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Thread: How does Bagua work?

  1. #1

    How does Bagua work?

    I've heard that the palm changes aren't particularly used as applications for a confrontation, so what is? Can someone explain to me the theory behind all the circle walking, palm changes, and animal movements? What is practiced in Bagua? Is bridge hand used often? What are the main ideas which categorize it as an applicable art? How would you use it in a sparring situation? How is Bagua typically taught, from beginning?

    Lot's of questions, lot's o members! Can someone please give me a straightforward reply which of course would be greatly appreciated...
    "He who say's does not know, he who knows does not say"

    "True Gong Fu is practicing in the coldest days of winter and the dog days of summer"

    "Don't try, do"

  2. #2
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    1. Circle walking - force your opponent to move with you so you can take advantage on his weight shifting. Soon or later you will find the correct angle to sweep your opponent's leading leg when he puts weight on it.

    2. Single palm change - You use leading arm to attack, your opponent blocks it, you use back arm to block his block, free your leading arm, you then continue to attack with your leading arm.

    3. Use in sparring - When your back foot, your opponent's leading foot, and his back foot are all in one straight line, if you shoot at his leading leg from this angle, it will be harder for him to pull his leading leg back. Even if he may try to do so, his leading leg will always be in your attacking range. Also from this angle, his back hand will be difficult to reach you. You only have to deal with one of his arms instead of both of his arms.
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 05-31-2013 at 08:58 PM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackEChan View Post
    I've heard that the palm changes aren't particularly used as applications for a confrontation, so what is? Can someone explain to me the theory behind all the circle walking, palm changes, and animal movements? What is practiced in Bagua? Is bridge hand used often? What are the main ideas which categorize it as an applicable art? How would you use it in a sparring situation? How is Bagua typically taught, from beginning?

    Lot's of questions, lot's o members! Can someone please give me a straightforward reply which of course would be greatly appreciated...
    Realistically, I think Bagua works better in sparring the smaller you imagine/make the circle. And I try to think of arcs vs. full circles.

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    From the first touch, most Baguazhang players will seek to unbalance you and snap whatever limb is reaching out, the quick changes can help you lock as well as break limbs as you turn in a very small circle.

    You can also use larger circle to throw or project someone away from you.

    Angles can change in an instant.

    Once your balance is taken, you are dead.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackEChan View Post
    I've heard that the palm changes aren't particularly used as applications for a confrontation, so what is? Can someone explain to me the theory behind all the circle walking, palm changes, and animal movements? What is practiced in Bagua? Is bridge hand used often? What are the main ideas which categorize it as an applicable art? How would you use it in a sparring situation? How is Bagua typically taught, from beginning?

    Lot's of questions, lot's o members! Can someone please give me a straightforward reply which of course would be greatly appreciated...
    Talking with some of the old fellows, reading and sharing, baquazhang/quan had only 2 palm changes (as a minimum). When people started hearing about 8 palm changes, they began to add 8 physical methods as opposed to understanding methods of changing, which is a reflection of the individuals as opposed to these 8 combination, which some have even extended to multples of 8 > 64 > 128.

    1. If you look at people who claim to do baquazhang, they invariably walk a circle around their opponent and then they get knocked out! They have failed to understand the concept of "change" or adapting to their opponent.

    2. John Painter is the person who best exemplifies this without BS
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ktH7w3EjV2k

    3. My teacher in Chicago was Zhang Hongchao (Zhang Taiji) when he used to give classes at Truman College about 15 or so years ago.

    4. Circle=evasion from contact while straight line intersects with body part to trip or tap opponent, usually

  6. #6
    Thanks guys for the responses, so it seems that the palm changes are supposed to be applicable?

    So Bagua obviously seems to be an art of change. The main principle, like the center line for Wing Chun, is twisting, angularity, circular movement, etc.

    The circle walking does have a meaning. To teach you to wrap around the attacks. Small, tight, condensed circle is for intense joint manipulation and snapping. Ie. snap city.
    Large, wide, extended circling is for pushing, throwing, hitting, projecting.

    You always have to be able to turn at any moment, and once you stop changing, your dead.

    About the palm changes, are the other 8 completely different, or are they just positions that you move into instead of the typical palm positions? Can they be applied to either of the two changes?

    Is there pushing hands practice? Or is there any form of sparring? Is there anything at all for that?
    Last edited by BlackEChan; 06-01-2013 at 11:35 AM. Reason: another question! XD
    "He who say's does not know, he who knows does not say"

    "True Gong Fu is practicing in the coldest days of winter and the dog days of summer"

    "Don't try, do"

  7. #7
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    You need to go visit and touch hands with someone who has been taught well by their teacher.

    My main Baguazhang teacher, Dr. John Painter was mentioned earlier.

    He will show you how to train as well as how to use Baguazhang for real.
    Mouth Boxers have not the testicular nor the spinal fortitude to be known.
    Hence they hide rather than be known as adults.

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    "From the first touch, most Baguazhang players will seek to unbalance you and snap whatever limb is reaching out,"

    Yes..I have read something similar..sort of like using the arm to hook onto..done similar to how an aiki-jitsu practitoner would counter?



    " the quick changes can help you lock as well as break limbs as you turn in a very small circle."

    Right..so it's not blocking in the more often seen way such as what a Hung Ga or Choy Li Fut or Wing Chun person would do..as in check, check..hit..but rather an absence of grabbing so to speak?

    "You can also use larger circle to throw or project someone away from you."

    I have read that while its true that straight lines are faster, it is harder for the brain to process cicrular movements. Can I have your thoughts Dale?

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    If you think about your arms as snakes and your opponent's arms as tree branches, you will have the right idea. Simple example will be a hook punch turns into an under hook, or an upercut turns into an over hook. The moment that your arm touches your opponent's arm, your arm "wrap" around his arm.

    If you walk in clockwise circle, your

    - left leg will train inner shin bite,
    - right leg will train outer shin bite,
    Last edited by YouKnowWho; 06-01-2013 at 01:33 PM.
    http://johnswang.com

    More opinion -> more argument
    Less opinion -> less argument
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  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by LaterthanNever View Post
    "From the first touch, most Baguazhang players will seek to unbalance you and snap whatever limb is reaching out,"

    Yes..I have read something similar..sort of like using the arm to hook onto..done similar to how an aiki-jitsu practitoner would counter?

    Now that you mention it, in Aikido, we're supposedly known to make a lot of circles, but I never made much of a connection with Bagua. The thing is, it seems that bagua has more of a twisting, drilling feel, and the stepping itself is in a circle. But in Aikido, the steeping is more linear, and the actions are more spinning and swinging. Two different circles
    "He who say's does not know, he who knows does not say"

    "True Gong Fu is practicing in the coldest days of winter and the dog days of summer"

    "Don't try, do"

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by BlackEChan View Post
    Thanks guys for the responses, so it seems that the palm changes are supposed to be applicable?

    So Bagua obviously seems to be an art of change. The main principle, like the center line for Wing Chun, is twisting, angularity, circular movement, etc.
    Large, wide, extended circling is for pushing, throwing, hitting, projecting.

    Is there pushing hands practice? Or is there any form of sparring? Is there anything at all for that?

    I have heard and have seen second hand that baquazhang has /had something called roushou, a kind of push hands method similar to taijiquan but it seems not to be taught today (modern day). I have learnt a straight line method of the palms but no roushou.

    Say hello to Dr Wu, when you see him for me!

  12. #12
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    Ba gua:

    1. There are many qin na and counter qi na

    from wrist, elbow, shoulder, body to step changes.

    2. There are many take down and throw methods.

    There are many counter take down and counter throw methods.

    3. If you only focus on strikes or punches and kicks,

    you miss the big picture or most of ba gua methods.


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