the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

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

Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby GrahamB on Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:32 am

Tom wrote:
GrahamB wrote:You see, Tom, the thing about Hermetacism, is that it's an open and shut case. ;)


Open and shut, black and white, nailed down with quantum-numerical accuracy, absolutely. There can be no doubt! No mistakes, no regrets! 100% consensus, complete stifling of dissent, history is linear and only true if it's in a book (does Facebook count?). We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . and if you don't, you will be canceled. Banished. Forgotten. Uprooted and flushed. The Academy has no use and no room for Heretics!

It's a good thing there is a podcast. ;)


Well, it was actually a joke about hemertic meaning sealed, as in, hermetically sealed, but you know whatever you are talking about sounds amazing. Tough crowd indeed!
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Michael Babin on Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:23 am

I only know what I have read about the history of baguazhang in various books and articles as well as what I have been told in person over the last 30 years that I have explored that discipline. With hindsight, some of what I was told was, in the vernacular, "cobblers" [well, an old man's vernacular in any case] and some of it was simply an honest repetition of what that person had been told in good faith by their own teachers.

I trained a very long time ago as an archaeologist and have a university degree in ancient history and I kept up my reading and even some relevant courses since those days and see the same interpretation and hair-splitting issues played out in bagua, taji, xingyi, etc over-and-over as they so often happen in discussions of any aspect of history. Sadly, the oral and written history that has survived on almost any historical topic is spotty, biased and provides a lot of room for interpretation even when the investigators are trying to be reasonably impartial!

It's good to question things [Socrates built an entire philosophy on it[ but it is also important to remember the good advice that "A Cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing." That's as deep as I get on only one cup of coffee so far this morning.

Tom: your longish post a while back was great though I would agree with GrahamB on the Alexander the Great issue vis-a-vis Byzantium. There was a Greek city by that name long before the actual empire that later historians in the West called Byzantine.

Maybe some day we'll finally learn that bagua was invented by an African dancer who met a Mongolian maiden who had been shipwrecked during the long sea voyage that led to the discovery of North America by the Chinese exploratory fleet of Admiral Zheng He a century before Columbus? Perhaps our Circular African Hero was inspired by running gracefully in circles chasing her as she looked back over her shoulder while running and firing arrows at him. ;)
Last edited by Michael Babin on Thu Feb 04, 2021 10:25 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby greytowhite on Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:12 pm

I find it far more likely Dong learned from someone associated to Bagua Men rebellion previous in the 19th century. Considering Li Baohua's assertion that Dong was an assassin sent north it makes sense.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Tom on Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:16 pm

GrahamB wrote:
Tom wrote:
GrahamB wrote:You see, Tom, the thing about Hermetacism, is that it's an open and shut case. ;)


Open and shut, black and white, nailed down with quantum-numerical accuracy, absolutely. There can be no doubt! No mistakes, no regrets! 100% consensus, complete stifling of dissent, history is linear and only true if it's in a book (does Facebook count?). We hold these truths to be self-evident . . . and if you don't, you will be canceled. Banished. Forgotten. Uprooted and flushed. The Academy has no use and no room for Heretics!

It's a good thing there is a podcast. ;)


Well, it was actually a joke about hemertic meaning sealed, as in, hermetically sealed, but you know whatever you are talking about sounds amazing. Tough crowd indeed!


I admit I am terrible with puns . . . particularly when they are misspelled. ;)
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Tom on Thu Feb 04, 2021 4:28 pm

Michael Babin wrote:[snip]

I trained a very long time ago as an archaeologist and have a university degree in ancient history and I kept up my reading and even some relevant courses since those days and see the same interpretation and hair-splitting issues played out in bagua, taji, xingyi, etc over-and-over as they so often happen in discussions of any aspect of history. Sadly, the oral and written history that has survived on almost any historical topic is spotty, biased and provides a lot of room for interpretation even when the investigators are trying to be reasonably impartial!

It's good to question things [Socrates built an entire philosophy on it[ but it is also important to remember the good advice that "A Cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing." That's as deep as I get on only one cup of coffee so far this morning.

Tom: your longish post a while back was great though I would agree with GrahamB on the Alexander the Great issue vis-a-vis Byzantium. There was a Greek city by that name long before the actual empire that later historians in the West called Byzantine.

Maybe some day we'll finally learn that bagua was invented by an African dancer who met a Mongolian maiden who had been shipwrecked during the long sea voyage that led to the discovery of North America by the Chinese exploratory fleet of Admiral Zheng He a century before Columbus? Perhaps our Circular African Hero was inspired by running gracefully in circles chasing her as she looked back over her shoulder while running and firing arrows at him. ;)


You are hereby dubbed the Official Archaeologist for RSF. 8-) Careful with your digging around here . . . there are more than mere Mummy's Curses in these tangled threads over lo so many years. :o

Byzantium . . . Yes, my brain constantly discovers its tendency to jump to conclusions about statements made months before and recalled very clearly in the moment . . . but if the statement is misheard at the time it was given, then the memory will be of a statement with mistaken context. I actually had a great interest in the wanderings of Alexander and his armies through Persia and Afghanistan, but it was in the context of studying the history of Gandharan Buddhism and the time period was after he went and played with Byzantium. My error there.

That African dancer was a generations-ago cousin several times removed of Scott Park Phillips, no doubt.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Trick on Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:06 pm

greytowhite wrote:I find it far more likely Dong learned from someone associated to Bagua Men rebellion previous in the 19th century. .

That’s what came to my mind too after finding out about the Eight Trigram society/sect and their Revolutionary escapades
Last edited by Trick on Thu Feb 04, 2021 9:11 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby GrahamB on Fri Feb 05, 2021 1:06 am

Tom wrote:
Michael Babin wrote:[snip]

I trained a very long time ago as an archaeologist and have a university degree in ancient history and I kept up my reading and even some relevant courses since those days and see the same interpretation and hair-splitting issues played out in bagua, taji, xingyi, etc over-and-over as they so often happen in discussions of any aspect of history. Sadly, the oral and written history that has survived on almost any historical topic is spotty, biased and provides a lot of room for interpretation even when the investigators are trying to be reasonably impartial!

It's good to question things [Socrates built an entire philosophy on it[ but it is also important to remember the good advice that "A Cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing." That's as deep as I get on only one cup of coffee so far this morning.

Tom: your longish post a while back was great though I would agree with GrahamB on the Alexander the Great issue vis-a-vis Byzantium. There was a Greek city by that name long before the actual empire that later historians in the West called Byzantine.

Maybe some day we'll finally learn that bagua was invented by an African dancer who met a Mongolian maiden who had been shipwrecked during the long sea voyage that led to the discovery of North America by the Chinese exploratory fleet of Admiral Zheng He a century before Columbus? Perhaps our Circular African Hero was inspired by running gracefully in circles chasing her as she looked back over her shoulder while running and firing arrows at him. ;)


You are hereby dubbed the Official Archaeologist for RSF. 8-) Careful with your digging around here . . . there are more than mere Mummy's Curses in these tangled threads over lo so many years. :o

Byzantium . . . Yes, my brain constantly discovers its tendency to jump to conclusions about statements made months before and recalled very clearly in the moment . . . but if the statement is misheard at the time it was given, then the memory will be of a statement with mistaken context. I actually had a great interest in the wanderings of Alexander and his armies through Persia and Afghanistan, but it was in the context of studying the history of Gandharan Buddhism and the time period was after he went and played with Byzantium. My error there.

That African dancer was a generations-ago cousin several times removed of Scott Park Phillips, no doubt.


Still a little more learning to do, Tom - it was the armies of Philip II of Macedon that laid seige to the city of Byzantium in 339BC, not Alexander. He is assasinated at a wedding in 336BC (doesn't a good wedding always end up in a fight?), and then Alexander takes the throne.

;)
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Tom on Fri Feb 05, 2021 9:36 am

GrahamB wrote:
Tom wrote:
Michael Babin wrote:[snip]

I trained a very long time ago as an archaeologist and have a university degree in ancient history and I kept up my reading and even some relevant courses since those days and see the same interpretation and hair-splitting issues played out in bagua, taji, xingyi, etc over-and-over as they so often happen in discussions of any aspect of history. Sadly, the oral and written history that has survived on almost any historical topic is spotty, biased and provides a lot of room for interpretation even when the investigators are trying to be reasonably impartial!

It's good to question things [Socrates built an entire philosophy on it[ but it is also important to remember the good advice that "A Cynic is a person who knows the price of everything but the value of nothing." That's as deep as I get on only one cup of coffee so far this morning.

Tom: your longish post a while back was great though I would agree with GrahamB on the Alexander the Great issue vis-a-vis Byzantium. There was a Greek city by that name long before the actual empire that later historians in the West called Byzantine.

Maybe some day we'll finally learn that bagua was invented by an African dancer who met a Mongolian maiden who had been shipwrecked during the long sea voyage that led to the discovery of North America by the Chinese exploratory fleet of Admiral Zheng He a century before Columbus? Perhaps our Circular African Hero was inspired by running gracefully in circles chasing her as she looked back over her shoulder while running and firing arrows at him. ;)


You are hereby dubbed the Official Archaeologist for RSF. 8-) Careful with your digging around here . . . there are more than mere Mummy's Curses in these tangled threads over lo so many years. :o

Byzantium . . . Yes, my brain constantly discovers its tendency to jump to conclusions about statements made months before and recalled very clearly in the moment . . . but if the statement is misheard at the time it was given, then the memory will be of a statement with mistaken context. I actually had a great interest in the wanderings of Alexander and his armies through Persia and Afghanistan, but it was in the context of studying the history of Gandharan Buddhism and the time period was after he went and played with Byzantium. My error there.

That African dancer was a generations-ago cousin several times removed of Scott Park Phillips, no doubt.


Still a little more learning to do, Tom - it was the armies of Philip II of Macedon that laid seige to the city of Byzantium in 339BC, not Alexander. He is assasinated at a wedding in 336BC (doesn't a good wedding always end up in a fight?), and then Alexander takes the throne.

;)


Got it--thanks. Saved me from going back and listening to the Heretics episode. Phillip was not really of interest to me. It was the wanderings of Alexander in the last years of his brief life that piqued my curiosity.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby C.J.W. on Fri Feb 05, 2021 10:08 am

A little late to the party.

IMO, the purpose of Bagua circle-walking -- in VERY simple terms -- is to ultimately develop the ability to rotate (and revolve) various parts of the body 3-dimentionally around multiple imaginary fulcrums while in constant motion, hence the appearance of "dragon body" or "swimming body."

Stillness in motion and motion in stillness are what Bagua is all about.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Tom on Fri Feb 05, 2021 4:23 pm

C.J.W. wrote:A little late to the party.

IMO, the purpose of Bagua circle-walking -- in VERY simple terms -- is to ultimately develop the ability to rotate (and revolve) various parts of the body 3-dimentionally around multiple imaginary fulcrums while in constant motion, hence the appearance of "dragon body" or "swimming body."

Stillness in motion and motion in stillness are what Bagua is all about.


You are not qualified to comment on this thread, CJW--you actually train baguazhang. ;)
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Trick on Fri Feb 05, 2021 11:28 pm

C.J.W. wrote:A little late to the party.

IMO, the purpose of Bagua circle-walking -- in VERY simple terms -- is to ultimately develop the ability to rotate (and revolve) various parts of the body 3-dimentionally around multiple imaginary fulcrums while in constant motion, hence the appearance of "dragon body" or "swimming body."

Stillness in motion and motion in stillness are what Bagua is all about.

You solved the Gordian Knot
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Yeung on Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:55 am

Bhassler wrote:The secret of bagua is this:
If you practice without turning, you will hit a wall in your development.

Yes, Bagua is a regular octagon and in stepping one sort of take a 45 degree turn in every step. Maybe the question should be how to turn correctly?
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby C.J.W. on Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:33 am

Some say all 3 internals are the same, but I feel that while there's overlap between them, each also brings something unique to the table.

In Bagua's case, it's the practice of circle-walking and how it specifically aims to develop the ability to revolve 3 dimensionally around imaginary fulcrums in space (i.e., outside the body), which opens up a whole new world of possibilities in terms of combat applications.

But this is where things get tricky. If you just go through the motion and practice Bagua without precisely knowing where the fixed fulcrums are and how to shift them accordingly as you move, all you are left with is a dance routine done on a circle -- void of power and stability.
Last edited by C.J.W. on Sat Feb 06, 2021 9:34 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby GrahamB on Sat Feb 06, 2021 2:02 pm

Things have changed a lot - 20 years ago people would be all like "Bagua is like jazz.... Tai Chi is like classical...." ;D
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Trick on Sat Feb 06, 2021 8:10 pm

As long there’s rhythm then there’s something going, something to follow, something to change. Of course then there are those whose cow bell make no sense to them selfs ....
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