Tuoguan has another name Qiaoguan, which means to lift the bar of the city gate with hand. Thus, here "tuo" means lift, and "guan" is the bar of the city gate.
During the Period of Spring and Autumn, people focused on the building of the cities, especially the capital of the state because of the continuous wars. The city gate was often built much broader and thicker, so that ft was both convenient for the army to pass and helpful to defend the country. The gate needed a huqe bar which was rather heavy then. When we mean "Tuoguan", it does not mean to lift it up only, but to lift it up by holding one end of it. According to certain information, the "city gate" was usually four-to-five-zhang in breadth, and the bar of it was almost the same, therefore, ft Is not easy to lift up a four-to-five-zhang long bar by holding one end.
Tuoguan was a special weightlifting sport in ancient China, it was usually practised in the army with the aim to exercise the strength of arm. In the ancient wars of China, the spear was sharp and could be used to attack the enemy from distance, so it was often used in the army, especially in the cavalry. It was usually about one zhang and eight chi long. Some were even made of iron and very heavy. When the soldiers used the spear, they held the end of it in order to bring its efficacy into ultimate play. Which was similar to it Tuoguan. Therefore, to practice Tuoguan had its special use in training the warriors' muscle.
According to the historical record, Tuoguan was paid much attention to in the tang dynasty. When Tang Taizong chose his soldiers in the cavalry, he considered ” to lift the bar five times in one breath" as the necessary qualification. Another in-formation in "The New Book about Tang Imperial Examination" says Wu Zetian started the Gongfu Examinations, and Tuoguan was ome of the subjects. It was required that the attendants of the examination should lift the bar up (which is one-zhang-and-seven-chi long with the diameter of three point and five cun) ten times continuously, and the point he held the bar should be in a distance less than one chi to the end. After the Tang dynasty, Stonelifting became the main stream, and Tuoguan disappeared in the society