Bāguàzhǎng (Pa Kua Chang) is sometimes called the Eight Trigrams Boxing or Dragon Dancing. The art is rooted in the I-Ching, the Ancient Book of Change. The nature o Pa Kua is circles, addressing the eight directions of the I-Ching. The practitioner walks smoothly in a tight circle and ducks, turns, weaves and changes direction at high speed. Bāguàzhǎng transcends enslavement to the form and becomes a free flowing movement, freeing the practitioner to act and react naturally while fighting. When doing Bagua, work towards fluid, smooth action, roundedness, balanced footwork, and intent focus.
Flow like water, spin like a tornado, and strike like lightning.
Be calm, be natural and be relaxed.”
The Legend of Baguazhang
The originator of Bāguàzhǎng was Tung Hai Chuan (1798-1879) of Hopie Province of China. Tung modified his Shaolin style with the circle walking exercises he learned from a Taoist monk in the mountains of Kiangtzu. Years later, Tung caught the eye of the Ching Emperor while serving in his palace in the Forbidden City. The Emperor couldn’t help but notice Tung serving food at the banquet. Tung twisted and rotated his body with an athletic grace and agility that revealed incredible strength and power. The Emperor called for Tung to demonstrate his skills to the Court. Tung astounded his audience with amazing feats, and the Emperor offered Tung the position of instructor to the Imperial Dragon Guards.