Pa Kua Chang (Eight Diagram Palm), also known as Ba Gua Zhang, is one of the primary internal systems of the Chinese martial arts -- the others being Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing I Chuan. The origin of Pa Kua is a matter of continuing historical research. Much information has been generated on Pa Kua over the last 20 years that is available to the reader from various martial arts sources. Unique among the various systems of Pa Kua that exist is the Pa Kua Chang of Lu Shui-Tian. A list of information on this distinctive and practical method of Pa-Kua is provided in the Reference Information section for the interested reader. Some publications are readily available; while others are out of print, but may be available at your local library.
Pa Kua, at its best, integrates
. . . and.. . .
- Chi Kung (Qi Gong)
- Physical Conditioning
- Scientifically-based . Fighting Principles
into a complete and comprehensive martial discipline. Perhaps best known for its distinctive "circle walking" training methods. Pa Kua is also renowned for its:
- highly evasive footwork
- powerful palm strikes
- snake-like body movements
- lightning-fast combinations
In the Pa Kua of Lu Shui-Tian, it is recognized that skill in self-defense provides little without health because, without health, skill will not last. Also, health without skill in self-defense is not martial art, and provides few options should a physical confrontation arise. Both elements are essential to the full and complete development of any martial arts practitioner.
In addition, the philosophy and principles forming the basis of the Pa Kua of Lu Shui-Tian are derived directly from nature. As such, they are rooted in the real world, and are governed by the laws of physics and human physiology. They are not gifts from the gods, nor are they based on magic or mysticism. Anyone with proper instruction and training can learn this art.
Lu Shui-Tian emphasized the significance of sound principles as the basis of any high level martial art. In particular, he stressed the importance of the Trinity Concept Principle. The trinity concept was identified as the key to the strength and flexibility of Pa Kua. There are many trinities in Pa Kua; however, the first and foremost trinity, the fundamental trinity, the trinity that forms the foundation of the Pa Kua of Lu Shui-Tian consists of:
- The Principle of Yin and Yang
- The Principle of the Five Elements or Phases
- The Principle of Change (from the Book of Changes or I Ching)
Yin and Yang
Wu Xing (Five Elements)
Pa Kua (Change)
The Natural Underlying Trinity Foundation
of the Pa Kua Chang of Lu Shui-Tian
From the perspective of the disciples of Lu Shui-Tian all martial arts and martial techniques require a trinity of this nature to work properly. If they do not possess such a basis, then it is viewed as a deficiency or weakness which can be exploited to martial advantage.
Theory or philosophy for its own sake provides only intellectual satisfaction. Unless theory and philosophy can be applied efficiently and effectively in the physical world, it offers little benefit to the martial artist in a fight or confrontation. Sifu Park Bok-Nam stresses the practical manifestation of the trinity in all aspects of training. He teaches a system of fighting and training formulas based on many trinity combinations. Emphasis is placed on learning and understanding the underlying principles of Pa Kua as they apply to the student's own individual body type and character.