View Full Version : Pakua schools in SE England?and some Pakua questions

03-08-2001, 01:48 PM
Hi all

I train Yang style TJQ and I'm enjoying it immensely as we train 50/50 yin and yang (not your standard beach taiji :))

anyway - I'm really into pushing hands with a few friends (mostly Wing Chun guys) and whilst the TJ is great for the defence I have a hard time with the strikes themselves - I know they'll come with time as my fa-jing develops with the form but I'd like to have a go at a complementary style like Pakua to see the 'completely circular' style.

so I suppose Im asking:
a)are there any schools in the south of England
b)will Pakua be complementary?
c)what should I be looking for in a school?

note: I'm sounding overly Yang orientated here - I'm not at all. I'm just trying to get an idea across of what I'm looking for

03-08-2001, 02:39 PM
Hi I had this reply to one of my threads from dingo(baguazhang and whilst I'm here Tai chi). Hope this helps.

With regard to tanglangman's question about bagua in the UK, from what I have read, it is pretty rare in this country (I live in London). My friend does bagua with a guy named Alex Kozma, who wrote a book called "Esoteric Warriors" which you might be able to get hold of, about his travels in Taiwan and China meeting various martial arts masters. I'm not too sure where his bagua comes from - I'll ask if you like. A year or so back, the magazine "Tai Chi International" featured an article by one Raymond Towers, who was (I think) a student of a guy named Ji Jian Cheng. Eric Lo (Lo De Xiu) has two students here in the UK - Aaarvo Tucker (who studied with Lo for a long time - a decade or more I think) and Ed Hines (who teaches in London and Leeds, and studied with Lo for a few years). I think Dr Xie Pei Qi (Yin fu branch of bagua) has a student here in the UK as well (featured in an article in Combat a while back), but I can't for the life of me remember the details. A guy named Sean Gibbins teaches Liu Yunqiao's branch of bagua (along with other things) in Hampshire. Anyway, as you can see, there are a few bagua teachers in the UK, but it would help to know whereabouts you live! null

03-08-2001, 03:13 PM
I live in Gravesend but work in Harrow so I can travel up to London if needed - I would ask John Ding but I don't know if he'd get a bit ****ed at me

preference would be for somewhere in Kent though

03-08-2001, 05:20 PM
Is it ok if I email you on a non-kung fu subject?

Eight Immortals
03-08-2001, 05:37 PM
Pakua is not a COMPLETELY CIRCULAR Style!! There are linear aspects to the art!

03-08-2001, 05:40 PM
I thought Bagua/Pakua was a circular style, Hsing-I was a straight style and Taiji was a mix of the two

apologies for my bountiful ignorance - just my limited reading on the other internal styles :P

tanglangman - as long as you aren't sending me porn :)

03-08-2001, 06:48 PM
Sorry no porn!!!

Chris McKinley
03-08-2001, 08:00 PM
Hi Kaitain,

Ignorance acknowledged can open a door to wisdom, so don't worry too much. Your take on the neijia is a common misunderstanding. It's primary error is that it is too simplistic and reflects a Western desire to pigeonhole where pigeonholing isn't necessarily applicable. ALL of the neijia arts are circular, speaking in the most strictly technical sense. However, each of them contains movements which are more overtly circular and those which appear more linear.

With that in mind, now your generalization starts to become useful, in that Xing Yi Quan tends to use very small circles, making it appear somewhat more linear than its sisters. Baguazhang, depending on the variant, contains the linear-looking movements of Xing Yi and Taiji, but does tend more toward circular movements under most circumstances.

Taiji probably needs to be considered a bit separately, as there is more misconception attached to that art than both the other two combined. You claim to study Yang style Taiji. You should know, then, that there is a widespread misunderstanding specifically regarding the Yang style, in that most of what is commonly known as Yang style comes from the material released to the public by Yang Cheng-fu, who intended to release the family's qigong form to the masses for their health, not necessarily for fighting. This material, while completely authentic, does not contain the full martial applications of the style as a whole, i.e., as practiced by his grandfather Yang Lu-chan.

As a result, many if not most of the so-called combat applications to be found in Yang Cheng-fu Taiji are the result of misinterpretations by practitioners trying to use the form "as is" for combat, that is, with large frames, large circles, and open gates intact. If this is the case with your training, it may be a contributing factor in why your strikes seem to be coming up short. Original martial Yang Taiji contained simultaneous defense/offense, such that it would be difficult for the defense to be effective if its accompanying strike were not.

All that considered, it may just be that you have not learned to move correctly in applying fajing strikes with internal structural alignment yet. If that is the case, then I can guarantee you from experience that simply switching styles to Bagua will not help you one little bit because you will run into exactly the same challenge there. How long have you been studying? And why are you practicing Taiji push hands with Wing Chun practitioners (who don't likely have the first clue as to the use of real internal structure)?

03-09-2001, 03:04 AM
pushing hands with someone WC guys is very useful for me - they use a lot of the same principals but utilise them in a more Yang fashion. I am of the belief that the only way to learn to deal with a hard punch is to have someone throw them at you repeatedly

I've only been training for two years so I fully acknowledge the fajing is lacking due to time - I don't believe it comes from practice, just constant and correct practice of the form (closing and opening in every posture etc)

I learn all my postures through experience - I push hands with my peers, instructors and friends from other styles - often I stop dead in amazement at what appeared a pointless posture suddenly taking on a purpose, and then taking on many purposes. Since my applications arise from my own experience I am training my own applications and therefore I have confidence in their effectiveness.

If you know anything about Yang style (not to say you don't) you'd also know that the external slow frame is what is learned first - you then begin to internalise it over time through diligent practice and also working the different frames. I believe that the applications must develop this way as well - Lui initially starts with a step/weight-shift to the side and the waist motion is exaggerated - now I'm getting to a point the the waist motion is invisible to an onlooker but I feel completely torqued and ready to issue. Since I train through John Ding I can happily feel I am getting a good transmission - I don't believe the movements were stripped from the form as much as further hidden within it - every step is a kick etc. Since I have yet to train the fast form, two man form, straight and broad sword, staff etc I don't feel ready to discount the style on the basis that the long form doesn't contain everything I need.

Also a clarification - I wasn't suggesting a switch to Bagua - I don't believe it is any easier to learn, but I get the impression from this board that the style is more application orientated. Since they are obviously complementary styles I saw no harm in appproaching the same problem from two different directions at once.

Chris McKinley
03-09-2001, 12:08 PM
Practicing push hands, even with WC stylists, is a far cry from learning how to handle a real punch. If for no other reason than that there are no punches of ANY kind in push hands. However, I agree with you that actually dealing with punches is the only real way to learn how to handle them.

Constant and correct practice of the opening and closing movements of the forms can help to understand the effects of fajing, but don't do much to specifically target its development directly. As with the punches, the best way to develop good fajing is to practice fajing.

Your development of applications is certainly traditional, and your point regarding confidence is often undermentioned, IMO. However, it is important to know that each posture does have codified applications at different levels; it's not a different set for each student.

Your next reference to large frame being what is learned first is relevant to Yang Cheng-fu style, but not necessarily to other styles of Taiji, including original Yang Lu-chan style. Although, I'm personally a huge fan of moving naturally from large and slow to small and fast. If you can feel the spring being loaded with chan siu jing in your lu practice, it sounds like you may be well on your way to developing real fajing.

As for "stripped from" vs. "hidden within"....in the strictest sense, the answer is, "neither". The form released by Yang Cheng-fu to the public neither had all the martial applications stripped from it nor hidden within it. It quite simply wasn't the martial form. It was the Yang family qigong form and represented the Yin side of the art as regards qigong. The martial form was not released to the public at that time, even by Cheng-fu. The Cheng-fu form (what most of the world thinks of when they hear the words Taijiquan) does have SOME of Yang Taiji's martial applications hidden within it, however. And at more than one level, it might be noted.

Traditionally, the rule of thumb for neijia arts is that the postures in the forms contain at least three applications apiece, representing expression at the "obvious" (representing large frame, open gate techniques), "hidden" (representing medium and small frame techniques, true internal structure and use of proper jings), and "mysterious" (representing small frame techniques, internal structure, use of jings, implementation of Dim-Mak striking, and use of intent to direct adverse qi) levels of power. Quite ofen there are more than three applications, but there are usually at least these three. It must be noted that the Yang Cheng-fu form's postures contain all of the first level, much of the second, and very little at all of the third level of power. Again, the reason is simply that this was not meant to be the combat form (which DOES contain all of the third level), but rather the family's personal qigong form for health.

As for Baguazhang, you are a bit in error here. The style is no more application oriented than Taiji is. Put perhaps more clearly, Taiji is no LESS application oriented than Baguazhang is. Original Yang Lu-chan (not Cheng-fu) Taijiquan is chock full of devastating, brutal and often deadly applications. It's one of the biggest ironies in the martial arts that, today, Taiji is considered perhaps the softest, least violent martial art out there, when the truth of the matter is almost nearly the reverse.

As for training in both Bagua and Taiji for dual perspective on the same problem, I say go for it. It won't be the easiest undertaking you'll ever do, but the rewards should be deep, rich and constant. Best of luck to you...you sound like a dedicated and attentive student. :)

03-12-2001, 06:25 PM

I had a reply from the email that I sent you...

It said that your address (chutney_boy@lineone.net) had transient non-fatal errors. Is there another address I could try??

03-13-2001, 11:18 AM

"A 'superior' martial artist is one who is adept at applying/internalizing the entire philosophy of his system (doctrine, strategy, tactic)." - Scott Sonnon