Bagua Zhang

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by 72ronin, Jan 22, 2010.

  1. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    After years of Karate etc I have decided to look for something from the internal arts of China.
    At first i thought i would go for tai chi chuan but to be honest its just too... not for me. Hsing-i, no, way off the mark (for me). Im sure they are awesome arts but not for me.

    Then i found something i had never even heard of before. So, putting my computer to work i gathered as much info on Bagua as i could find.
    Remember, i had no idea of what is what and lineage etc.

    First impressions were not great lol, but i was attracted to the circular forms even though they came in so many variations. At first i thought they were all doing basically the same forms but at diff levels or something.

    So i actually dismissed most versions and set about looking for a single strain. To be completely honest, lineage did not gaurantee anything (to my beginners eye) at the time.

    These were a few of my observasions (Take note, these are beginners eyes to Bagua and mean no disrespect whatsoever, just personal views of what i saw at the time)

    I was thinking "what the heck is this B.Frantzis doing". Dont like his version of it at all, but i could certainly spend an afternoon or two listening to his discussions on Bagua, the I-Ching and Taoism etc".
    Only to learn later that it was Water dragon method and maybe Yin Fu strain?
    Anyway, another was the Gompa? - Shocking, didnt last long looking at that and have no idea of lineage there.. (again, no dissrespect intended)

    Tim Cartmell, good reports all over. Does he do Gao Bagua? I like the look of Gao Bagua if he does.

    Next i came across E.Montaigue. OK so i thought this man was a powerhouse. Plenty of skills and also had 8 Animals forms. Yet doesnt get accepted by some. Later i realised its becouse he said this/that is wrong, yet wasnt those statements within the realm of Tai Chi? What does everyone think of his Bagua? Some discussion over lineage claims there, whats up with that?

    Would i be correct in thinking his circle form is Jiang Rong Chao style, and maybe his 8 Animal forms are from Sun Lu Tang?? (please excuse my spelling of names)

    There is a vid of "Tung Hai Chuan's origional circle form" posted on you-tube under the channel name of "Banjo Billy"! How can that be? As i have learned Tung (Dong?) only taught single - double - and straight palm change? Again, is this more likely to be Jiang Rong Chao's form, as the terminoligy for the movements match what i have researched on Jiang..

    Any help much appreciated, as i dont want to just jump in and not know what is what etc.
    Thanks
    72ronin
     
  2. Bobby135

    Bobby135 Orange Belt

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    I am currently training in Jiulong Baguazhang (the Gompa) through Shifu Dale Dugas:

    www.bostonbaguazhang.com

    I find it to be a very good art and it allows quite a bit of self examination. It does all come down to personal preference, but I have found it rewarding.

    Bobby
     
  3. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Are you disin XINGYIQUAN and TAIJIQUAN… Why thems fighten words and JUST for that I will see what I can do to help with Baguazhang :D

    I imagine you have been here already in your research, but this and its links gives you a pretty good idea about Bagua and its history

    Bagua allegedly originated with Dong Haichuan but there is a style called Yin/Yang Bagua that would dispute that. They claim that their style and Dong’s style come from the same Taoist teacher. And from what I have seen of Yin/Yang bagua I really like it, however I do not think there are any (or many) teachers of it outside of Beijing and they will charge a westerner about $149/hr to train it.

    Yin fu was the student who spent the most time with Dong Haichuan and there is a lot to Yin style but very few know all of it

    Various styles of Bagua that come from the students of Dong Haichuan can have other styles that have infuenced them as well. For example Cheng style is bagua combined with a bit of Shuaijiao due to Cheng Tinghua’s prior Shuaijiao training.

    As for anyone claiming to know the original style of, or teach the style of, Dong Haichuan, it is likely sales, fake or they are incredibly misinformed. My first sifu claims to teach it and his students believe that is what they are learning, but what he is teaching is straight out of the college he he got his degree in and it is the contemprary wushu version of baguazhang. I do not believe that anyone truly knows what style would be the exact style of Dong Haichuan. However if I were to speculate I would think (IMO) Yin Style would be closest due to the amount of time that Yin Fu trained with him. There are Yin style groups in the US and europe that are tied to He Jinbao (from Beijing) [Dong Haichuan > Yin Fu > Men Baozhen > Xie Peiqi > He Jinbao - History] Main Yin style page for He Jinbao's group

    As for Gompa I assume you are referring to nine dragon Baguazhang and John Painter. You can talk with Dale Dugas he would be able to answer your questions. I went to a couple of seminars of his teach (John Painter) years ago and I liked the style, it seemed to be rather effective

    I have only done 2 forms from 2 different styles one was Yin style and the other I belevie was Jiang style but I could be wrong about the Jiang style one.

    But you have to understand that if you are going to train a Chinese Internal style, which bagua is, there are no shortcuts and it will take a considerable amount of time.

    Note: in Shanxi style Xingyiquan the advanced form is a tight version of circle walking.
     
    Last edited: Jan 22, 2010
  4. DaleDugas

    DaleDugas My door is always open.

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    Jiulong Baguazhang is a family style.

    If you are interested feel free to pm me here or email me off forum at daledugas@bostonbaguazhang.com

    Jiulong Baguazhang is not only a great health maintenance system, it is very good at dealing with self defense.
     
  5. blindsage

    blindsage Master of Arts

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    My sifu teaches Bagua from a couple of different Cheng Ting Hua lineages, lots of intersting stuff on our school site, www.wuji.com. I find everything about it interesting. But keep your eye out, there are plenty of good instructors out there that are not the super famous (i.e. B.K. Frantzis, Earl Montaigue), and lineage does matter, but there are also just as many wushu instructors who claim to teach IMA but teach a modified wushu version and still claim a good lineage.
     
  6. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    Thankyou for your replies, as im sure you are aware i dont have enough knowledge or experience within Bagua to state "this is good, thats not".
    So thankyou for your patience in reference to my comments on the Gompa etc.
    I should state that everyone i have looked at looks extremely capable.

    At first i was under the impression that there was only mud stepping, perhaps dragon stepping. Though now i realise there is also Lion and Rooster/Crane stepping. These early mis-conceptions led to my dismissal of some practitioners form.

    My preference is definately for the dragon style of mud stepping.

    I now have more than a passing interest in Bagua and realise that perhaps dvd's wont take me as far as i want to go with this great art.

    So my question is, Does anyone know if the form shown by Jerry Allen Johnson is in fact from Jiang Rong Chao style? i personaly think it is but cant be sure.
    And does anyone know if E.Montaigue's form is also that of Jiang Rong Chao.

    Localy (southern Aust) i have only been able to locate a E.Montaigue school as most if not all others are located on the East coast. If anyone knows of another Bagua available in Adelaide S.A. that would be a great help also, As the school i have found is still some distance away..

    Thanks again
    72ronin
     
  7. K-man

    K-man Grandmaster

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    Not being a student of Bagua, I am not sure of the direct lineage for Erle Montaigue but here is the link to his site and profile. http://www.fajing-chuan.co.uk/Erle Montaigue.html As far as I can determine, he makes no mention of Jiang Rong Chao in his books. His main teacher was Chang Yiu-chun.
    I have several of his books and a couple of his DVDs which I find very interesting. I would love to have the opportunity to train with him. :asian:
     
  8. Tensei85

    Tensei85 Master Black Belt

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  9. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    Interesting thread. How about the Gracies issuing a challenge to Erle ! . Are there anyone they did not challenge lol.

    I suspect they wanted to fight their way, protected by rules etc, if they allowed a true anything goes there would be a blind and possibly brain damaged Gracie walking around today i dare say :)
    Dont get me wrong, they have great sport Ju Jitsu, but with no rules its a different ballgame.

    Lineage.. Important-yes, but i would want to question Ho Ho Choy about it before Erle. The saying goes "dont shoot the middleman".. Well in this case (the interpreter) lets hunt down and shoot the middleman LOL.

    I may go with Erle's Bagua i think. Its the closest school to me and i prefer Jiangs form.
    Im still interested if anyone knows of Bagua within the area of Adelaide though as that would be closer to me.

    I'll check his site again, give him an Email and go from there.
    thanks again for your help.
    72ronin
     
  10. Jota

    Jota White Belt

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    Realize that some teachers will teach linear (line based) Bagua that many assume to be to Hsing-I.

    I study and practice Cheng and Liang style Bagua.

    All of the Cheng style that I study and practice is circular (8 step circle).

    All of the Liang style that I study and practice is linear (although the feet appear to be moving in a line there are circles still in play).

    Some also use the terms pre-heaven & post-heaven to differentiate between the two.


    Because of your statement that is quoted, I would encourage you to investigate this aspect as you choose your teacher and begin to follow their curriculum.

    Best of luck.
     
  11. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    Thankyou, i was wondering what pre/post heaven was all about.
    And yes it seems that Erle talks of a linear form quite a bit.

    Im only interested in the circle form.
    However at this point if i want to move away from dvd training to live training i have only found a school in S.Aust for the E.Montaigue style.

    Yes, there is no quick road for this type of thing but thats fine with me.
    Thanks
    72ronin
     
  12. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    I had considered tuition through video exchange (frowned upon i know) as i am quite busy with Family/work and Karate as it is.

    There was a "Dragongate Sanctuary" site and a few others that i considered. But i have become accustom to Jiangs form and wish to continue with that.

    Long distance training isnt ideal for the internal arts i know, but i am open to any suggestions lol..

    Access to a teacher may be the deciding factor if i wish to attain "live" training.
    thanks again
    72ronin
     
  13. lhommedieu

    lhommedieu Black Belt

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  14. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    OK, so ive found some great sources for info on history of Bagua, like the Bagua Journal and so on.

    Then i came across a different take on what seems to be the accepted norm, i think it was chinahand or something like that, wait maybe it was the Bagua research institute from China.. Im going from memory here lol, anyway they say there was,

    Not only Tung Hai Chuan but two others like him, and that Tung was more popular and Bagua spread that way.!?!
    Just when i thought i had it nailed that Tung adapted his circular Taoist training with his martial experience to create Bagua, Then took on students like Cheng, Yi and so on. Letting them adapt their previous experience in similar fasion.
    Are they just creating another "option" for Lineage or what??

    Personaly i think the accepted historical version we all know about is the correct one, anyone heard about this newer take on the history?
     
  15. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    The crazy untracable history of Bagua,

    Lets look at the Life of Tung Hai Chuan, which is not his real name mind you - anyway, He goes to the Mountains in the first place for dubious reasons, then he is booted out of the Monastery - for dubious reasons, then he apparently performs a surgery on himself to get into the royal court..

    Then, simply becouse of observed skills over time or apparently during performing services as a waiter, he is asked to perform his martial skills - which suddenly catapult him to trainer to the nobles and guards of said royal court!
    Now, somehow from this, he ends up poor and living in the back of maybe a Yi family members lumberyard.. Then dies only to be buried in a poor grave outside the gates of the city or something..

    Does anyone else think he was used in some way or what lol..

    Becouse apparently back then in Chinese culture, it was all about pride/ego you know like doing anything to "save face". So it was near impossible to simply create your own thing, it had to come from somewhere steeped in tradition and mystery.

    Some people actually believe that Tung was taught by 3 sages living in the mountains during his travels also, see the theme recuring in the different accounts of the history.

    Like then its more believable becouse if you faulter in what your trying to sell, you can simply relly on the fact that its the principals of movement that you were taught and therefor you werent expected to be invincible, but in theory the style still could be..

    I put it to you that a collection of men got together and attempted to create a system of fighting that had a strong Chinese religious theme. There is the history of Bagua zhang.

    I mean its nothing new or unique to China at all for that matter. Ninjutsu discussion anyone lol.
    Take the story of Cheng Ting Hua, one story is that he dies heroicaly taking on german soldiers of the occupying 12 armies or something, by going to the aid of a young chinese person being "handled' innapropriately by ten of the soldiers, concequently fighting them with his double daggers and taking many down before being shot to death..
    Another account is that males between certain ages were being rounded up and he was one of them, resisted, fled and was shot in the back several times attempting to scale a wall fleeing..

    Anyway, i think Bagua's Circle form and some other aspects are close to perfection for fighting and longivity, but wow, what a mysterious history to try and discover :)
     
  16. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Although if I were to dive back into bagua I would be doing the same thing I have to say....Good luck with this, there are Chinese scholars at Chinese University researching this and they can’t figure it out exactly..

    Something to keep in mind when researching CMA History….. just because it is from an accepted reputable source does not mean it is right. Much of CMA history is VERY hard to trace but not always impossible.

    I can give you multiple reputable sources that say Taiji comes from Zhang Senfeng…. I can also give you multiple reputable sources that say it does not. However based on what both sides are saying I do believe the side that says he has little or nothing to do with it win the day. There are multiple reputable sources that will tell you Xingyiquan comes from Yue Fe but the truth is that it more likely came from Xinyiquan and if Yue Fei has anything at all to do with it then it is more to the similarity to the spear form that he did come up with.

    Bagua is thought to have come from Tung Haichuan and that is the way it is. Did it? I don’t know and I would not waste a whole lot of time trying to figure it out… that is unless you can read classical Chinese characters… then you have a WHOLE lot of reading to do and most of that in China and Taiwan. And lets not forget spelling errors and differences (Wade-Giles vs Pinyin) in English research of CMA history so the best bet to research Bagua would be by using 董海 for Tung Haichuan (Dong Haichuan) and 八卦掌 for Baguazhang.

    The Yin Yang Bagua people (aka Yin Yang Bapanzhang) will tell you their Bagua comes form the same teacher that Tung Haichuan learned from and the people that have lineage to Tung Haichuan will tell you they are wrong and some have ewritten rather impressive papaers to prove it but it does not change the claim of the Yin Yang Bapanzhang people. Look into the Taiji origin argument between the Chen people and the Zhaobao people some time and after that throw in Yang Luchan’s version.

    The current popularly excepted story of Cheng Ting Hua is that he was fighting German soldier, did kill a few, tried to get away and was shot while trying to get over a wall. Another that I have heard that is much less flattering and from what I can tell mostly propaganda was that he had very bad eyesight and approached the soldiers thinking they were his friends and they shot him. A lot of CMA guys were killed during that time by foreign soldiers.

    To truly research CMA history you need multiple sources and you need to know the dates of most of those sources and even then it is very difficult. It also helps to be able to read classical Chinese since much of the pertinent history that is written down has not been translated into simplified Chinese little alone English.

    Look here and you will get an idea as to the confusion in CMA history - and this is just Zhang Senfeng

    Speaking as one that tends to get deeply into researching the styles I have trained I will end with this. The best bet, know your lineage, train hard and that is all, the rest should be for entertainment purposes only.
     
  17. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    Sorry I see I made a mistake in the above link to the Zhang Senfang stuff

    I meant to link to this http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1302 post #15

    Or http://www.martialtalk.com/forum/showthread.php?t=1302/#15

    That starts here

     
  18. mograph

    mograph Black Belt

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    Hear, hear. Just because information is old and Chinese doesn't mean it's accurate. They had marketing back then, too, y'know. :D
     
  19. 72ronin

    72ronin Purple Belt

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    lol, I'll second that, or third it i should say.

    So its simply that Taiji is the main one and Hsing-i Is the Linear break away and Bagua the circular break away, Hence the three internal arts of China.
     
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng Sr. Grandmaster

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    ooooh Internal that is a prime example of what I am talking about.

    There does not seem to be much if any delineation between internal and external until after the Epitaph of Wang Zhengnan around 1650 before that it appears that it is all just Wushu. After that it begins to appear and there are a few different explanations one is simply it was a political statement against the Qing, who were Manchu and from outside of China therefore external another has to do with roughly the same thing in saying that Xingyi, Bagua and Taiji are Taoist and Taoism is indigenous to China and therefore internal where Buddhism, like what was practiced at Shaolin is External since Buddhism comes from outside of China. There is also another view that it was used by lesser skill martial artists in order to save face, the “I do internal martial arts and my training is superior so if I were to fight a lesser skilled external stylist I would only be hurting them and wasting my time” thereby maintaining a sense of superiority and avoiding getting their butt kicked. There is also the view of training differences which really boils down to they end up the same "internal goes to external and external goes to internal".

    I have often wondered about this and to make it more confusing some styles have been labeled internal/external; White Crane is given that label on occasion as is Wing Chun, Bajiquan and Xingyiquan every now and then. And Yiquan should be by the training definition internal as well. Also I have noticed, and I am sure many others have too, all internal styles originate in the North and many of the externals originate in the south. There are multiple classification for CMA styles by the way.

    But back to the excepted internal styles taiji, Bagua, Xingyi and Liu He Ba Fa. All are said to be Taoist in origin but in the case of Liu He Ba FA that is very questionable (since its origins claim cave writings that were placed there by an unknown Taoist) and in the case of Xingyiquan it appears to not be at all true, unless of course the people that started it way back when (whether Xinyi or Yue Fei) just happen to be Taoist. And Taiji appears to have Taoist influences but does not originate with a Taoist and Bagua does apparently have its base in Taoist Circle walking but that still does not mean Bagua itself is actually Taoist. Now to the Xingyi usually labeled internal but on occasion internal external I have heard it explained that it is due to the type of training however the training of Xingyi in its early stages is INCREDIBLY internal which has often lead me to wonder if it does not have more to do with the fact that there is a Muslim branch of Xingyi and Islam is external to China therefore the non-Muslim branch is internal and the Muslim branch is external, however that last bit is simply my own speculation based on what I have read so take it for what it is worth.

    Internal, External, doesn’t matter train hard, train right and be healthy.
     

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