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Baguazhang! @ U.K. Summer Camp

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  • #61
    Wow, that was some pretty smooth footwork! What also impressed me is that the movements showed at 1:27 in that clip looked like it came straight out of Kaze Arashi Ryu aiki jujutsu (a style practiced by Shugendo wandering mountain-ascetics, yamabushi). Kaze Arashi Ryu has ten lines of attack, the fifth and sixth of which are "circular" types of evasion and attacks. According to the Bujinkan/ninjutsu practitioners at Purdue I once trained with, their lineage of martial arts passed "from China, to the yamabushi, and then to the Koga and Ito clans." No one could ever tell me which Chinese styles were a part of the Ninjutsu development, though.
    I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.


    • #62
      Difficult to put into words the amazing day we have had but I will try. Of course it helped that it had come after Bone Marrow Cleansing and Merging with the Cosmos .

      The amount we covered today was unbelievable. The fundamentals of BaguaZhang, most of the stances for force training, some deeper force training, all of the Mother-Palms, circle walking, figure of eight walking, and the relationship between flow and force in this amazing art. But what was really unbelievable was that it didn't just fry me. Sifu's teaching brought it all to life for me in a way that I could understand and make use of. It really felt like I was coming home , and reminded me of how I used to play when I was a child.

      I had some amazing chi flows, one where I was upside down balanced on my head, all seeming to hit niggly little blocks that have been around for a while. Some of the nuances of the form that Sifu explained had a radical effect on the way I experienced energy flowing through my body. Despite the amount of work we did I felt really charged and I can feel my confidence increasing.

      The format of these weeks also gives a lot of opportunity to ask questions of Sifu and spend time listening to his stories and explanations. It's also great to spend time with other people from the Shaolin Wahnam family/fellowship. I spent a number of years mainly practising on my own - this is better . And there are now so many wonderful courses around everybody has a few chances every year to get together with happy, generous, energetic people who they share an interest with.

      As you can probably tell, I rather enjoyed myself today . Thank you to Sifu for teaching and Robin and Fleur for organising another wonderful course.

      Profile at Capio Nightingale Hospital London Click here
      Chi Kung & Tai Chi Chuan in the UK Fully Alive
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      • #63
        Amazing Course

        Hey Folks,
        I just wanted to comment on today's course. It was simply Amazing!!!.

        The content we covered today would give me enough material to cover the next 6-12 months, and we have another 4 days to go.

        I really welcome this addition to our School as to me this represent the ultimate in flowing force and I am already projecting into future training plans of how this will be incorporated.

        If Sifu ever runs this course then do it!! Dont think just do it!!

        The skill set that you will get from this will take your training in a whole new direction that I can guarantee you will have not considered.

        You will gain agility, your ability to dodge will be enhanced 100%, everything will be taken to a whole new level of flow.

        In this first day we covered

        Walking the circle and its progressions
        Internal Force Training specific to the Bagua
        The Eight Mother Palms
        And much much more............

        But I will let others comment on that.

        Having studied Bagua with a very good instructor I am in a good position to compare what we have done today and it will come as no surprise that Sifu has done his usual job of innovating the Art.

        For me the main highlight of today was the force training methodolgy that Sifu kindly transmitted. My understanding of this was learning how to develop consolidated force and then move into flowing force and then back into consolidated force and all at a level of mind.

        Really Amazing.

        Last edited by Mark A; 18th June 2012, 09:28 PM.
        Sifu Mark Appleford



        • #64
          Thank you also Robin and Fleur for organising very memorable courses in such a wonderful place. Naturally it helps being so close to my home so I get a chance to cook up some food for Sigung. (still trying to prove that we do actually have some good food in the UK)

          No surprise that the first day of the Baguazhang course was both beyond expectation and at the same felt like 3 days.

          After learning how to develop soft, hard and voluminous force at the Choe Family Wing Choon Course, flowing force at Flower Set and the amazing internal force of the Choy-Li-Fatt I admittedly wondered how different the Baguazhang force would be from the likes of Dragon Force and what we have already learnt.

          Well let me tell you, if you aren’t on this course you are missing something truly wonderful. We learnt the 8 mother palms, stance training and moving in stances all in one day. The amount of force developed during the stance training was incredible, although partly expected as we all ready know how effective stance training is for developing force. The stances practiced today though and the subtleties of the form add extra depth and experience on the variety of ways of how to develop force.

          What was surprising though was the amount of force developed moving in circles, figure of eights and freely around the room. So much so that Sigung called a tea break before people exploded (energetically speaking). Of course Arundel is a wonderful place to have tea and has plenty of choice with the many cafes and restaurants.

          Looking forward to tomorrows training.

          Best wishes
          Tim Franklin

          A story of finding Courage and Wisdom

 Classes and Courses for Shaolin Kung Fu, Taijiquan and Qigong in Bognor Regis, Chichester, West Sussex

          Fully Alive on Facebook Energy Flow for Health and Happiness

          UK Summer Camp Qigong, Taijiquan, Shaolin Kung Fu, Spiritual Cultivation with Grandmaster Wong Kiew Kit



          • #65
            I, too, am amazed at the amount of material we covered today. As has become typical with Sigung's courses, we covered enough in the first day to last us for years!

            The stances and body positions for Baguazhang are quite unique and will definitely take a bit of practice for me to really get right. My first "a-ha" was that the unicorn step which is so crucial to Baguazhang is actually a shortcut to smooth out the stances when circle walking. It was also amazing to not only cover the 8 mother palms in some detail, but to learn how to make them part of the circle walking itself by both launching into them from any point of the circle and also switching back into circle walking from any point of a mother palm (smoothly, of course). And walking in circles of various sizes provided me with a glimpse of the practical side of Baguazhang and how the agile footwork could be really effective in combat. Baguazhang truly deserves its reputation for agility and getting to an opponent's back, and we haven't actually done any application work yet! (Although Sigung did show us a handful of nice applications.)

            As Tim and Mark have mentioned, this first day has brought yet another angle to the Flow and Force methods. Spread and Depth indeed!

            Two final thoughts:

            1) Having a tea break at the UK Summer Camp somehow just feels right
            2) If Barry is standing on his head and then wants to have a spar, run away!
            Chris Didyk
            Shaolin Wahnam USA

            Thank You.


            • #66
              Dear Brothers,

              Thanks for sharing your experiences of the first day of the course. Sitting here on the other side of the world, about to go and do my morning's training, you've brought a big smile to my face.


              From the Heart,
              Jeffrey Segal


              • #67
                I just got back from Europe (a very rushed and harried trip) but could not get away to the UK for the Summer Camp. I had moaned about it enough to Robin.

                I wish I were at the Baguazhang course too. Although Sifu showed us a glimpse of what he was going to teach at the Summer Camp during the KL weekend, it only whetted my appetite for more. As a Baguazhang practitioner (beginner) myself, i have always liked to learn more about the applications of the art, which can be very elusive for the uninitiated. Even for experienced Shaolin and Taijiquan practitioners, Baguazhang applications are not that obvious. So, lukcy you at the Summer Camp. I really hope that Sifu will repeat this course in Malaysia at some point.
                Persevere in correct practice


                • #68


                  • #69
                    Hey Nick
                    Great to see you over the weekend and even though you couldn't stay for the Baguazhang course at least we got into the spirit of it with some Chinese Dragon Fire take-away yesterday.
                    Best wishes



                    • #70
                      "What important combat function is attained by having the hands, body and feet in different planes?
                      How do you move about quickly and without panting for breath?
                      How do you weave in a large crowd?
                      How could you spin around quickly and yet not feel dizzy?
                      What force training method was so powerful that we had to have a tea-break?"

                      Thanks Nick. I'd like to know the answers to these, especially how not to feel dizzy.


                      • #71
                        Wow. Just wow.

                        It's only been the second day of the course and I feel amazing! Well, I felt amazing even after the first session, but still! I can rightfully say that I've learnt more about kung fu and Baguazhang especially than I learnt in six months of my past Baguazhang sifu's school. Covering all eight Mother Palms on the first day, learning principles of footwork, and the force training method of stance-circle walk-stance is something I'm immensely grateful for.

                        Today had the first and second sequences of the Swimming Dragon set and I am amazed. Especially for someone like me, for whom this is my first kung fu course, the sequences look very advanced and tricky. The sheer number of combat (and life) ending moves are strangely vicious and beautiful to see at the same time. Seeing the moves in person also made some of the more esoteric movements in the preparatory videos make sense. I have to thank all of my partners today for teaching me more of what it means to be a good training partner and for helping me begin to break some bad habits I inherited from my training at other schools, especially my lack of intent and fear of accidentally hurting my partners.

                        I've been having a lot of fun in the UK. I got to visit the British Museum on Sunday, had a "wonderful" time in London traffic (my father decided to rent a car), and am very pleased with Arundel. I've been told it's one of the "most British-style British towns" in the UK. The look of the buildings, the friendliness of the locals, and the seeming omnipresence of the cafe's are very nice.

                        I have to say that I love the birds here. The gulls and crows are just massive compared to their cousins in the US! There's also a pair of swans living near the Arundel bridge, waiting on some eggs to hatch (there's at least one gosling and it looks very playful with its parents). The food is also very nice, with a local Italian restaurant being my favourite. So much good food!

                        Thank you Sigung for teaching, and to the course organizers for this amazing course!
                        I like making silly videos (including kung fu ones!) every so often on YouTube and taking pictures of weird things on Instagram.


                        • #72
                          Thank you for sharing your excellent experiences with us! Thanks especially to Sigujie Fleur for uploading some of those videos, they are excellent!

                          I look forward to learning this style from one of you in the future, should you choose to specialize

                          Happy training,


                          • #73
                            Posting by phone so forgive the brief comment and any typos.

                            We have had an amazing two days so far at the course. Baguazhang (pronounced P'a kua) is certainly opening up many new and amazing opportunities to learn. First, there are subtle differences between the Kung fu, tai chi and Bagua stances and spacing that give distinct combat advantages unique to Bagua in terms of close quarters fighting. The positioning of feet, body and hands at different directions allows you to step around the side and back of an opponent while staying close (although I feel it will be some time to master this!). Unicorn is used to full effect in transitions. Switching and turning at any point. Very confusing for the opponent. (incredible to watch sitaigung demonstrate).

                            I also felt the amazing effects of flowing chi circle walking and stance training combined, which was very distinct from singular stance training. It seemed to 'wind up' the chi before consolidating it and building more. Like a chi generator or coil or spring working in perfect effectiveness.

                            I also feel that I have never Practiced an art which was so spiritually full and alive. This is hard to describe but today I really felt like the whole group was connected and was vibrating on the same Cosmic plane. Each with their own space and mind but also part of a whole and part of everything. There is a lot of love in the room. I do not mean this lightly or in jest. The energy is clean and joyful and circulating in circles of increasing and reducing size. We move around and in and around each other and it is fluid. It has a sound. At times I have glimpses where I experience the whole room and everyone in it as one energetic mass.

                            We began the 64 application palms today. Too beautiful and complex for me to attempt to describe in 'one letter at a time' typing! Perhaps I will try again tommorriw when it's sunk in a little more.
                            ++ smile ++ from ++ the ++ heart ++
                            Rich Denyer-Bewick
                            you can connect with me on: Facebook (personal/social), Linkedin (professional) and Twitter (a bit of both!)


                            • #74
                              I hope my gratitude for the course being made a available is expressed through my words above!
                              ++ smile ++ from ++ the ++ heart ++
                              Rich Denyer-Bewick
                              you can connect with me on: Facebook (personal/social), Linkedin (professional) and Twitter (a bit of both!)


                              • #75
                                Words simply cannot express how amazing this is...

                                Agreed... Wow!

                                As has been said already, this course is mindblowing.

                                Thank you so much to Sifu for passing on the most incredible Kung Fu, and making the secrets of the Baguazhang masters available to us. The flowing and forceful movements really do have the spiralling and coiling essence of the dragon.

                                I am under no illusions. I know I am too inexperienced and do not deserve to be here. Still, due to Sifu Robin's incredible generosity I am lucky enough to have this opportunity. I am not at a level where I can fully receive the transmission or keep up. Still, I am having so much fun I have laughed and smiled all day Some of my chi flows have had less external movement than normal, but feel much more powerful. I know I am very very lucky to be here.

                                To the Shaolin Wahnam family, thank you for showing me that this truly is a family.

                                To Brother Omar, thank you for a most enjoyable lunch

                                To my training partners, thank you for showing me that partner work in martial arts does not have to be an ego contest, but really can be a wonderful experience. Learning together where the training is full of patience, understanding, joy and laughter.

                                To Sifu. Thank you for assisting my chi flow. It did not go unnoticed. Such tangible, incredible energy. Also, thank you so much for demonstrating the sequence with great force and flow. This was one of the most beautiful things I have ever witnessed. Not just in Kung Fu, but in life.

                                Thank you all.