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.