Pao Chuan Builds on Beng Chuan

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    When I study the five fists, I almost exclusively watch Bruce performing the large movements that Liu Hung Chieh favored. The large external movements tend to hint at important internal movement. Until you understand the internal movements you don’t fully understand why the external movement is the way it is. Pao Chuan is no exception.

    For example, focus on the upper forearm. That side opens and then closes at the end of the movement. The opening is often used for a block, but the second part is more interesting – that’s the close. It can move an opponent and take their balance just as the other striking hand punches.

    Internally, this fist builds on the previous three. In crushing fist, the striking fist grows from the back and spine to the front. Think wrapping but it also has a deeper level in the viscera. The opposite side is growing from the front toward the back. It is NOT contracting. The two actions are happening at the same time producing one of the strongest punches in the internal arts.

    So, Pao Chuan builds on this. At the end it doesn’t continue to grow like Beng Chuan. It closes. The viscera takes the opening coming from the front and closes on the back into the viscera. All of the wrapping goes around from the front and then closes into the viscera toward the back and spine. The step to the side is powered by this tissue opening back up.

    The external movement starts to make sense.

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