Ba Gua Zhang and Aikido

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : Ba Gua Zhang and Aikido
   By John on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 03:54 am: Edit Post

Hello everyone,

I am a student of Fugakukai Aikido, which is an offshoot of Tomiki Ryu Aikido, but without the competition and with the addition of a method created by Shihan Karl Geis called "Kihara." A principle based on circular motion.

I stumbled across a reference to Ba Gau, a martial art I had never heard of on an Aikido forum website that I can't remember that said, Morihei Ueshiba the founder of Aikido, had spent some time in China and that his principles were similar to Ba Gua.

I was to understand that Ueshiba's Aikido was a revamped version of Daito-ryu Aikijutsu but was thinking that maybe there is some truth that it could also have principles of Ba Gua as well.

Can anyone give me some insight to this? The discription of the two styles are extremely similar...coincidence?

I thank any and all for any input to my question.

Peace and happiness

   By Mark Hatfield on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 08:27 am: Edit Post

That Frantiz fellow puts out the idea that O sensei was probably exposed to Ba Kua during his years in China. He was well known for taking bits and pieces of this and that. There are some aikido purists that faint at the idea that this could have happened but also claim that he invented some exercises which have been in kung fu for a long time. More so, the extreme political correctness at the time would not have allowed Ueshiba to admit if he learned anything of value from the Chinese.

   By Tim on Saturday, January 05, 2002 - 10:55 pm: Edit Post

When I was in Taiwan some of the senior students of Hong Yi Xiang said that members of the Aikido Hombu Dojo in Tokyo had contacted Hong after Ueshiba died and expressed interest in coming to Taiwan to study some Ba Gua Zhang. The Aikido practitioners apparently said that the founder (Ueshiba)had been influenced by the Ba Gua he had seen in mainland China, and they wanted to research the Ba Gua Zhang in more depth. Hong declined to teach them.

   By RONIN on Sunday, January 06, 2002 - 09:52 am: Edit Post

I was told that a certain teacher(not unknown to this board(not Frantiz)) had seen archive footage of Ueshiba performing a single palm change.

   By fred on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 10:20 am: Edit Post

John: I studied Aikido and Okinowan Karate for many years, my last Sensei was from Japan and talked about energy a lot in his lectures. I was unable to grasp what he was saying partly because of the way he was instructing us on it - he never told us where we got this energy from. In a quest to understand more of the arts I was learning I read a book, "Okinowan Karate," which gave a history - since they received information from China, I followed the path and found Ba Gua. I was lucky enough to find someone who taught Ba Gua in my city. I took it on the side and eventually gave up Aikido for it because my abilities in my Dojo began to exceed the other students a a rapid pace. I later found B.K. Frantiz information - I don't know if its true, I only know that Ba Gua is a more complete art than Aikido or Karate standing by themselfs

   By Bagua Bill on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 12:53 pm: Edit Post

I too during my search for the original style that all others come from, stumbled as it were
on Bagua,hsing-I,tai chi chuan.It's been an few years now and I think it may not even exist but the journey has been great. My idea was to find
the origin of taekwondo,which led to jka karate, which led to matsubayashi-ryu, which led to uechi-ryu, which led to isshin-ryu, which led to the
internal styles.

findings;much of the moves original or modified came from the internal trilogy.

example;augumanted block of most korean/japanese/
okinawan styles is just like an certain move from
hsing-I chuan.

My study dually of Hapkido with taekwondo for 33 yrs now has helped me with some really nice uses of the internal forms.Whether hapkido comes from
Bagua is interesting but doesn't make it any less or more effective to use for self-defense.

Note;Choi,yang sool and ueshiba were classmates in
japan at the same time in the daito-ryu dojo.
One difference is that hapkido is harsher in it's
applications than aikido.I have studied aikido
and earned 1st kyu in 3 yrs.I dropped out of aikido when I found Hapkido was far more effective for me personally.

   By Bob on Thursday, May 23, 2002 - 11:48 pm: Edit Post

I have heard of much of the above. I practiced Aikido when a teenager. The energy on a higher level when things start moving quickly is fairly similar to Ba Gua.

One of my guesses is that Ueshiba studied so hard, was so disciplined, and new so much of many arts that he was operating on a different plane than most of us. He probably did not really need to obtain lessons for any extended period of time. Maybe he just had to watch skilled people...

   By Bagua Bill on Wednesday, June 05, 2002 - 02:42 pm: Edit Post

Good point Bob. I feel that way myself.I think
in my training I have covered so many different angles and motions that it's very easy to absorb
techniques on sight,but I still try to train them so as to train the nervous system as well.I think that after a few decades you find it easier to pick things up/learn. Since the disipline is already there.

   By Neldo Sacomani (Unregistered Guest) on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 01:11 pm: Edit Post

Hello, my name is Neldo.
I am interested in seeing those pictures of O Sensei showing Pa Kua (please to send or to contact here:

I will be very grateful.

   By Meynard on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 01:13 pm: Edit Post

look it up yourself!!!

   By chris hein on Thursday, April 10, 2003 - 04:05 pm: Edit Post

Man Meynard,
No nicitys to the newbies!!hahahha, Hey I've never seen pics of O-sensei doing bagua, I think it's a bunch of horse pucky, IF there were footage, it would have to have been made in the latter part of his life. I think this wouldn't have happened, cause the latter part of his life was well documented, he had lots of american students then that loved to take pictures, and now you got guys like Pranan, who love to talk about them and post them every where! You know Tim told me that one of his tai chi teachers told him that aikido is cool, and it moves every thing in a circle, however it is missing the squiggly line in the middle(of a pic of yin and yang) Aikido moves like a hard ball, it moves this way and that, but it has no compression, no give, and no "squiggly line". It's funny cause before i heard this, I just thought that this was the only "correct" way to move. It seems like most japanese martial arts do this, The way they use a stick or a sword seems to come form the same line of thinking, infact japanese life seems to move like that, no gray aria, no squiggly line, just a big hard ball that moves around. Well take if for what it's worth, It gave me some insight.

   By Mike Taylor on Saturday, April 12, 2003 - 04:12 am: Edit Post


The Japanese flag is like a big, hard ball too -- and many Japanese love to play hardball. Hmmm... you may be onto something Mr. Hein.

Aikido's main aim (based mostly upon my "book-knowledge" of the art) seems to be avoidance of force & merciful redirection of same, so big circles sans squiggly-lines would seem fitting such a strategy. There's more room for harming an assailant when smaller circles, spirals, & squiggly-lines are used (yet these things all aid in overcoming another efficiently).

Ba-Gua Zhang's main aim seems to be defense on the move (merciful or otherwise as appropriate to a given situation); the art's first student-body consisted of already-skilled bodyguards (if my memory of it's history is correct).

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