Baguazhang: “Eight Trigram Palm”
A sister art of Taiji (Tai Chi), and famous for it’s Circle Walking Qigong meditation. Based on ancient shamanistic and martial traditions of China, it develops deep levels of awareness and incredible health. Taught to Chinese Imperial Palace guards for effective self-defense. It is legendary for its efficient and practical use of whole body power, subtle technique and evasiveness.
Baguazhang combines the depths of both Shao Lin and Wudang training and is infused with thousands of years of martial art skill refinement.
Thorough research has concluded without doubt that Baguazhang is the creation of Dong Hai Chuan. Dong was born in Wen An County, Hebei Province around 1813. Dong practiced the local martial arts- possibly Ba Pan Zhang, which relies heavily upon the use of open hand palm techniques – and gained some notoriety as a skilled fighter. Deciding to travel, Dong left home around the age of 40 and went southward. It is during this period that Dong became a member of the Complete Truth or Chaun Zhen Daoist sect.. The Daoists of this sect use a circle walking method while reciting certain mantras as a form of meditation and qigong practice. This kind of practice is designed to still the mind and focus the awareness as preliminary stages to enlightenment. Dong combined the circle walking mechanics with the martial arts he had mastered to create a new style based on mobility and the ability to apply techniques while in constant motion – a first in the Chinese martial arts.
Dong Hai Chuan originally called his art Zhuan Zhang or Turning Palm. When Dong began teaching his Zhuan Zhang in Beijing, he accepted only students who were already accomplished practitioners of other martial arts. Dong’s teachings consisted only of a few palm changes – sequences of palm structures repeated on each side of the body as you change direction, walking on a circle. Dong was famous for being able to take a student’s prior martial arts knowledge and developing a Baguazhang set based on that foundation. Over the subsequent years these different flavours have developed into the major styles of Baguazhang.
Kelly teaches both Jiang Rong Chiao and MaGui Bagua styles. To find a class near you, visit the classes tab of the site.