Given to Master Bok Nam Park by Lu Shui-Tian, the Ba Gua Zhang Motto instills four ideals that not only are essential to developing one’s martial art, but also in applying the principles of the art to everyday life.
Without wisdom, a student will not be able to grasp the depth of Ba Gua Zhang and will not be able to develop his or her understanding to a high level. Wisdom is required to make progress; the student must “think deeply” and research thoroughly.
Without benevolence, a student’s pride, ego, or arrogance takes control. The Ba Gua Zhang practitioner must remain humble, show respect to everyone, and promote goodwill towards others. Ba Gua Zhang must never be utilized in an improper or unjust manner. Benevolence is required and grows with the cultivation of wisdom.
A student must undertake their training with serious commitment in order to develop his or her skill to a high level. Lu Shui-Tian stated that “the instructor does not teach the student; the instructor merely presents knowledge and ideas – the students, in truth, teach and train themselves.” Hence sincerity, which grows with the cultivation of wisdom and benevolence, is a requirement of the practice.
Without bravery, a student will lose his/her skill in a confrontation. A student needs to remain calm and clear whether facing an opponent in a sparring session or in a serious fight, and must learn to conquer and control his or her own fear. To understand Ba Gua Zhang completely, the student must study and research the fighting side of Ba Gua, as well as the health side. Through the cultivation of wisdom, benevolence, and sincerity, a student’s bravery comes from the heart and is not derived out of ego or arrogance. The Ba Gua Zhang fighter must do what is just and what is required when a confrontation is necessary. And when a confrontation is necessary, the response must be immediate and without hesitation.
Knowledge and skill come at a price and with an obligation. The obligation is responsibility — the responsibility to use one’s knowledge with wisdom and benevolence, to execute one’s skill with justice and bravery, to uphold one’s heritage with honor and sincerity, and to present one’s achievements with accuracy and humility. This is what we believe and this is what we promote.