The hands are very important because they are most often going to be your first point of contact when engaging someone, however without the body the hands have no power. This is why we take great care to train the body and the different ways it can move to express power differently. The houtians are a great training tool for this because they cover many of the different hand/body method combinations that we use in our Yizong Bagua and they are less complicated than the shentien forms. (We will get into the connections between the houtian and shentien parts of Yizong bagua in a separate post later).
When training the body I usually do things two different ways; static/standing and stepping.
As we can see in this video I have separated out the two main body movements that can be done without my feet moving.
- I am focusing on how the drop and circle propels the hooking motion.
- I am focusing on the bend in my body and keeping my back straight
- I am letting the drop and circular hooking motion lead me into my 7-star stance.
- I am feeling the slight push across my body prior to my body folding.
One important thing to note. When training the process of breaking my forms down, I want to break things down so that I can understand them more quickly, but I also want to work to get things put back together as quickly as possible. Bagua is about continuous moving power. If I train singular movement over and over, but I never reattach anything to the motion I am doing, then it presents the issue that I am now reliant upon a singular motion or technique. Doing a singular motion without eventually continuing to something else promotes stopping when engaged. The moment we stop moving our vulnerability increases dramatically. We should work to have smooth effortless continuous power in our Bagua. Training things as singular pieces allows me to simplify and 'get' things quicker, but it is critical to start mending all the pieces back together as soon as I begin to feel what the form is designed to express. Once I can do the form continuously, with clarity, relaxation and proper structure, I should seek to find smoothness in doing the form over and over again. Once smoothness has been achieved within the form, it should be linked to other forms to further train the mind and body's ability to change without hindrance.