This year, according to the Chinese Zodiac, is a Green Wood Dragon year, and promises to be full of changes and transformation, which are characteristics of Dragons, as well as the essence of the martial art of Bagua Zhang.
We may find it especially helpful this year to stay present, be true to hearts and tune in to our intuition to ride the waves of change coming our way.
I must admit that though there is a great deal of tumultuous events happening in the world at large, I have a feeling of excitement and anticipation in what this year will bring. This feeling seems linked to my lifelong fascination with Dragons, as if this moment helps me sense their daunting, invigorating presence more than usual.
Some of my earliest and most vivid dreams involve the connection I’ve felt with Dragons throughout my life. These mysterious fabulous beasts have inspired me in so many ways, including leading me to my lifelong path in the martial arts. It is not surprising, therefore, that the martial art system that continues to fascinate me the most is Bagua Zhang, with its coiling, sinuous movements that seem to embody the essence of a Dragon’s Spirit.
This is also why I was intrinsically drawn to Cheng Tingua’s expression of this art, the flow and power of his “Swimming Body Dragon Shape Bagua Zhang” being even more Dragon-like than other branches of Chinese Martial Arts.
“[The dragon] is the spirit of change, therefore of life itself. We associate him with the supreme power or that sovereign cause which pervades everything, taking new forms according to its surroundings, yet never seen in a final shape. The dragon is the great mystery itself. Hidden in the caverns of inaccessible mountains, or coiled in the unfathomed depth of the sea, he awaits the time when he slowly rouses himself into activity. He unfolds himself in the storm clouds; he washes his mane in the blackness of seething whirlpools. His claws are in the fork of the lightning; his scales begin to glisten in the bark of rain-swept pine-trees. His voice is heard in the hurricane which, scattering the withered leaves of the forest, quickens a new spring. The dragon reveals himself only to vanish. He is a glorious symbolic image of that elasticity which shakes off the inert mass of exhausted matter. Coiling again and again on his strength, he sheds his skin amid the battle of elements, and for an instant stands half revealed by the brilliant shimmer of his scales. He strikes not till his throat is touched. Then woe to him who dallies with the terrible one!”
I’m also announcing that I’ve been editing the final draft of my “Dragon Shape Bagua Zhang Training Manual,” which I’ve been working on for over a decade, and planning to self-publish later this year.
This training manual is designed to be a reference and study guide for my students, as well as others interested in learning in-depth training methods of this martial art.
This first edition is also an outline for video instructional materials that I’m hoping to start production on later this year as well.
As I narrow my search for a specific self-publishing company, I plan to start a crowdfunding campaign soon to cover the self-publishing printing costs for the first edition.
Stay tuned, and let me know if you’re interested in getting a copy of this book!
Accepting New Bagua Zhang Students at the Mace Martial Arts WuGuan! 🐉
We have space for a couple more in-person students for group classes at our new WuGuan, message us if you’re interested in learning Bagua Zhang Kung Fu!
Bagua Zhang Classes are held on
💠 Sundays 11am-12:30pm
💠 Thursdays 7pm-8pm
Towns at Riverfront
(Please register for classes for address)
Please RSVP to all classes you plan to attend, to confirm location and schedule.
Space limited to 5 students per class for in-person training — please message ahead to confirm your spot!
💠 We also have times available for private lessons if the group classes do not work for your schedule.
For students joining remotely via Zoom, we can host classes for up to 100 participants on our Zoom account.
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.