Ba Mu Zhang 'Eight Mother Palms' are designed primarily to train all of the body's small muscle groups, tendons and soft tissues (such as the ligaments, joints, and fasciae) to maintain proper bone alignment and posture. This is a fundamental training method practiced in many of the internal martial arts, in order to develop martial skill and whole body power. In addition, variations on these eight basic postures and energy themes can be practiced, with an emphasis on connecting the different palm shapes to each other, which maintains consistent energy flow throughout the body. This forms the core elements of practice in Baguazhang training.
Deer Horn Knives are specialised Chinese bladed weapons which consist of two steel crescents crossing. This crossing produces four curved, claw like points, one of which is extended as the 'main' blade. Bagua Deer Horn Knives combine grace and fluidity with razor-sharp precision. They are mainly used to trap an opponent's weapon, disarming them swiftly, before delivering the fatal blow. In action, the Deer Horn Knives have many techniques. As their shape is suggestive of Yin and Yang, so is their usage. Whilst one blade is blocking, the other is attacking. While one traps, the other cuts. A practical and dangerous weapon.
With Nine Palace Stepping, nine posts are placed in the ground and a practitioner walks around them, practising specific Bagua poses whilst striking and moving around the posts. At first practitioners can follow one of many set patterns based on the arrangement of the trigrams according to the I' Ching. Each trigram is associated with a number, and this arrangement in turn forms the order of the nine palaces. Later one can change the directions and postures freely. This training simulates how one might move when fighting a large group of opponents, and can be useful in teaching some of the fundamentals of multiple combat.
Bagua Nine Palace Stepping
Baguazhang - 'The Eight Trigram Palm'
Baguazhang is a powerful internal martial art based on ancient Taoist principles and the I' Ching (book of changes). Baguazhang contains an extremely wide variety of techniques including strikes (with palm, fist, elbow, fingers, etc), kicks, joint locks, throws, and distinctively evasive circular footwork. As such, Baguazhang is considered neither a purely striking, nor purely grappling martial art.
Baguazhang practitioners are known for their ability to 'flow' in and out of the way of objects, constantly changing direction with a natural rhythm and spiralling energy, that can confuse and unsettle an opponent’s balance and coordination. Graceful, deceptive and beautiful to watch, Baguazhang is fun to learn, but difficult to master. See the video below for a demonstration of the Eight Mother Palms, which is a fundamental practice in Baguazhang training.