View Full Version : Bagua 12 elbows

02-24-2001, 04:23 PM
In our style of bagua, Yin style, we have a set of bagua 12 elbows principles. I was just wondering if all styles of bagua use a similar set of priciples or forms?

02-24-2001, 09:02 PM
Our style does not contain a seperat "elbow set" however we do make frequent use of our elbows. My instructor likes to call them "hidden elbows" as they aren't as blatant as say a Muay Thai elbow. I think that many of the forms found today were made to make it easier on the practitioner. It helps to issolate certain aspects of the art in order to better understand them. In our style the elbows aren't easily seen in our forms but they are in the applictions. I'm not saying one way is better than the other but this is my observation. I think I'd actually prefer learning with a form for each individual aspect. It would give more emphasis and understanding to that particular characteristic of the art.


02-25-2001, 06:59 AM
The Nine Palaces branch of Cheng Ting-hua's lineage (through Wang Wen-kuie) includes an "8 Elbows" set. I think the "8" is just to keep it in tune with the "ba" gua riff of the art . . . there are other variant elbow techniques that increase the number.

02-27-2001, 07:40 AM
In our school of Bagua we have an "Eight Elbow" form and a "Thirteen Elbow" form. Elbow usage seems to be a rather prevalent concept in BaGua. Much more than in Hsing-I. I am not sure of the YinFu 12 elbow set that you are mentioning, however, I am sure that is very interesting and potent. Do you know if anyone has done a book on it in Chinese or English yet? If not, I will have to wait then until I can find some one to share it.


yi beng, kan xue

02-27-2001, 02:48 PM
Eight Trigram,

Each form focus on building upon what was before and focuses on an individual aspect. We have palms forms, leg forms, fist forms, elbow forms etc. etc... They all seem to contain the 8 mother palms and emphasize another level of bagua. I think this is the correct method of development and they are the same forms today as Liu Yun Cao learned from Gong Bao Tien. Some controversy about this but I must say that the individual aspect of the elbows has added a much higher level to my bagua. IMO nothing is as blatant as Muay Thai. They are great fighters, especially at elbow range. But then, the average lifespan of a Muay Thai fighter is 59, the average lifespan of a bagua figher is 80.

Sin Loi, very interesting... Like wujidude pointed out, almost every concept that comes up in bagua seem to revolve around the number 8. We have 12 elbows but they seem to have the same power issues as the 8 palms. Where do you get 13 from? Actually I am thinking about doing a book and a video on this topic myself. That's what prompted my questions. Which style of bagua are you practicing? Your teacher must be better than mine if he knows 13 elbows! :D

03-03-2001, 02:55 PM
Li Zi Ming Taught a 13 elbows form that he got from
his Elder classmate, Gao GU MIN Who was a student
of Yin Fu.

Count, i'm not back yet. I just felt like answering some of these questions while killing some time.


03-03-2001, 03:48 PM
I did get that one from your website. I am wondering where the 13th elbow came in? I was hoping to find out if some of the other seperated styles were using the same basic set of principles as a foundation for forms. Maybe not to many bagua posters here anymore? You guys hurry back. We miss your posts!

03-06-2001, 02:53 AM
I hope that we all are using the same general principles if we are all studying Bagua!
I am not sure where the 13th elbow comes in philisophically when doing the 13 elbow form. I know that I really like the 8 elbow and 13 elbow form a lot. Actually, I like Bagua a whole lot!
Is the 12 elbow form you use based on any particular animal? Or is it not cited as being animalistic?


yi beng, kan xue

03-06-2001, 04:07 AM
Every form we do whether it's elbow or fist or leg, they all come with a set of basics that are similiar but unique. If you break it down you can identify all 8 mother palms in each form thus I guess you could say they are all animalistic. Do all styles of bagua have the same animals and basic principles? My guess would be yes, but that's why I asked in the first place. I have seen on occasion people from other schools do bagua. I can relate it to what I understand when I do. But I'm curious how other styles learn bagua? What principles they focus on? What makes a system like Cheng different from Yin or Cao or whatever? How are they the same? Do other schools always learn a form linear first and than on the circle? Do all styles of bagua put the same emphasis on Chin na and throws in their applications as we do? And back on topic, do all styles have these elbow principles? Sin Loi, If I am not mistaken you're style comes from the Cheng style, right?

03-06-2001, 08:10 AM
In general we have about 200 different "warm-up" exercises broken into five groups as well as forms
we learn level one "warm-ups"
then circle walking
then the eight palms
two man stuff and qinna
then the elbow forms
two man stuff and qinna
then level two
linear forms

we dont practice cheng style as a rule
although a few of us have picked up the basic eight mother palms and a sword form from a few of the hsing-i people we studied with
I also do a lot of stuff with Yinfu style which I have picked up from Dr Xie Peiqi and others
we have other groupings and sets as well from a variety of sources
most people only concentrate on one and hsing-i
I concentrate on bagua with only some hsing-i

03-07-2001, 04:58 PM

In our class the progression is quite different. We first learn basic arm movements of rolling, twisting, thrusting and wrapping. We learn steps, ko (inside) and by (outside) and practice on a square then circle. We learn an inside and outside change before we even learn a form. We train alot of stances with focus on fire and water in transitions. And we will practice two man circle walking and two man drills.

Our first form is Shao Kai Men which is basically 8 movements, 2 each of dragon, bear, snake and swallow. First we learn on a line on both sides and then mixing up the directions. Different combinations of the four directions and four angles. Different order of the movements. Than on a circle. This is also practiced as a two man set. We learn at least 3 forms including kicking/leg form before we even touch the 8 mother palms. Most of our forms are learned FIRST on a line and than on a circle. All of our forms are done on both sides and than we are encouraged to mix up the order emphasizing that bagua is continuous change. Before learning ANY form we are first given a set of basic principles or applications. We practice them standing, with stances or steps and two man sort of like 2 step sparring. By the time we begin the actual form, we already know it.

Before learning the elbow form we learned 12 basic elbows.

Upwards front,
downwards front,
sideways downwards,
sideways across,
sideways drilling in,
twisting backwards,
rolling in,
rolling out,
pulling in,
pulling back,
pulling up.

There, I think I got them all. Anyway, these are practiced on top of the original arm movements of rolling, twisting, thrusting wrapping. Done stationary and then with stances/steps on both sides. Also practiced singles and then doubles. Also drilled with a partner. Then the form is learned on both sides in a line and then on the circle.

The addition of the elbows form I found is to take your inside game to a much higher level. It adds more focus and power to all your strikes and a whole separate arsenal of weapons to choose from.

We have other steps we practice as a group and individually. We also have a full set of bagua chi kung, bagua weapons forms, chin na and post training. This is just a basic overview of our approach. I find this method makes it easier to fight with bagua sooner.

Aren't there any others of other family styles out there? How about just posting which styles you are practicing and for how long?

03-08-2001, 04:16 AM
Gong Baotien...
Not long...