Sunday, April 19, 2009

Liang Style Baguazhang Seminars in NYC

Tom Bisio, a respected teacher and practitioner of Chinese martial arts and traditional medicine based in New York City, is holding a series of (mostly) Liang style baguazhang seminars in the Big Apple itself! Details can be found here:

The seminars appear to be concentrating on Liang style as passed down through Guo Gumin's (郭古民) disciple Gao Ziying (高子英) and then his son Gao Jiwu (高繼武), taught in monthly chunks of material, from foundational calisthenics, walking circles, the old eight palms, basic palms, elbows, kicks, locks, and throws, linear palms, linked palms, and even weapons. At $150 per seminar, this looks like a great opportunity for New Yorkers to learn substantial parts of the Liang baguazhang system, which is in general somewhat conservative and closed-door. (A bit of material from other styles is mixed in, notably the Tiangan (天干) exercises which come from Gao Yisheng (高義盛) style, as well as a few exercises from other styles, like crane stepping, which comes from Yin style.) Of particular interest are the weapon seminars, like the Bagua 64 Saber (六十四刀), which is normally quite hard to get teachers to teach you...

If people are hesitant to sign up for ALL the seminars (there are 20 planned altogether), I would recommend at least the following six, which cover core Liang style material:

Seminar 2: Fixed Posture Palms (定式八掌) - circle walking, of primary importance in baguazhang.
Seminar 6 and 7: Old Eight Palms (老八掌) - technical basis of baguazhang
Seminar 17 and 18: Bagua 64 Saber (六十四刀) - oversized saber, one of the representative weapons of baguazhang
Seminar 19: Bagua Rooster Claw Yin Yang Knife (鷄爪陰陽鴛鴦鋭) - unique weapon of baguazhang, said to be Dong Haichuan's (董海川) favorite weapon

In addition, the following six would be very nice as well:

Seminar 10: Elbow Methods - various elbow forms
Seminar 11: Throwing Methods
Seminar 12 and 13: 64 Hands (六十四手) - linear forms created by Liu Dekuan (劉德寬)
Seminar 15 and 16: Linking Palms (連環掌) - linking form, advanced version of old 8 palms

Of course, all courses would be even better, but...

There is of course additional material in Liang style baguazhang (such as swordplay, additional techniques, training methods, forms, etc.) - perhaps one could join Tom's regular class for some of that...