Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

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Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby Henry on Fri May 08, 2020 7:52 am

Liu de Kuan's straight line method seems to appear in a lot of bagua styles inlcuding the gao style of the cheng branch, Liang and in some Yin styles also.

Anyone know if Liu had his own crop of descendants who learnt his bagua zhang and his spear methods only or was it just his own methods that got absorbed into the bigger more established Bagua Schools at the time. Are the spear methods we see in the cheng style and the double headed spear derived from his practices or input?
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby nicklinjm on Fri May 08, 2020 7:47 pm

There is some info in English about Liu Dekuan's main disciples here: http://www.smilingtiger.net/liu_dekuan%20BIO.htm

One of the funny things about Liu's teaching is that most of the people who practice his material gain access to it through other styles of bagua (Cheng, Yin, Gao), because of his exchanges with other styles - AFAIK there are relatively few lines which can be said to come directly from Liu.

That being said, there are definitely groups coming directly from LDK which still practice his material today, for example Cao Fengqi (LDK -> Liu Caichen -> Ma Yuqing -> Cao) or also the Simin Martial Society in Beijing (Geng Jishan / Liu Dekuan -> Deng Yunfeng -> Wu Zizhen -> Niu Baogui).

His 64 hands set is a real martial arts treasure, v practical and immediately applicable. Don't know much about his spear methods, will let other board members chime in on that one.
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby edededed on Mon May 11, 2020 6:05 pm

Bagua spear apparently mostly comes from Liu Dekuan, who learned from Dong Haichuan (but also had much prior spear skill). Today, many of the spear sets have the same names (like zhanshenqiang, "fighting body spear"), but may look different from each other. I guess that Liu Dekuan was a nice guy who shared much with his bagua family (also 64 hands, qinna, etc.).

In my experience the double-headed spear methods are the most distinct, being quite different from normal spear usage. These are more often practiced on a circle than the single spear methods, are so are perhaps "more bagua."
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby TeaSerpent on Sun Jun 07, 2020 9:57 pm

Liu de Kuan's straight line method seems to appear in a lot of bagua styles inlcuding the gao style of the cheng branch, Liang and in some Yin styles also.

Liu Dekuan's linear form does not appear in Gao Yisheng's Bagua Zhang (ie the Cheng branch of Gao Bagua). Gao Yisheng's 64 linear palms are not the same at all as Liu De Kuan's form.
Liu's 64 hands linear form does appear in another lineage of Bagua also called "Gao Bagua" which comes from a different Gao family from Beijing and is an offshoot of Yin Fu Bagua Zhang.

Liu De Kuan's Bagua spear set is called Zhan Shen Qiang "Battle Body Spear" and like his linear form it appears in a number of different lines of Bagua Zhang.
However it is just one of many Bagua Zhang spear forms and is by no means the origin of Bagua Zhang's spear methods. In fact Liu supposedly drew on a number of spear methods from styles he had studied such as Liu He Men when he created the Zhan Shen Qiang form.
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby edededed on Mon Jun 08, 2020 1:21 am

Beijing Gao style is a line of Guo Gumin's Liang style baguazhang.

Liu Dekuan is sometimes given credit for the bagua spear methods (based on what he learned from Dong and his prior knowledge) - not only zhanshenqiang. At least Guo Gumin seems to have learned his spear methods from Liu.
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby TeaSerpent on Sat Jun 20, 2020 8:26 am

Beijing Gao style is a Yin Fu style coming from Gao Wencheng who was a direct disciple of Yin Fu and who learned the linear 64 hands directly from Liu Dekuan.
His son Gao Ziying inherited his family style directly from his father and later on did some additional study of the 64 Hands from Guo Gumin who was his father's junior classmate under Liu Dekuan.



The lack of any written evidence or of any coherent oral tradition attributing Bagua Spear methods in general to Liu Dekuan makes the idea of him creating them seem extremely unlikely. That is even if you don't consider anything else like the styles Dong having studied being especially spear heavy even among already spear heavy Hebei styles or the people he was teaching like prince Duan's household troops or students who worked in armed security occupations.
Also there are oral traditions from various styles claiming the Shuang Tou She as one of Dong's favorite weapons. The similarity to the Qi Xing Gan set which in some lines is considered interchangeable with the Nian Shen Qiang Shuang Tou She form also seems to back this up. Not to mention the wide spread of the Nian Shen Qiang set among numerous lines of various students of Dong's even in comparison to the Zhan Shen Qiang also seem to suggest it possibly being something passed down from Dong himself.
And of course there are many spear sets besides those two found in various Bagua Zhang lines.
Anyway it seems like either something being taken out of context, an in "my teacher (who only practices Liu's Bagua spear set) says Bagua spear was created by Liu Dekuan (which is completely true in the specific context of what he teaches), or one of the single line answers to history that people seem to love, ala "Chinese martial arts come from Shaolin".
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby edededed on Sun Jun 21, 2020 4:37 am

Sorry for the confusion - my intended meaning was that Liu Dekuan is sometimes said to have passed down bagua spear, not necessarily that he created it (although some parts he may have). Double-headed snake spear does seem quite peculiar to bagua, so in that sense we can guess that it came from Dong. But I will take a look at Shi style weapon sets to see how they compare to what I am familiar with...

As for Gao style - their old 8 palms, linking palms, etc. are all variations of the same in Liang style. Though there may be a historical link to Yin style, content-wise, it is Liang style. (Guo Gumin's branch considers Gao Ziying as one of Guo's top disciples.)
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby Henry on Tue Jun 23, 2020 7:45 am

Gao Yisheng's 64 linear palms are not the same at all as Liu De Kuan's form.


Thanks for all the feedback, i thought there was some relationship between those forms, via liu's relationship with cheng ting hua, from what i've read.
Is the 64 hands book by Gao Ji Wu then, that line preserving Liu de kuans methods?
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby D_Glenn on Tue Jun 23, 2020 10:01 am

Dong Haichuan’s first official martial art he learned was LiuHe Men, in Cangzhou, from a man named Li Guanming. Liu Dekuan was a generation below him and learned LiuHeMen from another student of Li Guanming, Li Fenggang.

So when Liu Dekuan came to Beijing they realized that they were in the same lineage of LiuHeMen. Some of the stuff in Baguazhang is essentially LiuHeMen but done on a circle. So he vetted Liu DeKuan to teach his Baguazhang students. And advocated that they should learn as much as they could from because he was also a skilled martial artist.

There’s a subsystem within LiuHeMen that really gets into the circling. So it’s likely that DHC and Liu DeKuan just discussed how that was the basis for his formulation of Baguazhang. Take something small and obscure and formulate a whole martial art from it.

But the straight line stuff is what Liu knew best, so that was his contribution to Baguazhang.

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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby edededed on Wed Jun 24, 2020 3:37 am

I don't know about liuhemen much - but it seems to look like longfist (on YouTube anyway). But I am curious, any videos that look more bagua-ish?
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:09 am

What would be better is to compare Liu Dekuan’s 64 bagua palms to videos of LiuHeMen.



Or better yet, to the subsystem of lhm: erlang quan



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Last edited by D_Glenn on Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:15 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Jun 24, 2020 11:27 am

I can’t find my notes, but there’s an advanced (Meaning one of the last things taught) subsystem in one of the Cangzhou styles, and within that system there’s a form/ strategy, which is said to be the basis of Baguazhang. DHC took the most obscure element and wanted to build an entire system from that. Of course borrowing from other arts he’d learned but primarily weapons. Then each Animal empty hand, is just a modified movement of attacking, but using the same movements as you would in the weapon. So that you could practice your weapon form, without holding the actual weapon. While simultaneously practicing your empty hand fighting, for if you’re caught without your weapon, or disarmed.

Becoming highly skilled in a single weapon is the priority, but learning how to use two more weapons is ideal. Someone would have to be really adept to be good in all 8 weapons, like DHC himself, or Yin Fu, who had a lot of time to learn.

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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby Henry on Wed Jun 24, 2020 12:48 pm

Then each Animal empty hand, is just a modified movement of attacking, but using the same movements as you would in the weapon. So that you could practice your weapon form, without holding the actual weapon. While simultaneously practicing your empty hand fighting, for if you’re caught without your weapon, or disarmed.


Thats an interesting point, a teacher said to me that baguazhang is almost like shuang dao shu movements, without the the swords/knives. the mandarin duck knives or yuan yang xue (deer antler knives) etc.
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby edededed on Wed Jun 24, 2020 5:14 pm

Thanks D_Glenn. I didn't know that erlangquan was related to liuhemen. (Looks pretty similar to liuhemen I guess.) It is hard for me to see any close similarities with bagua (or the 64 hands set) myself just from the video though (i.e. I would not have made that conclusion myself, though I also learned a version of the set).

For the 64 hands - Wang Peisheng changed his version of the set quite a bit. My guess is that Gao Jiwu's version is probably the one that was changed least (from what Liu Dekuan taught).
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Re: Liu de Kuan (Big Spear Liu) Linear Bagua and Spear

Postby D_Glenn on Wed Jun 24, 2020 8:59 pm

I’m not one for watching forms and noticing similarities, so I can’t say for sure. Here it says Gao Jiwu’s 64 palms is from another style that LDK studied, Bafan Shou.




https://youtu.be/52omhyUSP38

I think Sal C. had mentioned that Dong Haichuan had a cousin who taught BaFan Shou?
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