Intrinsic Patterns – Humans Walk in Circles When Blindfolded

Baguazhang is a system of martial arts which utilize centripetal and centrifugal force, to strike with precision accuracy while remaining in constant motion. The circle walk practice is the basis for Baguazhang's characteristic footwork and body mechanics. The feet remain in continuous motion as the practitioner revolves, simultaneously honing equilibrium and peripheral vision, while generating internal power. The ancient Taoists understood the circle as an intrinsic pattern within the human experience, capable of creating stillness of mind in motion, while developing the body externally and internally. As the potter's wheel when shaping clay, a properly trained circle walk becomes a sophisticated tool for human biomechanical alignment through energy and physics. The circle walk training develops a practitioner's Proprioception- The unconscious perception of movement and spatial orientation arising from stimuli within the body itself. The circle phenomenon is not unknown in studies of human movement. Over the past century, research scientists around the world have studied the walking patterns of human subjects when blindfolded. Subjects were instructed to walk a straight line across fields, for various lengths of time and locations, including desert and forest terrains. When blindfolded, humans always walk in circles, and the circles become tighter as time goes on.  The circular pattern occurs even when the subjects think and perceive, they are walking in a straight line. With no external focal point, like the sun or moon, tree, the human proprioception guides us, and this intrinsic pattern within us is circular by nature. Baguazhang enhances proprioception pathways in spatial cognition, with in-depth focus on the circle itself.

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Principals Of The Circle – Stillness In Motion

The circle is the most basic method, yet the most advanced insights evolve from it’s practice. The circle walk training was extracted from ancient taoist knowledge by Dong Haichuan, the creator of Baguazhang. The taoists advise that a person's heart and mind transition in chaos. Concentration on unity makes the mind pure. If one aspires to reach the Tao, one should practice walking in a circle. The practitioner should synchronize breath, flexing of muscle fibers, cycling of energy from the core, and torque with each step in the circle walk so that one replaces one's rapidly changing thoughts with a single, all-encompassing complete body focus, in order to calm one's mind while increasing spatial awareness. The Taoists believe that in walking the circle the body's movements should be unified and the practitioner strives for "stillness in motion." This practice was described as a method of training the body while evolving the spirit and consciousness. When turning the circle for extended durations of time, equilibrium is strengthened and cellular changes occur. Muscular flex and energy move the vertebrae of the spine continuously, generating and cycling more cerebrospinal fluid through the system. Cerebrospinal fluid bathes the brain and spinal cord, cushioning the brain within the skull while serving as a shock absorber for the central nervous system. This protects the practitioner in times of martial combat which requires dampening of impact from strikes which may shock the brain and vital organs. Circle walking methods produce a system of martial arts which the practitioner delivers powerful strikes while remaining in constant motion. Utilizing a combination of precise footwork and body mechanics, the practitioner remains in continuous motion even when applying a block or strike.

Baguazhang Structures:

Bagua Hybrid Martial Arts

Circle, Breathing, Biomechanics

Circle: Heighten cognitive performance and equilibrium with principals of the circle. The circle is the most basic method, yet the most advanced developments evolve from it's practice. With both feet together, the practitioner settles their breath and expands the core. The left foot takes an open step, and turning the circle begins with counter clockwise natural walking. Four to eight steps per revolution. The circle adapts to the size of the environment and distance from an opponent. There is a vortex sensation of walking down a mountain. The circle consists mainly of two steps. Open Step (toe out) and Close Step (toe in). The knees are kept close together, the feet close to touching as we step past. While turning, the lumbar area is rounded out and the abdomen expanded. Maximum torque and power is generated as the waist turns.

Breathing: Boost and synchronize breath capacity with martial movement, utilizing ancient training methods to generate and store energy within the human body. Core muscle control and biomechanical alignments enhance the breath cycle of the practitioner. There are two major abdominal breathing methods widely used. With natural abdominal breathing, the core expands on the inhale, and contract inward on the exhale. The second breathing method is reverse abdominal breathing which reverses the process. With reverse breathing, the abdomen contracts inward on the inhale, and expands outward on the exhale. IRFS utilizes a balance between these two methods. On the inhale, the abdomen may contract inward or expand outward. On the exhale, the abdomen usually expands outward, but the muscles can both relax or flex. The lumbar and kidney area also expands or contract in the breathing process of this system.

Biomechanics: Optimize your potential with principals and physics, developing accuracy of footwork and body requirements. The stance in general, is three of your feet's distance apart. Both hip sockets are tucked and the tailbone rolls inward, creating the feeling of sitting while standing. Both feet are angled closer to parallel. The legs torque to create an arc at the base of the hips, and peak acceleration and control of muscle fibers, anchors the practitioner into the earth. The legs and hips create a bridge and shift weight around the back, sides, or front of the arc with an exclusive hip system. The core muscles train to expand in the front and the back of the body, developing specific ancient muscle control of the abdominal and lumbar area. The chest is slightly hollowed and chin tucked. The upper back is rounded out and the shoulders are naturally sunken.

IRFS Martial – Imperial Renaissance Fighting Systems

Enter the Circle:

Experience the biomechanical approach to Imperial Renaissance Combative arts from the Forbidden City. Eight Animal/ Swimming Dragon Baguazhang and Martial Tai Chi Chuan to develop internal power, advanced strategy, and optimized martial function, utilizing physics and the principals of the circle.

 

 IRFS System:

The system includes training in Traditional Yin Style Baguazhang, Cheng Baguazhang, and Beijing Chen Tai Chi Chuan.  Baguazhang is based on teachings and philosophies that are thousands of years old, but refined in the mid-1800s by Dong Haichuan who passed the core systems to Yin Fu (Eight Animal) and Cheng Ting Hua (Swimming Dragon).  As the last internal art of the late Qing Dynasty bodyguards, Baguazhang is one of the most profound, and sophisticated in martial approach.  The combative concepts and biomechanics are integrated into "The Fairbairn Method", wartime system of William E. Fairbairn. The comprehensive fighting system enhances centripetal and centrifugal power control and kinetics, in historical and modern methods for self-defense and cultivation. I.R.F.S. is a training system with roots from direct lineages branching from ancient Carriers of Baguazhang and non-commercialized Gongfu Jia Chen Taijiquan. It contains biomechanic framework development and bridging of the traditional systems to the contemporary world. Baguazhang and Taijiquan philosophy stems from the eight trigrams and Yin/Yang theory of the I Ching, integrating concepts for the individual’s body kinetics. IRFS is an internal martial art, meaning nuanced internal physics is emphasized/ methods practiced strengthen an individual's organs through intent/fascia control and internal muscle groups, distinct from external training systems. The adaptive martial structures in both empty hand and historical edged weapons training, restructure one's body to merge with the laws of physics of martial understanding which has evolved from the ancient to modern world.

About the Instructor:

Kuan Wang is the Founder of YSBHMA/Imperial Renaissance Fighting System and is an indoor disciple, and private student of He Jinbao. Kuan Wang has also studied intensively in Beijing and abroad, under the guidance of prestigious instructors for Cheng Baguazhang and Chen Tai Chi Chuan. Kuan has spent numerous years dedicating his life to preserving and evolving the ancient training methods of internal energy martial arts.

About Private Course Rates:

"Historically Baguazhang and Internal Martial Arts are taught on a one on one basis. This allows customization and isolation to practitioner's learning curves."

-Private Courses (Individual training in Martial Framework/Routines, Internal Concepts, and Biomechanics) – You will have a training partner for Martial Applications. or bring a friend with the split rate program. (Historical/Modern empty hand/weapons combative concepts, Self-Defense applications are taught only with a partner.)

Basic Monthly Programs:

One Session (one hour) per Month: $60
Two Sessions (one hour each) per Month: $120
Three Sessions (one hour each) per Month: $150 

Split Rate and Semester Programs Available/By Appointment Only

 

Intermediate and Advanced Technician Programs:

One Session (2 Hours in Length/ limited availability), email: kuan@baguakungfu.com for more info.