Bājíquán (traditional Chinese: 八極拳; 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. The style is also called Kai Men Ba Ji Quan 開門八極拳.
Power generation and expression methodsEdit
The major features of this school of Chinese martial arts include elbow strikes, arm/fist punches, hip checks, and strikes with the shoulder. All techniques are executed with a short power, developed through training; in Chinese martial arts, Baji is famous for its fast movements. Baji focuses on in-fighting, entering from a longer range with Baji's distinctive charging step (zhen jiao).
The essence of Bajiquan lies in jin, or power-issuing methods, particularly fajin (explosive power). The style contains six types of jin, eight different ways to hit and several 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 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 hand poses, plus different types of breathing and zhen jiao.
The six Major Characteristic Powers are:
- Sinking (Xia Chen 下沉 or Chen Zhui 沉墜)
- Thrusting (Chong 沖)
- Extending (Cheng 撑)
- Entangling (Chan 纏)
- Cross (Shi Zi 十字)
- Inch (Cun 寸).