Gong Bao Zhais Ba Gua Quan

All of Gong Bao Zhai's Ba Gua has a very direct relationship with Chinese philosophical concepts and a knowledge of the human body. Gong says that the practitioner of Ba Gua must understand the philosophical knowledge, the technical martial knowledge, and have medical knowledge of how the body works in order to fully understand the art of Ba Gua Zhang. In fact, Gong Bao Zhai states the Ba Gua Zhang is only a part of a more complete system which he calls "Ba Gua Quan." Therefore, he calls his system Ba Gua Quan or "Ba Gua boxing."

Gong Bao Zhai believes that while most martial arts, such as Shaolin originated with physical movements and then later developed fighting concepts and strategies based on those movements, Ba Gua started with the philosophical idea and then built the physical movements and tactics in accordance with the philosophy. Gong said, "Taiji comes from chaos - wuji'). After time it split into yin and yang [f%) and formed the two principles - liang yi), and then into four figures - sixiang), followed by the eight trigrams (^^h - ba gua). The relationship between the ba gua symbol, the human body, and the martial art is important to understand." Gong went on to explain that of the eight gua of the ba gua,, there are four inner gua and four outer gua. The inner gua relate to internal parts of the body and the outer gua relate to external parts of the body. These relationships are as follows: Qian Gua - Head, Xun Gua - Waist, Kan Gua - Kidneys, Gen Gua - Back, Kun Gua -Abdomen, Zhen Gua - Liver, Li Gua - Heart, and Dui Gua - Lungs.

While anyone who has studied the classical writing of Ba Gua Zhang has read about the relationships between different body parts and the eight trigrams (Sun Lu Tang expressed these relationships in his book The Study of Ba Gua Boxing published around 1916), those who briefly mention such relationships in books do not explain exactly what is meant by them. Gong teaches that each of the eight gua have expressions of martial force which are related to them and that this force is originating from those parts of the body which correspond to each gua. The movements of each gua represent a particular "feeling" in the body. Once the student understands the feeling of the movement and where the energy of the movement originates, he will understand that gua and know how to use it.

Gong Bao Zhai's Ba Gua is primarily a study of

how the internal body is associated with the external movements. The force, or power, in the internal arts is generated from inside the body and expressed externally. When you have a connection between the inside and outside, you can learn to effectively use your internal power externally - this is Ba Gua. If you discover where the external power is originating inside the body (trace it to its true source), and understand the internal path along which that power is most effectively expressed, you can then begin to understand Ba Gua posture and movement. Every posture and movement has a source of power and a path which that aligned power travels from the source to the final expression in the extremity (terminus). If the path is true and connected to the source, that power is most effectively and efficiently expressed. If the path is not true, i.e. the power is somehow redirected, dissipated, diverted, or otherwise thrown slightly off course, the expression of power will not reach full potential. Ba Gua practitioners work to become familiar with these associations and work to be very exact in the execution of physical movement with these principles in mind. In Gong Bao Zhai's system basic stance and posture training is very important.

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