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Xing Yi Rhymed Verses: 炮拳 Pao Quan (Cannon Fist)

The “songs” or rhymed verses of Xing Yi Quan give the practitioner insight into the essential internal and external actions of the movements. This post covers three verses pertaining to Pao Quan (Cannon Fist).

Verse 1

Master Li Gui Chang performs Pao Quan

Pao Quan is similar to a cannon and attributed to Fire,

It is excellent and unparalleled in generating transverse (Heng) and overcoming splitting (Pi).

Walk diagonally, charge and ward off, defend,[1] and strike simultaneously,

Rub the tibia, jump and change forwards.







Verse 2

Pao Quan belongs to fire and exemplifies its sudden and fierce eruption.

Its Qi comes from the heart.

One must have force at the tip of the blood[2]

in order for the heart blood to be nourished.






Discussion of the Rising & Falling of Pao Quan  (炮拳起落論“““)

The two elbows embrace tightly as foot lifts up,

Two fists yang must move closely together.

Front hand moves transversely, rear hand straight,

The two fists embrace at the navel.

Qi follows Shen Fa and enters Dan Tian,

Hands and feet fall together, and three points set.[3]

The fist strikes outward high as heart,

Front hand tiger’s eye pushes upward.[4]

Rear fist drills up to the brow,

Tiger’s eye faces down and elbows hang down.

Pao Quan striking method, foot lifts up,

As the foot sets down, front fist drills up.

Fists and feet fall together in the crossing step,[5]

Rear foot is transverse and follows closely.


兩肘緊抱脚提起, 兩拳一緊要陽拳.

前手要橫後手丁, 兩拳高祗肚臍抱.

氣就身法入丹田, 脚手齊落三尖對.

拳打高祗與心齊, 前手虎眼朝上頂.

後拳上攢眉上齊, 虎眼朝下肘下垂.

炮拳打法脚提起, 落步前拳望上攢.

[1]Gu – can mean “to look around” or “attend to”, “respond to” or to “take into consideration”. In martial arts texts it is often used to refer to defensive movements that adjust or adapt to the specific energetic signature of the opponent’s attack.

[2] This refers to the body and head hair as being the ‘tip” or “extremity” of the blood.

[3] Three Points Set: hand, nose and foot in a line.

[4]Ding: means to push upward from below and to “gore” or “butt” upward.

[5] 十字步 Shi Zhi Bu: Literally the “character ten step.” The ideogram for ten (十) forms a cross.