PAKUA CHANG The Path of the Eight Diagram Change Flowing River Pakua Chang at the Blue Heron Academy Dr. Gregory Lawton
Pakua Chang, The Path of the Eight Diagram Palm A Collection of Lectures from the Blue Heron Academy by Dr. Gregory T. Lawton First Edition, August 2012 All rights reserved. No part of this book shall be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without written permission from Gregory T. Lawton. Copyright 2012 Dr. Gregory T. Lawton 6757 Cascade Road, SE Suite 172 Grand Rapids, Michigan 49546 616-464-0892 Art, Photography and Layout â€“ Dr. Gregory T. Lawton
About the author -
Dr. Gregory T. Lawton has trained in western boxing, wrestling, and Asian martial arts such as Aikido, Jujitsu, Kenpo, Pakua Chang, Hsing Yi Chuan, and Tai Chi Chuan. He is an 8th degree black belt in Kosho Ryu Kenpo Jujitsu and was awarded the title of Yudansha Taigu. Dr. Lawton’s main and most noted Tai Chi Chuan instructor was Professor Huo Chi-Kwang. Professor Huo, the renowned Chinese scholar, artist and calligrapher who served as Taiwan's ambassador to France and who was a personal friend of Pablo Picasso, was a master martial artist and was a student of Yang Shao Hou of the Yang Family. Dr. Lawton is a health science writer and the author of over two hundred books, manuals and educational products ranging from massage therapy and martial arts, to health promotion, and from alternative medicine to conventional medicine. He is an award winning artist and photographer. Dr. Lawton has been a member of the Baha’i Faith since 1970 and follows the Faith’s principles related to the promotion of world unity and peace.
This book covers some of the basic aspects of the beautiful and remarkable martial art, exercise, and philosophy of Pakua Chang.
The following material is taken from a selected series of lectures on Pakua Chang provided by Dr. Gregory T. Lawton at the Blue Heron Academy from 1980 to 2012.
Dedication In my book, “Scent of a Forgotten Flower” I stated that power is the ability to change a human heart. That ability is only possessed by the Great Teachers that pass this way every few thousand years and who are the true Educators of humankind. I owe the changes in my life to one such Teacher and to the Bahá'í Faith. If my life and work have any substance or value, it is due to the Bahá'i Faith. The second force for change and growth in my life is due to my wife Ginny. The positive dynamic between a man and a woman, as husband and wife, is like the orbiting of the planets or the gravity between the earth and the moon, and can serve to keep us on a constant and steady path. The third important force for change in my life is the result of my daughters Megan and Jaime. The gift of children in a life serves to show you your possibilities for goodness and innocence. And finally, the last positive force for change in my life has been my teachers and mentors. I am blessed to have had several remarkable people in my life who selfishly shared their abilities and wisdom with me. These teachers include Professor Huo Chi-Kwang, Dr. James Schleichert, Joan Laird, and Mr. Zikrullah Khadem. (Dedication from the author’s book, “Tai Chi Chuan, A Students Lessons 2011)
SIMPLY A TEACHER I am simply a teacher, only moments ahead of you on this journey, and yet I lead. I cannot change you. I cannot give you what you will not accept. I cannot teach you what I do not know. I cannot pass to you a gift I do not possess. If you will not accept what I can give, what purpose is there to this? I cannot give you all the love you long for, the love for which you so desperately search. I can only point you in the direction of true love and hope you will take that path. I cannot be all the people in your life you hoped would love you. I am a teacher. I am not God. I am here to encourage you, to assist you, to simply point the way for you. My responsibility is to simply lift you up, not carry you along. Therefore, lift up your burden, arise and struggle. Take the steps along the path of your life, your special life. Find your truth, your goodness, your gifts and use them no matter what the cost, no matter what the sacrifice. The truth is this - life lived without knowing yourself and acting on that knowledge is a sad, faded dream of what your life might have been.
Table of Contents I.
Introduction, Pages 8 through 12.
The Basic Techniques and Methods of Dragon Pakua Chang, Pages 14 through 21.
III. The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Pages 24 through 37. IV. The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Pages 40 through 60. V.
The Tao of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Pages 62 through 72.
I - Introduction
Pakua Chang, along with Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing Yi Chuan, is one of the three major schools of “soft” or internal Chinese martial arts. The martial arts are commonly classified into two broad categories, the internal and the external. The external martial arts are generally defined as “hard” style martial arts and include karate, kenpo and tae kwon do. The internal schools focus on the development of external ability through the coordination of the mind, breath, and physical movement.
Pakua Chang draws its inspiration from the natural circles found in nature.
The exact origins and early history of Pakua Chang is unknown, although scholars have completed historical research that has established at least four major theories. The first of these theories is highly romanticized and offers the explanation of the founder of Pakua Chang, Tung Hai-Chuan. In this explanation of the origin of Pakua Chang, Tung Hai-Chuan, explains that he acquired knowledge and training in Pakua Chang from an elusive Taoist immortal in the Wudang mountains. This origination story does not have much credibility with educated students and scholars of the martial arts and Pakua Chang. However, it does make an interesting story.
Pakua founder Tung Hai-Chuan 1813-1882
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As a child and young man Tung Hai-Chuan dedicated himself to the study of several martial arts that were available in his village. The martial disciplines that he studied were thought to have been based upon Shaolin Temple martial arts.
Tung Hai-Chuan combined several martial arts with Taoist circle walking
Tung Hai-Chuanâ€™s family were farmers and very poor and in order for Tung to make a living he had to leave Shanxi Province and look for work elsewhere. He is frequently described as spending his youth travelling without much in the way of material means. His personal accounts of his life relate that he continued to study the martial arts throughout his years of travel. It is generally believed that Tung studied Taoist training methods that included some form of circle walking practice. It is further believed that he then synthesized his martial arts training with the arts that he learned in his home village, the arts that he picked up along his many travels, and his Taoist circle walking training to create a new martial art that was first called Turning Palms or ZhuanChang and in later years what was to become Pakua Chang (BaquaChang).
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Around 1864 Tung Hai-Chuan traveled to Beijing and after arriving in Beijing he was hired as a servant at the residence of Prince Su. Prince Su later gave him the job of tax collector and Tung and his top student Yin Fu (also known as Shou Yin) went to Mongolia to collect taxes. They are thought to have spent ten years in Mongolia. Upon his return to Beijing he left the prince's employ and began to teach Pakua Chang publicly. Numerous stories are told of the great martial abilities of Tung Hai-Chuan. He faced and defeated a large number of notable martial artists of his day. Yang Lu-Chan who was known as “Yang the Invincible” is said to have stated that, “I cannot defeat Tung Hai-Chuan, the best that I can do is fight him to a draw.”
The tomb of Tung Hai-Chuan
Tung Hai-Chuan had numerous students and the names of 66 of them are engraved upon a stone tablet. Tung Hai-Chuan died a poor, but well respected, man in 1882.
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The fact that Tung Hai-Chuan had many students, by some accounts from 75 to 100, is a testament to his ability and the early popularity of Pakua Chuan. It is interesting to note once again that Pakua Chuan is a blend of the techniques and methods of several martial arts. This synthesis of techniques and martial arts, at least the acknowledgement of it, is unusual in the history of the Chinese martial arts and may in part account for the early origination mythology of Pakua Chang. Tung is known to have taught different students different techniques based upon their physical attributes and previous martial arts experience. Due to the large number of students that Tung taught and their diverse martial arts background and experience a large number of sub-divisions of Pakua Chang were developed by his first students, although all of them are categorized under Tung HaiChuanâ€™s Pakua Chang. There are approximately twelve to fourteen major sub-divisions of Pakua Chang and hundreds of minor or lesser known styles of Pakua Chang. The beginning techniques and methods of Pakua Chang taught at the Blue Heron Academy are primarily based upon orthodox Pakua Chang and Dragon Pakua Chang while the intermediate and advanced techniques and methods are based upon Flowing River Pakua Chang.
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I I – The Basic Techniques and Methods of Orthodox and Dragon Pakua Chang Pakua Chang shares many if not most of the basic principles of Tai Chi Chuan. In teaching about the relationship of Pakua Chang, Tai Chi Chuan, and Hsing Yi Chuan I have used the analogy of making bread. To make bread you need the basic ingredients; flour, water, salt, sugar, and yeast. However, depending upon the amount of ingredients and the method of combining them you can make many different kinds of bread. Pakua Chang, Tai Chi Chuan, and Hsing Yi Chuan are like this analogy in that they all share the same basic fundamentals but differ in how they are combined and executed. This authors previous book entitled, ”Tai Chi Chuan, A Students Lessons” covers the basic principles of Tai Chi Chuan in terms of posture, breathing, relaxation, and rooting, and these same principles are observed and practiced in Pakua Chang. In addition, the Nei Kung exercises presented in this previous book should also be practiced by the Pakua Chang student. As is demonstrated by the early history of Pakua Chang it is a martial art and the founder, Tung Hai-Chuan, and his first students were either highly regarded and recognized fighters, or became such. However, the exigencies of the early to late 1800’s do not conform to the modern age in which we now live and as such most modern practitioners of Pakua Chang do not study the art of Pakua for the purpose of fighting but rather for its many holistic health promoting benefits. As a fighting art Pakua Chang is antiquated when compared to modern fighting techniques, although many Pakua traditionalists would take acception to this comment. The fact that not all Pakua Chang fighting principles or techniques can be applied to contemporary sport fighting competition does not mean that certain techniques, principles and the philosophy of Pakua Chang are not without merit, on the contrary Pakua Chang has great merit. In its simplest form and presentation Pakua Chang is composed of eight palms or palm changes. These eight palms represent the eight trigrams and the natural elements of heaven, earth, fire, mountain, water, wind, lake and thunder. Some systems of Pakua substitute cloud for lake and wood for water. In our schools system of Flowing River Pakua Chang we substitute cloud for lake.
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Eight Palm Pakua Chi Kung Chi kung literally means the achievement or practice of the movement of energy throughout the body. It is expected that the achievement of control of chi movement in the body is an ability that requires long years of diligent study under the guidance of an accomplished teacher. When an individual has developed the ability to manipulate and control their own bodyâ€™s energy that ability can be physically demonstrated through kung exercises. This ability is routinely demonstrated by master teachers. There are two methods of using chi kung ability and two methods of demonstration. One method of using chi kung is to strengthen the body so that it is resistant to physical attack and violent blows. This is martial art chi kung. The other method of using chi kung is through massage and acupressure technique. This is healing or medical chi kung. One method of demonstrating chi kung is through the dynamic demonstration of physical strength and control of the bodyâ€™s physiological functions pertaining to pain, blood flow and breath. There are numerous methods for gaining these supra normal abilities and these methods include iron shirt chi kung, bone marrow cleansing kung, iron palm kung and many other methods. Acquiring martial art chi kung ability is accomplished through difficult physical training combined with energy visualization and esoteric breathing exercises. Pakua Chang, Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing Yi Chuan are all internal methods of mind, body, and spirit training for the development of chi kung abilities. In addition, there are specific chi kung forms and exercises that are unique to each of these systems of martial art. Essentially the simpler the exercises the more effective they are, the more complex and staged they are, the less effective they tend to be.
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Eight Palm Pakua Chi Kung, Continued Chi kung need not be mysterious; children and animals practice it easily and naturally. When we relax and begin controlled breathing exercises combined with physical systematic movement, we are practicing chi kung. Like any endeavor, the longer and more consistent our practice, the better we become. The highest level of martial arts chi kung is demonstrated by the use of more energy and less muscle. The more strength that is used the less chi kung or real power there is. Consider the difference between strength and power, strength might be considered the raw ability to move heavy objects but power is the real skill behind high level athletic ability. Everybody has chi but having it and being able to use it are different things. You may have artistic talent, but having raw talent and being able to paint the Mona Lisa are certainly different levels of ability. Developing the chi that you do have requires daily consistent practice over many months and finally years. The longer you practice martial and healing chi kung the better you get at it. Usually after about one or two years of practice you can gain some elementary chi ability. A decade of training will develop consistent proficiency. More profound ability requires either great natural ability or many long years of practice. As has been previously explained Pakua Chang shares many basic principles with Tai Chi Chuan. These basic principles have been covered in greater detail in the book, â€œTai Chi Chuan, A Students Lessons. Please review the instructions in that book before proceeding with Eight Palm Pakua Chi Kung practice. The simplest application of chi kung in Pakua Chang is practice with the eight basic Pakua palm changes; heaven, earth, fire, mountain, water, wind, cloud and thunder and as are represented in the diagram below and on the diagram on the following page.
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Eight Palm Pakua Chi Kung, Continued The eight palm changes of heaven, earth, fire, mountain, water, wind, lake and thunder may be practiced as chi kung exercise via two main methods: 1. Pole (pillar) Standing Chi Kung. 2. Circle Walking Chi Kung. In the pole or pillar standing chi kung method the Pakua practitioner stands in observance of the basic principles and rooting technique also practiced in Tai Chi Chuan. These principles should be reviewed in the book, Tai Chi Chuan, A Studentâ€™s Lessons. However, these basic principles and the rooting exercise includes:
Rooting Exercise 1. Stand with your feet shoulders distance apart. 2. Follow the basic principles of Tai chi â€“ a. Imagine that your head is hanging from a string. b. Look forward. c. Keep your mouth closed with a relaxed jaw. d. Touch your tongue lightly to the roof of your mouth. e. Breathe through your nose. f. Relax your body. g. Keep your head and spine comfortably relaxed. h. Allow the weight of your shoulders and elbows to gently fall downwards. 3. Bend your knees so that your "center" drops three to four inches. 4. Remember to remain relaxed and to breathe naturally. 5. Maintain a feeling of weighted heaviness and as if you are rooted to the ground.
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Eight Palm Pakua Chi Kung, Continued Once you have assumed the correct posture in accordance with the basic principles and rooting exercise you can begin to hold the various eight palm positions based upon the eight trigrams; heaven, earth, fire, mountain, water, wind, cloud and thunder. Please refer to Chapter Four in this book to view the eight palm positions. In circle walking Pakua Chang Chi Kung we walk the Pakua circle using the basic sliding stance and scissors steps and hold a different palm for each revolution made around the 360 degree circle. Once again you can review the eight palm positions in Chapter Four. As previously mentioned in this chapter in addition to pole standing chi kung and the circle walking chi kung we also have the eight dragon postures which are performed around the Pakua circle. The eight dragon postures include the following postures: 1. Wu Chi – A standing posture held oblique to the outer edge of the Pakua circle with the legs shoulder distance apart and the arms held to the sides. 2. Dragon Turns to the Left – The classic fighting dragon posture and basic sliding stance position performed along the outer edge of the Pakua Circle. 3. Dragon in the Clouds – A standing posture with the arms held straight out to the sides, palms upward and standing in the fighting dragon stance along the outer edge of the Pakua circle. 4. Dragon Holds the Moon – The fighting dragon posture along the outer edge of the circle with the arms and palms facing inwards towards the center of the circle as if holding up the moon.
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Wandering Dragon Pakua Chi Kung 5. Dragon Holds a Pearl - The fighting dragon posture along the outer edge of the circle with the arms held close together as if holding a large ball. 6. Dragon Holds the Earth – The fighting dragon posture along the outer edge of the circle with the arms held waist high towards the center of the circle as if pressing down on a large ball. 7. Dragon Wanders the Circle – The fighting dragon posture along the outer edge of the circle while holding the classic fighting dragon arm and hand positions. 8. Dragon Closes Up – The fighting dragon posture along the outer edge of the circle with the arms squeezing together at the centerline of the body. Circle walking has certain essential attributes. We have already discussed the elements of the basic principles as are observed in Pakua Chang and Tai Chi Chuan. In addition there are many other attributes and characteristics of circle walking which is the reason why circle walking practice is highly regarded by Pakua practitioners. Pakua circle walking attributes and characteristics may be categorized as physical, mental and spiritual: •
The physical benefits of Pakua Chang circle walking include improvements in physical strength, agility, balance, flexibility, and speed of movement.
The mental benefits of Pakua Chang circle walking include increased mental focus and concentration, the cultivation of calmness, the ability to make instantaneous decisions seemingly without thought, and the mastery of the conscious state described as, “the mind of no mind”.
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Wandering Dragon Pakua Chi Kung •
The spiritual benefits of Pakua Chang are dependent upon and subject to the belief and faith of the Pakua practitioner along with the susceptibility and receptiveness of the practitioner to spiritual experience.
“I stand within my circle, my spirit light surrounds me and blends with the ever present divine light that permeates all things. This is oneness. I stand firm, my roots run deep. I move in all directions lifted by love, guided by the hand of God. I use the universal strength of yin and yang and the powers of the elements. This is my birth right! “In the center I am fire and water, I am moving out and moving in, I am spinning and I am still. On the left I move away and on the right I move towards, on one side I repel and on the other I receive. From the top I am pulled up and from the bottom I am lifted. Nothing happens but the actions are unlimited, the variations countless. I am burned by fire and cooled by water. I am man, I am woman, I am chi, I am you and you are me.” “I stand in my circle and whirling clouds of energy envelope me. I am a peaceful warrior!” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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Flowing River Pakua Chang
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III – The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang When a student first begins to investigate and study Pakua Chang they usually begin with the eight basic palm changes and circle walking. As they advance along the path of Pakua the student begins to discover that there are many different styles of Pakua and each style has elaborated a wide assortment of techniques, Pakua circle walking, and even linear forms. Some styles and systems of Pakua Chang have added additional palm (hand) techniques and in addition to the basic fighting dragon stance many other martial art stances are utilized including the cat, horse, hook, ma bo, tiger, crane, and squatting stances. Pakua Chang has also adopted the use of many martial art stepping techniques including the sliding, heel, cross, and jump steps. In terms of martial art kicking techniques Pakua Chang practice and application includes the snap, front, rear, side, cut, heel, and crescent kicks. Flowing River Pakua Chang is characterized by two main characteristics: 1. It encourages relaxed natural body movements, postures and stances as opposed to the stiff calf to calf and knee to knee stances used in some systems of Pakua Chang. 2. It has adopted the use of a relaxed hand position as opposed to the stiff finger and hand tension position used in some systems of Pakua Chang. Flowing River Pakua Chang has adopted the standard representation of sung. Sung is defined as a physical quality of profound relaxation combined with the potential for an instantaneous physical action. While there is not an exact translation of the word sung into the English language some teachers have defined sung as “relaxed tension.” Another definition of sung is, “effortless power”.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Fighting Dragon Stance
Flowing River Pakua Chang uses many common martial art stances but the primary stance used is called the fighting dragon stance. In this stance most of the body weight is kept on the rear leg and the front leg is kept â€œemptyâ€? so that it can easily glide or slide over the ground or floor as the Pakua Chang practitioner advances or retreats. Other stances commonly used in Flowing River Pakua Chang are the pigeon toe, cat, horse, hook, ma bo, tiger, crane, and squatting stances. The primary stance used in beginning Pakua Chang circle walking practice is the fighting dragon stance and once a student advances to the intermediate or advanced training level a wide combination of stances are used along with the introduction of 108 different postures. Beginning students start with 32 postures, immediate students with 64 and the remaining 64 postures are taught to advanced students.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Crane Stance
The crane stance is often used as a transitional stance when changing from one posture to another. The crane stance is also used when executing a kick from the raised leg or when used to block a kick with the leg.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang – the Cat Stance
The cat stance is also frequently used as a transitional stance when changing from one posture to another. The cat stance is also used when executing a kick from the “empty” leg or when used to withdraw the forward leg in response to an opponent’s attempted kick or leg sweep.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Forward Fighting Dragon Stance
The forward fighting dragon stance is a forward weighted
stance used in the execution of some Pakua Chang postures and attacks.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Straddle Stance (Left Ma Bo)
The straddle stance is also known as the ma bo stance and can be executed facing forward or to the left or right.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Pigeon Toe Stance
The pigeon toe stance is the primary transition stance used in Pakua Chang in changing direction and executive the palm changes. It is not a fighting stance.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Hawk Flies in the Clouds
The Hawk Flies in the Clouds posture is both a defensive and offensive martial art technique. Applications of the Hawk Flies in the clouds technique include blocking with both the raised and lowered hands and arms, as well as, attacking the opponents elbow joint with the rotating forearm of the upper arm.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Flower Hides Under a Leaf Posture
The Flower Hides Under a Leaf posture is both a defensive and offensive martial art technique. When used defensively it may be used to block attacks to the center of the body and the rib cage. When used offensively it may be used to trap an opponentâ€™s arm and to control their arm and shoulder or to break the arm at the elbow and/or dislocate the shoulder joint.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang – the Rooster Stretches Itself
The Rooster Stretches Itself is both a defensive and offensive martial art technique. The upper hand and arm may be used for both blocking and trapping an opponent’s attack while the lower arm which is held in a position called “Monkey Bends it’s Elbow” is used to trap an opponents kick. The raised leg may be used either as a knee or kicking attack.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Opening the Fan Posture
The Opening the Fan technique is commonly used as a joint or bone breaking technique executed against the opponents forearm and/or elbow.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Wind in the Branches
The Wind in the Branches technique is both a defensive and offensive martial art technique. It is commonly used to block or deflect an opponentâ€™s attack and may also be used as a grappling and throwing technique.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang â€“ the Jade Lady Offers Food
The Jade Lady Offers Food technique is both a defensive and offensive martial arts technique. The upper and forward arm may be used to poke into the eyes or throat of an opponent and the lower and rear hand and arm to control, break, or parry an opponents low line attack delivered from either a punch or a kick.
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The Beginning and Intermediate Martial Stances and Postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang, Continued Stances and Postures used in Flowing River Pakua Chang
The stances and postures of Flowing River Pakua Chang are executed in a relaxed and natural style. Over-contrived postures involving contorted positions are avoided. Proper breath control involves an easy and relaxed abdominal breath accept when attacking and using fa jing. In these instances the reverse breath technique is used. Flowing River Pakua Chang is practiced using many traditional Pakua Chang techniques and postures, as well as, by adopting a more modernist approach to the application of the defensive and offensive postures.
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Patterns of Pakua Chang Occur Naturally
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IV â€“ The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking In Chapter II of this book the Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking were outlined and described with some degree of detail. In Chapter IV we will review each of the eight palms and the eight wandering dragon circle walking postures once again. The eight diagram palms and the eight wandering dragon circle walking postures may be practiced in the chi kung pole standing posture or by walking along the circumference of the Pakua circle.
Pakua Circle Walking
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Preparing to Practice the Eight Diagram Palms â€“
The Basic Rules of Posture: 1. Every part of your body is relaxed and moves naturally. Every joint is flexible and supple. 2. Relax your mind and prepare to enjoy your practice. 3. Relax your shoulders and arms and let their weight pull them downward. 4. Your body turns from the waist and the waist is loose and relaxed. 5. The palm is open and hollowed, but the fingers remain relaxed. 6. Visualize your chi surrounding and enveloping your entire body. 7. Your eyes lead your physical movements and your mind leads your eyes. 8. Your spirit leads all things and its attributes become your eyes, your ears, your awareness and movement. 9. True Pakua Chang is within you and is expressed through you.
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued
First of the Eight Diagram Palms â€“ Heaven
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Second of the Eight Diagram Palms â€“ Earth
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Third of the Eight Diagram Palms - Fire
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Fourth of the Eight Diagram Palms - Water
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Fifth of the Eight Diagram Palms - Thunder
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Sixth of the Eight Diagram Palms - Clouds
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Seventh of the Eight Diagram Palms - Mountain
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Eighth of the Eight Diagram Palms - Wind
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Wandering Dragon Circle Walking â€“ The Dragon Pakua Chang postures to follow may be used in pole standing chi kung practice or in wandering dragon circle walking practice. The Pakua circle may be walked clockwise or counter-clockwise.
Dragon Pakua Circle Walking Diagram
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Essential Principles and Concepts of Pakua Chang â€“ 1. Stillness within motion is one of the most important concepts of Pakua Chang and the most important ability of a good Pakua Chang practitioner. 2. Learning stillness is accomplished primarily through two practices; pole standing chi kung meditation and Pakua circle walking. 3. The spirit is inquisitive, the mind calm, and the body relaxed. 4. Leave no opening for the attacker and seize any opportunity provided by the opponent. 5. The needle in cotton is deceptive and stronger than it appears. 6. Protect the centerline of the body, the head and the heart. 7. Give no thought to your movement, movement like breath flows with ease. 8. Be like the waves of the sea, move in and move out, naturally and with power. 9. Movement without thought or plan, like lightning will follow its own course. 10. The sparrow knows to fly around the hawk. 11. There are a 10,000 details but the essence is inherently simple, understand the essence and the complexities melt away to nothing. 12. See energy (chi) before a thing, in the thing, and after the thing. 13. Use energy (chi) to protect and to attack, strike with energy and defend with energy. 14. We practice in stillness and slowness, in reality we attack with blinding unstoppable speed. 15. The perfect attack is formed like lightning from clouds. 16. Movement, like a pump drawing water from deep within the earth, brings forth your natural energy. 17. Use emptiness and fullness instead of brute force. 18. Donâ€™t pull, embrace, donâ€™t push, blend. 19. If your intentions are sincere your goal is obtainable. Mastery can come with long practice, age, or the grace of God.
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DRAGON PAKUA CHANG CIRCLE WALKING
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Wandering Dragon Circle Walking -
First Position â€“ Wu Chi
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Wandering Dragon Circle Walking -
Second Position â€“ Dragons Turns to the Left
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The Eight Diagram Palms of Pakua Chang and Wandering Dragon Circle Walking, Continued Wandering Dragon Circle Walking -
Third Position â€“ Dragon in the Clouds
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Fourth Position â€“ Dragon Holds the Moon
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Fifth Position â€“ Dragon Holds a Pearl
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Sixth Position â€“ Dragon Holds the Earth
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Seventh Position â€“ Dragon Closes Up
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Eighth Position â€“ Wandering Dragon
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V – The Tao of Flowing River Pakua Chang There is, however, a faculty in man which unfolds to his vision the secrets of existence. It gives him a power whereby he may investigate the reality of every object. It leads man on and on to the luminous station of divine sublimity and frees him from all the fetters of self, causing him to ascend to the pure heaven of sanctity. This is the power of the mind, for the soul is not, of itself, capable of unrolling the mysteries of phenomena; but the mind can accomplish this and therefore it is a power superior to the soul. Abdu'l-Baha, Divine Philosophy
"I’ve heard it said there’s a window that opens from one mind to another, if there’s no wall, there’s no need for fitting the window, or the latch." Rumi “Consider for a moment the human brain. It sits above the body incased in a vault of crystalline bone. What a treasure it must be.” Author
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The Path of Pakua a Path of Self Discovery and Spiritual Growth Generations of warrior scholar philosophers have used the martial arts as a tool to investigate the reality of creation and the universe and to discover themselves and their relationship to the world around them. This is especially true of the martial art Pakua Chang. The story of Tung Hai-Chuan is a story of a poor uneducated young man who left the family farm and who started out in life penniless and homeless. Tung Hai-Chuan succeeded in life in the most important way possible, he created something that uplifted men and women and he created something of enduring beauty and value. He left his mark on the world and his name and reputation, 170 to 190 years later, is revered in certain circles. Pakua Chang is both a martial art and a philosophy of life and living. Pakua Chang shares with Taoism the concept that if the Creator can be known by His creation, the Unknowable can only be known in a limited sense. Pakua Chang as a physical martial art practice is symbolic of many aspects of the journey of human life. Pakua Chang philosophy recognizes the intimate relationship and interdependence of our physical body and our spiritual reality. “The body is the “donkey” of the soul.” It is perhaps fitting that we begin our spiritual journey riding on the back of a donkey and wearing a physical garment. “The wisdom of the appearance of the spirit in the body is this: the human spirit is a Divine Trust, and it must traverse all conditions; for its passage and movement through the conditions of existence will be the means of its acquiring perfections.” Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section Pakua Chang as a scholarly endeavor shares the same philosophical foundation and understandings as Taoism and uses as its textbooks the Tao Te Ching of Laozi and the I Ching. Pakua begins with wu wei or non doing. Just as the natural world moves through its days and nights, and seasons, seemingly without effort and in harmony in Pakua we recognize this universal attribute and attempt to emulate it. Secondly in Pakua there is wu chi, to stand in stillness within utter nothingness and await to begin our martial dance. This is how we were first created, out of nothingness we were brought into the world. Finally, in Pakua we begin to walk the Pakua circle which is symbolic of the circle of life, death, and rebirth. Pakua is a martial art and philosophy of much symbolism and many metaphors. Symbols and metaphors have been used throughout history in either the world’s Divine religions or by the world’s great Teachers as both a system and method of universal human education. This method of using symbols and metaphors provides a means by which we can relate our physical life to our spiritual evolution. The metaphor is a process of comparing one thing with another in a way that adds valuable meaning and insight. For example when Christ described Himself as, “the Bread of Life” He is indicating that He is a source of “spiritual sustenance”. During the time that Christ taught on the earth most people made their own bread and so this metaphor was easily understandable to them.
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Pakua Chang has eight primary metaphors and they are derived from the I Ching and constitute the eight palm changes of Pakua Chang. When we use the metaphors from the natural elements and adopt the characteristics of these natural elements in our practice and application of Pakua Chang we are using universal symbols and forces with easily understandable attributes. Everyone understands that a mountain stands firm and is difficult to move, just as it is easy to understand that â€œLifting the Hands to Heavenâ€? means to raise the hands and arms towards the sky, that fire has intensity, and that water envelops and flows into, around and through things. Hopefully, it is clearly understandable that the symbols and metaphors that we use in Pakua Chang are not meant to be applied in a literal sense but rather express a figurative meaning. Obviously, we cannot actually transform into the wind, fire or water but we rather attempt to physically manifest certain attributes of force and power, softness or hardness, penetration or yielding in our practice and application of Pakua Chang. The Eight Primary Metaphors of Pakua Chang Heaven Earth Fire Thunder Water Wind Cloud (Lake) Mountain As has been previous explained in this book these eight elements constitute the eight palm changes of Pakua Chang. Since the human body normally has two hands and we may execute a different palm position with each hand this allows us to physically express sixty-four combinations of hand changes. The eight Pakua palm changes equate to the eight trigrams of the I Ching and the possible combinations of the eight palms when performed as different palm positions on each hand equals the sixty-four hexagrams of the I Ching. On the next page we will investigate the physical and spiritual characteristics and attributes of the eight elements adopted by Pakua Chang.
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The Metaphor of the Mountain “Be ye as firmly settled as the immovable mountain in the Cause of your Lord, the Mighty, the Loving.” Baha'u'llah, Gleanings from the Writings of Baha'u'llah
The symbolism of the mountain may suggest to us the idea of standing firm mentally, spiritually, or physically and in the terminology of Pakua Chang and Tai Chi Chuan to sink and to root. This characteristic and technique is commonly used when resisting being unbalanced or uprooted by an opponent. “Shaped by God, stand firmly, immovable. Created by God, shine brightly with virtue. Loved by God. be fearless, deathless. Guided by God, serve and sacrifice.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of the Cloud “The enveloping clouds shall pass away and the heat of the divine rays will dispel the mist.” Abdu'l-Baha, Baha'i World Faith - Abdu'l-Baha Section
The symbolism of the cloud may speak to us in different ways. Clouds may obscure the sun and sky just as we may attempt to hide or conceal our intentions from an opponent. Clouds are vaporous and cannot appear and disappear quickly. The physical attribute of constant movement around an opponent is a fundamental principle of Pakua Chang fighting. “This is true about my teacher. Contend with him and he dissolves into a mist, like moisture on a velvet leaf, transforming and rising like vapor and falling again like snow on ice. Change is difficult to grasp in even the strongest hand.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of the Wind “This is but a leaf which the winds of the will of thy Lord, the Almighty, the All-Praised, have stirred. Can it be still when the tempestuous winds are blowing?” Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
The symbolism of the wind may be considered to express both the softness and terrible power of the wind. It surrounds, it changes, it moves, it enters everywhere and everything. “My first Tai Chi began without a teacher or a school. It began in the forest where I stood listening to the trees. To the sound of wind in the leaves I asked, what is this? The whispered answer, Learning, it is called learning.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of the Water “Strive, O people of God, that haply the hearts of the divers kindreds of the earth may, through the waters of your forbearance and loving-kindness, be cleansed and sanctified from animosity and hatred, and be made worthy and befitting recipients of the splendors of the Sun of Truth." Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
The metaphor of water has wide universal significance in both philosophical and religious dialogue and teachings. In terms of the use of water as a symbol and metaphor in Pakua Chang we may consider the characteristics of water in terms of its awesome power and ability to penetrate and enter into any opening. “You are water, fire, heaven and earth, spirit and flesh. You are a drop, a river, an ocean. You are oneness.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of Thunder “Should it be God's intention, there would appear out of the forests of celestial might the lion of indomitable strength whose roaring is like unto the peals of thunder reverberating in the mountains.” Baha'u'llah, Tablets of Baha'u'llah
The symbolism of thunder in terms of its application to Pakua, and our understanding of the practice of Pakua and its fighting applications, may be thought to relate to thunders loud sound and vibration. Sometimes in Pakua we execute a movement while stomping on the ground and shouting or letting out a grasp of air. When this technique is executed properly a strong vibration is produced through the ground and in the air. “My teacher touched me and now I touch you. The cellist’s bow draws across the cello and sounds move the heart. These vibrations pass between us.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of Fire “For He dwelleth in the ark of fire, speedeth, in the sphere of fire, through the ocean of fire, and moveth within the atmosphere of fire.” Baha'u'llah, Gems of Divine Mysteries
The symbolism of fire as expressed through the martial art of Pakua Chang may be thought to represent intensity, speed, and a force that through its heat and flame consumes everything in its path. “How can fire consume wood? Focus.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of Earth “Strive thou, that haply thou mayest achieve a deed the fragrance of which shall never fade from the earth.” Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
The metaphor of the earth in terms of its practice, application, and utilization in Pakua Chang may be considered to apply to the manifestation of attributes related to practicality and being grounded to the earth (rooted). “Test yourself by the two edged sword of heaven and earth for you are the physical manifestation of the divine.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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The Metaphor of Heaven “Earth and heaven, glory and dominion, are God's, the Omnipotent, the Almighty, the Lord of grace abounding!” Baha'u'llah, Epistle to the Son of the Wolf
The symbolism of heaven in terms of its practical use in Pakua Chang may be as common as indicating that a Pakua technique is held above the head or that the technique is a very high level technique of great value. Or the use of heaven as a symbol or metaphor might invite us to arise to and to recognize the highest attributes within ourselves. “Your soul is both of heaven and earth and has two natures. Nourish one side and withhold from the other for you cannot feed both at the same time. Train your higher self and lovingly bury your lower self in its temporal grave.” From Scent of a Forgotten Flower
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A Special Thank you and Appreciation A special thank you and appreciation is owed to Sean Butterworth for his expert execution of the Pakua Chang postures in this book. Sean is a very capable martial artist, a Kosho Ryu Kenpo Jujitsu black belt, a Tai Chi Chuan Black Sash, and mixed martial artist. Many people are surprised by the number of Kenpo practitioners that also study and master internal martial arts such as Tai Chi Chuan and Pakua. I first heard about the value of the internal martial arts from a Kenpo instructor working for Thomas Connor at TRACO International in the early 1970’s. Many Kenpo black belts find value in Pakua Chang and Tai Chi Chuan including high level and esteemed members of the Kenpo community like Grandmaster James Ibaro and the Tracy brothers, Al and Will. My thank you to these visionary Kenpo leaders for pointing the way. This is the first edition of this ebook, Pakua Chang, The Path of the Eight Diagram Change. In this book I have attempted to follow the wisdom and guidance of Baha’u’llah when He states, “The essence of faith is fewness of words and abundance of deeds; he whose words exceed his deeds, know verily his death is better than his life.”
Dr. Gregory T. Lawton, 2012
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The material in this book is taken from a selected series of classes and lectures on Pakua Chang provided by Dr. Gregory T. Lawton at the Blue Heron Academy from 1980 to 2012.
Dr. Gregory T. Lawton teaches Pakua Chang, Tai Chi and other Martial Arts, Herbal and Natural Medicine, Massage Therapy and Acupuncture at the Blue Heron Academy in Grand Rapids, Michigan Call for further information about the Academy classes and online education programs 616-285-9999 888-285-9989 or visit our website at: www.BlueHeronAcademy.com firstname.lastname@example.org
Published on Nov 17, 2012
This book is about Pakua Chang, which along with Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing Yi Chuan, is one of the three major schools of “soft” or internal C...