After three years of practice with Sung all he had learned was basic circle walking and the single palm change. Gao asked for more instruction, but Sung refused and Gao left to find another teacher. At age thirty, in , Gao met Zhou Yuxiang. Zhou was a talented student of Cheng Tinghua. Zhou said they were too close in age for him to bring him into the system so Zhou took Gao to Beijing to meet his teacher Cheng Tinghua. Gao learned the eight xian tian palms, weapons forms and applications.
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It is a soft and internal style of martial art, making it comparable to Tai Chi Chuan. The History of Baguazhang The martial arts go back a long way in China and are made up of several disciplines.
Due to a lack of recorded history and the fact that many of the arts were simply practiced in isolation, it is highly difficult to compile a complete history of any one of them.
Such is the case with Baguazhang as well. No one truly knows who invented Baguazhang. That said, it appears that the art reached its height in popularity in the middle period of Qing Dao Guang to Guang Xu sixth year During the 19th century, he worked as a servant in the Imperial Palace in Beijing, eventually impressing the emperor with his skills to the point that he became a bodyguard to the court. There is significant evidence that Haichuan learned the practice from Taoist and possibly even Buddhist teachers in the mountains of rural China.
In fact, there is some evidence to suggest that a master by the name of Dong Meng-Lin taught Dong Haichuan and others Baguazhang, though the history is cloudy. Thus, Dong Haichuan is widely given credit for formalizing the art form, if not inventing it. From these practitioners, several offshoots of the original style were formed, all of which emphasized different things. Characteristics of Baguazhang Because Baguazhang is an internal martial arts style, early training focuses on the mind, especially the connection between what is occurring on the inside mind and outside movements.
Eventually, this translates to the actual movements and techniques of the discipline. Baguazhang is often characterized by slow-moving, flowing forms. That said, there are differences between the various styles.
Goals of Baguazhang The main purpose of Baguazhang is to improve health. It is not a hard style. In other words, power-on-power moves are not emphasized. Popular Sub-Styles of Baguazhang Baguazhang has several sub-styles. They include the following: Cheng there are additional subs-tyles that fall under the Cheng category Fan.
A History and Style Guide of Baguazhang
Internalist Zhang Zhaodong, also known as Zhang Zhankui. All forms of Baguazhang utilize circle walking as an integral part of training. Practitioners walk around the edge of the circle in various low stances, facing the center, and periodically change direction as they execute forms. Although the internal aspects of Baguazhang are similar to those of Xingyiquan and Taijiquan, they are distinct in nature.
During his childhood his family fortune was lost so they moved to Wu Ching County, Shaogao township in Hebei province to find employment. When he was young his leg was broken by a mule cart and the bone was set incorrectly so Gao walked with a cane the rest of his life. After three years of practice with Song all he had learned was basic circle walking and the single palm change. Gao asked for more instruction, but Song refused and Gao left to find another teacher. At age thirty, in , Gao met Zhou Yuxiang. Zhou was a talented student of Cheng Tinghua. Zhou said they were too close in age for him to bring him into the system so Zhou took Gao to Beijing to meet his teacher Cheng Tinghua.