When the National
Wushu Institute was founded in Nanjing in 1928, Pigua Quan specialist Ma
Yingtu was put in charge of the fist play department of the Institute. He
invited another Pigua Quan pugilist Guo Chang-sheng from Hebei to lecture.
The two of them delved into the Chuan adjusting the moves but keeping the
excellent essentials and adding speed and explosive power as well as the
skills from the 24-form Tongbei Quan. The revised edition of Pigua Quan
turned out to be a com-pletely new art, which was said to be feared by even
deities and demons.
Pigua Quan in fashion at present has come mainly from this revised version.
The axe-hitch Chuan which is popular in Gansu Province consists of
axe-hitch, blue dragon, flying tiger, Taishu and Dajiazi Quan (big frame
Chuan ) while the popular version in Cangzhou is made up of axe-hitch, blue
dragon, slow and fast axe-hitch and cannon Chuan.
Execution of the axe-hitch Chuan demands accuracy, fluency, agility,
continuity, speed, power, dexterity, excellence, subtlety and uniqueness. Be
it single moves, combinations of moves, or the entire routine, the axe-hitch
Chuan requires a learning process which ranges from simplicity to
complexity. In the first place, the stance and execution of movements must
be accurate and standard. The emphasis then goes from accuracy to fluency,
to agility and continuity, and then to speed, power, dexterity, excellence,
subtlety and uniqueness.
Pigua Quan also concentrates on combinations of movements which are
complementary to one another and is known for its slowness in pitching
stances but its swiftness in delivering fist blows and its subtle use of
tricks. The execution of moves and tricks involves tumbling,
strangle-holding, axing, hitching, chopping, unhitching, scissoring,
picking, brushing, discarding, stretching, withdrawing, probing, feeling,
flicking, hammering and beating.
The features of the axe-hitch Chuan include abrupt starts and stops,
powerful axing and hitching, straightening arms, holding arms and connecting
wrists, twisting waist and hips, restraining chest and protruding back,
standing high and creeping low, closing knees and clawing feet to the
ground, lowering shoulders and breathing deep, as well as continuity of
movements. Different styles of axe-hitch Chuan, however, have different
stresses in execution.