View Full Version : Emei Bagua Zhang

12-12-2000, 01:48 AM
Has anyone read the book from YMAA? I'm just wondering what you Bagua guys thought of it.

12-12-2000, 02:37 AM
The translations were good, and the applications looked cool. I also enjoyed the post training sequence. Its one of the better Baguazhang books out there.

12-12-2000, 02:38 AM
I found the translated passages (from bagua texts and poems) to be very helpful. I also enjoyed reading the author's thoughts on each section. I got a much clearer picture of bagua's philosophy and guiding principles from reading this book.

I don't know if someone with more experience than myself would have gained as much from reading...but certainly I would recommend it to anyone entering instruction in the art.

Daniel Madar
12-12-2000, 03:39 AM

It was enjoyable to read, but the style I practice is significantly different, as are my teacher's methods.

The thing I found most interesting is the alternative theory on the founding of Baguazhang, particularly when you compare it with comments BK Frantzis made in his book. The lineages are also rather nice. From a practitioners standpoint though, I found this (and all books) to be next to useless, though they all contain some kernels of wisdoms and advice that are applicable.

Water Dragon
12-12-2000, 06:12 AM
I'm going with the worthless comment. I think it's a great book. But unless you have Liang Shou Yu as your teacher, you won't learn too much. The exception here being that you're looking for some good Bagua poems.

Although there are many styles, they all depend on the strong beating the weak and the slow falling to the quick. These are not related to the power that must be learned -- Taiji Classics

Sam Wiley
12-12-2000, 07:36 AM
Over all, it was a good book, but I thought it lacked something. If you are really into Bagua, it's definitely one that should be on your shelf, though. The inclusion of Bagua's secret poems and songs makes it valuable.

"To enter is to be born, to retreat is to die."
-An Old Taijiquan Saying

12-12-2000, 08:58 PM
I liked the pictures of the old school dudes in it, most look like they just got done puffing on some opium. i could be wrong, but thats what my chinese doctor said after reading their face.

12-12-2000, 09:48 PM
Yeah, it's a nice book, and it serves the purpose of martial arts books--which in my opinion is mainly to cover the theory and principles of a style, give you some training ideas, and maybe serve as a reference for some of the postures. As far as learning solely from a book--I would say it's nearly impossible, and most of you would agree with me if you saw me perform the "Basic 8 Palm" form that I tried to learn from that book :).

12-13-2000, 01:47 PM
I personally found the text to be a great help, like most of the YMAA books, but also highly technical. This isn't a book "about ba gua," it is a college text on ba gua. I do however feel that the inclusion of Capt, Dr, John "biff" Painter in the Intro detracts from the text due to his dubious credentials. It is interesting to note however that even the term "Emei" in bagua is dubious. The chief researcher of martial arts for the ROC said in his masters disertation that Dong was the sole founder and that all Bagua went back to Dong. That info was published in the Ba Gua Journal.

All-in-all, a good book, if you can cough up the 35.00

12-13-2000, 02:50 PM
>I do however feel that the inclusion of Capt,
>Dr, John "biff" Painter in the Intro detracts
>from the text due to his dubious credentials.

What does "biff" means? Is that his nickname or just a nickname from people who don't like him?


12-14-2000, 05:09 AM
it is a nickname he has used in his articles.....

01-12-2001, 09:45 PM
Dear Tao Boxer & others

It is very sad when people who do not really know others want to trash someone or insult them and their work or spread malicious rumors about them. Especially when they have no medium or short-term experience with their methods.

As I do not have the advantage of knowing your real names I cannot address you personally.

I see that you Mr. Tao Boxer live in San Antonio Texas, which is not far from my home in Arlington. I would be pleased to invite you to come visit me at any time at my school and to possibly in the spirit of friendship and honesty dispel any of your misconceptions.

My attempts to promote Chinese Internal Martial arts not just my own system go back over 30 years. While it is true that some discussion groups do not have a high opinion of my work most people once they experience what we do first hand become friends not enemies. Of course if your mind is closed and you want to believe rumors and half-truths then please continue.

I do not take much stock in what others including my own students on these sites say about myself or our work or the art itself. I take stock in things that work and perform as advertised or discussed. Talk is cheap! Your opinions about me or your rude name-calling will not change our organization with over 2,000 members practicing Jiulong Baguazhang from the USA to Canada and Israel.

If you want to know why we use the titles Capt. or Dr. I will be gland to tell you and for you knowledge Biff is not my nick name it is on my birth certificate as John Paul "Biff" Painter.

I have a Ph.D. in Naturopathic Medicine derived from studies in college in England. The work was done in Chinese and Tibetan medicine.

The Capt. Title is a rank used by the American Rangers Law Enforcement Martial Training Institute. This is similar to ranks in Karate with belt levels except it is used to denote levels of knowledge in police and military training. Our company ARLEMTI is recognized by the American Society of Law Enforcement Trainers ASLET. We are members of ASLET and also Police Training Consultants.

I understand that that out background and lineage in Baguazhang is controversial. It does not change what we can do with the system and what the system can do for others. It has also been thoroughly examined by many respected teachers such as the late Jou, Tsung-hwa,, Henry Look Liang, Shou-yu, Johnny Kwong Ming Lee and BK Frantzis to name a few and we are all good friends.

Jane Yao and Albert Liu are also good friends of mine as are many other Chinese internal arts masters and teachers. We all get along quite well. It is a shame that more people in these arts choose to pour scorn on and insult people or talk about them without as I said, first hand hands on knowledge of others.

I hope some of this helps. Again I would be glad to meet with you or anyone else who wishes to learn and share or exchange information on all styles of Baguazhang in the spirit of friendship. I do as always offer a hand of friendship to all internal martial artists and am an enemy to no one.

Thank you

John P. Painter


01-13-2001, 12:18 AM
Hi Dr. Painter,
How nice to see you in our group. Don't take the comments of some of these guys seriously. As in life, the sh*t sinks to the bottom and people that post negative comments on the board whithout knowing the facts are ignored. Usually they get banned until they realize there are some rules for using the board. For the most part there is some good discussions and information sharing going on here. Just wanted to take the time to extend a welcome and I look forward to some of your other posts. FYI I am also a member and contributer of the e-group list too.

Sandman2[Wing Chun]
01-13-2001, 12:21 AM
Busted! :D
Don't you love it when someone is slamming someone, convinced that they would never actually show up in here to address their comments, then Poof! there they are.... :D Gee, making fun of someone's name seems kinda lame now doesn't it...

Hey, as long as Dr. Painter is around...you guys work alot on combat applications? I wasn't aware that you lived in Arlington, I'm one of Sifu Steve Cottrell's Wing Chun students over in Ft. Worth. I've always wanted to see what Bagua looks like in action, Sifu has described the style as being pretty darn effective, and talked about the times he saw people getting smacked around by Park Bok Nam....you mind if people come out and view a class? Just to get a vague idea of what it looks like.....

Sandman[Wing Chun]
Wing Chun Forum Moderator.

01-13-2001, 04:57 PM
Actually I do know Mr. Painter and I have trained with him. What I said was merely a statemnt of fact....his credentials have been questioned time and time again... I never said he was a fraud. I have corresponded with Mr. Painter on several occasions, including in reference to this very posting.

As for not knowing all the facts...it's true...one never does. I have complimented his level of skill to those who have asked me about it, with the caveate that certain subjects were in question.

Nothing I said was either malicious, inflamatory or for that matter untrue.

Chris McKinley
01-14-2001, 01:31 AM
As to the original question, my review can be found at the Amazon.com website when that title is searched. I've had people tell me I was a bit too honest in my critique, or that they thought I was singling out Dr. Yang and Master Liang's work on the subject.

For clarification, let me state that I feel it is the best book on the art of Baguazhang available in English. Dr. Yang's books are of a consistently and generously high quality, at least as regards the depth he provides. The sad fact of the matter is that, IMO, there aren't ANY really GREAT books on Baguazhang available. Bagua is such a deep, rich and eminently effective style of combat that it's a shame that nothing available in print has even come close to properly representing it.

One might get the impression that inexperienced students aren't even wanted in the art of Baguazhang. From the complete "newbie's" perspective, if they were to form an opinion of the effectiveness of Bagua or decide whether to study it based on what's available in book form, I should hardly blame them for very quickly moving on to something a bit less baffling in terms of the barrage of esoteric gobbledygook found in most works.

Yes, as a long time internal artist and philosophical Taoist, I understand what's in them, but they are written on a very user-unfriendly level for the beginner. In addition, there is an equally baffling shortage of examples of actual applications of the art against even the simplest of attacks. Yang and Liang's book contains a few example photos, but these are haphazardly strewn about the book and, truth be told, the level of application in these photos is basic to the point of unrealism for true combat. Especially given the brutal nastiness of those same moves when you get beyond the level of simple projections.

Forgive the lengthiness of this post...it might even be longer than my original review was. It's simply hard to just sit here and listen while other MAists accuse the "soft" arts like Bagua and Taiji of being all talk (in terms of philosophy) and no action (in terms of actual fighting skill). Especially when the media available on such arts don't do anything to dispell that myth and, if anything, actually seem to add fuel to their fire.

Perhaps that's why I get such strange looks from those who have only heard of Baguazhang when they ask me what art I'm doing and I tell them it's Bagua. Consistently, they're surprised and respond with something like, "but isn't that a soft art like Tie Chee? I mean, what you did just looked so violent." It's hard enough to find people in our culture willing to devote the time and patience it takes to develop an internal art without those of us on the inside maintaining a clandestine arrogance and purposely obfuscating our art to those who might legitimately be interested in learning more about it.

But, hey, that's just me....I could be wrong. Rant over. :

01-14-2001, 07:02 AM
A very, very good responce.
I agree completely. To dismiss the myth has been
at the top of my priorites. Perhaps the myth has been too engrained in the public thought, i don't
know. But it is a very good book.

Good work

Maoshan :)

07-04-2001, 08:19 AM
Hello Dr. Painter,
I have been trying to obtain information on your videos but apparently I cant get a straight answer from anyone. I am new to the Baguazhang scene and I am just starting to learn the basics but due to the time that I can actually spend in class which is less than 2 hours a month due to my sifu's busy schedule, she can only teach me 2x per month. So what could you tell me about your beginning videos which ones would you recommend and what type of material are covered in them?
I was told by a source that you should not learn from videos that you should try and find a competent instructor and learn from them.
My instructor has said that videos can compliment what I have already been taught and what I haven't been taught I can have a head start on the basics. So please help me in my search?