Gong Bao Zhai believes that the important part of the martial arts are the concepts behind the art, not the development of external strength. He says that if the practitioner has clear concepts, it does not matter how physically strong they are. He calls it wu 1 -martial strength) versus wu li - martial principle). When using martial principle, the application of the correct principle, not strength, causes the force. If a practitioner has a sound knowledge of point attacks, he does not need a lot of strength. Having a sound strategy, knowing how to apply the strategy, and knowing where to apply the attack is what gives you the power over the opponent, not your muscle strength. Gong firmly believes that refined skill and superior knowledge is more important than muscular strength.
Most young people today are in too much of a hurry to see benefits. They have no patience.
Superior knowledge includes the knowledge of how to defend yourself so that the defense is also an attack and the attack is executed in the such a manner that the opponent has little chance to counterattack. Gong says that there are many ways to defend yourself against an attack like a throat grab. However, in the study of Ba Gua we learn how to defend so that you can continue to change and your opponent cannot. In applying your defense, it is also an attack and in applying that attack, you lock out your opponent's opportunities for effective counterattack. These skills do not come from forms, but come from a knowledge of the human body, the principles of Ba Gua, and the patterns which facilitate change.
In developing skill and knowledge, Gong Bao Zhai teaches his students to understand two important concepts. One is understanding cause and effect (yin guo - and the other is knowing how to adapt and change with unknown factors (shu li -The study of cause and effect involves knowledge of predictable patterns in combat. In other words, the practitioner studies how an opponent will most likely respond or react to any given offensive or defensive move he is presented with. Shu li involves being able to respond to unpredictable maneuvers and changes the opponent might present. Gong states that in the study of Ba Gua, the practitioner begins to develop an intuitive response to unknown variables. These responses seem to be outside of simple cause and effect and come from an intuitive level of understanding of unknown factors. In practicing Ba Gua, the practitioner wants to study change in accordance with predictable patterns as well as unpredictable patterns and circumstances.
Gong Bao Zhai says that in the application of Ba Gua, the gestures that you practice in the forms are
Yin Fu Style Ba Gua Postural Alignments
One of the main characteristic differences between the Yin Fu and Cheng Ting Hua styles of Ba Gua are the general postural alignments of the body. As we stated in Pa Kua Chang Journal Vol. 3, No. 2, page 13, the Yin Fu style practitioners tend to have a very "closed" body. The stances are low and they bend forward at the hips. The spine remains straight, however, the body is bent. The Cheng Ting Hua style practitioner tend to have a higher stance and a more vertical spine. Illustrating the Yin Fu style body posture above are three Yin style practitioners. On the far left is He Jin Han of Taipei, Taiwan, a student of Gong Bao Tian's student Gong Bao Zhai; in the middle is Xie Pei Qi of Beijing, China, a student of Yin Fu's student Men Bao Zhen; and on the right is Huang Zhi Cheng of Shanghai, China, a student of Gong Bao Tian's student Sun Ru Wen.
not necessarily what will come out in the fight. The patterns that are studied in the Ba Gua forms facilitate change. The forms train the body to move correctly, efficiently and naturally, once the body has been trained to move in this manner, Gong says that you should "forget" everything you learned before and simply learn how to change appropriately with whatever your opponent does.
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