View Full Version : PiGua Quan

06-22-2001, 09:34 AM
Pigua Quan
(Pi Gua Zhang - chopping and hanging fist, Pikua, axe-hitch boxing, tongbei pigua quan - through preparing chopping-hanging fist, pi gua - put on the armor, momian - mop one's face, splitting deflecting palm style, piguazhang - shop-hanging palm, drape-hanging fist, armor wearing boxing) History Pigua Quan was once known as “armor wearing boxing”. From the book, A New Essay on Wushu Arts, General Qi Jiguang in the Ming Dynasty, this type of boxing was described as being practised while wearing armor. He used the words such as "Pi gua heng quan" and "Pao jiazi qiang bu pi gua" as descriptions for this type of martial art. Near the end of the Ching dynasty some people consider pigua quan to be a sub style of tongbei quan (fist of throwing power through arms, ape’s back and fore-lims boxing) and some books called this style "pigua tongbei". Pigua quan is often studied in conjunction with another style – baji quan (eight extreme boxing). The history and origin of a kung fu style is generally attributed to one person or one location. For baji and pigua, the original founder can generally be attributed to Wu Zhong, a Chinese Muslim from Mong Village, Cang County, Hebei Province. Wu has initially learned the two styles from two Daoist monks Lai and Pi in 1727. Wu then taught his style to his daugther Wu Rong. She is considered to be the second-generation master of this style. She married and taught her martial art to her husband. Her husband and her taught their style as two separate systems: baji and pigua. They only taught pigua quan to her students in the Luo Tong village and the baji style was taught only at Mong village. By the end of Ching dynasty this style was popular in Yanshan, Cang and Nanpi counties of Hebei province. Pan Wenxue was first credited with teaching pigua quan and tongbei quan in Yanshan (Yanshan school civil and military sciences) and Cang. His successors in Yanshan were Li Yunbiao and Xiao Hecheng; after Li and Xiao there were Huang Linbiao and Yu Baolin. The main proponents after Huang and Yu were Ma Fengtu, Ma Yingtu (1898-1956) and Huang Senting (1831-1907). Their teachings of tongbei pigua quan were focused on the ideas that in the rules of using fists and the practice of forms (i.e. outer shapes), one must understand penetration, strength of the body and in the application of techniques by focusing on the spirit. The reputation of both baji and pigua was firmly established but the two styles remained separated until Li Shu Wen (1864-1934) of Zhang Sha village, Cang County recombined the two styles. Li Shu Wen is considered to be the sixth generation of masters after the founder Wu Zhing. Li Shu Wen was taught Bajiquan by Jin Dai Sheng of the Mong Village and Piquazhang by Huang Si Hai of the Luo Tong Village. Li Shu Wen then reunited the two styles by training his future students in both systems. At the beginnings of the 1900’s, Pigua continued to spread north until it reached the Beijing-Tianjing region. The "Zhonghua wushi hui" ("Association of Chinese warriors") was established in Tianjing (1927). Pigua quan became one of the main subject in its program of teaching and spread throughout the northern regions of China. Wang Jing-xiang and Tian Jin-zhong are considered to be the major proponent of this style at that area at the time. In 1928, the Central guoshu institute was established in Nanjing. Ma Yingtu, and Guo Changsheng (1866-1967) of Hebei, was invited to be the principle instructors. They combined pigua quan, bajiquan, fanziquan and chuojiao into a new 24-form Tongbei. This new form is now one of the more popular styles that are still being practice today and is still considered to be in the pigua style. Li Shu Wen was also a great promoter of this style. He made a reputation throughout China earning the name the “God of Spear” because of his superb combat skills with the spear. His students also achieved considerable fame including many generals and famous martial artists of the time. His first student, Hue Dian Ge, was a bodyguard to Fu Yi , the last Emperor of China. Another student, Li Chen Wu was one of Chairman Mao Ze Dong’s bodyguard. Li’s last closed door disciple was Liu Yun Qiao (1909-1992), who he taught for ten years before his death. Liu trained the personal guards of president Chan Kai-Chek as well as the guards of the following presidents of Taiwan. He later established the Wu-Tang organization and has many students in the west including Adam Hsu (CA), Yang Shu Ton (OH), Su Yu Chang (NY), Ng Choong Fah (Malaysia), Kurt Wong (Alaska) and many others. Many of those students are now teaching both baji and pigua. Physical characteristics of pigua quan

Figure 1. Typical movements of pigua quan.

1) Execution of this style requires accuracy, fluency, agility, continuity, speed, power, dexterity, excellence, subtlety and uniqueness. These properties are required for single moves, combination of moves or for entire routines.

2) Pigua quan movements are wide and circular with big opening and big closing. The waist is employed as the center of motion, and the action of the torso, arms, and palm integrated with motion of the body. Thus, Pigua quan usually appears to contain large opening and closing movements. Long-range attacks allow you to react almost immediately at the first sign of attack. The training is focus on penetrating and dominating your opponent. Figure 1 is good illustration of the feeling and action of a pigua quan attack – with the pi and gua being used simultaneously.

3) Pigua quan teaches primarily palm strikes. 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.

Figure 2. Pigua quan movements.

4) The jings taught in piqua are long and continuous but also incorporating the contrasting feelings of soft and hard. In the long and continuous motion, the dantien area is used as the "controlling center" 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. The energy is concentrated in the waist and then is transmitted rapidly to the arms and legs. Figure 2 illustrates one particular sequence of pigua quan where this concept can be applied.

5) Some proponents suggest this style has the animal characteristics of the gibbon (monkey) and the eagle with its long arms and swooping action. Such description can be attributed to pikua’s similarity to tongbei. Figure 2 shows such characteristics. The movement uses long arm swings of the gibbon as well as a low stance that elicits the image of an eagle perching and ready for striking.

6) Salient features of this style include: abrupt starts and stops, powerful axing and hitching, straightening arms, holding arms and connecting wrists, straightening waist and hips, restraining chest and protruding back, standing high and creeping low, lowering shoulders and breathing deep.

Figure 3. Typical attack and defense of pigua quan.

7) Eighteen key concepts include: gune ("to roll"), lei ("to link"), pi ("hacking" impacts), gua ("to hook"), zhan ("to chop off"), ce ("to be discharged"),can ("to cut"), cai ("to break"), liu ("to seize or catch"), bin ("to reject), shen ("to draw out"), show ("to collect", "to return"), liu ("to catch", "to grope"), tan ("feel"), tanyi ("spring", impact by a nose of a leg), ca ("to brad, "drive in"), lei ("thump") and men ("onslaught"). Those concepts are often exhibited simultaneously within the same technique. Figure 3 represents typical attack and defense postures that demonstrate the concepts of gune, tan, liu and liu.

Different practioners will emphases different aspects pigua quan but the execution of a technique from this style is unmistakable.

Pigua quan methods

1) Pi fa - methods of chopping. Starting from the waist and used as axis, the upper body turns left and right, both arms attack continuously like rain. It is necessary that arms were moved in vertical plane. Body movements were co-coordinated with the movement of the wrists. Movement of the arm is coordinate with the movement of the legs. The body does not turn towards the front when the waist is turning but when body turns then the waist doesn't turn.

2) Gua fa - methods of hanging

3) Shuai fa - methods of throwing arms (tan - wheep)

4) Lun fa - methods of waving with the arms

5) Zhan (wipe), bin (throw away), zhan (cut up).

Pigua quan forces

1) Pigua jing - force of chopping and hanging.

2) Gunle jing - force of rolling limitation.

3) Tuntu jing - force of "swallowing" and "spitting out".

4) Lulu jing - force of rattled wheel

Piqua quan fighting strategy

1) The attack range is long with attacks using the palm and wide deep stances.

2) Specific techniques are use depending on the direction of attack. A hanging movement is effective if the opponent is striking from above. A throwing movement is preferred if the attack is from below. A parrying movement is used when the attack is from the side. A dragging movement is executed for a frontal attack. Hanging, throwing, parrying and dragging movements used palm as the weapon. Figure 4 is an example of piqua fighting strategy. This is part of a two man fighting form. The defender first parries a punch and moves in at the same time. The attacker retreats but counter attacks with a punch. The defender blocks the punch with a deflection followed by a strong counter attack with a palm strike. The defender moves aggressively forward to destroy the attacker’s initiative.

Figure 4. Application of pigua quan.

3) Piqua quan concentrates on combining complementary movements. For example, the pitching stance is executed slowly but the fist blows are delivered quickly.

Pigua quan training system

1) Traditional rule for training: "slowly build the framework, quickly followed by fists, then concentrate on the methods". The stance and movements must be performed accurately. Figure 5 shows a typical stance training of the system. The training focus then shifts from accuracy to fluency, to agility and then to continuity. Figure 6 illustrates some of the footwork of this style.

Figure 5. Typical stance of pigua quan.

The student learns how to quickly, with the proper weight distribution and the correct speed and distance. Finally, the training will develop speed, power, dexterity, excellence, subtlety and uniqueness. Those concepts are first applied to the basic exercises, then to different solo forms and finally followed by the applications of the forms. The training then continues with different weapon sets to increase power and provide a complete self-defense program. Training weapons requires a firm foundation since the weapons is considered to be a natural extension of the hand.

Figure 6. Pigua quan step training.

2) Basic exercises

Shier da tangzi - 12 big sets of exercises. These are single set of exercises that includes stretching and warm up prior to any form practice.

Da jiazi - big framework. This is a series of movements high-lighting the basic concepts of this style. For example, a series of moves focusing on the actions of pi and gua.

3) Basic sets

Yapmon Piguaquan – Introduction to chopping and hanging fist (30 moves)

Piguaquan #2 – Second form (52 moves)

Qinglongquan (qinlunquan ) - Fist of clear dragon, large form (24 moves).

Gua quan – Hanging fist (25 moves)

Taishuquan - high elegant fist

Feihuquan (pheihuquan) - fist of flying tiger

4) Additional sets

Liutuishi - form of flowing legs

Liutui jiazi - prop of flowing legs

Tongbei shilu tantui - 10 routines of tongbei tantui (lower leg kicking)

5) Weapon sets

Qiqiang - amazing spear. As expected, spears are a specialty for pigua practioner.

Liuhe daqiang - big spear of six co-ordinations

Pigua dao - pigua broadsword (See Figure 7)

Pigua shuang dao - twin pigua broadswords

Tongbei xiaojian - tongbei straight sword

6) Small set

Qishisan jian - 73 straight swords

Lanmenjue - stake, bared the gate

Wushiwu tu (55 schemes) or wushiwu gun (55 staff)

Bashiba gun - 88 staff forms

Fengmo gun - Staff of a madman

Sanjiegun - three-section staff

Fengtou gou - hook "head of phoenix"

7) Emphasis in different regions and different styles.

Gansu Province

Axe-hitch, blue dragon, flying tiger, Taishu, Dajiazi Quan (big frame boxing) and conceptions of throwing power and techniques of using biangan (handle of wheep - some kind of short pole)


Slow and fast axe-hitch, blue dragon, flying tiger, and cannon boxing.

12-25-2001, 04:36 PM
Anyone with any websites or contacts about this bady?:)

12-25-2001, 08:26 PM


On the cyberkwoon site, they had the most comprehensive article I have every seen, covering weapons, stepping, forms etc. Can't seem to find it.

The only thing missing was a discussion on the pigua dog skin hand training. Adam Hsu, over the last ten years, has made reference to this training along with others.

You might post there.

Good Luck.

12-25-2001, 10:00 PM


I think this is the baji article you refer to. There's also a good article on pigua here:



12-26-2001, 07:27 AM
Thanks Esteban:

Thanks for posting the articles sites.

12-26-2001, 07:41 AM
Let's not forget Master Su's website (http://www2.micro-net.com/~ycsu/pikua.html) for some info and video's of application ;)

12-26-2001, 07:56 AM
Hello Count:

There it is, senility at its best. I have Master Su's tape on pigua and its very good, especially the applications.

Thanks again.

12-27-2001, 09:45 PM
good value thanks people :)

12-17-2002, 12:13 PM
I am looking for a list of the forms in this style, in English and Chinese. Does anyone know of where one can be found?
I looked at the monkey king's site and there was no such list.
Also any sites with info about the style in general would be of great interest to me. Thanks.

12-27-2002, 11:43 PM
Hi Carly,

General forms:


Hand forms in chinese characters:


Hope it helps


12-28-2002, 12:43 PM
So does that list in Chinese characters name all the system's hand forms?
Anyone read Chinese here?

12-29-2002, 02:13 PM
Can anyone here read chinese and translate the names of these hand forms into English? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12-30-2002, 10:59 AM
We translated the lyrics of for forms that we produced into videos.
I think I posted a few on the Shaolin forum for the ones that overlapped with Bak Sil Lum forms. Might check the archives there - search BSL lyrics.

12-30-2002, 08:39 PM
Can anyone here read chinese and translate the names of these hand forms into English? Any help would be greatly appreciated.

12-30-2002, 08:43 PM
you are a needy fu cker.

12-30-2002, 08:51 PM
about the style and UI'm determined to learn the names of the forms.
If that makes me a needy fu cker, ok.
For your part, you seem a bit (unnecessarily) rude.

12-30-2002, 09:59 PM
"you seem a bit (unnecessarily) rude"

.... yeah .....

Shaolin Master
12-31-2002, 10:07 AM
I could translate but it seems odd!!! they don't seem to be forms as there are names of styles/systems and it seems to be a bag of mixed lollies with little cohesion : for example

Xing Yi Quan
TaiJi Quan
Shaolin Quan
Mian Quan (Cotton Fist) :another name for taiji.
Yan Qing Quan : After the Hero Yan Qing
Mi Zong Quan (Lost Track Fist) : Another name for Yan Qing Quan.

Do thewriters of thesiteknowwhat they are writing.
etc...to me it seems meaningless and the assumption that they are forms is incorrect. Maybe find a clearer list.

12-31-2002, 10:24 AM
Interesting. Thank you so much for your help. I'm getting less curious about that style all the time.

12-31-2002, 03:58 PM
I am by no means very knowledgeable about this lineage of Tai Shing Pek Kwa. I have heard from people that Kan Tak Hoi, one of the founders/elders of the system traded forms with other stylists. In the article in Kung Fu Magazine delineating the techniques and history of "Wu Song Breaks Manacles Fist" form, they detail how the form was taught to Kan Tak Hoi by another exponent of the Wusong system. I may be off, but something like that.

So any diversity in the system may (or may not) come from trading of forms a few generations ago. I am sure someone here may know more about it.

I was told by a friend that that particular listing I gave you described "Wu Song Breaks Manacles" and "Erlang Quan" (Fist of Erlang God). These names also match with names of forms I practice. My Wu Song form bears no resemblance to theirs and I still need to see their ErLang Quan to compare.

Any further information would be interesting.



01-02-2003, 11:14 AM
It does seem like there are maybe some other things added to the system, like a northern Shaolin/Long Fist element, as well as Pigua.

Crushing Step
01-02-2003, 02:55 PM
There are different uses of the word "form"

On the Tai Shing Pek Kwar page, the link says "hand forms". Looking at the still photos, obviously the usage is the "form" of the hand, not necessarily an entire form as in a series of moves.

Another use is for a short series of moves. As in "Tai Chi 24 forms".

These people, just like the Paulie Zink camp, are secretive about the actual monkey or "Tai Shing" part of the art. I doubt you would get a forms listing because of that, although they do share the Pek Kwar and other borrowed styles.

Hope this helps

01-02-2003, 05:56 PM
I was wondering about the tao lu or kune forms, the hand forms, of their pigua, not their secret monkey stuff.
I just wanted to see what their pi kwa had in common with the mainland and Taiwan schools of pi kwa.
I'm not interested in secretive, hyped stuff. Unforunately, I'm a grown up:)

01-12-2003, 02:48 PM
Does this mean you have to buy one of their tape series to get a reply? Anyone know?

01-12-2003, 03:58 PM
It is true that Si Tai Gong Kan Tak Hoi learned other forms, but they are not really Tai Shing Pek Kwar. Si Gong Chan knows a lot of forms and techniques. A lot of it isn't TSPK, but he teaches it because he feels it helps the student.

01-12-2003, 04:10 PM
Wouldn't whatever he knew automatically become part of the system - he is the system at this point.
Are you one of his students?

01-12-2003, 04:14 PM
Can you name the Pek Kwar fist forms in the system?

02-09-2003, 03:01 PM
carly, I used Buddhapalm link to the page I think you were trying to present when you went Ahem.

There were thirty-nine phrases near the top. There were some framed images in two columns after that.

One called Shaolin Master said that there was:

Xing Yi Quan
TaiJi Quan
Shaolin Quan
Mian Quan (Cotton Fist) :another name for taiji.
Yan Qing Quan : After the Hero Yan Qing
Mi Zong Quan (Lost Track Fist) : Another name for Yan Qing Quan.

I wondered which number phrase was each of these names...i.e. TaiJiQuan was the nineth phrase...

02-09-2003, 03:29 PM
the site doesn't seem to be active.
That seems to be a list of various styles rather than of forms.

02-09-2003, 04:15 PM
Hi Carly,
I was wondering why you wanted to know the listing of Pek Kwar forms ?

I myself wish to know too, just in the offchance that some of my forms are Pek Kwar forms, or shared forms of their school.

You know there is a listing of PekKwar (Pigua) forms on another site. Features Black Tiger Fist, Wind Demon Staff and others. Do you want me to find the link for you ?

I have had very little luck from TSPK site. Was told to buy the tapes and I can compare, otherwise no assistance really.

TSPK has two site, one is active and one inactive.

There are some Pigua VCD's available now from China. I purchased the Miao Dao and sampler ones. Looks like my Miao Dao routine a little. I am sure I have some PeKKwar/Pigua in my schools curriculum.



02-09-2003, 04:30 PM
Yes, I'd like to see any links you can share - also, what is the address of the active tspk site?
I'm just curious about the style - it's a famous one, and now that we have the internet and a way to learn more about things that were once only as vague as rumors and legend, it's nice to be able to get some information from the authoritative source.

02-09-2003, 05:06 PM
Here is a little:




I will try to find the active TSPK site a little later.

Isn't the net a great tool my friend.



02-09-2003, 05:10 PM
and yes, I'd like the active pek kwar site's address, if there is one.

02-09-2003, 05:23 PM
I believe this is the active site:


Forgive me if its the wrong one.


02-09-2003, 05:31 PM
I had no problems reaching Grandmaster Chan or his son when i e-mailed them.I got a quick reply from Master Chan Kai Leung himself.This was either during their move to Canada or right before their move.

He never once told me i had to buy anything or needed to subcribe to anything either.He did suggest that i come to the school to learn Tai Shing Pek Kwar from he or his father if i wanted to seriously learn the system.He did'nt even mention the video learning course.He said because at this time there is no one approved by his father to teach TSPK in the U.S.Although he does have students in the U.S. they are not at the level to teach the system yet.You must first master Pek Kwar before you are taught the The Monkey System.


02-10-2003, 01:58 PM
Perhaps this link to interesting links. (http://www.tspk.com/english/fake_monkey_kungfu3.htm)

02-10-2003, 02:01 PM
a lot of energy or focus seems to go on this discrediting of lineages.

02-10-2003, 02:42 PM
But at the bottom are links to pek kwar and Tai S___ pek kwar.

It's not discrediting of the lineage. It's straightening out the Actual lineage. It is not saying Tai S___pek kwar is bad because the people talking are from that lineage. And supposedly the rightful say and are merely cleaning house in the public eye.~

Go to the bottom of the link there are two dark blue/purple links to that for which you've been asking.

07-11-2006, 06:08 PM
I just got blown away by a guy showing me Pigua Quan. Wow! That art is right up my ally.....

I like it!

Anyone here on this forum do it?

Sifu Darkfist
07-11-2006, 10:49 PM
Yes sir go to my links page, or better yet go to www.wutangcenter.com
Grandmaster (my master) Yang Xiao Dong and all of his incredible Kung Fu Brothers have the key to this art bar none.


07-12-2006, 01:07 AM
I have a friend who does piqua in NJ which is similar to yours.

07-13-2006, 12:27 PM
Yes sir go to my links page, or better yet go to www.wutangcenter.com
Grandmaster (my master) Yang Xiao Dong and all of his incredible Kung Fu Brothers have the key to this art bar none.


love the site!...cool movie...

I do a lot of western heavy weapons fighting (close to 20 years now....) and I'm a very one track kinda of guy..so I've been very tenative over the years about learning things that run counter to what I'm doing physically with the sword. I don't fight from an "A" frame stance (aka boxer's stance) but from a western stance where blows start from circular motions from behind the head...

Pigua Quan has (from what I've been shown) a lot of the same circular mechanics I do with the sword. Even the primary stance is very simular to the stance I use ...

I'm very intrigued by Pigua Quan.

08-02-2008, 10:33 AM
Can anyone clarify the origins of Pigua?

I've heard that it's actually a fairly modern (20th century) reconstruction. Is that true?

08-02-2008, 03:08 PM
It is possible; wouldn't surprise me. In most case all styles got revamped in the 20th. century, i.e., forms, theories, etc. ;)

08-02-2008, 06:16 PM
the last revamp or improvement happened in the late 30's and early 40's

when kuo shu people came together. (nanjing kuo shu guan and then moved to chong qing/chung king after japanese invaded shanghai and nanking)

kuo shu guan was disbanded in 1948 due to civil war and lack of money.

1. pi gua was always light on feet.

so they adopted tong bei stepping especially tuo la bu, advance the lead foot and drag the rear foot foward.

2. pi gua bundled with ba ji.


some of the basic hand moves were old, they were even recorded in ming's general qi ji guang's book.



08-02-2008, 06:25 PM

a brief history and organization of central or nanjing kuo shu guan.