China News Service, Shanghai, January 29 (Reporter Miao Lu) The popularity of the TV series "Flowers" continues in Shanghai. With the arrival of the winter vacation, influenced by the work "The Grandmaster" directed by "Flowers" Wong Kar-wai, enrolling children in martial arts classes is becoming a popular choice among parents in Shanghai.

  Guan Chen is one of the parents. When he rewatched "The Grandmaster", he was shocked by the Bajiquan practiced by the "Yixiantian" played by actor Zhang Zhen. "Although this character played less than 10 minutes, but The power of close combat left a deep impression on me, so I searched online for a long time before I found this place that can teach Baji Quan," Guan Chen said.

  The place where Guan Chen mentioned teaching Baji Quan is Xiaoxiao Wuyutang. Its founder is Tang Yongyan, the head coach of Baji Quan of Shanghai Jingwu Sports Federation. His original intention of founding the establishment was to inherit and promote Baji Quan by inheriting the legacy of his master. .

On December 23, 2023, Tang Yongyan, the head coach of Bajiquan of Shanghai Jingwu Sports Association, was teaching children to practice Bajiquan. Photo courtesy of Shanghai Jingwu Sports Federation

  Bajiquan is a boxing method in Chinese martial arts, which is a short punching method. It originated from "Huainanzi·Zhen Xingxun" of the Han Dynasty, "Between heaven and earth, there are eight extremes of Kyushu". Today, the word "Baji" is used in martial arts, which means "the energy can reach far away places in all directions." In the world of traditional Chinese martial arts, Bajiquan is even said to be "the Tai Chi in literature can bring peace to the world, and the Baji in martial arts can determine the universe." Bajiquan was spread as early as the late Ming Dynasty and early Qing Dynasty and has a history of more than 350 years.

  Bajiquan has the characteristics of "moving like a stretched bow and firing like thunder" and the comprehensive advantage of using both hands and feet, throwing and grabbing in one, having a small height, being natural and practical, and being able to use one posture for multiple purposes and even defeat the enemy with one move. It is very popular in the Chinese martial arts community. It is unique and has been included in the national intangible cultural heritage list.

  In 1947, Wang Changdian, the seventh generation successor of Baji Quan, broke into Shanghai alone. He fought against evil forces with his excellent kung fu and became famous. He was known as the "Shanghai Baji King" by people in the world. Tang Yongyan is Sheng Qingyuan's close disciple, and Wang Changdian is Sheng Qingyuan's stepfather and master.

  The relationship between Tang Yongyan and Sheng Qingyuan began with a chance encounter in a park. Tang Yongyan, who had been exposed to traditional Chinese medicine and martial arts since childhood, did not take it as a career at first, but did mechanical design. After coming to Shanghai to work, by chance, Tang Yongyan saw an old man practicing Bajiquan in Dahuaxingzhi Park. Because he had been exposed to Bajiquan since he was a child, Tang Yongyan asked the old man if he could give it a try. His original intention was to let the other party see how his movements were, but the old man thought he wanted to compete.

  What Tang Yongyan didn't expect was that he, who had a certain foundation in kung fu, would be slapped away by the old man. "I was stunned at the time. The feeling was quite shocking. I wanted to learn from him." Tang Yongyan recalled.

On December 15, 2023, Tang Yongyan, the head coach of Bajiquan of Shanghai Jingwu Sports Association, was practicing boxing. Photo courtesy of Shanghai Jingwu Sports Federation

  At that time, Tang Yongyan was working in Jiading, and Sheng Qingyuan lived in Dahua, Baoshan. There was no subway at that time, and buses had to run twice. It took him two hours to go one way. In order to arrive early, Tang Yongyan simply ran to see Sheng Qingyuan every time. "I get up at around 4 o'clock in the morning and then run there. On the one hand, I exercise and on the other hand, I save time."

  Tang Yongyan persisted in this kind of life for several years, until 2008, when Sheng Qingyuan finally officially accepted him as his disciple. Sheng Qingyuan told Tang Yongyan that if he wanted to truly practice kung fu well, he must devote himself to it and regard practicing kung fu as a profession and career. This also made him determined to quit his original job of mechanical design. First, he passed on his skills to his master in his boxing gym. After his master retired in old age, Tang Yongyan established a small martial arts hall.

  For more than ten years, Tang Yongyan has had more than 3,000 students and disciples at home and abroad. What surprised Tang Yongyan was that the popularity of Bajiquan in Taiwan far exceeded that in the mainland. There were even Taiwanese students who came to learn the skills from his master and then returned to Taiwan to open a boxing gym and invited him to teach. In addition, many foreigners are also interested in Bajiquan, and Bajiquan clubs have been established in many foreign schools.

  These strengthened Tang Yongyan's determination to inherit and promote traditional Chinese martial arts. At the same time, he also discovered some problems in the inheritance. In today's fast-paced life, compared with the boxing rules when he learned boxing before, Tang Yongyan believes that the current teaching needs to be more detailed and formulate concrete teaching plans so that boxing students can understand the steps and steps of learning boxing. The goal is to "let young people and parents of children understand what they are learning and what they can learn. These are very important. The inheritance of martial arts requires patience and flexibility." Tang Yongyan said.

  At present, Tang Yongyan is working hard to promote Bajiquan into schools. He said that although Bajiquan is a traditional martial art, it can also play a positive role in national fitness and improving the physical fitness of young people. "Strive to let more children experience it personally." The charm of this kung fu allows them not only to understand and carry forward traditional Chinese culture, but also to gain a strong body and a tough will in the process of practice." (End)