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Author’s Preface
一 八翻手之源流
One: The Origins of Bafan Boxing
二 八翻手之真義
Two: The True Significance of Bafan Boxing
三 八翻手之特長
Three: The Special Characteristics of Bafan Boxing
第一路 抱拳挣錘式
Line 1: Embracing Fists & Fighting Punches
第二路 進退連環式
Line 2: Advancing & Retreating with Continuous Techniques
第三路 撇身捶式
Line 3: Torso-Flung Punch
第四路 葉裏藏化式
Line 4: Flower Hidden Under the Leaf
第五路 仙人掌舵式
Line 5: Immortal Steers the Boat
第六路 羈王捆猪式
Line 6: Emperor Ties up a Pig
第七路 二龍戲珠式
Line 7: Double Dragons Play with the Pearl
第八路 擺肘壓打式
Line 8: Swinging Elbow, Press & Strike
A Brief Discussion of Bafan Boxing



When I was child, I was frequently ill, so much so that at the age of four I could not even walk. My parents worried about me and constantly taught me exercise. Once I was eight, I was instructed in Long Boxing and practiced leaping and jumping. After a long time, my body gradually strengthened. When I reached the age of fifteen, I traveled to Jintai, where I learned from Xu Yusheng of Jingzhao, and the Manchurians Ji Zixiu and Wu Jianquan. While Xu taught me Taiji’s “thirteen dynamics”, I also learned Yue School Bafan Boxing [known varyingly as Bafanshou, Bafanmen, Bafanquan, etc.] from Liu Enshou of Hengshui, Hebei.
     Developed from Yue School Sanshou, its methods were devised during the reign of Emperor Guangxu by “Big Spear” Liu Jingyuan, called Dekuan, who was a Shaolin exponent. Liu Enshou was the top student of Liu Dekuan. His skill was refined and deep, and his fame spread quickly. He once said of himself that he trained in the art for nine years straight without a break. From this we can see the dedication of the older generation.
     I learned from my teachers for nearly five years. My ears still ring with their instruction as though it was but yesterday. At that time, many of my fellow students were specializing in Taiji Boxing, fearing that Bafan Boxing would be too much work. I found that Ji Zixiu was a student of Liu Shijun of Xiong County [in Hebei]. A fellow student of Liu Dekuan, he was an expert in Sanshou and Taiji. Xu Yusheng had learned from Liu Dekuan for several years and mastered both the internal and external systems. Thus I frequently asked him for instruction.
     With such a well-rounded education, I then understood why this particular boxing art was created. Chinese martial arts are traditionally divided into the two schools of internal and external. It is said that the internal school emphasizes softness whereas the external school emphasizes hardness, that the internal school discusses energy whereas the external school values technique. These words seem doubtful to me. Examining the true essence of martial arts, neither hardness nor softness should be emphasized, and neither technique nor energy should be neglected. Expertise in hard techniques requires an understanding of soft energy. Skill in soft energy comes from a knowledge of hard techniques. Therefore those who have attained a very high level have indeed taken different paths but reached the same goal.
     When the external school is talked of nowadays, what is usually meant is Shaolin, the Shaolin boxing skills being considered peerless throughout the world. Alas, its teachers and students have become so dispersed that the legacy has long been lost. Yet later generations of heroes have ardently committed to it, such as Liu Dekuan in creating Yue School Bafan Boxing. It is simple and easy to practice, practical rather than decorative. Through the painstaking study of all my teachers over many decades, and with the basic concept from Taiji of hardness and softness complementing each other, it is more than adequate for the tasks of both fitness and self-defense.
     In 1930, I founded the Taiyuan Martial Arts Promotion Society, gathering Shanxi’s famous experts to engage in research. My comrades then encouraged me to both teach this art and to publish a handbook on it, spreading it widely by way of detailed descriptions so as to keep authentic Shaolin from sinking into oblivion.
     – written by Wang Huajie, called Xinwu, of Fenyang, Shanxi, at the Third Area Army General Headquarters, autumn, 1930

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