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View Full Version : Bagua in the UK Vids: Opinions?



Aka-Tora
11/22/2016 10:11am,
Was wondering what the opinions are on these vids of a nearby Bagua school.

According to their website, they have both a standard class and a Sanda class. From what I've seen of their Sanda- being a MT and Bjj guy- it's actually good.

Even though the striking basis ends up, as expected, looking like a form of kickboxing (as all decent distance striking must) it still seems to have a distinct Bagua/traditional CMA flavour, both in their combinations, throws and an interesting little no grip sweep. Essentially it doesn't look like what I often see of traditional CMA that do contact sparring- exceptionally sloppy kickboxing with the odd attempt at a CMA technique thrown in.

Their site:
http://www.manchester-bagua.org

Their Sanda:

https://youtu.be/0GbcwfL09CU
https://youtu.be/ngvoAanjveY
https://youtu.be/Lhkia_pXBYs

A far less impressive vid of Luo De
Xiu, the teacher of one of the instructors, showing some traditional "applications": https://youtu.be/0CyFZhoBHG8

kimjonghng
11/26/2016 7:39am,
I sometimes train on a one-to-one basis with Sifu Chris Lomas to learn Kung Fu, he's based in Bury. He has done nothing but give praise to this club and reccomended that if I ever wanted to learn Bagua, that's one of the best places I can go, and he's training two different lineages of Bagua to completion as far as I know. I've met them at seminars in Wigan for Catch Wrestling at the Snake Pit earlier this year and they were great at the grappling across the class. The fact they have Sanda classes regularly is a massive plus even of itself

I would say go check it out and see what you think. Let us know how you find it and have fun

It is Fake
11/26/2016 11:51am,
If they have Sanda, it means they are most likely teaching you viable applications with pressure testing. That is a plus in the questionable and fraud filled world of Chinese Martial Arts.

Aka-Tora
11/29/2016 9:39am,
If they have Sanda, it means they are most likely teaching you viable applications with pressure testing. That is a plus in the questionable and fraud filled world of Chinese Martial Arts.

So I went to the Bagua and can say I was impressed. This is going to be a bit long winded because it's hard to explain in detail without knowing the terminology. I'm interested to see how the following lines up with your approach/view on IMA, Xing Yi and Bagua It Is Fake.

Anyway, to give some context: on Monday they do what Gao Bagua classifies as the "pre-heaven" part of the syllabus- movement/principal training with only a few applications taught. Tuesday, which is invite only and is not usually open to a student until they have learned some basics. is the Sanda class, where students mainly spar under full Sanda rules for the session. Friday is the post-heaven, more application heavy session where the form work is put into context.

The Monday class is the session I attended. I started out talking to the instructor who explained that the system of Bagua he taught partly came from a Shuai Jiao and Xing Yi practitioner.

Apparently his teacher, Luo De Xiu Loashi, was a full contact Kuoshu fighter back in Taiwan- for those few here that don't know, Kuoshu is essentially akin to Sanda with MMA gloves, except back then it was initially bare knuckle. Apparently, the way his instructor was taught, Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua were taught in Taiwan together with the intention of full contact competition.

The instructor also agreed that the idea of internal has essentially become a bunch of bollocks and that the external-internal divide is largely false- and that it's simply a slightly different means to the same ends, with the rationale being the main difference- the conscious emphasis on internal and the link to Chinese/Dao concepts.

After this initial introduction the class began properly and the instructor explained that some of the pre-heaven content was akin to attribute training, much in the way that a Boxer may skip or do ladder drills.

The first proper exercise involved turning whilst keeping your feet parallel and your weight sunk, brushing your hand behind you in the process. Because of my grappling background the instructor showed how this drill developed into an application- demonstrating a hip throw similar to O Goshi.

We did some other movements in a circle before we drew a basic line diagram on the floor where we practiced retracting one hand to th hip simultaneously drilling out the other hand whilst utilising hip movement. I'm told that the application of this is the use of the whole body when pushing and pulling and learning to keep the weight in the centre of the foot so your base is weighed in the centre. These movements, he explained, were the "silk reeling" energy that is so often mystified but is actually just coiling the body whilst one hand pushes out and the other retracts.

We then split into groups of two and stood in the Shan Ti Shi posture with our arms parallel where we tested each others bases before being shown an application of sorts that involved tying up the opponents arms and stepping though behind their legs to crumple them to the floor. The instructor explained to me that the Shan Ti Shibstance was not the advocated fighting stance here and was instead viewed as the "mother stance"- a stance to test certain principles/ posture- literally used as a form of stance training.

The fighting stance he showed me was akin to a somewhat CMA flavoured kickboxing stance- not as square as a MT stance but not completely side on either. He then showed me some of the applications of the principles taught in the session by esentially arm dragging me (often more from the wrist) angling off and shooting a single leg, telling me to step back so that the leg could not be grabbed before transitioning into a trip.

It was just a demonstration but his grappling was noticibly different to the more western wrestling approach that I've been taught- despite many similarities. He was less tight in his wrestling but his ability to pull me around was second to none and the approach was obviously more striking integrated. His hip throw method was also slightly different than the common Judo equivalent in the sense that the twist/spiral on the hip was more pronounced ( a "hip spring") and the leg was literally thrusted out. Some of the hip throws also seemed to drag you over a bit more like a wrestling hipthrow and reminds me of what I've seen of the "cross-buttock" throw.

The last thing we practiced, was pretty much a straight up application- a variation of the Snake Throw. I can confirm that it was pretty nasty to be in the receiving end of.

Esentially, you both take a single collar tie with your stronger side forward. One hand reaches down onto the knee or, more preferably, takes the ankle. You then pin the hand they have the single collar with to your chest and step through and rotate, in this case, counter clockwise putting all your weight into your rear leg tossing them over whilst getting into a low posture.

For reference this is a different variation, done from a different position and where the throwers hand is on the hip rather than the knee or performing an ankle pick of sorts: https://youtu.be/JH2g5ZOgrEo

. The more "street" variations he also showed here throwing wise weren't merely the usual eye gouging, biting nonsense but instead Judo esque throws with the intention of the victim landing on his head- with the assistance of the hand behind the neck of the victim to shove his head or with the break-falling arm intentionally tied up when performing a shoulder throw.

Overall it was interesting and I think there is some real value in some of the alternate throws taught as a supplement to Judo, Bjj and Wrestling and I'm going to try the Friday class.

It is Fake
11/29/2016 10:24am,
If he has Shui Jiao lineage from a full contact fighter, you really can't do any better in the CMA world. Google the teacher, make sure he is legit and join up. On the surface it sounds like you found a reputable school. If you read through the CMA stickies he talks like many of us have for over a decade. Bagua, taught correctly, is similar to Judo. I'd go to Judo first because I live in America and Bagua alive is rare, let alone a version which isn't performance based. Xingy, if taught similar to boxing, is a very straight forward striking art.

kimjonghng
12/01/2016 4:04am,
Glad to see you were impressed, let us know if you keep going with it can keep training hard :)

BKR
12/01/2016 12:22pm,
So I went to the Bagua and can say I was impressed. This is going to be a bit long winded because it's hard to explain in detail without knowing the terminology. I'm interested to see how the following lines up with your approach/view on IMA, Xing Yi and Bagua It Is Fake.

Anyway, to give some context: on Monday they do what Gao Bagua classifies as the "pre-heaven" part of the syllabus- movement/principal training with only a few applications taught. Tuesday, which is invite only and is not usually open to a student until they have learned some basics. is the Sanda class, where students mainly spar under full Sanda rules for the session. Friday is the post-heaven, more application heavy session where the form work is put into context.

The Monday class is the session I attended. I started out talking to the instructor who explained that the system of Bagua he taught partly came from a Shuai Jiao and Xing Yi practitioner.

Apparently his teacher, Luo De Xiu Loashi, was a full contact Kuoshu fighter back in Taiwan- for those few here that don't know, Kuoshu is essentially akin to Sanda with MMA gloves, except back then it was initially bare knuckle. Apparently, the way his instructor was taught, Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua were taught in Taiwan together with the intention of full contact competition.

The instructor also agreed that the idea of internal has essentially become a bunch of bollocks and that the external-internal divide is largely false- and that it's simply a slightly different means to the same ends, with the rationale being the main difference- the conscious emphasis on internal and the link to Chinese/Dao concepts.

After this initial introduction the class began properly and the instructor explained that some of the pre-heaven content was akin to attribute training, much in the way that a Boxer may skip or do ladder drills.

The first proper exercise involved turning whilst keeping your feet parallel and your weight sunk, brushing your hand behind you in the process. Because of my grappling background the instructor showed how this drill developed into an application- demonstrating a hip throw similar to O Goshi.

We did some other movements in a circle before we drew a basic line diagram on the floor where we practiced retracting one hand to th hip simultaneously drilling out the other hand whilst utilising hip movement. I'm told that the application of this is the use of the whole body when pushing and pulling and learning to keep the weight in the centre of the foot so your base is weighed in the centre. These movements, he explained, were the "silk reeling" energy that is so often mystified but is actually just coiling the body whilst one hand pushes out and the other retracts.

We then split into groups of two and stood in the Shan Ti Shi posture with our arms parallel where we tested each others bases before being shown an application of sorts that involved tying up the opponents arms and stepping though behind their legs to crumple them to the floor. The instructor explained to me that the Shan Ti Shibstance was not the advocated fighting stance here and was instead viewed as the "mother stance"- a stance to test certain principles/ posture- literally used as a form of stance training.

The fighting stance he showed me was akin to a somewhat CMA flavoured kickboxing stance- not as square as a MT stance but not completely side on either. He then showed me some of the applications of the principles taught in the session by esentially arm dragging me (often more from the wrist) angling off and shooting a single leg, telling me to step back so that the leg could not be grabbed before transitioning into a trip.

It was just a demonstration but his grappling was noticibly different to the more western wrestling approach that I've been taught- despite many similarities. He was less tight in his wrestling but his ability to pull me around was second to none and the approach was obviously more striking integrated. His hip throw method was also slightly different than the common Judo equivalent in the sense that the twist/spiral on the hip was more pronounced ( a "hip spring") and the leg was literally thrusted out. Some of the hip throws also seemed to drag you over a bit more like a wrestling hipthrow and reminds me of what I've seen of the "cross-buttock" throw.

The last thing we practiced, was pretty much a straight up application- a variation of the Snake Throw. I can confirm that it was pretty nasty to be in the receiving end of.

Esentially, you both take a single collar tie with your stronger side forward. One hand reaches down onto the knee or, more preferably, takes the ankle. You then pin the hand they have the single collar with to your chest and step through and rotate, in this case, counter clockwise putting all your weight into your rear leg tossing them over whilst getting into a low posture.

For reference this is a different variation, done from a different position and where the throwers hand is on the hip rather than the knee or performing an ankle pick of sorts: https://youtu.be/JH2g5ZOgrEo

. The more "street" variations he also showed here throwing wise weren't merely the usual eye gouging, biting nonsense but instead Judo esque throws with the intention of the victim landing on his head- with the assistance of the hand behind the neck of the victim to shove his head or with the break-falling arm intentionally tied up when performing a shoulder throw.

Overall it was interesting and I think there is some real value in some of the alternate throws taught as a supplement to Judo, Bjj and Wrestling and I'm going to try the Friday class.

Nice write-up, thanks for sharing.

I like how the instructor linked principles to application, and does full contact sparring as well.

Eddie Hardon
1/02/2017 5:07pm,
I've looked over the site and its links and all looks Good to me. I love the 'Snake Throw', which Luo is demonstrating at (I think) David Rubens Yoshinkan Aikido dojo in Kilburn. Happy to be corrected.

In terms of the links, you'll see palmchange in Kentish Town, which was started by Ed Hines. Ed moved to Paris and left it to Nick Cumber, one of Ed's first students and he in turn passed it to Matt Biss. Matt also travelled out to Taiwan to train under Luo. Nick Cumbers was all for pressure testing and bought a set of judo mats for sparring. He also brought in the Headguards and Gloves. Ed Hines already had trained at St Pancras ABC and also trained Muay Thai (he told me). He also hosted Luo's annual visit to UK and France hence the references to Harve plus Ed and also Carsten (who is on my FB feed).

Ed noticed the heavy bruising on my arms from Trad JJ training and remarked on it. For myself, I could only ride one horse so I chose my path. That said, I'm a great admire of Bagua and it remains in my thoughts. Ed brought over Luo c.1999 and mounted a seminar at London University and I was in awe of his understanding, movement and his spontaneity; he was clearly 'in the moment' and used both Ed and Aarvo Tucker as his ukes. He was able to 'build a bridge' to his opponent and if a defence was not forthcoming, his 'bridge' became an Attack. It was obvious to me that 1 x week was insufficient and it need daily practise.

So, for me, embrace it. Enjoy it. Xing/Hsing Yi/I, Luo would also teach this in his seminars as a separate element. I've previously seen this with Keith Alker, an Adept in Xing Yi, Bagua (different style to Gao) and Chen, Yang and Sun Tai Chi.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how you get on. Best Wishes.

Aka-Tora
1/06/2017 12:22pm,
I've looked over the site and its links and all looks Good to me. I love the 'Snake Throw', which Luo is demonstrating at (I think) David Rubens Yoshinkan Aikido dojo in Kilburn. Happy to be corrected.

In terms of the links, you'll see palmchange in Kentish Town, which was started by Ed Hines. Ed moved to Paris and left it to Nick Cumber, one of Ed's first students and he in turn passed it to Matt Biss. Matt also travelled out to Taiwan to train under Luo. Nick Cumbers was all for pressure testing and bought a set of judo mats for sparring. He also brought in the Headguards and Gloves. Ed Hines already had trained at St Pancras ABC and also trained Muay Thai (he told me). He also hosted Luo's annual visit to UK and France hence the references to Harve plus Ed and also Carsten (who is on my FB feed).

Ed noticed the heavy bruising on my arms from Trad JJ training and remarked on it. For myself, I could only ride one horse so I chose my path. That said, I'm a great admire of Bagua and it remains in my thoughts. Ed brought over Luo c.1999 and mounted a seminar at London University and I was in awe of his understanding, movement and his spontaneity; he was clearly 'in the moment' and used both Ed and Aarvo Tucker as his ukes. He was able to 'build a bridge' to his opponent and if a defence was not forthcoming, his 'bridge' became an Attack. It was obvious to me that 1 x week was insufficient and it need daily practise.

So, for me, embrace it. Enjoy it. Xing/Hsing Yi/I, Luo would also teach this in his seminars as a separate element. I've previously seen this with Keith Alker, an Adept in Xing Yi, Bagua (different style to Gao) and Chen, Yang and Sun Tai Chi.

Anyway, good luck and let us know how you get on. Best Wishes.

Thank you and when I move closer to the area I'm certainly hoping to start training regularly with them.

The Gao Bagua already consists partly of Xingyi but I've seen online what you refer to- i.e. Luo teaching it as a separate system- and I'm definitely interested in that fact if I ever meet him. I think the best thing about the Bagua at the club is that it retains the flavour of the system under pressure whilst accepting influence from modern kickboxing/boxing/MT. I always applaud CMA schools that spar properly but if they don't at least maintain a degree of their arts flavour, however modified, then I don't see the point of training there If you could get everything they offer and/or more in MT/MMA unless it's the only/best option in your area. In other words, if an art just becomes sloppy kickboxing/Sanda then I'm not interested. The Bagua guys do not fit into this category and I say that sincerely as a Muay Thai and Bjj practioner- they have something to offer even for those who have grounding in these or other arts.