circle walking and standing

Discussion on the three big Chinese internals, Yiquan, Bajiquan, Piguazhang and other similar styles.

circle walking and standing

Postby wiz cool c on Sun Jul 03, 2011 8:46 pm

circle walking and standing

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I have been doing bagua zhang and tai chi for about 8 years now five of them in china along with hung gar and shuai jiao. I have done martial arts close to 30 years. out of the internal arts circle walking and standing seem to been at the core of bagua and tai chi, circle walking bagua,standing tai chi. out of the two exercises,i have felt tremendous benefits from one and very mild from the other.


In my personal experience standing post is one of the most important fundamental training mentods of kung fu period. I have noticed it benefits in the form of health and fighting, which i have tested out push hands competition style training with vigor. push hand comps. 4 in which i have competed in,and judo and shuai jiao training stand up grappling.


Circle walking on the other hand,i found to be good for a mild warm up and cool down. with mild health benefits and next to no fighting benefits. I would be curious to hear how other internal artist view this topic,and your experiences with these exercises. Both heath and martial.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby edededed on Sun Jul 03, 2011 9:02 pm

In my opinion, circle walking is potentially more beneficial than standing, but since it is rather difficult to do properly, it can be hard to reach that level or practice.

You can try walking circles lower to make it harder :) Other specifics will probably depend on the line/teacher.

But for bagua, walking circles has always been considered the most important part of the style - why? If students don't know why they are practicing something, they can at least look at their teachers to see the possible results of the practice.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby Franklin on Mon Jul 04, 2011 12:39 am

i have been told that circle walking and zhan zhuang will both achieve the same goal...
i am not at the level to verify this myself yet


walking in a circle and circle walking are two different things
very difficult to find a teacher that can teach you correctly
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby johnwang on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:21 am

wiz cool c wrote:heath and martial.

Since I'm more interesting in the martial part, I'll address this discussion from the combat point of view.

wiz cool c wrote:I have been doing bagua zhang and ... shuai jiao.

The Bagua circle walking (move front leg 1st) has conflict with the SC circle running (move back leg first).

When you are

- still in front of your opponent, which leg to move first will make a big difference.
- behind your opponent, which leg forward and which leg backward is not important.
Last edited by johnwang on Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:54 am, edited 7 times in total.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby nicklas on Mon Jul 04, 2011 1:51 am

johnwang wrote:the Bagua circle walking (move front leg 1st - legs always crossed) has conflict with the SC circle running (move back leg first - legs never crossed).


This i find intriguing. BaGua circle walking have helped my foot work tremendous, it has also made me understood how to apply force during moving and "circling" (angle out) your opponent.
But the scissor step, crossing your legs, had always made me vulnerable for counter attacks. You actually gives your opponent a chance to push you of balance for a (very) short period of time to get a advantage on him. (and when you are of balance its easy for him to take make his move leading up to a potential finishing move)

All Liang Bagua forms i have learned starts with moving the front leg to the outside, before crossing and doing the scissor step. This is the key to all footwork in Bagua. (When you have your left foot front you start by stepping a half step to the left, you can never take this step without some contact either leading you opponent into empty space or applying force to his center so he cant go forward.)

If you have your left foot front and wants to move to the right you have to step with your right foot (ie back foot) first. This is the first principle in Liang BaGua.. always move the foot that are closes to where you want to go. (Front -> move front foot, back -> move back foot, left -> move left foot, right -> move right foot. This principle is found in many western boxing schools as well to get a quick foot work)

This way you never cross your legs in the initial contact with your opponent, and (hopefully) have him under some kind of control when you (if you) cross your leg in the next step.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby johnwang on Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:41 am

nicklas wrote:always move the foot that are closes to where you want to go. (Front -> move front foot, back -> move back foot, left -> move left foot, right -> move right foot.

I prefer the following rules:

You always move your back foot first no matter you want to move forward, back, left, or right. Also you always try to align your back foot, your front foot, and your opponent as a straight line.

The reason is simple. When you are moving your back foot, the distance between your front foot and your opponent remain "unchanged". This way if he can't attack you before you move, he still can't attack you when you move. If you don't feel comfortable, you can always move your back foot back to the original spot. Nothing will be changed. If you feel comfortable, you can then move your front foot and change the distance between you and your opponent.
Last edited by johnwang on Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:49 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby Mello on Mon Jul 04, 2011 5:25 am

interesting principle there john, i'm gonna play with that
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby yeniseri on Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:02 am

Since I am in the yangshenggong stage of life, I find it invigorating to help upper body twisting with expansion/contraction and waist/yao interaction.
My shoulders are getting stiffer, with pectoral contraction so I used it to relax. open to help increase breathing capacity!
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby wangwuyam on Mon Jul 04, 2011 8:08 am

In order for you to develop to your potential doing circle walking it requires precise form and the ability to work up to the speed little by little. The general rule in Baqua is to "move like the wind stand like a nai"l. When you approach this level you are doing standing post within the circle walking. Forget about all the esoteric stuff and just practice everyday for at least an hour.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby chow_farn on Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:07 pm

I’ve practised standing for a number of years. It was only at the start of this year that I started adding some circle walking. For myself I started doing some circle walking to improve footwork.

At first I was walking around 20 minutes (about the same time I stand), but felt it wasn’t really doing much.
After a post on this forum the time changed to 40 minutes changing the circle direction every 5 minutes – wow, big change. It seems anything under 20 minutes is only a warm up.

I usually keep circle walking as a seperate practise. As I don’t like the feeling of doing form work afterward circle walking – I still prefer standing then form work.
If I did Bagua forms it would probably be different.

I personally feel standing has more benefit to ‘my’ martial arts training.
But circle walking certainly has its place.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby shawnsegler on Mon Jul 04, 2011 3:31 pm

Circle walking (when done properly) teaches the body how maintain internal cohesion for generating full body power while moving at full speed while changing. I see that as having benefits to fighting.

My 2c.

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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby Hakkesho on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:26 am

At first I was walking around 20 minutes (about the same time I stand), but felt it wasn’t really doing much.
After a post on this forum the time changed to 40 minutes changing the circle direction every 5 minutes – wow, big change. It seems anything under 20 minutes is only a warm up.

I usually keep circle walking as a seperate practise. As I don’t like the feeling of doing form work afterward circle walking – I still prefer standing then form work.
If I did Bagua forms it would probably be different.

Hey, try walking 15 min counter clock then pause for 1min and then on the other direction for 15min as well. Try keep on doing that with 4 changes per direction, all together 8 changes x 15 minutes you should get close to 2 hours and I guarantee you will feel a big change. If you don't want to look at your watch or put a timer on, you can count roughly 100 circles, depending on the speed should give you about 12-15 minutes.

Give it try it's worth the sweat.

That's Liang Bagua's old school practice

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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby D_Glenn on Tue Jul 05, 2011 9:14 am

The health benefits and aspects that make it different and in some ways better than justonly doing Zhan Zhuang/standing come about after 15 to 20 minutes of 'turning/zhuan' (circle walking).

But martially if you practice properly then it's developing the technique of 'zhuan/turning' starting with your first and every subsequent step. Basically you're bridging/intercepting the opponent's arm at your lower forearm and just continually 'turning' and forcing yourself around to his side-door. So the practice, overtime, develops a twisting horizontal strength of the waist and body - the outside foot steps, twist the waist into the center, the inside foot steps, twist even harder into the center. This is continually wringing and twisting the waist- developing power and speed for waist-driven striking.

As for JW's argument. It's important to understand that in Baguazhang essentially every step is a leg attack as you almost always want some part of your foot to be attacking/touching the opponent's leg. We use and rely upon our leg's 'tingjin' (listening skill) probably even more than we use our hands - ("The legs are 70%, the hands 30%") as knowing where and how the opponent can step to without having to actually look down is a major aspect of Baguazhang's tactics and strategies. So crossing over our own legs at a distance out in front of the opponent wouldn't really happen but one could see how somebody who doesn't actually practice Baguazhang could erroneously come up with this idea. There's a lot of practices in Chinese martial arts where one has to be an actual 'Inner-door' student in order to learn how to actually apply something. Traditionally in Baguazhang there's also a lot of practices that are for practicing in public with a hidden purpose of obfuscating and distorting the true practice in order to possibly gain an advantage over one's opponents, as they will be expecting you to do something completely different.


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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby chud on Tue Jul 05, 2011 1:21 pm

Good thread...thanks chow_farn and Hakkesho for inspiring me to increase time spent on basic circle walking.
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Re: circle walking and standing

Postby shawnsegler on Tue Jul 05, 2011 2:21 pm

Traditionally in Baguazhang there's also a lot of practices that are for practicing in public with a hidden purpose of obfuscating and distorting the true practice


Uh, huh. Well, fuck those practices I guess.
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