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Baji Quan is an extremely practical style and its philosophy reflects this emphasis on practicality. The original name for this style was translated as "Rake Fist" to describe the hand form of during the execution of the technique. The use of the name "eight extreme" refers to the more sophisticated explanation of the basis of the style.

Baji is a term used in the ancient Taoist book, 'Huainanzi' (淮南子, Book of the Prince of Huai Nan by Liu An c. 140 BC). The book states that between the Heavens and the Earth there are nine 'Jio' (regions) and eight 'Ji' (spaces); beyond the eight 'Ji' there are eight 'Yan' (stretching or extensions into the far distance); beyond the eight 'Yan' there are eight 'Hong' (breadth or limits). Baji was said to be something which spreads and extends out to infinity. Also, in the "Huainanzi", it says: "Big roads stretch far, reach eight limits". These concept is then applied to the practice and training of this style. For example, the use of force is explosive pushing outwards in all directions. Example of this philosophy can be illustrated in the horse stance and the bow and arrow stance. Baji practitioner take advantage of both the force of gravity (重力) and torque (旋力) to generate the applied force of sinking jing (沉坠劲) and crossing jing (十字劲).