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Great Grandmaster Liu Yun-Qiao

Great Grandmaster Liu Yun Qiao

Founder of Wu-Tan and master of styles such as Bajiquan, Piguazhang and Baguazhang.
Grandmaster Kurt Wong

Grandmaster Kurt Wong

Our instructor's shifu teaches traditional guoshu in the city of Anchorage, Alaska.
Sifu Paolo Castaneda

Shifu Paolo Castaneda

Wu-Tan's proud tradition was brought to Oslo by Shifu Paolo Castaneda, head instructor at Oslo Wu-Tan.

About Piguazhang

End of Pi (splitting)

Piguazhang, or Splitting and Deflecting Palm, is a rare style of kung fu. Outside of China it has rarely been taught. Within the Wu-Tan lineage, piguazhang is usually taught along with bajiquan. Piguazhang is a style that emphasizes palm strikes. The style’s origins are still not quite clear as to who was the founder, but there are some mentions of the style during the Ming Dynasty. One of the perhaps most famous masters of the style was Li Su Wen, who ingeniously (re)combined the art of piguazhang and bajiquan to create a very formidable fighting system. In China, there are many styles of piguazhang and it is usually taught along with other styles. Examples are tongbei piguazhang (through the back style piguazhang), pekwar (Cantonese term of pigua) tasheng (great sage, referring to monkey fist), and of course bajiquan and piguazhang.

The essence of the pigua style is taken after the eagle and monkey. The term pigua zhang can be broken down into three terms: pi refers to splitting, gua refers to hanging or suspending, and zhang refers to the use of the palms. The jings taught in pigua are long and continuous. Its movements are wide and circular, the opposite of bajiquan. The two styles compliment each other: Baji is a hard, linear, and close-quarters style; Pigua is a soft, circular, and long-range style. Both hard and soft are needed in order to be balanced, as the Daoist theory of opposites (Yin and Yang) instructs.

In the Wu-Tan system, there are only two forms that are taught in piguazhang, but many basic training exercises. After some years of bajiquan training, piguazhang is introduced to round out the energy of bajiquan. Pigua develops a loose and supple waist to help the arms to develop whipping energy. Along with the basic training of piguazhang, pai da skills, body conditioning, is also taught. This trains the body to withstand strikes and also to develop powerful palm strikes. The pai da training also helps to strengthen the ligaments and tendons to prevent injury.

Pi (splitting)

To illustrate the effectiveness of bajiquan and piguazhang, there is a famous saying, "When Pigua is added to Baji, demons and spirits will be terrified" and "When the Baji is added to the Pigua, heroes will sigh knowing they are no match against it."