(COMA) It’s all in the Fist: 拳 Quan

The Chinese term ‘拳’ or ‘quan’ mainly means fist, and it exists in Japanese and Korean as well (‘ken’ and ‘kwon’ respectively). However, as far as martial arts are concerned, quan is commonly employed by Kungfu schools especially as a suffix to their art.
Take Taichi for example. When we translate it into English we usually drop the ‘quan’, but officially the art is know as ‘Taijiquan’ -the ‘ultimate fist’ or something like that. There is also a ‘baguaquan’ as well as a ‘baguazhang’ mentioned in a previous post.

It’s also commonly used in other terms. The famous kungfu salute with one hand wrapped around a fist is called a ‘baoquan’ (抱拳). To shadow box is to ‘hitfist’ or daquan (打拳).

I should also mention that ‘拳’ is the ‘kwon’ character in Korea’s Taekwondo and I imagine it’s also commonly used in Martial arts terminology. As for the Japanese, to my limited knowledge I don’t know much about it’s use as a traditional martial term, but a search on a dictionary site gave me the impression it’s more associated with general fisty-cuffs and gun use. (http://jisho.org/sentences?jap=拳)
But silly me, how could I forget Southern Chinese martial arts who also commonly use the term but pronounced as ‘kuen’, such as ‘Hakka Kuen’ (客家拳). In fact, why stop there? Just check on Wiki for a list of Chinese martial arts: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Chinese_martial_arts

PS ‘COMA’ stands for ‘Characters of Martial Arts’.

COMA quan fist