Baguazhang Fighting Techniques?

Discussion in 'Chinese Martial Arts - General' started by lianxi, May 18, 2018.

  1. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    Wondering if there are any baguazhang practitioners out there who use this incredible art in the form of actual fighting techniques? I'm 64 and I've been a practitioner of baguazhang's circle walking practice for a couple of years now and am amazed at what it's done for my core, balance, breathing, independence between upper and lower body, proprioception and more. Its reputation for increased health and longevity has proven itself to me beyond a doubt, but it seems to be rare in terms of actual fighting - at least in video form. Despite some wire work and dramatization - in the film, The Grandmaster - Zhang Ziyi's movements in the match with Tony Leung in the first 15 seconds are certainly expressing true baguazhang as are her movements in the snow at the end of the film - she was taught by Ge Chun Yan, a master of the art - so this makes sense. And I know a Navy Seal isn't going to use this kind of movement in a life or death match, but this turning from the core that is the feature of baguazhang generates such power, that I'm always looking for its advanced manifestations and rarely finding them. The more martial arts become about the UFC and 'what works in a real fight in the street' (nothing wrong with either) the more rare it is to locate the more advanced expressions of something like baguazhang in the form of actual fighting techniques or even fighting forms as practice. I would truly value and appreciate any information, advice or shared experiences from baguazhang practitioners. Thanks.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2018
  2. Encho

    Encho Green Belt

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    Hi,
    Been doing baguazhang for a while,
    I have used baguazhang with success. most of my baguazhang has a mixed look to it as far as application, I find alot of baguazhang out there is very flowery, and not very applicable. I think as baguazhang practitioners, you should train with resistance and actual feed back with gloves and helmet, when you try to do locks, and throws have some resistance and honest feedback.
     
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  3. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    The most general technique used in BG is the "switching hand".

    - You punch with your right hand. Your opponent blocks it.
    - You use left hand to take over his blocking, free your right hand, you continue striking with your right hand.

    One concern that I have about BG is the "cross legs".

    [​IMG]
     
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  4. greytowhite

    greytowhite Green Belt

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  5. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    Thanks - this is the sort of thing I was looking for.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  6. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    Have to agree with that - and yet those cross legs and turned upper body have really helped me with core strength, chi energy and independence between upper body and lower. Maybe circle walking's main gift is really simply as a Taoist health practice, like yoga, qigong and circle walking - they all benefit your body in multiple ways. It may be forcing things to try and make a fighting system out of them, though Tom Bisio seems to have some applications that make sense.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  7. DanT

    DanT Black Belt

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    I have never met a Bagua practitioner who could fight. I have sparred with a few and they could not apply what they learned because they never sparred hard or conditioned their bodies.
     
  8. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    I don't disagree - I think bagua excels as a means for cultivating health and longevity and in how it develops the body- but haven't seen anyone really make the jump to using its moves as a fighting art - kind of like how yoga can help the martial artist in terms of opening the hips, more range of motion, balance, proprioception, etc. - it's for exercise and training - but you don't use its moves to fight.
     
  9. Encho

    Encho Green Belt

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    Baguazhang, in most style, do not cross the leg. that picture he is not crossing the legs though, to the untrained it may seem that way. He is also practicing circle walking which in most styles is a training and a health tool and not an actual method of fighting. Also in most baguazhang styles there is no punching there is open palms used in different ways hence Zhang.
     
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  10. Encho

    Encho Green Belt

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    I believe Tom learned from Li Zi Ming, I have also studied liang style but only 8 old palms, honestly that is enough to learn in the liang style.
     
  11. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I did. That guy was scary. Police trainer from Bejing, he got to practice on live bodies every day.
     
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  12. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    No matter how you may stand, the 90 degree angle from your foot line will be your balance weakness. If your foot line is east-west, your balance weakness line will be south-north. In the following picture,

    - his foot line is east-west,
    - his hands line is south-north.

    1. When your balance weakness line and your opponent's entering path is the same line. If your opponent move in, you will have very weak balance to deal with it. The wrestling "double legs" is a good example.
    2. In the following picture, a right foot sweep on his right foot ankle, he will be down. Most of the foot sweep requires hand function. When you cross leg, your opponent can sweep you down without using his hand.

    [​IMG]

    If we want to talk about BG fighting techniques, may be we should stay away from BG health, ... Things that may make sense for health, it may not make sense for fighting.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  13. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    OK - I started this thread but am now wondering if as with so many martial arts styles - there are training techniques and then there are fighting techniques. Since joining this forum last week, I see this one question behind almost every thread - does it work in a real fight?
    Kung Fu Wang says regarding the picture of circle walking above - "No matter how you may stand, the 90 degree angle from your foot line will be your balance weakness." Absolutely true - you can see it. I have received powerful benefits from circle walking by adopting this very position and spending time in it - essentially walking North while rotating your upper body West, then reversing - it's designed to work your core and your legs and develop independence between upper and lower body. It's brilliant in what it does for you - but circle walking is NOT a fighting stance - you can be pushed over very easily - it's a training exercise. Another example is yoga - I use pigeon pose from yoga to work my piriformis, psoas and gluteus maximus muscles - it really has helped my martial arts practice immensely - protecting my back, improving my flexibility, my alignment, my kicks, my stances and my balance - but it's not a fighting technique! Likewise, I don't use chi kung or circle walking to fight, I use them to train my body so that at 64, I can practice martial arts and not hurt myself and be my best. Baguazhang after all began as a Taoist meditation and health practice - it's enough to ask of it - maybe it's not about turning it into fighting at all, but simply about using it in training the body, which it does very well.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  14. Flying Crane

    Flying Crane Sr. Grandmaster

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    I believe very strongly that some training methods develop skills needed for fighting, but the application in a fight often does not look like what it looks like in training.

    Some people say that it then is not the same thing, that your application should look like your training. I disagree with that notion, but with caveates.
     
  15. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    I have 2 BG tournament fighting clips here. Those 2 BG fighters came from Korea. The BG circle walking was used in the 1st clip.

    The head punch is not allowed in this tournament. It proves that the full power body shot may not be that effective as people may want to believe.



     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  16. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    In Clip 1, he's certainly using circle walking to start the match, but then seems to abandon it to attack straight on. Well, what do I know - I just use it as an exercise.

    I see true baguazhang technique in this clip from The Grandmaster - .
    I know I'll get in trouble with some members here for presenting this - it's a fictional film, its choreographed, and there are wires and cinematic tricks, etc, but between 0.35 sec and 1.01 sec - the FIRST TWO sections when Gong Er and Ip Man begin to fight, she is using what looks like true baguzhang application to me - constantly turning from the core, changing directions and striking - the overhead shot is especially helpful in seeing this. Tony is using Wing Chun - Ziyi trained with Ge Chunyan in Bagua to prepare for this film so there is at least some authenticity here.
     
    Last edited: May 19, 2018
  17. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    We have to discuss MA with logic here. In ground game, there is a good reason that no matter how hard that your opponent's punch is, you should never turn your back toward him.

    When you turn your back toward your opponent, you will be choked (both in stand up game and ground game). To spin your body in front of your opponent in fighting (as shown in your clip) is not a good fighting strategy IMO.
     
  18. lianxi

    lianxi Yellow Belt

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    I don't disagree, though it would be difficult to choke someone turning at that speed. Also, I don't know that her strikes would be that effective - for me, this is more about art and grace and a civilized exchange of fighting energy. It's just beautiful to me, that's all - if logic and fighting efficacy are required here at MT, I'm sure to get in trouble! I'm smitten by the art in martial art.
     
  19. Kung Fu Wang

    Kung Fu Wang Grandmaster

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    Here is an example that your opponent can borrow your circle walking momentum and take you down. This technique is called "fishnet casting".

     
  20. Xue Sheng

    Xue Sheng All weight is underside

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    Bagua, if trained correctly is good for fighting....however most these days to not train it for fighting, they train for form. Problem with Bagua,, like Taijiquan, is that the forms look good and many only train for the forms.

    Go back in Chinese history and it was a good style for dealing with multiple attackers. It was also one of the preferred styles for body guards on the silk road.

    There is also a story about Cheng Tinghua during the boxer rebellion taking on and defeating sevarl German soldiers.... however he chose to walk away after beating them and the got back up and shot him
     
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