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 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.
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.
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.
≡The system includes training in Traditional Yin Style Baguazhang, Feudal Shaolin Kungfu, Cheng Baguazhang, and Gongfu Jia Chen Taijiquan. ≡ Historical Baguazhang is unlike anything in the kungfu cinemas, nor similar to the mainstream "internal" interpretation popular in modern culture. The "internal martial arts" with the branding of BAGUA, XINGYI, TAIJI, branched directly from folk tradition in the Peking Opera at the fall of Qing Dynasty (1900). Baguazhang before the 1928 fitness reform in China, is labeled as feudal Shaolin methods. The current Eight Trigram Bagua symbol attached to the arts, in origin, is to symbolize the ancient military of past generations- Eight formation changes, or eight combat formations used by commanders of the Imperial Army. The 1928 reform altered the original intent, and now Baguazhang has shifted greatly into purely sports and cultural philosophy. The benefits of modernization of "Internal Martial Arts" unfortunately impacts the original systems negatively. Historical research by numerous Chinese scholars reveals- there is no evidence the ancient masters earned their reputation by the context of training, in today's kungfu culture. The original teachings of Dong Haichuan have military & law enforcement roots, integrated with a holistic philosophy towards fighting. The "internal" methods exist in the feudal era, however, the psychology and approach are similar to Sun Tzu's Art of War- achieving victory through flexibility/ strategy, winning the fight with minimal force (often utilizing modern weapons essential to the terrain). The art of fighting with the least amount of combat necessary, for victory and peace. The founding fathers of Internal Martial Arts were chivalrous kungfu bad-asses, however, medieval times were harsh- so the history is intense. All levels of practitioners are welcome- we are a research-based organization dedicated to preserving feudal Chinese Kungfu. The training group here is disciplined, scholarly, and easy going. Join our efforts in preserving First Generation methods of Internal Martial Arts, before commercialization. The medieval system is shared between DHC's two primary disciples, Yin Fu and Cheng Ting Hua. The only difference being the psychology of approach to one's environment (Yin Fu- Imperial Army, Cheng Ting Hua- militia/law) & weapons/ martial application available or relevant to the individual's profession. Cheng Ting Hua's original Baguazhang is a part of Yin Fu's Military System- the methods are fundamentally polearm techniques of Qing foot soldiers, with use of empty-hand secondary to armed training. The original systems of Yin Fu and Cheng Tinghua are based on feudal Shaolin Tiger & Dragon methods, with a foundation in Manchurian wrestling. Commercial Baguazhang today, unfortunately, has evolved in a direction far removed from the accurate historical documentation. Feudal Baguazhang (integrated with the close combat system "The Fairbairn Method" of William E. Fairbairn) is one of the most profound, and sophisticated in martial approach, body skill, and urban practicality. The comprehensive fighting system enhances centripetal and centrifugal power control and kinetics, in historical and modern methods for self-defense. Feudal Chen Taijiquan is characterized as a sophisticated Ming Dynasty martial system using the leverage of joints and bone structure integrating fierce short-range empty-hand strikes, wrestling, chin na- with the ancient military treatise. Chen Tai Chi develops the change in response to outside forces, an art of neutralization to achieve dominance- intercepting an incoming attack rather than attempting to meet it with opposing force- the strategy is historically more balanced than the modern interpretation which has shifted into sports fitness. BEIJING GONGFU JIA Taijiquan (feudal Chen Taijiquan) and BAJIQUAN share the exact approach in the Qing dynasty and trace back to the same Qi Jiguang manual. Both systems contain the “unarmed” boxing methods of Qi Jiguang treatise, instead of pure sword and shield (Lao Jia 74) routine. IRFS contains biomechanic framework development and martial principals, with military science and research into ancient lines of Baguazhang and Chen Tai Chi Chuan, before the 1928 fitness reform in China.
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, Shaolin, and Chen Tai Chi Chuan. Kuan has spent numerous years dedicating his life to preserving and researching the ancient training methods of medieval Chinese 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: email@example.com for more info.