Wenan county has made discipline compulsory part of primary, secondary education to keep legacy alive
On Tuesday afternoons, hundreds of students can be found practicing baguazhang, or eight diagrams palm, in the schoolyard of a primary school in Wenan county in Langfang, Hebei province.
Among them is Xing Moran, who started learning the martial art at the start of this semester.
"When I began, I just wanted to strengthen my body as my parents had suggested, but then I fell in love with the martial art," the 11-year-old said, adding that she is now interested in learning more baguazhang movements.
This form of martial art was founded by another Wenan resident, Dong Haichuan, while Emperor Xianfeng reigned during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911).
He based the form on the Book of Changes, or I Ching, an ancient Chinese book of divination and a source of Confucian and Taoist philosophy.
The art is known for its spiraling movements and defensive footwork, and relies primarily on open-hand techniques and full-body movements.