CLASSES

 Classes are available by appointment only and are taught outside. The beginning classes will be taught as follows: 

The techniques presented will be from the Yin Style Bagua system. Within the Yin Style Bagua system there are 8 animal systems, each animal system complete within itself. 


The Yin Style Bagua 8 animal systems are:

Lion

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 Snake

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 Bear

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Dragon

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 Phoenix

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 Rooster

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 Unicorn

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Monkey


The Yin Style Lion System

The classes will be based on the Lion System. Lion is pure Yang energy or hardness, and is represented by a pure trigram. The lion trigram ☰ is characterized by powerful and ferocious ‘full body force’ generated from the waist. The lion’s characteristic movement technique is linking the forms. The principle that the lion contributes to Yin Style Bagua is that the mind (intention, eyes), the hands, and the feet all arrive at the same time when executing techniques.


Bagua consists of all strikes, no blocks, as your strike disables your opponent’s strikes and thus disables your opponent. The lion system as well as the other Yin Style systems is complete within itself and consists of 8 strike attack methods with each strike attack method containing 7 forms, thus comprising 56 forms in each animal system.


The purpose of the large number of forms is to train the system's strikes in varying combinations so that no matter what combination is needed in combat, the practitioner can flow from one strike into another with ease. Bagua techniques are executed while walking low in a static circle and have been described as cold, crisp and fast.


The power is hard and obvious; it has horizontal and vertical strength. It turns and moves in circles but attacks with the corners of the square. It focuses on the power of the waist and hence develops the belt. The Opening strike is the most important waist strike.

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The 8 strikes of the Lion system are:

1. 削 Xiao (Sweeping) like a small knife used to skin or peel something. It goes along the surface and doesn’t cut 

directly in like the Chopping strike.

2. 碴 Chá (Cutting) cuts like a piece of broken glass. This strike contains the basics of point striking and the small circular motions aid in the effectiveness of the strike even if the points are not directly hit.

3. 劈 Pī (Chopping) splits, chops or cleaves like an axe embedding into an object.
4. 掛 Guà (Hooking) is to hook or hang on a hook.
5. 振 Zhèn (Shocking) is to shake or shock…a quick crisp jolt.

6. 挡 Dǎng (Blocking) to bump off of; ward off; block out; get in the way of.

7. 擒Qín (Seizing) means to capture; catch; seize.
8. 拿Ná (Grasping) means to hold; take; seize; capture; have a firm grasp of. 

The seven forms within each system are:

1. Moving With the Force
2. Turning the Back
3. Lifting and Holding
4. Windmill
5. Lying Step
6. Reversing the Body
7. Squatting

Our training will cover the Sweeping and Chopping strike attack methods and the fundamental drills for these methods. 

Sweeping Strikes

Sweeping strikes are forearm strikes and there are 3 types of sweeping strikes:

1. Rising Sweeping Strike
2. Inward Sweeping Strike
3. Capturing Sweeping Strike

Sweeping strikes are fast vicious forearm strikes used for breaking and knocking the opponent down. Striking attack methods will first be taught in a static posture and then in one step, two step or three step drills.


Training techniques

In traditional Bagua the purpose is combat therefore there will be no performance sets. Each movement in each palm change contains many fighting applications and are generally trained only for that purpose. Training is done while walking the circle and the movements are executed in a continuous, flowing manner. Your training will begin with basic circle walking and progressively more difficult changes of direction are added to the circle walk practice to increase the difficulty. The ‘full body force’ generated in the circle walk practice is developed and refined within the striking exercises. The long power trained on the circle is refined and developed into the short explosive power of internal martial arts as practiced at the highest level.


The technique of circular walking has three intentions:

1. Confuse the opponent
2. Exhaust the opponent
3. Deliver angles and power

Training will integrate the four basic practice methods of standing, turning, striking, and changing techniques. 

1. Standing: involves nine static strengthening postures specific to a given animal. Each posture requires precise body alignment and distinct isometric pressures necessitating full body exertion to maintain properly. These postures are undertaken to develop and check the structure of every part of the body.


2. Turning: (or turning the circle), is the practice many people associate with Bagua. Yin Style Bagua is the art of striking while you are moving. You ceaselessly move and strike, and are always trying to get to the outside of your opponent by turning. No matter what, position yourself to avoid the heavy blows and let the light ones fall. It is within turning that these movements and techniques are honed to perfection or to a higher level. All movements and techniques are linked smoothly together.


3. Striking: is the most fundamental way of developing power in Yin Style Bagua. It’s introduced through the stationary drilling method, unaccompanied by footwork. It’s intended to establish the harmony between hand and waist that is necessary for generating power.


The moving strike practices consist of:

  • One-step drilling method, of which there is the zig-zag stepping or dominating the side, straight stepping, or dominating the center, and closing or turning the back method.
  • Two-step, or square drilling, which consists of advance-back-step, advance-advance, or back-step-advance, and back-step back-step.
  • Three-step or horizontal drilling method which combines the stationary strike, advance step, and back-step.

4. Changing: Changing is most obvious when changing hands to face opposite directions. Changing also includes the changing or redirecting of force, or alterations in stepping.

Hard Qigong 

Within Bagua there is also the practice of hard qigong which is also known as isometrics. Isometric exercise or isometrics are a type of strength training in which the joint angle and muscle length do not change during contraction. Usually isometrics are done in static positions, rather than being dynamic through a range of motion. However Chinese isometrics are static and dynamic through a range of motion and you are moving with ranges of tension depending on the development of the practitioner. There is light tension, medium tension and heavy tension done in static or motion. The effect of isometrics is a well guarded secret among elite athletes and is the fastest way to create lean muscle mass.