Do people who practice Bagua circle walking have OCD? ;)

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Whyforms? So teachers have something to teach long into their retirement? The forms, they seem neverending. I’m not necessarily complaining, I’m more wondering why. I have discovered one reason why… in the 8 palms form that John has us do, I have found that my body will sometimes spontaniously naturally just move in one of those ways during sparring! How nifty is that?! I think it’s that fancy thing called muscle memory. So I guess if you do a form enough, your body will naturally move that way when needed. I have also noticed that I will do the funny little twist step (sorry John lol), to regain my balance at times, or do the weight back stepping when I’m around people, then conveniently quicly step back out of the way when some stupid parent lets there kid run right in front of me. This did save one kid of being squashed underfoot last week.

So all that makes sense, forms to train your body how to move, and also how to train your body how to do all that nifty internal stuff (cause my kidneys have clearly been slacking just sitting there all these years!) However why multiple forms? Why so many? At a guess one could make use of an spend years on one form. Perhaps it is to keep students interested ;). Take Taichi for example, you have the 24 form, the 48 form, the 108, the 42 sword, the 32 sword, Kun Wu sword (though that’s not Taichi), 72 form, Chen style 18…. and I can’t remember the rest, but needless to say that is a LOT of forms!

Do the forms get deeper over time as you move into the more advanced ones? Do the longer and more intricate ones give your body something which the shorter simpler ones do not? Are you making a lot of progress doing forms for a decade? Two decades? Do the longer and more complex forms help your health more then the shorter more simple ones?

Basically what I’m curious about is does the student who learns and practices 10-20 forms over ten years get that much better then the student who only does 1-2 forms over those 10 years? I’m guessing the former student would stay interested longer though ;).

I’m pretty new to circle walking, but I’m guessing there is many years of walking, learning and training to be had just in the stepping alone, nevermind the arms!

Does learning many forms make you a better fighter? Does it make your body react better, stronger, faster to an attack? I can see doing things for the pure enjoyment of it, but also there really should be a practical aspect as well.

One day I would love to learn how to use one of those giant Dao swords, they are awesome!!! Now that would be for fun, but I have also been told weapons like this also help in getting your internal movements down better. I can see that, how a 20lb giant sword can help in making sure you move correctly from your center, since there is likely no other way you are going to heft that heavy thing in the air!

I have to admit I’m very lazy about forms, right up until I’m shown something awesome it helps with. I just stick with tajong (sp?) and call it good. For the other palms and turn arounds I do enough to memorize it so John doesn’t pull his hair out every class, but I don’t spend hours on them or anything.

Last night I decided I needed to work on the dragon palm, which I know helps my shoulders, structure and arms. So an hour of dragon palm it was! It’s much more difficult then the push down palm. The turning in and looking through your hand part makes the walking slightly more tricky, makes the balance a little different, and the whole shoulder feeling like there is an ice pick lodged in it can be distracting as well. Fortunately I have two arms, so I can torture them one at a time, while giving the other a bit of a break. After about an hour and a half of circle walking, which was about half an hour of the dragon palm, I finally figured out how to drop my shoulders way further. I never got it, everyone kept saying drop my shoulders, and I was! They were dropped, well apparently I didn’t realize you can drop them further, and use the back muscles to assist in this dropping. I think if they called it “drooping shoulder” I may have gotten it a year ago. Anyways, my shoulders now can rest what seems like 6″ lower. I’m sure it’s only a couple of inches, and it is unlikely my teacher will even notice the difference, but I was pretty thrilled :). I think perhaps I won’t mention anything and see if he notices next Tuesday.

Now even more confusing to me is the Zhaquan form! Part of this could be my particular bias against Zhaquan, and that I usually only do it after much cajoling by John. At least with the Bagua form it helps structure. What does the Zhaquan form help which could not be accomplished with a punching bag? Som say Zhaquan is a lot like Xingyi (or is that Xinyi, I always get those two confused). They don’t seem to have the same energy to me, or the same movements. Perhaps I will see it when I’m more experience with martial arts.

What I least understand about forms is the small amount of time which is focused on each palm or movement. Each palm only gets five minutes tops in a regular practice if you are doing the form. I guess doing this everyday over years helps. Personally I sort of like focusing on one of the palms and getting to know it better. I think I may try for an hour of each palm this week, starting and finishing with the push down palm for the sake of my shoulders.

Low key friendly sparring group in Vancouver

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This will be a relaxed atmosphere group focused on learning. This is more about what we can learn from and share with each other then who will win. People can pair up with each other based on experience, or if two people feel they wish to cross hands with each other. It will be a relaxed and friendly atmosphere; leave your ego at the door! Some folks may want to get intense, which is OK as long as it is mutually agreed upon, and the intent is to not actually harm one another. Good communication as well as discussion with each person you are going to pair up with is essential so you can know each others limits and what all they are comfortable with. Other people may wish for the other end of the spectrum with a meditative push hands focusing on sensing the energies. I figure most folks will fall somewhere in between.

Experience level does not matter since there will be people from various backgrounds there, we welcome those new to martial arts as well as the experienced folks. Also it does not matter which style you practice as long as you keep any “my style is better then yours” talk far away from the group.

The sparring group is held indoors on Commercial Drive. From 7:30-9:30 on Friday evenings. People from all martial arts backgrounds are encouraged to join us.

The obvious rules would apply, such as come sober, keep the atmosphere and what you say to others positive, and be a good sport.

If you know of anyone who may be interested which has a good attitude, please pass along the url to them: www.pakua.ca or https://www.facebook.com/groups/vancouversparring

Low key friendly sparring group in Vancouver

Posted in Baguazhang, Blog,Tags: , , , ,
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This will be a relaxed atmosphere group focused on learning. This is more about what we can learn from and share with each other then who will win. People can pair up with each other based on experience, or if two people feel they wish to cross hands with each other. It will be a relaxed and friendly atmosphere; leave your ego at the door! Some folks may want to get intense, which is OK as long as it is mutually agreed upon, and the intent is to not actually harm one another. Good communication as well as discussion with each person you are going to pair up with is essential so you can know each others limits and what all they are comfortable with. Other people may wish for the other end of the spectrum with a meditative push hands focusing on sensing the energies. I figure most folks will fall somewhere in between.

Experience level does not matter since there will be people from various backgrounds there, we welcome those new to martial arts as well as the experienced folks. Also it does not matter which style you practice as long as you keep any “my style is better then yours” talk far away from the group.

The sparring group is held indoors on Commercial Drive. From 7:30-9:30 on Friday evenings. People from all martial arts backgrounds are encouraged to join us.

The obvious rules would apply, such as come sober, keep the atmosphere and what you say to others positive, and be a good sport.

If you know of anyone who may be interested which has a good attitude, please pass along the url to them: www.pakua.ca or https://www.facebook.com/groups/vancouversparring