Styles

Baji

Bājíquán (八極拳) or just often referred to simply as Baji, is commonly known as “the martial art of bodyguards”. It emphasizes the use of attacks that close down the distance as well as explosive close combat techniques such as combinations of elbow, knee and take-down techniques.

Our teacher Lü Baochun has over 40 years of experience in the training and practice of Baji. He has trained under many of the famous martial artists who used the style, such as Han Longquan and Zhang Xuchun.

In combat, the Baji-practicioner advances aggressively and tries to knock out his opponent with the right timing or to bring him down to the ground with an accompanying blow.

The techniques and tactics of Baji are in and of themselves simple, direct and ruthless. They are however based on a strong basic training, the focal points of which are the unity of the whole body, flowing control of the body and especially explosiveness that’s taken advantage of at close quarters.

Classical techniques that Baji is especially known for are among others the various elbow strikes, shoulder strikes, knee strikes and the use of all these at the same time to bring the opponent off balance as well as various take-down techniques.

Taiji

Taiji or Taijiquan (in Chinese: 太极拳, pīnyīn: Tàijíquán) is an ancient Chinese martial art whose roots are the in early period of the Qing dynasty. Today Taiji is better known as a health promoting meditative exercise which is suitable for everyone regardless of age and gender. The basic exercises of Taiji are the tranquil forms which teach how to relax, improve physical balance, make the body stronger and more flexible and develop the cooperation of the body and the mind. Among other things, Taiji training is a safe and effective way to treat neck and back problems. Our association teaches both Chen– & Yang-style Taiji.

Chen Taiji is the original version of Taiji, which combines meditative search for relaxation with body control. The purpose of the exercise is to develop internal power and to learn to use it according to the principles of an ancient martial art.

The slow movement of Taiji is not an end in itself, but makes one more sensitive to observe one’s body and movement in a new way and makes it possible to make the movement connected. So to continually move your body in unison with your mind, or Qi, without breaking that connection. This is the root to internal power. An important part of learning Taiji is the Tuīshǒu (推手) or “push hands” exercises which the practitioners can use to test their progress and abilities. Tuīshǒu training is also a link between form training and combat. Pair training is recommended for all practitioners, not only those interested in combat. Meditative Qigong exercises can also be included in Taiji training as an additional tool for making progress.

Yang style Taiji was created by a man named Yang Luchan (杨露禅) (1799–1872), the first outsider who was accepted as a student to learn the Chen family’s martial art, namely Taiji.

Taijiquan started to spread to the public as Yang Luchan returned to his native area in the Hebei province and started to teach the art. However, he had sworn not to teach the Chen family art to outsiders so he developed his own style which was the basis of Yang style Taiji. Yang Luchan took Taiji to Beijing and all the way to the imperial court and built a good reputation for Taiji since he was a very skilled fighter. Yang style was developed to its current form by Yang Luchan’s grandson Yang Chengfu (杨澄甫) (1883–1936) who modified the form. Apart from the original Chen style as well as Zhàobǎo Taiji (趙 堡), all other Taiji styles were developed based on Yang style. The best known are Wǔ (Hǎo) style (武/郝氏), Wú style (吳氏), Sūn style (孫 氏) and Lǐ style (李氏).

Qigong

Qigong (in Chinese: 氣功, pīnyīn: qìgōng) is an ancient Chinese way of relaxing the body and calming the mind. It is meditative exercise where the movements are done while standing in one place. The movements are easy and suitable for everyone regardless of age or fitness. By moving slowly the mind calms down and relaxes. The body finds painful points that are slowly “massaged” open during the exercises. At the same time, changes in the body are observed and awareness of one’s own body is developed. Slowly as the exercise goes on, breathing deepens and gives rhythm to the exercises. The flow of life starts to move more easily and gracefully within the body and you will leave the lessons calm and placid, ready for the tasks of the day.

XingYi

Xingyiquan (in Chinese: 形意拳, pīnyīn: Xíng Yì Quán) is often referred to as just Xingyi, is one of the Chinese internal martial arts and is also oldest of the three. It’s known for its very direct, simple, explosive and aggressive techniques.

The simple, yet powerful Xingyi is one of the oldest Chinese martial arts. Throughout its almost thousand-year history Xingyi has been the close combat form of martial arts favored by many famous martial artists thanks to the easily learned techniques and the practical, entirely combat-oriented exercises that combine willpower and movement of the body.

As the trainee is adopting as strong “art of rooting”, the practice of Xingyi starts to bring this solidity movement by movement to support the techniques. This begins with going through a collection of simple and aggressive combat movements, the system of “Five elements”. Despite the simple repetition each detail of the method is gone through in great detail and with patience until everything is one solid and relentless movement. The movements mimic different combinations of take-downs, attacks and defenses, each emphasizing relentlessness and efficiency.

Weapons

Biāngan 鞭杆 aka the Whip Staff

The Biangun is an absolute specialty of the Baji Association. This staff, which reaches from the ground to the trainee’s chest and thickens towards one end, can easily be described as speedy, dynamic and as striking unexpectedly but powerfully. It’s also one of master Lü’d favourites. The Biangun is a handy weapon, the techniques of which are useful in both close quarters combat as well as combat at a distance, and its techniques imitate and combine several weapon styles, such as the spear, the saber, the straight sword and the club.

Besides the Whip Staff, our association also offers lessons in spear, which is a 3-metre long thick staff. Practicing spear techniques develops your core and back muscles especially and is a great addition for any martial art, as well as general health and stamina. MasterLü also gladly teaches Taiji Sword and Saber.


To finish up, we can also mention the possibility of learning the rare Bagua aka Bāguàzhǎng (八卦掌) under master Lü. This style has not been so popular in recent years & doesn’t have its own lessons as a result, but master Lü will gladly teach it if requested.

Circle walking, which is an essential part of Bagua