Is it worth doing bagua to improve tai chi?

Discussion in 'Internal Martial Arts' started by Hatamoto, Feb 21, 2012.

  1. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter

    Hiya peeps.

    So I saw a flyer yesterday (in a computer shop oddly enough) for bagua that takes place tomorrow night. I'll be honest, bagua looks ridiculous to me (though I know this is from a point of ignorance, and I don't mean that offensively) and I think I'd feel very silly doing it.. but I know bagua, along with xing yi and tai chi, have been considered the "internal trinity" and each one benefits the other. So my question is, is it worth giving bagua a try tomorrow night? Will it help me understand tai chi better, or will it only take me away from time spent doing tai chi? I want to try it for the flexibility, coordination and leg strength, and to try something different, but I can't see me doing it long term, it's just a curiosity thing (I want to try capoeira for the same reasons.)
  2. Hannibal

    Hannibal Cry HAVOC and let slip the Dogs of War!!! Supporter

    If I had to pick one of the "big three" IMA's I would probably go for Bagua personally. Look at it as a complimentary system to your Tai Chi rather than as an assist.

    My often referred to fave from IMA Wang Shu Jin was a Bagua guy primarily (ignore the monkey boxer)

  3. Fish Of Doom

    Fish Of Doom Will : Mind : Motion Supporter

    IMO bagua is possibly better as far as improving the health of your body is concerned, particularly on the issues of shoulder mobility and efficient movement patterns (whereas taiji is probably a bit superior regarding hip mobility). martially, as always, it'll vary tremendously between schools. i've only done a single class of bagua (seminar my sifu held as a fundraiser), but i also enjoyed it tremendously, so i'd say give it a go.
  4. Putrid

    Putrid Moved on

    Providing it is practiced properly tai chi will give you all these things.
  5. Johnno

    Johnno Valued Member

    The thing that will help you most with your Taiji is Taiji, IMO, but in the long run I think that doing a complimentary art can give insights into our 'main' art.

    I've only had a brief taste of Bagua (at a MAP meet) and I'd love to have the chance to study it properly.
  6. Dan Bian

    Dan Bian Neither Dan, nor Brian

    I had been practicing (Yang) Taiji for a few years before I experienced (Cheng) Bagua, and I have to say, the Baguazhang has helped me no-end in understanding aspects of Taiji that I was struggling to get my head around, particularly in reference to the 8 core Jin of Taiji - looking at the 8 Mother Palms of Bagua helped me understand what I was missing from my study.

    Nowadays I do a bit of Bagua jibengong and a little circle-walking, as it still seems to be boosting my primary Taiji practice.

    But yes, you do feel a plonker running around in circles...
  7. El Medico

    El Medico Valued Member

    Well,you can pick up some ideas/approaches, and surely training methods for adjunctive practice,but to really "get" it,you have to spend the same amount of time on it as you would on TC. But if it amuses m'lord to tarry with the lass a bit,....vhy not?

    As always,watch out for people teaching "empty" forms.

    And Hsing I.Big time there,too.
  8. Ular Sawa

    Ular Sawa Valued Member

    I would go and try it. Mind you there are different styles of Bagua as there are Tai Chi. I have done a little & enjoyed it.
  9. iemethods

    iemethods New Member

    So, did Hatamoto learn Ba Gua? lol I have to admit, I agree with Hannibal on this one. Ba Gua is worth doing for no other reason than to learn and practice Ba Gua. It feels entirely different than Tai Chi, and it's supposed to. I'm still laughing at the "looks ridiculous" comment! I suppose it does...
  10. Mat hunt

    Mat hunt New Member

    To improve your tai chi get a good tai chi teacher.
  11. embra

    embra Valued Member

    Once exposed to evasional cross stepping in any art (circle walking/muddy stepping in Bagua, 9 Palace step in Wu Taichi) - or plain and simple - keeping the hell out of on-coming trouble; it all follows a fairly simple and consistent principle (IMHO).

    Its not everything in IMA or any other MA, but its pretty usefull - but difficult - and there are a lot of other basic aspects to deal with. The theory behind the 8 bagua points and centre (the 9 steps of Wu Taichi's 9 palace step) and relationship to iching trigrams does get a tad heavy for me.

    However in any MA training its the evasion aspect that I always look for its presence - as this is most likely what will save your bacon for real(IMHO.)
  12. Prodigal Gil

    Prodigal Gil Valued Member

    All Nie Gar (Internal Family) arts will help the understanding and improvements in the movement, chi control, breathing, application and uses of the forms as well as the "flexibility, coordination and leg strength" you are looking for.

    For Bagua, the stance can really improve your Qua. Try it out for at least 3 months and see if it helps your Taichi.

    In my school of thoughts, what Bagua can provide, specifically for fighting application is the movements to evade and the dissolving of internal attacks, i.e., an Arn jin or Peng jin attack. It is essentially dirty fighting IMO.
  13. NaturalBoxer

    NaturalBoxer New Member

    To the OP, it depends on what you feel is missing from your Taijiquan training. I wouldn't just go for Baguazhang on the commonly held assumption that you should do it just cause they go together, but choose base on whether there is something in Baguazhang that can fill the holes you feel more Taijquan training can't. No arts cover every range perfectly, and some specialise in one area more than others, so it's really up to what you're shoot for. If its just extra attribute training, or a compare and contrast scenario, then it begs the question whether learning a whole other art is the best use of your training time, if your goal is to get better at taijiquan.
  14. yaba

    yaba New Member

    I think yes
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  15. Sketco

    Sketco Banned Banned

    Even in less similar martial arts there are concepts and movements which can help you out. I've met Bjj guys who said tai chi increased their rolling proficiency. I actuall studied a little tai chi when I was having trouble getting the blending or aiki concept/movements in aikido.
  16. yaba

    yaba New Member

    when I do my tai chi forms I do bagua forms - I consider it one practice
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2012
  17. Hatamoto

    Hatamoto Beardy Man Kenobi Supporter

    Howdy folks. Sorry, fell off the map a bit. Damn you, life, getting in the way again :p

    I had a private lesson in bagua once, when I turned up for regular tai chi class was the only one there, so my teacher gave me a taster. I enjoyed it but didn't feel like pursuing it back then, and now his bagua class has stopped due to lack of interest. I'm not sure why but I'm drawn to bagua, it's not that I feel it would fill gaps in my tai chi (I don't know enough about tai chi yet to be able to tell, tbh) maybe it's just having an internal thing that offers the same benefits as tai chi, that's done at speed, or just looks "cooler", or something. As in all my training, I have no idea why I wanna do it, only that I wanna lol
  18. Prodigal Gil

    Prodigal Gil Valued Member

    Sorry guys, not sure why I returned to back to the post, just because a thought turned up.

    Just a quick point that I recall my teaching saying whether it is Taichi, Bagua, hsing-i, asking the question of why each forms differs and how it helps each other was the wrong question. The answer was it can help, it might not help, it doesn't help. All of them are true. I was pretty confuse with that and when further asked about each of its application and relationship, the answer was, you can apply it in all different ways, but they are they same. I was further confused.

    I only got my answer after training a different way (after 7 years), that it is the principle that counts. The underline principle of Nei Jar (internal family) of the breathing method and how that is used plus other principle factors like alignment..etc, to generate internal power and put any internal art to full use.

    Thus, instead of asking whether BB and TC would compliment each other or if BB would help you TC, I believe the question should be if you feel you could apply the same principle you have learnt in TC to what you have or will have tried out in BB.

    One quick example is the BB circle walk. If you have learnt to inhale in your Dantin and exhale though the movement in TC, do you feel comfortable applying the same inhale and exhale method during your BB walk (lifting the leg using your breathing instead of yoru posture and quar strength) and releasing the breath when the foot is down during the BB walk. (AKA Reserve breathing technique). Thus, you are learning a new combat technique using the same TC principle, rather than doing another art to compliment your TC.

    If you do not feel you understand or is uncomfortable with the application of what you learnt in TC to the BB moves, than it would not help in my opinion, and you are better off developing further your TC core principles.

    Does that makes sense?! Excuse me if I am being unclear. Just a quick type, no check and off to the pub on a friday night reply!:confused:
  19. emptycupoftea

    emptycupoftea Valued Member

    I train Baguazhang and Chen Taijiquan. Both have similar coiling type of energies, both have fa jin, principles of sinking, rooting are there.
    Will Baguazhang help your Taijiquan? I think having a good understanding of principles and Zhan Zhuang 站桩 is more important. All the neijia arts have similar principles, rooting, sinking, Tuishou 推手 , coiling, relasing, rise and fall.

    It is in my opinion the principles that matter most.
    Baguazhang can open your eyes to possibilities with Taijiquan and visa versa.
    If you are trying it for flexibility and leg strength I think you would get more benefit just doing Zhan Zhuang 站桩 and getting to deeper levels in your Taijiquan.

    I hope my opinion as helped in some way in your choice. Best of luck.
  20. Vegeta

    Vegeta Hmm I love my girlfriend

    Baguazhang is a good "finishing art." Not as the last thing you learn or something like that, but as a tool for refinement. A lot of Baguazhang is conceptual in nature and rooted in advanced concepts on how to evade and transition. I'm just an outsider but what I've seen and read of Baguazhang, is it's suppose to hold true to the nature of change.

    There if you don't already have a good FOUNDATION and actual combat experience, I don't think Baguazhang is particularly well suited.

    I thought this video was interesting. Whether it's good Bagua or not, I cannot say for sure but it seems OK at least.

    [ame=""]MERGING 52BLOCKS WITH PA-KUA - YouTube[/ame]
    Last edited: Jul 19, 2013

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