Tuesday, August 7, 2007


According to my Oregon Scientific thermometer, it's 104F outside. That might be a little higher than the official 99F with 31% humidity; but I guess sensor placement makes a difference...

Last night was bagua night. After walking hundreds of steps, I was soaked in sweat: I could actually have wrung out my shirt!

I did find a couple interesting bagua clips. The first one is a fairly typical form:

But this is very interesting: the apparent lack of effort that results in visible power is characteristic of all the internal arts. This guy's apparently a 94-year-old bagua practitioner:

But work's been picking up, so I've not been blogging much. Sorry.


Ames said...

It's almost as hot as you are, Mr. Ox.

Gwen said...

Yeah, that walking around in circles thing on the first clip? I totally have that down pat.

Gwen said...

The guy in the second clip is completely cool. It looks like some nice young men are coming up to give the old guy a hand. Right on.

These clips remind me a bit of studying Kenpo. "Okay, come up and grab my arm. No, like put your hand that way. Yeah, but make sure your fingers are closer together. Okay, now start to pull my arm... no, not that hard, just sort of a little tug. No, I mean just tug with that arm, but you need to move your leg back. Okay, that's perfect. Now, watch what I can do... Oh, just a sec. Something's not right. No, I think you're supposed to grab my other arm. Let's try again."

clumsy ox said...

Gwen, the circle-walking is actually pretty tricky. The idea is, you need to root on each step. So at any point in the circle, you should be immovable.

The kewl part about bagua is, when you master it (heh), you are able to strike with extreme power in any direction, while moving.

I practice a lot more xingyi than bagua: my teacher prefers some level of xingyi mastery before diving into bagua. That's not atypical, but I really prefer the way bagua feels.

clumsy ox said...

Yeah, my xingyi teacher is the only martial arts instructor I've ever seen who points to a senior student and says "Attack me with something---anything, try a combination---at full speed. I want to show you something."

The sad part is, those demos were so fast, we had to get him to slow them down anyway, just so we could see what he did.

Gwen said...

re: circles - yes, I watched a related YouTube vid from the second clip, it showed some dude practicing the circles. Looks tricky.

To summarize: don't attack the feeble looking old Asian guy walking home from the grocery store at night.

Shan said...

Hoo boy, do I like that first vid. The old guy, well, it looks a bit orchestrated, to this skeptic. But obviously dude can hold his own and I personally would keep a respectful distance, whether or not he can make a 60-years-younger man fall back with only the power of his mind.

Although hey - I'm not saying it isn't possible.

And no wonder those guys live so long, with such mastery of the energy flow through their wiry little bodies. No blockages, no buildup, no nothing. Awesome.

clumsy ox said...

Shan, the guy's actually pushing with his arms. It does look orchestrated, because it is, so to speak. They're doing a "push hands" exercise, which is where the players attempt to push one another off balance: it's not a fight, it's stance and balance practice. They're not fighting him very hard, presumably because he's showing them some technique.

There's a lot more combat application than you'd think in the push hands, but the point is the power. Obviously you're not going to go into a fight and let someone get that close to you while you just stand there.

Skepticism is good. "Pure chi" martial arts are pretty much hooey. Bagua is based on balance and root, which is what the old guy is demonstrating.