Tag Archives: pa kua chang

The Arizona Spiritual Martial Art Workout!

Have a great work out from Texas!

Got here last night,

and immediately did a workout!

The only way to survive the insanity of traveling!



I was in Arizona the other night,

and a couple of interesting things to note.

Upper Arizona is beautiful,

trees all over the place,

lots of wildlife.


Really gives a lie to anybody who says

we are running out of things.


there is so much space,

so much lumber,

so much wildlife…

there is no shortage in this world,

just crooked politicos who try to frighten you

by saying there is!


But enough ranting,

let’s move on to the good stuff,

let’s move on to that unique universe

of doing the martial arts in Arizona.


Lower Arizona is dry and dusty.

Wind blowing everywhere.

At first,

I was discouraged.


sitting up late at night,

listening to the desert,

I felt it…



do you know how it feels

when you cram a bunch of people in a room?

100 people in a 20 by 20 room?

People knocking elbows,

bumping into each other,

sooner or late…

there’s going to be a fight.



multiply that by ten thousand,

and you have a city.

People packed together like sardines,

not enough room,

everybody getting cranky!


So I’m sitting in the middle of the Arizona deseert

and there’s no people,

and I could feel the deep, deep spirituality.

The space.

The vastness.


The clouds overhead were surging with life.

I could feel elemental forces moving across the deseert floor.

And then there was me,

a mote,

a speck,

audience to this vast moving play,

this magnificent display of earth and element.


It was spiritual.




I began doing my forms,

and I couldn’t stop!

Elements were moving me,

forces were shoving my punches,

nibbling at my stances,

making me feel ENERGY!


It was massive.



of course,

I had a realization.

In truth,

I have realized this before,

but from different perspective,

which made it all the newer and more potent to me.


When you are starting out

it is good to be in a dojo,

to feel the bodies,

to interact with other martial artists.


as time goes on,

you need space.

You are the center of the universe,

you need to look out,

to feel the massive space within which you sit.



your physical body is part of you,

but the real you is as far as you can see,

as far as you can imagine!

And that is space.

That is the true empty in empty hands.

That is the truth of you that is just waiting for you to…wake up to it!


Sitting in Arizona,

unable to stop doing forms,

I was in the middle of that realization.

Absolutely spectacular.



it goes without saying,

I could see myself,

I could imagine myself,

doing my forms on top of Mt. Nipomo.


120 acres,

nearest neighbor four miles away.

Exuding the essence of me through the discipline of the martial arts.




All the best of modern society,

but isolated,


with sufficient space

to truly delve into the martial arts.



that in mind,

when you do Tai Chi

the image is often of doing it on top of a mountain.


Horzons beyond horizons.

Able to see everything.



One of the most impressive images I have ever encountereed

was a cheap wookd block carving.

It was a viewpoint of a mountain range…

from above.


But how could the guy get above to see that?

How could he see a yin yang in a mountain range as if from hundreds of miles up?


By being alone,

by doing the martial arts,

and getting so much discipline

that he was a pooint of awareness

outside of his body

high in the stratosphere.



that was the train of my thought,

and how it related to martial arts

and to monkeyland,

and all sorts of things,

as I stood in the desert

and did forms…

and couldn’t stop.



here’s the Tai Chi URL,




in case you want to get started on being alone,

creating space,

finding the purest,


most elemental level of martial arts you can.


Mind you,

don’t give up that hard stuff,

or partners,

or the blessings of living in community of city,

and don’t give up your karate forms…


do your martial arts at night,



creating massive space.


Becoming aware of yor true body,

of the true extent of your awareness…

your imagination.


Take a hike,

find a mountain top,

exude yourself,

see if you can discipline yourself to greater and greater awareness.


Have a great workout,

and I’ll tell you about New Mexico Martial Arts Soirituality next time!






Pa Kua Chang Give Entry to New Universe!

Pa Kua Chang Creates a New Universe!

Pa Kua Chang founder Dong Hai Chuan was most likely a Shaolin Gung Fu stylist. Like many martial artists of his TIME, he wandered the land, looking for employment, and looking for opportunities to improve his Chinese martial art.

He would look for OPPORTUNITIES to use his Gung Fu as a bodyguard, fighting off bandits with spear and sword and hand.

Pa Kua Chang

Pa Kua Chang was created by Dong Hai Chuan

One must wonder then, how he became involved with a band of religious fanatics.

It is doubtful whether the monks of this unnamed sect could beat him in  hand to hand combat, but they had to have something, or he wouldn’t have stopped his sojourning for eleven years and studied with them.

For the first nine years, it is said, Dong Hai Chuan walked in circles, possibly chanting religious mantras. He walked and he walked, and one can imagine the unspooling in his mental apparatus. It is invariable that his martial arts would start to manifest along the lines of this new practice he was doing.

Around and around, making gung fu motions with his limbs, bending his legs into gung fu stances, and thinking about how walking the circle could enable him to move better through hordes of bandits.

After nine years of doing these gung fu motions, which would become the basis for his Pa Kua Chang style martial art, he told the monks that he felt that the trees were bending after him, actually chasing him.

Trees Chasing a man? How could that be?

Have you ever caught the eye of somebody sitting on a bus? They are in journey, in a different universe, and for a moment the souls see each other. Across separate universes they touch.

Or, have you ever played in a soccer contest, run next to somebody, and been immersed in your own separate communication with that fellow, created a world that is not the same, that seems stable while the ‘real’ universe of the cheering crowd passes by?

This is the universe that Dong Hai Chuan made. This is the universe he found, a universe so mighty that stout trees bent to the wind of his passing.

The point here, however, is not about Dong Hai Chuan, it is about you. Can you use Pa Kua Chang (also called bagua zhang), and walk in a circle so that the universe bends to your will?

Can you go around in circles and learn the amazing hand motions of Pa Kua Chang until a mob of attackers is confused by your simple walking the circle self defense?

An interesting question, this Pa Kua Chang thing, for it opens the door to a new world, and a new you.

Here’s another great piece of writing about a Pa Kua Chang universe. Monster Martial Arts has a fantastic Pa Kua online martial arts course you can do.