wudang kungfu

Wudang Kungfu


2011/3/14 13:23:24


what is bagua ?

Ba Gua, as a short term of Baguazhang, is one of the three classic internal Chinese martial arts in China. Literally, `Ba Gua' means "eight trigrams", it comes from the ancient Chinese philosophy book"The Book of Changing". But techniqually, Ba Gua as a martial art, just gets the basic practice principle fromTthe Book of Chaning, or we can say that The Book of Changing gives the basic prictice guidence toward the Ba Gua, or Baguazhang as a martial art. So that Ba Gua as a martial art based on a theory of continuous changes adapted to different situations. Ba Gua is one of the youngest style in the 3 internal styles, many people in China believe that it is the combination of Xing Yi and Tai Chi, since the force of Ba Gua is close to Tai Chi and the movements of Ba Gua are closes to Xing Yi. There are a few different styles of Ba Gua in China, however, no matter what is the individual features among each other, all of them follow the same basic idea: focus on circular walking, attack with plam mostly and focus on internal power instead of physical strength only.

Brief history of Ba Gua.

Ba Gua is the youngest of the traditional internal martial arts. According to legend, the founder was Dong Haichuan, born in Wen'an county of Hebei province (4 hours from Beijing) sometime in the 1820s. Dong was a good fighter who knew the art of Er'Langquan (Er'Lang -- a hero in Chinese Daoist legends). He traveled through China to meet masters of martial arts living in out-of-the-way places. When he reached Jiuhua mountain in Anhui province, he lost his way in a forest. There he encountered a young Daoist who was circling pine trees. Dong Haichuan understood that the young monk was training in some form of martial art, but couldn't understand the strangeness of his training method, and began to laugh. Insulted, the Daoist challenged Dong to match forces. Dong Haichuan agreed and the two proceeded to do battle in a nearby glade. Dong launched fierce strikes, using both fists and feet, but he was not able to reach the young Daoist, who always slipped behind Dong's back and overturned him. After the third fall, Dong admitted defeat, knelt down and asked to be accepted as a student. Once again he heard laughing, this time from behind, and when he turned, an old Daoist stepped into the glade. This old Daoist was Bi Chengxia, teacher of the young monk who had just defeated Dong while Bi Chenxia looked on. Bi accepted Dong as his student, and during a period of four years taught him the art of rotating palms while walking in a circle.

Later Dong Haichuan moved to Beijing and was hired as a servant to Prince Su. Su was a great lover of martial arts, and masters visited him frequently. On one occasion, Su asked a master to demonstrate his art before a large crowd. It happened that a servant with tea was unable to make his way through the crowd to serve the Prince. To help the man, Dong Haichuan took his tea tray and ran to the prince on a wall, turning and twisting over the heads of the spectators. The Prince was an observant man and immediately asked if Dong had studied some martial art. It was impossible to keep the secret any longer, and Dong told his story. From that time forward he taught Ba Gua in Beijing. Later this art spreaded through all China.

Dong Haichuan had many students, and each of them developed his own techniques, adapted to different circumstances. This is the reason for the existence of more than one branch of Ba Gua. Today, three main branches are still recognized. The first of them derives from Yin Fu, bodyguard of empress Qixi. Yin Fu was a long-time student of Dong Haichuan, and one of the greatest fighters of his time. He had studied luohanquan (Fist of Arhat), and because of this, fighters of his branch prefer long-range combat. This form of Ba Gua contains many strikes, the circle step is used for avoiding attack and attacks are launched from the side rather than the back. When the form is executed properly, it is easy to see the projection of power. Yin Fu was a rich man and gave money for the erection of a monument on Dong Haichuan's grave, inscribed with the names of all Dong's students. Another famous student of Dong's was Cheng Tinghua, born in Chengjiazhuang village of Shen county of Hebei province. Cheng was well-known as a great Shuaijiao (Chinese wrestling) master. When he moved to Beijing, he aquired the nickname "spectacles Cheng", because he sold spectacles for a living. Ba Gua fighters of his branch try to close on their opponent as quickly as possible, and the techniques contain many throws. The execution of forms is characterized by quick and continuous movement. In 1900 when the united forces of England, France, Russia and Germany occupied Beijing and began to plunder the city, Cheng Tinghua and his bother Cheng Dianhua, armed with daggers, went out into the streets and killed a dozen German soldiers before Cheng Tinghua was shot to death.The third main branch of Ba Gua derives from Liang Zhenpu, one of the youngest of Dong Haichuan's students. In addition to these three main forms, there are also a few others, such as Zhang and Fan Ba Gua.

What are the features of Ba Gua?

As with Xing Yi and Tai Chi, the practice of Ba Gua generates vital energy for both health and combat purposes. Mostly, Ba Gua uses palm techniques and is outwardly simpler than Xing Yi or Tai Chi. Some have said that Ba Gua is the combination of Xing Yi and Tai Chi.

A)Circle-Walking Boxing.

The basics of Ba Gua are a series of movements done while walking in a circle, and quick footwork and turns are adopted as its self-defense strategy. The coiling movements become faster and more intricate once practice becomes consistent. At that point, practitioners can move the body in all possible angles and directions for fitness, centering and agility. Ba Gua places emphasis on circularity; the movements of the art include twisting, spiraling, and turning. Specifically, the Ba Gua fighter does one of two things: either circling around a central point outside the body, or rotating the body around its vertical axis. All styles of Ba Gua emphasize complete physical relaxation, correct skeletal alignment, and natural movements that are in harmony with the body's normal reflexes and inherent design. Furthermore, all movements are directed by the intent.

B)Walking Backward for Attacking.

Through mobility of position and agility of body, Ba Gua proves itself to be a formidable style for many practitioners. Instead of meeting directly an incoming force, Ba Gua "melts" around the attack, either simultaneously redirecting the attack while closing the position, or by "ignoring" it and repositioning one's self before an advantageous "doorway" through which one enters to finish the opponent instantly.This strategy allows the smaller and weaker fighter to apply maximum force from an angle at which the larger and stronger opponent cannot resist, effectively making the weaker fighter more powerful at that moment. Finally, the relaxed physical and mental state of the Ba Gua fighter makes it possible for him to change and adapt as the situation demands. His movements are spontaneous and difficult to predict. Fighters of all disciplines agree that the unpredictable fighter is the hardest to beat.

C)Using Palm mostly.

Zhang (literally, Palm) is the usual term used to indicate a martial art. The open hand or palm is preferred by Ba Gua Zhang because it creates a better energy flow within the body, an energy flow which can be directed for spiritual, martial, or healing purposes.

4,What are the benefits of practicing Ba Gua?4

1, Self-defense: Ba Gua is a very good style for self-defense.1

2,Health: people will improve their healthy situation through doing Ba Gua also.

summary of bagua

Ba Gua (also known as Pa Kua) translates as "The Eight Directions." The definitive exercise of Ba Gua is "Walking the Circle". Through this exercise, the student learns to seamlessly revolve and rotate their body. By learning the eight directions of the Ba Gua circle, the student learns to attack and defend from any direction. Ba Gua emphasises circular, horizontally-applied strength through the use of an open palm, and continuous movement. The Ba Gua practitioner is always shifting and moving to catch their opponent off balance.

Ba Gua is an Internal Kung Fu system, closely related to Hsing-I . In Internal Kung Fu systems students learn to master Ch'i ; their own internal energy. Internal Kung Fu practitioners know that before you can master others, you must master yourself. Students learn to control their internal energy by first developing their physical strength. But this is not the muscular strength that weight lifters or Western boxers strive for. Rather, this is a strength achieved by muscular flexibility and unhindered circulation. As a Ba Gua student, you will learn to develop this strength. You will begin by learning to "walk the circle. You will learn the Ba Gua open palm changes and movements, and then the applications, so you may apply these in combat.


The History of Ba Gua
The origins of Ba Gua are unknown. One story holds that Feng Ke-shan learnt it from Wang Hsiang, who had in turn learnt only part of the system in 1796 from a man only known as Shantung. Then in 1810 Feng Ke-shan met another man who also knew part of the system. Thus the different parts of the art were reunited, and what we now know as Ba Gua was born. Another story is that a man named Tung Hai-ch'uan learn it from a Taoist mountain hermit; a story similar to the origins of Hsing-I . In fact after a famous duel between a master of Ba Gua and a master of Hsing-I, the two masters decided by pact to teach the two systems alongside each other.

Some pracitioners pursue Ba Gua's metaphysical aspects; That the eight ways of Ba Gua refer not just to the eight directions, but to the eight trigrams in the book of I Ching ; "The Book of Changes." This is an Ancient Chinese book of wisdom. Over three thousand years old, it is pupported to contain the great secrets of the Universe. Encoded in sixty-four hexagrams, this wisdom is not easy to unlock. Each hexagram defines the relationship between various phenomena, and has its philosphical implications written as a cryptic poem. Through divination I Ching is used to uncover aspects about events; past, present and future. These Ba Gua practitioners take the Internal aspects of Ba Gua, the channeling of one's Ch'i, to the highest level.

bagua fighting

Pa Kua Palm is a Taoist fighting system that is rooted in the I Ching (or Book of Changes) whose esoteric theories are encoded in the form of sixty-four hexagrams and are amalgamated with those of philosophy.

The practitioner of Pa Kua Palm is no ordinary fighter, he is knowledgeable enough to walk away from a fight by virtue of his excellent art. He understands that he must pass endurance tests before learning to hit others because when setting out to defeat an opponent he must be ready to face defeat himself.

The duty of the Pa Kua teacher is to save his student years of complicated self-experimentation by teaching him fighting techniques that have been proven over time.Using this method, he can transmit an ancient art to his students in just a few short months.

Pa Kua has a metaphysical as well as a physical side.Although fighters are not the only ones to practice Taoist rituals, they lend added significance to the esoteric art by mastering their own Internal Power.

By sitting cross-legged every morning, a student will be able to straighten his back and hone his powers of concentration.After a few years of such practice, he will be able to sit down and fall asleep with his eyes open, giving others the impression that he is awake. He will also be able to see 180 degrees in front without moving his eyes and to shoot at targets while looking in the opposite direction. His sense of hearing will enable him to perceive sounds coming from any direction and even to hear a cat walking.

China's philosophical roots rest in the word "Ren" which means benevolence. This word combines the characters for "man" and the number "two," and indicates that after people began to communicate with each other they developed a need to explain man's place in the universe.

A tree's roots provide it with stability, a house's foundation keeps it from crumbling to the ground. A fighter tries to emulate this stability by increasing the strength of his legs because he knows that speed and movement are born in stillness and that his legs must be pillars of strength if they are to allow him to run, kick, stand firm, and prevent other fighters from throwing him down.He seeks to strengthen his legs by practicing the "horse stance" and obtains the best results by keeping the stance as low as possible and by holding the position for as long as he can, preferably for several hours at a time.

A Pa Kua fighter must study ethics, for without them a man is no different than an animal.By studying these principles, he learns that some people are forced to take the lives of others, people such as soldiers who must defend their countries, or men who must protect their families from intruders. He also learns that man is the highest form of creation and while it is crime to take a human life, it is an even greater crime to let oneself be killed. A fighter must learn how to be prepared to defend his life at all times, even if he becomes somewhat proud in the process.After all, no human being, whether saint or sinner, can ever be completely good or completely bad, thus it is better to be alive and criticized than dead and praised.The winner of a fair fight does not need a coffin nor does he need to apologize for his victory.

Long ago, Taoist sages searching for immortality created secret breathing techniques that could transform base metal (common breathing) into refined gold (increased Chi energy).In Chinese alchemy, this method was known as the "blue-gold blood method," and once a student had mastered its techniques he was able to store his "gold" safely in his mind where no one could steal it and only he could spend it. Pa Kua students are also able to achieve long life and good health by practicing the techniques of Pa Kua and these treasures are more precious than real gold.

Since fights might be waged during the hours of the day when the sun is most brilliant, a Pa Kua fighter must be able to look at bright lights without being blinded.To this end, he first trains in a dark room to avoid damaging his retinas. He then begins to practice outside where he can exercise his eyes by looking directly at the sun. To do these exercises, he goes outside at dawn and chooses a spot that faces east. He then lowers the pace of his breathing and gazes at the early morning sun with unblinking eyes. Soon he will begin to enjoy his solitude and will feel as though his spirit is soaring far beyond the valley into infinity.At this point, his face will be touched by a golden shimmer and his eyes will sparkle in the sunlight as the birds sing to celebrate the dawning of a new day.

A Taoist fighter does not need to belong to an organized religious group in order to become more spiritual. He can do this by learning how to control his mind and curb the thoughts that constantly run through his brain. By keeping his mind unencumbered for a long period of time it will become stronger.In Pa Kua fighting however, neither mind or body should be stronger than the other because the body is the army, and the mind the general that commands it.A person who has a strong body but a weak mind can be compared to a strong army that is commanded by a weak general.


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