Bagua Zhang

Bagua Zhang

The art of Bagua is the third of the three major internal styles practiced in China and the world. The three internal styles (tai chi, Xing Yi and Bagua) all complement each other with different strengths and aims. Where tai chi focusses on the 'empty', and Xing Yi the straight, Bagua can be characterised by the circle. Practice centres around 'walking the circle' and developing and waist capable of twisting and turning as the pattern demands. This article is an introduction to the art of Bagua and some of its fundamental characteristics. Read more

Xu Jian Guo - Shanghai Bagua

Xu Jian Guo - Shanghai Bagua


Master Xu Jian Guo performs Bagua Zhang as taught to him by his father, the famous Xu Wen Zhong. This pattern is fast, but alternates to moments of calm and poise. A pattern is a training tool, but it is also a performance. Circle walking can be slow, but here Master Xu walks fast. When he crouches, the power and control is latent. Filmed in Shanghai, April 2006. View clip

Zhu Yu Ming Bagua

Zhu Yu Ming Bagua

We met Zhu Yu Ming in December 2003, where she is a professor of Wushu at the Beijing Sports University. In all of her patterns, although paced correctly, each move was crisp and clear. On examining the photographs after the filming session, we were totally amazed that each photo looked as if it had been posed - eyes totally focussed, hands perfectly formed, stance balanced and correct...that is called perfection of ones art. Filmed in Beijing, December 2003. View clip

Tai Yuan Bagua

Tai Yuan Bagua

In Taiyuan, Wushu Scholar met the Shaanxi Xing Yi association, who are a huge presence in the regional martial arts scene. Whilst they primarily teach and practice the Dai family style of Xing Yi, as is often found, the masters were also quite adept at bagua and tai chi. Here, Master Liu Ding Yi shows Bagua as practiced in this region. Unlike the Xing Yi he practices, which is outwardly quite linear and powerful, Bagua appears circular, deceptive and soft. It is this balance of opposites that makes Xing Yi and Bagua such good styles to accompany each other. Filmed in Taiyuan, May 2005. View clip

Tea Shop Bagua - Hangzhou

Tea Shop Bagua - Hangzhou

Depending on the style and the practitioner, Bagua often features very few overt strikes. Martial applications of the movements often centre on locks, breaks and throws. That is not to say that Bagua does not have strikes, but like many styles, they are hidden and require the practitioner to seek them out. This is one of the more martial Bagua patterns in appearance released this month, which makes it extremely attractive and instructional for a Bagua practitioner. View clip

Silver content

  • Issue 17 : Tracing the Origins of Baji Quan

    Baji Quan is a well known style in Northern China, but there are still many disagreements over its precise origins, not least whether it is a Daoist or a Shaolin Buddhist style. The article and videos in this issue tries to resolve these arguments by taking a closer look at the patterns of this style and the events in China at the time it was created.

  • Issue 16 : 10 Animals Xing Yi

    When we visited Shanghai in April of this year, we met with local master Chen Ke Qiang, who has studied 10 Animals Xing Yi since childhood. He showed each of the ten animal movements in sequence, explaining with examples how each animal principle could be used for fighting.

  • Issue 15 : The Spear and Long Range Weapons

    The Chinese martial arts culture is rich in having thousands of weird and wonderful weapons. Among them the spear, the weapon of the hunter and the warrior, holds a place of honour. Read on if you want an introduction into this world.

  • Issue 14 : Discovering Wu Tai Chi

    The Chinese government recognises five official tai chi styles. Of them, Wu/Hao style is by far the least known in the west. It features ultra-compact movements with a distinct focus on internal power and practical martial applications. Wushu Scholar was lucky enough to be introduced to this amazing style by a master with close connections to China's most famous tai chi families.

  • Issue 13 : Xin Yi vs Xing Yi

    Xing Yi is one of the most well known internal styles of Chinese Martial Arts. It has a rich history well worth being explored in a little bit more detail than is available to the average practitioner. In particular there are two different names for the style: Xin Yi and Xing Yi. The differences between these are often glossed over, but as this article shows, these differences are intimately connected both with the History and the Philosophy of the style.

  • Issue 12 : Traditional Mian Quan

    Mian Quan or Cotton Style is one of the most important styles of traditional wushu taught in the Shanghai area. It features unique power generation methods, relying solely on the spine, not seen in other styles. In this article, we explore the intricacies of power generation in Mian style as disclosed to us by Master Chen Yong Kang.

  • Issue 11 : The Art of Chinese Swordplay

    The sword is known as the King of Weapons in China, Japan and in the West. In fact every advanced civilisation throughout history venerated the weapon as the embodiment of the heroic ideal.

  • Issue 10 : Five Fuzhou Crane Styles

    This month\rquote s Silver Issue looks at the five Fuzhou Crane Styles and attempts to introduce some of their differences and similarities in a very brief outline. Why is this important? Simply because the Crane System is not only one of the most widely practised in the modern day, but it is one of the oldest and has had tremendous influence over the development of many other styles of Southern Kung Fu \endash Wing Chun is but one example - and also of Okinawan Karate. Flying Crane, Shaking Crane, Sleeping Crane, Eating Crane and Calling Crane - each of their names captures a particular characteristic of the style. Read the article first and then watch the videos and try to pick out these key distinguishing characteristics yourself.

  • Issue 9 : History & Martial Arts of Emei

    Conceived in the lush, semi-tropical environs of Emei mountain, the martial arts of the Sichuan province have come to be collectively known as Emei wushu. Yet unlike many popular kung fu styles, the history, methods and masters of Emei wushu have for many years been closeted away from the western world.

  • Issue 8 : Kicking and Flexibility

    An old phrase runs something like this - "Train your legs twice as hard to get them half as good as your hands". Kicking done properly is inspiring and frightening, but relies on a massive amount of flexibility. This month's Silver article explores the basics of kicking, the difference between performance and power, and why Chinese martial arts (and masters) used to demand that students 'eat their toes' before being taught.

  • Issue 7 : Chen Tai Chi - An exercise of perseverance

    The original style. A family secret kept hidden for over 300 years unleashed on the world only in the last 50 years, Chen tai chi has become a hallmark of excellence in tai chi circles.

  • Issue 6 : The Daoist mysteries of Qingcheng

    Locked away in the misty mountains of Sichuan, a rare style of Daoist kung fu has developed in secret, known only in the martial arts community as "the Robber's Style".

  • Issue 5 : Natural Boxing Fighting Strategy

    Speed, flow and relentless assault - these sum up the fighting style of Zi Ran Men, or Natural Boxing. For Silver subscribers this month, we've compiled video clips showing Master Gu Jian Liang's unbelievable attacking speed, a selection of unique Natural Boxing fighting drills, and a special treat - a section of the Natural Boxing straight sword pattern.

  • Issue 4 : The Muslim Master

    This month\rquote s Silver Issue is dedicated to an inspirational man by the name of Zhang Shao Fu, an 83 year old Muslim Master of Baji style. We met Master Zhang in Cangzhou in the winter of 2003 and were invited to his house.

  • Issue 3 : Shaolin Kung Fu

    Shaolin Kung Fu is the most famous and celebrated name in the world of martial arts. This Silver Issue seeks to dispel some myths about it and establish the real legacy of the monks from Shaolin Temple and the influence they have had in the development of other Chinese styles of Kung Fu as well as their place in the modern world.

  • Issue 2 : The Martial Arts of Wudang

    The Wudang Mountains are one of the most sacred places in China, the centre of Daoist Religion. The mountains are said to be home to numerous immortals and throughout centuries famous scholars, warriors and even Emperors would make a pilgrimage here to learn the secrets of the Dao.

  • Issue 1 : Water Margin Editorial

    The article details Wushu Scholar Team's research trips to Shandong Province in search of any modern descendants of the famous Water Margin Styles of Kung Fu from the time of Liang Shan Po bandits.

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