Saturday, March 13, 2021

Gao style BaGua Zhang Cane

Gao style BaGua Zhang Cane

Early in his life, Gao Yi Sheng (founder of Gao Style Bagua Zhang) broke his leg in an accident involving a cart. The leg was not properly set and he walked with a cane for the rest of his life, because of this he developed this "Bagua Cane" form. "Gao style BaGuaZhang Cane (literally "Civilized Crutch") The cane was known to be the everyday weapon of choice of Gao style BaGuaZhang founder Gao Yisheng." Bagua Journal. 

I suspect this is why most of the lineages of Gao bagua use a lot of striking and less throwing even though Gao's bagua is derived from Cheng Style bagua which has a strong emphasis on throwing. There is a lot of evidence that subsequent generations of Gao bagua practitioners have revitalized the throwing component of the system through Shuai Jiao or other throwing practices. Gao needed a cane for walking in everyday life, so much so that he created a weapons form for it, indicates to me the injury was serious and probably affected his martial arts. My own experience with throwing tells me that throws (at least high amplitude throws) may have been difficult for him and he probably would not have emphasized this in his teaching. Anecdotally, he used a palm strike to kill a taiji teacher in the park during a fight (not a throw). Also, many of his direct students were strikers as well, Wu Meng Xia, Zhang Jun Feng, An JiHai, etc.




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