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Baguazhang's Fierce Tiger Emerges from Mountain - One of Cheng Bagua's 8 Basic Palms

Cheng Ting-hua, one of the most prominent early Bagua masters (he was a student of Bagua creator Dong Haichuan) taught eight stationary Bagua postures to students. They were put into a form called the Eight Basic Palms form, which is practiced while walking the circle.

Bagua-Fierce-TigerThe first of the stationary postures is Fierce Tiger Emerges from Mountain. After the opening movement of the form, you walk the circle with your upper body turned toward the center of the circle and your palms downward, with fingertips of both hands pointing towards the other hand. Thumbs are angled downward.

The point of Fierce Tiger is to practice "downward" energy. The intent of the body -- the weight of the body -- is focused into the palms as they press downward. This press is not done with muscular tension, however. It is done by relaxing the shoulders, sinking the energy of the body (I often call this "sinking your weight" to avoid mystical interpretations) and putting your intent into the palms.

Bagua-Fierce-Tiger-2One of the self-defense applications for Fierce Tiger involves a low punch or kick to the stomach or groin. In the second photo, my friend Sean Ledig gives me a low punch. I put my weight into my hands and use the entire sinking of the body through the hands to knock down the punch. By dropping the body weight into the palms, it jolts his body off-balance and turns him slightly away, giving me the opportunity for a counter strike. Looking at the photo, the jolt of the redirection caused him to lean in, giving me an opening for an immediate elbow strike with my right arm to the left side of his face.

It is important to point out that both palms are not necessary in a fighting application. I can apply the energy from Fierce Tiger using only one palm, knocking down a low punch or kick while the other hand remains ready to counter or protect.

Fierce Tiger Emerges from Mountain is the first of eight stationary postures in the form. It is an important form that helps students practice circle walking along with the focusing of different energies with the palm postures. Complete instruction of the form and some of its fighting applications can be found on my Bagua Basic Skills DVD and on my Internal Fighting Arts website.

Some students rush through this form and, after they learn it they do not practice it often. I urge everyone to take their time. The circle walking builds leg strength and agility, and the holding of postures develops the ability to relax and use various "energies" of the palm postures. Breathe naturally, coordinate exhalations with "yang" movement, and focus on the martial intent and whole-body connection.

Video Highlights of New Kindle Ebook - Baguazhang Self-Defense

Here is a short video with highlights of some of the self-defense techniques in my new ebook - Baguazhang Self-Defense: Fighting Applications of the Cheng Style Eight Main Palms Form. 

The ebook has 380 photos and descriptions of 150 self-defense applications from this one Bagua form. Each application is discussed and shown with an emphasis on internal body mechanics. The ebook costs only $6.99 and is available on Amazon's Kindle Store. Many nations have their own Amazon stores (if you are outside the US, check Amazon in your country). Here is the link to the ebook on Amazon's store in the United States.

The video was done for still photo purposes, to illustrate how each movement in the form is used for self-defense. 



New Bagua Self-Defense Ebook -- 380 Photos and 150 Fighting Applications from One Baguazhang Form

8 Main Apps Ebook Cover 250My new ebook is titled Baguazhang Self-Defense - Fighting Applications of the Cheng Style Eight Main Palms Form. It contains 380 photos and offers a breakdown and detailed descriptions of 150 self-defense applications from the 8 Main Palms form.

The ebook costs only $6.99 and is available through the Amazon Kindle Store. Here is a link to the U.S. Kindle Store. It is also available on Amazon's site in the UK, France, other European nations, India, Japan, Brazil and more -- just search for it in your country's version of the Kindle Store.

There are three main goals in Bagua self-defense -- Uproot, Unbalance, and Control Your Opponent's Center. Sometimes, a Bagua fighter seems to disappear in front of his opponent, and the opponent finds that the Bagua fighter is behind him. Some of these techniques are included in the instruction.

8 Main Apps 7-48This ebook is a companion and reference to the fighting applications in the recently produced Bagua Eight Main Palms Form DVD, which is available through this blog (see the list of DVDs on the right side of the page) and through my websites and Amazon (Amazon charges shipping for my DVDs and I don't charge for shipping even on International orders).

Among the applications are palm strikes, punches, elbow and shoulder strikes, joint locks, kicks, sweeps, throws and takedowns. The techniques are explained with an emphasis on internal body mechanics, which give you a relaxed power.

There are eight sections to the Eight Main Palms Form:

1. Single Change Palm

2. Double Change Palm

3. Following Posture Palm

4. Back Body Palm

5. Turning Body Palm

6. Grinding Body Palm

7. Overturning Body Palm

8. Returning Body Palm

Some of the old Bagua masters claimed to be able to handle any attack with Single Palm Change, Double Palm Change, and Following Posture Palm. I believe it. Like all great martial arts, there is an amazing amount of information embedded and hidden within the fluid, graceful, flowing movements of each section.

In this ebook, I show 150 applications that are hidden inside the form, and I encourage the reader to use their creativity, take this information and build on it by searching the movements for techniques they discover on their own. That is one of my greatest satisfactions in studying the internal arts -- getting better at the movements from an internal perspective, and then finding new ways of applying the movements in self-defense.

It is in that spirit that I have written this ebook. 

If Tai Chi Does NOT Give You Supernatural Powers, What Good Is It?

The old man squares off against a younger student. They raise their arms and touch each other at the wrists.

Slowly their arms begin to circle. Then, the old man barely moves, and the younger man goes bouncing and hopping away, clearly out of control and powerless.

Wow, looks good, doesn't it? You see it every day on YouTube.

But it gets better. The student reaches for the master -- the master moves and the student falls away as if pushed from behind.

It's the "secret" of Tai Chi or Qigong power. If you achieve a high level, you can do this, too!


If you believe this, you should be placed under psychiatric evaluation. You should be kept away from sharp objects and should not be allowed within 5,000 feet of any institution where students are learning science. 

Here is another video showing a teacher who says some things during the video that contain solid internal concepts, but the fakery he and his student demonstrate only proves that any charismatic person can spout information out of their mouth -- the desire to be seen as supernatural trumps realism every time. Look at this horse crap. 

I received a message from a sincere person this week -- a nice guy who asked an interesting question about this video. Then he asked a good question that I will paraphrase here:

If this type of thing is not possible, then what can you attain from the internal arts?

This is why I lose my center when frauds put videos online. They have put the internal arts into such a bad position that this type of "chi power" is the only reason someone might think there is a reason to study. Otherwise, what is the point? What can you attain if you cannot attain this type of mysticism?

Let me answer:

Tai Chi, Bagua, and Hsing-I are martial arts. Through the study and practice of these arts, you learn to defend yourself and others. You learn to break an attacker and put him on the ground.

And if you look at any of these videos and see more than a dishonest person trying to make a buck off of gullible fools, you have the intellectual capacity of a rock and the scientific education of a pencil. I hate to insult pencils and rocks that way.

If you believe any human being can manipulate you or control you or heal you with his (or her) chi or aura, you should not be trusted with your own bank account.

What can you attain from the internal arts? Here are a few things:

** A powerful martial art based on unique body mechanics that help you deliver power in a power relaxed way that involves whole-body movement and other specific physical skills.

** An exercise that -- like any exercise including walking, jogging, weight training, and virtually any sport -- improves your health and fitness.

** Often, you learn Qigong exercises that help calm the mind and body, but this effort to "center" is not necessarily the same thing as a martial art such as Tai Chi, Hsing-I and Bagua.

** Sometimes, your teacher can influence philosophy, helping you realize how you are "connected" to all things. Once again, this is not required for a martial art. The only thing required for a martial art is the ability to defend yourself.

** You gain confidence by setting goals and attaining them as you learn new skills, new techniques, new ways of applying fluid, graceful movements with self-defense.

** The confidence and the centering skills that you gain may help you remain balanced in relationships, at work, and driving on the highway. You may be able to control yourself more productively.

** You gain arts that can be done in a slow, fluid way, or in a fast, explosive way, depending upon your intent at the moment.

My friends, no human being can do anything to you that does not lie within the recognizable and understandable laws of physics.

The internal arts are powerful martial arts. The way of movement - of recognizing incoming force, dealing with that force, and countering - is unique and deep. The body mechanics are so difficult, it takes a long time to develop real skill.

It is a lot easier for people to make videos pretending to have special powers than it is to put in the decades of hard work that is required, and when you reach those high levels, there is still no ability to project force in an unrealistic way.

There is a lot to attain in the internal arts, but the only thing you can attain through watching videos like the ones I have posted are disappointment, and if you pay one of these guys, you can attain poverty in the pursuit of fantasy.