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 marvin8 on Sun Feb 07, 2021 10:29 am

C.J.W. wrote: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.

Universally (e.g., CMA, MMA, judo, football, basketball, etc.), practicing footwork should include developing the ability to revolve around an opponent to gain a superior position.
While practicing footwork, you should imagine an opponent's center that can constantly change and shift accordingly.

Clip of a Bagua guy in a fight. What is he missing?


Which illustrates what I meant about drills/demos that are unrealistic here, "A bridge between the striking art and the throwing art:"

marvin8 wrote:That is not a realistic demo of "bridging between the striking art and the throwing art," because

1. Trained strikers/kickers will not stand that close. Safe fighting distance is outside of striking and kicking range.
2. The opponent will move or punch you in the face before you step and perform multiple actions.
3. Most strikers will stand orthodox, which may require you to throw/train with your left side.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Yeung on Mon Feb 08, 2021 12:53 am

johnwang wrote:The purpose of the BG circle walking is to use your shin bone to bite on the inside (or outside) of your opponent's leg with your instep behind your opponent's ankle.

The training of BG walking is to pivot on hip joints to enable the practitioner to take a step to the blindside of the opponent and do a turn up to 90 degrees and attack.
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Re: the purpose of circle-walking in baguazhang

Postby Michael Babin on Mon Feb 08, 2021 9:52 am

Both Yeung and JohnWang are correct in their statements about learning to pivot properly to attack [or defend, I would add] as well as learning how to "shin bite". Both are important skills to be learned in those styles of baguazhang that don''t just focus on solo forms as performance art.

Over the years of teaching bagua, it was interesting to see the reactions of students -- some with a lot of previous experience in kung fu -- as they realized just how useful bagua footwork was in terms of creating both mobility and offensive potential. And all "hidden" in what looked like a simple footwork aspect of circle walking.

As JohnWang has often discussed, shin-biting is a particularly useful skill for dealing with stronger opponents who have never experienced that kind of attack as the impact hurts and also can can trip or jam that person quite nicely in addition to whatever your hands are doing. The only problem is trying to do it to an experienced fighter as it is best done at very short range and a real opponent is probably doing his or her best to knock the crap out of you as you close-in.

Getting back to the people I taught, most quickly learned that dramatic as the effects of shin-biting could be when you were doing co-operative training that it was almost impossible to do to someone who was not just standing there. But that caveat doesn't invalidate the purpose of learning it. Good training should teach a variety of skills and for a variety of reasons.
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