other combat focused traditional Chinese martial arts as well as Modern MMA is in use by the Chinese Elite PLA Forces known as Junshi Sanda [军事散打].
1 The primary author's experience of a recent visit to a Shaolin Temple was similar to that expressed in Henning's article (1998).
2 The idea of revealing fundamental training methods as a means of contrasting traditional wushu and contemporary wushu was significantly stimulated by an article by Adam Wallace (1998). In the article, the author began an extensive revelation of the fundamental training methods of Chen style taijiquan.
3 For the most complete and well-documented history of the bajiquan/piguazhang system, see Allen Chen's website JiFeng Martial Arts Club. Mr. James Guo, Allen Chen's teacher, is a former disciple of the late Grandmaster Liu Yunqiao and past secretary for the Wu Tang Martial Arts Association. He is also one of the most knowledgeable scholars regarding Chen style taijiquan.
4 From childhood on, Liu was well-versed in the art of Taizuquan (Emperor's Long Fist) which is said to be one of the forms from which Chen taiji is derived. While in Tianjin during the early 1940's, Liu had a very close relationship with Wang Shushen, a Zhaobao style taiji master. However, the details regarding what exchanged between the two were never revealed by Liu.
5 Kua refers to the inner/outer pelvic area of the hips. When doing the horse stance from the baji system, although the feet are parallel and pointed straight ahead, the knees are ever so slightly pushed inward and forward. This rounds the upper pelvic area and perhaps forces the mingmen (energy meridian at the back area) area to open from the tailbone up the spine. When this is done properly, the folds of the thigh and pelvic areas sink as a unit and you get a relaxed descension of the pelvic tailbone area. This folding is a necessary structural condition in order for power to effectively be generated from the feet and transferred to the waist and upper area.
6 See Henning (1997) for an elaboration of what the primary author considers a definitive assessment of "external" versus "internal".
7 Although this sounds rather extreme and contradicts the images of vegetarian Shaolin monks, it is nonetheless essential. One must keep in mind that the Chinese idea of a serving portion is much smaller than what is served in the West. Many martial artists have followed similar dietary prescriptions and maintained superior health. Liu himself, lived into his eighties and continued practicing well into his late seventies. The late Jou Tsung Hwa, founder of the Taiji Farm, interviewed the Wu style master, Wu Tunan, and was surprised to find that Wu consumed very little rice and vegetables and preferred meat. Wu Tunan lived to be 105-years-old. Of course, modifications can be made relative to the intensity of one's training and/or religious beliefs.
Chen, Allen. website JiFeng Martial Arts Club.
Henning, S. (1998). Reflections on a visit to the Shaolin Monastery. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 7(1), 90-101.
Henning, S. (1997). Chinese Boxing: The internal versus external schools in the light of history and theory. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 6(3), 10-19.
Wallace, A. (1998). Internal training: The foundation for Chen's taijiquan's fighting skills and health promotion. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 7(1), 58-89.
Wong, J. (1992). A brief description of Chen style master Du Yuze. Journal of Asian Martial Arts, 1(1), 26-33.
Photographs taken by Mr. Andy Lianto of Indonesia. His comments and translations were very helpful in this article.
The primary author of this article wishes to sincerely thank Mr. James Guo for his guidance with regard to stimulating changes in the author's overall perspective on traditional northern Chinese wushu. However, Mr. Guo is not responsible for any of the interpretations, discussions and/or potential mistakes which may be present in this article. These are solely the responsibility of the primary author. The primary author also wishes to thank Mr. James Finley for his help in developing a deeper understanding of the power found in the bajiquan/piguazhang system and Dr. Ken Dunning for various discussions and layout suggestions.