The flow

Some ways of organizing thought processes are superior to others. In the case of the art of Ba Gua Zhang, the optimal attainment occurs when thought processes achieve harmony with the Tao to create power, or te. As previously discussed, traditional Taoist belief is that man is a microcosm, a miniature Wu Ji (Void) Chaos before creation Taiji T'ai Chi Grand Principle Five elements Five symbols of creative and destructive Ba Gua Eight points of analysis Eight trigrams Standing exercise first move...

By Master Liu Xing Han

The internal styles of traditional Chinese kung fu, the netchia ch 'uan, are the more rare and mysterious of the martial arts and, when fully developed, extremely powerful and effective.2 These are the styles of Ba Gua (Pa Kua) Zhang, Xing Yi (hsing I) Quan, and t'ai chi ch'uan. In my youth, when I first began to study martial arts, I thought their purpose was only physical exercise and self-defense. My Ba Gua companions and I often played games to see who could remember more and we...

Taoist yoga and the martial arts

The question of inner power in the martial arts is fascinating. To some, the mastery of this enigmatic force is considered to be the quintessence of martial arts evolution. Inner power skill, nei kung, involves the link of mind and body and results in enhancement of human potential. In the Taoist-based internal martial art tradition, manifestation of this force occurs in tandem with self-mastery. The Taoists that began the nei tan tradition were fascinated with the subject of the life force....

Internal martial arts are born

J ijs- The first written record of a distinctive internal style martial art (nei chia ch uari) nei chia ch'uan occurs in the 1600s where Huan Tsung-Hsi described a system of self-defense counter to Shaolin. His written commentary included notes on internal Texts on marrow washing and muscle and tendon changing attributed to Ta Mo. Texts on marrow washing and muscle and tendon changing attributed to Ta Mo. training and soft style strategy.24 Of particular interest is his principle of stillness...

Fourth Gua Embrace moon Turning the joints outward

Walk with the right foot forward, palms toward sky. These photos show the beginning steps of this walking Ba Gua qi gong exercise. As shown, the practitioner walks the circle for at least half the circle's circumference. When practicing this part of the exercise, the shoulder, elbows, and wrist joints turn in a coordinated, sinuous outward way, opening the joints. While practicing the movement, keep the mind calm and centered. Breathe deeply and slowly, directing the qi to the lower jiao (lower...

About Taiwan

The Nationalist Chinese withdrew to Taiwan in 1949 with the Communist Chinese army at their heels. Traditional internal masters were not high on the priority list of those who would be selected to go to the island, especially since they lacked wealth and political influence. In the Nationalists' hasty (and ostensibly temporary) move to Taiwan, priority was given to the politicians, the military officials, and influential persons from the mainland. High preference was not given to the older kung...

Externalizing qi fa qi

One should be cautious about dismissing some amazing stories too quickly. Some feats that may be treated with skepticism by the uninitiated may have been kept secret through many generations and passed down from father to son. One of my teachers, by profession a college professor, is a well-liked, unassuming man who from time to time gives my students a real treat. He performs the amazing feat of concentrating his qi and projecting it through his finger, drawing a mark on his torso with his...

Martial qi gong

Taoist Walking Qigong

The merging of martial arts with health exercise goes back into some of the earliest written records of martial arts in China. Ta Mo, briefly discussed in Chapter Two, came to China from India in the sixth century, is credited with writing a martial arts and health text and the founding of the Buddhist Shaolin temple. As discussed in Chapter Two and Three, starting during the period of the Boxer Rebellion at the turn of the century, the study of qi gong and Taoist alchemy was increasingly...

Evaluating Qi Checking for Unconscious Participation

Deciding that qi exists as a real and worthwhile pursuit is only part of the problem. Then the student has the difficult task of determining what is indeed a genuine qi event. Some guidelines to use when searching for a teacher or for help in developing your own model to explain and examine qi may be useful. When evaluating qi phenomena, consider the unconscious participation in the activity by others. In 1988 while in Beijing, qi master Shi Ming attempted to recruit me as a personal student.42...

Taoist terms in the martial arts

Gua Zhang Movement Diagram

When the literati took it upon themselves to organize the internal martial arts, they spared no effort to reconcile universal principles with the physical arts and incorporated cosmological terms into their disciplines. There are numerous examples where Taoist and Confucian universal principles were applied to the martial arts. Below is a listing of key and repeated themes in internal martial art literature. According to ancient Chinese cosmology, creation began with Wuji, the void or chaos...

Sexual qi gong

In recent years there has been much interest in the West in Taoist sexual practices. One of the classic texts on the subject, the Chien Han Shu, describes the Taoist view on the arts best The arts of the bedchamber constitute the climax of human emotions and touch the very hem of the Tao itself. Therefore the sagekings regulated man's outer pleasure in order to restrain his inner passions, and set down in writing precepts for the union of the sexes _ If such joys are moderate and well-ordered,...

Types of internal martial art power

Metallurgy Taoism

Two types of power are used in Ba Gua and the other internal arts both methods are called internal. Fundamentally, internal power begins with physical mechanics or mingjing, which translates as obvious force. With correct training, students naturally progress from obvious force to anjing, hidden power J and ultimately, huajing, mysterious power.9 Mingjing, literally bright or observable power, is the term used for mingjing physical mechanics of the internal. Instead of throwing a punch in the...

Righteous qi the development of inner and outer balance

Chinese yoga and internal martial arts are holistic. Lacking the concept of mind-body dichotomy that has become the cornerstone of Western scientific development, the Taoist philosophers of ancient times intuited that mind influences thought which influences the body and, likewise, that the body influences the mind. Although the language and underlying philosophy differs, Western medical science is now beginning to agree with this philosophy. The ancient Taoists Liu Men-Gen teaches American...

Chinese philosophy and Ba

Wang Bagua Swimming

The main objective of a Taoist yogi-intellectual-martial artist, as has been discussed, would be to unify with the primal forces yuan of the universe and restore the yuan qi, the primordial qi within his own body. To understand the thinking of a Taoist yogi at the turn of the century, one must first look at how he viewed the world. According to classic Chinese philosophers, we as human beings are the result of the marriage between heaven and earth. We are a microcosm, a universe in miniature,...

Chi Qi proper meridian and organ qi

Meridian Art Martial

Qi as used in this formula refers to meridian qi. It is the qi of daily life, of organ qi and blood. It is manipulated through postures and breathing and is the domain of traditional Chinese medicine. Taoist yogis developed multifarious approaches concerning the regulation, development, storage, and manifestation of the qi flow. This knowledge became the basis of traditional Chinese medicine. This qi is nurtured by correct, balanced exercise and retained by quiet reflection. Practice of die art...

Bibliography

Becker, Robert O., M.D. and Shelden, Gary. The Body Electric Electromagnet-ism and the Foundation of Life. New York Quill William Morrow, 1985. Blofeld, John. The Secret andSublime Taoist Mysteries and Magic. New York, NY E. P. Dutton amp Co., 1973. Bracy, John. Ba Gua Mechanics Pa Kua Chang Journal, vol. 6 no. 6, Pacific Grove, Calif. High View Publications, Sept Oct 1996. Bracy, John Internal Boxing and Taoist Alchemy Pa Kua Chang Journal, vol. 3, No. 6, Pacific Grove, Calif. Highview...

Five Methods Eight Gates

Ba Gua Zhang has its own types of qi gong practice for health and martial purposes. This type of qi gong, among the last of the pure Taoist qi gong still practiced, uses Ba Gua circle-walking methods to facilitate this life-enhancing martial and energy training. In this chapter, details of a specific Ba Gua qi gong exercise that was handed down from Master Liu Bin to author Liu Xing-Han is presented. It is called the Five Methods, Eight Gates. WHY IS WALKING THE CIRCLE SO IMPORTANT IN BA GUA...

Sixth Gua Lion holds ball

Walking Posture

This posture can be held in multiple circumnavigation of the Ba Gua circle. Holding the ball of qi is a common move in the internal arts. When performed static it is called embrace post posture. Here it is performed while walking in a Ba Gua circle. The effects of this posture are very deep and may not be appreciated in the early stages of practice. Its value lies in the sensation of building and maintaining the concentration of internal energy through the...

Ba Gua Zhang and the I Ching

No discussion of Ba Gua Zhang could be complete without some treatment of the art's relationship to the I Ching. Dating from the earliest records of the Chinese written language, the Ching or Book of Changes has been revered as holding keys to the universe. Although this treatise is used for philosophical reflection and or divination, it also is considered by many Ba Gua experts, especially during the turn of the century, as holding secrets of deeper and mysterious roots of Ba Gua Zhang...

Notes

Most Western governments did not recognize the communist government of Mainland China after the revolution and subsequent control of the mainland in 1949. Further isolation occurred during the Cultural Revolution, which lasted from 1967 to 1976. 2. The term Kung fu, also written Gong fu, originally referred to any great skill. Kung means work and time, and fu, penetrating heaven. The term has become popularized to mean the martial arts of China, correctly called ch'uan shu'Vboxing arts, or...

Index

Acupuncture acupressure, 23-25, 59, 124 Alchemy, 10-15, 17, 37-38, 62-63, 125 Anjing hidden power , 6, 18, 23 An mo, 127 Armbar takedown, 119 Athletic qi gong, 61-62 Autotelic activities, 45 Back of the arms strategy, 49-50, 107 BaGua North City and South City, xviii as Taoist yogic practice, 31-37 three theories, 3, 4 as transformational art, 34 35 36 turns and 72 legs, 4 yin-yang and, 40 Ba Gua Zhang Research Association, 37 Boo, 94 Basins, 68 Becker, Robert, 24 Beijing, xvi-xvii, xviii-xix,...

Fifth Gua Bear lifts roof

After making at least one circumnavigation of the circle, begin this part with a tight turn stepping pattern. The hands come close to the shoulders while the chest is stretched. While opening the back, this posture concentrates the power tight to the chest. Ideally, heat or pressure sensations are felt in the center of the palms. AWARENESS, BIOFEEDBACK AND INTERNAL ENERGY Maintaining awareness of the charged energy becomes a type of biofeedback signal which increases the depth and effectiveness...

Therapeutic

Martial Mind

Opening the joints applies to the stretching of the ligament and tendons while maintaining connection with the body center tan tien while at the same time releasing excessive, habitual tension of the neck and shoulder complex. To perform this posture correctly relax the trapezius muscles in the shoulders as the arms stretch outward. Note diat the arms stretch upward and that the elbows are slightly bent while stretched. This posture encourages the flushing of the lymphatic system. After the qi...