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The Stance For Combat

Pa Kua Chang (Ba Gua Zhang) is the art of continuous change and adaptability. As a result, Pa Kua recognizes that one of the necessary ingredients for success in combat is a high level of mobility and maneuverability. Furthermore, Pa Kua understands that the key to mobility and maneuverability lies in stepping and footwork, and the key to stepping and footwork lies in the stance/posture.
When referring to Qi or Internal development, the first aspect that should be addressed is Breathing. It is clear that a human being can live for a number of weeks without food and a number of days without water; but, a person cannot survive for much more than a few minutes without air. Developing the ability to breathe fully and efficiently is the key to significantly improving a person's health and quality of life.
Many people today have learned about Internal Energy and wish to cultivate it for various reasons. Their reasons may range from promoting better health and longer life to creating a higher level of spiritual consciousness. The true martial artist, though, seeks to cultivate Internal Energy and direct it to the limbs for fighting application, as well as healing application. In this article, we will discuss a set of exercises designed to bring this mythical internal power to the palm. These exercises are called, “The Forty-Eight Month Palms.”
The first and foremost principle of Pa Kua Chang is adaptability and change. Those who try to define Pa Kua Chang too rigidly, and structure its practice and application based solely on form, have moved away from the true intent of the art.
Pa Kua Chang is an art that is based on principles and, as such, there is no strict definition of the art related to form or application.
Pa Kua Chang is an art based on natural principles, not on individual strengths, techniques, environments, or situations. As such, it can be successfully applied in any circumstance and by any properly trained practitioner.
by Francis Hriadil The Pa Kua Chang practitioner’s body movement has typically been compared to that of a snake or dragon. References to snake or dragon like movement in Pa Kua Chang literature are numerous and many of the popular Pa Kua forms are called “snake” or “dragon” form Pa Kua (she hsing and lung hsing respectively). The turning, twisting, […]

Reflex Body Response

Success in internal boxing requires an experiential understanding of the principle the Chinese call Wu Wei. Wu Wei is one of the most important principles applied to any internal martial art in a self-defense situation. Wu literally means "non", "negative", "not" or "none" and Wei means "action", "doing", "striving", or "straining." The common English translation of wu wei is "non-action," however, many people incorrectly interpret this translation to mean laziness or passivity.
Master Park places a strong emphasis on the "underlying principles" that form the basis of the Pa Kua Chang of Lu Shui-Tian. Since the groundbreaking work, "The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang: The Method of Lu Shui-T'ien as Taught by Park Bok-Nam," many instructors of Pa Kua (as well as other martial arts) have adopted the use of this same terminology. It is now customary to see various teachers talking or writing about the principle or principles of their particular system, style, techniques, and/or movements.
In this article, I wish to discuss a very special Stepping Methodology from my system of Ba Gua Zhang. This methodology will allow you to achieve capabilities and results similar to that of the old man illustrated in the above introductory tale. It is called Ba Fang Gen Bu (Eight Direction Rooted Stepping).

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