Ba Gua Zhang specializes in combating multiple opponents. We focus heavily on footwork, with the goal of being light and mobile while maintaining root, which provides a foundation for expressing power. With multiple opponents one does not wish to stay in one place, but to be constantly moving about, attacking at various angles while presenting as little of a target as possible. Naturally, these principles are effective against single opponents as well.
No time should be wasted during attack or defense. This art is not a sport, and we do not train it as such. Many of the techniques we teach are quite brutal: the goal is to end the fight as quickly as possible. Expressions of violence should not be used for anything other than one’s own safety, or to ensure the safety of others.
As an internal art, our power comes from proper body alignment, technique, and energy movement. Using the principles of Yin and Yang and of waving body, our system allows us to generate power efficiently and from short distances; and we can deliver a number of powerful strikes in a short amount of time. Coupled with our stepping system, we have an effective and complete method of self-defense.
This system does not teach in an “if this then respond with this” manner. Our focus is on teaching principles. Originally Ba Gua was taught as a finishing art. Once a student proved proficient in a style, an instructor would apply Ba Gua principles to that which the student already knew, allowing for further growth and development. However, already knowing a martial art isn’t a requirement to learn this system. We can teach students with zero experience. Because it is a complete system, Ba Gua can be tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. No two people are alike.
Becoming proficient as a fighter in Ba Gua Zhang is not a quick process. It takes some time for the student to develop what is called a “kung fu body.” The student must learn the fundamental postures, whipping body, stepping, breath, and focus. It takes time to develop one’s own Qi, and develop one’s body so the Qi can circulate freely. It takes time to learn to use this type of body for self-defense, moving in and around opponents quickly while striking powerfully and effectively without leaving oneself open to counter attacks. It’s no easy task. It takes time and perseverance. But the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual rewards are significant.