Translation of Luo Dexiu Laoshi’s Original Website
The Origin of Baguazhang ( 八卦掌起源 )
Xingyiquan, Baguazhang and Taijiquan are known as the three famous internal martial arts. Among these, Baguazhang is a method of internal and external training that was recently passed down.
八卦掌的開山祖師爺 董公, 字海川, 生於清代嘉慶九年十月, 卒於光緒七年十月. 董公自幼酷愛武術, 青年時代就以賦有神力武勇名聞鄉里. 清咸豐年間, 因事後外出遠遊, 歷盡吳 ‘ 越 ‘ 巴 ‘ 蜀和江皖各大名山 ( 包括江蘇南部 浙江北部 四川東部及安徽省 ) 尋訪名師高友. 其間受道家修練術的啟示隨而結合武術攻防招術創編成獨特的功法練習, 轉掌 —– 八卦掌雛形.
Baguazhang’s founder, Dong Haichuan, was born in the ninth year, tenth month of the Qing dynasty Jiaqing reign. He died in the seventh year, eleventh month of the Guangxu reign. Since he was a child he loved the martial arts. In his youth he became famous in his home village for his gifted strength and martial valor. In the middle of the Xianfeng reign, he left home to travel. He traveled to all the famous mountains and provinces, including southern Jiangsu, northern Zhejiang, eastern Sichuan and Anhui, looking for famous teachers and gifted martial artists. During this period he became influenced by Daoist training methods and after this he combined the offensive and defensive methods of the martial arts with the Daoist training to create a unique method called Zhuanzhang (Turning Palms), this was the infancy of Baguazhang (Eight Trigram Palms).
董公到京都後, 先在肅王府當差, 府中有個旗人叫全凱亭在一次偶然窺見董公練習武技, 因慕董公武技高深, 跪求錄為弟子, 此後董公的武技漸為人知. 從學者甚眾, 以北京為發源地, 隨後以此中心逐漸向外省傳播, 不數年就傳遍各地, 形成了一大流派.
After arriving in Beijing, he got a job at the house of the prince of Su. In the house there was a Manchu named Quan Kaiting who saw Dong Haichuan practicing martial arts one day and admired his incredibly high skills. Because Quan Kaiting admired the high skills of Dong Haichuan, he knelt down before Dong Haichuan and begged to become his student. From that time, Dong Haichuan’s fame and kung fu began to spread widely. Many students came to study with him. His Baguazhang slowly spread from the center of Beijing out to the other provinces; it spread quickly and became famous in a very short time.
八卦掌初傳時其形態像手推石磨, 叫推磨圈 被人稱為磨門, 及後發展成八個基本掌勢, 稱為八掌, 每一母掌按其前後左右上中下發展, 演練增加成六十四掌. 因與易經中八卦的變化有相似處, 董公及門人後來便定名為八卦掌, 現在流傳的名稱有八卦掌, 八卦連環掌, 八卦遊身掌, 游身連環八卦掌等.
In the beginning, because the movements of Dong Haichuan’s art looked similar to that of a man moving a stone rice-grinding wheel, others began to call them Mo Men (the grinding “gate” or sect). Afterwards, he developed eight basic palm movements called the eight palms. Each of these mother palms when changed to move forwards, backwards, to the left, to the right, upwards, downwards and centrally became the sixty-four palms. Because there was similarity to the changes of the Yi Jing (the Book of Changes), Grandmaster Dong and his followers decided to call it Baguazhang. Other modern names that spread for the art are Baguazhang, Bagua Continuous palm, Bagua Swimming Body palm, Swimming Body Continuous Bagua palm, etc.
八卦掌是以穿走為主要的表達方式, 身法要求閃展騰挪. 練時, 行如游龍, 回身似猴 換步如鷹翻. 表現 內外相合 , 一氣呵成.
The core expression of Baguazhang is that of Chuan Zou (piercing and walking, alike darting into a forest and piercing in all directions, footwork moving in all directions) , the body method’s appearance will be that of dodging, spreading, jumping and moving. When practicing you move like a swimming dragon, turn your body like a monkey, change your steps like a soaring eagle, thus expressing a combination of internal and external that moves smoothly without breaking.
Gao Style Baguazhang ( 高式八卦掌 )
高義盛字德源, (1866~1951), 山東無隸縣大山鄉大莊子人. 早期隨家傳習少林大紅拳, 後又學過形意, 並受形意名家李存義指教. 三十歲遇武清瓦房村周玉祥先生, 周先生乃八卦名師程廷華高足, 造詣很深, 尤以精技擊, 善以掌擊人, 有絕掌之稱. 高遇周隨後比手被周連敗三次. 當即拜周先生為師, 周以年齡相當不從, 由周引介赴京拜程廷華為師 ( 江湖人稱眼鏡程 ), 後經高義盛在其師所授掌勢基礎上, 經過四十年磨練及整理形成了一套具有獨特風格的程氏高派八卦掌, 稱之游身連環八卦掌.
Gao Yisheng, also named Gao Deyuan, was born in Shandong province, Wuli county, Dashan village in 1866 and died in 1951. At an early age he followed the practice of his family’s martial art, Dahongquan (Big Red Fist). After that he also began to study Xingyiquan, later coming under the instruction of the famous teacher Li Cunyi. At the age of thirty, he met Wuqing Wafang village’s Zhou Yuxiang. Zhou Yuxiang was a highly skilled pupil of Cheng Tinghua. His skills were very deep, especially in fighting. He was so adept at the use of his palms in attack that he earned the nickname “Peerless Palm.” Upon the first meeting of Gao and Zhou they decided to compare each other’s martial arts. In this first contest, Zhou soundly defeated Gao three times in a row, immediately after having Zhou’s skills proved to Gao beyond all doubt, he bowed down and asked Zhou Yuxiang to become his teacher. Because of their ages being similar, Zhou desisted and instead took Gao Yisheng to Beijing to formally introduce him to his teacher, Cheng Tinghua (known to the martial world as “Eyeglasses Cheng.” Based on the basic palm movements that his teachers taught him, after 40 years of refinement and organizing the system, it became Cheng Branch, Gao style Baguazhang, also called Swimming Body Continuous Baguazhang, with its own unique style.
本門武藝為張峻峰民國三十六年來台後所傳授, 張峻峰授課極為嚴謹, 尤以功力’ 散打稱著. 每次授課皆親自帶領練功, 親自餵招 所以張峻峰的學生中實戰功夫紮實者不在少數, 而實戰也成為本門傳統的傳承.
The martial arts of our school began being passed down since the time Zhang Zhunfeng arrived in Taiwan in 1947. Zhang Zhunfeng was extremely strict when teaching, especially in fighting and training the body. Every time he had class he led the class on his own and he would pass along the forms on his own. Therefore many of Zhang’s students had solid and real fighting skills. Real fighting is the tradition within this school.
此系統含有走圈的先天掌和走直趟的後天掌所組成. 兩者之間為, 以先天掌為後天掌之本, 以後天掌為先天掌之用的研習系統. 先天轉掌以單換掌為龍頭 演化出八路翻身 內有:
This system has two parts, the first, Xiantianzhang ( Pre-heaven palms ), is done walking in a circle; the second, Houtianzhang ( Post-heaven palms ), is done in straight lines. The research methodology for the system is that of the Pre-heaven palms being the foundation of the Post-heaven palms and the Post-heaven palms being the application of the Pre-heaven palms . The Pre-heaven palms takes the Single Palm Change as the head of the dragon and the eight lines evolve from there, the contents of the Pre-heaven palms are:
蛇形順勢掌 Snake form smooth body palm
龍形穿手掌 Dragon form piercing hand palm
回身打虎掌 Returning body, strike the tiger palm
燕翻蓋手掌 Swallow overturning covering hand palm
轉身反背掌 Turn the body over the back palm
擰身探馬掌 Twist the body searching horse palm
翻身背插掌 Overturn the body, through the back palm
停身搬扣掌 Stopping body, move and hook palm
以烏龍擺尾為龍尾收. The tail of the dragon is the form of wulongbaiwei (Black Dragon Swings Tail), which ends the form.
先天掌內有內功養成術, 八大開手法, 八摔法.
Inside the Pre-heaven palms are neigong methods of cultivating the body, the eight large opening hand methods and the eight throwing methods.
後天掌法著重於攻防招式演練, 是以先天八掌八路衍生六十四掌法, 每路是以單操運動形式來表達. 後天掌單操練習重點於得勢發勁, 亦可連貫練習其著重點於得勢用勢, 使其先後天掌合一. 後天掌練習每路皆有要點 : 如下
The Post-heaven palm methods concentrate on practicing the forms of attack and defense. They take the eight palms and eight lines of the Pre-heaven palms to become the sixty-four palm methods. Each palm is then expressed alone as a single movement principle. The essential point of single movement practice in the Post-heaven palms is to catch the situation and fajing (emit power). The main point in practice is to catch the situation and then use the situation. The main point behind the practice of each line of the Post-heaven palms is as below:
一路綱領 The first line – key methods
二路打法 The second line – hitting methods
三路巧法 The third line – skillful methods
四路妙法 The fourth line – sophisticated (subtle) methods
五路肘法 The fifth line – elbow methods
六路腿法 The sixth line – leg methods
七路身法 The seventh line – body methods
八路步法 The eighth line – stepping methods
功夫練熟後能做到先後天掌合一 , 一接手全身自然反應出纏化韻律 . 怎麼練就怎麼用.
After practicing hard and diligently for a period of time you can get to the point where the Pre-heaven and Post-heaven palms become one. As soon as your arm comes out, your whole body will naturally react in a rhythm to dissipate and spiral away the opponent’s power. How you practice is exactly how you apply it.
How to Practice Baguazhang ( 如何練習八卦掌 )
八卦掌主要運動表達在於走轉擰翻, 內外相應, 剛柔相濟, 全身皆有圈; 層層不窮的螺絲勁.
The main expression of movement in Baguazhang is that of walking, turning, twisting and overturning, the internal and external mutually support each other, hard and soft complement each other, the whole body has circles, and at every level there is endless spiraling energy.
運掌操練時, 要求形神兼備, 氣沉丹田, 樁如山岳, 精神內斂, 身如龍蛇. 以腰為主宰, 擰翻走轉, 屈腿螳泥, 擺扣舒展, 瀟洒穩健, 日久功深兩手高低伸縮 , 前後左右, 皆能靈活自如. 兩腿不論進退, 左右旋轉, 虛實變化 無不隨心所欲.
When practicing the moving palms, you should have both form and spirit; the qi should sink to the dantian; standing should be as stable as a mountain; you should retain your energy inside; the body is like a dragon or snake; the body is ruled by the waist; adhere to the walking, turning, twisting and overturning; bend the legs in mud stepping; the hook and swing steps should unfold smoothly; be distinct and steady; after practicing for a long time your skill will become deep and both hands will be able to reach high and low, expand and contract, go forward and backwards, move to the left and right and you will have the ability to do as you wish. No matter whether your two legs are advancing or retreating, going left or right, spinning or turning, are solid or empty, the changes are created at your will.
先練腿 次練身 後練掌
First practice the legs, then train the body, and finally practice the palms.
First study solid and then study empty. First study heavy, then study light.
尋序漸進, 不急功, 不燥進.
Proceed in an orderly way and advance step by step, don’t be eager for quick success and don’t be too eager to advance.
Different branches of Baguazhang all have their own years of experience and efforts. In summary, there are four basic methods:
- 基本功 養生固元 強壯筋骨 並含有內家拳重要手法的訓練等
- 本體 先天轉掌 後天六十四掌 兵械等
- 精練 單操功法 增加內勁或轉化內勁 或專注發勁 或某種技法等
- 心法 由師者餵招 或實戰經驗傳承 道功的傳授
Basic Training: Nourish your life and strengthen your vitality. You should strengthen your tendons and bones, and also included are the training of the important hand methods of internal martial arts.
Main contents of training: Pre-heaven turning palms, post-heaven sixty-four palms, weapons, etc.
Refinement: Single practice of skills. Increasing your internal power, transforming your internal power, concentrating on fajing or on some techniques, etc.
Heart method: Your teacher will provide you with the forms or give you real fighting experience. This is how the way has been passed on.
Those who have passed the arts down have all looked at the needs of the group or the qualities of the students in deciding how to pass the art on to each student.
The Sixty-Four Post Heaven Entwining and Changing Palms (後天六十四纏化掌)
後天掌二十四綱要 The twenty-four key demands of the Houtian palms
- 眼要明 The eyes should be clear
- 耳要靈 The ears should be lively
- 手要快 The hands should be fast
- 肘要近 The elbows should stick next to the body
- 腿要彈 The legs should spring
- 裡要掩 Moving inwards the hand should close and turn
- 外要撥 Moving outwards the hand should open and twist
- 上要截 When the hand goes up, it should intercept
- 下要攔 When the hand moves downward, it should block
- 領要橫 Ling (leading) One hand will pull across
- 帶要順 Dai (leading, bringing along) Two hands pull along with the movement
- 摟要實 Lou (embracing) should be real
- 抓要實 Zhua (grabbing) A grab must be solid
- 頓要擢 Dun (shocking and pulling down) should be done suddenly
- 托要準 Tuo (Lifting up) must be accurate
- 掖要連 Ye (clasping) should be connected
- 擠要黏 Ji (pressing) should stick
- 刁要爆 Diao (hooking) should be explosive
- 崩要急 Beng (smashing) should be quick
- 撞要靠 Zhuang (crashing) should be done close
- 扳要猛 Ban (pulling against) should be fierce and swift
- 扣要狠 Kou (hooking) should be merciless
- 步要清 Footwork and stepping should be distinct
- 身要活 The body must be lively
乾八式 Qian gua
功力掌 Palms for training martial power
為後天掌之綱領, 一要 步法練清, 二要 身法練活, 三要 氣力練足, 四要 手法練明.
These are the key methods in practicing the houtians. First, the stepping must be practiced clearly and precisely. Second, the body methods must be lively and flexible. Third, qi and power must be practiced until they are full. Fourth, the hand methods must be practiced clearly and overtly.
|3.||囤掌||dun||pulling down palm|
|5.||立掌||li||stand erect palm|
坎八式 kan gua
為後天打法, 用功練熟, 手急眼快, 可以出手不見形, 打人不見影.
These are the methods for hitting in the houtians. You must practice diligently until they are very familiar. Your hands must be quick and your eyes rapid, then when your arm extends its form will not be seen, and when you hit its shadow will not be seen.
|1.||截肋掌||chui||intercepting ribs palm|
|2.||葉下藏花掌||cang||flower hidden beneath the leaf|
|5.||二仙傳道||er||two sages preach the way|
|6.||惡虎撲羊||hu||ferocious tiger pounces on shoulder|
|7.||鳳凰奪窩||duo||phoenix robs the nest|
|8.||進退連環||huan||advancing and retreating continuing|
艮八式 Gen gua
內含精巧, 風吹草動, 有觸即應, 其動甚捷, 掌打千斤不費力
The movements within are sophisticated. With the slightest movement, alike the wind blowing the grass, there will be movement. As soon as there is contact there will be a response. Its movement is very nimble. When the palms are hitting one thousand pounds, there will be no wasted strength.
|1.||穿肋掌||chuan||piercing hand palm|
|2.||橫搬掌||ban||moving, levering palm|
|5.||停身掌||ting/ning||stopping with the body palm or twisting body palm|
|6.||翻手掌||fan||overturning hand palm|
|8.||轉身掌||zhuan||turning body palm|
震八式 Zhen gua
發勁之道 四剛四柔 The path to fajing, four hard and four soft.
此八式暗藏巧妙, 隨機應變, 心一動而手足皆應, 眼神一見心中早有準備.
Hidden within these eight forms is clever skill. You will adapt yourself to changing conditions and act according to the circumstances. Your hands and feet will adapt to the situation as soon as your heart moves. Your heart will already be ready as soon as your eyes see.
|1.||推山入海||tui||Pushing the mountain into the sea palm|
|2.||力托千斤掌||tuo||lifting strongly a thousand pounds palm|
|4.||外領掌||ling||outside leading palm|
|5.||沾手掌||zhan||adhering (touching) hands palm|
|6.||黏手掌||nian||sticking hands palm|
|7.||連手掌||lian||continuous hands palm|
|8.||隨手掌||sui||following hands palm|
巽八式 Xun gua
For practicing spotting the acupoints and the methods of separating the tendons and sawing the bones.
為肘法 急快猛準 貼身而用
For practicing the elbow methods, one must be quick, fast, ferocious and accurate. The elbows should stick next to the body for use.
|6.||挫肘||cuo||filing the elbow|
|7.||疊肘||die||fold at the elbows|
離八式 li gua
為腿擊法 一腿三著 能踢二十四截腿
This is for methods of striking with the legs. Each form will have three moves, leading to being able to kick with twenty-four intercepting legs.
|1.||前趨腿||qu||front shin kick (forward hastening legs)|
|3.||外擺腿||bai||outside crescent kick|
|4.||內掛腿||gua||inside hook kick|
|6.||下截腿||cai||low stomping kick|
|7.||斜掃腿||tang||side kick / leg trap (slanting sweeping leg)|
|8.||正撞腿||zhuang||straight jamming leg|
坤八式 kun gua
沾黏纏化 Touching, sticking, entwining and changing
行步有法, 出手有招, 手眼相隨, 身步相隨.
The footwork has a method. When the hands go out there is form. The hands and eyes should mutually follow each other. The body and footwork should mutually follow one another.
|3.||刁手||diao||hook hand palm|
|4.||摟手||lou||embracing body palm|
|7.||扣掌||kou||hooking the face palm|
|8.||搬掌||ban||moving the eyebrows palm|
兌八式 Dui gua
心法之變 Methods of changing the heart
練身法敏捷, 手急眼快, 內含陰陽動靜變化.
One should practice so that the body methods are nimble, the hands are quick and the eyes are fast. Within it should contain the changing of yin and yang, movement and stillness.
|1.||猿猴擣把||dou||pounding (shaking) palm (apes pounding the handle)|
|2.||貍虎敲心||li||wildcat beats the heart|
|3.||吸身掌||xi||drawing in the body palm|
|4.||伏身撈胯||kua||straddling palm (bend over and scoop up the hip)|
|5.||搖身掌||yao||swaying body palm|
|6.||閃身掌||shan||evasive (dodging) body palm|
|7.||橫撞掌||heng||crossing crashing palm|
|8.||猛虎躥山||cuan||pouncing palm (ferocious tiger leaps up to the mountain)|
Important theory on Application 用法要論
快 招出迅速, 要求眼快, 手快, 步快.
Fast – Your movements should come out rapidly. The eyes need to be quick, the hands need to be quick and the stepping needs to be quick.
狠 一動即狠, 心要毒, 手要狠.
Merciless – As soon as you move you should be ruthless, your heart should be poisonous and your hands should be cruel.
變 以順求巧, 以巧破千力.
Change – Use smoothness to seek skill and use skill to defeat a thousand pounds.
九字訣 The Nine character Song
Smooth – One should be natural in their movements.
Courage – One should be brave and decisive in their actions.
Direct – Every time you shoot you hit.
Skillful – Borrow and skillfully apply force to defeat one thousand pounds.
妙 變化多端, 出手不見形
Subtle – Change without end, when the hand extends the opponent will not see it’s shadow: Change to the level where your attacks and counters are not seen.
連 沾黏連隨, 招勢不斷
Continuous – In sticking, adhering, connecting and following, your movement will be unbroken.
Merciless – Your movements and attacks should not show any emotion or feelings. You should be cruel and ruthless.
Quick – Be tight and swift as if on the verge of breaking out at any moment.
Skill (Gong) – Internal and external power.
高義盛 More from Gao Yisheng
凡與人交手不必著數太多 , 博而不精, 一體變化無窮而已. 藝家比武, 如同將師之用兵 有好兵無勇將, 不能取勝, 有好藝無功夫不能贏人, 所謂兵不在多而在勇, 藝不在多而在精 .
When crossing hands with ordinary people you do not need to use too many techniques, broad knowledge of many techniques is not refinement; the changes within a body are simply infinite. When skilled people compete in martial skills it is similar to a general using his soldiers: having good soldiers without brave officers and you can not win battles, having good skill in technique without good kungfu and you can not win over others. Therefore in speaking of soldiers it is not in their numbers that is important it is their bravery; skill and technique being plentiful is not as important as their refinement.
先天八卦掌 Pre Heaven Ba Gua Zhang
轉掌歌 Song of the Turning Palms
The Eight Trigram turning palms follows the origin,
In taking the circle as the method, you must walk the circle,
Within the circle, there are inner circles and outer circles,
The circle is the basin of the pre-heaven Bagua,
The objective is to practice the internal and cultivate the base,
As the days grow old and the nights become deep, your skill must become complete,
Adjust the yin and yang with the qi and blood,
Benefit the cultivation of the body by becoming skillful and subtle like an immortal.
換掌歌 Song of the Changing Palms
The changing palms is the mother and beginning without end,
The eight overturning body lines are given birth to inside,
One overturning body line gives birth to eight forms,
Eight lines also give birth to the sixty-four names,
The sixty-four forms give birth to change,
Yin and yang, movement and stillness, sophistication without end,
The eight overturning body lines adhere to the Eight Trigrams,
Black Dragon Swings Tail gives birth to a whirlwind.
先天掌之二十四網要 The 24 Key Demands of Pre Heaven Baguazhang
練內培本 Practice the internal and cultivate a base.
1. 意要靜 The mind must be peaceful.
2. 氣要平 One’s Qi should be smooth.
3. 頭要頂 The head should be erect.
4. 舌要抵 The tongue should touch the roof of the mouth.
5. 項要挺 The neck should be held straight.
6. 眼要隨 The eyes should follow.
7. 田要抱 Hold the dantian.
8. 肛要提 Lift the anus.
9. 肩要垂 The shoulders should hang down.
10. 肘要墬 The elbows should sink.
11. 胸要含 The chest should be collapsed.
12. 腰要擰 Twist the waist.
13. 胯要坐 Sit into your kua.
14. 膝要抱 Hold the knees.
15. 臂要伸 Stretch your arms.
16. 腿要屈 Bend the legs.
17. 腕要塌 The wrists should sink.
18. 指要撐 The fingers should firmly separate.
19. 指對肘 The fingers are aligned with the elbows.
20. 肘掩心 The elbows cover the heart.
21. 足要弸 The feet should be jabbing.
22. 趾要扣 The toes should hook.
23. 步要趨 The steps should be quick.
24. 行要穩 The walking should be stable.
養身歌訣 Song of Cultivating the Body
Moving through the turning palms will rid the body of the one hundred sicknesses (will benefit your general health),
If the body is weak then study the changing palms,
The snake form smooth body palm will alleviate heart fire in the body,
The dragon form piercing hand palm will regulate the three burners,
The returning body, strike the tiger palm will soothe the liver and lungs,
The swallow overturning covering hand palm will solidify the kidneys, waist and lower back,
The turn the body over the back palm will add to your long power,
The twist the body searching horse palm will adjust your spleen and stomach,
The overturn the body, through the back palm will strengthen the tendons and bones,
The stopping body, move and hook palm will abate the one hundred sicknesses,
For fatigue, sports related injuries and chronic injuries you must shake the dragon’s tail (practice Black Dragon Swings Tail),
In order to strengthen the body you must refine the palms to a high level.
八大掌 Big Eight Palms
龍頭 The Head of the Dragon
單換掌 Single Palm Change
反換掌 Reverse Palm Change
1. 蛇形順勢掌 Snake form smooth force palm
2. 龍形穿手掌 Dragon form piercing hand palm
3. 回身打虎掌 Returning body, strike the tiger palm
4. 燕翻蓋手掌 Swallow overturning covering hand palm
5. 轉身反背掌 Turn the body over the back palm
6. 擰身探馬掌 Twist the body searching horse palm
7. 翻身背插掌 Overturn the body, through the back palm
8. 停身搬扣掌 Stop the body, move and hook palm
龍尾 The Tail of the Dragon
烏龍擺尾 Black Dragon Swings Tail
龍尾 烏龍擺尾 Song of Black Dragon Swings Tail
A hook step to the outside gives birth to the smooth body form,
Swing to piercing palm appears like the form of the dragon,
Spin to the outside, returning body, turn around tiger palm,
Steal a step covering palm is called swallow overturning,
Hook to the inside, turning palm, against the back palm,
Retreating step, search for the horse and twist the waist,
Swing to the inside, sway the body insert through the back palm,
Returning body, move, hook and stop the body.
烏龍擺尾 Song of Black Dragon Swings Tail (Number Two)
Black Dragon Swings Tail should be as fast as the wind,
The seizing hand poking through below appears like the form of a dragon,
The stepping and piercing into the forest is both rapid and fast,
Advancing, retreating, entering and exiting are all deeply known,
Within Black Dragon Swings Tail are hidden the sixty four changes,
Pre-heaven Bagua reaches its conclusion here.