Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

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

Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bao on Tue Mar 09, 2021 9:44 am

"WHAT? Didn't Dong Haichuan invent Bagua? :o :o :o "

"No, of course he didn't. 8-) "

"Eh... How would you know? ::) "

"Because of this:"

https://taichithoughts.wordpress.com/20 ... -haichuan/

:P
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby GrahamB on Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:43 am

If Baguazhang has something to do with rituals to Nezha, a deity worshiped by Caravan guards and popular amongst the boxers of the Boxer Rebellion, then yes, there would have been multiple teachers. But who knows. It's a hell of a coincidence though:

Image

Image

Image
Last edited by GrahamB on Tue Mar 09, 2021 10:58 am, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby yeniseri on Tue Mar 09, 2021 11:10 am

1. Yes and No
2. Like many CMA origins, family systems appears to incorporate folk and similar systems from villages and 'package" them into a new family origin with different hagiographical information or icons associate with a 'patron saint" e.e. Zhang Sanfeng being the founder of what we know as taijiquan, despite the Chen Family being the originator of their family art keeping in mind that they borrowed, integrated, etc local folk and Shaolin methods and then adapted to new methodology and way of practice.
3. Dong Haichaun DID "invent what we know as baquazhang but it appears there was a similar art of "vague origin" named bapanzhang ??? ;D that he borrowed, integrated, etc., the circle walking stated to be associated with the Daoist of the day and then added what MAY be said to be Eight Palms but in reality it was stated to be 3 Palms, which was then added 5 Palms as part of the numerology associated with the number 8. This is not a gospel meaning there are numerous other explanation that may be as feasible but it gets the conversation rolling. Other poins of view are that the 8 Palms are not really 8 speciific postural configuration but levels of 'skill' akin to liuhebafa (concept and principle) and NOT the liuhebafa of the newly created art called liuhebafa.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bill on Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:31 pm

In for when someone credits the French for inventing bagua.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bao on Tue Mar 09, 2021 12:42 pm

Bill wrote:In for when someone credits the French for inventing bagua.


Mmmm.... Interesting, but how. Maybe we could make a case that circle walking comes from Minuet? That would explain the slower tempo as well, I guess.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bill on Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:09 pm

What is clear is the name bagua came from baguette. This is obvious now that I' m pointing it out it should be clear to everyone.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby GrahamB on Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:22 pm

I prefer the Viennese Waltz theory

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T_G5dPMMF2I
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby suckinlhbf on Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:50 pm

八卦公 - man who gossips

http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictio ... rds/38515/

Maybe from French.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Tom on Tue Mar 09, 2021 2:55 pm

suckinlhbf wrote:八卦公 - man who gossips

http://www.cantonese.sheik.co.uk/dictio ... rds/38515/

Maybe from French.


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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby meeks on Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:03 pm

It's always interesting when someone says "this may have come from elsewhere" but then finish their reasons with "however there's no evidence of this"
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bhassler on Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:13 pm

“To practice the method of Bagua Boxing, first find a knowledgeable teacher to instruct you who knows the meaning within the boxing art and the order of the sequence.“

Read it carefully and let this sink in for a moment. What is clearly indicated here is that there are other Bagua teachers. Cheng doesn’t say anything about that only a few taught the art, or that it would be hard to find a Bagua teacher. He says it in the way like it was possible to pick and choose amongst teachers. So from this statement, I can only presume that there must have been other Bagua teachers around except the few well known students of Dong Haichuan.


Reminds me of an old joke:
Q - How do you make a small fortune in the restaurant business?
A - Start with a large fortune! (cue laugh track)

From this joke, we can clearly see that there are many people around with large fortunes willing to invest in restaurants. Thus, I can only conclude that bagua's circular footwork was devised as a method for waiters to move between and around tables.

I'm just making jokes, here, but there is quite a bit of sketchy logic in that article.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby Bao on Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:58 pm

Bhassler wrote:I'm just making jokes, here, but there is quite a bit of sketchy logic in that article.


I can agree that the argumentation is a bit sketchy. There are many different kinds of traces here and there, that points to different things. All of it needs more and better sources. This was not really meant to give any final conclusions, it's too short and rudimentary to do that. This was more about lining up different things that points to that the history around Baguazhang is not as simple and obvious as people try to make it. Why did never Sun Lutang, Cheng Tinghua or any other of Dong's students claim that Dong invented Bagua? When facts don't explain themselves, it's sometimes good to use simple logic and remember our old friend Occam. The most simple answer is that he didn't. Most clues points to this. Our friend Canzonieri mentioned in the comments a 8 routines Shaolin exercise with the same names as Yin Bagua 8 animals. But all of the basic 8 movements are also found in even older forms and Shaolin exercises. So there are indeed much more that could be said that to improve the logic.
Last edited by Bao on Wed Mar 17, 2021 12:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Why Dong Haichuan did NOT invent Baguazhang

Postby D_Glenn on Fri May 07, 2021 11:15 am

I don’t have all the data on hand (probably archived on rsf somewhere) but I believe that Bapanzhang was actually the teachings of Dong Haichuan’s student- Fan Zhiyong, who was living under the alias Li Zhengqing because he had killed a well known gangster and was in hiding. Fan family Baguazhang is basically the same as Bapanzhang.

***
The 8 animal system of Dong Haichuan’s own system is rooted in the many different martial arts that DHC learned all over China during his lifetime. He had a photographic memory so he was able to learn complete martial arts in a short period of time and was intoduced from one teacher to another and was able to avoid discipleship under any one teacher or style. DHC lived in an era of cold weapon fighting. Empty hand fighting was secondary and trained for the event of being disarmed. So DHC had access to the Imperial Palace blacksmiths and he would have them make all sorts of unique weapons that he designed. Some of them would prove impractical while others, along with the standard arsenal, were developed into fighting forms. There’s a saying that the whole martial art can be practiced in the space of an ox lying down. So the forms were done in a small circle. To not give away too much information, all the unique weapon systems were practiced empty handed while in public. Only using the weapon in hand while in private. But since being disarmed or ambushed without a weapon on hand, was a possibility, the empty hand versions of the weapon forms was adapted into a unique way of fighting using the same movements, with very little modification, to be applied in the empty hand manner. It’s unorthodox but really effective because it became a very different way of using the body. Difficult to do at first but with time and incorporating the Daoist methods of body and mind development, it can be a really effective art, even if just because it’s attacking in surprising ways that don’t occur to the average person. It’s unorthodox.

So the outlawing of Cold Weapons and the art of Baguazhang became even more reliant on the empty hand. Combined with the loss of unique, one of a kind weapons, the connection back to the weapon forms are nearly forgotten. So that idea of the story is not off base, just doesn’t prove that DHC didn’t create Baguazhang, if anything it proves that he did because he also invented some of the weapons that are behind an Animal system.

.
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