During practice and actual combat, every part of the body should have the related posture and main points, then it is possible to learn or use the boxing art of Ba Gua Zhang. I write down ten statements in the summarization of my own experience to offer reference for the practitioner.
1) On the Hand
Either in the ordinary practice or in actual combat, the two hands should extend as much as possible to realize the state that, "the hand does not leave the elbow, and the elbow does not leave the hand and the hand is always the height of the mouth." When the anterior hand extends, the posterior hand should follow it so that the two hands can be like two doors to guard the pass calmly and unhurried. The two hands should hold the strength to charge forwards with the thumb straightened, the index finger guides, the middle finger erect and the other fingers joined. The greater thenar should be wrapped inwards and the hypothenar should be joined outwards, with the Lao Gong (PC-8) in the palm center in a "mysterious state." The two hands should have sensitive "listening" ability.
The eyes open widely with the mind concentrated. The eyes must sweep as quickly as lightning. No matter how you change in movement, the two eyes must follow the two hands all of the time. Simultaneously the eyes survey the situations in the upper and lower, the left and right, and the anterior and posterior directions in order to watch the six directions. It is necessary to speculate on the real intention of the opponent's movement so that it is possible to have definite ideas and take the opportunity to launch an attack. In combat, it is required to seek "fire in the rock" in the two eyes. The song says:
The eyes must be sharp when the hand is going to move in combat with the enemy,
With the mind concentrated for a clear distinguishment,
The eyes should be swift and accurate in the alternation of the forms,
In the perfect skill of striking and dodging.
3) On the Foot
The step method of Ba Gua Zhang can be divided into eight kinds of steps. These eight kinds of steps form the basic skill of Ba Gua Zhang. The eight kinds of steps are the swinging step, the hooking step, the lying step, the wheel step, the pulling-retreating step, the crane lifting step, the water-wading step and the linked step. The eight kinds of step are associated with the dragon style, unicorn style, chicken style, lion style, bear style, phoenix style, snake style, and monkey style. In application it is required to follow what is said in the song:
The toes grasp the ground to attack with the foot strength,
Two feet stand firmly, like being rooted. The rear foot advances the step with the energy in the heel,
Without slackness in pushing the force in the front.
The false and true must be known when the step advances,
And the false and true must be distinguished at all times.
When the step is pulled and retreated in advancing and retreating for guard, The enemy is defeated in an instant.
The leg step is the foundation in walking the circle and practicing the boxing art. In the practice of Ba Gua Zhang, the requirements of the leg are very strict. The concrete requirements are written in the following song:
The leg moves first in walking the circle and changing the forms,
The legs take the hip to move in the sitting skill.
The shoulder moves first in pulling the leg and lifting the knee,
With the two legs in the style of a dragon curling and a tiger crouching.
The two legs drop the force like wading in water, With the forward skill of the hidden strength in the calf.
In the practice of boxing, it is necessary to notice that the two knees cannot exceed the foot tip. If the foot tip is exceeded, it is easy to lose the stability and cause unbalance in the strength.
5) On the Waist
The waist is the foundation of the strength in the whole body and dominates the congenital unbroken transverse force. The waist stays in the middle palace of the human body, and all kinds of strength are produced from the waist. During practice, it is required that the waist moves like a drilling pole. When the strength releases from the waist it is able to strike and unload. Namely, to strike and unload by the waist, to advance, to retreat and to rotate inwards should be guided by the waist, with the waist as the motive power.
6) On the Body
During practice, the whole body should be relaxed and adopt the natural strength. It is required to stand like a pine tree, sit like a bell, lie like a bow, and move like the wind. The song says:
When the head, body and waist are straight, Thousands of methods can be brought about if three are combined into one.
Yin Fu Style Ba Gua Zhang instructor Xie Pei Qi of Beijing, China poses in the "Chicken" posture
The whole body is straight to drop the force, There will be a root if the mind is calm and qi is stable.
The body is required to be lowered smartly and softly,
The body turns and stretches to be a long body style.
The body dodges and turns quickly, To jump and move the body nimbly and smartly. The forms change and the palm moves like a dragon dance,
The body is contracted in the form like a monkey style.
7) On the Shoulder
During practice, the shoulder must be relaxed in order to penetrate the strength naturally into the palm. The song says:
The importance of the shoulder resides in relaxation,
Qi can flow smoothly when the "jing-well" points are relaxed.
The two shoulders are held inwards to embrace the energy.
To lean, squeeze and strike are the skills of the shoulder.
The shoulder waves and charges to bump in the left and right,
The transverse shoulder and smooth shoulder are to block and twist.
The good body method is highly relied upon if the shoulder is going to be used,
The shoulder skill is prohibited in slow and stiff movements.
8) On the Elbow
During practice, it is necessary to pay attention to the drop of the elbow at all times. The eight major elbow methods are: outward spread, inward holding, forward propping, backward retreating, upward turning, downward rolling, leftward coiling and rightward rotation. These methods should be carefully understood and mastered attentively. The song says:
The main point of the elbow is to drop them downward,
They are to be like a bow in form.
The elbow rolls and waves to join the strength externally,
To turn and roll upwards and downwards with the elbow strength followed.
The middle elbow is high as the shoulder with the transverse shoulder to squeeze,
The elbow drops and turns to squeeze transversely.
It is necessary to be bold when the short elbow is used in the danger zone,
To coil, prop, turn and strike belong to the elbow skills.
The song says:
The hip stays in the middle of the body and at the level of the waist,
The two hips are like the two eyes of the legs. The anterior hip guides the way and the posterior hip sits down,
The stretch of the legs depends upon the skill of the hip.
The skill method of the hip strike is supposed to charge, bump and lean,
The hip strength is explosive in squeezing, twisting, and striking.
If the skill of the palm is wanted to be perfect, The two hips should sit down at the level of the knees.
It is necessary to contract two hips in holding the anus,
To lift the duct of grain is the skill of the hip contraction.
10. On the Back
The song says:
To erect the back and round the shoulders are the basic skills,
The Governor Vessel opens when the neck is erected and the back and the back is straightened.
In the imagination of the supine jar of the nine palace method,
To erect the back is the skill for the entire force of the whole body.
The internal strength is used in the back-erecting method,
Qi can be smooth and return to the origin when the back is straightened.
It is necessary to erect the back in walking the circle and changing directions, To turn the body, to lean and to squeeze are the skills of the back.
In summary, the song says: The words are not many in the "ten statements,"
But what they explain are precise and the method and theory are profound. The practitioners must refer to them and think them over in detail,
The mystery will be infinite if the flavor of the statements are tasted carefully. Once they are understood thoroughly, These statements are certainly thought to be the real doctrine.
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Devoted as I am to popularizing amateur boxing and to improving the caliber of this particularly desirable competitive sport, I am highly enthusiastic over John Walsh's boxing instruction book. No one in the United States today can equal John's record as an amateur boxer and a coach. He is highly regarded as a sportsman. Before turning to coaching and the practice of law John was one of the most successful college and Golden Gloves boxers the sport has ever known.