Internal martial arts are effective at simultaneously cultivating energy, increasing health and offering useful martial tools. It's a sustainable and fun way to exercise by taking time to focus on breath, balance and posture. Aaron is a senior teacher with Internal Arts International and has been teaching since 2007.
Baguazhang, "eight diagram palm", is a martial art and body cultivation practice which emphasizes spiraling, twisting and coiling while "walking the circle". It's uniquely wrapped stance & fluid movement massages the organs, strengthens the tendons and looks like a dragon swimming through the clouds. The outer movements of baguazhang constantly move and flow from one pattern to the next while on the inside, the practitioner holds stillness and potential energy.
Baguazhang is unique in its spiraling cultivation practice which, nourishes a connected, yet flowing strength, not only in the body, but also the mind-intention and spirit.
The basic practice of circle walking (ding shi, "ding-sure") contains all the fundamentals of the art. Although many other forms and postures are taught, they all find root in the basics of walking slowly and freely on and within the circle.
Intermediate practices like changing palms (lao ba zhang), move into forms which expand on the basics and challenge the physical and mental prowess of the student while offering more clearer martial art technique. Stronger balance, twisting, lengthening and dynamics are introduced, yet all point back to the source of circle walking.
Advanced forms expand fighting options and develop special techniques of the upper and lower body. Training relaxation within speed and precision within listening, naturally opens the adept to developing their own way of expressing the eight diagram art principles.
Finally, although stillness training is taught throughout the pedagogy, it is emphasized as a place to return to. Seated meditations are offered and deeper investigation into the energetics of the bodymind can be investigated. With sustained practice and deeper knowledge of Taoist medicine, practitioners are encouraged to develop a personal practice which maintains their internal and external health throughout the seasons.
Internal Arts International founder, Master Tom Bisio