All systems of Ba Gua Zhang include basic training skills. In the Gao Yi Sheng system, the basic training includes eight sets of basic hand exercises (Ji Ben Shou Fa - Js- -f~ >&j, body strengthening exercises, stance keeping or standing exercises, and basic circle walking holding static upper body postures.
The eight sets of hand exercises are repetitive hand and arm gestures that the student first practices while standing in one spot, then later practices in conjunction with various footwork patterns. The body strengthening exercises, called Tian Gan (^-"i), or "heavenly stems," consist of a set of ten exercises, each having several variations, which are practiced so that the student strengthens the torso and develops full body power1. The standing exercises employ two basic
standing postures. The first is the standard Ba Gua circle walking stance shown on page 8 (far left). In the Gao system, this is referred to as Xian Tian Zhuang or the pre-heaven standing posture. The second standing posture is identical to Xing Yi's San Ti Shi ft 5^) or "Trinity" posture. In the Gao system, this posture is referred to as Hou Tian Zhuang [vL ), or post-heaven standing posture. After the student has practiced the two static standing postures, he or she will then be taught the basic circle walking postures. This set consists of eight static upper body postures which are held while the practitioner walks the circle. In the Gao system, this set is called Dong Zhuang #) or Xing Zhuang (H
Gao Yi Sheng's core Ba Gua system is divided into two primary training sets which are practiced after the student has developed skill in the basic training exercises. The traditional circular form is called Xian Tian or pre-heaven Ba Gua Zhang. From the traditional circular form Gao derived 64 linear sets which are used to practice and train fighting applications. This set he called Hou Tian (i^^L), or post-heaven, Ba Gua Zhang. The pre-heaven set consists of a total of ten palm changes. The first palm change is the "single palm change" or dan huan zhang After the "single palm change" the form consists of eight sections as follows:
1) She Xing Shun Shi Zhang ft ^ %) Snake Form Smooth Body Palm
2) Long Xing Chuan Shou Zhang ft! ft % "f" Dragon Form Piercing Hand Palm
3) Hui Shen Da Hu Zhang
Turn Back the Body and Strike the Tiger Palm
4) Yan Fan Gai Shou Zhang
Swallow Over Turning, Covering Hand Palm
5) Zhuan Shen Fan Bei Zhang (# % & Turn the Body Over the Back Palm
6) Ning Shen Tan Ma Zhang %) Twist the Body and Check the Horse Palm
Swing the Body and Insert from Behind Palm
8) Ting Shen Ban Kou Zhang
Stop the Body, Pull Down and Hook Palm
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