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Straight line walking/Square walking/Circle walking

Discussion in 'Pa-Kua' started by li xiao long, May 17, 2002.

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    li xiao long Bad Ass Mo Fo, retired.

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    I think most of us know that a lot of the practice in Ba Gua is circle walking, but have you heard of 'straight line' and 'square walking'

    If they're part of Ba Gua, why are they there Are they the beginnings of circle walking
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    RobT Allumni

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    Straight line walking: there are quite a few of these sets, some styles havemore than others. It's quite common to have the palm changes/ general exercises taught as a simpler stright line set before integrating into the more complex mechanics of circle walking. Another wya of doing things is to have the applications taught within straight line sets. Outside BaGua, walking sets have a good reputation for clinical effectiveness for treating a variety of ailments.

    Walking in squares and such like - are often there as elimentary footwork exercises - training the student tomove the weight without losing balance,maintaining root, liu he etc.

    Circle walking itself is thought to have developed from a meditation method within the "Ultimate Reality" sect of Taoism - or so the story goes. Like most things, opinions are divided.

    Nik might have more info ...

    on another point - I tried to send you a PM earlier but got a message your inbox was full. Sent an email instead ...

    RT
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    li xiao long Bad Ass Mo Fo, retired.

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    Cheers mate.

    So if I was trying to learn some of this funky stuff, I'd be best off starting with single palm changes and straight lines

    If thats the case, mind emailing me how you do a 180 turn (my rooms only about 14feet long ;) )
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    RobT Allumni

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    There are stepping methods that work on 45, 90, 180 and even 270 degreee turns ... some schools work them more than others.

    As regards how to start off ... again it would vary from school to school (and style to style)

    Some say stances, standing etc.

    Some say lots of straight line sets...

    Some say circle walking with only the simplest of changes ...

    I would gladly post stuff about straight line sets and palm changes ... only I don't know them (come from a standing and walk around a bit school rather than walk in straight lines school)

    For the meantime, just try walking in the guard or dragon stand (if you know it) making sure the lead hand points towards the centre and the waist turns somewhat. To change direction, step so you have a "Ba" posture (chinese character for 8 like / \ with the feet, toes towards the apex, into the centre of the circle) then change hands with something simple like drop down to holding ball at lower Dantian, then lift into stance on the other side as you step off ... it'll do for now

    If anyone knows some of the straight line stuff ... feel free ti post it.

    RT
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    li xiao long Bad Ass Mo Fo, retired.

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    Thanks for that.

    The book I've got (was telling you about on phone) shows this guy doing the steps you're describing, but in a straight line, and going thru various steps and hand positions - but not together. They all seemed to link into a kind of series of movements which they called a "single palm change"

    Do you change your hand position for each foot position Do you hold em If so how long How quickly should you move Is there waist rotation like there is in taiji, or does the movement solely come from the footwork whats the head doing :)
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    li xiao long Bad Ass Mo Fo, retired.

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    Perhaps I should scan the pages in and email to you so you can see what im going on about - just reading my last msg didnt make much sense!!!
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    RobT Allumni

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    li xiao long - I've seen the book you mentioned ...

    as I say, don't know much about the straight line methods.

    Simple practice: from dragon stance (or from holding ball at lower dantian if you prefer) procede to walk in a cricle (say 8-12 feet in diameter for the moment, gets smaller with practice) Knees are somewhat bent, and they "brush" past during the step (i.e. no bandy legs). Troso turns from the waist so that arms turn inwards to the center (this might prove too much until flexibility is developed, go as far as you can without tensing or closing any of the joints) Head looks into the center of the circle. The steps should be nice and rolling for the moment (as soon as weight is transfered via heal-toe, the rear foot starts to lift. Should feel nice and continuous - like cycling a bike) Move at a nice easy pace - don't rush, don't go real slow - just comfortably.

    If in holding ball, to change direction simply step into Ba posture facing into the center of the circle, pause, tehn start walking the other direction (again, torso points towards the center)

    If in dragon, well there are lots of things to do - which brings me onto the single palm change.

    This is simply a matter of transfering intention from one palm to the other - hence single palm change. There is/ are a/ some accepted form/ variations on this that are all called single palm change. Essentialy it's the first change in direction of the BaGua circle form.
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    Sun Lu Tang

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    The straight line is simplest. Many schools work along this procession of skill starting with the simplest of movements and work their way into the more complex concepts of the curve, circle and spiral. Others simply start with the harder concepts and let the students develop the skills that are more basic as they move along trying to understand the more advanced concepts from the start. Either way is a good style of training, just a different philosophy of teaching. Some say the students who get the advanced concepts first never really understand the basics as well as they should. Others say the students who get the basics first never really understand the full context of the advances concepts as well as they should. I think it doesn't really matter as long as your teacher is good and has a specific path in mind for you to follow to advance in your skills. Of course it always boils down to the student and whether they practice well.

    Train Hard

    SLT
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    RobT Allumni

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    SLT - do you think the existance of the two training methods (straight to circle, and straight-to-circle if you follow ;) ) is a hang over from the old days

    BaGua often used to be taught to those with considerable experience in other arts. it would make sense with these to go in at the circle, sprial etc

    For those coming to the art without this foundation, a more strucured tour around the basics is required - straight lines, linear forms etc.

    On the "those going in at the circle do not understand the straight line" and "those going in at the straight line never understand the circle" point: I was taught circle walking and standing methods. It is possible to get both from these two, perhaps harder if just walking the circle. One thing worth remembering that you cross a straight line and a circle - you get a corkscrew. You cross a circle with another part-circle, you get a spiral. Many people that I have met that concentrate on the circles, neglect the spirals.

    Sorry for not being able to say anything inteligable on straight-line methods in BaGua - like I say, I don't know any

    RT
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    Circle_walker

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    I'll contribute my 1 1/2 cents

    The way it was explained to me: you start from a dot which is the smallest form of a circle. Then a square surrounds that dot. A square is comprised of straight lines, which is held within a larger circle. I realize this makes little to no sense to anyone. I think the idea was trying to explain that people stereo-type Bagua as just circles as they stereo-type Xing-i as all straight lines. In high level Xing-i there are circles there, just people don't understand them. In Ba gua there are many straight lines. For example using a single palm change to get around and "flank" your opponent and then shoot in with a straight linear attack might highlight this example. As for training, when I first started out I worked in a straight line to link up my techniques on into the next, and then my instructor would have me work on the same pattern in a circular manner. To see a good application of the single palm change go to: www.blacktaoist.com and go to bagua applications. There is a scenario where a m an is about to be shoved off a subway platform, and uses the single palm change as a means to avoid it. Does'nt show the footwork, but at least you can get the idea of where you are supposed to be going. As for stepping we uses all kinds of them past the 180 even to the 360. If anyone wants to go to the "favorite Bagua move" thread, the last thing I posted there was a long drawn out description of the Jiang Rongqiao 3rd gua that seemed to scare everyone off of that thread. Sorry for the overzealousness. Anyway, that sequence covers many circular and linear moves. It is still my favorite gua and has alot of good techniques there.
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    RobT Allumni

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    circle_walker: it was a nice description - just one that was so good I though there was no way to follow it :) plus I don't really know the form you're describing in all of its glorious detail.

    Just a quick comment here - there are circular methods in the circle walking forms, there are circular methods in the linear forms. It is one thing to say "I was basicaly taught the circle method", and another to say "all of BaGua is a circle."

    Sure, take a really, really big circle, then take a really really small segment and you end up with a straight line. Some will drive the point home that even the linear techniques have a slight curve ... some will say - its just a line.
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    Nik
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    The problem might be thinking over the "concepts" too much and forgetting (oops) to do the stuff. I even consider there could be a problem that people think over the "application" while doing circle walking palm changes, so they do never relax and get a real body. Doing circle walking without palm changes for longer periods, doing square walking without palm changes, doing standing work, working palm changes separately, and then doing long sessions of linking moves spontaneously following no pattern ("dreaming") might fix the problem. For the straight application understanding, hit objects.
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    RobT Allumni

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    Nik - I would answer but then I should be practising, right ;)

    As usual you hit the nail on the head. There is great benefit in circle walking qua circle walking (devleloping the BaGua body). We shouldn't worry all the time about everything being an application.

    RT
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    li xiao long Bad Ass Mo Fo, retired.

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    So what do you recommend

    circles lines squares
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    RobT Allumni

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    yes. Circles, lines, squares, yin-yang patterns, spiral patterns, nine pole patterns, +'s, Y's, Z's ... recomend them all.

    Basis of BaGua training is on the circle though (but as noted it is not everything ... )

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