I’m glad that you want to know more about I-Bagua! Bagua is a Chinese martial art that first appeared publicly in 19th century Beijing, and before your read on I invite you to set aside a lot of what may come to your mind when you think of martial arts.
I-Bagua is not white uniforms, black belts, shouting and breaking boards. It is not gentle movements, philosophical discussion and tea. It is not muscular men in shorts beating and choking each other. It is not dressing up as samurai, ninja, shaolin monks or elite special forces either!
The essence of I-Bagua is the understanding and transformation of self through movement. It includes solo movement and partner practise – social movement if you like. When you do I-Bagua you will still have the chance to strike, grapple, choke, wave your hands gently, drink tea, explore deep thoughts, develop your coordination, build your muscles and flexibility and internal energy.
If you wonder if I-Bagua could be for you ask your self the following questions Do you:
- take pleasure when you move well and your body feels great?
- admire movement skill in athletes, gymnasts, dancers and martial artists?
- consider how to stay healthy and strong as you age?
- appreciate moments of calm, relaxation and peace?
- want to protect yourself and loved ones from threats and aggression?
- step up to physical, emotional or mental challenges?
- Like to go beyond the surface towards deeper meaning and deeper connection?
You can divide physical training into two main parts.
The first is what we are most familiar with from sports. It is the science of how to strengthen muscles, develop coordination, agility, flexibility, balance. How to analyse the weak points in your body’s movement chain and reinforce them. In martial technique this means the clear understanding of angle, distance, timing. It is applied physics and bio-mechanics.
The second part is how movement or body and mind overlap. Here movement becomes a tool to explore and develop other qualities, grace, willpower, presence, confidence. The body is not simply a fleshy machine that moves in space – it is the medium through which meaning and emotion are both experienced and expressed. Through the body there is the possibility of connection to something bigger, this can be your partner in a training situation, a landscape, or social context.
In the second part bio-mechanics meets psychology. It is an exploration of our reaction to conflict, and stress. It opens the door not just to winning a combat, but to restoring harmony.
In I-Bagua these two sides of movement find a balance. It is important to be physically precise, clear about mechanics. It is also important not to stop there, but explore how movement creates and conveys meaning, how the body is a seat of intelligence and intuition.
Through Bagua you can
- Build your body, strength, fitness, flexibility and health
- Still your mind, enjoy a peace and deep meditative absorption that leads to creativity and inspiration
- Learn fighting skills, attack and defense, evasion, striking and throwing
- Integrate physical qualities so you can apply them in your daily life
If you want any of these then book yourself onto an Introductory course where you can learn the core techniques and ideas. After this you can train 6 hours per week in open classes in the 9th arrondissement of Paris, or train privately, you can join regular themed seminars in Paris and elsewhere.
More about Bagua
Bagua is rare to find, and even rarer to find taught with openness and clarity.
Bagua is powered by body awareness. The mind explores the body deeply and leads the movement. Through this method you can undo habits of body use that affect your everyday thoughts, decisions, emotions and reactions. You can use this method to optimise not just your movement, but to flow through life with greater awareness and joy.
The methods of Bagua allow you to access your physical intelligence and intuition. They develop your sensitivity to the gesture and postures of others that give you valuable information as to the true desires and intentions of others that can be hidden by their words.
You will also find that you can use your body to communicate with greater power and delicacy, whether in formal settings or intimate ones.
Bagua’s movements work the body through different planes of motion in elegant patterns that build unified strength through the body from the tips of the toes to the tips of the fingers. The movements develop centredness and balance, the ability to change direction effortlessly, to flow like silk and strike as solidly as stone. They maximise your body attributes whether big or small, old or young.
Bagua is the development of the body so that your internal qualities can shine through and be shared by others and shine through the illusion of otherness.
Bagua is the joy of movement, it is physical training for the mind, Bagua is balance and flow, logic applied with elegance, a set of powerful fighting principles and a gateway to an immense meditative space.
Bagua mirrors patterns in nature. The movements like swallows soaring, dragons coiling, waves crashing, clouds across the sky, the spiral of whirlpools and tornadoes. Bagua is adaptable. You can take Bagua with you when you travel, in hotel rooms, beaches, forests, mountains, to centre yourself before a presentation or confrontation and settle yourself afterwards. It will make you a better dancer too!
The people who are attracted to Bagua come from all kinds of professions. Some prefer to focus on the fighting skills, others just enjoy exploring body movement, the peace and energy that it begins.
Some have experience in other martial arts Taiji, Wingchun, Karate and other forms of kung-fu.
For others Bagua is their first martial art. They want to feel knowing that they will not be brutalised, but will learn something both fascinating and beneficial in an atmosphere of focus and friendliness.
The Bagua that I teach has a clearly designed syllabus adapted for the demands of modern life. Read about what it’s like to learn Bagua here.
To see the weekly class schedule and tarifs look here Please contact me with a short introduction about yourself and your interest in Bagua and when you are available to practise.