Internal Kung Fu training in Boulder, Colorado, USA. Gao Bagua Zhang, Chen Pan Ling Tai Chi Chuan or Hebei Xingyi Quan; a method for building mindfulness, lasting health and personal transformation using unique movement and martial contact in a safe setting with an established long term group.
Is this article about how long or short your steps should be in Bagua? Partly.
One reason Bagua is a rich art is because movement is a rich source of metaphor that help us make sense of the world.
More specifically the base unit of Bagua, the step, is an the way we progress from here to there. Of course progress also comes in jumps, leaps and occasionally bounds, it’s possible to stride or sprint forwards, and also skip ahead. But skipping often has consequences.
Anyway much as a ludicrously long step like the one in the photo can have some benefits in terms of strength and mobility it is also a tactical disaster, and almost certainly too much to for the joints for a high volume of practise.
What I am (re)learning is that sometimes you need to take smaller steps than you think. It took me a while to notice despite the long training stances of our Bagua in application Luo almost always takes small, natural looking and nimble steps.
As I age this applies to my training too. While I used to be able to see (some) skills, and be able to reproduce them in a few jumps, these days I need smaller steps and more patience. Some of the steps are backwards too.
Not moving forward, stuck, frustrated? Maybe you need smaller steps, precisely placed.
This isn’t original, you’ve read it many times in different forms by different authors. I’m writing to remind myself. I plan some more reminders soon.