Over the last 9 months, I’ve been grateful to continue teaching all our group Bagua Zhang Kung Fu classes remotely on Zoom, thanks to modern technology.
Though I miss teaching my students in person, and look forward to training with everyone again with in person classes, we’ve found some creative approaches to traditional training methods to be very constructive and practical in these challenging times.
Time honored practices for developing self-defense-specific fitness, attributes, capacity and skills — which are especially valuable now, while person to person contact is limited due to social distancing measures help to keep us safe from the highly communicable COVID-19 virus.
The various practice methods we have been focusing on include Forms, Basics, Supplemental Exercises, Qigong/meditation, Iron Palm/Iron Body, Weapons, and Strategy Training.
Forms practice — in traditional martial arts, forms are similar to shadow-boxing; forms are prearranged sequences of self-defense techniques, strung together to teach various combinations, principles and strategies. The self defense techniques are “coded” into the forms, like parables with layers of meaning and interpretation based on distance, timing and situations. Learning to decipher the techniques coded into traditional forms is both a skill and a riddle to solve.
Bagua Zhang forms practice has a slightly different goal than in many other martial arts. Where the solo forms of all traditional martial arts styles are catalogs of prearranged self defense techniques, Bagua Zhang has an emphasis on progressively developing principles and attributes that alter the efficacy of techniques as well as gradually transforming the health, ability, efficiency and vitality of the Bagua Zhang practitioner.
Forms — Benefits and goals for Forms practice:
- balance and structural alignment
- Coordination, timing and dexterity
- Mental focus and body awareness
- Stamina, range of motion, strength and flexibility
- Refinement of techniques and efficiency of movement
- discovery of layers of self-defense techniques, dissecting movement by range and underlying principles, deciphering the parable of techniques
Basic techniques — drilling to refine and streamline the efficiency of techniques, as well as attributes of timing, strength, flexibility, and cardiovascular endurance.
Supplemental Calisthenic exercises — to develop principles and attributes to enhance self defense capability.
Qi Gong, Tao Yin, Yoga, meditation — clear and focus your mind, balance your emotions, cultivate your vitality and circulation to stimulate your strength and immune system.
Iron Palm, Iron Body — tempering your body safely and gradually to build your striking power and grappling effectiveness, as well as your resilience to pain and injury. Develops the capacity to realize Bagua Zhang’s full potential as an effective martial art.
Weapons Training — develops focus, strength, stamina, balance and coordination that enhance your ability to defend yourself with weapons, every day objects, and enhances bare-handed efficacy.
Strategy Work — in lieu of training partners, using hanging heavy bags and grappling dummies, by swinging them to develop footwork, distance and timing.
Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu classes
We have a few spots available if you would like to start training Remote online with our Beginners Bagua Zhang Kung Fu class, held Saturdays at 11:30 am to 12:30 pm PST!
With all the uncertainty of the tumultuous times we are all living in, Bagua Zhang is an excellent practice to help you improve your health, increase your vitality and awareness, and develop self defense skills to meet the challenges we are facing with focus and confidence.
Once you get some of the basics down, you are welcome to join in our other regular group classes on Thursdays 7-8pm PST, and Sundays 11am-12:30pm PST.
The Remote Membership will give you the ability to continue training by following along with our regular group classes, and see us go through exercises, forms, applications and partner drills live. Since we are training Remotely via Zoom, you can join us from anywhere in the world, as long as you have a good internet connection. I will be available to answer questions after class from students via the discussion board on our members-only Mace Martial Arts private chat group.
The Remote Membership is only $50 per month, half the price of the in-person monthly Membership, but will still give you the ability to keep training with us live via Zoom and access to student resources at Mace Martial Arts. Also, we are in the process of creating instructional videos and workbooks to help you learn and grow with your practice!
If you are interested in joining for the first time, or it’s been awhile since you’ve attended our classes, please respond to this message so we can get you started with our Bagua Zhang Martial Arts classes!
At Mace Martial Arts, we value the sanctity of all life, celebrate diversity, cultivate peace and justice, and accept students who are interested in learning how to improve and protect themselves. We have a zero-tolerance policy for bigotry and will reject any potential or current student who bullies or discriminates against others based on ethnicity, religious beliefs, or gender/orientation.
Please share with anyone you know that might be interested in joining our classes!