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Favorite Bagua resources? (books, teachers, videos, etc)

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More Bagua videos.

 

1. Liang Zhenpu style and the Old Eight Palms routine (Ba Da Zhang):

 

(single change palm)

(double change palm)

(back-to-back palm)

(chopping hand palm)

(smooth body palm)

(follow step palm)

(rub body palm)

(three pierces palm)

 

Teacher: Di Guoyong (Dong Haichuan>Liang Zhenpu>Li Ziming>Di Guoyong)

 

2. Yin Fu style (Zhu Baozhen lineage via Dong Haichuan>Yin Fu>Liu Yinliang>Liu Zhenling>Zhu Baozhen).

 

Some drills:

 

Part 1

Part 2

Edited by Gerard
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Back to Cheng style and one of the best teachers of the family, Liu Jingru (Dong Haichuan>Cheng Tinghua>Cheng Youxin>Liu Jingru).

 

His Bagua is heavy on lower basin work. I recommend a lot of foundation (refer to He Jinghan's foundation exercises at Baguaquanlessons.com) and basic circle walk before attempting this and the following routine unless you are naturally flexible and get into pu bu stance easily:

 

(full video with English subtitles, very well demoed)

 

(full video with English subtitles, very well demoed; difficult to execute and very demanding routine) Edited by Gerard
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post-111628-0-42729900-1409784799_thumb.jpg

Full Bagua videos with teacher Sun Zhijun (Cheng Tinghua style via Cheng Dianhua>Cheng Yousheng>Sun Zhijun lineage):

1.



2.
(fixed palms neigong)

3.


4.


Enjoy!

Master Sun is phenomenal. I was introduced to him by his student in the videos Chungling Li. Master Sun has received an award by the Chinese Government for being a Cultural Treasure . Master Sun was recognized because of his skill ,lineage and what he has done for the art as a coach. Many of his students are high level competitors. He is 79 in the videos and still moves well. He told me some amazing things. He has a new book out with DVD that was translated from his original book in Chinese with some additional information on Nei Gong and a letter written by Cheng Ting Hua you can get it at Plumb Publications. I will be going to Singapore to train with Chungling Li in November.

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post-111628-0-52136600-1409871352_thumb.jpg

 

Here is a picture of Master Sun Zhi Jun's Plaque from the Cultural Ministry

 

 

post-111628-0-93174800-1409871418_thumb.jpg

 

Picture of Bagua Master Cheng Yousheng nephew of Cheng Ting Hua with Master Sun Zhi Jun

 

 

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I hadn't kept up w/ reading this thread and yesterday caught up a bit, read through more, watched several linked videos...

*wow!*, thank you! everyone for contributing.

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I hope this thread proves useful to those interested in learning a Taoist (and Buddhist since it also works heavily on the conditioned mind) internal art. Avoid falling into the "I want to learn Bagua for fighting" camp, it is far more important developing yourself as a true individual and learn how to walk the circle perfectly (no room for error) rather than getting involved with the superficial aspect of the art.

 

In the following video series (a total of 6 videos are available on YouTube) you can observe perfect stepping, alignment and no tension. He Jinghan is barely using muscle force. 100% relaxation and dropping any muscle tension focusing on movement being originated from the hips and the crotch as well as using jing are other important factors to be taken into account when learning to walk the circle correctly.

Edited by Gerard
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I hope this thread proves useful to those interested in learning a Taoist (and Buddhist since it also works heavily on the conditioned mind) internal art. Avoid falling into the "I want to learn Bagua for fighting" camp, it is far more important developing yourself as a true individual and learn how to walk the circle perfectly (no room for error) rather than getting involved with the superficial aspect of the art.

 

Don't worry. People of your mind have seen to it that most practitioners are hardly aware of the "martial" in the internal martial arts any longer. And instructors able to teach this side are rare and far between.

 

As a result, folks who are interested in self-defence are more or less forced to turn to harder styles.

 

The way I see it, cultivating "the warrior within" can indeed be an important aspect of in-depth self-development. Pardon my superficiality.

Edited by Michael Sternbach
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And instructors as well, they also get caught up in either the wushu or the fighting camp. This enables them to attract a large following. The good thing that with today's modern communications system (Internet) you can still pick up the relevant stuff from whoever your teacher is and use sources from those who focus on the internal aspect and as a dedicated student excel yourself. Isn't that true that it is hard to find a good teacher but even harder to find a good student? ;)

 

He Jinghan of Taipei-Taiwan is one of those who teaches Bagua as a neijia art.

 

Please, don't excuse yourself:

 

"A man may conquer a million men in battle but one who conquers himself is, indeed, the greatest of conquerors." (Gautama Buddha).

:)

Edited by Gerard

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More training tips from the Gong Baotian line (it can be useful for any other Bagua branches since kung fu is kung fu regardless of the colour):

 

Link.

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My advice for those who want to go beyond, form, wushu, martial arts, the EGO, everything you have accumulated lifetime after lifetime (if there is such a thing as many lifetimes, it just a repeated pattern that keeps flaring up in form, substance, one long continuum that doesn't seem to end); in other words 'peel off' all those mental layers and reveal your true nature:

 

1. Practice near the element that is the mother of the organ that is causing you all the trouble, i.e. if someone is an angry person, resentful, with repressed emotions, suffering from depression, insomnia or excessive dreaming, etc. This is a pattern typical of someone suffering from liver qi stagnation. In order to heal this organ we need to work with the 'mother' element: kidney. This element is associated with water.

 

ws1n2o.jpg

 

 

2u5aws6.jpg

 

2. Walk slowly and very softly....FEEL everything that is happening while you walk. Form is not the main focus, the mind and all its processes is. Usually you start to feel the inner workings of the body (muscles, connective tissue, bones, pulsing of the internal organs pulsing, their colours, association with the macrocosm) and from there you advance to a deeper level (emotions, sensual desire in various forms, ill will, lust, conceit, etc.). Everything must go.

 

3. If there is a point of tension (there will be lots) dissolve it (it takes time) using visualisation techniques (imagine tension being as ice that is slowly melting down; as butter that is also also melting down with the good heat generated with circle walking; or as something hard but that is turning into something elastic that is slowly losing its tension) and also exhale while you feel the point during an specific portion of the stepping in the circle. Spend months working in all those knots that could be located anywhere in your body. These are actually parts of your mind, unresolved emotional issues, patterns of thinking or habits that have become stiff, rigid, which you have been carrying since...immemorial times. If you feel pain while you work with those painful knots, you need to keep going, don't make your practice easy because opening the mind is a very painful process. We are dealing with sankharas (mental dispositions, the builders of lives) in here. This is very serious stuff and should not be taken lightly.

 

One should spend a considerable amount of time (months, years) working in those knots until they are all resolved.

 

4. Don't practice on an easy, smooth surface, rough and uneven surfaces are more challenging and will quickly reveal those hidden blockages of the mind.

 

5. Ensure your circle is no more than 8-9 steps big in diameter.

 

6. Make sure your stepping is perfect. Use chalk to draw a line (if the surface allows for it) on the ground that will help you tracing a correct stepping pattern.

 

7. Practice between 5-7pm (kidney qi is activated at that time) if you are working on the water element to heal the sick child (liver).

 

8. Use Vipassana or Samatha techniques in order to calm the mind and ensure correct concentration and mindfulness. In my experience, the sound of water running is very soothing and is an excellent aid to tame the mind.

 

9. Don't change direction too frequently or you never develop a serious concentration skill. Start with a minimum of 10 circles and work your way up to 100 (or more if you can)...each side.

 

10. Practice in the dark. This will hone your stepping skill and also increase your awareness.

 

11. One palm at the time. Experiment with one palm for an extended period of time and record any mind changes.

 

12. Walk low, don't force yourself to go into a low stance. Allow for it to happen naturally. When you walk the circle slowly and to totally relaxed you'll naturally drop your stance. The benefits of walking low are immense.

 

Happy practice. :)

Edited by Gerard
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We can't have thread without this picture:
 
 
2myrzua.jpg
 
Bagua students standing in front of the original tomb of Dong Haichuan.
 
 
A sign of respect to Dong Haichuan's legacy.
 
I'll forever be grateful, master. :)

Edited by Gerard
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I bought several bagua dvds of Liu Jingru's some months back ... (someone posted links to buying them from China I think, they were very affordable... anyone wanna quote those links here?, I couldn't find them) ... I'm just getting into them and really enjoying them. Clear instruction, step-by-step.

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I bought several bagua dvds of Liu Jingru's some months back ... (someone posted links to buying them from China I think, they were very affordable... anyone wanna quote those links here?, I couldn't find them) ... I'm just getting into them and really enjoying them. Clear instruction, step-by-step.

http://www.plumpub.com/sales/dvd_title.htm#bagua

 

http://www.plumpub.com/sales/dvd/dvdcoll_BGljr.htm

Edited by zerostao
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I bought several bagua dvds of Liu Jingru's some months back ... (someone posted links to buying them from China I think, they were very affordable... anyone wanna quote those links here?, I couldn't find them) ... I'm just getting into them and really enjoying them. Clear instruction, step-by-step.

 

http://www.yesasia.com/us/search/cheng-bagua/0-0-0-q.cheng+bagua_bpt.48-en/list.html

 

http://www.coohk.com/catalog/product_info.php?cPath=21_29&products_id=255&osCsid=a6693c1e929944761ed01bb4c44f5e36

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Trunk,

 

You can buy them on eBay (they are from China anyway) which come with English subs. Here are some links:

 

1. Footwork and Eight Mother Palms (ding shi ba zhang)

 

2. Eight Changing Palms (ba da zhang)

 

3. Swimming Body Linking Palms (youshen lian huan zhang)

 

You can also find various weapons routines.

 

Liu Jingru is a very patient teacher and demoes the forms slowly and paying attention to detail. Highly recommended.

 

More videos:

 

1. He Jinghan's

.

 

2.

 

3.

 

4.

, face the centre mindfully and making sure the whole movement is connected.

 

5. Walk the circle slowly paying attention to every single detail especially during stepping and when changing direction. This is how a solid Bagua foundation is built upon.

(Dong Haichuan>Cheng Tinghua>Liu Bin>Wang Wenkui>Bai Yucai) is a good example. Edited by Gerard
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Is there an online article outlining the typical sequence of major bagua skills/forms (mother palm, linking palm, etc)?

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I'm not aware of any that outline "the bagua syllabus" as that varies not only from lineage to lineage but also teacher to teacher. Split mainly between Yin (striking focus), Cheng (throwing focus), and Liang (mix of Cheng and Yin) the different lineages all have their specialties, outside influences, and favorite techniques.

 

The most widely represented lineages are from Cheng Tinghua who learned Baoding Shuaijao before bagua providing things like the teacup exercises and mud wading step. It's said that Cheng Tinghua only taught three different palms. Most Cheng branches are heavily influenced by xingyi which is not a bad thing. I'm by no means an expert but if I recall correctly the typical Cheng style progression should be similar to below.

 

Basic Exercises (jiben gong)

Basic Leg Skills (jiben tui fa)

Basic Arm Skills (jiben shou fa)

Standing Meditation (zhan zhuang)

Whole Body Training (neigong)

Straight Line Walking

Circle Walking

Eight Mother Palms (ba mu zhang)

Old Eight Palms (lao ba zhang)

Eight Changing Palms

Eight Linking Palms (lian huang zhang)

64 Linear Palms

Swimming Dragon (you shen long xing)

Weapons

 

Some of these sets may have different names from lineage to lineage and be the same, some may not exist in some lineages, and some have the same name but be performed differently.

Edited by GreytoWhite
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Personally I wouldn't worry about fancy forms too much.

My advice:

1. Basic circle walking. Work hard on the Ko Bu and Bai Bu, perfect stepping & smooth transitioning when you change direction on the circle.

2. Jibengong exercises/foundation work. He Jinghan has put a ton of wealthy advice and drill practice on his YT Channel and on his site Baguaquan lessons.

3. Eight Mother Palms Neigong including the Millstone Pushing Palm which in some Bagua lines is not part of the mother set. Understand and feel where the force comes when working on them individually.

Bagua is a bottomless art. You'll never stop learning when you focus on the basics.

Edited by Gerard
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Now, in relation to your question. I don't think there is, but this is the typical progression in Liang style Bagua (Dong Haichuan>Liang Zhenpu>Li Zi Ming>Wang Tong>

):

 

1. Eight Mother Palms (Ding Shi Ba Zhang)

2. Eight Single Techniques (Dan Cao Ba Shi)

3. Eight Partnered Techniques (Dui Lian Ba Shi)

4. Eight Changing Palms (Ba Da Zhang)

5. Dragon Form (Long Xing Zhang)

6. Sixty-Four Linear Palms (Liushisi Shou Zhang)

 

Geoff Sweeting is my teacher, that's how he learned Bagua (his background is Xingyi and Danchengquan) if we talk about a curriculum.

 

His students follow this progression as well.

 

There are other forms (Eight Directions Palms/Ba Mian Zhang & Swimming Body Chain Linking Form/Lian Huan Zhang) which he didn't learn as he felt they were just permutations of what he learned already...and also more forms doesn't mean you'll get the 'juice' (gong fu). :D

 

And also weapons forms: broadsword, straight sword and either deer horn knives or wind and fire rings, or maybe both, not sure (I can't really remember since it has been several years since I asked him and didn't bother to ask again).

 

Note: 1, 4, 5 & 6 were learned in that specific order. 2 & 3 were practiced throughout the whole system.

 

 

Finally, an insightful interview with Ma Chuanxu (Liang Shi Bagua) at ChinaFromInside.

Edited by Gerard
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Old Bagua documentary aired on CCTV (Beijing schools: Yin Fu, Cheng Tinghua, Liang Zhenpu)

 

(lovely swimming body skill of the female performer at 5:25, another one of my favourites :) )

 

 

(long duration)

 

. Two main lines portrayed in the clip:

 

1. Gong Baozhai (Yin Fu>Gong Baotian lineage)

2. Wang Shujin (trained under Cheng Tinghua and Dong Haichuan)

Edited by Gerard
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1. Circle walk

2. Circle walk some mmore

3. Circle walk a little lower

4. Circle walk focusing on moving from your lower dantien

5. Circle walk focusing on your ldt some more

6. Keep circle walking.

7. Circle walk a little lower

8. More circle walking.

9. Add a form if you like

10. More circle walking

 

:D

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1. Circle walk

2. Circle walk some mmore

3. Circle walk a little lower

4. Circle walk focusing on moving from your lower dantien

5. Circle walk focusing on your ldt some more

6. Keep circle walking.

7. Circle walk a little lower

8. More circle walking.

9. Add a form if you like

10. More circle walking

 

:D

 

BKA:

 

 

As I am a complete beginner, would you like to expand on the reasons why to walk lower and lower?

 

 

Thanks!

\Mandrake

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BKA:

 

 

As I am a complete beginner, would you like to expand on the reasons why to walk lower and lower?

 

 

Thanks!

\Mandrake

 

Cause many folks don't do it nearly enough, forms are more fun and more fancy.

 

Also, it builds the Bagua body if done properly. It changes your body, in good ways. Very healing too.

 

And, it essentially is Bagua :).

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As I am a complete beginner, would you like to expand on the reasons why to walk lower and lower?

 

 

It's not only walking just lower and lower. That's not the point. You need to let go of:

 

1. All muscular tension around the joints. If you walk low while being tense you are going nowhere.

2. Let go of all psychic and emotional blockages.

3. Walk perfectly and precisely. Alignments must be perfect. He Jinghan has put numerous invaluable drills on his YT channel which address this issue. Supplement your circle walking (8MotherPalms) with them and you'll go far.

4. Walk with the hips and eventually let inertia drag you in. You basically are letting the force pull you not using your legs or your own force to walk the circle. But to reach this state you must walk slowly, mindfully, maintaining a perfect alignment (no bobbing up and down, which is the most common mistake, no swaying, or sloppy stepping). Practice walking on bricks (slowly) to fine tune your walking and therefore maintain that perfect alignment...alternatively walk on concrete and draw a circle using chalk and make sure your stepping accurately follows the line.

 

Points 1 & 2 will require at least 10 years of dedicated and solid practice. Celibacy will speed up the process, significantly. Actually it is a must, you can't run a car on empty fuel and this is the role of Jing: precious fuel.

 

5. Don't train Bagua or you'll burn out. Practice it as a routine thing, a bit every day like brushing your teeth. Take time off as well to allow your body settle down due to the huge changes you'll undergo. Kind of like baking bread, let the dough rest before putting it back in the oven, then out again and let it rest and so forth. It's a Yin and Yang process...if you go Yang all the time you'll burn out.

Edited by Gerard
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Another insightful interview:

The Circle of Eight
Bagua Master He Jing-Han Discusses Tradition, Fast Food and Art of Sax

This comment is so true...but very unfortunate at the same time:

"In Bagua, you learn to master every joint and muscle in your body. I thought I did, but when I started playing sax, I found I couldn't control my lip or throat muscles. I'm also learning oil painting? The reasons why I practice all these things are to stay well rounded. I have seen great masters focus only on one thing in their life. After a while, they become isolated, like an island. Why? Because when they try to share their thoughts, no one can understand. They spend many years to master one art, but most people don't understand that art so they find it irrelevant. It can come to a point when the masters no longer try to communicate with others. At times, it can be difficult to communicate martial arts to ordinary people, but through art and music, I have found a way to relate martial arts through these other outlets."

Another video:

(Wu Lin Zhi/Deadly Fury (1983). Old Kung Fu training :) Edited by Gerard
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