13 posts in this topic

This thread is for sharing methods, resources, personal experience, deconstruction re: various kinds of bagua *stepping*:D

Edited by Trunk
1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yesterday in class sifu got me started on  some bagua partner walking with another student who had learned from sifu's gong fu brother. We are learning Kenny Gong's xingyi and bagua. Whilst we were walking he said in a Bronx accent, "You're doin' that mud steppin'. That shit ain't gon' work with me unless you've been walking the circle every day for two years and ain't busted a nut in seven. It's good for solo practice but ya gotta natural step when you're going against someone." He definitely had a more refined structure than I do and at one point after we had slowed down and I was getting dizzy from walking longer than I was used to I bounced off away. It was definitely an automatic reactive peng thing as the issue lied in my own body - he had done little if anything other than continue to hold his stance.

 

I had started focusing on mud stepping about two years ago when I went through the beginnings of B.K. Frantzis' Bagua Mastery Program. Having started that program and then going back to a natural step focused method - mud stepping is difficult to unlearn after yards and yards of straight three and four part walking and many turns of the circle with the energy postures. My experience previously was in the Xie Peiqi Yin style bagua and it wasn't until I started doing the Bagua Mastery Program that mud stepping even entered into my formula. I now need to remove it as it's an obvious impediment to partner work and learning this style's walking.

One of sifu's other students is also studying with Chris Matsuo and Ray Carbullido when he goes to Hawai'i. He says it is difficult to keep the Wu family influence out of his bagua from sifu. Mud wading step has its place but it is not as versatile in a live environment, one can keep the feeling of the mud wading in the natural step and gain the benefits. I'm a big proponent of the Yin style and see how some lines keep certain things from that versus Cheng. Devlin Glenn talks about the various ways of stepping in the Xie Peiqi lineage in the link below and I think it's very interesting. One of these days I'll study with Andrew Nugent-Head.

 

http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?p=379719&sid=af7c31806aa13b44c24439f14ff39c08#p379785

 

Adam Hsu's lineage of Yin bagua does something called square stepping that I find interesting but haven't learned in person yet. 

1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

We are learning Kenny Gong's xingyi and bagua. 

... 

wasn't until I started doing the [bKFrantzis] Bagua Mastery Program that mud stepping even entered into my formula.  I now need to remove it as it's an obvious impediment to partner work and learning this style's walking.

As I mentioned elsewhere, I have a little experience - and some serious internal martial arts brothers - in that xingyi lineage.  As I got further into practicing Sifu Matsuo's system, I found that I needed to stop the few xingyi exercises that I still did.  The ima internal "body" that is produced in those two systems ... at least felt incompatible in my body up to this time.

 

My impression is that we are kind of transitioning in opposite directions and find your comments, in context of your broader bagua exposure ... interesting.  The K.Gong xingyi system is interesting in body changing, and formidable martially.

 

one can keep the feeling of the mud wading in the natural step and gain the benefits.

Well that's just what I'm exploring a bit more now.  I mean, how I first approached mud stepping was the position of the foot over the ground, flat over or sliding to resonate an earth connection ... like rubbing a bell, or the energetics of things that are close to each other but not touching.

 

Lately I've started feeling more the heaviness of mud especially up to my thighs on the first half of the step and emphasizing my lower leg in the second half-step.  Immediately made a big difference.

2 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Aye, I am looking firstly for a functional martial art as that aspect is dying IMO. These arts need to be preserved and not just for qi cultivation - sifu's gong fu brother Ben Hill Bey got beaten and handily by a Muay Thai fellow on video a while back. One of the major issues was that he was using circle walking in the ring instead of as the training exercise it is meant to be. Some of us have real world fight experience and it's pretty difficult to use these arts in comparison to other arts like judo or boxing because of the difference between solo training and actual usage.

 

Thankfully I have a few friends and my cousin is training to go pro for MMA so I have a range of people to spar with and see what works for me and what doesn't. I've found the footwork of bagua to be extremely effective against wing chun but the stepping shuai aspects of the art to be very difficult to pull off against friends who have trained jujutsu, and damned near useless when fighting an experienced ecstatic dancer/street fighter. While I'm by no means looking to compete I hope to coach someone in the future to contend on a wider stage. Right now I know I suck but the only way to get better is to keep using it and polishing the mirror.

The exercises from the general's xingyi are quite effective at body changing I agree and what it's doing to my ribs and middle dantian is corrective and quite painful at times. The stepping is very different than what I was used to from taiji. Power seems to flow down the body then to the feet and then back up again in a very noticeable fashion but with little focus on lower dantian and greater focus on the solar plexus and middle dantian relationship. Paul Andrews' of Xingyi Academy's line also focuses more on the area above the qihai point and closer to the solar plexus.

http://rumsoakedfist.org/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=23442&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&sid=34c0db06053733da05866f07215aead2&start=15#p394697

 

My Yin bagua teacher taught something similar but more lower dantian triggered he largely wanted to keep me in the bear and lion forms of Xie Peiqi's system. He was a very martially oriented guy and was sure to show every move's applications and usage from the beginning. From what I have read the bagua we do is Jiang Rong Qiao lineage but Kenny Gong's flavor of it seems to require the xingyi to power the bagua. I'm excited to learn more and am keeping a private journal as I go that I'm hoping sifu will let me release. I've been looking over different Jiang practitioners videos on YouTube the past few days trying to discern patterns.

3 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My personal experience.

 

Mud walking step:

 

1. Yin in nature as it directly stimulates the kidney 1 point.

 

Crane/chicken step:

 

1. Power move

2. Develops vertical force

 

Regardless of stepping, if you do it correctly, the force generated by the body starts to move you around progressively faster while you trying to keep up with your legs. It becomes quite a challenge since you cannot lose good form due to the increased speed. I came across this interesting fact while walking the circle very slowly for many months on a daily basis and maintaining correct postural alignments without changing direction and just holding one palm for some time (minimum of 20-30 min clockwise or counterclockwise depending which direction you start).

 

More good things will be encountered as Bagua is an endless journey. :)

4 people thank this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the mud walking is only for solo training, isn't it? I dabbled a little bit and the points I took from it were that it was kind of like a conditioning method whereby the "mud" provides an energetic resistance that develops your chi body, and also I felt that it was really good at making a connection from the ground to the dantian. In that sense it would absolutely be incompatible with partner work, as was mentioned.

1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think the mud walking is only for solo training, isn't it? I dabbled a little bit...

 

Hi,

 

I'm afraid it isn't enough. You need to walk the circle daily or nearly every day for many years before you can make this assumption.

 

.........................................

 

Bagua, another soon to be lost art due to insufficient and inconsistent training with excessive martial arts focus?? Possibly the way this world is going. :(

Edited by Gerard
1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are different lines of bagua Gerard. Some lines don't use mud wading step at all. I agree though daily practice of these things for years will truly allow one to examine it and understand whereas dabbling with something only gives a practitioner a glimpse. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There are different lines of bagua Gerard.

 

Yes I know and that is the big problem. Too many lines. :D But again aren't we all living in the reality of the “ten-thousand things."

 

:)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yup, I personally like the Yin bagua lines best my first bagua love but will learn from anyone who has something to teach and can demonstrate their skill. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

There's 2 different "varieties" of mud stepping:

A ) One is bringing foot up parallel to floor and bringing it down the same way, trying, as if, to hold your shoe on while the heaviness of the mud tries to pull it off

B ) The other mud step "variety" is slightly curling toes down and as the foot touches the floor there's a slight skip forward with lead foot

I devised a simple training routine using a 1/2 tennis ball taped to bottom of foot to mimic suction and balance

Personally I like A) better

Edited by SonOfTheGods
1 person thanks this

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The steppings done during 'lian gong' period are for specific training of the stepping and legs when doing the circle-walking. However when one is doing the form, e,g, 64 palms, the strenuous stepping whether it is chicken or mud-sliding is not used. Lian gong is putting in (extra) effort, just like zhan zhuang, is a stationery 'lian gong' form. Chicken stepping is used in Yin linege, as well as Yin Pai Gong Men. Besides chicken and mud sliding steppings, there are other forms of walking as well.

Edited by Sudhamma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites