"The Gao Yi-Sheng style Ba Gua system, which is closely related to the Xing Yi system, is the most well-organized and effective combat-oriented Ba Gua system!"
The Ba Gua (Eight Trigram) system is one of the most recently developed Chinese martial arts. In Qing Dynasty (19th century), Mr. Dong Hai-Chuan was the first master to accept apprentices and taught this system in Beijing after he learned it from two Taoists in Mt. Jou Hua (Nine Flower).
The style is characterized by circle walking and the spiraling, coiling, drilling, twisting, and spinning movements. The typical strategy of Ba Gua style in self-defense is to avoid direct confrontation with the opponent, step around him/her, and attack him/her sideways, or from the 45 degree angle. Once the attack is initiated, one always changes the movements according to the opponent’s reaction.
At CTMAA, we teach the empty-hand forms (Baguazhang or Bagua Zhang) and weapons (including sword, broadsword, spear, staff, double-headed staff, deer horn knife, and cane, etc.) of Cheng school Gao style Ba Gua system which is a derivative of the Cheng Ting-Hua Ba Gua system, and and the empty-hand forms of the Yin Fu style Ba Gua systems. Click Baguazhang demo to watch the Baguazhang YouTube video demonstrated by our chief instructor Wei-Chung Lin.
Cheng Ting-Hua school Ba Gua system
Cheng Ting-Hua was born in 1848 in the Cheng family village, Shen County, Heibei Province. He was a owner of a spectacles shop in Beijing and was nicknamed "spectacles Cheng". Before he studied Ba Gua Zhang with Dong, he was a avid wrestler and studied the two popular wrestling styles - Manchurian/Mongolian wrestling and Bao Ding "fast style" wrestling. The Bao Ding style was quicker than the Manchurian style. As soon as the opponent came in contact with the wrestler, he would be thrown. There was not any grappling, struggling, or tussling as we see in western wrestling. This wrestling also combined punching, kicking, join locking and point striking with its throwing techniques.
After he learned Baguazhang from Dong, he taught and popularized what is now called Cheng style "swimming dragon" Baguazhang. He became very well known because he taught the art openly and had the most students, not to mention the fact that his Ba Gua skill level was very high. His style of Baguazhang is characterized by moving quickly into close range and the arms twist, turn, coil, move and change quickly while grabbing and pulling the opponent off balance to set up for a throw or strike. In Baguazhang, the action of the hands and arms are connected to the body and thus when employing the "dragon-claw" techniques, the practitioners body will also turn, twist, and move quickly. These characteristics of Cheng's Ba Gua are what earned it the name "swimming dragon." His style is also characterized by the "stepping in the mud" circle walking training method in which the ball of foot contacts the ground first during walking.
Cheng School Gao Style Ba Gua System
The core of our Cheng Ting-Hua school Ba Gua curriculum is the Gao Yi-Sheng style Ba Gua system. The system, as taught by the late Master Wang Shu-Sheng (who learned from late Master Liu Feng-Tsai), consists of both the open-hand forms and the weapon forms. The open-hand forms consist of the Pre-Heaven Palm forms (routines #1 and 2), 64 Post-Heaven Palms, and eight animal forms (lion, snake, tiger, dragon, swallow, eagle, bear, and monkey), etc. The weapons in the system include sword, broadsword, double-headed spear, deer horn knife, cane, and double rattan sticks. Our chief instructor, Master Wei-Chung Lin, is a direct lineage holder of the system. Due to the lack of long staff forms in the system, he modified the Chen Pan-Ling Bagua staff form and included it in the curriculum. You can click Bagua staff to view the video.
Yin Style Baguazhang
Yin Fu was Dong Hai Chuan's most senior Baguazhang student. He was with Dong the longest and had the most personal contact with Dong. Yin Fu did not teach many people his Baguazhang and of those he did teach, only a few received his complete system. Yin Fu was born in Hebei province, Ji County, Zhang Huai Village in 1841. Since he was tall and slim, people called him "thin" Yin. Before he studied Baguazhang, he was experienced in Shaolin Lohan Chuan and Tan Tui (springing legs) and this background was reflected naturally in his Ba Gua style. In addition to teaching Baguazhang in the palace and to private students, Yin also worked as a resident guard and bodyguard protecting the rich people and their homes in Beijing. During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900, Yin Fu was hired as the head bodyguard for the Empress Dowager and the Guang Xu emperor when they were taken out of the Forbidden City. Yin Fu was famous for his use of footwork in evasion and in applying short powerful kicks. His hand work, characterized by the so-called "ox-tongue" palm, was best applied in adhering, deflecting, and striking. His delivery of power (or fajin) was quick, springy, and explosive. His attacks were very fierce and in lightening speed; once an attack was initiated, there was no letting up.
At CTMAA, we teach the Yi Fu style Lion and Phoenix system Baguazhang passed down by Grandmaster Men Bao-Jen.