Baguazhang – 8 Trigram Palm

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What is Baguazhang – Eight Trigram Palm?

This art is unique in that it's practiced while walking on a circle. This is the main foundational exercise within the system and it is known as "Ding Shyr."

We learn how to coordinate our circular movement with different "Palm Changes" as we change our direction on the circle. Eventually these palm changes reveal themselves to be sophisticated martial applications.

The art of Bagua is based and patterned on one of the oldest texts in existence called the  “I Ching or Book of Changes”.

 Notice the trigrams  (the 3 line images called Gua) that surround the Tai Chi Symbol Below

There are eight images or Gua and Zhang means Palm so…

Baguazhang Means Eight Trigram Palm

The images or Gua represent all directions and many different correspondences and
qualities of expression according to the “Book of Changes”.

Our class starts with a Bagua Standing Set comprised of Eight Static Standing Postures. The reason we train like this is to release tension and blockages within our bodies. Each posture helps to release muscle tension in a different area of the body. It also builds certain qualities, strengths, and lines of connection to the ground in the practitioner.

The postures that we hold while turning into the center are very simple but not easy. 

Next, we perform the foundational exercise of Bagua called Ding Shyr (Circle Walking).

This practice will cultivate a calm and relaxed mind, We put aside distracting thoughts and just concentrate on breathing and our movements. Our thoughts begin to drop away…then there is just the movementthe focus on the center… and our breath

The breath is the bridge between the mind and the body


Mr. BP Chan (below) was one of the first to bring the Chinese Internal Arts including Baguazhang into this country in the mid-1970s.

 My teacher Rich Raab was one of Mr. Chan’s original students

 Baguazhang is somewhat more vigorous than Tai Chi Chuan, and is practiced at different speeds.

Within all of this internal movement, there is an inherent turning, a relaxing/stretching of our core into the center. We allow ourselves to sink being urged by gravity. The Chinese term Sung.

We originate all movement from the tantien (our physical center of the body). Then we express that connected movement into the arms and legs within the “Mother Palms” and the “Eight Palm Changes”

 The Famous Grandmaster Liu was one of Mr. Chan’s Baguazhang teachers. Mr. Liu served as a personal bodyguard to Chiang Kai-shek [Former President of the Republic of China]

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