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B
aji Quan
(八极拳) is held in high esteem in the martial art world. A common adage among martial artists is that
"For ministers, Taji quan is used to rule the country.
For generals, Baji quan is used to defend the country."
which demonstrates the respect commanded by this style. Yung Zheng, an emperor of China during the Qing Dynasty, studied Baji and employed many bodyguards and trainers within the Royal household that have knowledge of Baji. The history of this style can be described as follows:
      1. Present Day Practioners
 

 

Wu Zhong

The roots of this style can be traced to the Meng village of Cangzhou in Hebei Province. Legend attributes the founder of both Baji and a related style, Pigua to Wu Zhong, a Chinese Muslim from Houzhuangke village of Dayun county of Hebei province. Wu has initially learned the two styles from two Taoist monks Lai and Pi in 1727. Another version suggest that the teacher of Wu is a Taoist named Zhang, an abbot of Yueshan temple in Jiaozuo county of Hebei province. What is known is that Wu settled in Mengcun village of Cang county which eventually became the centre for baji quan. Wu then taught his style to his daugther Wu Rong. She is considered to be the second generation student of the style. She taught her style as two separate systems: baji and pigua. She only taught Piquazhang to her students in the Luo Tong village and the baji style was taught only at Mong villiage. Other students of Wu include Li Da-Zhong. Li then taught his son Li Gui-Zhao. From this time, Baji was split into two distinctive branches. The first branch consists of members of hte Wu family and their students - producing such notable practitioners as Wu Nan, Wu Shike and Ma Fengtu. Another branch was created when Wang Si studied bajiquan in Mengcun and transferred it to Zhang Keming from Luotong village, Zhang taught Huang Sihai and his own son Zhang Jingxing. Zhang Jingxing taught many people including his son Zhang Yuheng, Li Shuwen, Ma Yingtu and Han Huachen. Li, Ma and Han became extremely famous for their fighting skills and enhanced the reputation of Mengcun's bajiquan throughout China.

   

Li Shu Wen (1864-1934)

"Shen Chiang" (Magical spirit spear) Li Shu-Wen (李书文) was a native of Zhangsa Village, Cang County of Hebei Province. He was a famous proponent of Baji, Pigua and the long spear. He has three famous students: Ho Tien-Kuo (Huo Dian-Ge) served as a bodyguard to the last Emperor, Pu Yee; Li Chen-Wu was the bodyguard of late Mao Tse-Tung, leader of the communist party in China and Liu Yun-Chiao instructed the personal guards of the first Taiwanese president Chian Kai-Shek.

   

Present Day Practioners

Liu Yun Qiao(1909-1992) is one of the last student of Li Shu-Wen. He founded the Wu-Tang Kuo Shu Association in Taiwan to promote the art of Baji. His students can be found all over the world.

 

   

 

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Last update: 12/08/2003