This Unique set of DVD’s is available from Plum Publications
Ba Gua Concepts Vol. 1: Ding Shi
This DVD covers Ding Shi (Fixed Posture) Ba Gua and Applications. The practice of Ding Shi combined with the “mud wading step” provide the key foundation for maintaining structure while locking and throwing. Together, they also function as Ba Gua’s primary neigong method, storing qi in the dantian and actualizing the spiraling of energy throughout the body. In this DVD, Tom clearly demonstrates the Ding Shi postures, explains the use of the mud wading step and presents numerous applications.
Ba Gua Concepts Vol. 2: Lao Ba Zhang & Linear Applications
The “Old Eight Palms” (Lao Ba Zhang) combine Ba Gua’s circular walking with constant changes of posture and position while striking, throwing and locking. Tom demonstrates the Lao Ba Zhang form along with applications for each of the palm changes. Emphasis is placed on correct use of body mechanics and the energies of winding, wrapping, drilling, twisting, and overturning. Tom also presents the Eight Linear Movements (Ba Zhang) which have numerous practical applications in striking, bridging, defense, counterattack and throwing. Each of these movements corresponds to one of the Old Eight Palms and is therefore a linear expression of the corresponding Lao Ba Zhang palm.
Ba Gua Concepts Vol. 3: Swimming Body Ba Gua Chain Linking Form
In this DVD, Tom teaches the Ba Gua Linking Form (You Shen Ba Gua Lian Huan). Ba Gua Lian Huan is an advanced form that combines the dynamics of the linear movements with Lao Ba Zhang to create a continuous unbroken sequence emphasizing awareness of the eight directions and the “swimming dragon” body dynamics that are unique to Ba Gua. Ba Gua Lian Huan seamlessly combines striking, kicking, locking, and throwing while constantly moving and changing. Tom teaches this form along with numerous applications exactly as he learned it from Master Gao Ji Wu. Ba Gua Lian Huan is also presented in the book, The Essentials of Ba Gua Zhang by Gao Ji Wu and Tom Bisio.
DVD REVIEW: by Vincent Giordano
Tom Bisio’s new three DVD set on Ba Gua concepts is a clear, coherent and well produced presentation of this intriguing internal art.
Tom’s in depth martial arts and healing background that includes his training extensively in China, teaching, running his well established acupuncture clinic in NYC and co-authoring the excellent companion volume to this series The Essentials of Ba Gua Zhang with Master Gao Ji Wu, allows him to infuse this series with a clear, practical progression that is applicable to both beginners and advanced practitioners.
The series benefits greatly from Tom’s honest, straightforward aesthetic, which cuts through the often subtle, abstract and arcane elements that seem to define Ba Gua to arrive at a welcomed clarity and understanding that only comes from years of hard work not only as a student but as a teacher.
What I liked most about the series was the practical applications and demonstrations of how to use the movements contained within the forms. Tom decodes the movements expertly then gives the viewer a chance to absorb the actual application in several variations.
The DVD’s offer a wealth of information and can easily be an entry level set for the beginner who wishes to learn more about Ba Gua in a functional, practical sense, for the practitioner already training in the system or the advanced student wishing to gain more skill, depth and understanding possibly of a system different or similar to his own.
I always personally appreciate a teacher who works hard to understand a system from the inside out. There is a tremendous amount of hard work that goes into learning systems across cultural boundaries. Tom has done an excellent job not only with the DVD’s but his wonderful series of books.
The DVD itself has a well-defined menu that allows the viewer to easily navigate to an index, more resources, lineage and some additional information of form.
See Vincent’s excellent DVD set on ancient Bare Knuckle Muay Thai featuring General Amnat Pooksrisuk: