Baguazhang Combat strategy

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Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Admin on Thu Nov 10, 2011 3:42 pm

As I develop as a fighter and having experience with Bagua, I am finding that some of the fundamental drills are more important that the forms themselves for fighting. By fundamental drills I am talking more about the simpler single techniques like:
1. The Basic palm strikes and combinations of them.
2. Angular and linear stepping.
3. Elbow strikes.
4. The various Kou pu and bai pu kicks.
5. Some of the various combat throws in the system.

The techniques I feel are less effective for combat, but more useful for Qigong and Health are the following:
1. Walking the circle
2. Swimming body coiling drills
3. Single palm change forms
4. Double palm change forms

The partner training I think is more effective for combat:
1. Pakua push hands
2. Pakua San shou with throwing.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Mike Patterson on Fri Nov 18, 2011 4:02 pm

Admin wrote:As I develop as a fighter and having experience with Bagua, I am finding that some of the fundamental drills are more important that the forms themselves for fighting. By fundamental drills I am talking more about the simpler single techniques like:
1. The Basic palm strikes and combinations of them.
2. Angular and linear stepping.
3. Elbow strikes.
4. The various Kou pu and bai pu kicks.
5. Some of the various combat throws in the system.

The techniques I feel are less effective for combat, but more useful for Qigong and Health are the following:
1. Walking the circle
2. Swimming body coiling drills
3. Single palm change forms
4. Double palm change forms

The partner training I think is more effective for combat:
1. Pakua push hands
2. Pakua San shou with throwing.

Tools are tools. The usefulness of such things depends a great deal on individual experience and level of understanding in terms of application of said tools. I often say to my students that all tools have a place and time. But a poor understanding of the specific utility in combat will cause a failure in execution.

I took a young fighter with no martial arts experience what-so-ever, and with only eight months of basic Pa Kua (bagua) training, all the way to the world tournament. He had only one basic technical idea which is what we call a "cutback" utilized off walking the circle.

Walking the circle is equal to a moving guard in Pa Kua methodolgy. If you take the circle out of the equation you may as well be doing hsingi (xingyi) with open hands.

With that said, many practitioners I meet do not understand the utility of what I just stated and therefore many do resort to using what would be tantamount to linear Pa Kua, such as the Gao linear stuff we also practice.

Just my two cents. Smile

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  AthenaW on Tue Nov 22, 2011 2:14 pm

Admin wrote:As I develop as a fighter and having experience with Bagua, I am finding that some of the fundamental drills are more important that the forms themselves for fighting. By fundamental drills I am talking more about the simpler single techniques like:
1. The Basic palm strikes and combinations of them.
2. Angular and linear stepping.
3. Elbow strikes.
4. The various Kou pu and bai pu kicks.
5. Some of the various combat throws in the system.

The techniques I feel are less effective for combat, but more useful for Qigong and Health are the following:
1. Walking the circle
2. Swimming body coiling drills
3. Single palm change forms
4. Double palm change forms

The partner training I think is more effective for combat:
1. Pakua push hands
2. Pakua San shou with throwing.

I have noticed with my fellow classmates that when they suddenly get exponentially better during our push hands and/or light sparring parts of the class, it is because they have been practicing their circle walking regularly. I always am sure to ask when I notice quite a bit of increase in their power, or technique or whathaveyou.

Also as said above, the amazing Bagua footwork, which it is famous for Smile.

Personally I like to mix up my practice to keep up my interest, but I do keep up the circle walking as well. Sometimes it's more difficult for me to tell when I'm improving since all the people I practice with are also improving! So I watch to see what works for others as well.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris_Haynes on Fri Nov 25, 2011 11:56 am

I like what Mike Patterson said about tools being tools. Tools serve a purpose, even if the purpose is quite specific and doesn't apply to everything, it is still useful in a particular situation.
I think that one of the key parts to making your art useful for fighting is to find a way to apply it in a drilled format so that it can be integrated into the mind and body. Some things are easier to drill than others and can be developed faster.
Some of the other things can be developed on a principle level more than a technique level. I think that the second four points that were brought up can actually be developed quite well as combat application, but may be easier to use for development on the health level. Fro example, walking the circle is where we get angle change in bagua and the swimming body stuff can be very useful in standing grappling.
One of the things I enjoy so much about Bagua and Xingyi is that they have so many tools available so you should always have something that you can use. The tough part is being able to change and utilize your tools effectively when you need them.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris Davis on Mon Nov 28, 2011 10:11 am

Interesting discussion.

What are peoples thoughts on ba gua being primarily and specifically about multiple opponent strategies and not actually as useful as something like Xing Yi in stand off confrontation.

It can seem counter intuitive to some degree that if you can fight 4 people you can surely fight one but this doesn't necessarily translate.

The strategies employed by ba gua can be used to not have to face any one person for any large amount of time. the stepping skill means that you are effectively using 'hit and run' tactics rather than square up tactics (put a knife in the Ba gua mans hands and this become a devastating idea). In this instance you may be slapping one guy while stepping out and away from him behind another guy, thus making any response he might have redundant. The key is for your slap to be powerful enough to take him out ... i guess thats where Internal Mechanics come in.

I am fully aware that ba gua is, in fact, a cracking 1 on 1 method. But just wanted to throw this idea out there n see how you feel about it. Do you guys cater for MO situations in your Ba gua training?

Regards
Chris

regards

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Dale Dugas on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:22 am

It is easier to deal with multiple people when you have been exposed to dealing with such situations. You can use people and throw them into others, and use them as shields, etc.

though I can deal with singular opponents as well.

I always look around, as I train to expect anything to happen.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris Davis on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:32 am

Agreed.

that is true of anything, you can deal with familiar situations to a far better degree than unfamiliar ones.

however i am mainly talking theoretically here specifically with reference to Ba Gua's overall movement and training strategy.

regards

Chris

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Dale Dugas on Mon Nov 28, 2011 11:42 am

Chris,

I am always trying to deal with people from a disadvantageous angle, whether flanking them or getting around them using entering and wedging with the arms to off balance them and gain entry.

I do not play with people and will touch, take their spine/balance and then redirect them some where else. If they react, I hit them along the way.

It depends on what they do, i.e. was it a punching attack or a kicking attack? Did they grab me? All these factors will help me deal with what is being thrown at me.
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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris Davis on Mon Nov 28, 2011 12:56 pm

Dale,

What are peoples thoughts on ba gua being primarily and specifically about multiple opponent strategies

just wanted to throw this idea out there n see how you feel about it.

I was talking about Multiple opponent strategies in Ba gua and how people feel they relate to their practice. I have dealt with MOs on many occasions real time and think that MO consideration brings ba gua training to life somewhat.

you seem to be talking past me and not engaging with the conversation, instead just listing what you do, so i will bow out now.

Happy training
Chris

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Mike Patterson on Wed Nov 30, 2011 6:04 pm

Hi Chris,

I have also dealt with multiples numerous times in the street. Many of those encounters happened when my only source of technique came from Xingyi. Others occurred after I had acquired a significant skill base in Bagua as well. Obviously I'm still here so whatever that tells ya. Smile

One of the primary factors in such instances Dale has already mentioned... e.g. get to the outside their circle/perimeter and use one opponent as a shield where possible for a time whilel engaging the others as necessary. However, in my personal experience, this is not always possible depending on the level and intent of the adversary pool so to speak Wink

It is certainly true that the contruct of a "moving guard" such as Bagua presents may lend itself to the notion or developing mindset of multiple engagement. But I would not say that this necessarily gives it a major leaning in this direction. Sometimes it is more the strategy than the style that allows you to emerge from such incidents with relatively little damage in the process.

I will agree that you are certainly right about one point.. you need to be able to strike and strike hard within such an encounter. You don't have a lot of room for mistakes or ineffective techniques. It becomes necessary to "even the playing field" swiftly to avoid being overwhelmed by numbers.

In my school, we train multiples as a drill in numerous ways. I find that my Xingyi people do about equally well as my Bagua people. But then again, they are all learning from me so they are bound to soak up the same strategic notions and then apply same within their own current skill set.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Rob Burnett on Wed Nov 30, 2011 9:02 pm

my take on it:
The amount of stuff hidden inside the basic training and even in the forms is just out of this world. I was doing tea cups the other day and found about seven punches inside of the basic tea cups exercise, as well as clinches, joint locks/escapes and all kinds of other stuff. the cool thing about bagua is that it emphasizes continuous motion, so those punches can be combined in lots of different ways, with lots of different angles, footwork, kicks, clinches, throws, tie ups, or what have you, and suddenly bagua really does seem like a tornado of unexpected attacks. Also I like that fact that bagua can change strategies mid way through techniques. There are lots of opportunities to change very easily between striking and throwing while still keeping the same basic movement and direction of force.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris Davis on Thu Dec 01, 2011 6:39 am

Hi Mike,

thanks for the response.

Funnily enough when i was working in security and encountered a lot of MO situations i wasn't studying ba gua but Aiki Jujutsu. However the experiences there certainly gave me a good impression of what Ba gua could be useful for ref MOs.

Sometimes it is more the strategy than the style that allows you to emerge from such incidents with relatively little damage in the process.

I have written a couple of Blog posts on MO fighting which discuss tactical things like 'Shielding', 'stacking' and 'barriers'. just if you fancy a scan through ... i am quite positive that you have a much deeper understanding of this subject.

http://theukimablog.blogspot.com/2011/09/fighting-crowd.html

http://theukimablog.blogspot.com/2011/11/pack-mentality.html

It is certainly true that the contruct of a "moving guard" such as Bagua presents may lend itself to the notion or developing mindset of multiple engagement. But I would not say that this necessarily gives it a major leaning in this direction.

Do you think that Ba gua's body development and positioning lends itself more clearly to MO considerations than XY for instance? By this i mean the twist around the central Axis gives the body potential to spin or turn in any direction while in motion. I am certainly a XY guy at heart ... but i figure there must be a quantifiable reason the likes of Zhang Zao Dong and Li Cun Yi went onto learn ba gua movement dynamics integrating their XY power skills into them. Some lines have the 'pan gen' stepping etc but certain XY masters seemed to see something different in Ba Gua combative tactics.

In my school, we train multiples as a drill in numerous ways. I find that my Xingyi people do about equally well as my Bagua people. But then again, they are all learning from me so they are bound to soak up the same strategic notions and then apply same within their own current skill set.

Interesting, i tend to find my guys have a little trouble letting go of pinpoint focus when 3 guys are hitting them at the same time.

one very good example (from a movement perspective) of ba gua in motion is this video of Su Dong Chen.



Thanks for the response.

Rob,

Also I like that fact that bagua can change strategies mid way through techniques. There are lots of opportunities to change very easily between striking and throwing while still keeping the same basic movement and direction of force.

Yes for sure this is one of my favorite points about Ba gua too ... after all it is the art of Change! Wink

all the best guys.

Chris

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Justin Sturgill on Thu Dec 01, 2011 5:56 pm

I don't practice bagua but recently I was running a class while my teacher was out. We did a drill where it was 10 on 1, light contact. The people who did the best were the ones who kept in motion, moving through and around their opponents and were able to constantly adjust to the changing situation. I think the bagua methodology lends itself to that kind of movement.

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Mike Patterson on Thu Dec 01, 2011 10:49 pm

Chris Davis wrote:Do you think that Ba gua's body development and positioning lends itself more clearly to MO considerations than XY for instance? By this i mean the twist around the central Axis gives the body potential to spin or turn in any direction while in motion. I am certainly a XY guy at heart ... but i figure there must be a quantifiable reason the likes of Zhang Zao Dong and Li Cun Yi went onto learn ba gua movement dynamics integrating their XY power skills into them. Some lines have the 'pan gen' stepping etc but certain XY masters seemed to see something different in Ba Gua combative tactics.

Well, as I said in response to a question in another post; Both arts are very complimentary. One learned mechanic/engine, then different persuasions in how to utilize the mechanic/engine learned. As a simple example; Xingyi's principle of "yao" will get you flank advantage through applied and appropriately vectored force. Bagua's principle of "pyan" will get you flank advantage through footwork. Depending on the situation, both have their place.

Hsu Hong Chi used to say; "Xingyi stay Bagua straight line. Bagua stay Xingyi circle." An simple, yet true statement. He also used to tell us that if we wanted to understand just how similar they were to look at the turn mechanics in Xingyi's linear forms.

You know, if I were to show you a piece of Lung Hsin Pa Kua Kua #2 and then show you a piece of Xingyi's 12 Red Hammers form, but put it in a circle and replace the fists with open hands, you would be hard pressed to tell the difference. Smile

But again, I will state that the construct of a moving guard in Bagua training may lend itself more immediately to the notion of multiple opponents. The more complex Kua's are certainly set up that way. I do, however, think that many people have a misperception of Xingyi as a whole and so tend to miss some of its "sameness" to Bagua.

My good friend Henry Look likes to say that they are all ice cream (the three IMA's) but different flavors. True enough. The longer that you practice them, the more alike they become. My two and a half cents. Smile

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Chris Davis on Fri Dec 02, 2011 7:06 am

Many thanks Mike,

Interesting stuff! Very Happy and thanks for putting some of your old videos online. I very much enjoyed watching these a good few years ago now so seeing them again with a little more knowledge than before was a treat.

all the best.

Chris

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Re: Baguazhang Combat strategy

Post  Conn Cummins on Thu Dec 15, 2011 3:48 pm

Admin wrote:As I develop as a fighter and having experience with Bagua, I am finding that some of the fundamental drills are more important that the forms themselves for fighting. By fundamental drills I am talking more about the simpler single techniques like:
1. The Basic palm strikes and combinations of them. definately
2. Angular and linear stepping. yes
3. Elbow strikes. well I do train these , but never in full flight as it were. hard to control.
4. The various Kou pu and bai pu kicks. to my detriment not enough Bai pu kicks, which incidentally has resulted in stiff external rotators in the legs but I have learnt my lesson now Smile
5. Some of the various combat throws in the system. Only have two I can use in real time, Sweep and a sort of spiral drag

The techniques I feel are less effective for combat, but more useful for Qigong and Health are the following:
1. Walking the circle
2. Swimming body coiling drills
3. Single palm change forms I rarely use anything else
4. Double palm change forms

The partner training I think is more effective for combat:
1. Pakua push hands agreed, but I only learnt rou shou in bagua. My Tai Ji push hands comes in useful though
2. Pakua San shou with throwing.

Other things I like from Bagua are:

penetrating/ drilling / intercepting palms
evaisive stepping


All the best

Conn


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