Prerequisite: Completion of T’ai Chi form and Hsing-I forms.
Ba means “eight” and Gua, “direction”, Zhang, “palm of the hand.” It is based on the I-Ching — Book of Changes, and characterized by its “circle walking” combined with palm changes. The complex and beautiful Ba Gua is considered the “crown jewel” of the internal martial arts. Ba Gua has a vast curriculum reserved for advanced students. It also requires great strength and stamina which is only built up by regular practice of T’ai Chi and Hsing-I.
The principle in Ba Gua is to attract the opponent into the circle in order to attack him from the side or behind without encountering him/her. Ba Gua’s spiraling and twisting effect on the body can be very dramatic. Due to the constant body twisting or coiling/uncoiling, the meridians coil/uncoil, which results in increased chi flow that is faster and stronger than T’ai Chi or Hsing-I. Therefore, in the Cheng-Ming system, it is reserved for students who trained and built foundation in both T’ai Chi and Hsing-I before allowing students to begin Ba Gua.
Unlike Hsing-I’s straight forward power, Ba Gua has hard and soft, obvious and hidden, sideways/crossing, like a cyclone. It trains students to be evasive, indirect, thoughtful, detail-oriented, and multi-dimensional; both in mind and body.
Students begin by walking 1000 steps in each direction, non-stop. It requires students incredible mental and physical challenge that only comes with the actual practice. It is very strong and powerful to the five major organs and also requires great patience and excellent balance. The energy produced in Ba Gua has a spiraling effect on the body and creates enormous energy. Ba Gua has uplifting effect on the mind, improve balance, concentration, core strength and patience. After students have trained 1000 steps for some time, forms and weapons will be introduced. The quantity and complexity of Ba Gua, coupled with the rigorous training, exercises both the mind and the body extraordinarily.