This course covers the most basic foundations of Jiang Style Baguazhang
In this course I will share some of the methods I have used to develop real skill with Baguazhang Circle Walking, the foundation of all baguazhang skill and one of the most potent healing qigong disciplines anyone can learn.
Translated, “Bagua” means "Eight Trigram," referring to the eight basic principles described in the ancient metaphysical treatise the I-Ching, or "Book of Changes." Bagua is meant to be the physical manifestation of these eight principles. "Zhang" means "palm" emphasizing the use of the open hand over the closed fist.
Jiang Rong Qiao (anglicized as Chiang Jung Ch’iao) lived from 1890-1974 was a student of both Zhang Zhaodong and Cheng Tinghua, both of whom were formal students of Baguazhang founder Dong Haichaun.
No other martial art has flawlessly combined the whole range of fighting techniques in one package as effectively as Baguazhang. Baguazhang is characterized by its use of spiral movements and evasive footwork, relying almost entirely on open hand techniques, or 'palm' methods and full body movement. Baguazhang contains a wide variety of techniques, including various strikes, low kicks, joint locking techniques, and throws.
Bagua Circle Walking is the core foundation of all skill with Baguazhang. It is considered a master class in movement because of how much the muscle, skeletal-fascia and nervous systems all have to work together in order to do the movements correctly. A person will literally walk in a circle holding various static postures with the upper body or performing 'palm changes' which are patterns of movement or 'forms' in order to train and condition body mechanics and methods of generating power that make up the foundation of the styles' fighting techniques.
The basic solo training of Circle Walking in Baguazhang teaches the practitioner to control their momentum and timing in order to generate power with the entire body all at the same time. One whole integrated physical structure.
Through consistent practice a person can develop the mind's internal spaces to be calm, still and clear of irrelevant thoughts. A person can also develop a body that is free of disease, always relaxed and grounded. The potential to develop a profound immovable internal calm no matter what the outside world is doing cannot be overstated.
This is a demonstration of the full Jiang Rong Qiao form.
There are several theories as to the Origins of Ba Gua Zhang. Exhaustive research by martial scholars in Mainland China conclude that the Baguazhang is the creation of a single individual, Dong Hai Chuan.
Dong Hai Chuan was born in Wen An County, Hebei Province about 1813. He practiced local martial arts from a young age and gained notoriety as a skilled fighter. Dong left home around age 40 and traveled southward. At some point during his travels, Dong became a member of the Chuan Zhen (Complete Truth) sect of Daoism. This sect of Daoism practiced a method of walking in a circle white reciting mantras. This type of practice is designed to quiet the mind and focus the intent as a prelude to enlightenment.
Dong eventually combined circle walking mechanics with the martial arts he had mastered in his youth and created a new style we know today as Baguazhang.
The basis of every of Baguazhang, is Circle Walking. The practitioner walks in a circle while holding various static postures with the upper body to train the fascia and tendons and body mechanics all at the same time. This seemingly simple method helps the practitioner develop exceptionally deep sensitivity to structural mechanics and the use of whole body power.
In Baguazhang, the Bear Palm is the cornerstone of transforming the body and learning how to Circle walk. Every Baguazhang system uses this as the path into the art of baguazhang.
Bear Palm trains the ability to be have the back open and hips turned into the circle as you walk so you can learn how to hold your structure in proper alignment while training the tendons and fascia with spirals.
For self defense purposes it teaches how to open the back with your joints. This is the beginning of structural strength and transitioning away from muscular strength and movement only. This means once you learn how to open your back with this posture and move with it you can always keep your personal space open and have an ability to move.
Perfect defense against takedowns, tackles, bear hugs, wrist grabs, low kicks, upper cuts, etc. The application of body methodology as the only method you need instead of a million techniques starts here.
A Yoga enthusiast since the age of four, Sifu Kelly Whelan-Enns has studied and trained in Qigong and Eastern physical and meditation disciplines since before 1989. Growing up with chronic asthma that landed him in the hospital on numerous occasions, his interest in the healing arts began at a very young age.
In 1983, at the age of eight, Kelly began training in western boxing and Japanese Judo. 1989 was the year year Sifu Kelly learned his first formal set of qigong the Eight Pieces of Brocade - and never looked back.
In 1992 Kelly began studying Kenpo Karate, and Yang Style Taijiquan.
In 2002, he began the physical study of Baguazhang and Yiquan. In 2003 he began studying Chen style Taijiquan and Henan Xingyiquan Lui He Quan through Eric Tuttle.
In 2004, Kelly received STOTT Pilates Instructor training.
In 2013, after years of playing around with Escrima, Kelly trained at the famous Cacoy Doces Pares HQ in Cebu, Philippines. He now offers basics classes in this amazing traditional Philippino art. His teacher in Cebu at the Doce Pares HQ was Chuck Canete.
Sifu Kelly has trained extensively in Jiang style Baguazhang alongside Gao and Yin Fu styles. He currently trains in and teaches the rare Ma Gui style of Baguazhang and teaches Women's Self Defence classes incorporating drills from Taijiquan, Xingyi Liu He Quan and Baguazhang.
Sifu Kelly's current teacher is Andrea Falk.
His past teachers include Eric Tuttle, Zhonghua Chen, Mike Bagwell and Phillip Chan, a student of Lee Yng Arn and Chuck Canete of Doce Pares HQ in Cebu.
Before learning Qigong, Sifu Whelan-Enns was severely hypoglycemic, had asthma, bronchitis, and many food allergies.
Training. practice and teaching time since the first Wudang Qigong workshop in Winnipeg, Manitoba exceeds 30,000+ hours. Kelly has been teaching publicly for over 15 years.