About seventy, eighty years ago, BaJiQuan was only popular in Cang county and its surrounding areas such as NanPi and NingJin counties. The local name for it was 巴子拳 or 鈀子拳( BaZiQuan: rake fist ), the name came from the fact that when holding the fist, the fingers resembles a rake. At about the end of Ming, and start of Qing dynasty, literary practitioners of the style changed the name to 八極拳 ( BaJiQuan: eight extremes fist ) as we call it today. In the northern dialect, the pronunciation for the characters “BaZi” and “BaJi” are very similar, and the meaning of the new writing form sounds more refined. By the end of the Qing dynasty, almost no one knew that the original name for the style, save for its place of origin — Cang county. Some also call it “KaiMenBaJiQuan” ( Open gate eight extreme fist ), or KaiMenQuan, that’s because BaJiQuan practioners will ram into the opponent as soon as they are in position, forcefully opening the opponents’ gates, disrupting the center of mass and destroy the balance.
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