Baguazhang kung fu
8 trigrams palm

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8 trigrams palm

Baguazhang (8 trigrams palm) is a very challenging internal martial art. It addresses the experience of combat in a different way to taijiquan with multiple opponents in mind at all times.
The student avoids direct confrontation by circling around the opponent or by encouraging the attacker to circle around them.


Baguazhang has never been taught for health purposes/benefits. It remains a distinctly martial form of kung fu.


Baguazhang uses insights from the I Ching and is based on the principle of change. Our
class practices the Jiang style of baguazhang.
The founder of baguazhang (Dong Haichuan) was a bodyguard in the Imperial court.

Kung fu

Baguazhang was designed to be an advanced kung fu method. The art contains many of the same fighting skills as
taijiquan (supreme ultimate fist), and a whole lot more besides...
It is a highly unusual martial art famous for its fast, evasive footwork and effectiveness against multiple opponents. Your body emulates animal movements and changes continually.

Baguazhang is unlike and superior to the other arts I learned.

(Robert Smith)

Shuai jiao & chin na

Shuai jiao and chin na are very important.
Given that baguazhang contains an enormous amount of shuai jiao and chin na applications, there would be little purpose in learning the Art without the required foundation.
By learning a vast number of applications before even touching upon baguazhang palm changes (form), the student already understands range, reach and good positioning.
It ensures that they will not exaggerate their baguazhang in form or in application.

Shuai jiao combined

Baguazhang favours shuai jiao. It is ideal against multiple attackers and perfectly suits the deft, speedy footwork of baguazhang.
By combining unusual angles of attack, chin na, shuai jiao and jing, the baguazhang student employs a bewildering method designed to take immediate advantage of the combat situation.

No techniques

Momentum and flow are used to overcome strength. The aim is to draw the attacker out of their centre and off-balance. Baguazhang trains the student to adapt, change and improvise.
There are no fixed techniques, with the exponent preferring to respond to the demands of the moment rather than force an outcome.


Baguazhang is all about responding spontaneously and favourably to stimuli. This cannot be achieved if you are standing in your own way.
Fluidity, flow, softness and harmony are not possible when you are self-conscious.


Baguazhang teaches a student how to choose-without-choosing; to let the subconscious mind make decisions. This will produce more powerful responses.
The application feels to have simply occurred, without force or effort.

Classical baguazhang

We study the classic style of baguazhang: Jiang Rong Qiao. There are circular palm changes but no linear forms.

Why learn baguazhang?

Baguazhang training encourages nimbleness and agility; it enlivens your martial skill.

  1. It makes your footwork smoother

  2. It is sneaky and deceptive

  3. It encourages spontaneity and improvisation

  4. It's fun

  5. It improves your spatial awareness

  6. It works well against multiple opponents

  7. It's hard

  8. It challenges you physically and cognitively


The ability to instantaneously bring all of your power to a single point is one of the techniques that the art of bagua develops.

(Bruce Frantzis)


Page created 31 July 1994
Last updated 1 December 2015