New Bagua Zhang DVDs from Tom Bisio

Tim's Discussion Board: Ba Gua Zhang : New Bagua Zhang DVDs from Tom Bisio
   By John Reeder on Tuesday, April 20, 2010 - 11:54 am: Edit Post

Has anyone seen the Bagua DVDs from Tom Bisio?
Are they good?

   By THEO VEREECKEN on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 02:01 am: Edit Post

I can recommend them. Tom explains bagua framework in a very clear way - the DVD's are packed with applications done slowly and then at full speed.

   By Timber on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 07:04 am: Edit Post

Do the applications look realistic? Or are they the kind where the puncher isn't actually resisting?

   By Jake Burroughs on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 09:40 am: Edit Post

When demoing something "actual resistance" is assanine.

   By Timber on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 12:37 pm: Edit Post

What I find assinibe is people demonstrating techniques so they can link them to a certain move in a form. The technique has a "ba gua" look to it but Ice come to the conclusion that they will never look like that in sparring or combat.

   By Bob #2 on Wednesday, April 21, 2010 - 01:14 pm: Edit Post

who is Ice?

   By THEO VEREECKEN on Thursday, April 22, 2010 - 02:51 am: Edit Post

The applications are realistic and involve throws and locks against committed attacks. What is demonstrated form-wise is mapped to actual application - Tom also explains biomechanics that are key for a technique to work.

   By MS on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - 01:57 pm: Edit Post

The videos are the most practical I have ever seen.
You can watch an extract here:


   By Shane on Wednesday, June 09, 2010 - 06:14 pm: Edit Post


   By MS on Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 11:55 am: Edit Post

Sincerely I didn't come across better videos on how to apply effectively your Ba Gua. The depth of informations is impressive et clear.

   By Timber on Thursday, June 10, 2010 - 01:10 pm: Edit Post

No offense, Mo or anyone else. The power and grace that Tom has is very easy to see. But those were not committed attacks as has been stated in previous posts. The applications were very ba gua like and I suspect that such applications wouldn't look as graceful when done with partners applying real pressure. This isn't a critique of the DVDs in question per say but on how traditional martial arts is trained in general.

   By Stephen Ott on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 08:21 am: Edit Post

I hear what you're saying, but I think most teachers approach writing books or making DVD's as a way to record the "abc's" and "vocabulary" of the art. Unless a student is able to see all those things, you can't understand how to use it in the "real wold" confrontations you're talking about.

   By Timber on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 11:56 am: Edit Post

That's the problem I have with martial arts training and martial art DVDs. Teachers show what's "possible" but not what will work. There are so many teachers teaching and making DVDs about the "ABC's". We don't need anymore abc DVDs. I saw a clip of Ben Hill(aka Mao Shan) doing almost the same techniques that were in the above YouTube DVD clip.

What I'm wondering is why no one ever makes an XYZ DVD. Is it a lack of higher levels of knowlegde and training in the martial arts community? When I go to shaoi jiao class we never talk about what's "possible". We only do and find out that way what we as individuals can pull off. I've heard teachers talk about how it's not possible to impart a teacher's fighting abilities on his students. The students have to go out and find it themselves. This is only partially true. While it's true that a teacher can't teach a student to stand up to someone in a fight and not freeze up. Teachers can't teach me to not freak out in a real situation. What a teacher can do is sit there, watch us spar, and give helpful tips. Teachers can coach students better on feinting, attacking, looking for holes in someone's defense, etc in real live sparring situations. Everything I just mentioned constitutes coaching or in other words actual work. It'd been my experience that teachers of Chinese martial art teachers don't even attempt the coaching part due to laziness or lack of knowledge in how to coach fighters. And I believe the "you have to learn on your own" line is just used so that teachers can just sit back and teach forms instead of skills.

   By Timber on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 12:13 pm: Edit Post

Imagine if my two kids were hungry and it was lunch time. I lay out raw meat, vegetables, and uncooked rice. I tell them what's possible to be cooked, different combinations of spices, and what's possible at different temperatures. Then I tell them they have to test out and figure out how to cook. If a fire starts it's just a bump in the road to them becoming good at cooking. Then I go to work and leave them alone.

That seems to be the teaching ways of teachers I've met.

   By Stephen Ott on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 12:30 pm: Edit Post

Tom Bisio's been teaching for around twenty years, from his reputation. If a teacher who's been around that long wants to produce a record or sell some form of quality instruction, it's his prerogative. I hardly think it is an indication of some laziness or lack of knowledge and he didn't sell it as a "magic bullet" application series. It's the foundation of his work.

I think we've had this discussion before, so I won't bore you with my own learning experiences here in NYC, but I've worked with several CMA teachers who had no problem mixing it up or teaching at those deeper levels.

   By Timber on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 01:09 pm: Edit Post


I wasn't talking about Tom or anyone in particular. Please don't be offended. I'm only talking about my experiences and the teaching of "principal" based martial arts.

Could you discuss your own experience learning in NYC? It would be refreshing to hear and I promise not to get bored.

   By Stephen Ott on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 05:20 pm: Edit Post

I'm not offended. It just sounded like you were saying Tom was like the other teachers you were referring to. Though I don't train with him, I know he's a quality instructor.

My personal experience started in Syracuse with Aikido of Central New York. I still go there when I'm home. They are very vigorous and we spent many, many hours in an open technique stuff, piling on each other, etc. They also combine the judo ideas in there. It's "home" to me.

I think it's well known that Frank Allen and Master William Chen practice applications in an open atmosphere. They even did grappling at Master Chen's after I left. Rudy Curry also teaches fighting. I'm heading there next.

And there are some teachers who aren't public but that's been my experience.

   By Timber on Saturday, June 12, 2010 - 11:27 pm: Edit Post

Hold up a second, Steve.

You never trained with the guy who produced these DVDs...but you're defending him as a good teacher? Judging by the YouTube clips of his DVDs he teaches exactly like I stated. It seems like forms based training which is ok excercise but not a good way to develop real skills. You can't really defend someone who you haven't trained with. The only thing we have to go by are the DVD clips.

   By Stephen Ott on Sunday, June 13, 2010 - 04:48 pm: Edit Post

The way I read your comments, you implied that CMA teachers don't possess the deeper skills, are lazy, etc. I defended Tom against that particular statement, stating that of the teachers I know here, by reputation, and by the people I know who have studied with him, he's quality. I guess you can dismiss what I'm saying cause I've never been to his class, but that's up to you. I think many of us here know people in our own communities by their reputation, etc.

To teach as long as he has and to just now produce a DVD, I think says something as well.

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