Ba Gua: Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art by Liu Xing-Han and John Bracy (North Atlantic Books)
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John Bracy covers the International Ba Gua Zhang Conference in Beijing
Create his image in your mind: a bus load of classic looking Ba Gua masters, just the way they would look in a Hollywood martial arts movie. Some are bald, some sport classical "master-like" beards, many wear the trademark customary to a generation of older Chinese, all of them represent the different styles of Ba Gua. They are all smiling and talking to each other as they bounce along in a rickety Chinese bus on the way to lunch. [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]
Internal Boxing and Taoist Alchemy
What does it mean when we say that a martial art style is "internal?" This is a question which Chinese martial art enthusiasts frequently discuss. Inevitably varying viewpoints emerge which attempt to define "internal boxing." The description I use involves the idea of Taoist alchemy. Alchemy has to do with a Taoist yogic tradition long established in Chinese culture. It focuses on the development of ch'i and bringing internal energy forces to balance in the body.
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Masters Liu and Bracy featured in the very first Pa Kua Journal (then called the Pa Kua Chang Newsletter) in 1991
from the journal:
Liu Hsing-han began his study of Pa Kua Chang in 1917 at the age of 8. His father, Liu Xsing-tzung, a Pa Kua Chang student of Cheng Ting-hua, was his primary teacher until the 2nd of February 1924 (Chinese New Year). By this time Liu had become skilled in the fundamentals of the art and his father felt that he was ready to proceed to higher levels of study.
Finding Qi in the Internal Martial Arts" Qi Journal of Traditional Asian Health and Fitness (Summer 2002, Featured Article)
Article: Pa Kua Journal 6-4 Ba Gua and Xing Yi Linked Boxing
In recent issues of the Pa Kua Chang Journal there has been discussion of teachers of Xing Yi and Ba Gua teaching both arts in concert. Teachers from Taiwan, China and the United States were included in these discussions. One article described Cheng Ting Hua as the first person to study both arts. In some articles, Sun Lu Tang was described as researcher, writer, and master of both. Another story featured Xu Hong Ji as a specialist of the internal arts whose repertoire included both arts.
These arts, although using divergent methods, are of the same larger family and share underlying principles of internal power and mechanics. This article will introduce an approach to how these arts might be applied together for self defense applications. [READ ENTIRE ARTICLE]
Excerpt from Ba Gua: Hidden Knowledge in the Taoist Internal Martial Art (North Atlantic Books: 1999)