Prebirth Training the Circular Form of Jiang Jung Chiao

This form is sometimes called the Dragon Form and is practised to develop the power, speed, balance, co-ordination and agility of this legendary mythical beast. In Chinese myth, the dragon is a symbol of Imperial power as well as of Yang or Yin energy, and can be portrayed as good, neutral, or bad in the many myths about it. It is not always the reptilian monster or servant of the devil, as usually portrayed through the centuries in most Western Christian thought. There are many different...

Conclusion

Standing qigong is a marvellous exercise for beginners, although they rarely agree. It is designed to teach fundamentals of posture and body mechanics, slowing the breathing, and learning how to relax as much as possible while still doing work, and how to stretch the fingers and the palms. The intermediate level of bagua student should concentrate on walking the circle as the primary qigong method. The one-legged standing Breathing Palms Method is also time-ef-fecient method of martial qigong....

Advanced Moving Qigong Holding the Eight Energies

Using the following eight additional palms while walking the circle is designed to help the intermediate level student to develop the movement of internal energy beginning with bringing the energy to the lower tan-tien and legs, then to the middle tan-tien and arms, then to the upper tan-tien and crown of the head, then opening the back while hollowing the chest, then the chest is rounded and the sternum closed, then splitting between backward and forward, then splitting between high and low,...

Basic Moving Qigong Walking the Circle

I have often read or been told that walking while holding the Eight Mother Palms is actually the foundation of bagua both as a healing and martial system and, like most beginners, assumed that this was just a way to get us to put up with the tedium of basic training so that we could get on with the really important stuff the various forms. Well, wrong again The essence of the art does lie in walking in circles but not quite in the way or for the reasons the average beginner would assume. In...

The Broadsword

Throughout bagua's relatively short history, the broadsword was the weapon of choice of many practitioners, especially those who worked as bodyguards and caravan escorts. This weapon has always been a mainstay of all styles of Chinese Wu-shu literally war arts . It is very efficient against a variety of other weapons, especially when used in conjunction with internal body mechanics. It is relatively easy to achive competency with broadsword. This is why it was the primary weapon of common...

Double Sword Form

This form was the first of Erle's bagua weapon forms that I learned back in the early nineties, and I gather that not many members of the wtba practise it anymore which is a shame. It is a lovely, if demanding set. As you use a short straight sword in each hand, the changes of the circular solo set must be done on both sides of the body. This makes for a very long sequence indeed. Functionally, using two edged weapons is much harder than it looks. There is a tendency not to pay enough attention...

The Long Staff

The bagua solo staff form that Erle used to teach is a very difficult one to practise due to the extraordinary number of techniques, the physical complexity of some of the moves e.g., doing a somersault over the staff , and the amount of floor space that it takes to practise, as it is done in straight lines. When I have asked him in recent years, he told me that very few wtba members were still practising, much less teaching this form. I have seen one or two forms demonstrated in North America...

Learning how to Learn Baguazhang

The name of this art also spelled Pa-kua Chang in older English language books translates as Eight Trigrams Palm in reference to the famous eight patterns of broken and solid lines used in the Chinese philosophical and divination text I-Ching. While the principles of bagua, and even its martial tactics, are often related directly to the text and various commentaries on this ancient book, I prefer to focus on the more mundane aspects of training in my classes, and this will be reflected in the...

Deer Horn Knives

These weapons, also called Crescent Swords or Mandarin Duck Knives, are always used in pairs.They are short-range martial tools especially designed to disarm the opponent and be effective against a variety of types of long and short traditional weapons. One of the fight scenes in the recent kung-fu epic Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon shows a fight scene between one of the villains and a bounty hunter who uses a pair of these weapons. Deer Horn Knives come in a variety of sizes. The ones used in...

General Guidelines for Qigong Practice

Practise the most active qigongs in the early morning and the less active and quiet ones in the evening. If doing several qigongs during the same practice session, do the less active first and progress through the more complex in the am and reverse that sequence in the pm. The idea is to be in accordance with the natural rhythm of the day. Practise outside whenever possible, particularly in the Springtime, and try to do the quieter methods barefeet, if possible. If you must practise indoors,...

Light Body Skills

Many stories circulate about the rather fantastic abilities of internal experts of old, and one of the most common is running up walls and jumping onto rooftops. Anyone who has seen a kung-fu movie has seen this concept taken to excess. Tung Hai Ch'uan was reputed to have this kind of skill, and there are many stories about his ability to leap about like a gazelle, move silently and swiftly as if he had teleported himself from one spot to another, etc. However, having just seen a television...

Quiet Standing Wuji Posture

The word Wuji refers to a Chinese philosophical concept. In Western terms you can compare it to the existential void that existed before creation or the big bang. It divided into the movement of Yin and Yang called Taiji not to be confused with the martial arts that go by that name as well , and Taiji gave birth to the universe as we know it. The Chinese call this the Ten Thousand Things. To describe it in a more mundane manner, stillness leads to movement, which leads to stillness, which leads...

Basic Standing Qigong Holding the Eight Mother Palms

Standing this way is designed to create physical heat by bending the knees, which creates heat in the lower torso, said to be the receptacle of the lower tan-tien. The lower tan-tien literally means elixir field, and is a term derived from the ancient Taoist alchemical experiments that resulted in gunpowder, liquid mercury, and a variety of metal alloys. Their original goal in such research was to create potions and pills that could be used to create precious metals and bring physical...