Bagua Form and Applications

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Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Dave on Thu Jul 10, 2008 1:37 am

I was browsing through some various Bagua forms and I like the form portion of this video even thought he doesn't seem to be using mudslipping for some reason. It's funny, it seems like his stepping doesn't quite match up to the strength of the actual moves.

But the applications portion really impressed me. It shows how powerful it can be to take advantage of your opponent's center, as well as the objective of getting behind them quickly with the coiling motion that's in the form. He takes what looks pretty "flowery" from the form and shows how it's truly applicable.


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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Thu Jul 10, 2008 12:54 pm

Good find. There are alot of bagua demonstrations without the mud-slide step. The mud-step is still considered the standard for cheng style bagua however, which is the most common branch and what we teach. His moves are pretty crisp. I don't like the look of the "attackers", but then I rarely do. It's hard to find someone to sell a good looking technique and too time consuming to get it just right when you're only trying to show how the move might look. I have seen this guys clips before and I think he shows pretty good understanding of what he's doing.

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Some more Bagua

Post  Dave on Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:53 pm

I know what you mean about the "attackers". Usually it's nowhere near true speed and power.

I must say this attacker looks to be moving at a more realistic speed:


Seems like Bruce Frantzis knows his Bagua.

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More of the same

Post  Dave on Sat Jul 12, 2008 3:55 pm


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Bagua stepping

Post  wuxia_warrior on Wed Jul 16, 2008 1:51 pm

The Jiulong Baguazhang I train in doesn't teach mud-sliding step until much later because it's often not a good thing to use. We use the rolling step because it works for all terrain. I did a bagua seminar with Tina Zhang (Whirling Circles of Bagua author, in the Cheng Ting Hwa style) and the mud step was annoying and not very practical in my view. The rolling step works so much better for combat applications, and that's what Jiulong trains for since they don't do forms. During my week of training in NY some of the students got to do push hands games and the like on rocks at a waterfall and that's not exactly ideal terrain for a mud step.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Wed Jul 16, 2008 10:29 pm

I agree with this only partly. While the heel toe rolling step is usually more natural and readily applicable, the mud slide step is actually designed for difficult terrain and trains one to grip the ground and move their root with any slipping or sliding. Ideally the training provides for greater stepping control under more difficult circumstances. When I hike in the mountains I often walk around on the tips of rocks where there is only an inch or so of space to balance on. Pressing my foot in, leading with the toe (there is no actual slide in this instance, but the step is there) gives me the best control and balance. There is no room to roll the foot. I'd be glad to elaborate further during the weekday classes in person. I don't usually have time for Saturdays. There are martial advantages in mud stepping too. I don't mean this to negate the reasoning behind rolling the foot as I use this often with other work, but rest assured that the mud step has it's reasons too and they are more to do with difficult and precise circumstances. Watch the stepping on bricks and around a bowl in this video for a better idea of what I'm talking about. I am not supporting (or disparaging) this master's teaching in particular, but it was a readily available clip.


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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Thu Jul 17, 2008 5:34 pm

I like this clip for bagua application. It is very much choreographed, but the intent to strike and the distancing are fairly realistic IMO. Also check out the feet. There is no rolling step there.


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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  wuxia_warrior on Fri Jul 18, 2008 11:32 pm

I think the main problem with mud-stepping is on uneven terrain. If you're trying to slide your foot along the ground you'll be stubbing your foot all the time unless you're watching your feet. It also seems, to me anyway, that the rolling step provides a more constant momentum.

I didn't like that last video posted very much. They basically only walk until the start attacking and then they're stationary. From what I understand of the Dr. Painter's method, you're not going to stop like that and just exchange blows. I've noticed that a lot of the mainstream bagua, the people stop walking, do a palm change, and then start walking again. That seems to be contrary to the whole point to me and what I've learned of the Jiulong stuff so far there's never really any break in the momentum. Even the 180 degree turns are done in a way to preserve the momentum. I tried to find a good video of them, and I think the best one I found is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bt2SptWXSA

They're playing a push-hands type of game and not actually fighting, but you can see the stepping better than the other videos. I agree that the rolling step isn't good for everything. There was just a long discussion on their message board about going up and down stairs in which they pretty much decided to use a different kind of step (what they call phoenix step) for stairs.

And since you're Whiteape, I thought I'd include this clip on white ape stepping.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4loFu4wCxDk

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Sun Jul 20, 2008 1:00 am

wuxia_warrior wrote:I think the main problem with mud-stepping is on uneven terrain. If you're trying to slide your foot along the ground you'll be stubbing your foot all the time unless you're watching your feet. It also seems, to me anyway, that the rolling step provides a more constant momentum.

I didn't like that last video posted very much. They basically only walk until the start attacking and then they're stationary. From what I understand of the Dr. Painter's method, you're not going to stop like that and just exchange blows. I've noticed that a lot of the mainstream bagua, the people stop walking, do a palm change, and then start walking again. That seems to be contrary to the whole point to me and what I've learned of the Jiulong stuff so far there's never really any break in the momentum. Even the 180 degree turns are done in a way to preserve the momentum. I tried to find a good video of them, and I think the best one I found is here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1bt2SptWXSA

They're playing a push-hands type of game and not actually fighting, but you can see the stepping better than the other videos. I agree that the rolling step isn't good for everything. There was just a long discussion on their message board about going up and down stairs in which they pretty much decided to use a different kind of step (what they call phoenix step) for stairs.

And since you're Whiteape, I thought I'd include this clip on white ape stepping.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4loFu4wCxDk

On uneven terrain if you don't step accurately and lively with good spatial awareness you may lose balance or stub your toe regardless of which stepping method you use. The sliding is a training method that is meant to build the root with the foot pressing into the ground in a specific manner. It is a training tool for gaining control on difficult terrain. This isn't actually usually expressed by sliding around while fighting, but if one were to slide on difficult terrain they would be prepared to let their root go with it. The point, as with circle walking, or rolling step or inside/outside stepping, is to train a certain type of gongfu and develop methods of using the body. Bagua in a fight is not meant to be done sliding around in circles. These are various training methods for power generation and cultivating the body and qi.

I would actually recommend looking at that choreographed fight video more carefully. The circle walking in the beginning is just a formality of form, but the methods and stepping are bagua and good IMO. They are hardly stationary and it is only a representation of certain striking and throwing techniques. If you see that as, "...stop and exchange blows...", I promise you are missing some things in your perception of it. This is common in one's progress with wushu to not recognize certain aspects of things until other stages of development. I hope that doesn't come off as a knock on you, but I can say in my own experience that what I said was the case in my own progress and with the great majority of people I've worked with. Often our conception of how we think things should be gets in the way of seeing the value of what is good. These guys in the video are showing some quality skills. Watch how they keep their feet on the ground and grip with their steps leading with the toe when stepping. This is by my estimation representative of the footwork cultivated in mud stepping even though they aren't sliding. Bagua is not all circling around people. If you can gain the advantage of getting behind someone or spinning them around, that is great, but it's not what is being shown here and not the end all be all of bagua. The end throwing technique is quite excellent IMO. There is toe to toe striking in bagua and the momentum is kept while showing bagua techniques against bagua techniques in this example.

I'm not saying you should start mud stepping, but it can't hurt to understand it better. Rolling step is great and Dr. painter seems quite competent. Stick with what you know, but just because mud stepping is difficult and you didn't like it doesn't in anyway diminish the value of it and the same goes for the video.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  wuxia_warrior on Sun Jul 20, 2008 2:44 pm

"Bagua in a fight is not meant to be done sliding around in circles. These are various training methods for power generation and cultivating the body and qi."

Dr. Painter is careful to delineate between the martial and non-martial techniques, though I know a lot of people don't necessarily. I'm of course not qualified at all to make any statements about his system, but it seems to me that you are supposed to be constantly moving. As I think I said, they also do the sliding step and a number of others, too, just not right at the beginning.

"I would actually recommend looking at that choreographed fight video more carefully[...] They are hardly stationary and it is only a representation of certain striking and throwing techniques. If you see that as, "...stop and exchange blows...", I promise you are missing some things in your perception of it. This is common in one's progress with wushu to not recognize certain aspects of things [...] I hope that doesn't come off as a knock on you [...]"

I know they are not just stopping and trading blows as I've said, though I believe I've seen that in some less-skilled people. I guess what I am trying to express is that the impression I'm left with is that you should always be moving into the opponent. I'm not very familiar with bagua that isn't Dr. Painter's style, and I know his is quite a bit different from others', so I'm not sure what is always representative of mainstream bagua. The guys in that video are definitely worthy opponents and I wouldn't want to mess with them. I'm certainly not offended by your statement, I've experienced the truth of it many times in the past couple years. I remember when I first started doing kung fu, I couldn't have told you the difference between kung fu, karate, TKD, or the others. Now I can recognize styles of kung fu and Northern versus Southern.

Speaking of which, and totally off topic, Prince Nuada in the Hellboy II movie (saw last night) is pretty darned good at wushu. Granted they used some film effects, but I think that's the best spear-play I've ever seen.

As cool as the external stuff looks and as much as it's helped me get more fit, I know it's going to be mostly the internal stuff I would use in a real fight. I really have you guys to thank for that since I was of the opinion that tai chi was old person exercise until I came to you.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Mon Jul 21, 2008 1:18 am

wuxia_warrior wrote:"Bagua in a fight is not meant to be done sliding around in circles. These are various training methods for power generation and cultivating the body and qi."

Dr. Painter is careful to delineate between the martial and non-martial techniques, though I know a lot of people don't necessarily. I'm of course not qualified at all to make any statements about his system, but it seems to me that you are supposed to be constantly moving. As I think I said, they also do the sliding step and a number of others, too, just not right at the beginning.

"I would actually recommend looking at that choreographed fight video more carefully[...] They are hardly stationary and it is only a representation of certain striking and throwing techniques. If you see that as, "...stop and exchange blows...", I promise you are missing some things in your perception of it. This is common in one's progress with wushu to not recognize certain aspects of things [...] I hope that doesn't come off as a knock on you [...]"

I know they are not just stopping and trading blows as I've said, though I believe I've seen that in some less-skilled people. I guess what I am trying to express is that the impression I'm left with is that you should always be moving into the opponent. I'm not very familiar with bagua that isn't Dr. Painter's style, and I know his is quite a bit different from others', so I'm not sure what is always representative of mainstream bagua. The guys in that video are definitely worthy opponents and I wouldn't want to mess with them. I'm certainly not offended by your statement, I've experienced the truth of it many times in the past couple years. I remember when I first started doing kung fu, I couldn't have told you the difference between kung fu, karate, TKD, or the others. Now I can recognize styles of kung fu and Northern versus Southern.

Speaking of which, and totally off topic, Prince Nuada in the Hellboy II movie (saw last night) is pretty darned good at wushu. Granted they used some film effects, but I think that's the best spear-play I've ever seen.

As cool as the external stuff looks and as much as it's helped me get more fit, I know it's going to be mostly the internal stuff I would use in a real fight. I really have you guys to thank for that since I was of the opinion that tai chi was old person exercise until I came to you.

I just want to say, I appreciate the tone of this reply. I think absolutes like "... you should always be moving into the opponent.", convey useful ideas, but aren't always the practical reality of the situation either. Just to put an example simply and obviously, you should not move into and opponent when his strike is true. The idea of stealing the space and balance of an opponent is one I agree with wholeheartedly however. Using the opponents force against him is very useful in bagua and sometimes must be done if you are to win.

On another note, the external stuff should become more "internal" over time and vice versa. To me, my longfist, baji, and taiji are so intimately entwined that they are all a part of what I consider to be "internal" to me despite the fact that I can separate their training methods as internal or external conceptually. Taiji is a direct progression form external northern styles in my estimation of it and from historical sources as best I know. Baji is a synthesis of internal and external as best as I can imagine. If you can't take taiji and train it effectively more "externally", you will stagnate with practice.

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sliding or rolling...

Post  Dave on Mon Jul 28, 2008 11:03 pm

Wow this is an engrossing discussion.

I always saw mudstepping as a way to use your feet almost as an insect uses its antennae or the way cats use their whiskers.
It seemed to me to be a way to maintain awareness of the ground without actually looking at it - to utilize the
sensitivity of the feet better. This is still my perception

I had also heard that it stimulates a meridian as well.

In my experience, mudstepping seems to create a more unified feel for bagua, and I would feel awkward without it - less rooted somehow.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  wuxia_warrior on Tue Jul 29, 2008 12:50 pm

Mud-stepping seems to be a trademark of bagua. I agree with your idea of why to use mud-stepping, and would also add it would work well on ice or mud, but in the middle of a confrontation I, being very beginner, would rather use the rolling step and not have to worry about twisting my ankle than use the mud-step and try to feel around for each step. I'm not near talented enough to divide my focus like that.

As for the meridian thing, one of the big reasons we're told to use the rolling step in Jiulong is because of the venous foot pump. Rolling the foot massages it and causes it to pump the blood back up to the heart. I've heard from some people who had trouble with diabetes/circulation/blood pooling in the legs that doing a routine with a lot of the rolling step has really helped them and in at least one case kept a guy from getting his feet amputated. The meridian I would guess you're talking about is the Bubbling Well point. I'm told that shifting the weight to that point puts your body into an energized/ready to fight mode while shifting the weight back farther on the foot is used for sinking/grounding energy. It's very important when doing the standing meditation to shift back and forth between the two as needed to keep the blood from pooling and the slight shifting helps to work that venous foot pump.

I feel more rooted using the rolling step, but I think that just boils down to what we're more experienced with. What makes sense in my science-major mind is that the rolling step keeps your momentum continually moving forward. The mud-step, at least as I've experienced it, has a rise and fall of power with each step with a break in the momentum at the end of each step which must be started again by pushing off. This seems a lot less efficient since it takes very little energy to keep momentum and a lot to create it. Of course, I may have never done the mud-step correctly and this isn't really an issue.

Ironically enough, one of the shifus under Dr. Painter posted a message about this after my last post. I'll include it below as a way of explanation how it is interpreted in the Jiulong system, not as a definitive word.

"Dear Group,

As most of you know, we use a heel to toe walking step as we circle
walk and for techniques as well (and I prefer it). But a great deal
of other Baguazhang arts use some variation of the "Sliding Step", in
which the foot is extended almost flat, and slid along the floor,
coming to a stop and the weight of the body is then brought over it.
There are many variations, some slide, some keep the foot just above
the floor, others "friction" the foot into the ground at the last
second (kinda of like grinding a pencil under your foot). But of all
these various methods, I rarely found a satisfactory answer as to why
exactly did they spend so much time and energy to stepping this way.
I have heard that it increases stability because at least one foot is
always pressing down, that it is stimulating accupressure points,
that it is actually a martial technique, the foot is actually feeling
around like a blind man's walking stick, etc., etc. Some made sense,
some you could say yea that's true, others kinda stretch credibility.
Of course I prefer using the rolling step, because it follows the
natural way we are supposed to step, can instantly allow me to
generate alot of power quickly, has great stability and
manueverability and for health reasons, stepping this way provides
pressure to be built up properly within the foot, that allows good
blood flow in the lower extremities.

But back to the sliding step. A while back, I took my family to watch
a performance of the Kyoto Drummers from Japan. Awesome performce, if
you get a chance, go see them. But in one phase of the show, they had
several Geishas come out and do a very beautiful fan dance. As they
went through their routines, which was fairly lively, I noticed the
way that they were stepping and turning, and remembered saying to
myself, that looks an awful lot like the traditional Bagua sliding
step. There was a man sitting next to me, who kept talking, telling
his wife what was going on. It was very annoying but he made one
comment that made me think. He said that they stepped that way
because of the shoes that most Japanese wore (kinda of looked like
crocs made out of bamboo or flip-flops). Without a back heel support,
if they simply stepped the shoes would come off, as they danced
around. They had to literally incorporate a way of pushing the shoe
on constantly throughout their routines, turns, quick forward steps
and stops. So by sliding their feet forward their shoes where pushed
only into their feet. It was really amazing to watch. Anyway, I kinda
of interpolated that if those same types of shoes where commonplace
in China as well as Japan, then maybe the forefathers of the
Traditional systems wore these types of shoes as well, developed this
step because of this and then just kept passing it as the "right" way
to step, even as shoe designs evolved and changed over the years.
This is the way my teacher showed me and his father showed him, so it
must be right. Don't worry if there may be a more efficient way of
doing it.

I competed years ago in the Bagua forms division, and placed in the
top three. What I learned later, was that I was counted off
significantly, for "not" using the sliding step. I stated that the
rolling step was what my teacher taught me, and was told, "that the
sliding step was THE traditional step and that only masters used the
rolling step. When I told Shirfu Painter of this, his reply
was "maybe the masters knew something about the rolling step that
they didn't"..... hmmmm.

Anyway, this is just for commenting on, I don't know for sure. What
are your opinions or questions and especially questions on Jiulong's
Rolling step. Thanks

Andrew Garza
Shirfu, Daoqiquan"

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:34 pm

Dave wrote:Wow this is an engrossing discussion.

I always saw mudstepping as a way to use your feet almost as an insect uses its antennae or the way cats use their whiskers.
It seemed to me to be a way to maintain awareness of the ground without actually looking at it - to utilize the
sensitivity of the feet better. This is still my perception

I had also heard that it stimulates a meridian as well.

In my experience, mudstepping seems to create a more unified feel for bagua, and I would feel awkward without it - less rooted somehow.

This rings very true to me after about 6 or so years of mudstepping practice. In addition to this awareness there is also the feeling of gripping into the ground to deliver strikes. I think it also helps with certain aspects of locking the legs, kicking and tripping. Rolling step does stimulate the meridians too.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Wed Jul 30, 2008 6:46 pm

I agree with many of the pro's of rolling step. I just find it short sighted to not further explore the gongfu of other techniques. If you are looking for easy ready use then rolling step is probably gonna get you there quicker, but not everyone's the same. There are many techniques for moving around that are quite useful and may suit your training. In Baji we have footwork where our whole stance slides, without shifting weight, into or away from the opponent. This takes some work, but doesn't really take to long to have some practicality to it. I have no problem with focusing on rolling step in bagua because I'm sure it works. It's not a mentality that needs to be justified to me. I realize many people will knock an approach for not being "orthodox". While the criticism may be true, it doesn't lessen what is being taught if it is good. On the flip side there really isn't a need in my mind to prove that the unorthodox method is necessarily better. The old masters may have used rolling step in there demos, but they still practiced mud stepping for decades and understood and used the skill gained from it. If it didn't have value to them, they wouldn't continue teaching it. Some people maybe just didn't get that much out of it and decide to focus on their own preferences. Anyway, I'm guessing you can see the sorta circular (pun intended) arguments here. It's all good, just keep training and always be changing in bagua.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  wuxia_warrior on Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:54 pm

Dr. Painter's tradition does teach the sliding step, phoenix stepping, white ape stepping, and I'm sure various other methods. It's definitely a case of using the right tool for the right job. I've personally only ever had any in-depth instruction on the rolling step and it seems to be the most used in the system, but the others are there. The "Li family arts" which Dr. Painter teaches encompasses bagua, xingyi, and taiji as well as some other things that were originally part of the system, like Tibetan blue heron boxing and snake boxing (ground fighting techniques). I can see how the principles learned with the bagua also work for xingyi and taiji, but I have to say the internal aspects of baji are a great mystery to me. I can watch youtube videos of people doing baji and tell that they have "it" and I can tell that I don't, but I don't know how to get "it."

It seems like baji must make use of different principles, or at least the same principles in a very different way. Some of the individual techniques I think I understand, namely the Lenny, Roger, the first one we learn, single whip, maybe some others, but some completely elude my understanding, such as twin knives, the signature elbow, most of the ones with the stomping.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:49 pm

wuxia_warrior wrote:Dr. Painter's tradition does teach the sliding step, phoenix stepping, white ape stepping, and I'm sure various other methods. It's definitely a case of using the right tool for the right job. I've personally only ever had any in-depth instruction on the rolling step and it seems to be the most used in the system, but the others are there. The "Li family arts" which Dr. Painter teaches encompasses bagua, xingyi, and taiji as well as some other things that were originally part of the system, like Tibetan blue heron boxing and snake boxing (ground fighting techniques). I can see how the principles learned with the bagua also work for xingyi and taiji, but I have to say the internal aspects of baji are a great mystery to me. I can watch youtube videos of people doing baji and tell that they have "it" and I can tell that I don't, but I don't know how to get "it."

It seems like baji must make use of different principles, or at least the same principles in a very different way. Some of the individual techniques I think I understand, namely the Lenny, Roger, the first one we learn, single whip, maybe some others, but some completely elude my understanding, such as twin knives, the signature elbow, most of the ones with the stomping.

Yeah, I like the "Li family arts" just fine and their Emei bagua. It all seems pretty comprehensive. Some other systems seem to just focus on rolling step with bagua. With Baji, I would say that the entry point of it is a little more externally focused, but that it has more internal aspects to it than most external styles. If we placed stuff on the internal to external scale, I would have xingyi as the most external of the internals and baji probably as the most internal of the externals (followed closely by tongbei and pigua most likely). Strangely though, I would look at pigua as being yin to to the yang of Baji. It's funny seeing baji moves referred to on the internet as the "lenny" and "roger". Anyway, most of the moves will have a more longfist-y flavor for beginners (the way we teach), but will become more subtle and rooted with practice and particularly with qigong. Longfist will take on more internal characteristics over time too.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  wuxia_warrior on Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:46 am

I'm still trying to find what works best for me. Chris' class is a good regimented workout and it's helped me get in a lot better shape, but a lot of the things we do in it are things I'd never try to use in a fight. I'm horrible at sweeps and my already-slow speed turns to molasses when there's a really low stance involved. I think baji and xingyi are more my style - the drive into and knock over sort of thing. The Jiulong bagua has a lot of aspects to it that I really like. There aren't any low stances, they're very careful with the knees (no pivoting ever), and many of the principles resonate with me (taking the center at first touch). It's great for multiple opponents, where I think things like baji are geared more towards single opponents. When I'm sparring or defending myself I find I use what I call chameleon kung fu. By that I mean that I choose what I use based on who I'm fighting. When I'm messing around with the kids and five of them are attacking me at once, the bagua works great because it's a multiple opponent situation and I have no trouble taking their balance and keeping everything controlled so no one gets hurt. It also works well on my girlfriend. When I'm fighting someone with more experience, like Chris or a classmate, I'm not near good enough to take their balance and use the bagua effectively (yet, anyway. I hope that will one day change.) With them, I'll use tiger claw or mantis or whatever I'm thinking of at the time. One of my best moments in sparring came when I was doing the internal warm-up with you guys often. I decided that somewhere during the sparring match I would use the pi chuan move we do in the warm-up. So at one point, it just came out. It probably wasn't perfect, but it just flowed spontaneously (in the way I believe Mind-Intent boxing is supposed to) and I caught Chris right as he was beginning to do a kick and knocked him over, though I didn't hit him hard. (Of course, I was surprised and just stood there instead of continuing to attack.) I've tried doing that a couple of times since, but I've always been thinking about it and instead of it just flowing naturally it's awkward because I'm "trying" to do it and it doesn't work. Often when I'm tired, I just block and punch without any particular style at all, and usually don't do so well. I don't have a lot of experience trying things out on large guys, so I don't really know what works well on them. And big guys are probably what I'd face in a real fight. Or small guys with knives, in which case I'd use Dr. Painter's Preferred Method of Knife Defense: "Back up and shoot."

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Da Baji

Post  wuxia_warrior on Fri Aug 01, 2008 7:41 pm

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The form that starts about a third of the way into the video looks to me like it's the "same" Da Baji form. I also realized as I was simultaneously learning the form from Eryn and trying to learn from the O-Mei Kung Fu Academy (in San Fran)'s Baji video that they are both also the same form done with a very different flavor. I know no two people do a form the same way, but sometimes I can barely tell it's supposed to be the same form. I also bought all of Wu Lianzhi's VCDs on Baji, though Da Baji isn't one in there. It seems a little more diverse than watching different people's xingyi.

EDIT:

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This one looks a lot closer. Is it that this is the more "modern wushu" version?

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Eryn on Sun Aug 03, 2008 5:32 pm

Interesting discussion. Regarding the mud vs slide stepping techniques, I think its good to practice both as they work stepping form in different ways. Its always good to mix things up a bit, similar to the philosophies of MMA and Jeet Kune Do as well as the variety of styles Wushu offers. I could see mud-stepping good for training a more stealth oriented (quiet stepping) technique, while rolling-step could be usefull for heavier, baji-esque stepping power. It would'nt have to be limited to those qualities either, as its up to the practicioner to use the creative mind to find out which way works best for him or her. I like the video of the man using ankle weights to gain Qing gong (lightness skill). I attained alot of my jumping power by using ankle weights and a weight vest while performing various plyometric exercises, many of which were Wushu based. That method worked for me, but that doesn't mean it will work for everybody. Think outside the box, use your creativity and intuitive mind to see what works best for you and incorporate that into your training. Thats not to say that you should disregard older ways of training as Blake said, as they may still hold value to the individual if they haven't trained a specific aspect that the method teaches.

For instance, at first I had a tough time with rootedness as I was a smaller guy more naturally adept at being agile and rootless. Baji helped with that immensely as it specifically trains to root with power. Its great for wrestling. As I trained it more I became heavier footed and harder to uproot, as well as a much harder striker. Taijiquan helped immensely as well with rootedness, but also made me more methodical in the practice of the external Wushu. All of these styles and methods of movement have a purpose; some may help less and some much more than others. Its all relative to the practicioner. I would say that bagua is my weakest area mainly due to the circular mud-slide step as I simply haven't put enough time into practicing that specific method of stepping.

Another note is that no two instructers are the same. Everyone has a specific flavor to how they practice and teach, thats the beauty of being human. Eventually, as we grow we'll find our own method of training that works for us individually. Thats what keeps me interested in martial arts: the process of constantly learning and finding new ways and methods of training, adding to an increasing cohesive mixture of methods. There are only so many different ways to move the human body, but its fun to experiment and see what happens when you mix things together in different combinations and see what the final product is. Its like chemistry, hehe.
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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:34 pm

wuxia_warrior wrote:<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/-xXEKsCyXRE&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/-xXEKsCyXRE&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

The form that starts about a third of the way into the video looks to me like it's the "same" Da Baji form. I also realized as I was simultaneously learning the form from Eryn and trying to learn from the O-Mei Kung Fu Academy (in San Fran)'s Baji video that they are both also the same form done with a very different flavor. I know no two people do a form the same way, but sometimes I can barely tell it's supposed to be the same form. I also bought all of Wu Lianzhi's VCDs on Baji, though Da Baji isn't one in there. It seems a little more diverse than watching different people's xingyi.

EDIT:

<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="https://www.youtube.com/v/MMgABxPMe5E&hl=en&fs=1"></param><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><embed src="https://www.youtube.com/v/MMgABxPMe5E&hl=en&fs=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

This one looks a lot closer. Is it that this is the more "modern wushu" version?

I actually tried to answer this a couple times already, but kept getting cut off from the internet when I sent it and it got erased. Anyway, I'm going to keep this relatively short. I was going to post a couple baji videos and whatnot which I may do later. The first video you posted is a similar frame with a lot of different flavor to the moves as well as some different parts in the pattern from the way we do it. There are definitely things he does similarly, but overall the look of it is just different. The second video also follows much of the same pattern but is still different at points. I don't know whether the practitioner's background is modern (more likely IMO) or traditional or what, but I don't much like his performance. The moves may be more recognizable to the ones we teach, but I don't find this to be a particularly good representation of Baji. To answer your question, there is not a modern wushu version of a Baji form that I know of, but there are modern wushu players who perform a traditional form without Baji gongfu to back it up. Wang's Baji was learned from his family lineage and it is also the form that came to be used for Baji competition. The standard has a few minor differences, but nothing that isn't traditional Baji. Xu Laoshi showed us the standard, which he did incredibly well and with great power, which we also show after training Wang's methods. So with Baji, I have not seen any sort of wushu mash up of it yet where they add in extraneous acrobatics or anything, but you do have wushu players with no baji training, other than mimicking the form, performing this. I found good examples on youtube of the standard performed decently, an older traditional master doing the same form that I really like, and guys that just look too modern for their own good. I will try to post these later when my connection is better.

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:39 pm

Here's a version I like a lot and can relate to even though there are slights differences in hand and body position.


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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Sun Aug 03, 2008 7:48 pm

Here's a version of the standard that is quite close to what Xu showed us. It still has some differences though. There are few mess ups in his performance, but I think overall he's actually pretty good. I was much more impressed with Xu.


Baji competition standard

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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Whiteape on Sun Aug 03, 2008 8:02 pm

And then, modern wushu player doing the same form looking kinda cool in a crazy-go-nuts changquan sorta way, but at this point it just isn't Baji at all other than in pattern.



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Re: Bagua Form and Applications

Post  Eryn on Mon Aug 04, 2008 1:49 pm

I prefer the older man's method of Baji as well; its similar to Xu's Baji and a little less like Wang's. He seems to have the most efficient and subtle use of power generation of the three, and you can hear him doing the Baji exhalation which is pretty neat. You can tell this practitioner has internal training and power because he seems to possess a greater gravitational force in his movements.

I've never seen Baji done as externally as the guy in the last vid. Reminds me of how I used to perform the Baji movements because of the Longfist background - had to break that habit. Kind of neat to see Baji externalised, though it really isn't Baji other than the pattern as Blake said.


Last edited by Eryn on Tue Aug 05, 2008 6:55 pm; edited 1 time in total
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