What I liked about it was the details on Martial Arts in China, and the display of various weapons. This one is a Ziwu Yanyang Yue.
This weapon was featured in the film Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon. It was used by the old man who, with his daughter, was pursing the Jade Eyed Fox (played by Cheng PeiPei).
According to the description above, the Jiwu Yanyang Yue display in the previous photo, this was the weapon of choice for the Eight Trigram master, Mr. Dong Gong - but this weapon is not practiced exclusively by the Eight Trigram School.
The Jiwu Yanyang Yue display also explained that this weapon is short, and is primarily used to counter long reach weapons. The practitioner of this weapon has to be agile to wield it efficiently.
There was another display in this museum which showed a Eight Trigram Blade.
It seemed that the Eight Trigram School of fighting style was quite popular in PingYao. There was quite a lot of display space given to Bagua Quan, the Eight Trigram Fighting style. This display was about Bagua Quan.
The Eight Trigram Fist is also known as the “Swaying Body Eight Trigram Fist” 游身八卦拳 and the "Eight Trigram Interlocking Fist” 八卦连环拳 . Because in its practice this style in turn faces the cardinal and ordinal points, it was also known as the Eight Trigram Fist. The salient points are: the body has to be firm but the steps are nimble, change according to the footing, mix of hard force and yielding techniques, interlinking movements.
It was said that during the Qing Dynasty, Dong Hai Chuan 董海川 met someone in Jiu Hua Shan 九华山 and learned this style from him. (I’m skipping the principles of the practice in this translation).
In PingYao, The Eight Trigram School had four branches. The first branch stemmed from Wang Lun 王 *论* 纶 studied the Eight Trigram Fist under Zhang Da Xing 张大兴, and in turn taught Zhang De An 张德安 and Dong Zi Jian 董子健.
The second branch came about when, during the early days of the Republic of China, Guo Cheng 郭诚, under the introduction of National Master Fan 范, studied under He Yu Bo 何雨波 and subsequently settled in PingYao.
The third branch was Wang Zhi Yi 王志毅, who learned the Jiang 姜 family style of the Eight Trigram Fist from Chen Sheng Fu 陈盛甫 of the ShangDa Gymnasium in the City of TaiYuan 太原.
The fourth branch was Wang Yin Lu 王银禄 who learned his Eight Trigram Fist from Sha Guo Zheng 沙国正 and subsequently settled in PingYao.
"He castrated himself and became a eunuch, some people think that this is kind of the inspiration for Jin Yong's Bixie Sword Style."
Talk about dedication to his art!
Dong Hai Chuan 董海川, originally from HeBei 河北 Province, is generally viewed as the man who popularize the Eight Trigram Fist. Dong had a stout body, strong shoulders and large arms, hence is not shy from attacking.
Legend was that he met a man known as Old Patriarch Yun Pan 云盘老祖 at Jiu Hua Shan 九华山 and learned this style from him and established Eight Trigram Fist.
Wang Long* 王笼 is a native of PingYao, and was proficient in the Eight Trigram Fist and the Yang Family’s 24 Movements Spear Style. He was a straightforward person, an eccentric, and was very familiar with the internal martial art styles of various fighting schools.
During the Republic of China period, he was the personal bodyguard to several important government personnel.
After the Liberation (beginning of the People’s Republic of China) he was a committee member of the PingYao government.
*I just noticed this - in this article, his name was Wang Long, but in the introduction to the Eight Trigram School of martial arts in PingYao, his name was rendered Wang Lun 王纶 . I erroneously typed his name as Wang Lun 王论 * wrong radical * in my translation of the introduction - now amended.
On one of the walls in the Martial Arts Museum was this display, titled Special Characteristics of Martial Arts.
A close up of the upper half ....
Martial Arts comprise mainly of barehand fighting skill and weaponery skills. Based on the hand formation and fighting styles, martial arts can be categorised into distant and close contact style, hard and soft style, individual practice and cross practice (sparring), each with its own characteristics yielding different results.
The similar characteristics of these styles are that they require constant practice, variable permutations, changes in the rising and falling (high/low attack), nimble yet explosive attacks and clear rhythm in strokes.
In the martial art's actions and training, each movement has its use. The (permutation of) kicks, strikes, slides, palm strikes, hard attacks, piercing strikes, etc. combine to give each style (school) its characteristics. Each style has its individual display and practice style, and its own offensive and defensive systems.
Chinese Martial Arts have styles that imitate (animal movements) and styles that combine internal and external practices.
Since Martial Arts movements stem from repetitive practice of each style's/school's unique form of offensive and defensive system, the eye must follow where the strikes lead....
.... the hands swift and the eye fast, arms and legs following each other, upper and lower body in mutual support, the mind leads and the body follows. The breath produces the strength, the mental will, the breathing rhythm and the action must work in unison.
In the protracted development of the China's martial arts, there arose the term 18 types (classes) of martial arts or warrior armature. The commonly accepted 18 types are:-
Saber, spear, sword, halberd Axe, battle-axe, hook, fork Bore, staff, long lance, cudgel (longer than a staff, I think) Whip, metal bar, hammer, claw Crutch (tonfa), ball and chain
Traditional Chinese weaponery far exceeds these 18 types, but these eighteen types are the ones commonly evoked when weapons are referred to in Chinese Martial Arts.
In the museum, they have a variety of weapons on display - these are Twin hooks and a sabre...
Another type of hooked weapon...
Forumer yenchin commented that
"The first type of hook seems not quite commonly seen in films or series, the design itself is interesting as there are hooks facing both sides, which seems efficient in trapping the enemy's weapons as well as other nasty surprise moves."
"The second type of hook is the 護手鈎 described in various works."
And indeed, in Jin Yong's book Heaven Sword and Dragon Sabre, Zhang Cuishan of the Wudang clan used this weapon. He used one hook and one metal brush.