Thursday, June 21, 2007

Nice Sun-Style Bagua Form

Bagua Form In Moscow

Sun Lu-Tang's Daughter

You know; the older I get the more I appreciate the ART in Martial Arts. We're not talkin' "fight sport" here. We are talking about true expression of the human spirit. Just like no two artists make the same painting or sculpture, the expression of the form is unique and varies from individual to individual. Though they are supposed to both be Sun-style forms, the stepping patterns I originally learned are different in various ways from the ones that Tim Cartmell taught us. Now I have the work of two masters to play with and find what works for me, and I suppose my "Art" will appear different than theirs. Does that make it incorrect? Certainly not.
The first video above is of a nice Bagua form at a demonstration in Moscow earlier this year. The second is of Sun Jianyun, the daughter of Sun Lu-tang - the founder of the system. I really wish I could see her do the empty hand form, to see what the original form looked like, as taught by her father. Boy, I hope I can move as smoothly as she does when I'm in my eighties!


Patrick Parker said...

Hey, DR. If you havent seen this yet, you'll probably get a kick out of it...

Dojo Rat said...

Hey, for a corney movie there was some good stuff in there!
I am going to build a Bagua wooden man, similar to a wing chun wooden man. Details to follow...

Hand2Hand said...

You're right. It's the individual who makes the art, not the other way around. That's why two people can learn the same art from the same sifu and come up with two different interpretations.

I learned my Yang Taijiquan from three different students of Cheng Man Ching but you'd hardly know it from their forms.

My Wing Chun comes from four different teachers who trace their lineages back to Yip Chun, but again, there are some big differences between each teacher.

Taiji sifu Harvey Kurland once joked: How many taiji sifus does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: 10. One to screw it in and the other nine will say "That's nice. But we do it a little different at my school."

I adapted that joke to Wing Chun people.

Q: How many Wing Chun sifus does it take to screw in a lightbulb?

A: 10. One to screw it in while the other nine argue about how Yip Man would have done it.

I've got to find a way to get into Baquazhang again. Right now, I'm busy with night classes and learning Yau Kung Mun Kung Fu and the Bowie knife. Well, maybe next year.

Dojo Rat said...

Hey H2H;
I would like to steal your light baulb joke!

Also, can you tell us about the Bowie knife class?
The only person I've heard of teaching it is James Keating, in eastern Washington. Sounds cool!

Andy said...

WOW. Great post DR. I was just talking about this with one of the karate brothers after our Sunday work out. One of our Sensei's early students, a very powerful Shuri Ryu stylist, only has 20% usage of his right arm. After 20+ years of training, I would love to see his additions and subtractions in the system after losing almost all use of his arm. H2H said it best, "It's the individual who makes art."

Hand2Hand said...

Hey DR,

My Yau Kung Mun teacher has trained with James Keating and Tom Kautz.

It's not really a formal class. My YKM sifu and I have been swapping knowledge for about six years. I've been teaching him Wing Chun and we both cross train in Jeet Kune Do and the Filipino Tribal Arts with various local teachers.

We both like the Bowie knife because both WC and YKM use the butterfly swords. Because of the blade's size, reach and weight, training with a Bowie helps with the butterfly swords and vice versa.

Out of respect for my YKM sifu's privacy, I won't get into too much about him here. But here's a link to his website.

One last thing - the lightbulb joke wasn't mine. I got it from Harvey Kurland in the book "Martial Arts Teachers on Teacing." I'm a fanatic for respecting others intellectual property, so I always strive to give credit where it is due.

I just adapted the joke to WC people, but the sentiment is the same. I hear that if you get Yip Chun and Yip Ching together in a room, (and you speak Cantonese) you'll hear a profanity-laden argument about how their father, Yip Man, meant to teach WC.