It is an inescapable fact that no sophisticated or comprehensive martial art, such as Ba Gua Zhang (Pa Kua Chang), can be learned or mastered without the direct, continuous supervision of a qualified and experienced instructor.
- You cannot learn Ba Gua simply from a book, a video, or the Internet
- You cannot learn Ba Gua properly from someone who learned it from a book, a video, or the Internet
- You cannot learn Ba Gua properly from someone who “picked it up” at a seminar or workshop
- You cannot learn Ba Gua properly from someone who only attended a few classes
- And, you cannot learn Ba Gua properly from someone who has little true experience, no matter how many years they have practiced
At best, you may be able to copy the movements or patterns of a form, a technique, a method, or an exercise. This is mere choreography. It has little true value or substance, and represents only the “surface” of a system. To reach the depths of an advanced art such as Ba Gua Zhang, formal instruction is required.
There are many important elements that are necessary for the correct and complete development of the Ba Gua Zhang practitioner that simply cannot be placed in a book, put on a video, or posted on the Internet, no matter how much detail is provided. The most important and critical element that is missing here is the direct and personal guidance of an expert instructor. Without the watchful eye and personal direction of a qualified and experienced instructor, no student will progress very far.
You may ask then, “what is the role and value of books, videos, and the Internet?” To those who know little or nothing of Ba Gua Zhang, books, videos, magazines, and the Internet can provide an introduction to and some education about this unique and sophisticated martial art – which may instill the desire to learn more. To those who are already engaged in serious study with a qualified instructor, certain books, videos, and Internet articles can provide an invaluable reference source of information to re-enforce their Ba Gua lessons and support their continued intellectual and physical development. But, it cannot be overstated that . . .
. . . no book, video, article, or unqualified, self-proclaimed instructor can ever replace, or act as a viable substitute for, the direct and personal guidance of a qualified and experienced instructor.
Click here to find a class led by a qualified instructor in Lu Shui-Tian’s method of Ba Gua Zhang as taught by Master Bok Nam Park.