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Bagua - Introduction
 
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Bagua ch'uan (Giles-Wade), pa kua zhang (pinyin), Pa Kwa, 八卦掌, direct translation: Eight Trigram Fist. Other names: Youshen Bagua (roving eight-trigram), Longxing Bagua (dragon-shaped), Xingyi Bagua (Shape-Mind), Yinyang Bapan Zhang (Postive-negative eight plate palm)

Ba Gua Zhang is a Chinese "internal" martial art. The word, Ba Gua, means Eight trigrams in English. The trigrams refers to the written symbols that is composed of eight whole and broken lines. Those symbols are found in the ancient Chinese text of divination, the Book of Changes (I Ching). Practitioners of this style use the concepts from the I Ching as a theoretical basis and memory aid for their training. In the Yi Ching(The Book Of Changes), there is Tai-Chi (The Grand Terminus, which generated the two forms (Yin and Yang). These two forms generated four symbols. These four symbols transformed and generated the Eight Trigrams(Ba-gua or Pak-kua). This logic is applied to the practice of this style. From the initial philosophy of Ba gua, the practioner generates the sixty-four techniques of the style. The word Zhang means palm and relates to the preference of this styles for open hand (palm) techniques. This style is one of the most popular martial arts style in China today.

 

 

Ba Gua Zhang has a long an illustrious history. Like other Chinese martial art styles, its true origin has been clouded by myths and legend. Historically, this style is popular in Heibei Province of China. Within the last century, many Ba Gua Zhang stylists identify Dong Haichuan (circa 1800's) of Wenan County as the leading exponent or even the originator of modern Ba Gua Zhang. Dong Haichuan's students definitely contributed to the popularization of this style through out the world and many of the recognized styles of Ba Gua Zhang can be traced back to the students of Dong Haichuan.

Ba Gua Zhang training is characterized by the emphasis on the technique known as "Walking the Circle" or curved steps The practitioner walk a continuous circle and at the same time holding various static postures with the upper body, executing "palm changes" (short patterns of movement or "forms") and focusing intently upon an unseen opponent. This trains the student in appreciating the circular nature of the style and the feeling of body spinning, turning, and rapid changes in direction. In application, the Ba Gua stylist relies on strategy and skill, rather than the direct use of force against force or brute strength, in overcoming an opponent. The Ba Gua practitioner is always shifting and moving away to catch the opponent off balance. He use his footwork to circle around the opponent and to counter attack at different angles. Ba Gua kicks are all low and practical - in order to maintain balance and the ability to move quickly.

   

 

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Last update: 12/13/2003