We can think of almost no better way to kick off 2022 than by learning Chinese kung fu, and it seems we aren’t alone. Video game distributor Steam is set to release a new PC game called Chinese martial arts (kung fu) The 64 Hands of Bagua Zhang (hereafter referred to as The 64 Hands of Bagua Zhang) for folks looking to immerse themselves in the traditional martial art.
Interestingly, the game’s release date is listed as January 1, 2022, on the Steam website, though it’s not available to play yet for unknown reasons. That said, the game’s promotional materials have already got us excited.
The 64 Hands of Bagua Zhang was developed by a Beijing-based gaming company and allows players to learn the 64 hands of bagua palm.
The 64 Hands of Bagua Zhang features actions performed by contemporary martial artist Gao Jiwu
Bagua palm is one of the most renowned Chinese kung fu styles and is often grouped with tai chi and xing yi quan when discussing the three primary internal practices (neijia quan 内家拳).
In the hope of “inheriting, spreading, and learning the essence of Chinese Traditional Wushu,” the video game’s developers used captured actions performed by a famous contemporary martial artist, Gao Jiwu, and turned them into animated renderings.
Gao is a fifth-generation bagua master and the vice president of the Chinese Folk Martial Arts Federation. His apprentice, Fan Weipeng, helped collect and organize the footage for the game’s development.
Watch Gao perform bagua palm below:
The game’s page on Steam claims that users can pause the demonstration at any time and rotate it 360 degrees to view the actions in closer detail.
Players can pause and click the light blue circles to view the gestures up close
Chinese gaming publication Sina Games announced the new title’s release on its official Weibo account on January 4.
Many netizens commented jokingly under the post, with some comparing Gao’s appearance in the game with legendary tai chi master Ma Baoguo, who retired from martial arts after being knocked out by sanda fighter Wang Qingming in 2020.
Though the soundtrack is all in Chinese, the good thing is that you can switch the game’s interface and subtitles to English. So now, English-speaking players have no excuse not to learn this traditional Chinese sport — that is, once the game is available on Steam.
All photos via Weibo
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