Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Baguazhang Survey (on YouTube)

As they say, a picture is often worth a thousand words, but how many words is a video worth? Although YouTube does not have everything and videos do tend to get deleted eventually, it does have a lot of videos, and I have selected a few videos to help show some of the differences between the many lineages of baguazhang. Unfortunately, it does seem that certain styles have a great many videos available, while others have hardly any at all.

Yin Style

Yin style baguazhang is in general the most archaic, with a strong Shaolin or luohanquan flavor (such as copious use of horse stance, bow stance, etc.). The first example of Yin style is that of Wang Shangzhi and his brother Wang Shangxin. Wang Shangzhi's baguazhang comes from his father Wang Fu, who learned from Yin Yuzhang (Yin Fu's 4th son) and He Zhongqi (Yin Fu's daughter's grandson).

A rather different flavor of Yin style is shown by the disciples of Gong Baozhai, who learned from his uncle Gong Baotian, a famous disciple of Yin Fu. Gong Baozhai's disciple Michael Guen performs the Yin Yang Palms below.

Liang Style

Liang style also absorbed the methods of other baguazhang masters, such as Liu Dekuan. Liang Zhenpu's disciple Guo Gumin learned much from Liu, including his 64 hands linear method, which is showed in its entirety below by Gao Jiwu, son of Gao Ziying, disciple of Guo.

Cheng Style

Cheng style is the most flowing and "taiji-like" of the bagua styles, and is the most well-known and recognizable of them. The late Si Zhen, disciple of Ma Deshan, who was a disciple of Cheng Tinghua's eldest son Cheng Youlong, demonstrates below.

Gao style is a substyle of Cheng that is quite different, yet looks quite similar on the outside to other Cheng lineages. Luo Dexiu, disciple of Hong Yixiang, who was Zhang Junfeng's disciple, demonstrates below.

Unfortunately, there is much that I was unable to find on YouTube; however, more will be added to this page if I find good examples.