The ” Supporting Method” (Tuo Fa) of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing can be used defensively to off balance your opponent by using either a single, double or changing hands technique to uphold the opponents attacking limb setting himself up for a counter strike, kick, joint lock or throwing method. As an offensive method the “Supporting Method” is used as an entering technique to open up your opponents defence using a upholding technique that lifts up the opponents upper limb, supporting it with a single hand, arm or grip.
The ” Supporting Method” can be performed usually at three heights which are high, middle and low. It simply means to uphold your opponents attacking limb allowing yourself to move in closer to your opponent to off balance him using a vast amount of fighting techniques.
As with all of the other Eight Ability’s of the Sun style Baguazhang. Once you combine them all together in an endless amount of changeable techniques you have a practical and effective form of self defence. Especially when you also add in the fast, evasive footwork that all Baguazhang styles are famous for, which will also generate and add whole body strength to each of the Eight Ability’s fighting techniques.
The ” Supporting Method” means to uphold your opponents attacking limb using various parts of your body like your shoulder (Jian), arm (Bei), hands (Shou) or waist (Yao) to apply seizing and grasping techniques (Qinna), fast throwing techniques ( Kuai Jiao) or to use various strikes or kicks.
The Sun style Eight Diagram Palm Boxing ” Hooking Method” (Kou Fa) can be used both defensively or offensively. As a defensive technique it involves the use of your wrists, elbows and shoulder joints to become flexible enough to allow your upper limbs to coil around your opponents body using a hugging or embracing technique ( Bao Fa) , a seizing technique (Qin Fa). It can also be used to dissolve or transform your opponents attack by simply using the coiling technique (Chan Fa) to redirect his force. When using the ” Hooking Method” to coil around your opponents limbs or body also means that the practitioner of the Sun style Baguazhang develop his or her listening (Ting Jing), sticking ( Nian Jing), adhering (Zhan Jing) intrinsic energies to listen to your opponents strength and intent through your sense of tactile awareness. An obvious way to use your ” Hooking Method” as a defensive technique is to simply use your palms, fist, forearms and elbows to deflect any strikes or kicks away using a soft or hard technique.
When using the “Hooking Method” as an offensive technique then it is used as a strike involving the use of your fingers, palms, fist, forearms and elbows directed at various areas of your opponents body. The ” Hooking Method” ( Kou Fa) is an horizontal technique that can be used at a high, middle or low trajectory moving from right to left or vice-versa.
When you combine the ” Hooking Method” alongside the other Eight Ability’s of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing allows the practitioner a great variety of practical and effective fighting techniques that as an endless amount of changeable combinations.
The Sun style Eight Diagram Palm Boxing ( Baguazhang) “Pushing Method” (Tui Fa) can be used single, double, changing. Plus it can be soft or hard, slow or fast. It can be used defensively as a soft or hard deflection or block that can force your opponent off balance or destroy his attacking limbs. Offensively it can be used to strike your opponent at various angles by either using the palm, fist, fingers, forearm, elbow or shoulder to strike with. The ” Pushing Method” is usually performed in a direct straight line action at a high, middle or low trajectory.
Within the Eight Diagram Palms Boxing the use of the ” Pushing Method” is widely used, some times to be used as a singularly method of defence or Attack or to open or set up another of the ” Eight Ability’s” (Ba Men) to be used defensively or offensive. Like with all of the other eight ability’s once they are mixed together they can create a variety of changeable fighting techniques that are practical and effective.
When using the ” Pushing Method” any part of the body can be used to perform its action. As I’ve have already mentioned above as long as it moves towards its intended target in a straight line then it is classified as a ” Pushing Method” in a defensive or offensive technique. Usually in the practice of the Sunshi Baguazhang system it is the palms that are used a lot to perform the ” Pushing Method” of the Eight Ability’s.
The “Knocking Method” (Qiao Fa) is a technique that can be used soft or hard, fast or slow and high or low. It can also be used as a defensive or offensive method.
Defensively the ” Knocking Method” of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing ( Baguazhang) is used to softly deflect any strikes or kicks aimed at yourself and to knock your opponent off balance by manipulation their attacking limb in various angle. Using the “Knocking Method” as a soft deflecting technique involves the use of the whole body to use a rolling (Gun) , twisting (Ning) or rotating ( Zhuan) action. While, defensively it can also be used as a hard blocking technique that stops or strikes your opponents attacking striking or kicking limbs muscles,nerves joints or energy points (qi xue) destroying the attacking limbs ability to be used again. As a hard defensive technique the “Knocking Method” involves the use of a heavy striking actions like chopping (Kan), splitting (Pi), hooking ( Kou) and pushing (Tui).
As an offensive method then the “Knocking Method” (Qiao Fa) can be used as a combination of open hand or closed fist striking techniques or it could be the use of your elbows (Zhou), shoulders (jian) or hips (Kua) to knock your opponent off their feet for you to then use vast amount f attacking follow ups.
When you combine the ” Knocking Method” alongside the other “Eight Ability’s” ( Ba Men) of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing (Baguazhang) then you have a great amount of fighting techniques with an endless amount of changes
The “Hindering Method” (Lan Fa) of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palm Boxing is a technique that is mainly used to block off, jam or intercept the opponents movement to hinder his or her progress. The “Hindering Method” like all of the other “Eight Ability’s” can be used as a defensive or offensive technique and any part of the body can be used to jam or intercept your opponent, in the Sun style Baguazhang the use of the hand, arm or leg is the most popular tool that is used to apply the ” Hindering Method”.
As a defensive technique to “Hinder” or jam your opponents in-coming strike or kick the use of the hand or arm is used to stop the opponents strike and his or her on coming momentum. Likewise it is the use of your foot or leg that is used to hinder or stop your opponents advancing step of kicking technique. As for the use of the “Hindering Method” as an offensive technique then it can be used as a more aggressive response as in a strike or kick to intercept (Jie Fa) your opponent as they are about to launch their Attack.
Obviously, in the study of Baguazhang it is not just the single hand, arm or foot that is used to “Hinder” or “Intercept”. But in actual fact it is the movement of the whole body that adds strength to your over-Al technique to “Hinder” o “Intercept” and make your technique effective and practical in their usage.
The Moving method (Ban Fa) of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palm Boxing can be used in a vast amount of variations. Simply the Moving method can be used defensively to just deflect an in-coming blow or kick and off balance your opponent by making him or her move in a certain direction off balance or it could be used to strike your opponent again a vast amount of variable techniques that include for example chopping, piercing, rolling techniques that can be used to hit your opponent off his feet by either knocking him to the floor or just off balancing him or her,allowing you to follow up with more techniques.
The Moving method can be used alongside striking, kicking, joint locking or throwing techniques and there are a vast amount of ways it can be performed. Simply the Moving method (Ban Fa) is classified by any action that either moves your opponents upper or lower limbs away causing him or her to be knocked off balance. It can also include a direct action against your opponents torso that again forces him or her off balance.
The Sun style Baguazhang Eight Ability’s Form (Ba Men Shi) is a training exercise that allows the practitioner of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing to be able to perform the Eight Ability’s in a standardised way. But it should not be kept as a rigid form, as the Eight Ability’s can be performed in a vast amount of variations which give it a defensive and offensive quality.
Each of the Eight Ability’s can be used to lead the practitioner of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing to apply either striking, kicking, joint locking or throwing techniques. Even thou the use of the Moving method might be used as a defensive technique at anytime it can be used quickly to counter attack by using a striking kicking, wrestling or throwing method this is the beautiful aspect to studying Baguazhang is its ability to suddenly change defence to attack and vice-versa using the Eight Ability’s.
I have already written a blog that explains some of Sun Lutangs “Eight Abilities” of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing (Baguazhang). But the series of blogs that I will write will cover the whole of the Sun Lutang’s “Eight Ability Form ( Ba Men Shi).
The Eight Ability Form can be performed in a vast amount of variations it is not meant to be kept as a rigid form, but a change able one that goes along with the theory of Baguazhang as the ” Art of Change”. Each of the Eight Ability’s can be used in a dual method as being either used as a defensive or offensive technique and when combined all together can give the practitioner of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms Boxing a vast amount of fast, practical and effective fighting techniques.
When Master Sun Lutang created his own style after studying extensively the Dragon style Baguazhang for three years under the guidance of his teacher Master Cheng Ting Hua . He stripped away all the unnecessary flowery techniques and simply used practical techniques that could be used both as a method of self defence and health maintenance by anyone of any age or gender.
The Eight Ability’s of the Sun style Eight Diagram Palms boxing are as follows. 1. Moving method (Ban Fa) 2. Hindering method ( Lan Fa) 3. Knocking method (Da Fa) 4. Pushing method (Tui Fa) 5. Hooking method (Kou Fa). 6. Supporting method (Tuo Fa) 7. Carrying method (Dai Fa) 8. Lifting method (Lin Fa).
Once you have learnt each of the five individual five element fist forms (Wuxing quan Shi) the next stage is to learn the five element fists linking form (Wuxing Quan Lian Shi) this helps the individual to combine each of the five elements fists in a standardised mixture.
But the more important aspect to learning the five element fists is to be able to link them together in a vast amount of both defensive and offensive combinations. This is more of a free style method that each practitioner must practice if they wish to make their learning of the five element fists more practical in there usage.
The ultimate aim for practicing each of the five element fists is to develop power (Fa jin) both in their use as a defence or Attack. But because there only exists five fists they can be learnt over a few months and once learnt can be quickly useful as a method of self defence. These five fists can be combined in a vast amount of combinations that can cover all the angles that you may be attacked from, plus they can be used effectively to attack using those same angles.
One of master Sun Lutangs teachers Master Guo Yun Shen was said to have effectively used only the five element fists ( Wuxing quan) to have defeated many opponents in challenge matches. This goes to show how effective they are to learn and how they can be learnt in such a short space of time.
But even thou the practice of the five element fists can be learnt within a short time period. Which is very useful for those who wish to learn a quick and effective method of self defence that does not take lots of many years to fully learn. But because it takes only a year or so to learn them, there is a saying in Xingyiquan that goes ” Wuxing quan is easy to learn, but hard to master”.
The last of the five element fists (Wuxing Quan) to be taught to practitioners of the Sun style Shape & Mind Boxing “xingyiquan” is called the Crossing Fist ( Heng Quan) which is considered to be a Earth element that connects holistically to the functioning of the Spleen internal organ and the stimulation of its energy (qi) to promote good health and well-being.
When using the Crossing Fist for self defence , like all of the other five element fists which have a dual role in being able to be used defensively or offensively. The intrinsic energies that are used in the delivery of the Crossing Fist are wrapping energy (guo jing), twisting energy (Ning jing) and intercepting energy (Jie jing). Many individual s look at the Crossing Fist as a tool to be used as a defensive blocking technique, as it can move horizontally across the front of the body to block any strikes or kicks that come in from the sides. Hence the term ” Crossing Fist”, but in actual fact when used to attack with using a straight wrapping, twisting energy it only crosses the centre line (zhong xian) slightly passing underneath the front arms elbow to penetrate through the opponents own centre line guard and hits its target. As a striking tool the Crossing Fist can also be used as a hooking punch horizontally used to come from either side of the body.
One thing that should be mentioned for the use of the whole five element fists (Wuxing quan) is that the whole body must be involved with anyone of the five element fists. Which includes the use of the stepping (bu), torso (shen), hands (Shou), eyes (yan) and the breathing ( tu na). Learning to combine the whole body generates a tremendous strength within your five element fists and when all the five element fists are combined into a vast amount of fighting techniques that are fast, practical and very effective.
Even today the effectiveness of Xingyiquan is still highly thought off with many Chinese bodyguards, police officers and the Chinese army all learning and practicing this Chinese internal martial art.
The fourth of the five element fist forms that are taught to practitioner of the Sun style Shape & Mind Boxing “Xingyiquan” is known as the Pounding or Cannon Fist “Pao Quan” which is a fire element that is holistically connected to the functioning of the Heart organ in its relationship to maintaining health and well-being.
As for its usage as a self defence technique the Pounding Fist involves the intrinsic energies of both arms being used simultaneously in both a defensive or offensive situation. The intrinsic energies that are used in the deflecting arm are rolling energy (gun jing), wrapping energy (guo jing) many individuals think that the upper arm is used to block an in-coming strike, but because of the rolling and wrapping actions of the arm it is used more as a deflective ward off rather than a hard block.
The lower arm usage of the Pounding Fist includes the intrinsic energies of wrapping energy (guo jing), extending energy (shen jing) and twisting energy (Ning jing). As already mentioned the both arms are used together to defend or Attack with, plus they can be also used in combination with the other five element fist ( Wuxing quan) giving the practitioner of the Sunshi Xingyiquan style a vast amount of fighting techniques.
The movements of the Pounding Fist (Pao Quan) where one arm is used to block above your own head , while the other hand is used to strike with is properly the oldest martial art technique. All the many different martial art styles use this same action for it can be found within Taijiquan, Karate Taekwondo and many Kung Fu styles.