Ba Gua Zhang - Eight Trigram Palm

baguaBa Gua Chang is one of a family of three Taoist internal martial systems, the other two being Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing I Chuan.
The principles of the system are derived from the I Ching (the book of potential transformations). The central idea is continuous change and transformation which is used in Ba Gua as a system of exercise and defense. The Ba Gua are the the eight trigrams that form the basis of the I Ching. No one knows the origins of Ba Gua Zhang. A man named Tung Hai-Chuan(1798-1879) became famous in Beijing for his ability in the art. Tung taught some students and then it spread through China with some variations.
The practitioner walks continuously in circle changing from clockwise to anti-clockwise and concentrating in the centre and doing a form of 8 parts or sections. The open hand or palm is mainly used and thus it is sometimes called palm boxing. At first there may be imbalance and dizziness but gradually that settles and becomes stillness. One of the main principles is evasion or body shifting. Ba Gua produces agility, flexibility and elastic strength and improves concentration, relaxation, aerobic fitness and the circulation. It is also an excellent self-defense system, especially for women.