GAO STYLE OF CHENG SCHOOL BAGUAZHANG
The uniqueness of the Gao Style of Cheng School Ba Gua Zhang is its distinctive way of practicing and unique concept of “Pre-Heaven Palm is the resource of Post-Heaven Palm, and Post-Heaven Palm is application of Pre-Heaven Palm”. The style focuses not only on physical health and body development, but also places much emphasis on effective fighting techniques. It is a traditional exercise which tightly integrates body development and fighting techniques, and is hence favored by many martial arts enthusiasts; Furthermore, thanks to the promotion and transmission by masters from generation to generation, the style currently has a large following in Mainland China, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Japan, Europe, and America.
The content of Gao Style of Cheng School Ba Gua Zhang comprises of various aspects including Pre-Heaven Eight Big Palms, Post-Heaven Sixty-Four Palms, weaponry, animal forms, and standing and dynamic meditations.
Based on the exercise of circle walking, and incorporating the Pre-Heaven Ba Gua Twenty-Four Essential Principles, the Pre-Heaven Eight Big Palms represent the traditional method of changing forms while circling. Based on the mother palm, known as the Single Palm Change, eight body turning routes were derived, including Snake Form With Smooth Body Palm, Dragon Form With Piercing Hand Palm, Return Body With Striking Tiger Palm, Swallow Overturns With Covering Hand Palm, Turn Body With Reversing Backward Palm, Twist Body With Searching Out For The Horse Palm, Overturn Body With Inserting Backward Palm, Stop Body With Moving and Hooking Palm, with a concluding palm known as Black Dragon Waving Tail Palm. The main purpose of Pre-Heaven Palms is to practice with emphasis on the inside body in order to cultivate diverse body abilities.
Post-Heaven Sixty-Four Palms is based on the Post-Heaven Palm Twenty-Four Essential Principles and on the Sixty-Four Solo Palms. All of the Post-Heaven Palms were derived from Pre-Heaven Palms. One Pre-Heaven Palm derives eight Post-Heaven forms, which in total, amounts to sixty-four, in order to follow the Ba Gua, or Eight Trigrams (Qian, Kun, Gen, Zhen, Xun, Li, Kun, Dui).
The names of the sixty-four set in relation to the Eight Trigrams include:
Qian eight set: Open Palm, Uphold Palm, Yank Palm, Search Palm, Erect Palm, Uplift Palm, Cover Palm, and Entwine Palm.
Kan eight set: Intercept Rib Palm, Hide Follower Palm, Chop Palm, Slice Palm, Two Sages Preaching the Way Palm, Tiger Pouncing Palm, Phoenix Taking Over the Nest Palm, and Link Ring Palm.
Gen eight set: Pierce Rib Palm, Horizontal Moving Palm, Intercept Hand Palm, Block Hand Palm, Stop Body Palm, Overturn Hand Palm, Walk, and Spin Body Palm.
Zhen eight set: Push the Mountain Into the Sea Palm, Lift a Thousand Kilograms Palm, Carry Hooking Palm, Lead Hand Palm, Adhere Lightly Hand Palm, Stepping Up Connect Palm, Follow Hand Palm, and Stick Hand Palm.
Xun eight set: Squat Elbow, Coil Elbow, Drop Elbow, Gore Elbow, Horizontal Elbow, File Elbow, Stack Elbow, and Drill Elbow.
Li eight set: Hasten Forward Leg, Back Stomp Leg, Outside Swing Leg, Inside Hanging Leg, Kick Upward Leg, Downward Intercept Leg, Side Hook Let, and Straight Ahead Impact Linking Leg.
Kun eight set: Tuck-in Palm, Press Palm, Catch and Raise Palm, Abduct Palm, Crush Palm, Impact Palm, Slam Palm, and Move the Eyebrows Palm.
Dui eight set: Draw Hand Palm, Lynx Beats the Heart Palm, Retract the Body Palm, Scoop Palm, Wave Body Palm, Evade Body Palm, Across Body Palm, and Body Pounce Palm.
Pre-Heaven Palms are resources of Post-Heaven Palms, and Post-Heaven Palms are application of Pre-Heaven Palms. Each solo form of the Post-Heaven Palms has its own apparent applications that are used exactly as they are practiced. The main purpose of Post-Heaven Palms is to practice crossing arms with the opponents, and it follows four stages: Solo, Counter, Separation, and Change. One form can be practiced dually into six forms, which amounts to three hundred and eighty-four palms, in order to follow the three hundred and eight-four Yao variations of Ba Gua.
Gao Yisheng passed down five kinds of traditional weapons: Ba Gua Rolling Hand Broadsword, Ba Gua Sticking Body Spear, Ba Gua Continuous Sword, Ba Gua Zi Wu Duck Knives, and Ba Gua Cane. The first four listed are believed to be passed down by Dong Haichuan; whereas the Ba Gua Heart High Cane originated with Cheng Tinghua “Heart High Staff” and was later redefined and renamed by Gao Yisheng. In addition, there are three other kinds of unique weapons that are commonly practiced and promoted amongst Gao Style Ba Gua disciples: First, is the Double Vine Sticks, which was one Gao’s most famous skills and which originated from the Zi Chui School/Purple Hammer School. The second, originating from Shao Lin School, is the Night Fighting Broadsword, which is well-known for its tricky but practical moves that are most often practiced by two people simultaneously. It was a specialty of Liu Fengcai. Third, is the most highly respected Wu Dang Sword form, which was practiced by many of the students of Liu Fengcai.
The Animal Forms of Gao Style of Cheng School Ba Gua Zhang consists of eight routes: Waving Lion, Twining Snake, Crouching Tiger, Dragon Form, Overturning Swallow, Pecking Eagle, Yanking Bear, and Monkey Form. These were uniquely invented and passed down by Gao and form one of the most important components of Gao Style of Cheng School Ba Gua Zhang.
Gao Style of Cheng School Ba Gua Zhang has two types of meditations, Standing and Dynamic meditations.
USED WITH PERMISSION FROM SIFU YU KAI CHANG.