I think all my torn ligaments have finally healed!

Posted in Bagua, Baguazhang, Uncategorized

While the various arm positions did hurt, nothing like before. They hurt from muscle soreness, and some tending stretching, but not from injuries. Definitely a nice change :D.
I’ll go gentle on them anyways though, so they can build up strongly.
Anyways, I took 3 years off (after doing it for 7 years straight) of Bagua…… well OK what I mean is, I would practice at random, perhaps for a month at a time, then stop again, then the odd bit here and there….. so now getting back into the practice. I’m remembering things bit by bit. I’m starting from the beginning and most basic stuff, then working up slowly from there.
Today I focuses on pushing off with my heel. Of course also feet flat, and trying to turn inwards, but the main focus was the heel thing.
Apparently my twisting in to the center of the circle ability has diminished greatly LOL. Perhaps I’ll focus solely on that during an upcoming session. (with everything else running more in the background).
I haven’t looked over my notes yet really, so I’m doing this all from memory as it comes up. Which is really interesting, since at first I didn’t remember anything really, but then the act of circle walking keeps bringing up more and more memories of how it’s supposed to be done and things to add. I have remembered more than I want to add quite yet though since I’m going slowly. Trying to build a solid foundation.
I’m also trying to avoid my plethora of Bagua mistakes I made last time around :D.
I’ll start to incorporate the various neigong movements soon, but wanted to get at least a couple of weeks in before adding those. I’ll add them slowly though, since I figure until I catch back up to where I was before, that I’m pretty much starting from square one again. Can’t overload the system with too much energy and etc. at first.
I also want to add the 14 (there were 14 right?) tendon “ouchy” stretching exercises, as I think those would be really helpful in my practice.
So how is everyone else’s Bagua going?

Swimming around in Bagualand

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My energy body has decided that it would join in on things. Most of the time when I do my meditations or temple work I can feel my energy body moving around all Bagua like. This is when I’m standing or sitting still even. Due to not being able to walk yet, I have not started doing Bagua again on the physical again yet accept for the sitting exercises. However my energy body gets all swimming and moving and twisting even when I sit perfectly still, even when not sitting straight up properly. I’m glad that my energy body is starting to get hte idea and getting in on the picture. I can’t wait to be able to walk again!

My ankle has been hurting a LOT over the past 2 days due to the lack of painkillers. It is nice to be off them though, I am much more clear now. I hope the pain stops soon however since being in pain 24×7 does wear me down a lot. My energy levels tend to drop sometimes during the day due to this.

Unfortunately I spent most of the day in bed due to tiredness and exhaustion from the day before. I did get a little work done however, while sitting up in bed. I very unfortunately did not get any Bagua or QiGong done today. I really hate to admit this and feel like I am slacking terribly. I will do my best to make up for it tomorrow. I look forward to when I can practice daily again.

bagua and qigong, done

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Yep, did both, sitting down since my ankle is still not healed up well enough to stand on it. It went well, but not much qi felt. About 40 minutes of practice all together. I look forward to being able to stand and to walk again. Soon….

I did not make it to my Bagua lesson tonight since that would have required walking. Perhaps Friday or Saturday.

The Mexican food today was much better then yesterday, but still only a 6-7.

A whole lot of empty stance lol

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Since I can’t put much weight on my left leg, and when I do it’s not for that long, I have been practicing the empty stance quite a bit! I started out the morning with some meditation work. Then it was off to the hospital for some xrays and to see my surgeon. I noticed that the walk between the hospital front door and the cast clinic was quite far, awfully far for people who are wearing casts I thought. He said all was good, my ankle was healing fine and yes he meant “hobble painfully” when he told me I’d be able to “walk” within 7 days. We discussed mud walking and when I would be able to do that next. He said anytime but it might hurt :P. He said it wouldn’t injure it further, but don’t do anything stupid. My Bagua teacher told me tonight that this was good news and he looks forward to more ankle torture (my nickname for mudwalking that he has taken up when we discuss it) with me very soon! I think he was kidding ;), but I’m not entirely sure…

There was Mexican food involved today as well, had to bribe my ride to and from the hospital. It was good Mexican, but still very far from the bet Mexican. I will need to show Lotus (who is so fucking awesome for the rides) what REALLY GOOD Mexican is like in the future ;).

Then I did some QiGong outdoors at the school with a friend. Later I did some Bagua and QiGong sitting stuff for half an hour at home. My ankle was killing me by this point, so most definitely sitting. I also did that feeling the energies within me meditation thing, and my entire arms were full of energy, but I didn’t sense the energies anywhere else even though I’d just done half an hour of QiGong stuff.

I’m not just a set of arms!!!

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I’ve been told so many times that I’m not just a set of arms, but I didn’t fully grasp what they meant. In the past week however I have finally *gotten* the concept. It is amazing what not being able to use your legs can do to learning some new stuff. With Bagua I have been focusing so much on the footwork, which is of course important, but not as much on the upper body stuff. I have been slowly trying to remember to keep twisted into the center of the circle, and twisting as much as possible, and this is now the not using my arms as separate parts of me is just another level of being able to use all that body twisting and dantien stuff!

Now I get to figure out how to move my entire body at once, instead of separate bits of it here and there, or leaving my arms behind. I think my dantien will be getting quite the workout. It is kind of neat how little pieces of the puzzle start to fit into place after you have a few pieces of the puzzle there. I really look forward to many more years of learning. I’m also glad I’m learning this stuff early on, instead of having done Bagua for say 10 years *then* find out! I am very fortunate to have an experienced Bagua teacher, as well as a few experienced internal martial arts friends (including Nurse Ratchet over at Blogger1) to help me along this path. I feel very fortunate that each of you are putting so much effort into helping me understand this stuff, thank you :).

OK less contemplating, and more trying out whole body stuff with Bagua!

Nurse Ratchet and the Handsome Male Nurse have been taking good care of me LOL

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Fortunately Blogger1 is nothing like nurse Ratchet, but more like comes over with good conversation, some wine, and even does my dishes for me! So very sweet when I’m not feeling well. Then the Handsome male nurse, as we have now nicknamed my other friend, takes the even days LOL. Said handsome male nurse is amazing with making sure I always have a full glass of water to drink (mentioned to him one day about how I’m perpetually dehydrated), as well as making sure I’m comfortable and I don’t have to get up more then absolutely necessary. Two people who will have lots of company and meals cooked for them if they ever end up with an injury! Well OK my friend “The One” as well ;).

So Blogger1, are you trying to say I’m insane with all these Flew over the cookoo’s nest references? ROFL Hey can you stop by with some wine say Wed night? I might need some by then!!! We can practice Bagua! Er sitting Bagua, or QiGong ;).

The surgeon told me that I would be able to walk within 7 days. Talking about “technically”. I can walk sure, as far as the bathroom and kitchen…., and I would call it more hobbling in pain. I am making sure to hobble as much as I can though so that it heals up faster. Tomorrow I may even be able to make it out the front door as far as my (most awesome) friend’s (who I am going to bribe with lunch if he has time, hope you like butter chicken) car to get to my surgeon’s appointment.

I had a Bagua class booked for Wednesday, but I have this funny feeling that I won’t be up for it by then since I can’t even bend my ankle enough to walk normally yet. I really miss circle walking :(.

Too many caffeinated painkillers, I’m just rambling now and boring everyone accept those mentioned in this post LOL.

Esoterics, Magic, Bagua, QiGong and Taichi

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Some more musings about Bagua since I’m still not allowed (surgeon’s orders) to put any weight on my left foot at all. On a side note him saying I’ll be able to walk within a week seems to mean more like will be able to walk as far as the bathroom, not across town. Hey I was hoping. If I’m lucky I will be able to walk around in a circle or two, using the rolling step. I miss walking around in circles. The sitting exercises, one legged exercises and just talking about Bagua is soooo not the same!

I have been purposefully not mentioning my long term interest and practice in the esoteric side of things. The reason for this is that early on I was warned that if I talked about such things no one in the martial arts community would take me seriously. I was cautioned to keep it very quiet. Also seeing posts on various internal martial arts forums around the internet it become very clear that the esoteric side of things is most definitely not believed in and usually not welcome. Even worse the few posts I did find by esoterically minded individuals tended to go along the lines of them bragging how great and powerful and adept they were (how embarrassing to the art!)

I did however let my Bagua teacher know of my interests when I first started since I’m not the type to hide something that important from my teacher. Fortunately John is very open minded and patient. He only looks at me like I’m completely crazy once in awhile ;). He even sometimes goes so far as to explain the energy component of a certain move or technique so my overly mystical brain can “get it”. After he does this I do finally get the physical movement lol. Also my Bagua friends who know much more about such things then I do, and some who know about the same amount, are VERY open minded to such mystical practices :). Well not all of them, but most of them anyways. This has led to some very interesting conversations. The most interesting being the comparison and contrast between magic and Bagua/QiGong/Taichi.

First a bit of a history about my various esoteric practices. I started this stuff about 20-21 years ago. I first started learning through books. As you can imagine this is about as useful as learning Bagua via books! But I did learn some of the basics this way, and I did practice every single day as the books suggested (20 or so years of said daily practice is what likely led to my good Bagua practice habits). Then after about 3 years on my own I found a teacher in the arts. I studied with him most days (I’m very ambitious) and learned quite a bit. Over the years I went between being taught by a teacher and practicing on my own. During the periods time I practiced on my own I had the various spirits (invisibles) teach me. What is the use of learning to communicate with the Gods, Angels, Daemons, Fey, ancestors and so forth if you can’t ask them to teach you? 😉

I somehow lucked out and have found some of the best teachers around over the years. The ones who were definitely expert in their field and knew their stuff. The very first one was still fairly new to magic, but the others definitely had 30 plus years of daily experience under their belt. I was able to train with each teacher all day everyday sort of thing. I was strongly drawn to the art, I worked nights during some of the times, and was unemployed during another of the times, and I am terribly ambitious. My most recent teacher of 7 years however made the rest look like dabblers who don’t know much in comparison. This when I knew I had truly found the right one. It only took me 12 years.

More recently, about 18 months ago now I think, I took up some martial arts. I officially took up QiGong. I had been practicing QiGong for 2 years prior to this but had no idea it was QiGong. I’m not entirely sure if QiGong counts as martial arts or not anyways. I then did taichi and through my Taichi teacher found Bagua. Since I have started I have been practicing daily pretty much (well the days my health will allow me to get out of bed at least) for half an hour up to 3 hours). More recently (about 4 months back) I started to go deeper into the practice of Bagua with a teacher who seems especially good at that ;). This I definitely think is one of John’s best Bagua traits. Talking with him, as well as another very experienced Bagua person who is extremely open minded to my odd practices, I have recently found that there seem to be many correlations between the esoteric stuff I have been taught previously and the Bagua and QiGong world.

At first I did not realize this as I thought the Bagua at least was mostly physical, but from the beginning noticed that each Bagua technique had a very distinctive corresponding energy to it. These energies can definitely be enhanced and strengthened, and they also seem to help the technique hit harder and become more physically accurate apparently. Or so I have noticed with the feedback from my Bagua teacher.

I have also had odd mystical experiences and energies come up from my at home circle walking practice. This has been quite interesting, and even difficult at times. Some of these experiences tend to be the same or similar as what I have experienced in my esoteric practices over the years, which is what made me really wonder. Wondering if perhaps Bagua also transforms the practitioner in certain ways over time, and on many levels. I have however learned to keep such experiences to myself and not tell others, as that never tends to go over well. I most definitely look forward to exploring such things further. I feel as though Bagua is an extremely deep path.

I have discovered from my newbie perspective that Bagua is most definitely about change. It seems to bring about constant and continual change. This is useful when using it in practical fighting as you are changing your opponent and what they are doing. It is also useful on more subtle levels as you are changing the energy and direction of things. Then on a deeper level you are changing yourself. To grow first there must be change.

Bagua also seems to bring about the more solid energies which come into play. This also relates to the QiGong practices. Solid as in, hey I actually felt that. Not like this happens all the time, or ever happens when expected, more sort of randomly. I had found this with my previous QiGong work as well. Some damn good healing and so forth I figure ;).

What I find very interesting about Bagua is that all you have to do is the specific exercises and physical movements and the energetic bits just take care of themselves :). Sure you can remember the energetic component and have it a bit stronger, but in general things just work as they should. I feel fortunate I have good people to help me along this path.

I will post another blog later this evening outlining the Bagua and QiGong practices I have done today.

I completely and totally slacked today

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No excuses, I could have done some 10 minute spurts of QiGong and meditations but I didn’t. Just pure laziness :(. I’m not usually like this, not sure what’s up. I did have several distractions including 10 hours sleep last night, then a 2 hour nap today, and chatting with a couple of friends, and a nice Pakua journal which I didn’t get that far through.

I did a little temple work, but not nearly enough. I am apparently in severe slacker mode today, and will have to make up for it tomorrow.

For some odd reason my ankle hurt the entire day. I should have perhaps been taking 2 T3’s at a time instead of only one, but I would run out too fast, and it really is time to get down to a lower dose and stop taking them soon. The area where they scraped out the scar tissue has been hurting like hell though. I’m a little pessimistic about how far I will be able to walk in 36 hours from now, but I will most definitely try anyways, since boy do I miss being able to just get up and walk around!!!! I will just take it easy at first. I figure walking the first day the Dr. said it’s OK will be a good thing; I want my ankle to heal properly and not end up with scar tissue again. I will need to keep it moving.

OK the goal for tomorrow is to not slack on my QiGong nor meditation. The goal for Monday is to return to work even if I’m in pain. The Dr. said it will be fine to do so as long as I do not do ANY heavy lifting whatsoever.

Welcome to my Baguazhang blog

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I have been practicing Bagua for nearly 5 months now. I should be a master soon right? 😉 My first Bagua class was on May 29th of this year (2010). Before this the only martial arts experience I have had was doing QiGong for a year or so, and Taichi for about 9-10 months now. Needless to say I’m a complete newbie who knows practically nothing about Bagua. However, I like to think I know lots, so I will post lots of my impressions and experiences here.

I started out taking Swimming Dragon Bagua, which is basically a form of movements that you learn. I really should have taken the beginner’s Bagua first, but the teacher allowed me to take the 2nd class in the series since I show unreasonable amounts of ambition; well that and I practice daily, which apparently it’s par for the course from what others tell me. I don’t understand the not practicing daily thing. I practice every day that I can get out of bed anyways. My health is far from perfect, so it is unimaginable for me to see someone with good health miss an opportunity to practice. If you have no trouble standing up, and practicing for half an hour to an hour doesn’t destroy your entire day for other activities, why wouldn’t you? OK so perhaps after I have been practicing martial arts for 5 or 10 years I will understand better LOL. I have however been practicing magic for 20 years now, and it has been VERY seldom I have missed a day of my regular practice. I did take a month off on three different occasions during this time though. I currently practice magic for 1-2 hours per day, and Bagua for half an hour to 2 hours per day. It all depends how I’m feeling that day, if I need to get other stuff done (too much Bagua makes me too tired to work), and so forth. If I have a Taichi or Bagua class on the same day, then my practice time is only half an hour, or on Sundays is non-existent. Each Sunday I have 3-4 hours of martial arts classes, so I take it easy.

My current class schedule is a bit busy, but I feel it is really needed to keep my health up. I really don’t feel as good during the summer and winter breaks, even though I do keep up my daily practice. I currently take 6 classes per week (including one which is personal training in Bagua), and once per week I meet with a friend who practices the same Taichi and Bagua that I do.

I will refrain from adding my teachers’ names to this blog, simply because I take a very unorthodox approach to things, speak my mind which is often politically incorrect, and thus don’t wish to make either of them look bad.

If you are wondering what Bagua is, you are really on the wrong blog, and should probably go out and get some fresh air or something. Or you can go look it up on wikipedia. It involves a great deal of circle (octagon) walking. Actually it involves so much circle walking, I sometimes wonder if that is all I will be learning!