Question for Phantom Spectre

Hey, Ive been reading some of your posts on you say you do QiGong type stuff. I was just wondering, do you do martial arts, or do you just do that stuff for the meditation and exercise? I do martial arts, Shaolin Kung Fu. Its really sweet man, I love it a lot.

Yes I do. I started with external arts like jiu jutsu… Ive learned a little of everything. Then I found pa kua chang (baguazhang). Im afraid that is my true love now. Bagua is based on the same principals as tai chi (taijiquan) as to beinga dimmak/internal art. The circle walking is based upon ancient daoist qigong walking methods. It was created by dong hai ch’uan (tung the fugitive) to have the best of both worlds, external and internal.

I believe with any art, once you reach a certain level, you naturally understand internal art concepts anyway, and adapt to doing the art in harmony with this. Usually you are helped to understand this when your instructor give you a “key”. Tells you “movement comes from the centre.”

In general all martial arts have healing properties.
However I am very different im my thinking to some of the kungfu techniques like “Iron Palm” and such.
I have found many better ways to achieve iron palm, and iron shirt, with out making my hands useless for nothing else but striking.
I do enjoy some of the original kung-fu are though. Snake fingers to eyes I feel is a classic.
However about martial arts, I feel the same as sun luc tang, and would never spar. Perhaps Sau-Sau, but NEVER spar.

Could you tell some more about pa kua chang? sounds very interesting!
i’m thinking of starting to practice a martial art but i still don’t know which one to chose. I want the exercise and the concentration, not so much the fighting. I never heard of pa kua chang, so i’d like to know more about that :smile:


Sure, be happy to.
My friend Erle Montaigue puts out a lot of free information on the internal arts:
On his site he has articles at:

Free books/ magazines at:

Or just surf his site at:

He does have a " baguzhang " book out too, also sells videos.
You can get the book through paladin press in the states.
or for the cheapest price go to:

Baguazhang (pa kua chang) is translated “the eight tri-gram palms”
Has been coined by many as the “art of overkill”.
With a little study you will find out why.

his bagwa book (no photos though, or application info/photos)
is at:
He doesnt claim to know everything, but will tell you what works.

From what I can tell you about Baguazhang (pa kua chang).
There are a few different styles because of a few reasons:
Dong hai chuan had the circle walking methods and the palm changes down from which the art developed. He came up with the 8 different palms. He also created the style of walking and a few animal forms.
Later others came up with the different palm configurations or 64 different palm combinations. (yin fu) to be exact.
Others like Sun Luc Tang and Chiang Rongqiao created a circular and linear form. It has the longest form of any martial art, and has the fastest footwork of any martial art. It was favored by the chinese imperial guard, as it was designed to defend oneself against multiple attackers. Within the framework you learn simple techniques which explain why bagua practiotioners are able to attack and keep on attacking.
Bagua is closely related to acupunture, as is taijiquan(tai chi).
Bagua practioners have been known to live a very long time. At least thouse who did not die in the boxer rebellion.

The principals of the form is that you learn to do really difficult twisting forms, so that the simple applications are much more easier.
Actually doing the entire form is like practising Iron Shirt, with out the dangers of the Iron Shirt Ch’iKung .

Later the chinese government created the swimming form.
This is not bagua. In my opinion, goverment should not hava a say as to how martial arts should be done. To alter what was the result of genius, isnt really going to help you.
Much the same as shortening or slowing down chang sang feng’s original taijiquan form was to everyone’s detriment.
I think it was just another way of keeping people from getting the “good oil”


I too would like to start some form of martial arts for various reasons but I want something more ‘internal’ as pasQuale said. These are some methods available in my area;

karate, ju-jitsu, tai chi, taekwondo, hap ki do, shaolin kung fu, kick boxing, Shuri-ryu, chin na self defence and ground fighting, southern & northern (china) styles, aikido, koshin-kan, dojo & koshin-kan (?), thai boxing, and kobudo

Do you recommend anything for starters? Taijiquan seems to be closely related to pa kua chang, and one place offers kung fu, karate, aikido, self-defence, and tai chi. It seems most favourable because it includes aikido, and by what I’ve read it sounds very interesting. Do you think that this place has a good balance?

However I say this, I know I will make any karateka angry.
Because Karate generally tries to teach you that you have to do the form the exact same way as everybody else I disagree.
The movements can be adjusted I feel to fit each ones individual body, but of course they wouldnt have that.
I would recommend anything that teaches you to sink into your feet, I.E. teaches you to have your body go limp. What I mean to say is if your body is limp, it is much more difficult to knock you down, throw, or push you.
Anything that teaches you how not to be grabbed by another person.
If you were to be grabbed by anyone, that would be a disgrace.
Even a good beginner can evade this tactic given the assailant is not too experienced.
Anything that in the beginning does not teach you to fight on the ground.
Becareful of this, even if a teacher does teach this, I would go along with it cause you are being taught by them. Just dont use it in self defense in the beginning.

I would recommend Kung Fu, Any North China Martial art. Tai Chi (yang, not chen style. Chen got fat for a reason! He changed the form!) Try to learn the long form, not the short form. Hsing-I (Xing-yi) Which is a little linear is another internal art. Supossedly after Chang Sang Feng Created the dimmak art he went to wudang shan. There the qi disruptive forms were created. These are also very much like taijiquan. Akido is okay, but I dont agree with grabbing and throwing as a primary attack. But if you take it, dont fight with the teacher, just try to learn as much as you can.
There are things to be learned from any martial art. In fact many times the external arts borrowed some of “what works” from the north china/ internal arts. Jiu Jutsu, Akido and many of those arts have taught what they have know about dim-mak openly for years.

The real truth is that there is no such thing as a “pure martial art” they have been added to and taken away from for centuries. Really, you have to find your own way.

Park Bok Nam here in the states teaches Pa Kua Chang. I dont agree with everything he teaches, but then again you must not have just ONE teacher. In your quest you must like bruce lee said “find what works and use it”.

Tai Chi, or Taijiquan is translated “the supreme ultimate fist”. Within the art we are taught not to just block, but to attack anything that comes in range. It is an illogical fighting art, not a martial art, for you do not think, you react. E.g. The form is done until you can do it without thinking. Even I know Tai Chi is the best, it just is very difficult to find a qualified teacher here in the states.

Pretty much anything you can learn by way of the internal arts will greatly enhance any of the external arts. The old wise guys who created it, knew that it took ch’i to move, and by incorporating qigong into these arts, it made it possible for you to fight much longer than possible.
However they often taught the qigong in the beginning because you had to at least advance to doing the forms without thinking before you could get anything from the form.

Hope this helps. I know I don’t know everything there is to know, and I myself am constantly finding new things with which to improve myself.
I feel bad about sparing and more or less prefer sau-sau instead, it prevents “show offs” but I wont preach about that.


hmm…thanks for the info. All I need to do is pay the place a visit and I’ll see how things go from there.

Cool. Well, tell me how it turns out for you.