Basic Training Method and the MGBG System
1) 8 circle-walking methods
The primary method of training for bagua is the circle walking. Through the circle walking the body is strengthened and health improved and maintained, illnesses cured, and lifespan extended. It is also a way to train the internal power and martial art techniques for self-defense. There are eight different ways of walking the circle:
Dragon walking, Bear walking, Lion walking, Crab walking, Eagle walking, Single-hook walking, Reaching towards the heaven and earth walking, Yin Yang fish walking.
2) The Basic Palms
At the end of the Qing dynasty, Chinese martial arts had reached its peak. Dong HaiChuan combined and integrated all the best aspects of each martial art to create a new style of Chinese martial arts. This method of Bagua was a revolutionary step in terms of martial arts development because it is limitless and circular and different from any martial art practiced before.
Each and every palm is unique, but they all relate to the same basic principles of Bagua. Every original palm passed down by Dong HaiChuan represents the best practices of a particular martial art school from this time, and shows a different aspect of the martial arts .
In ancient times it was said that if one achieved the most valuable “dan tian” they would not exchange it for a mountain of gold. Bagua is truly the most precious thing in the world. If you practice Bagua you will doubtlessly agree, and praise the true Tao for its simplicity, perfection and profundity.
If you are willing, Bagua can rid your body of weaknesses and disease, it can allow you to live a spiritually and physically active life.
If you are willing, Bagua can bring you health and happiness for your whole life, and provide you with a youthful way of life even after the age of 80.
If you are willing, Bagua can bring you confidence through an active and healthy lifestyle, thus giving you a true martial arts spirit.
Bagua can change you into a powerful and heroic human being, and give you an unusual ability in all aspects of life.
Bagua can give you unique and naturally strong appearance.
Eight Mother Palms of the Dragon Model
Single Changing Palm, Double Changing Palm, Following Palm, Triple piercing Palm, Dodging body Palm, Grinding body, Returning body Palm, Spinning body Palm.
Eight Mother Palm of the Bear Model
Rolling over the body Palm, Swimming body Palm, Behind the body Palm, Returning body Palm, Pressing body Palm, Crossing hands Palm, Double separating punch Palm, Shoulder strike Palm
Eight Mother Palm of the Lion Model
Lion holding the ball Palm, Lion rolling over when holding the ball Palm, Lion rolling the ball Palm, Lion catching the ball Palm, Lion throwing the ball Palm, Lion throwing over the ball Palm, Dancing lion Palm, Lion rolling a big ball Palm.
Eight forceful Situation of the Eagle Model
Eagle rides the wind, Eagle circles to change direction, Eagle tilts in the wind, Eagle spirit grabs the rabbit, Eagle pierces the heavens, Eagle grabs a fish, Eagle circles to four directions, Eagle wheels to four directions.
Linking Ramming Eight Mother Palms of the Crab Model.
Boday separation Ramming Palm, Return back ramming Palm, Retreat Ramming Palm, Linking left and right Ramming Palm, Following Ramming Palm, Front and rear linking Ramming Palm, Five element linking Palm, Linked hard Ramming palm.
Eight mother postures of the Single Hook Model
Single Hook changing posture, Double Hook Changing Posture, Cloud waving hook changing posture, Hook Pulling and leading posture, Hook slicing and smashing posture, Hook in Golden cock and Monkey shape Posture, Hook dotting and reaching Posture, Single Hook turning in four direction Posture.
Eight Figures of the Yin-Yang Fish Model
Changeover design Figure, Double changeover design Figure, Spiraling design Figure, Flowing Figure, Cloud wave Figure, Folding Figure.
Eight Postures of the Point to the sky and plunge into the earth
PS. The eight different movements and postures have not been taught through our grand master Liu WanChuan. We could invent some other movements, but honestly we do not want to put something else into our Ma Gui Bagua systems.
3) Basic Bagua Routines
All Bagua Palms could be practiced endlessly, numerously, when shuttled to and from in directions, all the movements could form a very beautiful routine, each of the movements shining with bizarre beauty!
In order to ensure that Bagua became widely spread and practiced, Dong HaiChuan created different Bagua forms to satisfy those who love various forms of martial art. In order to make it easier to be practiced as a group like TaijiQuan, he created four routines, and named them “Bagua Zhang.” What we now call Bagua at this time was called “Bagua Zhuan Zhang”, which means the endlessly turning Bagua palms and was all practiced with the circle-walking.
The four routines are unique in this world.
It is a great pity that Master Liu WanChuan only passed on the first two forms, the 88 form and the 128 form. The other two have been lost.
The 88 Routine brings forward the principle and philosophy from The Tendon Changing Classic, and in the beginning for all new beginners start to understand the most important principle and philosophy, that is everything has to base on the structure and has to be centred and balanced.
The 88 movements mostly are from the dragon form, with many reaching palm (tanzhang), piercing palm (chuanzhang), and following palms (shunshi zhang). The body turns continuously, the movements are clear and crisp, the stepping almost exclusively koubu and baibu, and the directions taken clearly. It must be done with good stability, firmness, and an upright body, taking its place naturally between heaven and earth.
The 128 routine is based on the lion and single hook forms. It advances and retreats in an orderly fashion, all moves linking together like a chain. It is like a dragon soaring and a tiger leaping, like a myriad of birds on the morning breeze. It contains feelings and beauty, and is aesthetically pleasing to watch.
I feel that the two other routines should be based on the yinyang diagram and the eagle form, the crab form and the point to the sky form, which should be extraordinary. Many things may be lost over the years, it really makes the hero shed tears over the lost skills of the ancients!
For real martial artists, practicing the forms is a waste of time and energy, but the four forms that Dong HaiChuan passed down contain within them an artistic element and some important philosophical principles and secrets. These are aspects of Bagua that go far beyond mere martial art, it is truly a priceless piece of Chinese cultural heritage.
Although my level my not be up to the previous generation’s standards, I would hate to see these martial art forms disappear. I will try my best to teach and spread these two forms.
Liu WanChuan also knew the Paochui (cannon-fist) routine, which he taught to his son-in-law Li Tao, who in turn taught it to me. Just in this couple years through my traveling to Liu Wan Chuan/s hometown, Hai Yang County, Shan Dong province and interviewing with many old Bagua people, I can insure that the Pao Chui was from Liu Qing Fu, which surely was from his teacher Yin Fu, Liu Wan Chuan in his young age learned this from his father Liu Qing Lu and uncle Liu Qing Fu.
4) Basic Bagua Weapons
Bagua has its own unique weaponry that surpasses the normal level of ancient weapons. They represent the culmination of several thousand years of Chinese martial arts development. Before modern weaponry, it represented the highest level of intelligence in terms of weaponry. The methods for using the weapons have been hidden within the Bagua palms, which have been hidden within the circle-walking. Through the circle walking and special instruction the skills for using the weapons can be achieved.
There are four basic types of Bagua weapon, and each weapon is based on an aspect of Bagua circle-walking. These four weapons are unique to the Bagua style and can only be trained through the circle-walking. The movements for the weapons are exactly the same as the Bagua palm they relate to.
The four weapons are:
The deer horn dagger, the Bagua broadsword, the Bagua calligraphy brush, and the seven-star stick.
The deer horn dagger
The seven-star stick.
Bagua calligraphy brush
5) The Basic Pair Practices
After a basic level of training has been achieved in the circle-walking, the circle walking and basic palms can be used to train the pair practices, and all the bagua principles can be applied to martial art training. Some of these principles are: pushing, lifting, dragging, leading, rejecting, locking, swooping, drilling. Training the pair practices Bagua practitioners can learn to use these principles for martial arts and self-defense.
There are 8 different pair practices:
1) Using the pair practice to train the changing palms (single changing, double changing, and following changing palms).
2) Using the pair practice to train drawing and leading palms, practicing drawing and leading the opponents oncoming force away from the body.
3) Using the pair practice to train the spearing palms (chuangzhang).
4) Using the pair practice to train the pressing down palm (yazhang).
5) Using the pair practice to train the coiling palms (??).
6) Using the pair practice to train the shoving palms (zhuangzhang).
7) Using the pair practice to train the dragging palms (daishou).
8) Using the pair practice to train the grabbing and locking palms.
8 mother palms for training the pair practice:
1) Dragon style pair practice 2) Bear style pair practice 3) Lion style pair practice4) Crab style pair practice 5) Eagle style pair practice 6) Single hook style pair practice 7) Reaching toward the heaven and earth style pair practice 8) Yin yang fish style pair practice.