About Baji Shu 關於『八極 塾』


Click image above to watch BajiShu Introduction Video

What is Bajiquan?

Bajiquan is considered one of the most famous Chinese Martial Arts style from Northern China. Traceable record of Bajiquan can be dated back to 1500 AD, Ming Dynasty China. Originated from CangZou, Hebei province. Bajiquan is known for its explosive and offensive combat nature, and its application in the bodyguard system in the past 200 years. The bodyguard of the last emperor of China, Puyi was a famous Bajiquan master, as well as the communist leader Mao Tze-Tung, and his rival, Jiang Kai-Chek of Taiwan ROC, and 7 presidents of Taiwan after him, all have bodyguards who trained in the art of Bajiquan.

How did Baji Shu started?

As many of you know, I, Sifu Vincent Mei am a disciple of Master Chang-Lin Chen under the Wu Tan Martial Arts Development Center lineage system. I was never a believer of online remote teaching of any martial arts or fitness program. But like many businesses, we were forced to go remote since the pandemic started in 2020. Because of the internet, Wu Tan NJ was able to open up 4 online Zoom classes to students from all over the US, and Europe, bypassing the geographic barrier. Most of all, all of the students, yes, all of them showed promising progress in Bajiquan development! I realized that we are doing something right.

Over time, more and more inquiries about Zoom class piled in, but unfortunately I ran out of time-slots to open up more Zoom classes. Therefore, the idea of teaching through streaming videos came up and hence the birth of Baji Shu. 

What makes Baji Shu's online teaching work?

Watch the BajiShu Program Introduction video here.

The required homework submission and personalized feedback. At the end of each classes, Sifu Vincent would issue homework for the week. Students will need to submit a recording of their practice before the following Friday in order to give Sifu Vincent sufficient time to review and provide feedback. It is recommended to upload your videos to YouTube or GoogleDrive, try NOT to attach your videos to an email.

Homework should be submitted via the monthly homework email thread: vmei@bajishu.com with the rest of the cohorts CC'd. Because homework submission plays a crucial part in effective remote learnings, those who failed to submit homework 3 times (without proper prior notifications) will be removed from class)

Condensed program

Traditionally, Bajiquan training would take at a decade or longer to developed decent Bajiquan skills. In the modern days, the martial scene is no longer the same as the old days. It is rare and difficult for general martial arts enthusiasts (non-professionals) to dedicate 10+ years of time to follow the traditional training procedures under a master... Without sacrificing the traditional training methods, we find efficiencies from the characteristics of various styles of kungfu and their unique offerings, and using those unique traits from styles such as Pigua Zhang, Bagua, and Taiji Quan to further stimulate and speed up Bajiquan development.

What does Pigua and Taiji has to do with Bajiquan?

This is a more in depth question, and I am breaking it down in to a three-part answers:

As mentioned above, Bajishu's martial arts system is based on grandmaster 劉雲樵 Liu Yun Qiao's 武壇 WuTan system martial arts. Grandmaster Liu's personal martial arts journey started from 迷蹤拳 MiZhong Quan, then trained under the great 李書文 Li Shu Wen in the art of Bajiquan, then 六合螳螂拳 LiuHe Mantis and 宮氏八卦掌 Gong style (Yin) Bagua Zhang. There were other fantastic styles such as 杜氏陳氏太極拳 Du's Chen Taiji Quan, 長拳 Long Fist, 形意拳 XingYi Quan, and 通臂拳 Tongbei Quan later on brought into Wu Tan as added curriculums.

Traditional Chinese Martial Arts was the first MMA system, for centuries, it has been promoting the concept of "Mix Martial Arts". It is rare to find a historic grandmaster who only trained in one style of kungfu. TCMA understands and promote the concept of utilizing different style's training and application characteristics to compliment one another.

For example, Bajiquan's foundation training builds power, but during the process of building power, one can develop stiffness. Therefore we use 劈掛掌 Pigua Zhang, a system that is completely opposite to Bajiquan to "soften" and make the trainee's body more flexible and agile. Then, to put extra focus on the development of 纏絲勁 Silk Reeling Strength of Bajiquan, we utilize a style that is all about Silk Reeling -- 太極拳 Taijiquan. With the unique hyper slow movement of Taijiquan, one can understands and develops the so called 整勁 Integrated Power, by moving the entire body as one whole.

Essentially, the Bajishu program was carefully designed to speed up the development of Bajiquan by using unique training methods from different styles.

Who is BajiShu for?

Basically anyone who has a passion in TCMA, for all ages and gender. Bajiquan's biomechanics is complementary to other styles and even sports and dance arts. However, Bajiquan training is very intensive on the lower body strength development, especially on the knees. If you have previous knee injuries, please notify Sifu Vincent before begin lessons.

Does Bajiquan work?

Bajiquan is known to be one of the most practical, offensive-driven TCMA style. But if there is one disadvantage to online training, it would be application. Sifu Vincent believes that application plays a crucial part to develop a correct frame work, biomechanics, as well as mental-intent issuing. Through the video lessons, Sifu Vincent will always teach applications for every movement, and will upload 2-men training drill videos. 

What to expect at the end of the program?

Throughout the 2 year curriculum, we called this the Phase 1 program, students will be trained in Zhong Yi Quan, Da Baji, Pigua Zhang, Chen's Taiji, XiaoBaji, and a few other extra curriculums such as Miao Dao, Jian, and 2-men practice drills (partners not included). Students will developed strong lower body strength and be able to generate power and apply that energy through Baji biomechanics, AKA FaJin. At the end of the Phase 1 program, there's an optional Phase 1, Level One exam, in which is required to be able to advanced into the Phase 2 program, in which will be the deeper study of Bajiquan, Pigua, and with the introduction of Bagua Zhang.

There's also the optional Level Two exam, which allows one to be granted to teach the material shall they pass the exam. The Level Two exam standard is a lot stricter than Level One.

For any questions, email Sifu Vincent at: vmei@bajishu.com