Hello, I’m Edward Hines, a Bagua teacher in Brittany, France. My internal arts journey started in 1983 in London, over the years I’ve traveled, studied, fought, thought and taught.
My first Tai Chi teacher had trained with a number of stundent of Cheng Man Ching. It was on many ways a strange school with no applied martial practice, but with some useful emphasis on softness and sensitivity. I was only 15 when I started, and I didn’t know better. But it still opened a door on the vast possibilities of this kind of training and a fire was lit.
As a result I went to Taiwan in 1991 to get more extensive training. I thought I’d be there for 6months or so, but it was closer to 4 years before I left.
During this time I studied with three students of Cheng ManChing, mostly Tao Pingxiang, briefly with Liu Hsiheng, on and off with Ke Qihua.
I started my Bagua journey in 1991 when I met Luo Dexiu. Luo taught me the complete Yizong Gao style Bagua system, along with Chen Pan Ling Taiji, Hebei Xingyi, and various chi-kung cultivation sets. More than that Luo taught me to search for the patterns underlying and connecting each system.
Luo is a powerful, realistic and sophisticated martial artist. He really shows the what and the how of martial Bagua. The weight of his hands leaves a memory, but is still a shock each time you feel it. Gao style and Luo’s training remains a frame in to which I can place ongoing martial skills and experiences.
As a long-term freediver breath control has always been important to me. While I can’t claim any special alchemical knowledge, Luo has patiently walked me through the processes that he delved into deeply and has given me a solid framework that I continue to research. There are a lot of traditions and methods out there. Exploring and triangulating on the root of qigong, breathwork, and internal cultivation is something that I will continue until the last expiration.
I cannot thank Tony Felix enough for his coaching in sanda and other martial skills. I worked with him in the late 90s and the turn of the millennium in London. Tony can hold the tension between ‘sport’ and ‘traditional’ methods. This period was also an opportunity to revisit Saint Pancras boxing club, which I had trained and fought at as a small boy (It’s the club you can see in the film Snatch). I also started BJJ at this time, though a bad knee injury (in sanda) put me out for a while and made me review my priorities. Though a number of people have helped (shout out to Tim Cartmell), I’m still terrible at BJJ even if I can make it work with people with less grappling time than me.
A small group of Tony’s students fought in tournaments around the UK, some of which attracted competitors from around the world. We cleaned up on the medals back then. Good memories, many black eyes, and an important part of my education.
Probably time to mention Steve Morris. I’ve only trained in the same room with him twice, though I often review his materials. He helped me turn upside down and upgrade my understanding of martial arts and teaching. If you know Steve, you know. If you don’t he’s now an 80-year-old who has scary power, on-point movement, and decades of obsession-driven knowledge. Steve stepped away from and does not advocate any martial arts styles and yet I can’t not mention Steve. I wish more people would seek him out.
To teach Tai Chi to local authorities in the UK I qualified as a fitness instructor in the mid-90s. It wasn’t something that appealed originally, but for all ‘internal’ people look down at modern strength training there are some real gems to discover there. I was pretty active in the burgeoning of ‘movement culture’ from 2012 and have worked with many of the ‘big names’ in it.
Since 2020 I have offered online Bagua courses and online Bagua classes via Zoom. I have also worked 1:1 coaching students in Bagua and Taiji – Tai Chi online. In the courses below I have compiled a short but thorough introduction to qigong and breathing methods, A simple overview of Bagua concepts and movements, and a deeper dive through the Gao-style system of Baguazhang.
Now as a Bagua teacher it’s my job to guide you to get the most from your journey, to avoid the dead ends and the delusions, and to translate time-tested methods so they can be relevant to your daily life.