Gao style curriculum

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Gao style curriculum
   By Frank R. Matz on Tuesday, December 05, 2000 - 01:09 pm: Edit Post

I was visitng CS Tang's website. On it are the curriculum for the Hong Kong branch of Gao style, as well as Weng Meng Xia's branch.

Besides the 64 linear forms, and the circular forms, both listed a "twelve animals." They both had the same list of animals.

What is this part of training? Is it the same as the 12 animal forms of Xing Yi?

Best Regards,

Rick Matz

   By No time to scour the Web on Wednesday, December 06, 2000 - 11:53 am: Edit Post

Can you list the twelve animals?

   By Bob #2 on Wednesday, December 06, 2000 - 03:02 pm: Edit Post

It's been a while since I mastered the art, let me see if I can remember them in order:

1. Snake
2. Bear
3. Unicorn
4. Platypus
5. Wolverine
6. Weevil
7. Meerkat
8. Monkey
9. Kangaro
11.Agitated Wombat

whew... I'm better than I give myself credit for.

I've got to go, I have a class to train.
Bob #2

   By Rick Matz on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 07:16 am: Edit Post

The twelve animals that CS Tang lists, are:


Best Regards,

Rick Matz

   By Mr. Wacky Walker on Thursday, December 07, 2000 - 10:09 pm: Edit Post

I am currently studying Gao from the Lo lineage. The only names I recognize from Lo's Gao style are the Snake, Horse, Dragon, and Tiger. The Phoenix is from the Sun style. Maybe you are misinterpreting the article.

In the Pa Kua Chang Journal Vol.6, No.5 there is an interview with C.S Tang. He says that Ho told Gao that there is 12 animal forms in Ba Gua. They are different from Xing Yi.

Beth, if your blood pressure is back to normal can you help me out?

I am also currently studying a combination of Hebie and Shan Xi Xing Yi with the emphasize on Shan Xi. I will back the claim that the Xing Yi and Ba Gua animals with the same name are taught differently.

   By BS on Saturday, December 09, 2000 - 01:02 am: Edit Post

Ha, my blood pressure is normal--sorry if I got exercised. Important: Please take the following information with a grain of salt, not as gospel, because my Chinese is very, very poor. These are a set of linear forms. They're not full "animal styles" but simple forms to train an animal characteristic/principle that is used in bagua, so the names are more specific (4 characters) than shown on that list; i.e., something like Lynx Catches a Mouse rather than just Lynx. If you're in Lo's lineage you wouldn't have learned it separately; rather, the movements & principles are already covered in the 64 houtian forms. (I saw a couple of the animal forms and can verify that those movements were indeed part of other houtian forms.) Tim has met Tang, I believe, and also understands Chinese about 6 billion times better than I do, so perhaps he can clarify or elaborate.

   By Tim on Monday, December 11, 2000 - 03:50 pm: Edit Post

The last line of the Hou Tien Ba Gua in the Gao style includes a different animal "flavor" for each form. So there are eight animals. Like Beth said, these forms are not separate animal forms per se, rather the 'intent' of the animals are included in the forms.
CS Tang is a friend of mine, but we never discussed the '12 animals' in his branch of the Gao style.

   By Rick Matz on Monday, February 05, 2001 - 09:15 am: Edit Post

I just had a thought about the question I asked. I remember in the Pa Kua Chang Journal, it said that Gao Yi Sheng taught Zhang Jun Feng and Wu Meng Xia in the "Tiger" style, as it suited their physiques, while he taught Ho Ho Choy in the "Dragon" style.

Could this be what the 12 animals are referring to? The "flavor" which gives a theme to one's whole interpretation of the forms, etc?

What do you thing?

Best Regards,

Rick Matz

   By Craig on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 05:43 pm: Edit Post

Hello Tim,
I was wondering if you knew if CS Tang teaches his Gao style Ba Gua, gearing it towards realistic fighting.
Thanks for the very informitive discussion board.

With regards,


   By Man from Missouri on Sunday, December 15, 2002 - 09:02 pm: Edit Post


Do you have a copy of Gao Yi Sheng's book?

   By Tim on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 03:39 pm: Edit Post

I haven't seen CS in almost ten years, so I don't know exactly what he is teaching nowadays. He has a website (search for "CS Tang" and I'm sure you'll find a link). When I was in Hong Kong with his group, most of their training was form and two person form related.


   By Craig on Monday, December 16, 2002 - 03:49 pm: Edit Post

Thanks for the quick response. I'll check out his web site.


   By Miguel P. on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 12:36 pm: Edit Post


Hi my name is Miguel Parga. I'm a long time Martial Artists, now living in NY and planning on moving to LA (hopefully in late Feb.) I'm hoping to be in a possition to join your school when I get there. After much research, you guys seem to have what I'm looking for. Anyway, my question's the following: I just got a hold of Luo De Xio's tape and unless my eyes decieve me the changes that he performs there are pretty different from the changes I've learned in my incursions into Gao. Ba Gua is not my core MA but I find it facinating and would like to continue my training in LA. Is there a tape tha contains the changes that you guys practice, that I can use to get familiar with your line? I learned my changes from Tom Bisio in New York.


PS: Just got "Effortless Combat...", tape and book and they're exellent.

   By Walter T. Joyce Sr. on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 01:35 pm: Edit Post

Where can I get the effortless combat throws tape?

   By Miguel P. on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 02:13 pm: Edit Post

I bought it at Plum Flower Press. You can access them through this website.


   By Walter T. Joyce Sr. on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 03:46 pm: Edit Post

Thanks, I went there and checked things out. I'm not sure why I didn't think of it, I've probably seen them there before.

Miguel's post and my practice brings up a question. Isn't ok to play with the palm changes a bit anyways? I mean, isn't ok to say start off a different foot position than normal, say if the changes starts inside foot forward, try it with the ouside foot forward, etc.
Just curious.

   By Tim on Monday, December 30, 2002 - 07:29 pm: Edit Post

The Gao style changes that Tom teaches are from the Liu Feng Cai lineage (Liu was a student of Gao Yi Sheng). Luo teaches a couple of different variations of the Xian Tian circle forms. The first version is the "modified " forms of Zhang Jun Feng, the second are the more standard forms that Zhang learned from Gao Yi Sheng. Both sets are different from the forms you learned. The Liu Feng Cai forms are fairly standard among the various Gao lineages in Tain Jin.

In my academy, I teach the Sun style Ba Gua Zhang in group classes. I teach the Gao style privately only.

Once the student has a good grasp of the principles behind the practice, forms can change with personal practice. But it's important to realize the creators of the forms had very specific goals in mind, it usually takes quite a bit of training to actually grasp (internalize) what the forms are really all about.

   By Miguel P. on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 10:27 am: Edit Post

Thank you for the response. Appart from sequence differences, one of the things that Luo does in the tape that's different from what I learned from Tom was the position of the extended hand in the single palm change. In the version of Gao that I learned the hand faces more outward as if holding a bowling ball. Luo seems to hold his hand with the sinues more twisted which makes it point more towards him. It resembles more of the Linag Shenp Pu (Li Zu Ming) method that Tom also teaches. I wonder if this is just a personal preference in favor of the method that makes the energy flow better for you. Or is it perhaps the fact that the Liu Feng Cai seems to be more "snaky" in it's movements than what I saw Luo do in the tape.
Sometimes it's hard to disern what advanced players do since they tend to lose their form more and more (they can afford to). In Tom's class we used to look at LiZu Ming tapes to get the flavor of his movements and they were really hard to follow.

Thanks again;

   By Tim on Tuesday, December 31, 2002 - 02:46 pm: Edit Post

Right, the variations in palm position all seem to be the personal preference of the individual teachers.

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