What is Mo Mian Quan?
The Zuo family developed many forms for different purposes, some to pose as a learning tool or as a puzzle for students to unravel, some are designed for repeating moves and combinations, and some are designed to showcase the repertoire of the family style. Of the latter, the Mo Mian Quan has become the most widely disseminated, exchanged and shared form from the Zuo family system.
The meaning of Mo Mian Quan can be translated as Wiping/Swiping Faces Fists, the name conveys the motion and intent behind the techniques compiled in the form. You can imagine many of the techniques use a lot of ‘Pi’ and ‘Gua’ action to create the circular wiping motion. Wiping Faces also implies obscuring the opponent’s vision to gain an advantage, and there also a few moves that are designed to throw dust, sand or projectiles to create an opening.
Adaptation and evolution is a natural part to any Arts and Crafts, and what is interesting today is to be able to go online and see how the Mo Mian Quan has evolved over the last 200 years. Different schools, individuals and family styles will have different interpretations and training purposes of the form, so that even if the exact same form was once transmitted to a Baji Quan practitioner they would have interpreted it using Baji concepts. Given several generations of transmission and a whole new substyle of Mo Mian Quan can be born.
For instance, one of Zuo Baomei’s prominent students was Li Yunbiao who later created his own distinct version of the Mo Mian Quan. If Zuo Baomei’s original version was to showcase the base techniques and repertoire of TBPG then we can see Li’s purpose was to elevate the number of applications shown through the form.