Ba Gua Zhang literally means eight trigram palm referring to the trigrams of the I Ching and the hand movements in this martial art. All forms of Ba Gua Zhang use circle walking as an integral part of the training. It mainly consists of walking around a circle in low stances, always facing the centre, changing direction from time to time with hands and legs coordinated movements. There are eight palm changes in total.
Frank Allen explained the fascinating history of Ba Gua Zhang and his lineage. Then, he showed practitionners how to execute some palm changes, including martial applications of every move. Frank made these complex exercises look really simple. He did some demonstrations in which his internal power was obvious. “Ba Gua makes you strong” he said. He is a wonderful teacher and a real character: his body is covered in numberless tattoos.
Jan Golden teaches a Ba Gua class. If you are interested in trying this martial art, click here to check the Tai Chi Ireland website.
“Before doing this workshop, I had heard about Ba Gua but I hadn’t personally practised this martial art. Frank Allen made it look really simple and fun.” Alda Gomez