Tag Archives: bagua zhang

The Truth of Chi and Pa Kua Chang

Do enough Pa Kua Chang and something really weird happens…

Pa Kua, as many people know, is that martial art where you walk in a circle endlessly. Circles where you find loops within spirals within circles.

Circlepa kua chang instructorTo explain this really weird thing that happens in Pa Kua Chang, let me explain a couple of things first. Understand these things, and you will find that weird is normal in this universe, and normal is weird. Okey dokey?

The circle must consist of eight steps from beginning to end. This is about one good leg sweep, or six feet in diameter. And, of course, the beginning is the end, and the end is the beginning, and so on.

Long time Pa Kua students claim that if you explore various positions of the palms as you walk the circle, that the positions stand for various phenomena. Fire palms, water palms, lightening palms, thunder palms, and so on. By following this analogy they have created a separate and entire universe. While this universe can occupy a student for a lifetime, there hasn’t been a good explanation for what is happening, up till now.

When you create this Pa Kua universe, you should understand that the body is a machine. Just like alternating current, power goes down and up the legs. You should confirm it with a good dictionary, at this point, that power is energy, and energy is the capacity for work, and the capacity for work is how much weight you can lift.

Energy of the body is credited with being created by the tan tien. The tan tien is a point a couple of inches below the navel. The tan tien sends the energy down and up and the legs and back into the tan tien. What happens is that the body becomes a capacitor, a storage device, and the energy can be stored for later use.

But also, and most interesting, is that after walking the circle sufficient with the idea I’ve detailed here, you will experience actual lightening going up and down your legs. You will also, as you explore the potential of the palms in conjunction with the storing of the energy, experience a barber pole type energy swirl up and down your arms.

Pa Kua is not mystical, it is common sense physics, but it does take a dedicated practitioner and a calm mind to experience what I have explained here. For the body to start acting as a capacitor one must tell the body to do so enough times and with enough sincerity, and this while walking the circle enough times. If one learns to believe that this universe is not a trap, but a journey, what I have told you here is not only possible, but even easy.

The best Pa Kua Chang for learning what I’ve told you here is the Butterfly Pa Ku Chang. It is specifically designed to fit the concepts here, and it won’t be long before your Pa Kua Chang is giving you lightening legs and thunder palms.

Here is another article describing the Pa Kua Chang universe.

Congrats to Latest Student to Become a Tai Chi Chuan Expert!

Newsletter 616

New Tai Chi Expert!

Sigh of relief…
I get to work out!
How about you?
Every day this week,
a work out,
all right?

got a great win from Kurt Nelle’
on the Five Army Tai Chi Chuan course.

tai chi chuan expertI have been practicing Yang style Tai chi, both 88 form and 24 form for many years. So when I started your Five Army Program I skipped right to the Push Hands and applications, thinking I knew it all. Boy was I wrong. When I went back to Five Army, with my new found understanding and appreciation of Matrixing it was very easy to learn. The postures are as in Yang with the exception of the Butterfly Palm and Phoenix type fist you use in Butterfly Pakua. The difference is that Five Army translates better and easier to combat. …I treated every section as if it was it’s own short form and within two weeks the whole sequence (was) committed to memory. The applications are easy as they are prevalent in all your other programs including the Monkey Boxing which I call the Chi Na of your Five Army and Pakua Programs. The Push Hands section of the program is consistent with all my previous Taichi training.

…I do not have any credentials in Taichi but now, when I teach, or should I say share Taichi with my students and others, I do so with the authority that comes with greater knowledge of the subject. Again, thanks for all your hard work and practice as well as your willingness to share. Your programs have greatly enhanced my understanding of and ability in the martial arts.                                                                                                                 ~ Respectfully, Kurt

Thanks Kurt,
and well done!
And it looks like you’ve got credentials now.
Kurt is a Master Instructor,
has completed other programs,
so he is also getting certified as a higher ranking black belt.

While other systems give you more of the same old forms
to get higher ranked in a system,
I give you more arts.
This not only provides the polish,
but provides greater viewpoint,
larger perspective,
let’s you see how the arts work together.

So well done and thanks
to Master Instructor Fourth Degree Expert in Tai Chi Chuan Kurt Nelle’

let’s talk about matrixing.
Here are some numbers…
3, 5, , t, 4, 9, watermelon…
please count to ten.

Huh? What?
But all the numbers aren’t there!
And some of them aren’t even numbers?
How do you expect me to count to ten?

let me get personal…
would you send your child to a school
that larnt ‘em how to count to ten with these numbers?

Heck, no!
That would be crazy!
I would NEVER send my kid to a school
that teaches how to count like that!

So why are you teaching yourself the martial arts
in the same manner?

You have been learning,
it’s fun,
it makes sense,
but when you start to REALLY learn
then you suddenly realize,
those first three moves make sense,
but the fourth one is on the wrong side,
and that move in the form,
it’s a throw,
what’s a throw doing in this art for?
And at that place?

wait a minute!
Those are simultaneous moves,
there was no lead in!
How did we get to simultaneous moves?
let’s do stick hands.
With what?

This exercise isn’t in any of the forms!
Freestyle is totally disassociated from the forms!
What am I studying here?

You’re studying how to count with
3, 5, , t, 4, 9, watermelon…

here’s the cruel trick.
There is enough logic in what you are doing,
and it is so much fun doing it,
that you don’t see the illogic.
believe me,
you will.
One day you’re going to get tired of doing the martial arts.
Go on,
read through some of the wins on my websites,
there’s a lot of people who thank me
and say that it is like starting all over again,
that it finally makes sense.

People who quit.
Not because they were weak or stupid,
or even old!
But because the accumulation of what didn’t make sense
finally buried them.

you don’t even have to buy anything.
Read the newsletter.
See if it makes sense.
just pop over to the blog,
do a search on your martial art
see what turns up.
See if it makes sense.
See if I’ve dealt with your art fairly.

Oinkey doinkey.
I’ve said enough,
some will believe,
some will look,
and some won’t.
Way of the world.

But either way,
remember to have a GREAT work out,
and a lot of fun!



Light Kung Fu Can Be Made Out of Any Martial Art

Change Your Martial Art into Light Kung Fu

It’s true, Light Kung Fu can be made out of any art you study, and that includes Karate, Silat, Aikido, whatever! In fact, it is incredibly simple!

All you have to do is go get some cinderblocks, set them on end, and do your forms (kata) on them! Instant Light Kung Fu!

light kung fu

The author developing his Light Kung Fu.

Here are some hints to help you out in this search for light body kung fu.

You don’t need a lot of blocks. As little as four, but you can use as many as you want.

It is best to lay them on the side the first few times you do this. After you are comfortable (won’t take but a day or two), you stand them on end. After a week or two, you can lay two on the side. Then you can go to one on end on top of one on end, and then two on end, and so on.

You want to pick a good surface to eliminate wobble. And when you purchase the cinder blocks, set them on end and pick out the ones with the least wobble.

IMPORTANT: when you fall, learn to pick up your feet and search for a place to land. You don’t want to break an ankle by stepping on the falling cinderblock.

Now, this method of light kung fu has been around for years. It is called sunken post, or sunken pillar training. Usually you dig holes and ascend poles until you are six or eight feet off the ground, striking kung fu postures and dancing around like a kung fu crane.

But, that’s a lot of work, so my method is simpler and quicker, and saves a lot of digging and measuring and leveling and basic construction work.

Nothing wrong with the ancient sunken pole method, especially if you are an official kung fu school, but, my method of light kung fu is just easier.

Now, the main area where you grow is going to be in balance.

Everything I balance. From being able to stop yourself in a karate charge without falling forward, to the delicate hourlong meditation of holding the bowl. Everything is balance.

So standing on a couple of cinderblocks on end is going to give you tremendous balance.

First, you will feel awkward, the body will shift back and forth in attempts to keep your balance.

After a while your kung fu maneuvering will become second nature, and it will be as natural as walking, and you will likely feel a nice, little glow developing in your tan tien.

The muscles on both sides of the leg, you see, are going to fire up, work back and forth, and that will start up the body energy generator, which is what the tan tien is.

And that is how you create light kung fu out of Karate, or taekwondo, or pa kua, or…ANY…Martial Art.

Here’s a great article in which the author demonstrates light kung fu. And here’s a great piece on how to learn Shaolin Kung Fu.

Bagua Zhang Techniques to Simple for People to Use

Bagua Zhang Techniques that Work!

Bagua Zhang Techniques are easy to learn and simple to apply. The problem is that they might actually be to simple.

Too simple to learn because most people don’t have the strength of mind, the mental discipline, to make Bagua Zhang Martial Arts work. They get lost in the potential of intricacy, and lose sight of the simplicity.

bagua zhang techniques

The simplicity of Bagua Zhang Techniques

When you walk the circle you must do so with an eye to developing Martial Arts Bagua Zhang Techniques. These martial arts gems rely on one simple thing: the opponent must extend his arm, and the person doing the circle walking self defense must use the extended limb like a captain’s wheel. That is, he must turn the spoke, that the hub of the body would spin.

If the punch is fast, this is difficult to do, and what punch is not fast?

The solution is to practice until you see the generation of energy, until you see the punch forming, and then be willing and able to use whatever part of the arm you get.

For instance, the attacker punches, and it is a short, circular type of jab. To make a bagua zhang technique work the student must circle in the direction of the punch, let it pass, and push on the elbow, or even the shoulder.

This means you have to not only walk sideways, but you have to adjust your distance, fine tune it, so that the opponent misses, passes, and is the right distance for your push.

When you push you must not do so faster than the punch, nor slower. The best bagua zhang techniques are going to be the ones in which you harmonize with the motion, and therefore with the oppponent.

Think: if he feels you, he will resist, so if you use too much force he will change. But you don’t want him to change…you just want him to be slightly off balance, unable to follow up, at a slight disadvantage.

Now, what do you want to do? Continue your circle walking and tie him up? Spin him to the ground, circle the arm and reverse direction into a lock? These are all potential bagua fighting techniques, but the one you choose will depend on one thing: what is easiest.

What is easiest, that is what is difficult. You see, most people train to do something, but when you reach the point where you do nothing, then you can let the opponent guide you to his self destruction.

It is said in The Tao: ‘Do nothing until nothing is left undone.’

Do you understand how this applies to a bagua zhang techniques?

The point is that you must practice not the technique, but the principle behind the technique, then your kung fu will work, and then you will have the effortless Bagua Zhang techniques that are easy and simple to do.

There is a great article on how to learn kung fu fast at Monster Martial Arts. Or you could just go to the ultimate resource on Bagua Zhang techniques.

Bagua Zhang opens the Door to an Entirely New World!

Bagua Zhang Creates a New Universe!

Bagua Zhang founder Dong Hai Chuan was most likely a Shaolin Kung Fu stylist. Like many martial artists of his day, he wandered the land, looking for employment, and looking for opportunities to improve his Chinese martial art.

He would look for chances to use his Gung Fu as a bodyguard, fighting off bandits with spear and sword and hand.

bagua zhang

Bagua Zhang was created by Dong Hai Chuan


One must wonder then, how he became involved with a band of religious zealots.

It is doubtful whether the monks of this obscure and unnamed sect could beat him in a hand to hand fight, but they had to have something, or he wouldn’t have stopped his travels for eleven years and studied with them.

For the first nine years, it is reported, Dong Hai Chuan walked in circles, possibly chanting religious phrases. He walked and he walked, and one can imagine the unspooling in his mind. It is invariable that his martial arts would start to manifest.

Around and around, making kung fu motions with his hands, bending his legs into kung fu stances, and imagining how walking the circle could enable him to move better through hordes of bandits.

After nine years of doing these kung fu movements, which would become the basis for his Bagua Zhang martial art, he told the monks that he felt that the trees were bending after him, actually chasing him.

Trees Chasing a human being? Now how could that be?

Have you ever met eyes with somebody sitting on a bus? They are in travel, in a different world, and for a moment the spirits see each other. Across separate universes they bridge.

Or, have you ever played in a soccer match, run next to somebody, and been immersed in your own separate communication with that person, created a world that is different, that seems stable while the ‘real’ universe of the crowd and the stands passes by?

This is the universe that Dong Hai Chuan entered. This is the universe he created, a universe so strong that mighty trees bent to the wind of his passing.

The question here, however, is not about Dong Hai Chuan, it is about you. Can you use Bagua Zhang (also called Pa Kua Chang), and walk in a circle so long that the universe bends to your will?

Can you go around in circles and learn the fascinating hand movements of Bagua Zhang until a horde of attackers is confused by your simple walking the circle self defense?

An interesting question, this Bagua Zhang thing, for it opens the door to a new universe, and a new you.

Here’s another great article about a Bagua Zhang universe. Monster Martial Arts has a great Bagua online martial arts course you can do.

Building and Using an Ancient Chinese Spear (part one)

Construction of the Chinese Spear!

One of the most potent Martial Arts Weapons from olden times was the Chinese spear which is called the ‘Qiang,’ which is frequently referred to as the King of Weapons. It was held in high esteem because in the hands of a Shaolin Master, or other Gung Fu Expert, the long length would give one a decisive advantage in combat. In this bit of writing we will go over the basic structure of the Qiang, in a second article we will detail a couple of Martial Arts training methods for this incredible weapon.

qiang imageThe Qiang has been around as long as people have found straight branches. It is predominately a pre-modern martial arts weapon, and it is popular in many schools of Gung Fu, notably Shaolin and Tai Chi Chuan. Several schools, such as Hsing i and Bagua Zhang, claim that the weapon was crucial to the founding of and the main concepts of their particular schools.

The shaft of the weapon is made out of wax wood, which is very resilient and springy, and it normally ranges in length from 6 to 12 feet. One can make a small circle at the wrists, and because the wood bends so easily, the tip will make a big circle. This also gives a tremendous amount of back and forth ‘snap,’ should the practitioner so choose.

The blade is normally, but not always, shaped in the pattern of a leaf. This makes it perfect for either small knife-like cuts when you snap the wrists and slash the tip back and forth, And, of course, the thrusting power of the tool is incredibly potent.

The blade is usually butted by a tubular section, which will be affixed to the end of the shaft. This tube is hollow, and it has a hole in it, and a small ball bearing. This particular arrangement is brilliant, and shows the Chinese ingenuity in crafting the blade.

The hole, when the spear is swung at high speed, will create a whistling sound. This can distract the enemy and fool him long enough for the spear to have…impact. The bearing contained in the hollow of the tube pushes any blood that has seeped into the tube right back out.

Lastly, we have the tassel, a hunk of horsehair tied to the base of the blade. This is incredibly useful, as it tends to blur the vision of the person being ‘poked’ (smile), so that they cannot create a defense, or even grab the spear, A second purpose of the tassel is to stop any flow of blood from coming down the shaft of the Qiang and making it difficult to use.

To finish up, a Qiang is a powerful and far reaching weapon. A favorite of pre-modern armies, it could be used to keep an enemy at bay, and even kill a horse. Please look for part two, in which we will deal with the training methods for the ancient Chinese spear.

If you want more information on weapons, check out the ‘Sixth Sense Swordfighting’ book. It is part of the Master Books package at MonsterMartialArts.com.

If you want to learn how to make ANYTHING a weapon, (people do frown when they see you strolling along with your Chinese spear, don’t they? Grin.) then check out the Blinding Steel course at Monster Martial Arts.

Pa Kua Chang, Walking the Circle, and Entering Insanity to Find Sanity

The Truth of Pa Kua chang and Walking the Circle

Pa Kua Chang, or Bagua Zhang as some refer to it, is a strange martial art where in one engages in walking the circle until one finds the truth of one self.

Like a dog chasing his tale until he finds Buddha.

Like Black Sambo turning tigers into…liquid gold.

pa kua chang techniqueLike what is the race of man racing to?

Dong Hai Chuan was a likable fellow with a fascination for martial arts. He practiced Shaolin Kung Fu, so the legend goes, and reached a point where he was so good he took to the road and began wandering, searching for teachers able to teach him more.

His search led him through the Wudan Mountains of rural China, back where the mystic temples stood, and legends had it that ancient knowledge existed in pure form. His search led him to an obscure religious sect whose practitioners believed that one could discover the truth of the universe by…walking the circle.

So Dong walked the circle, day after day, in search of his divine nature. For nine years he walked the circle, and one can well imagine the taunts of passersby.

“Look at the old man chasing his shadow!”

“Hey buddy! Put it on a straight line and you might get somewhere!”

“Har de har har!”

Yet, rain or shine, under blazing sun and through freezing snow, Dong continued his trek, searching for the truth of himself.

At last, some nine years into his journey, he mentioned to the monks of the mysterious sect that…wasn’t it odd that…the tree he was walking around seemed to be chasing him? That the tree actually seemed to bending?

Was the tree bending? Or was something in his mind bending? Or was something in his mind merely becoming…unbent?

The monks glanced at one other, and one gently offered, “Another two years.”

So on went Dong, round and round, circle after circle, nose after tail. And perhaps this is where he combined his Shaolin with the endless walking of the circle. Perhaps this is where the circle became imbued with the art of violence, and became not just a repository of religious fanaticism. Perhaps this is where the artistic blend of self with the fanatical pursuit of God becomes…whatever it becomes.

Did Dong finally manage to catch the truth of himself?

No mention of ‘the bolt out of the blue’ striking the once young lad is made in the histories. What is known, however, is that he achieved a high degree of competence, that he was so profound at circle walking that he was able to defeat the Emperor’s bodyguards, and become chief instructor of that legendary ‘clan.’ And there are tales of him disappearing under the attacking hand, of tying mighty warriors in delicate knots just to watch them fall, of speaking to his followers even after death.

Bolt out of the blue or competence, this writer believes that competence is the more valued. But, that said, we come to the heart of the fable.

We know not whether Dong found himself, but we do know that a person who walks in a circle is insane. Such purposeless activity, especially in this godless world, is the heart of insanity. Yet…is insanity not merely an attribute that others cannot find? Does not one have to go ‘in’ sane to find true sanity?

The fellow who pounds his palm upon a stone, hour after hour, day after day, year after year…does he make strong the hand? Or finally divine that the universe truly is constructed of space?

That child who will become old doing his kung fu forms, does he fight hordes and legions in his mind? Or does he empty his mind of all hordes and legends?

That acorn…will it really become an oak?

The acorn might fall down an abandoned gopher hole, and it might root into fertile soil…but it is time that makes the mighty oak, and the endless and insane desire to grub into the earth…just to find the sky.

We are all grubs…but have we found the earth? Will we see the sky?

Look to Dong Hai Chuan for the answer to that one, but only ask if you are walking the circle, if you are pursuing yourself with Pa Kua Chang, round and round, year after year, breath after breath.

The author  engaged in walking the circle, did Pa Kua Chang for two years, until people began to bend over, lightening filled his legs, and energy stripes barber poled out his arms…you can find out about his Pa Kua Chang at Monster Martial Arts.

walking the circle

about Pa Kua Chang and Making It Easy to Learn

A Few Things I learned About Pa Kua Chang

I received a letter the other day, about pa kua chang, and that martial art is really as easy to learn it as I claim. I’ll probably write a newsletter on this, but I wanted to sort of frame my thoughts first, so let me just speak out.

People who think that mysterious hand movements are going to result in secret abilties and massive chi in twenty years are…sort of foolish. Yes, it can happen, but why take so long, and why lose students over the spreading of myteries, which the normal intelligent human being doesnt’ adhere to.

The normal, intelligent human being adheres to knowledge, he likes to understand, the mind likes to absorb that which is sensible and logical, and it likes to refuse arcane, esoteric bushwah. The proof is in that memorizing arcane, esoteric bushwah is very difficult…there is no frame of reference in the mind for it to adhere to.

I spent some time trying to memorize all the wild movements, but, in the end, the most worthwhile practice was just sticking to basic moves, and walking the circle for a couple of hours a day for two years. I became competent within a couple of months, and by the end of two years i was experiencing all the surges of power through my body, and I was able to use the ‘chi power’ in my movements.

But it worked because I kept it simple, and didn’t become one of these mystical finger boys with all there carefully crafted secrets that impress the heck out of everybody but don’t really work too well.

Honestly, what some people spread about Pa Kua Chang ends up taking the student longer to learn. Much longer.

So the basics are…walk the circle…breath deep…feel the energy going up and down the legs and across the tan tien…let the energy in the tan tien build, and relax and let it emit out the arms. It’s easy, and that’s the truth about Pa Kua chang.

about pa kua chang

Release of The Neutronic Motors of Pa Kua Chang

New Martial Arts Book

May 18th is the official release date for The Neutronic Motors of Pa Kua Chang.

pa kua changFor those who don’t know:

Pa Kua Chang (Bagua Zhang) is an ancient Chinese Martial Art. Origins stem from the combination of Chinese Kung Fu (likely Shaolin) and an obscure religious sect which proposed walking a circling and chanting to realize spiritual release.

Though it has ancient roots, Pa Kua was developed in the last couple of centuries. In that time it has had massive impact on the world of the martial arts. This is in part due to the efficient Martial Arts techniques within the art, the simplicity of the training method, and the fact that it really does work.

The book, The Neutronic Motors of Pa Kua Chang, written by Al Case, looks at the more mystical aspects and imparts a logic to them.

Neutronics, an actual science, is the physics behind the physics, and it delves into the dichotomous nature of the universe, and, in this tome, of the Pa Kua Chang martial arts.

The current release is actually part of a series of books dealing with Chi generation and development through the martial arts. The first book written, ‘Matrixing Chi,’ has proved a solid seller, and has engendered much praise. Further books on the subject of chi power will concern themselves with such arts as Tai Chi Chuan and Karate.

The book is 135 pages with 273 graphics, and is available through instant download.

Interested parties can find more information on ‘The Neutronic Motors of Pa Kua Chang,’ at Monster Martial Arts (dot) com.

pa kua chang

Win #30–Pa Kua Chang Turns Out to Be Easy to Learn!

People always think that Pa Kua is difficult to learn, it is so mysterious and and you have to find a bagua master to learn from and…and if you break the thing into concepts, and teach the concepts, and let the student grow the techniques out of the art…well, it becomes easier and faster to learn.

Here’s a snippet from the course on pa kua, then we’ll get into the win…

Hi Al,
I received the course yesterday.  Thank you very much.  I started watching disc 1: Diagram boxing and so far I am impressed on how you explain the techniques in a simple easy to understand way.  I remember taking much longer to learning the circle walking in Pa Kua Chang.  I can’t wait for your Five Army Tai Chi and the Butterfly Pa kua Chang.  Thanks again.

It’s interesting, I get a lot of bushwah from people who claim to be ‘masters,’ but they have never taken the course. They have an opinion and no facts. Funny, because I respect them totally. Oh well, you’ve read the win, seen how easy my courses are to understand, and you make up your own mind as to whether Pa Kua Chang is easy to learn.

You can pick up a free ebook on my methods at Monster Martial Arts.