A couple of weeks ago we talked about a bagua book that contained some interesting historical stories about the founding of bagua and some of the early masters. One comment to the post warned me about some of the things they were saying in the book, and when I got into the instructional part of it, I found some good information and, as usual, information that can lead people down the wrong path.
One bit of information involved circle-walking, and the fact that chi shoots our your toes and goes underneath the ground in front of you.
What bothers me about these books, and this type of martial arts writing, is that it appears the authors actually believe this. Rather than saying that this is a mental visualization, or a concept that can help you visualize some of the "rooting" that you need in your circle-walking, it is presented as fact.
Our American education system falls far short in one particular skill (and don't even get me started on math and science): that skill is the ability to apply critical thinking skills to what you read, see, and hear. Most of these writers and authors that you read in the books and magazines only parrot what their teachers and masters have told them.
Most rational people know that if you do any type of walking, circle or otherwise, invisible, magical energy is not shooting out of your toes and going underneath the ground.
Proper circle-walking, like any other internal arts skill, involves many hours, days, months, and years of practice, and it involves sinking your weight (you can call it sinking your chi if you want), maintaining a centered stance, keeping the hips underneath you as you walk, opening and closing the kua as you move, maintaining the ground and peng, and continuing to work on these things as you practice moving and changing direction faster and faster over time.
The one thing proper circle-walking has NOTHING to do with is energy shooting out your toes and going under the ground in front of you.
The Internal Strength DVD goes into some of this stuff in a realistic way. During the next month or so, I'm changing my website into an instructional site for members only, and there will be many new video, audio and written lessons on the internal arts of Hsing-I, Tai Chi, and Bagua. Video sessions will be constantly added, questions from members will be answered through videos, and we'll all improve our skills together without the silly stuff that causes so many internal arts students to focus their attention on the wrong things.