An internal martial art, Ba Gua Zhang is a complete self-defense system of kung fu. Our style of ba gua is known as “Ch’ing Lóng Ba Gua Zhang,” or “Blue Dragon Eight Trigram Palm.” In addition to self-defense, it incorporates a complete qi gong system that is taught in tandem with the martial aspects of the art. Our students can choose their focus when signing up, and their curriculum is created accordingly. However, to fully understand and progress in this system, it is most beneficial to explore both aspects of the art. You truly cannot deeply understand one side without the other.
As a self-defense system, Ba Gua Zhang specializes with combating multiple opponents. There is a heavy focus on footwork, which allows a Ba Gua practicioner the ability to be light and mobile, but still maintain root. With multiple opponents, one does not wish to stand it one place, but to constantly move around attacking at various angles while presenting as little of a target as possible. These very same principles also are extremely effective against single opponents as well.
No time is wasted during attack or defense, and both can prove quite brutal. This art is not a sport, and we do not train as such. Opportunities are not wasted, and the goal is to end the fight as quickly as possible. As such, it is extremely important to understand that because of the effectiveness of this art, it is not to be used for anything other than one’s own safety, or to ensure safety of others.
Using the principles of Yin and Yang, along with that of waving body, our system allows us to generate power from short distances. But, because this is an internal art and power comes from proper body alignment and energy movement instead of muscle power, we can deliver a great number of powerful strikes in a short amount of time. Couple this with our stepping system, and you have a very effective and complete method of self-defense.
As a self-defense system, we do not teach in a “If this then respond with this” manner. Our focus is on teaching principles. Originally, Ba Gua was taught as a finishing art. Once a student proved proficient in a style, an instructor could apply Ba Gua principles to that which the student already knew, allowing for further growth and development. Nowadays, already knowing a martial art isn’t a requirement. We can teach students with zero experience. However, because it is a complete system, Ba Gua can be tailored to the strengths and weaknesses of each individual. No two people are alike, and nor should they fight that way.
If you are just looking to learn to fight right away, or to learn “some moves” to get revenge, this art is not for you. As an internal art, it takes some time for the student to develop what is called a “kung fu body.” The student must learn the fundamental postures, whipping body, breath, and focus. It takes time to develop one’s own Qi, and one’s body so the Qi can circulate freely. And it takes time to learn to use this type of body for self-defense, moving in and around opponents quickly and striking powerfully and effectively without leaving oneself open to counter attacks. It’s no easy task, and it does take time and perseverance. But the physical, emotional, and mental/spiritual rewards are not insignificant.