Bagua – Baguazhang is considered to be the most circular and spiraling system of chinese martial arts (Kung Fu). It was created in the 19th century by Dong Haichuan who learned from daoist masters in the mountains of rural China. Dong Haichuan combined his martial arts knowledge with a form of Taoist circle walking to create his new martial art. Baguazhang literally means “the eight tri-gram palms. Bagua has eight distinct systems within the art. Each of these systems, represented by a trigram and particular animal, stands on its own. Its defining characteristic is constant movement and change, and the ability to fight while being on the move. Where most martial arts engage with an opponent in a head-on fixed position, a bagua fighter can attack or defend while walking and changing direction constantly. The outstanding feature of baguazhang practice is circle walking. Bagua practitioners will walk in circles during their practice and hold static postures while walking, and practice various martial techniques (palm changes) when changing direction on the circle. Considered an “Internal Martial Art” means that the movements are empowered by gravity and a sense of effortless power. The practitioners are relaxed, mindful and aligned in such a way that they are able to generate immense power, while causing great potential harm to the opponent.
Bagua is notable for its circular movement, continuous posture changes, and its capacity to respond to multiple forms of conflict, including defense against multiple attackers.
While Bagua builds strength and self-defense skills, its emphasis on solo practice and mindfulness makes it a well-suited martial art for people living with disability, chronic pain, injuries, and other health concerns.
Baguazhang has developed into a very complex martial system including a full array of kicks, strikes, throws, grappling and the use of many weapons.