Baguazhang 八卦掌 (Circular Boxing)
Baguazhang is a high-level martial art which utilizes circular stepping patterns and snake-like movements to side-step and deflect an opponent’s attacks. The art was created by the great master Dong, Hai-Chuan in the Qing Dynasty. It is based upon ancient Daoist health practices, Daoist theory coming from the I Ching or Book of Changes, along with practical and lethal fighting techniques. Grandmaster Dong, Hai-Chuan had many disciples who fused the Baguazhang that they learned from their master with their own concepts of fighting and martial arts. Because of this phenomenon, there have become several different branches of Bagua in modern times.
The first style of Baguazhang taught at the academy is traditional Beijing Gao Style Baguazhang. This branch comes from the great master Gao, Wen-Cheng who was a disciple of both Yin, Fu and Liu, De-Kuan who were both top disciples of Dong, Hai-Chuan. He passed the art to his son, Gao, Zi-Ying, who was also a disciple of Guo, Gu-Min. Because of this, this system has an incredible variety of techniques. Gao, Zi-Ying passed the system to his son, Gao, Ji-Wu, the current head of the system.
The Beijing Gao Style Baguazhang system is characterized by firm and rapid stepping, strong palm techniques, and powerful body movements. It utilizes twisting, shrinking, expanding, sticking, and following to deal with the opponent. This system was passed down to Master Chang, Wu Na and Dr. Lu, Mei-Hui by their master, Grandmaster Gao, Ji-Wu. This system is very effective for fighting techniques as well as healing techniques, as many of its masters live to be extremely old while still retaining their strength.
Also taught at the academy is the Wudang Baguazhang system. This system was passed down by Grandmaster Ma Jie as well as Grandmaster Qian, Timing, both great masters of Wudang Sword. Because of this, Wudang Baguazhang has a strong influence of Wudang Sword in its movements. Grandmaster Ma learned his Bagua from his master Han, Mu-Xia who in turn learned from his master, the daoist Ying, Wen-Tian.Grandmaster Qian’s Bagua was passed to him by Grandmaster Yang, Kui-Shan who in turn learned from Grandmaster Li, Jing-Lin. The system was passed down to Master Chang, Wu Na and Dr. Lu, Mei-hui by their masters. Though the system is simpler than Beijing Bagua, Wudang Bagua is powerful in its own right and places a strong emphasis on practical application of techniques.
Students in the academy will learn both systems, along with the weapons forms, applications, and sparring practices inherent in the systems.
Techniques taught include but are not limited to the following:
- Lao Ba Zhang (Old Eight Palms)
- Ba Da Zhang (Big Eight Palms)
- Wudang Ba Da Zhang (Wudang Style Big Eight Palms)
- Lian Huan Zhang (Linking Palms)
- 64 Hands (Straight-Line Baguazhang)
- You Shen Zhang (Swimming Body Palm)
- Wudang Bagua Du Mu Zhuang (Wudang Style Bagua Wooden Dummy)
- Bagua Big Broadsword
- Bagua Straight Sword
- Bagua Spear
- Bagua Crescent Moon Knives
- Bagua Hook-Sickle Short Axes
- Bagua Push Hands
- Bagua Sparring