Friday, April 3, 2009

Kent Howard On Bagua Single Palm Change

Here are some drills for the Bagua single palm change by instructor Kent Howard. The first one I learned years ago in Aikido, and we have been doing it pretty much as Kent presents it. The second drill is nice because of the Fan Jang aspect of the change. All of this guy's videos are well produced and have good information. The style is after master Wang Shujin, the barrel chested dude in the first picture in the video. The style is different than from what I practice in that he (1.) holds his elbows somewhat away from his body and a little higher than I like. I believe that may be because master Wang was so huge he held his arms away from his belly. Naturally, all his students would replicate that position. Jake Burroughs recently commented to me that he saw the same thing in the students of an obese Xingyi master. (2.)In the palm change, but not shown in this video is the high leg raise after the wrap and change of direction. I see the utility in leg sweep applications but is a little to high for me.
All this guy's video's are very good however, and we may take a look at a few more later. Also, you might check out the website for Kent Howard's book on Wang Shujin Bagua at this link.
- I'm off to a Tai Chi Chuan workshop with my instructor Michael Gilman this weekend, more on that next week.


BSM said...

Gotta love the positional heel hook. It comes up now and again in Chin Na. If I ever make it back to Mantis it was there a lot.

It's a less physical way to uproot someone without flipping them. I think it has the added benefit of being unexpected. In MMA, movies, etc., all you see are flips and hip throws.

Lastly you don't need much strength to dump someone if you hook the heel and hit them from the side.

JoseFreitas said...

I liked the drills a lot. The second one I do, in a slightly different variation, but the first one is a good way to train counter-grappling techniques. I went and checked this guy's site and I think he is quite good. I'm pretty sure he came up with a lot of these drills himself, which is great and proves the art is very much alive!

Kent Howard said...

Thanks for the kind comments. I am glad you enjoy the videos. We are preparing a DVD to accompany the book that comes out in June (a translation of Bagua Linked Palms by Wang Shujin). I will put some clips from that up on YouTube in the next couple of months.

To answer a point in the original post, I use a wider elbow placement in the 'guard stance' to enhance the curvature between shoulder and hand and to widen the back. This creates a springier expression of power. In closer self-defense situations I tend to narrow the arm placement and drop the elbows to protect the ribs and centerline. It is hard to explain more in this short space; however, it is not 'fat man's' Bagua.

On Jose's comment above, I developed most of my applications on my own from my teacher's larger, macro-oriented applications that were not really situation specific. I have a background in teaching Nonviolent Self-Defense to mental health caregivers, so I tend to go more for control than stiking. I think Bagua lends itself beautifully to gentler applications that don't leave something bleeding or broken!
Thanks again guys. Great blog.

LC David said...

These both drills are the best, but the second on is much batter then first one because i checked it before....
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Dojo Rat said...

Thank you very much for checking in, I do indeed really like your system, and I appreciate your comments on arm placement. We may post a few more videos of yours soon. I look foward to buying your book in June when it's available!

K T said...

And from myself as well, Thank You Kent Howard for making these videos available, and also giving us feedback on them.

Dojo Rat, keep up the great work !

- Kostas

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