Bagua Zhang

Bagua Zhang is one of the three great internal martial arts – Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua Zhang. The Bagua style we teach includes many Xing Yi elements and is also referred to as "Xingyi Bagua".

Bagua is Daoist, based on the principles of the "Yi Jing – the Book of Changes" and the "8 Trigrams Bagua". It is ascribed to famous Daoist Zhang Sanfeng.

Bagua Zhang is guided by natural phenomena and typical movements of the following eight animals: the swallow, eagle, monkey, bear, dragon, tiger, horse and snake. Basic Bagua principles are the five phases of change together with their cardinal directions North, South, East, West and Center as well as the cycles of interactive generation and suppression.

Movements in this internal martial art are harmonious and coordinate above and below. Bagua is also characterized by walking on imagined circle lines, a number of turns and spiral movements. When taking a step, the idea is to lift the whole sole of the foot off the ground at once while the other foot takes hold of the ground. Turning movements should be easy and smooth. With Bagua we practice internal as well as external skills, refining the body as well as the mind.

It is said that in ancient times practitioners of Bagua lived for a very long time and became famous martial artists. Bagua does not only promote good health (Yangsheng) but is also a very effective combat sport. The movements include a variety of turns and changes of direction that should be performed lithely. So practitioners should be reasonably fit and flexible.

Bagua can be exercised slow or fast. When we move slowly, we practice inner aspects while fast movements focus on combat and defense. Regular Bagua practice strengthens our backs and legs and has a positive effect on our necks and spines.

Jo Augustin was taught Xingyi Bagua in direct lineage by Master Tian Liyang.