Archive through June 28, 2002

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Seventy Two Hidden Kicks of BaguaZhang: Archive through June 28, 2002
   By Tom on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 06:31 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for the link, Anvar. I think part of the difficulty in judging will come from finding consensus on what the "obvious elements" of baguazhang are, specifically in a sparring/fighting context. Baguazhang incorporated a wide variety of traditional martial arts and techniques into its repertoire, ranging from Cheng Tinghua's Baoding shuai-jiao to Yin Fu's Lohan Shaolin to Zhang Zhaodong's (and Jiang Rongqiao's) Mizongquan. I think the judges will be challenged.

But that's a good thing. People at the tournament are going to be seeing fighting and seeing baguazhang and it will get them on their feet. And thinking.

Meynard: I got the impression that Ben was talking about an all-styles CMA tournament over the last 20 years, not one that focused on baguazhang. Elsewhere he said that this will be the first "all-baguazhang" tournament. To my knowledge it's the first bagua-specific tournament in North America, and may be the first anywhere. But I can see how you might think there was a precedent from the reference to a "pure kung-fu tournament for the past 20 years." I wonder where that tournament was/is--in China?

   By Black Taoist on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 07:39 pm: Edit Post

Man I answer your questions, maybe not to your so called satisfaction, But I did answer them. I even answer your theory questions rely, you call yourself trying to come at me with.

I say it one more time, What we are looking for is the characteristics of Ba Gua Zhang in the practitioner fighting style.

Meynard - Also: "Advancing, retreating, dodging, unfolding, shifting attacking..." Aren't these characteristics present in other fighting situation?

BT) Yes the above Characteristics are present in other fighting situation as well as other martial art styles. But they are not the same when practitioners of other methods utilize the above Characteristics in a real situation.

Do a Tai Boxer move or fight like a karate man, do a Tai Chi fighter fight and move like a Hsing Yi Boxer, or a praying Mantis man move and utilize the same techniques of a Ba Gua Zhang man, I think not my brother.

Each style have their on characteristics in utilizing their theory and applications in combat.

Do you know the theory and applications of Ba Gua Zhang? Because it seem you don't, if you did know,you with not ask me a dumb ass question as this one you have post.

.Meynard - What's bagua style fighting? Again, how is that determined?

let me show my yin side(Humility+patience) and answer your question to the best of my own knowledge and experience within Ba Gua Zhang.

Within each style of Ba Gua Zhang there are many combat characteristics. This $hit is due to the body structure of the person, also the Ba Gua Zhang system being studied, the personality and comprehension level of the Ba Gua Zhang practitioner understanding of their Ba Gua Zhang method their learning.

For example, it is a known fact that Chiang Jung Chiao, knew many Hsing Yi Masters, and even study from a few Hsing Yi Masters to later combined the Hsing Yi techniques("CHARACTERISTICS";)with his BA Gua Zhang to invented what is world -renowned today and called the Original Form. Within this Style you will see most Original Ba Gua Zhang practitioners utilize more of the lion step and sink firm and strong when utilizing their cirle walking steps, when applying these steps for combat, these movements are smooth and unbroken. These Ba Gua practitioners love to utilize circular flowing palm attacks when they apply offensive or defensive techniques.

When a Original Ba Gua practitioner encounter their opponent in a fight, You should see them utilize some Ba Gua applications of Drilling ,pressing, wrapping, circling and spiraling forward of their opponent's arm in combat. Now all Ba Gua Zhang Systems have these characteristics and applications, but as I said before each Ba Gua Zhang style have their own characteristics and variations of utilizing the above methods.

Another example: Within the Yin fu method of Ba Gua Zhang forms or Guas. The five fingers are together like a iron knife, this hand formation is known as the piercing palm within most Yin methods. most Yin Style Ba Gua practitioner will utilize this piercing palm to attack,neutralize,intercept,throw,block,knocking,hook,...ect most yin style outer form movements are more yang firm and their Kua's are more like a explosion, a fiery of yang energy, I'm not saying We don't have any yin energy. The Yin and Yang theory I was taught by my Yin Ba Gua Zhang instructors, the Yin is the Yi (mind) and Yang is the body. For it is the mind that mast be able to change strategy witin combat and determining when to be offensive or defensive. So most Yin Style practitioners forms and fighting applications will be a lot more aggressive. And I'm not talking about fighting like a streetfighting or Boxing.

Just like Jeff said in one of his post- What I really think is funny is going to a "so called" kung fu tournament and seeing the fighters punching, kicking and grabbing wildly without any resemblance to what the teacher has been teaching them. What happens to the years of training? Is that what you consider skill?

We are not looking for that kind of show. we are looking for some Ba Gua Zhang that resemblance this great combat martial art in it's true from. We don't want Ba Gua practitioners just to come and perform their Ba Gua Zhang forms, and when it come time for them to fight their boxing or just brawling. Boxing and brawling are froms of combat, but their not characteristics of Ba Gua Zhang.

Most Ba Gua Zhang practitioners know , as Ba Gua Zhang grown , the art has taken on many characteristics of different theory and applications of other styles.

Yin Fu because of his lohan background popularized the piercing palm as the main feature within his method, he also apply the lohan shaolin kicking techniques within his Ba Gua system, taking from his lohan training that he learned from Tung Hai Chuan.

Ma Kuei was known to utilize the crab plam and could issue great Fa jing from his foot. Ma was renowned to be a very short and small man, his Ba Gua fighting skills (CHARACTERISTICS) was reaching out one arm and wrist to strike his opponent's. In the style of Yin Ba gua I practice. This palm method Ma Kuei utilize in combat,is known as the Kan Gua palm method, mostly called, the piercing palm bridge and finish plam METHOD. The Characteristices of this plam technique is , as a opponent attacks you , you simultaneously counterstrike with a straight advance arm wrist strike(piercing plam)Ma Kuei killed many men using this method.

Anyway like I said we are looking for the characteristics of each Ba Gua Zhang method at tne day of the event, that go's for the Ba Gua form event and fighting.

By Meynard-What's bagua style fighting?

BT)My question- Change of strategy in any situation." No matter if it's a real fight or a tournament, that have many rules, if you can't adapt yourself to any situation and flow with it, then how the hell can you say you know Ba Gua Zhang. On your profile you claim to know Ba Gua Zhang, But if you knew Ba gua Zhang you would not as me that dumb question in the first place.

Wu Chi Became YI+form, YI+Form became formless, YI+formless became change, change became Wu-Chi

May you accomplish real knowledge.


P.S. I have no objectivity. This is just my personality. I 'm going to be straight up with everybody. I don't play this politics game, I'm a martial artist.

   By Meynard on Wednesday, June 26, 2002 - 09:30 pm: Edit Post


The question I asked was not dumb. We all know that there are many variations of ba gua. Since there are so many different manifestations of ba gua principles how can you define it as one style of fighting? Since there are so many versions of ba gua would it not make sense to think that there many styles of ba gua fighting? A ba gua practitioner that follows the Yin Fu lineage would manifest a different fighting style as compared to a practitioner who follows the Cheng Ting Hua lineage. Then of course there are other variations that have heavier Xing Yi influence such as the Gao style as taught by Luo De Xiu. What I'm trying to get at is that I don't think you can simply lump all of the different expression of ba gua principles from different styles into one "ba gua fighting style". Get it?

I know enough ba gua to ask a question that would confound and upset you. We could talk about theory until you are blue in the face. I know the answer to my question. You on the other hand have a problem forming a question.

I agree, you have no objectivity.

May you pass your ESL classes. LOL

This is just my personality...don't take it too seriously.

   By Anvar on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 12:34 am: Edit Post


What would be your solution to the problem in hand:

There is a lot of Ba Gua beginning/intermediate students who need the experience of fighting non-cooperative unfamiliar opponent (preferably from other schools) using Ba Gua techniques (let me use this vague term for a while).

However for some of them previously trained in other martial arts (and are able to utilize them) most probably under stressful conditions they would revert to their proven non-Ba Gua techniques thus making their training experience in Ba Gua fighting effectively equal zero. What makes the matter worse without stylistic restrictions they probably would win their fights thus depriving others (trying to practice their new techniques) of this valuable experience.

The open issue (and your question as I perceived it) is who would set the boundaries? The organizers of the tournament as far as I understand address this issue by inviting wide range of Ba Gua experts representing different styles (I think they invited Tim, for example). This approach might be not perfect - it doesn't eliminate the problem of biases (and I guess nothing will) - but if you consider this tournament to be more of the training ground than the prize fighting arena I guess it would be the minor issue.

Disclaimer: I'm not affiliated in any way with the people making the Ba Gua tournament and this is my personal understanding (as a Ba Gua beginner) of the rational behind the stylistic restrictions.

   By Black Taoist on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 12:40 am: Edit Post

Man I don't got time for your games, I just school you. So go home and practice.....don't take it too seriously.

I gave you to much information as it is.

I'm no newjack this. Ba GUa Zhang is my life and love.

Later, I let Ben Hit you off with the next Ba Gua Zhang Class...LOL

   By Black Taoist on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 01:26 am: Edit Post

Man The more I read your last post, the more I see how little knowledge you have. All you are doing is repeating What I post.

   By FunJohn on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 01:27 am: Edit Post

Damn, guys... Can we gat back to the "style war" era of this post? Now THAT was entertaining!

Any more of this and I'm going to have to post ALL the words to "Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting" and then y'all will have to read it.

Everybody was Kung Fu fighting, those cats were fast as lightning - Don't make me do it 'cause I will... I don't want to, but I will!!!

   By Maoshan on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 03:23 am: Edit Post

Maynard, you persist in this,
but unto what end?
you made it clear that you already knew the answer to question. What's the point? Are you trying to test your knowledge? Train more, and you'll get the answer to your questions.this is no place to test your true knowledge. Bagua is first and formost a hands on system, but you must not know that, and better yet, you feel that your question wasn't answered because the answer didn't follow the expression you dictated a few post back.



No, we all don't know because you don't know and your the only one asking the question

[Since there are so many different manifestations of ba gua principles how can you define it as one style of fighting?]

My brother already answered you but since you don't comprehend I'll give it a try.

On the surface it appears different, but in truth it is the same. The principles are the unchanging aspect of change.
Everything follows principles in creation. So does Ba-Gua. Not everything is odvious on the surface but within it's the same. Externally the styles look different to the beginner, but to an experianced practitioner they see simple to complex variation, but it's all the same.
as I said " Ba-Gua is Ba-Gua"!

[Since there are so many versions of ba gua would it not make sense to think that there many styles of ba gua fighting?]

There are, but they still follow the same principles. The external characteristics of any given style is the method of it's expression of the principles.
It's all a matter of who knows their Ba-Gua best? Who has done the work to embody these principles into their natural expression?

[What I'm trying to get at is that I don't think you can simply lump all of the different expression of ba gua principles from different styles into one "ba gua fighting style". Get it?]

Yeah, I got it, but you don't.
Where did you see that? How did you come to your conclusion that this is what I was doing?
Your the one with a comphrehension problem.
Look, Two fighters
walk the circle 1x and either attack , defend
or both. The rules have been posted here as well as on the blacktaoist site.
And to give a better illistration of what I ment by a kung fu movie: Most kung fu movies are based within a time frame Cir. 1700-1800.
now in 1885 Ba-Gua masters did not know any thing about western boxing, kickboxing etc...
as being apart of their practice. They fought with what they knew.
Much as a kung fu movie depicts that fact. What ever style we watched him learn, then he would fight, with that method much, as he practiced it.

We learn kung fu and at the first sign of stress you revert to a upright boxer forgeting your techniques and end up brawling with a "good luck" sign hanging over both your heads because it's anyone's fight at that point. Skills have no place. No matter how good you are, you can still get K.O. by a lucky swing.
Stick with your tenh. and you can control the situation. but that must be trained and engrained and constantly refined. You know nothing of this.
You come like you know something But in truth you don't.
Go train fror a few years and come back, then you might have something to say.

But regardless, I'm out ya'll I can't do this anymore I've got bigger fish to fry.


   By Meynard on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 05:04 am: Edit Post

Hey Ben Hill,

I tried to call you to clarify all of this with you but no one answered and you don't have an answering machine. Why don't you email me a number where I can reach you and we can have a chat.

Like I said before, I think what you are doing is great. I truly don't have anything against you or your group. I asked a series of question for clarification, that's it.

I know nothing? That's not entirely true. The truth is I don't know as much as others who have had more experience. That doesn't mean I can't ask questions when things just don't make sense. The question I asked from the very beginning was for you to help me make sense of what you are saying in a public forum.

I've got a lot more to say, but I'm afraid it's useless since we seem to be going around in circles...hhhmmm.

Hey Anvar,

I don't have a solution.

   By jeff k on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 09:20 am: Edit Post

My daily post on this wandering thread:

You know Meynard, there is a difference between asking questions you don't know the answer to, and asking questions to show how smart you are. I know you already know the answers because your teacher has shown you bagua from more than one variety. I agree with Blacktaoist about the many expressions of bagua but I lean more to Ben's perspective, that all styles follow the same principles. Bagua is bagua. Anyone with more than one month from a good teacher can see what the difference is.

Bottom line is this tournament is for bagua schools to test their understanding and improve their skills by competing with only other bagua schools. It will be judged by people who actually understand bagua instead of the normal variety of Karate, kickboxing, or generic style judges. Even contemporary wushu-fied bagua won't cut it beacause they would have to back it up by fighting with it. I've never seen a more even field for a bagua student in a tournament or demonstration before. A succesful event that is represented by a wide variety of schools will insure we will see it again. In todays world dominated by mixed martial arts and the UFC, Macdojangs in every corner mall, and tai chee for health, I for one am willing to support it. How about your guys Tim? Anyone seriously considering making the trip?

   By CoolHandLuke on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 01:28 pm: Edit Post

On another thread Mike Sigman wrote:

" Well, Bagua, Xingy, and Taiji all "hit with the dantien". In other words, if you have a bunch of people at a tournament who do all different styles, applications, forms, etc., of "Bagua", but none of them know how or have developed the store-and-release skills of neijin and the dantien, then they don't really do Bagua. "

Sounds good to me.

Also might come down to an issue of discerning the contrived "mimicing of skill" in order to 'conform ' to percieved tournament standards...from the displaying of skill which is a result and outgrowth of foundational ability-MO

Undoubtedly an overlapping will exist between the above.

Looks like the judges/referres have their work cut out for them.Good Luck

   By Shane on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 05:28 pm: Edit Post

I wonder what Sun Lu Tang would have said about a tournament with those rules.

   By Tim on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 06:33 pm: Edit Post

For a guy who wasn't there, you sure seem to know alot about my tournament.

I'll write this clearly for you: the fighters wore masks with a face shield. As far as punching or palming a face shield, there is absolutely no difference since the blows never directly contact the face. The palms only rule was more to protect the puncher's hands.

There were 11 fights. One was stopped due to injury. Of the remaining 10 fights, 4 were won on points and 6 ended in submission on the ground.

We don't do much "push hands."

   By Tim on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 06:44 pm: Edit Post

Ben invited me to come to his tournament. The truth is, I just can't afford the time and money to go. If I were anywhere near the event, I would definately attend.

I think it's an excellent idea, and I believe it will go a long way in promoting Ba Gua Zhang in the States.

   By jeff k on Thursday, June 27, 2002 - 09:03 pm: Edit Post

Hey Tim,
We can't afford it either. Maybe we can get a group hotel rate if we can get a bigger group. Most of our guys are going to Baltimore in July and we have the annual Wu Tang tournament in Ohio in the fall too. So only a few of us won't be too burned out for Ben's tournament. Jason is going though. Com'on, then they'll be obligated to come here for our tournaments;) Any of your guys going to the Koushou tournament in Baltimore next month?

   By Chris Seaby on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 12:44 am: Edit Post

Promoting what? People are already whining about 'health' and 'daoist' Ba gua, isn't the danger in staging events like this we are soon going to have tournament and sport Ba gua as well. I think events like this will lead to further degeneration rather than regeneration of skills.

I don't get the need to fight in contrived situations to prove Ba gua skills. The old masters were people just like us, no better, no worse, just born in different times and existing in a different environment. Apart from the bellicose ones who maybe enjoyed killing and/or maiming and went looking for trouble, it would seem logical the rest of them were basically normal people, trying to survive each day. Except for them the challenges of daily survival often meant meeting opponents in no holds barred combat. However put them in todays environment and they'd be facing the same dilemmas expressed in this thread, of finding ways to express/test their skills.

It would seem to me the sensible way to test your skills and revive the 'fighting' spirit/attitude of the past masters is to adapt those abilities to coping/meeting the challenges of modern daily life, which while different to those of the past are no less challenging. You may express disdain for the practitioners who emphasise health and taoist Ba gua, but in todays world, it makes plenty of sense, for its disease and pyschological problems that most people face, not; roving bandits, warlords, foreign armies etc.

Sport Ba gua may have a rosy future and can no doubt be of value, but given the state of sport in general today, I think I'll stay on the sidelines.

   By Erik on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 04:36 am: Edit Post

It seems to me that a bagua tournament without allowing throws would sway pretty heavily toward the Yin Fu side of things. If my understanding of Bagua is right isn't the Cheng Ting Hua side based heavily on pretty dynamic throws? I think Meynard may have a point in that what one school or judge sees as "pure" bagua another may not because of stylistic differences.

A high hip throw or powerful rear hip spiral may be applauded by someone from the Cheng Ting Hua side of things while the Yin Fu influenced stylists scream "No Judo allowed!". On the other hand it has to be difficult to put a first time event like this together.

I learned a lot more about this tournament and it's promoters through Meynard's questioning than I would've known without it. He has a valid point. However, I've never seen a tournament where all the competitors were satisfied with all the rules.

Black Taoist & Maoshan, congrats on your effort. Questions like this should come as no surprise to you and it allows you to further promote your tournament and clarify the rules. You'll probably get a few complaints on the day of the event as well. It always happens. In any case good luck with the event.

Good Training - Erik

   By Tim on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 02:31 pm: Edit Post

Athough practicing Ba Gua Zhang can help to alleviate stress (as can any physical acitvity) and is incidentally good exercise, it was originally invented and developed for one reason only: fighting. Since most of us choose to practice the martial arts as hobbies, and don't engage in regular life and death struggles, other avenues of testing skills should develop.

Free sparring was a part of Ba Gua Zhang training from its inception. It's impossible to learn to fight for real without it. A tournament (rules and all) is an opportunity for practitioners to test themselves and access their present level of skill. That's what martial artists are interested in, how well they can do martial arts.

Chris' idea for the contemporary purpose of Ba Gua Zhang training has already been put into effect with another Chinese IMA. The same line of reasoning is what has transformed Tai Ji Quan from a combat art into a weak form of standing Yoga.

If your goal is to release stress, why spend so much time and effort practicing martial arts when you could learn a meditation technique in ten minutes that would produce the same effect?

   By Anvar on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 03:33 pm: Edit Post

From other side, some instructors consider fighting to be a valuable tool for testing the progress in meditation practice.

As my current instructor put it "nothing would test your ‘be-here-now’ ability better then the punches coming at you"

   By Chris Seaby on Friday, June 28, 2002 - 11:06 pm: Edit Post

Thanks Anwar, that basically sums up a large part of my position briefly and clearly. I'm objecting to the idea that the ultimate, correct/best or only expression/test of fighting skills/spirit is a direct result of what happens 'in the ring'i.e how you deal with ring opponents. I feel it is also a reflection of how you deal with opponents/obstacles in life in general.


From experience I know for a fact that the people who train primarily for fighting are also the healthiest and the best exponents of Wu De, not 'health' nuts or 'spiritualists', but I do understand given the demands/reality of modern lifesytles why they don't want to learn to fight.

My background is in taijiquan so, I'm well aware of what has befallen it, and for that matter every other martial art that has 'come out' into the public sphere. It was my frustration and dissatifaction within it, that led me to seek out other styles to compare and colate.

Depsite the best intentions of the people invovled, and how much care you take, I feel this tournament is a dangerous first step, once the genie is out of the bottle... I studied sport history at university, so I have some knowledge in this field and my view is that if you want to keep the 'real' art alive then keep it low profile (maybe not a secret).