Yin Bagua stepping:

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Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Thu Jul 16, 2020 6:26 am

八卦掌簡編
A CONCISE BOOK OF BAGUA PALMING
尹玉章
by Yin Yuzhang
王芹塘
edited by Wang Qintang
[published Jan, 1932]
[translation by Paul Brennan, April, 2017]

練法
Practice method:
走掌姿式作成後 即開始行走 上身不動 先邁右腿 右掌與左足根上下斜對 放足要平 不准拔根跈鑽 走須圓形 取八卦圓形之意 換句話說 就是走圈 掌向圈中心 掌永不動 人圍掌轉 如換左掌 即先邁左腳 左右掌互換 邁步亦如上類推
Once you have made the walking posture, then begin to actually walk. With your upper body not moving, step first with your right leg, your right palm and left heel aligned with each other diagonally above and below. When placing the foot, it should be flat, the heel neither lifted nor digging into the ground. The stepping has to be circular, in order to live up to the intention of the circle of eight trigrams, or more simply put, walk in a circle. [When your right hand is extended, you walk clockwise.] The [extended] palm points toward the center of the circle, never moving from its position, your body surrounding your palm as your palm orbits the center. If you switch to your left palm, you would first step out with your left foot, and likewise when switching to your right palm, you would first step out with your right foot.

要點
Important points:
開步者 須氣沉丹田 兩膀輕鬆 取䞶水之勢 故曰 行如䞶水走如風
When stepping out, it is necessary to sink energy to your elixir field, relax your arms, and seek to have a sense of walking on water. It is said: “Step as though you are walking on water, moving like the wind.”
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Fri Jul 17, 2020 7:10 am

I like the saying: “Step as though you are walking [quickly] on water, moving like the wind”. It is a unique saying in Martial Arts which sounded much better than mud walking step:

http://pakuachangjournal.com/circleWalk.php?page=5

According to his grand student Wang Zhuangfei (王壮飞) Yin Fu was known as a top ranked imperial guard who was trained in Shaolin Laohanmen (Arhat School罗汉门) before learning Baguaquan, he taught Bagua through palm, Bagua tame the tiger Arhat Fist, black tiger fist, dark dragon fist, and different kinds of Bagua weapons. Maybe this sort of explained the unique development of Yin Baguazhang.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Wed Jul 22, 2020 3:17 am

Both “胯kua4” and “襠dang1”are translated as “crotch” by Google Translate, and these are common Chinese terms used in clothing. Kua is the inseams of a pair of trousers or underneath your legs (crotch). Dang is where the two legs of trousers are connected from the front to the back (front rise and back rise). The movements of the hip joints will have impact on the crotch and the groin area when walking in a lower position. Maybe this is why in Baguaquan there is the saying of walking with the dang buckled to protect what is in between one’s legs. This is sort of differentiated from the rotation of the crotch from an open position to a close position and vice versa.

Normally, the hip joint can rotate 45 degrees inwardly and 45 degrees outwardly that is one can pivot on the hip joint up to 90 degrees. This is important in Bagua walking one can easily to do a 45 degree turn in every step of a regular octagon with a fixed centre. Walking around the tree in eight steps is not something everyone has access, but it is easier to maintain the eye level of the practitioner to minimize motion sickness.

The Yin Bagua stepping does emphasize the maintenance of a stable upper body and make use of the hip joints to achieve its fighting strategy of whirl around the opponent and attack when there is a gap.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Fri Jul 24, 2020 12:46 pm

“It is necessary to sink energy to your elixir field” (須氣沈丹田 xu1 qi4 cheb2 dan1 tian2) or literally means “must breath down pellet field”. In Chinese Medicine, Dantian was mentioned in Huangdi Neijing, Suwen, chapter 25 (Warring States - Western Han, 475 BC – 9 AD) and that is very different to the elixir version from the writing of Ko Hung (283-343 AD). After almost 2000 years of confusions between the elixir makers who employed all kinds of theories and practices for longer living, it is very difficult in trying to verify any of their teachings. From a martial art’s point of view the practical solution is to compare the Dantian with the centre of gravity which is somewhere in the lower abdomen in a upright position. In Yin Bagua walking posture, the forward palm and elbow aligned with the rear palm and the solar plexus. To maintain such posture, one has to practice diaphragmatic breathing. While pivot on the hip joints, one has to relax the muscles around the pelvis regions. Thus, practitioners are more sensitive to the movement of their lower abdomens. The impact of the diaphragm expands downward will expand the lower abdomen as well as if air is sinking downward to the lower abdomens. This is very different to the practice of reverse as suggested by other systems of martial arts, which is not very convenient to walk quickly in any case.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Sat Jul 25, 2020 1:55 pm

The Bagua octagon is a combination of 8 isosceles triangles with 45 degree angle in the tip and the two base angles are 67.5 degree each. The change of direction involves the transition of a front-on stance to a frontal stance and then to a front-on stance to the other side-front-on stance is a stance that both shoulders are visible to the opponent in the centre of the octagon. When walking quickly without stopping one has to pivot on the hip joints efficiently. The following is a good illustration of Bagua walking and turning:
Image
The problem with this illustration in turning is not possible without shifting the rear leg with both feet pointing towards the centre.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Bao on Sat Jul 25, 2020 3:38 pm

As mud stepping was brought up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkEatkBf50g

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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Sun Jul 26, 2020 5:48 am

This video introduces the Bagua Mud-Wading Stepping of Cheng style by applying the Imagery Concept.

Topics included in this video are:
1. Imagery in Martial Art Movements (1:08)
2. Cheng Tinghua and Tang Ni Bu (4:22)
3. Missing element in Tang Ni Bu (10:41)
4. Key Training Principles (14:24)
5. Demonstration (19:58)
6. Takeaways (21:37)
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby zrm on Sun Jul 26, 2020 7:20 pm

I'm no expert in Yin Bagua but my Cheng bagua teacher (Han Yan Wu) also knows a fair bit of Yin bagua. He spent a couple of days showing us the differences. The foundation stepping I was shown for Yin Bagua was quite different to what I've learnt in regards to foundation stepping of Cheng style (mud wading step). I'm not sure if you can compare the two. I'm pretty sure what I learnt came from He Zhong Qi / Zhu Bao Zhen line.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby zrm on Sun Jul 26, 2020 8:59 pm

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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby D_Glenn on Mon Jul 27, 2020 10:35 am

I can’t speak for all of Yin Fu style schools. Just my own. For every beginner, we’re taught to just use Natural Stepping (ziran bu), because there’s too many complex things going on in the rest of the body that you to first learn. And changing the way you step is very difficult and would require a lot of your Intent being solely focused on your feet. (Below the waist needs to be controlled by your Xindi, not Yi.)

So after a decent amount of time circling, say 400 hours, you would start learning to keep your foot flat, which requires a little flexibility to not dig the heel in, nor lift it first. And the toes point forward as your foot is gliding just an inch over the ground, but on a completely horizontal plane. Then planting the entire foot firmly on the ground, as if it was stuck in mud, or wet concrete. Then repeat. The pointing of the toes and full extension, or straightening the leg, will strengthen your patellar tendon and the bai and kou will strengthen the tendons on the sides of your knees.

.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Yeung on Mon Jul 27, 2020 11:37 am

Pivoting on the hip joint and turning up to 45 degrees on the weighted leg is not too difficult except one has to stand passively in order to activate the gluteal muscles for stepping. Once this technique is mastered, it is relatively relaxed and able to maintain a constant eye level while moving. Basically the repetitive actions are as follow:

1. Begin with a rear passive stance with the inside leg as the forwarded leg then shift the weight of the body to the forwarded leg by rotation.
2. Drag the rear leg alongside the forwarded inside leg and step forward as the inside leg pivoted 45 degrees (it is a swing and then straight step forward).
3. Shift the body weight forward and release the tension of the inside leg and bring it alongside the outside leg the straight step forward then back to the beginning rear passive stance.

With bigger steps, additional measures should be added such as rotating the weighted leg and bigger stride on the forwarded leg, but it is difficult at first because the forward motion is difficult to control and contraction of the knee to stop should be avoided. It is basically doing a stride involves the turning of the hip joints of the weighted leg and the not weighted leg. So, this sort of concluded the continuous Bagua stepping clockwise and anticlockwise around a centre.

The conservation of energy in Yin Bagua walking is making use of the bigger muscles, eccentric muscle contraction and stored elastic energy. The cultivation of energy is the improvement of strength and oxygen uptake.
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Tom on Mon Jul 27, 2020 2:50 pm

Bao wrote:As mud stepping was brought up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkEatkBf50g



The fact that Sun Lutang did not practice or teach tangnibu in his baguazhang would suggest that, at least ca. early 1890s when SLT studied with Cheng Tinghua, Cheng had not developed and was not teaching tangnibu (at that time).

The fact that tangnibu was not practiced in the Fan Zhiyong line of baguazhang until after Guo Gumin (disciple of Liang Zhenpu) had a word with Fan's daughter in the 1960s about the purported benefits of tangnibu practice would suggest that Dong Haichuan had not taught Fan Zhiyong tangnibu when Fan trained with him (ca. 1870s).

The fact that Ma Gui, who trained with both Dong Haichuan and Yin Fu and only trained baguazhang, taught ziranbu to a young Wang Peisheng suggests that Ma Gui did not learn tangnibu when he trained under Dong and Yin (Li Baohua's version of Ma Gui's baguazhang is inextricably entwined with the Liu Bin and Liang Zhenpu methods of training of Li's grandteachers).

The fact that most extant lines of Yin Fu baguazhang focus on ziranbu and do not train tangnibu would suggest that Dong Haichuan did not teach tangnibu to Yin Fu, Dong's longest-term disciple.

The fact that tangnibu is not mentioned in the 36 Songs and 48 Methods composed/compiled by Zeng Xingsan (1862-1951), a student of Yin Fu in Prince Su's palace, supposedly based on Dong Haichuan's teaching, would suggest that tangnibu was not a part of Dong's teaching. Long stepping such as trained by the sliding tangnibu methods are specifically discredited in the 36 Songs and 48 Methods.

The fact that effective training practices should directly support effective combative attributes like mobility, rather than training one to walk like an elderly person suffering from Parkinsonism, suggests that tangnibu was not a part of Dong Haichuan's original training.

Whether tangnibu came from Cheng Tinghua's shuai jiao background, as suggested by Yang Hai, or from the strong forward step of Hebei xingyiquan that CTH's cross-training buddies in the 1890s would have been familiar with, would be difficult to prove conclusively.

Needless to say, this is just my opinion. Please feel free to disregard it. ;D
Needless to say, this is just my opinion. Please feel free to disregard it. ;D
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby edededed on Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:02 pm

Some good points, Tom. Food for thought.

- Incidentally - Liu Bin's relation to Li Baohua's bagua line - is this common knowledge now? (I was familiar, but I thought it was not really known in general.)
- Also - some lines practice tangnibu in an extended fashion (e.g. Sun Zhijun's line), others do not.
- If tangnibu is teaching one to "walk like an elderly person suffering from Parkinson's" then is that the correct method? When Guo Gumin gave pointers to Wen Dasheng (not Fan Fenglan), something must have convinced Wen about the benefits of practicing tangnibu.

Ed

Tom wrote:
Bao wrote:As mud stepping was brought up:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkEatkBf50g



The fact that Sun Lutang did not practice or teach tangnibu in his baguazhang would suggest that, at least ca. early 1890s when SLT studied with Cheng Tinghua, Cheng had not developed and was not teaching tangnibu (at that time).

The fact that tangnibu was not practiced in the Fan Zhiyong line of baguazhang until after Guo Gumin (disciple of Liang Zhenpu) had a word with Fan's daughter in the 1960s about the purported benefits of tangnibu practice would suggest that Dong Haichuan had not taught Fan Zhiyong tangnibu when Fan trained with him (ca. 1870s).

The fact that Ma Gui, who trained with both Dong Haichuan and Yin Fu and only trained baguazhang, taught ziranbu to a young Wang Peisheng suggests that Ma Gui did not learn tangnibu when he trained under Dong and Yin (Li Baohua's version of Ma Gui's baguazhang is inextricably entwined with the Liu Bin and Liang Zhenpu methods of training of Li's grandteachers).

The fact that most extant lines of Yin Fu baguazhang focus on ziranbu and do not train tangnibu would suggest that Dong Haichuan did not teach tangnibu to Yin Fu, Dong's longest-term disciple.

The fact that tangnibu is not mentioned in the 36 Songs and 48 Methods composed/compiled by Zeng Xingsan (1862-1951), a student of Yin Fu in Prince Su's palace, supposedly based on Dong Haichuan's teaching, would suggest that tangnibu was not a part of Dong's teaching. Long stepping such as trained by the sliding tangnibu methods are specifically discredited in the 36 Songs and 48 Methods.

The fact that effective training practices should directly support effective combative attributes like mobility, rather than training one to walk like an elderly person suffering from Parkinsonism, suggests that tangnibu was not a part of Dong Haichuan's original training.

Whether tangnibu came from Cheng Tinghua's shuai jiao background, as suggested by Yang Hai, or from the strong forward step of Hebei xingyiquan that CTH's cross-training buddies in the 1890s would have been familiar with, would be difficult to prove conclusively.

Needless to say, this is just my opinion. Please feel free to disregard it. ;D
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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby johnwang on Mon Jul 27, 2020 6:47 pm

Tom wrote:Whether tangnibu came from Cheng Tinghua's shuai jiao background, ...

If you try to use your shin bone to run into your opponent's inside leg, or outside leg, you will get tangnibu.

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Re: Yin Bagua stepping:

Postby Tom on Mon Jul 27, 2020 7:22 pm

edededed wrote: When Guo Gumin gave pointers to Wen Dasheng (not Fan Fenglan), something must have convinced Wen about the benefits of practicing tangnibu.

Ed



Hi Ed--

You're correct. After his teacher Fan Fenglan (daughter of Fan Zhiyong) died in 1967, Wen Dasheng spoke with Liang Zhenpu's disciple Guo Gumin (who died in 1968) and thereafter adopted tangnibu as a training method in Fan baguazhang, which up until then had practiced xiao cai bu. What Wen Dasheng found to be the benefit of changing to tangnibu, you would of course have to ask him (or Jarek, who interviewed Wen on that point).

My attempted historical point about tangnibu is that it very likely was not something that baguazhang's founder Dong Haichuan taught. It may well have developed with Cheng Tinghua based on his experience with shuai jiao (a nod to John Wang's post here), or as a result of Cheng cross-training with Hebei xingyi practitioners, or both. I just wanted to note that Sun Lutang, a Hebei xingyi practitioner of note who trained baguazhang with Cheng in the early 1890s (well into Cheng's teaching career), did not practice or teach tangnibu.

With respect to tangnibu as a practical training method, without exception every well-known baguazhang master I've looked at uses ziranbu when moving at combat-realistic speed demonstrating applications--including Yang Hai. I've only seen variations of tangnibu used at speed for very specific leg applications--and it's not clear what solo training in tangnibu contributes to the effectiveness of such applications.

I will say that recently I've carefully studied the movement of a baguazhang practitioner and teacher, also skilled in shuai jiao, who is able to demonstrate a practical connection between at least limited tangnibu and his baguazhang applications--but he is not well-known. Otherwise, I'm pretty much on board with Tim Cartmell, who when I asked him about the point of tangnibu said maybe it was because so many beginning baguazhang students simply didn't know how to walk (with proper alignment). So perhaps tangnibu has value as a rehabilitative mode of physical therapy. Most of the baguazhang practitioners and teachers I've trained with who emphasize tangnibu are very far from being able to move with any kind of celerity and do not really show in their bodies specific conditioning benefits.

But baguazhang is not really my main practice these days, so please don't lose any sleep over my casual observations. If you discern real benefit from tangnibu in your practice, that is really what counts, not the caws of a lone crow on some random Internet forum.
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