47582056937306251After the bustling energy of the San Yue San festivities subsided, the group resumed kung fu trai-ning with renewed vigor. First, we were introduced to the Heavenly set of Da Gong exercises, hard
qigong designed to strengthen the bones, muscles, tendons and internal organs. In the Chun Yang  system of Da Gong there are 3 sets, Heaven, Human and Earth; the Heaven set comprising 9  standing exercises involving hitting oneself in various areas, the Human set involving various external implements and objects such a trees, and the Earth set involving flinging oneself onto the  ground from various angles and heights. The Earth set is the hardest. After a few days training, it  was apparent to all that the effects are not only limited to protecting against the blows of an opponent, but also has strong health benefits such as opening and detoxifying to reach areas of the  body, on deep 543090416033641320and superficial levels. Emphasis later in the week shifted to Dan Tian Da Gong, in  order to remove blockages from this area, and prepare from a forthcoming “examination”, which  will most likely involve taking strong hits to the abdomen. This week also saw the group commence study of the unique Wu Dang Wu Long Ba Gua Zhang  form, emerging from the Wu Long Gong 5 Dragons temple in Wudang, with its roots stretching  back to Daoist immortal Lü Dongbin in the Tang Dynasty. It is one of, if not the, most difficult and  high level forms in the Chinese martial arts world. The form comes from a time before more well  known Daoist martial arts systems such as Bagua, Xingyi and Taiji. As a result it comprises many  elements of these systems synthesized together, all while 411024376110651194retaining its own unmistakably individual  characteristics. Upon first glance, it may seem to resemble Ba Gua due to the emphasis on circle  walking, although there are a few key differences, the most obvious of which is that in this form the  practitioner faces out of the circle, not towards the center. One reason for this is that it more effectively trains the stepping of the practitioner to deal with multiple opponents, rather than just circling  around one single opponent. On a more advanced level, this form also involves ceremonial Daoist  elements rarely found in other martial arts forms in the modern era. We were told this martial arts  form can act as a channel for communication with higher realms and higher dimensions of existence. Later training involves integration of more advanced elements of Daoist study such as Jue  (hand symbols), Zhou (incantations) and Fa (ceremonial methods) with the form. Opportunities to  commence the study of such an intricate martial arts form with so many interwoven elements is  undoubtedly a scarcity these days, and the group was thankful for being involved at this time.

To learn more about stepping patterns of that ancient form click link below:

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