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The technique of bajiquan

Baji-quan is a quan-shu branch mainly with short attacking strokes and hand moves such as ai ("to punch"), ban ("to thrust"), tsi ("to restrict"), kao ("to prop up") and others.

Bajiquan renders positive effect on physical state, swiftness, coordination and other qualities.


All existing wushu styles and schools can be divided on "external" and "internal". If muscular force and "harsh" technique are appropriate for "external" styles, "internal" styles operate with flexibility, “softness” and energy - qi. The basic term "Qi" (vital energy) appeal to early Taoists systems and initial texts of natural philosophy, and also to the traditional Chinese medicine. Due to it, the most typical representatives of "external" styles are Shaolin wushu branches and discerning schools, while "internal" styles until recently were three basic ones: Taiji, Bagua and Xinyi.

Information about Bajiquan origin is contradictory. In the ancient book the 'Huai Nan Zi' it is said that between the Heavens and the Earth there are nine 'Jio' and eight 'Ji'; beyond the nine 'Jio' there are eight 'Yan'; beyond the eight 'Yan' there are eight 'Hong'. 'Yan' means remoteness, extending into the far distance, 'hong' means breadth; so Baji was said to be something which spreads and extends out to infinity. The other legend says it means ''empty fist'', possibly due to the typical shape of the fist formed when practicing this style. Later on, some schools made their own interpretations of the "bajiquan" name. Some referred it to 8 spots of a human body: head, shoulders, elbows, hands, buttocks, hips, knees, and feet. Others tried to highlight "internal powers" work, or quan, generated and spread among 8 directions.

According to the old texts a man named Wu Zhong (nicknamed Hong Sheng 1712-1802), also the founder of Ba Men Chuan (eight doors style) in North China, started to practice Wusnu when he was eight. He liked martial arts and practised day and night, no matter what weather was like. One night Wu Zhong was practising Wushu in the courtyard and an old man suddenly jumped from the roof and stood in front of him, laughed at him and said he was not practising properly. Wu Zhong asked who he was but the old man didn't answer and started doing some kung-fu. Wu Zhong had never in his life seen such techniques so he asked the old man to sit down and tell him what he was doing. The old man told Wu Zhong a great deal about martial arts theory and techniques, most of which he had never previously heard. Wu Zhong asked him what style he was doing, the old man said it was 'Baji quan'. Immediately Wu Zhong knelt down and begged him to be his student. The old man refused and said, "I'm going to travel a lot. How can I teach you?" But Wu Zhong persisted, performed three kowtows, and told him how much it would mean to him to be taught by him. The old man, realizing Wu Zhong was sincere and had a deep love for Wushu, was so impressed by his determination and enthusiasm that he agreed to accept him as a student. So he stayed at Wu Zhong's house and started teaching him. After ten years of practice the old man said: "I've taught you almost everything and I have to leave now." Wu Zhong was very upset and said: "Master, you’ve been teaching me for ten years but you have never mentioned your name or who you are." The old man said, "My last name is known only to my closest students - it is Lai." The old man was Lai Kou Yuan, one of the great and almost legendary masters of the part-Later, after Wu Zhong had improved on Ba-Ji and it became more advanced he was invited to teach.

Wu Zhong passed the style on to Li Da-Zhong and Chang Kemin; Li then taught his son Li Gui-Zhao, and Chang taught his son Chang Jing-Xing. Through several more generations the art was passed on to the great 20th century master Ma Fu-Luo, still alive today in his 80s, living in Ningxia, China. Ma Fu-Luo is the head of the Hui minority people in his province and a strict Muslim not considering himself to be a Chinese. Indeed, in the past he has led a battalion of resistance fighters against both the Japanese and the Chinese. Until recently he has refused to teach Baji to any Chinese or non - Muslim.

In 1984 Master Ji Jlan Cheng met him and saw him performing Baji. Master Ji had previously studied Baji at the famous Wushu Institute of Chengdu but when he observed Master Ma he noticed thal the Baji as practised by Ma Fu-Luo was absolutely other style, much more powerful than he studied before.

Bajiquan is a very practical and powerful style. Its external form is pretty simple, while perfect moves turn taolu complex into graceful dance. Though being regular training, Bajiquan can impress with mighty and rigid technique. A very swift close coming and breaking an opponent’s defense opens an opportunity to use the whole range of strokes and throws in any sequence.

On the left photo master Kang Tain Cheng demonstrates a typical bajiquan technique "Beng". It is a Baji strategy pattern. As for internal work, it is not as evident as external. It takes time to use effectively internal powers, especially use it in technique

The technique of bajiquan The technique of bajiquan The technique of bajiquan

Bajiquan - " 8 celestial spheres ", 8 main forces (jin), 8 stroke surfaces.

The technique of bajiquan

Bajiquan - "8 celestial spheres", 8 main forces (jin), 8 stroke surfaces. The full title is "Kaimen Bajiquan" - "a 8-time box gate opening". Its is named also "8-time-box of Yue mountain”. Main Techniques are: 6 large openings, 8 large forms, and also taolu, such as: bajiquan (bajiduitse), 6 elbows (lyu djou tou), etc. The main kinds of weapon to work with are: luhedaquan, duitsze, daluhe etc.
Power methods: to fall, to shake, to break through, to beat, to draw near, to prick, to press, to lean, to knock, to foil, etc.
Unique features: short motions, long and short motions, force drop - powerful and fast and rigid motions (to lean, to draw closer and to emerge) including elbows that make a body firm in its lower part.
Bajiduitse (name bajiquan) - has 4 tracks and 42 forms of motions. The major forms are: to hit, to work with elbow from left and right sides, to seize and to beat, to kick in motion, to raise a frame, to hang and to fall down, to press foot and to prick, etc.
Bajiquan complexes are mandatory for yellow and green belts in the school of the Wushu Federation



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