Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

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

Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby GrahamB on Thu May 12, 2022 1:38 pm

Doc Stier wrote:I am an Oglala Lakota American Indian with extensive experience in the shamanic Wicasa Wakan practices indigenous to our people. All traditional dances are done in a leftward moving counterclockwise circle. Although war dances have a 'martial' quality inherent to the purpose of the dance, most dances do not, but all are performed with 'circle walking' movement.

Beautiful deer horn knives with the eight trigrams incorporated into the design. Very nice! 8-)


Didn't know that!

That's one of the things with the shamanic circle walking/spirit dances - they all walk a circle no matter what culture they originated from because the same 'nature' is the source and inspiration and it's the same no matter what part of the world you are in - Siberia, North America, Mongolia - these arts derive not from man, but from nature.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby Tom on Thu May 12, 2022 2:02 pm

windwalker wrote:
My taiji style as practiced from my teacher has a lot of inner - bagua influence which only lately have I come to see
in the outer movements...

He started bagua in 1945, Beijing.
Practiced for 17yrs before meeting his last teacher, a taiji master not named....

Never asked him about who his bagau teacher might have been, he mentioned he was undefeated until meeting the taiji master who later would be his future taiji teacher. .

. . . .


IIRC from conversations in China, Zhang Yongliang was close to a well-known Yin Style baguazhang teacher in Beijing, someone of roughly the same generation as Zhang. That of course doesn't mean Zhang's baguazhang was from the Yin school, since most people in Beijing who had real skill at baguazhang in those troubled times probably knew each other.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby windwalker on Thu May 12, 2022 2:15 pm

Tom wrote:
windwalker wrote:
My taiji style as practiced from my teacher has a lot of inner - bagua influence which only lately have I come to see
in the outer movements...

He started bagua in 1945, Beijing.
Practiced for 17yrs before meeting his last teacher, a taiji master not named....

Never asked him about who his bagau teacher might have been, he mentioned he was undefeated until meeting the taiji master who later would be his future taiji teacher. .

. . . .


IIRC from conversations in China, Zhang Yongliang was close to a well-known Yin Style baguazhang teacher in Beijing, someone of roughly the same generation as Zhang. That of course doesn't mean Zhang's baguazhang was from the Yin school, since most people in Beijing who had real skill at baguazhang in those troubled times probably knew each other.


It was said that he was close to this teacher, teaching him some of his taiji practice


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOK3HUj75Gs&t=6s


Quite correct a lot of the high level practitioners in Beijing knew or know each other...
Those knowing Zhang Shifu, respecting his request to keep his anonymity,
he preferring to remain quite about his work known only by the MA community there..
Last edited by windwalker on Thu May 12, 2022 2:15 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby Tom on Thu May 12, 2022 2:35 pm

windwalker wrote:
Tom wrote:
windwalker wrote:
My taiji style as practiced from my teacher has a lot of inner - bagua influence which only lately have I come to see
in the outer movements...

He started bagua in 1945, Beijing.
Practiced for 17yrs before meeting his last teacher, a taiji master not named....

Never asked him about who his bagau teacher might have been, he mentioned he was undefeated until meeting the taiji master who later would be his future taiji teacher. .

. . . .


IIRC from conversations in China, Zhang Yongliang was close to a well-known Yin Style baguazhang teacher in Beijing, someone of roughly the same generation as Zhang. That of course doesn't mean Zhang's baguazhang was from the Yin school, since most people in Beijing who had real skill at baguazhang in those troubled times probably knew each other.


It was said that he was close to this teacher, teaching him some of his taiji practice


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LOK3HUj75Gs&t=6s


Quite correct a lot of the high level practitioners in Beijing knew or know each other...
Those knowing Zhang Shifu, respecting his request to keep his anonymity,
he preferring to remain quite about his work known only by the MA community there..


The baguazhang elder in that video clip was Tie Enfang, who was in the Cheng Tinghua/Liu Bin lineage. Zhang Yongliang was also friends with Zhou Zunfo, who is variously identified as being in Yin Fu's lineage and is in Cheng Tinghua's line in other documents.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby edededed on Thu May 12, 2022 6:13 pm

Tom wrote:
edededed wrote:
Tom wrote:But it is interesting that the 36 Songs and 48 Methods attributed to Dong Haichuan's direct verbal instructions do not provide any real detail on circle-walking


I thought that the first few songs of the 36 are instructions for circle-walking (specifically the pushing mill posture).


Tom wrote:Postural and stepping details are indeed described in the first few of the 36 Songs (see example below). But the turning of a circle for an extended period of time is not described as a foundational or basic practice anywhere in the 36 Songs or 48 Methods that I can find (two different translations, one from Tom Bisio and one from Andrea Falk). In particular, the use of the curving step is described in a number of different places, but in connection with actual usage (for example, responding to a straight-line or angled attack). Circle-walking as a discrete foundational practice is not mentioned.


ededed wrote:Although one can argue that the word "circle walking" does not preface the descriptions, I am curious to ask, what do you think they describe if not pointers on circle-walking?
. . . .


Exactly that: pointers. As I wrote above, "(t)he turning of a circle for an extended period of time is not described as a foundational or basic practice anywhere in the 36 Songs or 48 Methods . . . " Andrea Falk says it more clearly in "A Shadow Fallen on Plum Blossoms" (2017), her thoroughly-researched line-by-line comparative (between different versions) translation of the 36 Songs and 48 Methods:

"Are the verses legitimate words from Dong Haichuan and the first-generation masters? I think so. They are not particularly organized in a methodological way, from basic to advanced, from simple to complex, or from structure to techniques to tactics. There are duplications in content between the 36 and 48 verses. The traditional learning is working things out for yourself, not having them presented in too orderly a fashion. There are 'note-takers' and 'not-note-takers' (I have piles of notebooks), and Zeng [Zenqi, student of Yin Fu on whose notes the 36 Songs and 48 Methods are based] sounds like a 'note-taker'. The verses often refer to fighting against weapons, as if the weapons involved were not firearms, which suggests they are based on early oral instructions.

The verses give specific instructions for the structure, feelings, techniques, applications, tactics, use of power, and training methods of baguazhang. They do not contain any non-practical theory. They are specific enough to describe the unique flavor of baguazhang and general enough that most instructions apply to all its branches. The verses do not give away any secrets. They do not describe circle-walking in any detail. They remind you of the posture and movement details, and tell you some methods and tactics that work if you have done your circlewalking and achieved rooted stepping attached through your body. They do not describe specific techniques. They basically say, ' do what I've taught you, keep to it, trust it, and it will work'. It is said that if you have done baguazhang for awhile you will understand the 36 verses, and that you will need more time before you understand the 48 verses, because the 36 are more about structure and the 48 are more about tactics. No one could understand the real secret of baguazhang by reading these verses. They are unique in that they were written not to spread, or even teach, but to remind. They are meant as memory aids to those within the circle."
[bold added for emphasis]

So Ed, I'm not saying that circle-walking isn't fundamental to baguazhang. I've done a fair amount of baguazhang of different traditions over the past 23 years, and the one practice from that art I've found the most valuable is turning the circle for extended periods of time. It's the first thing I was ever taught in baguazhang. And while the pointers to circlewalking in the 36 verses with different emphases by ten different very competent teachers, there are so many more details and methods within turning the circle that are simply absent from the 36 verses but taught by those teachers in person. These additional details have been absolutely essential to whatever small amount of internal connection and power I've developed from the circlewalking. This kind of work makes turning the circle into a deeply transformative practice. And those practice details and transformative effect are not described by the 36 verses and 48 methods.

It's just an opinion. ;)


Yeah, the songs work well as reminders (mnemonics) for practice, but do lack details and methods, as you say.
Any "secrets" referred to in the songs will be "hidden in plain sight" without the details/methods, and of course helpful visual demonstration.
Still, the songs were originally secret and not shared, so perhaps there is much value in the mnemonics themselves.

It's also interesting that 1st few songs seem to describe circle walking, but only for the tuimozhang posture (bagua's most famous pose), but none of the other palms.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby edededed on Thu May 12, 2022 6:18 pm

D_Glenn wrote:More often than not, when a student asks a question, Jinbao lights up and says “aha, there’s actually a Song that answers that.” Then he sings it.


Sings - as in, are there pitches/tones to the songs, too?! :D (Might make the songs easier to remember, actually...)

BTW - curious about the 8 animal styles - have you learned all/most of them? Are they like completely different styles (shenfa, bufa, shoufa, etc.)? Is it quite difficult (even confusing) to transition from one style to another? The video showing He Jinbao demonstrate them was quite interesting, but I wanted to hear from a practitioner, and I know you've been doing this for a while!
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu May 12, 2022 6:22 pm

Tom wrote:
D_Glenn wrote:In a fight you use Triangle stepping- either a right side up triangle (step horizontally then enter diagonally), or an upside down triangle (step diagonally then enter horizontally).


Devlin, how you described triangle stepping above seems to me to be a two-step process, e.g., step off-line then step to enter. This most definitely is too slow at combat speed and is not what He Jinbao is doing in the video clip I posted yesterday. It's not what he demonstrates or explains at seminars. If I'm misunderstanding your description I quoted above, then by all means please clarify what you're trying to describe....Those attributes then emerge when responding to an attack in the manner Wayne describes--the attack will show the parameters of how to step. In the previously-posted video where HJB demonstrates applications from the different animal systems of YSB, he will take a single step and turn the body to engage/strike/entangle/throw/kick even before a second step is taken. That is what I see, which doesn't jibe with triangle stepping as a two-step process the way I understood your description above.


Yes, this is how many BGZ people do it and it's fundamentally wrong. This will never work, as you have pointed out a couple of times. Nor is Wayne correct on this. He's wrong and it shows a weakness of this style of training. You don't WAIT for the opponent to move then do a two-step -- you move first. YOU TAKE THE ANGLE YOURSELF, not let him move and then angle off. You attack on the first step off the centerline. Again, the Filipino arts do this better than anyone but i can never get anyone to even engage that point. They actually have diagrams you follow, not "songs" that no one can apparently translate or do correctly but it shows the same thing.
Image
If you don't train to take the angle first yourself, then your reflexes and stepping will always be too slow. You get one beat (1, not 1-2) to make it work. You only get that by training to attack.
Here are two examples from Ma Wei-qi BGZ:
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/uNJU7eNszPg
This is direct stepping and punching with the forward foot on the initial angle of the triangle.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/DvoV5hNdd3w
This is direct stepping and attacking at the same time with the back leg. This is not as good as the first one.

A large part that is missing from the discussion is that the sanjiaobu/qixingbu is just the beginning. You eventually put them together and then you have the diamond and the hourglass. This is where how to apply this stepping becomes clearer. The reason this makes it clearer is that the real application on the second strike is also a diagonal, not a straight side move as the triangle stepping would suggest.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby edededed on Thu May 12, 2022 6:31 pm

Formosa Neijia wrote:Yes, the lianwuzhang are practiced by some northern mantis groups and include a two-man form such as the one you showed above.


Hi, D. Did you learn the lianwuzhang, too? Curious if you felt it was also similar to baguazhang in specific ways. (Since I don't know the set, it just kind of feels like "random longfist/mantis form" to me ;D )

I think generally, any northern CMA will have influence from "Shaolin" - or rather, just classical northern CMA. So of course doing some of that will lead to some insights.

In terms of bagua, the connection seems clearer when looking at (some) Yin styles (which often have clear gongbu/mabu/xubu, for example), but less so in other styles - but then you can compare the bagua styles and see how they changed/relate.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby D_Glenn on Thu May 12, 2022 7:43 pm

edededed wrote:
D_Glenn wrote:More often than not, when a student asks a question, Jinbao lights up and says “aha, there’s actually a Song that answers that.” Then he sings it.


Sings - as in, are there pitches/tones to the songs, too?! :D (Might make the songs easier to remember, actually...)

BTW - curious about the 8 animal styles - have you learned all/most of them? Are they like completely different styles (shenfa, bufa, shoufa, etc.)? Is it quite difficult (even confusing) to transition from one style to another? The video showing He Jinbao demonstrate them was quite interesting, but I wanted to hear from a practitioner, and I know you've been doing this for a while!

It sounds like children’s rhymes. Dr. Xie made Jinbao commit all of them to memory. He said there’s a lot of songs in our bagua. Each animal has their own, plus all the extra Yin Style songs like the 2 I found from another Yin Style lineage.
He used the same method he used to memorize them to also remember interesting articles about Internal Chinese Arts. There’s a Yiquan guy who’s written a lot, forgot his name, he can recite some of his essays.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here, so yes, very different. But they don’t have overlapping skills. They still are unique ways to attack. I’ve seen a bit more monkey and it’s got a lot of kicks, even jump kicks, but a major aspect to it is for fighting against someone who is trying to kick you. The form I know is a counter to a side/ roundhouse kick.

The Rooster is crazy. Way beyond what I imagined but it’s actually pretty ingenious in how it works. It would work great as a defense in the Western world, and easier than most the other animals for a Westerner to grasp. But the physicality from Standing in its postures is hard. “Rooster Hurts” is its motto.

The snake is just a whole other world. It’s beyond brutal. I don’t know that there’s an equivalent to it. I think the way to sum it up is that the techniques create the forms, rather than a form encompassing a lot of techniques.
He tried teaching the Unicorn but apparently nobody was able to get it, so he gave up, for the time being anyways. My thought is that it’s reliance on the Fan Lang Jin movement of the spine and sacrum makes it hard to get power without having that. The little of it that I’ve seen and felt is pretty cool. It’s very old school Chinese, actually a lot like Chuo Jiao but without the foot strengthening. The back of your leg is what’s hitting the opponent in the “Hip” method. But FLJ movement is introduced in the Rooster. And I figured out that the Crab System that DHC taught Ma Gui, is actually just a modified Rooster. It might of have had some Unicorn it still but after seeing the actual Rooster I don’t think very much anymore. My wrists are permanently jacked from Skateboarding (sprained too many times and now they don’t bend back far enough), so the normal Rooster just won’t work out for me, but I can do it with the Crab Palms. So I’m developing my Fan Lang in that, to prepare for the Unicorn.


.

.
Last edited by D_Glenn on Thu May 12, 2022 7:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby Formosa Neijia on Thu May 12, 2022 8:18 pm

edededed wrote:Hi, D. Did you learn the lianwuzhang, too? Curious if you felt it was also similar to baguazhang in specific ways. (Since I don't know the set, it just kind of feels like "random longfist/mantis form" to me ;D )

I think generally, any northern CMA will have influence from "Shaolin" - or rather, just classical northern CMA. So of course doing some of that will lead to some insights.


How's it going, Ed? My personal experience is I and a lot of other disciples learned a ton of forms without being taught how it was supposed to be trained or what part of the system did what. We're left to piece that together ourselves. I was explicitly told by one famous teacher "my job is to show you one corner of the cloth, your job is to find the other three" and everything I've experienced has confirmed that.

The only thing people think of when they think of BGZ is spinning like a ballerina on cocaine. If you aren't constantly turning in circles, no one knows what to do with it. In the old days students were taught linear single movement sets like the 8 punches, 8 palm strikes, 8 kicks, etc. that were meant to be applied AS STRIKES which then formed the basis of later BGZ application. This is what that looked like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb4eB3j88-s
Problem is modern people see what CPL is doing there and have no idea at all what he's doing or what to do with it themselves. We're so saturated with forms that nothing else penetrates. Linear single moves then get combined into 2-3 movements, the sets can get a bit mixed and you wind up with a combined form. In Gao style, it's called a "linking form."

My translation in the initial post clearly said that this shaolin form is direct just like POST HEAVEN STRAIGHT LINE BGZ but again, the straight line stuff hasn't really penetrated into people's heads. for example, the Gao style linear BGZ has jump kicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Gwi5DoxY4
If we can accept that BGZ is actually supposed to include actually striking people with the palms and actually kicking people besides turning like a frog stuck in a blender, then watching the following clip may actually show kou bu used several times, leading into actual sweeps, and palm strikes that come right out of WSJ's book Bagua Linked Palms (not all of them of course, it is the lian WU zhang, after all).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuGwrYVpcCQ&t=2s
I suggest watching at .25 speed for analysis.
All five of these palms are included in WSJ's book: https://blog.xuite.net/taichi99/99taichi/365799821#
Last edited by Formosa Neijia on Thu May 12, 2022 8:22 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby edededed on Thu May 12, 2022 9:04 pm

D_Glenn wrote:
edededed wrote:
D_Glenn wrote:More often than not, when a student asks a question, Jinbao lights up and says “aha, there’s actually a Song that answers that.” Then he sings it.


Sings - as in, are there pitches/tones to the songs, too?! :D (Might make the songs easier to remember, actually...)

BTW - curious about the 8 animal styles - have you learned all/most of them? Are they like completely different styles (shenfa, bufa, shoufa, etc.)? Is it quite difficult (even confusing) to transition from one style to another? The video showing He Jinbao demonstrate them was quite interesting, but I wanted to hear from a practitioner, and I know you've been doing this for a while!

It sounds like children’s rhymes. Dr. Xie made Jinbao commit all of them to memory. He said there’s a lot of songs in our bagua. Each animal has their own, plus all the extra Yin Style songs like the 2 I found from another Yin Style lineage.
He used the same method he used to memorize them to also remember interesting articles about Internal Chinese Arts. There’s a Yiquan guy who’s written a lot, forgot his name, he can recite some of his essays.

It’s been awhile since I’ve been on here, so yes, very different. But they don’t have overlapping skills. They still are unique ways to attack. I’ve seen a bit more monkey and it’s got a lot of kicks, even jump kicks, but a major aspect to it is for fighting against someone who is trying to kick you. The form I know is a counter to a side/ roundhouse kick.

The Rooster is crazy. Way beyond what I imagined but it’s actually pretty ingenious in how it works. It would work great as a defense in the Western world, and easier than most the other animals for a Westerner to grasp. But the physicality from Standing in its postures is hard. “Rooster Hurts” is its motto.

The snake is just a whole other world. It’s beyond brutal. I don’t know that there’s an equivalent to it. I think the way to sum it up is that the techniques create the forms, rather than a form encompassing a lot of techniques.
He tried teaching the Unicorn but apparently nobody was able to get it, so he gave up, for the time being anyways. My thought is that it’s reliance on the Fan Lang Jin movement of the spine and sacrum makes it hard to get power without having that. The little of it that I’ve seen and felt is pretty cool. It’s very old school Chinese, actually a lot like Chuo Jiao but without the foot strengthening. The back of your leg is what’s hitting the opponent in the “Hip” method. But FLJ movement is introduced in the Rooster. And I figured out that the Crab System that DHC taught Ma Gui, is actually just a modified Rooster. It might of have had some Unicorn it still but after seeing the actual Rooster I don’t think very much anymore. My wrists are permanently jacked from Skateboarding (sprained too many times and now they don’t bend back far enough), so the normal Rooster just won’t work out for me, but I can do it with the Crab Palms. So I’m developing my Fan Lang in that, to prepare for the Unicorn.


.

.



Cool - Chinese folks do generally seem to have great memory skills, it also helps of course that the songs are in their native tongue!

Great to hear that you've continued to train and develop those skills and had more opportunities to learn with He Jinbao.

The 8 animals systems definitely seem like they have a great technical repertoire. It's a shame that He Jinbao gave up on teaching the unicorn (for now?)! I would bet that you would probably be able to learn it at least (your deep understanding and long experience must be an aid, and it looks like you're already planning for it :) )...

It strikes me as a great way to divide the strategies while still merging them as a system - like so you could mentally be using the lion (whole body power! Yaaargh), but then switch to dragon (more coily from the legs?), etc. But if the body methods are quite different it could also be challenging or confusing I guess.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby edededed on Thu May 12, 2022 9:06 pm

Formosa Neijia wrote:
edededed wrote:Hi, D. Did you learn the lianwuzhang, too? Curious if you felt it was also similar to baguazhang in specific ways. (Since I don't know the set, it just kind of feels like "random longfist/mantis form" to me ;D )

I think generally, any northern CMA will have influence from "Shaolin" - or rather, just classical northern CMA. So of course doing some of that will lead to some insights.


How's it going, Ed? My personal experience is I and a lot of other disciples learned a ton of forms without being taught how it was supposed to be trained or what part of the system did what. We're left to piece that together ourselves. I was explicitly told by one famous teacher "my job is to show you one corner of the cloth, your job is to find the other three" and everything I've experienced has confirmed that.

The only thing people think of when they think of BGZ is spinning like a ballerina on cocaine. If you aren't constantly turning in circles, no one knows what to do with it. In the old days students were taught linear single movement sets like the 8 punches, 8 palm strikes, 8 kicks, etc. that were meant to be applied AS STRIKES which then formed the basis of later BGZ application. This is what that looked like:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tb4eB3j88-s
Problem is modern people see what CPL is doing there and have no idea at all what he's doing or what to do with it themselves. We're so saturated with forms that nothing else penetrates. Linear single moves then get combined into 2-3 movements, the sets can get a bit mixed and you wind up with a combined form. In Gao style, it's called a "linking form."

My translation in the initial post clearly said that this shaolin form is direct just like POST HEAVEN STRAIGHT LINE BGZ but again, the straight line stuff hasn't really penetrated into people's heads. for example, the Gao style linear BGZ has jump kicks:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=19Gwi5DoxY4
If we can accept that BGZ is actually supposed to include actually striking people with the palms and actually kicking people besides turning like a frog stuck in a blender, then watching the following clip may actually show kou bu used several times, leading into actual sweeps, and palm strikes that come right out of WSJ's book Bagua Linked Palms (not all of them of course, it is the lian WU zhang, after all).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WuGwrYVpcCQ&t=2s
I suggest watching at .25 speed for analysis.
All five of these palms are included in WSJ's book: https://blog.xuite.net/taichi99/99taichi/365799821#




It's alright, thanks for asking. Hope you're doing well, too, D.

I agree that Chinese pedagogy is often like that (for better or for worse). It took a long time for me to wrap my Western-educated head around that.

Chen Panling: great video! I learned some Cheng style but not a lot, so it was quite interesting for me to see most of the line drills that he demonstrated (all except the last one) quite similar to line drills I learned in Liang style. That's great to see. (The only drill from Cheng style I saw before was the "rolling the ball" one that BKF showed on some videos, which again I learned in Liang.)

In Liang style the linear linking forms are the Liu Dekuan 64 hands, which do look more comparable to lianwuzhang and other more "classical" northern CMA sets, good point. (No jump kicks in this set, but there are some in some other linking sets. There was a jump kick in a Yin set I learned before, too.)

For lianwuzhang itself, I was actually kind of interested in this set because it seems to come from digongquan (a rare style now), but adopted in mantis styles where you can usually find it today, it mostly just looks like... mantis, at least to my uninitiated eyes. But maybe I can manage to learn it from someone one day, as often I only see things through practice.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby D_Glenn on Thu May 12, 2022 11:37 pm

Tom wrote:
D_Glenn wrote:Song #22 is about it:
出手招招因人动,封闭对方最有功,步从三角转移灵,手取十字利化功
Roughly: the outgoing hand (chushou) should draw out the opponent to make them move. Then seal off the opponent’s movements. Your steps following the Triangle to quickly change. Use the “Cross Shape” hands to make the transforming work.


"Roughly" is putting it mildly. The word "Triangle" (三角形 Sānjiǎoxíng) is not mentioned anywhere in that song. I know you're self-taught with Chinese characters, and translation necessarily involves a fair amount of interpretation based on personal understanding, but "your steps following the Triangle to quickly change" is something of an addition to the actual words rather suspiciously suited to this sub-conversation. ;D

Often multiple sequential Songs provide a helpful larger context:

Song 21
When a movement reaches its endpoint the body must turn,

Shed the body and transform into a shadow without leaving a trace.

All changes depend upon the steps,

The Yao extends first in entering and exiting, advancing and retreating.

Commentary:

Ba Gua Zhang there are numerous techniques, but at the extreme endpoint of a movement you must change and transform; at that moment the body must rotate and change. This is the method of shedding the body and transforming into a shadow without leaving a trace. No matter what changes and transformations take place, their foundation lies in the steps. The footwork must be precise, but also free and unrestrained when entering and exiting, advancing and retreating. The eyes must also be clear and all must be assisted by the Yao.

用到极处须转身,Yong Dao Ji Chu Xu Zhuan Shen,

脱身化影不留痕。Tuo Shen Hua Ying Bu Liu Hen.

如何变换端在步,Ru He Bian Huan Duan Zai Bu,

出入进退腰先伸。Chu Ru Jin Tui Yao Xian Shen.

Song 22
The spirit in turning the palm is transmitted from the neck bone,

In turning and twisting the neck, the hands must move first.

Shrink the neck when changing, extend it when issuing [force],

Like a spiritual dragon with head and tail linked.

Commentary:

The neck bone is the pillar of the head and body. The neck and head are connected to the spinal column, and it is easy to lose power if the head is slightly inclined. The nape is the back of the neck. To turn the nape means to turn the neck, which must be supported by the arm. In changing techniques, the neck it must shrink and withdraw in order to accumulate power. When applying techniques using the tricks, the neck must straighten in order to issue power. The neck extended and withdraws like a swimming dragon whose head and tail are linked.

转掌之神颈骨传,Zhuan Zhang Zhi Shen Jing Gu Chuan,

转项扭项手当先。Zhuan Xiang Niu Xiang Shou Dang Xian.

变时缩颈发时伸,Bian Shi Suo Jing Fa Shi Shen,

要如神龙首尾连。Yao Ru Shen Long Shou Wei Lian

Song 23
When striking the opponent with the hand, the shoulder as its root,

The shoulder cannot extend completely.

Therefor advance with the front foot when going forward,

It is futile to advance the rear foot.

Commentary:

The hands are employed when attacking and striking, but the force of hand and palm come from the root of the arm – the shoulder. The arm root is extended but also shrunk very slightly. Issuing force (Fa Li) must be supported by the step. As for the principle of advancing step, it has been talked about previously. In walking forward, it is necessary to walk with the front foot. If one enters with the back foot, the body can only advance a little and entering and Fa Li will be affected.

打人凭手膀为根,Da Ren Ping Shou Bang Wei Gen,

膀在肩端不会伸。Bang Zai Jian Duan Bu Hui Shen.

故欲进时进前步,Gu Yu Jin Shi Jin Qian Bu,

若进后步枉劳神。Ruo Jin Hou Bu Wang Lao Shen.


https://www.internalartsinternational.com/free/ba-gua-zhangs-36-songs-revisited-songs-13-to-24/

This is Tom Bisio's interpretation (based on his extensive and practical personal experience with a variety of baguazhang teachers) of a sequence of the 36 Songs, 21-24 specifically. Triangle stepping is not mentioned in there. However, Tom refers to triangle stepping extensively in practice, drawing on his extensive experience with escrima (especially Pekiti Tirsia) which he trained and fought with for years before encountering the CIMAs (xingyiquan then baguazhang). His use of it again does not seem to be along the lines of how you described triangle stepping above.



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-Byo1T04n1g&t=50s

I mention Tom Bisio's approach because I enjoyed some recent training opportunities with Tom and his school, so that is the "freshest" baguazhang training in my experience (though my overall experience is more based in Cheng baguazhang).

I'm happy to leave this sub-conversation here so as not to continue distracting from this thread, but welcome any clarification/insight you may have either here or via PM. Thanks. :)

My song #22 is from Shi Jidong’s 36 songs, not the normal 36 songs that’s more commonly seen, and which Tom Bisio is translating.

They’re completely different. Totally different topics and subject manner. Some of the songs are similar but not numerically.

The word triangle is not in the song Bisio translated but it is in Shi Jidong’s.

I am completely self taught, but I’d wager that even a monkey wouldn’t be able to make that huge of a mistake LoL.

.
Last edited by D_Glenn on Thu May 12, 2022 11:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby D_Glenn on Fri May 13, 2022 7:18 am

Formosa Neijia wrote:Yes, this is how many BGZ people do it and it's fundamentally wrong. This will never work, as you have pointed out a couple of times. Nor is Wayne correct on this. He's wrong and it shows a weakness of this style of training. You don't WAIT for the opponent to move then do a two-step -- you move first. YOU TAKE THE ANGLE YOURSELF, not let him move and then angle off. You attack on the first step off the centerline. Again, the Filipino arts do this better than anyone but i can never get anyone to even engage that point. They actually have diagrams you follow, not "songs" that no one can apparently translate or do correctly but it shows the same thing.
Image
If you don't train to take the angle first yourself, then your reflexes and stepping will always be too slow. You get one beat (1, not 1-2) to make it work. You only get that by training to attack.
Here are two examples from Ma Wei-qi BGZ:
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/uNJU7eNszPg
This is direct stepping and punching with the forward foot on the initial angle of the triangle.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/DvoV5hNdd3w
This is direct stepping and attacking at the same time with the back leg. This is not as good as the first one.

A large part that is missing from the discussion is that the sanjiaobu/qixingbu is just the beginning. You eventually put them together and then you have the diamond and the hourglass. This is where how to apply this stepping becomes clearer. The reason this makes it clearer is that the real application on the second strike is also a diagonal, not a straight side move as the triangle stepping would suggest.

I think both you and Tom are conflating what I wrote with some notion of a Triangle step that you already have.

So let me try to clear it up on my end.

In the Baguazhang I practice. (The bagua you practice might be the same or it might not. I can only speak to what I know. So no insult intended.) Every single step taken, in YSB, needs to try to coincide with a strike or contact with the opponent. On that first initial step of an encounter/ assault, or what will become the first corner point of the triangle, your arm has struck and met some spot on the opponent’s body. You want to maintain that connection so the next step needs to be as close to the opponent as you can get. And it coincides with your second arm striking. So now you’ve made two steps and two strikes, and have two points of contact but ideally you want three because that second step should have been close enough to have your leg touching their leg. Now this third strike is where a triangle comes in. Note that this will likely never be an Equilateral Triangle, nor even an Isosceles Triangle. Just some type of Scalene Triangle. And this of course won’t always be true. But the next, most optimal placement for whichever foot needs to move to and land, will most likely end up being on a third point that will be in between the first two points and close the triangle. If it doesn’t, then that’s perfectly okay. It’s just that the stepping and application of techniques would be more Xingyiquan rather than bagua.

Here’s just a very small sample of what the triangle patterns might look like in YSB:

Image

There is never going to be, nor is there, (thank Christ) stepping patterns like in that picture you just posted. That is kind of crazy IMHO.

The subsequent Baguazhang songs about Diagonal and Straight (tangential / horizontal or parallel to the opponent); or first Straight then Diagonal. Is just a guideline to ensure that the closed Triangle could come about.

.
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Re: Chen Pan-ling: Baguazhang comes from shaolin luohanquan

Postby marvin8 on Fri May 13, 2022 7:43 am

Tom wrote:As you know, baguazhang can go inside or outside in responding to an attack. Even when going outside, baguazhang stepping is more stepping by the opponent, just off the vector of attack. With either gate, though, the stepping is not really in a triangle.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=McAIR1Fp2iM&t=199s

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvt7D4OfunU&t=322s

The timing in stepping, between the Guo Shilei and Hai Yang videos, is different. At :36, Guo Shilei says, "TCMA maxim is 'Finish (the fight) with a move without parrying; once you parry it turns into a slugfest.'... Again, intercept the opponent before the opponent has managed to complete his move.

Formosa Neijia wrote:Second, i agree it's too slow as done by most people for the exact reason you mentioned: lack of any real sparring. The initial strike has to happen as you step offline, waiting until the step is complete makes it a two-step process and will get you clocked....

You don't WAIT for the opponent to move then do a two-step -- you move first. YOU TAKE THE ANGLE YOURSELF, not let him move and then angle off. You attack on the first step off the centerline....

If you don't train to take the angle first yourself, then your reflexes and stepping will always be too slow. You get one beat (1, not 1-2) to make it work. You only get that by training to attack.
Here are two examples from Ma Wei-qi BGZ:
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/uNJU7eNszPg
This is direct stepping and punching with the forward foot on the initial angle of the triangle.
https://www.youtube.com/shorts/DvoV5hNdd3w
This is direct stepping and attacking at the same time with the back leg. This is not as good as the first one.

An example from MMA.

Thompson lures (yin) Masvidal to jab. As Masvidal jabs, Thompson side steps and issues right cross:

Image
Last edited by marvin8 on Fri May 13, 2022 10:58 am, edited 1 time in total.
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