Bājíquán (traditional Chinese: 八極拳; pinyin: Bājíquán; literally "eight extremes fist"; Japanese: 八極拳, Hakkyokuken) is a Chinese martial art that features explosive, short range power and is famous for its elbow strikes. It originated in Hebei Province in Northern China, but is also well-known in other places today, especially Taiwan.Origins
Bajiquan was originally called Baziquan (巴子拳 or 鈀子拳; literally "rake fist"), due to the fact that when not striking, the fist is held loosely and slightly open, resembling a rake, and also the art from involves many downward strike moves, just like a rake's movement in the field. However, the name was considered to be rather crude sounding in its native tongue, so it was changed to the title Bajiquan. The term baji, which comes from the oldest book in China, the I Ching, signifies "an extension of all directions." In this case, it means "including everything" or "the universe."
The first recorded teacher was Wu Zhong 吴钟(1712-1802). Famous teachers that promoted the style included Wu Xiu Feng 吴秀峰, Li Shu Wen 李书文 (1864-1934), (Cangzhou, Hebei, very skillful with the spear that earned him the nickname "God of Spear Li."). A Peking Opera Wu Shen (Martial Male Character) by training, he was foremost in his Kung Fu Basic trainings. His most famous quote about fighting was, "I do not know what it's like to hit a man twice." Li Shuwen's most famous students include Huo Dian Ge 霍殿阁 (bodyguard to Pu Yi, the last Emperor of China), Li Chenwu (bodyguard to Mao Zedong), and Liu Yun Qiao 刘云樵 (secret agent for the nationalist Kuomintang and instructor of the bodyguards of Chiang Kai Shek - Generalissimo of the national government of the Republic of China (ROC) from 1928 until his death in 1975). Because of this, Bajiquan has come to be known as "The Bodyguard Style". Ma Feng Tu 马凤图 and Ma Yin Tu 马英图 introduced Ba Ji fist into central/nan jing kuo shu guan 南京国术馆 (central Chinese Martial Arts Academy). It was a required practice for all students there. (ref:Ba Zi Jie Xi: a talk on rake fist 耙子解析)
Bajiquan shares roots with another Hebei martial art, Piguazhang. It is said that Wu Zhong, the oldest traceable lineage holder in the Bajiquan lineage, taught both arts together as an integrated fighting system. They then slowly split apart, only to be remarried by Li Shuwen in the late 18th to early 19th century. As a testament to the complementary nature of these two styles, there is a Chinese martial arts proverb that goes: "When pigua is added to baji, gods and demons will all be terrified. When baji is added to pigua, heroes will sigh knowing they are no match against it." (八極參劈掛，神鬼都害怕。劈掛參八極，英雄嘆莫及)
Today, the lineage holder of Bajiquan in China is Wu Lian Zhi 吴连枝. He is also the prototype of Akira Yuki of Virtua Fighter fame. Through more than 50 years of training, he collected much material and records which were passed down from generation to generation.FeaturesTactics and stragedy:
Ba Ji fist is known to open the opponent's door/arms forcibly or Qiang Kai Men 强开门 and mount attacks at high, mid, and low levels of the body or San Pan Lian Ji 三盘连击. Thus the style is also called Kai Men Ba Ji Quan 开门八极拳.
Most Chinese Kung Fu styles have their own fighting forté. Bajiquan is generally used in close combat. With this concept, Bajiquan pays much attention to elbow, knee, shoulder and hip strikes. When blocking an attack or nearing an opponent, Bajiquan techniques emphasize striking major points of vulnerability, the thorax (trunk of the body) and roots (legs and neck).
Six big ways of opening door or Liu Da Kai 六大开:
1. Ding 顶: using the fist, elbow, shoulder etc to push forward and upward.
2. Bao 抱: putting 2 arms together as if hugging someone. It is usually followed by Pi 劈.
3. Ti 提: elevating the knee to hit the thigh of the opponent, or elevating the foot to hit the shin of the opponent etc.
4. Dan 单: using a single move.
5. Kua 胯: using the hip.
6. Chan 缠: entanglement with rotation around the wrist, elbow and shoulder etc
(ref: The Treasure Book of Chinese Martial Arts, Volume 1)Stepping and Body Methods:
Footwork in Bajiquan is simple compromising of three special features: Zhen Jiao, Nian Bu and Chuang Bu. These striking techniques are closely related to ancient Chinese medicine, which states that all parts of the body are directly connected, either physically or spiritually.Open Hand Forms and Weapons:
The forms of Baji are divided into Fist (non-weapon) and Weapon forms. There are 20 fist forms. Some of these include: 12 Baji Small Structure Fists, Baji Black Tiger Fist, Baji Dan Zhai, Baji Dan Da/Dui Da, Baji Luo Han Gong, and Baji Si Lang Kuan. In Weapon forms, there are eight different kinds of weapons, including the very famous Liu He Da Qiang (spear), Liu He Hua Qiang (spear), Chun Yang Jian (sword), San Yin Dao (sabre), Xing Zhe Bang (staff), Pudao, and Chun Qiu Da Dao (long two-handed heavy blade, used by Generals sitting on their horses).Power Generation and Expression Methods:
The major features of this school of Chinese martial arts include elbow strikes, arm/fist bashes, hip checks, and strikes with the shoulder. All techniques are executed with a very distinctive form of short power, developed through rigorous training; in Chinese martial arts, Baji is famous for its very violent and fast movements. Strategically, Baji focuses on in-fighting, entering from a longer range with Baji's distinctive charging step ("zhen jiao") and issuing power up close.
The essence of Bajiquan lies in jin, or power-issuing methods, particularly fajin (explosive power). The style contains a total of six types of jin, eight different ways to hit and several different principles of power usage. Unlike most western forms of martial arts which require swinging motion to create momentum, most of Bajiquan's moves utilize a one-hit push-strike method from very close range. The bulk of the damage is dealt through the momentary acceleration that travels up from the waist to the limb and further magnified by the charging step known as zhen jiao.
The mechanics of jin are developed through many years of practice and Bajiquan is known for its particularly strenuous lower-body training and its emphasis on the horse stance. Its horse stance is higher than that of typical Long Fist styles. Like other styles, there is also "the arrow-bow stance", "the one-leg stance", "the empty stance" (xūbù 虚步), "the drop stance" (pūbù 仆步) , etc. There are eight different poses of hands, plus different types of breathing and zhen jiao.
Six Major Characteristic Powers:
1. Sinking (Xia Chen 下沉 or Chen Zhui 沉坠) 2. Thrusting (Chong 冲) 3. Extending (Cheng 撑) 4. Entangling (Chan 缠) 5. Cross (Shi Zi 十字) 6. Inch (Cun 寸)
(ref: The Treasure Book of Chinese Martial Arts, Volume 2)Influences
There may not be that many styles in kung fu that resemble Bajiquan. The Baji style focuses on being more direct, culminating and powerful, fast strikes that will render an opponent unable to continue. Even so, there are some styles that have derived by using Baji Quan’s main principles or concepts on how to hit your opponent:
* "Bashi" (Eight postures)
* "Bashi Gong" (Eight movements method)
* "Bashi Chui" (Eight striking Forms)
* "Shuang Bashi" (Double Eight Postures),
* "Jingang Bashi" (Eight postures of the Buddha Guards.)
* "Longxing Bashi" (Eight postures of the Dragon Style).
Many of these forms are also based or mixed with Luohan Quan, a Shaolin style. The term Bashi Pashi may also refer to Baji. But it can also be noted that Bashi is also a term used in the style of Xingyi Quan.
Bruce Lee, along with many of his contemporaries, studied styles like Bajiquan. Along with his training of wing chun, Lee incorporated useful moves from other styles, including Bajiquan.Videos
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