Bajiquan Wikia

Wu Zhong was a Hui Muslim man from Zhuangke village, QingYun county (originally part of Cangzhou city in Hebei province, but is now part of Dezhou city in Shandong province), the first recorded practitioner of Bajiquan, a martial art first referenced in the 16th Century mililary treaty "Jixiao Xin Shu" (纪效新书).[1] He was the first person to teach Bajiquan in Hebei and Shandong.


Wu Zhong 吴钟


He was also referred to as "King Of The Spear" in Zhuangke village in Qingyun county. He also went by the titles "Divine Spear"/"Magic Spear" (Shen Qiang) as well as "God of Spear".[2]


Early Life

Wu Zhong was born in 1712 and lived during the reigns of the emperors Kangxi and Yong Zhen.

Origins of Bajiquan

The story surrounding who Wu learned his kungfu from is subject to much debate with various sources and various schools of bajiquan giving different accounts. Most sources, however, name the Taoist wandering monk Lai (癞, lài, "Leprosy") and his disciple Pi (癖, pǐ, "Craving") as the ones who came to MengCun and taught Wu Bajiquan and LiuHe DaQiang. While the story of Lai and Pi is open to some debate, it is accepted that Wu traveled much throughout his life and that these two names may simply be symbolic of the knowledge that he acquired over his life and travels.[3]

As the practice of martial arts gradually recovered, following the Cultural Revolution, and as interest in Bajiquan increased, particularly following the 1980s, people began to research the origins of the style in greater detail. Central to this discussion was the identity of Lai and Pi, and whether or not they actually existed. Various authors have linked Bajiquan to the Shaolin temple in SongShan, the YueShan temple of BoHai, Henan, the Taoist temples of WuDangShan, HuBei and even Ding FaXiang (丁发祥, 1615 – 1694), another famous martial artist from MengCun village. These hypotheses are generally, however, only supported by oral testimony or post 1950 documentation, leading credence to the theory that many of these origin stories are attempts to "cash in" on the economical potential of laying claim to the "original/authentic Bajiquan". 

Alternative Claims

Alternative Claim: Ming Dynasty

There are different opinions about the origin time and place of Bajiquan. One reference in originated in the Ming Dynasty, because in Imperial General Qi Jiguang's (1528-1587) "New Book of Ji Xiao-Boxing Jie Luo Pian", (it was mentioned that "Baziquan" means "Bajiquan".

Alternative Claim: SongShan Shaolin Temple
Alternative Claim: WudangShan Temples
Alternative Claim: Zhang YueShan/YueShan Temple

One story, given by Ma FengTu, explains that Wu perfected his spear play thanks to Zhang YueShan of YueShan Temple. Unfortunately, historical records do not seem to provide much evidence corroborating Ma's testimony or indicating that LiuHe DaQiang, Bajiquan or any other martial art were practiced at YueShan temple.

According to Ma, Wu is said to have learned the principles of LiuHe DaQiang from Zhang. Prior to this, Wu was already proficient in wielding a spear, but was not familiar with the principles of Liuhe DaQiang, and it was Zhang who taught these to him; specifically "the combined methods of advance and retreat" (進退合戰之法  jintui hezhan zhi fa). Following the encounter, Wu would continue to perfect his skills, later proving himself in Beijing and Tianjin where he earned his nickname "Divine Spear" after defeating a number of well known spear masters. After this, Wu's Bajiquan teaching would always include the use of LiuHe DaQiang. Additionally, he would set up a "paradigm" school for teaching martial arts in Zhuangke village, Qingyun county.

Alternative Claim: Ding FaXiang

Wu Zhong, whose name is Hongsheng, is a native of Haifeng, Shandong (now a native of Houzhuangke, Qingyun, Shandong), and the Hui nationality. Born in the tenth year of the Yongzheng period (1732), the famous Bajiquan master during the Yongzheng period of the Qing Dynasty, he was known for his intelligence, courage, and extraordinary freedom when he was eight years old. He is a wandering monk of "Lepros", who is good at Baji boxing and spear skills of "Lepros". After becoming an artist, he wandered about the rivers and lakes, the heroes fight for justice, make art friends, and integrate the achievements of the predecessors. After years of hard work, they have formed their own unique style, unique and self-contained. On the way back to his hometown, Wu Zhong unfortunately fell ill in Meng Village and was taken care of by Wu Yong and Ding Xiaowu in the village. Wu Yong and Ding Xiaowu are kind and fond of martial arts, and they have some basic skills. The two are very close to each other, and they are very close to each other. The latter two worshipped Zhong as their teacher and intensively studied martial arts . After recovering from illness, Wu Zhong was invited by the Ding and Wu families to teach art in Mengcun. From the 56th year of Qianlong (1791) to the 12th year of Jiaqing (1807, 75 years old), he taught art for 16 years. Jiquan and Liuhe big spear were passed to Ding Xiaowu and Wu Yong. Ding Xiaowu's spear is particularly strong, and Wu Yong's fist is particularly strong. At that time, there was a saying of Ding Qiang Wu Quan. According to Luo Tuanpu records, Wu Rong, Ding Xiaowu, and Wu Yong also taught Bajiquan to Luotuan Li Dazhong, Zhang Keming and others in Cangzhou, Hebei. Since then, Bajiquan has spread in Cangzhou, Hebei. During the Yongzheng period, Wu Zhong went to Shaolin Temple three times alone, without any hidden weapons on his body, and a large gun pierced all over the south, seven, north and sixty-three provinces, hitting the world's invincible hand. He was hailed as "Nanjing to Beijing, the number of brilliant guns. ". He is the ancestor of the Bajimen, died in Jiaqing seven years, at the age of ninety. On October 6, 2010, the National Wuzhong Bajiquan Research Association held a grand monument erecting ceremony for Wu Zhong, the ancestor of Bajiquan in Houzhuangke Village, Qingyun County, Shandong Province, in the hometown of Bajiquan Master Wu Zhong.


In the Chinese martial arts community, comes to the origins of Ba Ji Quan, Ba Ji Quan people have mentioned the ancestor of Wu Zhong.  

    Wu Zhong, whose name is Hongsheng, is of the Hui nationality (1733-1823), from Houzhuangke Village, Yanwu Township, Qingyun County, Shandong Province.

    According to the existing records of Wu Zhong's clan genealogy in August of the second year of Yongzheng: Wu Zhong's family was originally from Shanxi Province, and later moved to She County, Huizhou Prefecture (now Anhui Province), and moved to Cangzhou in Xuande Nianwen of the Ming Dynasty. later. Wu Zhong's grandfather, Wu Shimeng, moved to Houzhuangke Village, Qingyun County, Shandong Province in the second year of Yongzheng. Wu Zhong's father, Wu Tianshun, has a solid family business and two hectares of arable land.

    1. Wu Zhong Xueyi

    (1) Li Shuwen's "Octochi Boxing Book" Chapter One "Octochi Boxing Origin" reads straight to the point: "The Baji Boxing was passed down from Henan Shaolin Temple (Songshan). During the Qing Yong Carnival, Shandong Haifengzhuang Branch There is Wu Zhong in the village, who like boxing skills and good communication. Anyone who has heard of martial arts will have to learn from martial arts, so he will make great progress. To visit a famous teacher for further study, I will stick to the end and ask for a reward. There is an old man to bring it. When his wife came to visit, Zhong and his language skills, knowing that he is a master, follow the teacher. After several years of instruction by the old man, he has worked hard day and night, and the skill of the clock has been improved. One day, the old man is visiting friends, and Zhong goes to the old man's place He said to his mother. The old wife said:'You have practiced skills day and night for years and nights, how amazing the skills are, and demonstrate them.' Zhong Nai demonstrated in the court. After the performance, the old wife said:'Xi Er has worked hard for several years, but his life skills have not yet been completed. To be refined, it is to point out the mystery.'The old man's wife is also good at attackers. Zhong Ji has a foundation due to years of hard training, and after the old man's wife follows the finger, he suddenly penetrates. The old man returns and sees Zhong's acting skills, surprised His skills are already great! The old man asked his wife, and his wife told him the truth, and the old man said: "The skill of the clock has a foundation. After you have given it to me, his skills have surpassed ours, and I cannot stay here for long." Don't go. Zhong Wei seeks further studies, so he went to Shaolin Temple with his capital and worshiped the old Zen master in the temple as his teacher."

    (2) Zhong has worked with the old Zen master in Shaolin Temple to make Bajiquan and Qigong for 3 years. Afterwards, Shaolin Temple visited friends everywhere, and traveled all over the famous mountain capitals in the north and south of the river. Later, he went to Solo Village, Xishan, Yan'an, Shaanxi, and learned Liuhe Great Marksmanship by Lai Kuiyuan for 3 years, and the Great Marksmanship also made great progress. After several years of hard training, Mr. Wu has refined Bajiquan, Great Spear and other weapons.

    (3) Wu Zhonghou went to Xianshuigu, Zhili, Tianjin, to set up a jab bar. One day a martial artist came to the field to compete with Wu Zhong. The visitor used a single pole against Wu Zhong's big spear and solved his big gun tricks one by one. Wu Zhong was very regretful for his defeat. Someone said: "Brother, you are not an outsider, I am your brother, and I will pass the sword to you with respect to Master Lai Kuiyuan!" It turned out that Master Lai Kuiyuan sent disciple Pi Mou to teach Wu Zhong Piao Yao knife method, Piao Yao knife is also called Liuhe knife and Tilong knife (circle knife). Wu Zhong's mastery of the dangling sword technique is even more powerful.

    Wu Zhong made many martial arts friends in the Beijing-Tianjin area, and his eponymous martial arts masters Kanteli, Li Zhang, and Liu Sanshan exchanged scores for the table. Each of them has its own advantages and each dedicated its strengths. Sometimes there are: "Kanteli's stick (Yugong Dayou stick), Wu Zhong's spear (Qigong Jiguang 24 spears), short shots to capture Li Zhang (24 positions button punches), Liu Sanshan's octopole sixty-four positions Travel around the world". The four people set up together for four years to exchange skills. Wu Zhong learned Yu Gong's big stick and twenty-four button boxing.

    Later, Wu Zhong has been living in Zhili and Shandong, making a living as setting up courts and bodyguards. At the same time, he organized and summarized what he had learned to form his own style of Bajiquan and Liuhe Big Spear System, opening doors, Bajiquan and Liuhe. Big guns began to combine, this was the first qualitative leap in Bajiquan history. Wu Zhong is famous for his "great spear" and is known as "Nanjing to Beijing, the number of great spears is Wu Zhong".

    2. Hero Wu Zhong

    In the southeast of Cangzhou Mengcun Town, the wealthy gentry, Ding and Wu asked Wu Zhong to teach apprentices. Wu Zhong and his eldest daughter Wu Rong lived in Mengcun Town and set up an apprenticeship for 16 years. During this period, Wu Zhong systematically organized the martial arts skills he learned throughout his life. With the assistance of his daughter Wu Rong, Wu Zhong repeatedly refines and revises the fine arts he has learned, carefully researches and consolidates his achievements. He learned the best of breathing methods from many people and created unique breathing methods and exercises. In order to make the moves with overall strength spread in all directions, and reach the limit, he drilled hard and hit hard, invincible, he created the "eight types" of extremely effective methods of attacking. In order to achieve the effect of defeating the enemy, Wu Zhong has refined the "eight moves" from the skills he has learned and has been verified by hundreds of times. Each move can be based on actual combat. The situation in China has been changed into countless methods. Wu Zhong called his own boxing method of "melting fitness and martial arts into one furnace", which means that you must have sufficient grasp when competing with the enemy. You must have a strategy. Later, I repeatedly realized that the human body’s four legs and eight knots are all means to control the enemy. In actual combat, the intention is to shoot in all directions, with fists and feet at will. With far hands, near elbows, fingers like cones, palms like an axe, Fist like a hammer, stick with the top of the elbow, shoulder bump, hip squeeze, back leaning, family planning extremely, extremely containment, impress by movement, head-on collision, three-set combo, in one go. Stabilize the target in all directions at a very fast speed, Difficultly and ruthlessly, it exerts its great power of attack, that is, it can use its power at all times. So he renamed the boxing method he created "Bajiquan". "八" means "eight meanings" and "eight shapes". Jinfa has eight sides, and eight sides are all directions. "Extreme" means that the eight sides of Jinfa are all based on "extreme". And gradually formed "Liuhe", "Liukai", "Eight Jin", "Eight Methods" and "Liuhe Big Spear" With the participation of his daughter Wu Rong, Hou Yi absorbed Li Zhang’s ingenious and meticulous methods of short-strike and capture, and combined with the unique characteristics of his son-in-law’s son-in-law’s ancestral style, which further enriched the Bajiquan. The content of the exercise and systematic exercises created the Wu Zhong-style Bajiquan genre with vigorous and violent style and characteristics of enduring, collapsing, squeezing and relying on martial arts.  

    Wu Zhong has excellent boxing and weapons, especially big guns. According to historical records, during the Yongzheng period, the newly built gate of Shaolin Temple in Zhejiang had hidden organs and buried wooden figures, wooden monkeys, bows, crossbows, swords and axes, making it impossible to defend against people. People who are not skilled in martial arts will be injured by hidden weapons when they enter. Wu Zhong went to Shaolin Temple alone with one hand. With a big gun, he blocked the front and the back, blocked from the left to the right, and ran through three consecutive doors. With many hidden weapons, he was naked. He was awarded as the "Wu God Spear" by the Zhensi Qinguan Officer. According to other records, Wu Zhong also went to Shaolin Temple in Quanzhou, Fujian Province alone for three times, went to the Arhat Hall at night, and obtained Yugu whip skillfully. His martial arts was prominent and famous for a while.

    Later, Wu Zhong traveled to Hangzhou. The abbot of a temple was a master of Shaolin. Wu Zhong failed to compete with his skills. The abbot was convinced and gave Wu Zhongmian a pouch. Wu Zhong went to Yanjing from the north of Zhejiang. At that time, the 14th son of Emperor Kangxi, Aixinjueluo, was the king of Xunqin in the capital. His marksmanship was excellent and each showed his own side. The two sides tried to fight each other, and they thought it was a kind of bamboo weapon with a sharp but no tip). Before the match, tie the skin with white powder at Pan Duan, and you will win or lose by wearing the powder. Aijue Silla showed off his life skills and made frequent moves, but they were all cracked by Wu Zhong, and none of them appeared on the body. But Wu Zhong shook his big spear and a "golden rooster nodded", and the eyebrows of King Xunqin were whitened, but the other party did not notice it at all. The King of County Xunqin suspected that Wu had illusion skills, wiped his face and tried again, and once again he powdered his eyebrows without noticing it. Emperor Qianlong watched the joy of it, and his imperial pen inscribed himself with the inscription "Writing has Tai Chi to secure the world, and Wu has eight extremes to determine the universe." There is a proverb from time to time that "Nanjing goes to Beijing, but the big gun counts Wu Zhong".

    In the forty years of Qianlong, Wu Zhong returned to his hometown and served his mother as his filial piety. He began to pass on the art industry, called "Alien Shu" or "Wu Jiaquan". Sang Zi was a scholar and hundreds of miles away and had many students. Wu Zhong chose the best to accept it, and only three people entered the music spectrum, namely: his daughter Wu Rong, his grandson Wu Zhongyu, and his great-grandson Wu Xin.

    In the fifty-fifth year of Qianlong, Wu Zhong, "the end of fear of alien art", instructed his disciple Wu Xu to write the spectrum of "Martial Arts". Because of the imperial reputation of Emperor Qianlong, it was called "Wu's Eight-Chi Boxing".


In the afternoon of the 15th of October 1802, Wu Zhong died at the age of 90. As there were no other relatives around the tomb of WuZhong's father, Wu TianShun, and according to the will of WuZhong, WuYing carried WuZhong's body back to HouZhuangKe and buried it in the tomb of Wu TianShun. Wu Zhong died in Daoguang (1823) Today, Wu Zhong's tomb is in Houzhuangke Village, Qingyun County, Shandong Province.

In the village of HouZhuanKe, you can now find a tomb that's assigned to WuZhong. However, according to the family research of the Wu's, the tombs inside HouZhuanKe were levelled off during a cultural revolution. This means that the exact location of Wu Zhong's tomb is lost.


Notable Students


Lai > Wu Zhong

Pi > Wu Zhong


  2. Bajiquan (Eight Cardinal Boxing) and Liuhe (Six Harmony Spear) - Journal of Chinese Martial Studies 01.2009
  3. Brief History of Baji Quan - Wu Family Bajiquan