Q1.Is Bagua a practical martial art? Is it good for attacking and self-defense?
A.Bagua is a traditional martial art of attaining victory over one’s enemies. It was developed to protect oneself, one’s country as well as cultivate one’s health and spirit. Also, it is a way of developing wisdom. While it can be used for fighting and solving violent confrontations, it is also so much more than just a method of fighting.
Q2.How is the Magui style of Bagua unique?
A.For more on this, please refer to the Magui Bagua webpage.
Q3.Why is circle walking the basis of Bagua?
A.The Chinese use the word “Dao”, or “Way”, to describe the expression of natural law. There is a cultural Dao and a martial Dao. Walking the circle is the Dao of Bagua. Walking the circle is the essence of all Bagua techniques; it is the beginning, end, method and goal of Bagua. The study of Bagua is really a study of how to walk the circle!
Q4.I practice external martial arts, why should I practice internal martial arts?
A.Those who practice the external arts should gradually begin to study the internal arts. This is a fact based on the experience of thousands of years of Chinese martial arts experience. In fact, the internal and external martial arts come from the same route, but their methods are different. Those of the external arts are more abrupt, and can be practiced when one is young. However, if one continues to practice this way when growing older, it is difficult not to get injured.
Q5. Qin na and boxing techniques are quite popular in today’s world, does Bagua include Qin na techniques?
A.Bagua does not teach Qin na as a separate technique. Liu Wanquan used to teach that grabbing and hitting could be done simultaneously. Bagua’s wrapping and grinding techniques, spinning and folding postures, clear and upright stepping, and rapid changing of space are the highest level of Qin na technique.
I have been studying the question of Qin na for many years, and have sought the instruction of many teachers on the subject. Let me assure you that not only does Bagua have effective techniques for attaining victory, but it also has complete system of locking, grabbing, obstructing, grappling, 点、制 techniques.
Those who are interested or skilled in locking and grappling skills will find that the study of Bagua includes a whole system of such techniques.
Q6.Bagua uses palm techniques, but does it have any fist techniques?
A.Bagua’s spinning back fist technique, also known as spinning back hammer, uses a fist to attack. Other techniques are basically all open palm techniques, using either the palm of the hand or the fingers.
Open palm techniques offer a greater reach than fist techniques. An increase in range is an increase in power. Another advantage is that palm techniques can change easily. Our palm technique is known as the “ox tongue palm”, which is a reference to its ever-changing nature. The ox tongue palm can change easily from locking, grabbling, and closing to pushing, pulling, and leading to spearing, piercing and pressing.
In other words, any of Bagua’s palm techniques can be used to hit. Martial arts place an emphasis on the advantage of a longer reach, so why give up an advantage of reach?
Q7.Does Bagua training include sparring?
A.Bagua has three types of bare-hand training: single, partner and group. Weapons training is also divided into single, partner and group practices. Single practice is when you train by yourself, and partner practice is when you practice techniques together with a partner. Bagua partner practices are flow naturally and 妙趣横生, and through an exchange of techniques practice ones wit and skill. Group practice takes the form of one against many, and is one of Bagua’s most unique characteristics.
All Bagua techniques can be used against multiple opponents, to quote some Bagua proverbs: “Thousands on the perimeter, and I in the centre; 穿花打柳任西东”, 设若人多不方便，直出直入也堪夸”。有志于武道者，八卦掌定能了你通达天下之志！
Q8.What are the basic principles of Bagua strategy?
A.Coiling the body and circular footwork;
attacking from the sides;
avoiding direct conflict;
gaining a positional advantage in which your opponent cannot reach you but you can hit your opponent with ease;
an upright posture, evasive stepping, and effortless attack and retreat.