While some teachers and styles are better than others, there are many different valid approaches to bagua: some emphasise the health aspect, some emphasise the self-defence stuff. and some emphasise the competitive aspect of the art. As long as teachers have skill and bring some of that skill to their teaching, you will benefit, providing you practise enough to make progress and enjoy the practice enough to continue to do so.

My one caveat is that the teacher should have what one of my instructors told me his teacher had called (in broken English) "a good heart for the people." In other words, the teaching should benefit the students on some level, each according to his or her capacity, and not just stroke the ego of the teacher, or fill his pockets with money.

Speaking of money, there is an interesting Chinese expression which states that learning bagua or any internal art is like putting money in the bankā€”make a small deposit every day, don't make too many withdrawals, and you will reap the interest when you are old!

Chapter Two

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