PiguaZhang

Piguazhang (chop-hanging palm) can also be called piguaquan (chop-hanging fist), but due to its emphasis on the use of the palm techniques it is more commonly called piguazhang. The ancient name of this style was "drape-hanging fist" (also pronounced piguaquan), and was already famous more than six hundred years ago in the middle period of the Ming dynasty. It was generally acknowledged to been spread from the LuoTong area in the southeastern villages of Cang County, in the HeBei Province of China. According to Grandmaster Liu, bajiquan and piguazhang were both taught by Wu Zhong and belonged to one integrated training system. After Wu Rong (daughter of Wu Zhong) was married into LuoTong, LuoTong and the surrounding area began to specialize in the practice of piguazhang. So bajiquan and piguazhang gradually became two separate systems. However, both styles are obviously complimentary to each other. Bajiquan is visibly hard in its appearance, its jings are short and crispy, and its combat strategy primarily employs short-range fighting in body-to-body contact distance. On the other hand, piguazhang is soft in its appearance, its jings are continuous and long, and its combat strategy is that of long-range fighting. Therefore, there have always been these proverbs about the two systems: "When pigua is added to Baji, gods and demons will all be terrified" and "When baji is added to pigua, heros will sigh knowing they are no match against it."

In the practice of Piguazhang, the waist and the kua are employed as the centre of motion, and the torso, arms, and palm become an integrated moving body. Therefore, piguazhang usually appears to contain large opening and closing movements, and the attacks are generally from a longer distance than bajiquan. In piguazhang, striking with the front of the palm is called Pi, or hacking, splitting; striking with the back of the palm is called Gua, or hanging. These two types of palm strikes are used in an alternating and continuous manner like the turning of a wheel. In this motion, the dantien area is used as the "controlling centre" for the store and the release of jings. Thus although the power generated in piguazhang appears to be soft and round, a tremendous explosive force is actually hidden within it.

{more to come..}