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    griswold
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    Our System

    Post  griswold on Sun Mar 01, 2009 11:33 am

    The system of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan, or 'The Fist from the back in every direction' can be considered to consist of eight sections. These eight sections, like all martial arts (Chinese or otherwise), require a great deal of practice, dedication, motivation and reflection if the Gong Fu is to be successful. Hidden within these various sections, the practitioner will find many more areas of this Gong Fu than is apparent on first inspection. 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan, or the 'Fist from the back in every direction' is an 'internal system' of Gong Fu. It requires plain gesture's, not rich and beautiful performances. It does not require physical strength, but strength of character. The practice of this art gives the practitioner 'internal' strength which, unlike physical strength, becomes more powerful with age. It gives the body a good shape, makes it strong and gives it the energy to fight off sickness.

    Below is a brief description of the eight sections found in 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction'-

    Hong Quan (Big/Vast Fist):

    This is the first fist set that a practitioner will learn. The practice of this fist set builds flexibility, co-ordination and stamina. It gives the foundation for the practitioner to progress further and when perfected can be likened to a fast-flowing river (it is difficult to impede its flow). This is a sound analogy because 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' makes clever use of the 'Five Elements' which are found at the core of so much of Chinese culture.

    Yi Lu (One/First Road/Path):

    This is the second fist set learnt by a practitioner of this art. It has been called by two other names in times past. Its original name was 'Long Men Quan' or 'Dragons Gate Fist'. Long Men is located roughly 1 mile from Jun Tun Village in Luoyang where our Gong Fu has been practised for centuries. The second name Yi Lu had was 'Shi Ba Lo Han Quan' or 'Eighteen Lo Han Fist'. This fist set is very deceptive as every movement of the body not only defends against would be adversaries, these movements can easily break an opponents limbs thereby leaving them incapable of continuing their attack. Yi Lu also contains some very effective sweeping techniques and it is at this stage in a practitioners' development that sweeping is learnt.

    Er Lu (Two/Second Road/Path):

    The third fist set that a practitioner of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction' learns is Er Lu. This fist set takes considerably longer to perform than Yi Lu and requires a lot of practice and patience to learn. Er Lu works on the principles of 'Na Fa' and 'Jie Fa', or 'Holding Methods' and 'Separating Methods'. The former is self explanatory, while the latter consists of ripping, tearing and dividing techniques.

    Pao Quan (Cannon Fist):

    The fourth fist set learnt in 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction' is 'Pao Quan' or 'Cannon Fist'. As the name implies, this is a very powerful fist set and, as such, requires a great deal of concentration and effort on the practitioners' part to learn. 'Pao Quan' is a relatively short fist set to perform, but the movements generated by the body when performing 'Pao Quan' have devastating effects if applied in a combat situation.

    Tui Shou (Push Hand):

    'Tui Shou' or 'Push Hand' is the fifth section (or component), of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan'. The 'Tui Shou' found in this system should not be confused with the 'Push Hand' found in Tai Qi Quan even though it might appear to be very similar to the casual observer. Performed slowly, 'Tui Shou' builds sensitivity - performed quickly, it is truly devastating. A great deal of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction' can be found in 'Tui Shou' as it allows the practitioner to apply many of the techniques of the system in a 'controlled' manner. Movements can be circular or linear, but they are all governed by the principles of 'yin' and 'yang' and the opponents' advances. There is a real power to be found in 'Tui Shou', especially in actual combat.

    Ba Zi Bu (Eight Character Step):

    The sixth section of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction' is 'Ba Zi Bu' or 'Eight Character Step'. On a superficial level, 'Ba Zi Bu' can be compared to Pa Qua. However, there are some important distinctions between the two. Practitioners of Pa Qua walk in circles of varying size either in a clockwise or anti-clockwise direction. 'Ba Zi Bu' requires one to walk in figures of eight. A great deal of emphasis is placed on the motion of the hands, arms, feet, legs and waist when practising 'Ba Zi Bu' and, when performed, is done so at great speed.

    Dui Da (Against Strike/Hit/Break/Smash/Fight):

    'Dui Da' is the seventh section of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction'. It is by practising this seventh section that practitioners learn how to 'apply' the various techniques learnt in the previous parts. Learning and then practising the movements required to perform the previous sections is one thing, but learning what those movements can do and how they can be applied means the practitioner begins to understand this Gong Fu on a much deeper level. You cannot have 'Yin' without 'Yang' and it is through understanding this seventh section that a 'balanced' view is gained.

    Lao Jia (Old/Ward Off/Withstand/Frame):

    'Lao Jia' is the eighth and final section of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' or the 'Fist from the back in every direction'. Whereas the other seven sections concentrate on fighting skills, 'Lao Jia' concentrates on 'Nei Qi' or 'Internal Energy'. The superior parts of 'Zhong Hua Si Mian Ba Fang Tong Bei Quan' are 'Hong Yuan Gong Fu' and 'Hong Yuan Qi Gong' (collectively 'Lao Jia'). Practised in unison, this is the pinnacle of Gong Fu achievement within this system. Performed together with some fist gestures, it requires the practitioner to follow the contents of the 'Yi Jin Jing' and the rule: "There is no place in the body without 'Dan Tian'". The practice of 'Lao Jia' keeps the 'male' and the 'female' in harmony within the body and, with great persistence and devotion, a practitioner will ultimately attain 'Iron Clothes' Gong Fu.


    Mike Farr (UK Chief Instructor)



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