T Nation

Circle Walking?

Anybody know of a good, reliable bagua circle walking video? I’ve been interested in bagua for some time, but can’t seem to locate any good teachers within my gas money budget, or for that matter any videos that I know are fundamentally decent. I already have Robert Smith’s tome, but it would be very useful to actually have visual demonstration.

Any help from the TMA crowd? Or Xen, since you mentioned you liked circle walking every now and again…

Dr. Painter has some stuff, but I’m not really fond of his presentation on video. However, my friend really liked him and his material; as well as his and his students instruction at one of the seminars.

Park Bok Nam (sp?) is excellent; I know he produced some books and a video of buagua (pakua)called The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang. It was more of an introduction of techniques, but if I remember correctly, there is a section about the circle.

YMAA (Dr.Jwing Ming Yang) has a video and book for one form (I haven’t watched it in years), but I recall it was hard to follow and didn’t explain the motions well.

I do not reccomend products from Jerry Johnson or Montaguie (sp?; he’s from AU). They both go off a little too much on the mystical, without much practicality or evidence.

If I can make a couple of suggestions:

  1. Try you tube, see whats on there and who you like. Buy some books and DVD’s and try and get the “hang” of the circle.

  2. If you cannot get instructyion locally (there are not a lot of BuaGua instructors in the states), attend as many seminars as you can that come around. It is impossible to really get the hang of the nuances without someonewho knows what they are doing watching you (like most Martial Arts).

  3. Coming from “hard” styles, I delved into Aikido when I felt my body was taking a little too much punishment and I wanted to work on my body movement and flow. This introduction helped my mindset when starting Bua Gua. Not the same, but I don’t know your background.

  4. Lastly, make a circle. Cardboard, wood or whatever. This really helps in the beginning. You should take 8 steps around. Practice single and double palm changes when changing direction. Lessons from my instructor (imagine in a thick Chinese accent):

-Americans too stiff. Be like Monkey. (loosen up your shoulders)

-You step like in mud; don’t fall.

-Practice until you like Michael Jordan. He no think, he just do.

Hope this helps.

Damn Gerg pretty much nailed it, I was going to recommend Dr. John P. Painter.

The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang: The Methods of Lu Shui-T’ien As Taught by Park Bok Nam

is the book he’s talking about

The Power of Internal Martial Arts: Combat Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi, and Hsing-I by Bruce Kumar

Is a well rounded book on all topics internal MA and should lead you to other sources to find out about circle walking.

Plenty of vids here though:

Montaigue always seemed more about application to me so I’d have to disagree with Gerg there:

but investigate for yourself.

Appreciate both posts guys, thanks very much! Very helpful. My TMA background is wing chun and tai chi, so a little of both sides. I took aikido very briefly about a year ago, but quite frankly the footwork seems awkward and the motions exaggerated and clunky to me after the minimalism of wing chun. There were people at the school who were very quick and fluid, just didn’t make sense to me.

I already have the book by Bruce Kumar Frantzis. It is an excellent book and I really love it.

how long have you guys been interested in the art? It’s so obscure that it’s pretty unusual to know of people that practice or are even familiar with it.

Thanks for the tips guys.

[quote]Xen Nova wrote:
Damn Gerg pretty much nailed it, I was going to recommend Dr. John P. Painter.

The Fundamentals of Pa Kua Chang: The Methods of Lu Shui-T’ien As Taught by Park Bok Nam

is the book he’s talking about

The Power of Internal Martial Arts: Combat Secrets of Ba Gua, Tai Chi, and Hsing-I by Bruce Kumar

Is a well rounded book on all topics internal MA and should lead you to other sources to find out about circle walking.

Plenty of vids here though:

Montaigue always seemed more about application to me so I’d have to disagree with Gerg there:

but investigate for yourself.[/quote]

Totally forgot about Kumar; liked his book. The one thing that stuck with me was his reference to the kundalini at the base of the spine and feeling it while practicing the internal. I read it a few years ago and it was an epiphany of linking muliple ideas together (in this case chinese internal and the indian yoga ideas) and how it intertwines in places.

Re: Montaigue, I found the Dim Mak encyclopedia an interesting read, and I thought his article about meeting Dillman was funny. But some of his stuff struck me as a little esoteric. That being said, I have not read him in about 5 years, so my memory may be faulty. I defer to your knowledge.

[quote]Aragorn wrote:
Appreciate both posts guys, thanks very much! Very helpful. My TMA background is wing chun and tai chi, so a little of both sides. I took aikido very briefly about a year ago, but quite frankly the footwork seems awkward and the motions exaggerated and clunky to me after the minimalism of wing chun. There were people at the school who were very quick and fluid, just didn’t make sense to me.

I already have the book by Bruce Kumar Frantzis. It is an excellent book and I really love it.

how long have you guys been interested in the art? It’s so obscure that it’s pretty unusual to know of people that practice or are even familiar with it.

Thanks for the tips guys.[/quote]

I know what you mean about the aikido foot work, but the idea of flowing with the energy is similar (to me, at least). It may have also been the school / instructor as well. Maybe try it again…

I was fortunate to study for a year or so with Wai Lun Choi in Chicago about 1995, then on and off with a friend of mine who kept up with it. I go through phases here and there where I pick it up again. Unfortunately, there are not a lot of good instructors in my area who teach the “old” style; all of the classes around me are really geared towards older sedentary people who “want to be healthy”.

Good luck in your search and practice.

i would say if its not in your area and you can’t see a teacher at least once a month then its probably best to to stick with what you can get taught localy.

have you got very far with your tai chi training?