May 23, 2021

Baguazhang Jiulong: Applications and Training: Dragon's Gate Stepping Pattern

Video Description

Dr. Yancy Orchard demonstrates basic Jiulong Baguazhang principles with the Rolling the Pearl posture on location in Dr. John Painter’s Gompa and in Saskatoon, SK, near the Xin Fu Gompa. Each of the elements presented in this brief clip demonstrates the versatility of this seemingly simple method. Walk in a circle, cut through the centre with a simple posture change. Apply that posture change to stationary poles, moving poles, props with obstacles, and live partners.

Plese take the time to notice the variations presented are the same simple movement, sometimes using the lead arm, sometimes the rear arm, sometimes stepping to the outside of the foe, sometimes to the inside, sometimes lifting up, cutting down, pressing forward, and so forth. The purpoe of the clip is to help current students develop freedom and versatility in their concept of the movement. There are no techniques, per se, demonstrated here. Everything demonstrated grew organically, spontaneously from one movement to another.

Master the basics and infinite expression freely manifests.

Ball and Wedge
On the most basic level the shape of the arms is that of a triangle (or wedge) piercing forward while supported internally with the fullness of an inflated rubber ball. In Jiulong Baguazhang, we use the shape of the wedge to neutralize attacks. There is no lateral push, merely a thrust forward that intercepts the oncoming attack and naturally deflects it by the width of the wedge.

Take the Spine at First Touch
Juilong Boxers do not block attacks. Rather, every attack is an opportunity to bridge to the foe’s spine and disrupt their balance.

Rolling Step
Jiulong Baguazhang’s basic step is a Rolling Step. It works on most terrains and generates a continuous, forward driving force.

Blading the Yao
Allow the torso to turn into a slight side presentation toward the opponent as you contact him. This augments force development, speed of deployment, and makes you a changing target.

Dragon’s Gate Stepping Pattern
This is the name we give to tracing the “S” curve through the centre of the circle. There is a moment at the centre of the curve where one meets the foe’s attack, the Ball and Wedge are brought into play, the foe’s balance is disrupted, the body angulation changes, and the step continues to drive through.

Momentum and Movement
Very seldom will a Jiulong Boxer stand still. Driving forward and through the opponent enables one to use body mass and momentum to power strikes. Moving one’s own centre continuously changes the locations of one’s weak points, allowing one to become a bad target.

Whole Body Power
Transmit force from the movement of the entire body mass; only pushing the arm away from the body delivers weak strikes. Power comes from the ground up. Every step should issue power.

A relaxation (Sung) pervades the entire body and allows one to change actions freely and spontaneously as needed without thought. Inappropriate muscular tension inhibits power.

Equipment training
Jiulong Boxers have traditionally used a variety of training devices to develop skill. This clip gives a brief glimpse of the Nine Palace Poles, demonstrates one way to use the Heavy, swinging pole, and reveals various possibilities using a training dummy with a mobile arm. Circle walking trains the body to deal with momentum, angles, imagination, and possibility. The Nine Poles train smooth transitions from one opponent to another, targeting, and , in this case, blading the body. The Swinging Pole teaches you to remain in contact with a moving object with as little force as possible. The One-armed Dummy presents an obstacle that must be wedged and a spine that must be taken. The advantage of equipment is freedom from the restraint exercised with taining partners.

Partner Training
Each of the previous training methods helps one develop the skills to work with a living partner. Working with a living partner develops sense memories that can be transferred back into solo training and equipment training to enhance the realism of working with tools. The advantage of live partners is variable feedback and, eventually, spontaneous changes.

My thanks to Shifu Painter for the use of the Gompa Training Garden and to Saskatoon students Chris Rudulier and Dr, Marshal Montgomery for the sacrifce of their bodies!

Dr. Yancy Orchard

Dr. Painter’s website:

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