The Gao Style Bagua Zhang System is comprised of zhan zhaung, circle walking, linear palms, partner drills with applications, linking forms and more. All of these components are categorized into 108 Tien Gan or heavenly stems. The complete 108 tian gan contains a lifetime of study. Mastering all of the branches is not feasible for most people, nor is it necessary for developing martial skill and improving health. The important thing is to train in the roots of the system. Master Chao doesn’t focus on forms in his personal training or teaching, but if you study what he shows you and ask he will teach the basic forms of Gao style Bagua. He specialty is the post heaven first road, which is a Bagua set. The Pre Heaven or circle walking set is also taught to a high standard.
In Shifu Victor’s classes correct structure and internal power development take precedence over the forms. Once the student begins to develop peng jin he can explore any branches of the system that suit their personal interests and abilities.
Fundamental Conditioning Exercises
Working the basics.
- Lift leg – kua stretches.
- Selected exercises from the first 10 of the Tian Gan.
- Golden Chicken
- Lower stances and open postures for conditioning – holding down the tiger etc.
Si Li & Moving Posts
After the body starts to link a bit:
- Stationary(legs) moving posts – Xing Yi and Bagua
- Stationary Wu Xing Quan fundamentals – Xing Yi
- Circle walking while holding a posture
Footwork & Stepping Methods
Xing Yi Chuan and Bagua Zhuang stepping methods allow you to move while keeping your root. They also protect the groin and knees from attack.
- Chicken stepping
- Ban Bu – half-step
- “Geisha” step – Preparation for mud walking
- Mud Walking
- Walking through the flowers – Freestyle Stepping
- Cu Bu
Apart from the Pre Heaven Bagua set all forms taught at our school are roads or linear drills. Eventually different techniques can be combined into freestyle movement.
Gao Style Bagua Zhang Training
- Single Palm Change
- Xian Tien or Pre Heaven palms – health focus
- The first 8 or so of the Hou Tien or post heaven palms which focus on fighting skills
- Kai – Opening Palm
Hebei Style Xing Yi Quan
The below forms are taught to a high standard.
- San Ti Shi
- Centerline awareness theory
- Wu Xing Quan – Five Element Fist
- Pi Quan
- Zuan Quan
- Beng Quan – Half Step Crashing Fist
- Pao Quan
- Heng Quan
- Xing Yi plucking technique
- Striking techniques
- Characteristics from the 12 animals forms