Learn Baji fist in China

  Baji fist, one of the northern fist styles, also called “Kaimen Baji Quan”, “Baji Fist ”, “Bazi Fist” and “Zuoshaxing” , is a kind of “DuanDa” fist style. According to the most popular opinions about Baji fist, it originated from the Hui-people of Cang County in Hebei province. Its first generations of descendants came from Martial Artist Wuzhong who lived in the beginning of the Qing dynasty. Baji fist is closely connected with the military system. Because it has a very strong power, it has been used for “imperial martial arts”, specifically protecting politicians in modern history. The bodyguards of people such as Fuyi( the last emperor of the Qing dynasty)、Mao Zedong(the first chairman of the People’s Republic of China.)、Jiang Jieshi( the president of the Republic of China) are all Baji fist disciples. It is very popular nowadays in Northern China and Taipei, and has also been introduced abroad in Japan,Korea,France,India,America and Canada. It was chosen as one of the first batches of national intangible cultural heritage in 2010.

These are some pictures of Baji training at school,click here to see more :

 As for Baji fist, it came from a great but strange man, called Lai, who was skilled in Martial Arts in the beginning of Qing emperor-Yongzheng( 1478-1735). Wuzhong, Hui-people, who came from Cang County of Heibei province, took in advantages of many schools, inherited from his master and then created Baji fist. He single handedly attacked the Southern shaolin temple and won.His abilities were superior to that of the imperial lord(Yinti), and was known to everyone, so he built his own style. Wuzhong, born in 52nd year of Qing emperor kangxi, died in 7th year of Qing emperor Jiaqing.

   “Baji” refers to eight very distant places as the hands can reach as far as possible because they move around all sides.“Kaimen” has four meanings: The first is to be independent and unique. The second is to take in disciples and communication. The third is particularly about 6 "Kai"and 8 "Hitting-Forms", (6 "Kai" refers to DING, BAO, TI, KUA, Chan and Dan), both of which have the ability to create power in 3 forms: creation, explosion and invulnerability. The fourth is to be enlightened to realize the truth.                   

“Baji fist” style has unique characteristic as a martial art: simple moves, aggressive and explosive force, violent ups and downs, powerful extension and various movements. Its power is violent, made by Qi, and with “ heng、ha” sounds. Baji movements can be described like the the tense bow, exploding like a bomb, moving the whole body, as quick as lightening and with conformity of power stomping、twisting、colliding. Contact is usually close to the body, giving off a natural threat. Moves imitate ten kinds of animals like dragon, tiger, bear, deer, monkey, big bird, rooster, crane, camel and snake; power come from ten moves like DOU, SUO, LENG,HAN,LUE,BENG,CHENG,TING,SHU,HENG. It was formally authorized as one of ten Chinese splendid fist styles by National Sports Committee and Chinese Martial Arts Experts Association in 1997.

Baji Master performing the form.

 In Baji Quan, head and feet connect Qian( sky) and Kun (ground). Shoulder, knee, elbow and hip face to four directions. Arms are separated back and forth by symmetry, holding Qi in middle Dan tian. Make Qi with mind and drive power with Qi, integrate the hands and feet, integrate the knees and elbows, integrate the hips and shoulders, integrate mind and will, integrate will and Qi, integrate Qi and force. It has furious and fierce power, which is swift, flexible, changeable and mysterious. Baji fist pays a lot of attention to attack and defense techniques. And for its application, it speaks of  “Ai、Bang、Ji、Kao,making use of every bit of time, defending and attacking at the same time.

    Baji fist style belongs to “DuanDa” fist, movements are very aggressive. In regards to techniques, it suggests blocking and grabbing explosively, hitting powerfully, embodying the characters such as “Ai、Bang、Ji、Kao” and “Beng、Han、Tu、Ji” . The power originates from the heel, goes through to waist, all the way to the finger tips, and has a great explosive power filled with an art of attack and defense. Because the movements are very aggressive and explosive, a saying in Chinese folklore says: it is Yin and Yang Taichi culture that guarantees the universal peace, and it is Baji fist that stabilize Qian and Kun.

   Baji is not only famous for its aggressive techniques, but also famous for its close quarter’s combat application. The most famous one is “TIE SHAN KAO (push with body close to). When practicing “TIE SHAN KAO”, Baji disciples usually use their body to hit the wall, trees and logs. The key point of it is to get close to it, as close as kissing someone, hitting him with shoulder. It seems that power comes from the shoulder but actually the twisting power which is made by waist and hip does great harm to people, who can be taken down as well. 6 "Kai" combines six powers, which is explosive and destructive, however, about “TIE SHAN KAO”; there is a very important Baji kick, which is called “CUO TI” (rubbing kick). Doing Baji fist is like walking under the mud, kick lower than the knees. “CUO TI” can just embody this character, it requires that foot step under the opponent’s knee, and foot is the best part to land. So this kick is not as destructive as other kicks, but it mainly aims at breaking his balance, achieving the efficiency of beating him down with less power but more technique.

   Additionally, it is one of the fists that pay attention to the combination of normal training and sparring. Sudden up and down movements and constant approaches once combat is initiated, the biggest quality of Baji attack. With its great practical value, some characteristics are adopted by military and armed policemen when practicing Qinna, take downs, and combat.

  The Qi’s circulation way in Baji: starts from the lower back, gets stronger in neck, originates from the waist, step like walking under mud, with Qi going down instead of up.

   There are nine requirements for body gesture, as listed below:
   1. Keep body straight and mind clear
   2. Relax shoulder and keep Qi down
   3. To be straight externally and to be round internally
   4.  Keep neck straight and upper body closed
   5. Shake hips and bend waist
   6. Improve the coordination of the feet and hands
   7. Let the Qi go through the power
   8. Whole body attacks together
   9. Concentrate on Dan tian.    

 The basic rules for Baji Fist attack: don’t move until the opponent starts moving. If the opponent moves, we use hands as the temptation to lure other people to move. And then, we keep attacking and breaking through the opponent’s guard. With this simple philosophy, we can beat the opponent. 

   The techniques of Baji Fist: for the upper body, we should hit it slightly. For the middle body, we do “AI、BANG、JI、KAO”. For the lower body, we control and try breaking the balance. It is particularly about attacking continuously with whole body. For the higher attack, we don’t block with “CHAN”; for the middle and lower attack, we don’t defend with blocking upward. We ignore right and left punches and pay more attention to the middle punch. We step backward rather than stepping forward and give a kick once stepping forward. We attack once moving, trying to keep stable once stepping backward. We keep guard the front side of body, kick effectively anytime, keep eyes not only stare at one place, keep punching at not the same part.

    Baji fist is with 6 "Kai"and 8 "Hitting-Forms" as main techniques. Liudakai, forms mainly include: Jingang Bashi, Baji xiaojia, single or pair exercise, Baji liuzhoutou, Baji 6 “kai” fist, Bajiluohangong, Baji black tiger boxing, twenty-four lianshou fist, Baji silangkuan, etc. Weapon forms (in Chinese name) basically include: Bajiliuheqiang, Liuhedaqiang, Tiliusanyindao, Baji liuhedao, Bajixingzhebang, Pudao, Jiugongchunyangjian,etc.

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