Archive through November 28, 2005

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Ba gua zhang and the book of changes. (i ching): Archive through November 28, 2005
   By robert on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 12:55 pm: Edit Post

hello everyone,

once again this question is for tim and/or his students, or anyone else.

my question is, have you ever studied ba gua in correlation to the i ching? i have read that somewhere along the line of its creation that it was melded with the i ching, this interests me since the i ching is a method of divination. how would you combine that with ba gua?

   By David S. White on Tuesday, November 22, 2005 - 06:11 pm: Edit Post

Hi Robert,

Not one of Tims students but i'll give you my perspective and basic understanding of it's correlation. From discussion with other practitioners and readings it does seem that initially BGZ was without the I Ching, however, over time it did become linked.

In my practice, we walk each of the eight mother palms in relation to the 8 gua's (or trigrams), so first mother palm would correlate with Qian / Chien = Heaven, then Dui = Happiness etc. A kind of medidation or state of mind one can put themselves into while walking. Not to be practiced everytime - but just a method that can be used.

The other aspect of the I-Ching that can be related to BaGuaZhang is the different aspects of the 64 Hexagrams - they can give excellent mental imagery into Chinese thinking and hence practice.

My advice though - if you are a beginner, don't concern yourself too much with such an indepth comcept as the I Ching, practice will bring about better insight into BaGuaZhang. As you develop and expand you ability then it will be time to incorporate these things.

And remember, the BaGua, 64 Hexagrams, I Ching, and the 10000 things all are born from Yin Yang which is derived from WuJi or the great void. Understand these 2 things (the concept of Yin and Yang and "nothingness") and you will easily understand all aspects of BGZ, I Ching and life.

Hope this helps,


   By robert on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 02:53 pm: Edit Post

awesome, thank you very much david.

   By Newlyenlightened (Unregistered Guest) on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 06:04 pm: Edit Post

"Understand these 2 things (the concept of Yin and Yang and "nothingness") and you will easily understand all aspects of BGZ, I Ching and life. "

It worked! I now understand EVERYTHING!

Thanks David.

   By The Iron Bastard on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 08:16 pm: Edit Post

If you understand everything then you really understand nothing!

   By David S. White on Wednesday, November 23, 2005 - 09:43 pm: Edit Post

Glad to help guys - it's a very interesting thread.

As the Iron Basterd said (love the name by the way):

"If you understand everything then you really understand nothing!"

These are the cyclic changes of Yin and Yang and BaGuaZhang, learn something, master something - then forget it and start again.


   By Newlyenlightened (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 02:07 am: Edit Post

"If you understand everything then you really understand nothing"

It worked again! Now I don't understand ANYTHING!

Thanks Iron Bastard.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 11:15 am: Edit Post

"A man is his own easiest dupe, for what he wishes to be true he generally believes to be true." Demosthenes -- another famous old Greek guy.

   By Bob #2 on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 03:20 pm: Edit Post

ah- Ancient Greece where the thing that seperated the men from the boys was a crowbar.

   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, November 24, 2005 - 05:26 pm: Edit Post

(again, sorry for my lousy english)

I've just finished reading a (bad) translation of Sun Lu-Tangs Baguaquan Xue. It is said that it is hard even for chinese people to read. Of course it is. In China no one studies chinese philosophy any more, only those who are going to be teachers in the same subject. And then, who in the west could understand it? Baguaquan Xue is an explanation of bagua in terms of Yijing(I Ching) and Taoistic thoughts. But the translation I've read is a literary translation. Even the chinese way of expression the most simple things are explained in a chinese manner. Sigh! To put Yijing together with Baguaquan, you need to understand the Yijing and other chinese thoughts. You should study chinese, live in China for some time and also try to get a good teacher in chinese philosophy(good luck to you).If you can not understand the Yijing, how would you be able to combined it with Baguaquan?

If you want to name the postures, well, then use any name. Combine it with Yijing? So what? Chinese philosophy is made for practical use, not only theory. So the question is: What does it mean? What is the practical use of names?

In Bagua Quan Xue, every part of the body correspond with one animal and all of the movements in one animal form has names of different animals. This should be a proof that their was never an intention that you should imitate an animal. If you think this and follow the names in bagua, then you are supposed to be all of the animals at the same time. And no one has actually seen a dragon . . . right? So what do the animal names really mean?

Compare with Taijiquan. the 5 directions are not five different techniques. It is not even 5 different directions. 5 directions means all directions. But what then is the practical meaning? 5 directions mean that you should be able to defend your self in every direction from all directions. Control of all directions do mean that taijiquan was designed to be able to control multiple attackers, not only one. This gives another meaning to the form, then just having one opponent in mind, doesn't it?

So then what is the practical use of the names in bagua? Do not study names; study their meaning - go now and study some chinese philosophy!

Best regards!
- David, from high up north.

   By Michael Andre Babin on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 10:15 am: Edit Post

Bob #2 and D. Borg, each wise in their own ways...

It is tough to seperate the men from the boys in any context; but especially in a martial arts discussion forum!

   By The Iron Bastard on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 11:12 am: Edit Post

Yes very wise, one doesn't know the Greek word for crowbar the other talks to much.

   By robert on Friday, November 25, 2005 - 07:42 pm: Edit Post

they had crowbars in ancient greece? i dont get it...

   By David S. White on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 05:36 am: Edit Post


Maybe i need to think it through more but i don't really know exactly what you're trying to teach their D. Borg?!?

The practical use of the names is open to interpretation, much like most of Daoist philosophical concepts - and hence their application in life, to BaGuaZhang, postures etc. It is the individuals perception, under certain guidelines, that will determine the practical components.

One will find similar concepts within many philosphies, thoughts and religions if they look in the right place - and surprisingly within crowbar usage in Greece.

It's true however, in my opinion, that looking and trying to understand other Daoist thought is important. So, on the practical note, Robert, try looking into Lao Zi's work (naturally), works on the "secret of the golden flower", Lieh Tzu etc. Some are more complicated than others but i'm sure will find it interesting.


   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 09:36 am: Edit Post

Hi, David White.

All of the names from the Yijing in Bagua, like the names in other IMA, has a specific practical use - a meaning and were not made for speculation. So, I think the most important is to learn their true meaning.

I think that trying to apply all kind of philosophical theories is totally pointless if you do not know a whole lot about chinese philosophy or if you just apply it in names. If you want to apply chinese philosophy, then you also should do it in a practical manner.

You say: "In my practice, we walk each of the eight mother palms in relation to the 8 gua's (or trigrams), so first mother palm would correlate with Qian / Chien = Heaven, then Dui = Happiness etc. A kind of medidation or state of mind one can put themselves into while walking."

If you understand the bagua theory correctly, then you should be all of the trigrams at the same time. With your personal reflexion or meditation you can do what you want to, but it is not a correct application of the theory as it was supposed to be.

"Understand these 2 things (the concept of Yin and Yang and "nothingness") and you will easily understand all aspects of BGZ, I Ching and life."

You make it sound good and easy. But also chinese concepts have changed in meaning as they have been used for a quite long time. I am not sure that anyone is really able to understand what these things meant for a couple of thousand years ago. Things are not that easy. And if you interpret chinese philosophy, just the way you want too, I think it is very easy to miss the true meaning of the concepts. Understanding chinese philosophy should be made very carefully, with a humble attitude and in a practical manner. Everything else is just a childish game and will lead to nothing of true value.

This is not a personal attack on you and I do not know how much you really know. But I think that people generally takes this subject too lightly and do use names and concepts in very strange manners. I just want to point out that chinese philosophy is not a simple thing or easy to understand.

yeah, yeah, I know I speak too much, but I really do care for this stuff I am talking about.

Best regards,
another David

   By Newlyenlightened (Unregistered Guest) on Sunday, November 27, 2005 - 02:39 pm: Edit Post

David and D.,

Great posts. Finally someone that understands that BGZ hs nothing to do with real fighting, it's the best way to learn about Chinese philosophy. I studied the Yijing for years and just didn't get it until I started walking in circles.

There are many foolish people here that think you can get good at BGZ without memorizing names of guas and reading obscure daoist writings, you guys sure showed them!

Thanks again guys.

   By David S. White on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 05:08 am: Edit Post

D. Borg,

I understand were you are coming from (and i don't take it as a personal attack), i too am very passionate about such discussions. However, and in defence to my posts, i was giving a mere example of part of my training - and believe me it is not easy, but to obtain a start to understanding the basic concepts, with learning from thousands of past scholars experiences, it is valuable.

I apply the BaGua and YiJing theory to everyday life - i am a TCM practitioner and apply it in Daoist acupuncture aswell. To go into its philosphical depths on this forum in regards to this particular thread would be, at this time, pointless.

It is definately not an easy thing to comprehend in whole, but IF one underestands the basic (and by basic i don't mean easy, i mean fundamental) concepts of Yin and Yang, Wu Wei etc, then they already will comprehend further discourse on Daoism and the YiJing - and hence, in relation to this thread - it may be easy. Of course it may also take one a few life times to understand these fundamental concepts.

Depends on ones approach, training, and practice.


   By D. Borg (Unregistered Guest) on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 10:56 am: Edit Post

Hi again, David.

Yeah, you are right. Arguing about philosophy here is a little bit stupid. You are proving me to be the smarter one of us two. Also, giving away good stuff here is pointless, like giving away good wine to dogs. :-)

I think we agree about most things. Thats enough.

Best Regards. - D.

   By Charles W on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 02:20 pm: Edit Post

"Also, giving away good stuff here is pointless, like giving away good wine to dogs."

Haha. I like you.

   By Jason M. Struck on Monday, November 28, 2005 - 02:33 pm: Edit Post

how do you use a religious text to justify a war? people do some crazy .

chinese is a language of characters and tones. Arguing about the meaning of one word in an expression is sort of futile. When someone writes one word in our alphabet, I don't know what he means. Even if he were to speak this word out of context, I'd still not know what he meant. In my first year of studying Mandarin, I joked about learning four different meanings for the word SHI pronounced with the fourth tone. So, maybe grandmaster whatever was talking about: some business matters, to be, or who knows what. When he said Ma, sure he meant horsestance, but how do I know he might not have meant MOM stance, or Hemp stance. It's a sorry game of telephone. Meanwhile your local PE teacher can probably teach more than you can ever master about wrestling and strength training. Instead your worried about Trigrams. I don't think that you can really understand chinese people if you don't actually study the language for a while. It's confusing, and it's not anything like ours. One poster refers to Lao Zi and Lieh Tsu in the same sentence, either revealing that he's never studied the language, or the inherent weaknesses in Romanized translations we have received to date.

That being said, like my newly-enlightened friend has really always known, it's entirely fool-hearty to believe that you could ever develop martial skill without first assigning a meaningful chinese name to what you are doing, and secondly memorizing the classics like you were trying to get a gov job. Next you must make sounds as you do everything. Whether this means "ommmmmmm...." whilst gathering chi or bruce lee like screams every time you throw a sloppy hook. After that, get a weekend certification in Acupuncture, and then some motherfuckers up!