He Jin Han began studying with Gong Bao Zhai in 1979 when he was 24 years old. He had started his martial arts career when he was 19, studying Tai Ji Quan with Yang Qing Yu for five years while also studying Xing Yi Quan with Chen Pan Ling's nephew, Chen Tian Yi for three years. He Jin Han said that he was interested in Ba Gua because it was more refined. He was interested in the Ba Gua's use of angles and body positioning. A mutual friend introduced him to his teacher.
He Jin Han studied very hard and by 1985 his teacher had given him permission to teach on his own. He now teaches Ba Gua at two different locations in Taipei and has about 40 students. Currently He Jin Han is an officer in the Taiwanese Army and so he has not had as much time to dedicate to teaching martial arts as he would like. However, he has periodically appeared on television in Taiwan teaching fitness exercises which he based on the principles of Ba Gua. Because Ba Gua teaches the practitioner about how to use the body in the most efficient way possible, the principles of Ba Gua can be applied to any physical activity.
In 1993 He Jin Han shot a series of four video tapes in which he demonstrates several of the forms from his teacher's Ba Gua system. At the beginning of each tape, He illustrates the relationships between the ba gua and the body, shows basic palms shapes, basic fist shapes, basic stepping movements, and the three basic holding postures (see photos on page 7) with the transitions between the left and right positions. On the first tape, Basic Eight Mother Palms, He demonstrates two simple change of direction maneuvers ("pushing palm change" and the "lower piercing palm") when walking the circle and then shows a more complex change (the "four form changing palms"). He then shows all eight of the mother palms one at a time and finally he finishes the video by showing all the mother palms linked together in one fluid form.
In the second tape, Ba Gua Zhang, He shows the linear ba gua zhang form, which is also called ba zhang quan. This is shown five times on the tape. The first time it is shown at a normal pace. The second time it is shown at a slow pace from various angles combined with freeze frame stills. Through the use of the freeze frame images and cut-aways to clips from the eight mother palms video, He clearly illustrates where all of the mother palms appear in this form. The third and fourth demonstrations of the form are shown again in slow motion, once from a front view and once from the back view. The fifth time the form is shown it is performed once again at a normal pace.
In the third tape, Liang Yi Skill, He Jin Han demonstrates the Hang yi form five times. Like the previous tape, the first time through is at normal pace, the second time through is in slow motion combined with freeze frame. During this performance the names of each of the moves are given and the relationships of the movements to the eight gua and the eight mother palms are illustrated. The third time through is a continuous slow motion front view, the fourth time is a slow motion view from the rear, and the fifth time is a normal pace execution of the form.
In the fourth tape, Examples of the Changes of Ba Gua, He Jin Han demonstrates how the ba zhang quan straight form, which is shown on tape number two, can be put on the circle in combination with the eight mother palms. The tape first shows the linked ba mu zhang set and then the ba zhang quan set, both performed at normal pace. Next He demonstrates a slow motion version of a form which shows the ba zhang quan form performed on a circle in combination with the ba mu zhang holding postures. The movements of the ba zhang quart set make up the directional changes between the holding postures. He Jin Han says that the same combination of forms can be performed using the ba mu zhang and Hang yi sets.
Next the video combines a slow motion performance of the set with freeze frame in order to illustrate the names of the movements. The name of the movement appears in Chinese on the screen during the freeze frame video shot. Finally, the form is performed once again at normal pace.
The production quality on all the video tapes is very high and the movements all shown very clearly. All four of these tapes are available from High View Publications. Please write for details (or see insert.)
In October of this year He Jin Han will be retiring from the military and says that he hopes to have more time for "martial arts things." We are hoping that this will include trips to the United States to spread some of his teacher's Ba Gua in this country.
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