A question about stepping / potential new school for me.

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : A question about stepping / potential new school for me.
   By Conal O'Keefe (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 08:02 pm: Edit Post

Hello all,

I studied Baguazhang from a man for about 9 months. I learned a lot of fundamentals. Stepping, Qigong, relaxation and starting on fluidity. Didn't quite get to learning the Palms (though as I've moved on I see a lot of movements from the palms in the qigong and health forms etc he taught me). I left the school for personal reasons and have been floundering since. Every few months I will get a burst of determination and start my daily circle.

So now I find myself with a chance to study at a school with a Name. He has awards and writing credits. Is credited on a book I'm sure you know of, but I worry. I took a class with him Friday to check it out. Being in class with other students was wonderfull. But when the class did their Eight Palms everyone was spinning on their heels. The teacher wants you to spin as many rotations as possible when you do a palm change.

Is this more of a wushu style? I'm sure that doing this will help you from getting dizzy later on, but I am interested in genuine transmission and combat effectiveness and am worried that if this is what I sow, I will not reap proper technique from it.

My question I suppose is: Is there a justifiable reason for spinning on your heels during training? Should I just trust that he knows what he is doing and "empty my cup?"

thank you for any advice

   By Mark Hatfield (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, May 31, 2004 - 09:37 pm: Edit Post

Why not ask him?

   By Tim on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 12:40 am: Edit Post

Which style of Baguazhang is it?

   By Michael Andre Babin on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 10:01 am: Edit Post

Spinning on the heels is one way of doing a sudden turn in some styles of bagua and it's difficult to judge the worth unless you see the teacher or senior students doing it in person (assuming you have enough martial experience to judge).

Spinning tends to be overdone in many of the modern versions of this art as it looks spectacular and can be challenging in physical terms for those trying to build performance skills. But, spinning in martial terms is a very risky manuever -- at the best of times -- unless your opponent has little tactical skill.

   By Conal O'Keefe on Tuesday, June 01, 2004 - 07:21 pm: Edit Post

I'm not sure the style. The lineage is not easy to trace and it is not mentioned on his website. Michaels comments make sense to me, both in potential utility and the risk inherent.

As far as his senior students' spinning. I was trying to follow the movements of the gua's (all I know of actual gua are what I taught myself from Allen Pittman's book) so I wasn't focusing on the other's movements. As I reflect I don't think that they were spinning so much when they were doing the actual changes.

Still not sure yet. Might just swallow my pride and return to my old teacher. Benefit to either path . . .

   By Bill (Unregistered Guest) on Saturday, June 05, 2004 - 11:38 pm: Edit Post

You might look into and read about Fu Zhen Zong and his style of Ba Gua. He included a great deal of spinning in what he termed 'tornado' turning. It was more or less a training tactic that would give the practitioner a chance to better his/her sense of balance and help him/her to practice the peripheral origin of his opponent. In addition it would allow for some application tactics... but it would be best to research more. I am only spewing what I recall from what I've read.

   By Craig on Sunday, June 06, 2004 - 04:21 am: Edit Post


Fu Zhen Song's "Ba Gua Zing Zong" (regarded by many as Fu Baguazhang's main form) contains quite a number of spinning movements. I was told that you can practice the form with the spinning movements, or you can train the same movements(minus the spinning) with "Bai Kou Bu". In that form, I was taught that one full spin is enough and the spins in that form are ment for developing better balance. Depending on what you want to work on, they both have their uses.

   By Greg (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, September 23, 2004 - 11:00 pm: Edit Post

The Fu Style Ba Gua Zheng Zong has two Gua that has spinning in it the 4th Gua you practice the "Da Xuan Feng - big tornado" and the 5th Gua where you practice the Xiao Xuan Feng - small tornado". There is also some spinning at the end to finish up in White Ape hold the fruit.

   By stan (Unregistered Guest) on Friday, September 24, 2004 - 05:14 pm: Edit Post


The style should have a background meaning he must have learned it from someone who studied with a teacher,I hope. If not then it may be wushu baquazhang (as a generic description) as opposed to a specific leaeage, be Fu, Chang etc.

Though I do not presently study baquazhang, spinning as a beginning method of training does not sound 'right' (I may be wrong, or that may be 'new' training of today) because one has to build root first.

   By jillybear (Unregistered Guest) on Tuesday, September 27, 2005 - 06:31 pm: Edit Post

The question you should be asking yourself is if he is imparting combat skills to you along with the spinning. For instance if he has his students at least practice applications if not sparring and if the applications and sparring are realistic.

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