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FAQ

Ba Gua Zhang Instructor Program

What are the Requirements for Certification?

Requirements for Certification include:

1. Attending all classes.
2. Attendance at the final weekend and test day on that weekend.
3. Passing the Exams* and ongoing evaluations.
4. Tuition paid in full.

* On the final weekend participants will be asked to individually perform or lead sections of the material and be given feedback on the performance. Additionally,  students will be evaluated by the instructors each weekend. This ongoing evaluation will be scored and added into the overall evaluation. The ongoing evaluation counts for 50% of the final testing score and the final test accounts for the other 50%. A combined score of 75% is required to become certified.

What Will the Classes Be Like?

Classes will involve rigorous practice of the Foundational Curriculum, including applications and partner exercises. There will also be discussion of some of the Daoist and Chinese medical theory that is tied in with these practices, as well as instruction on how to teach and present the Foundational Level Curriculum to students.

What is the Ratio of Instructors to Students?

There will be a maximum of 25 students. At least three instructors will be present each weekend. On some weekends we may have as many as six instructors present. Instructors have an average of at least ten years experience in Ba Gua Zhang.

Is There Required Reading?

Yes. Books and PDFs that are part of the curriculum will be provided.Please note: Recommended books on Chinese medicine will not be provided.

Is There a Payment Plan?

There is no payment plan. Tuition is made in two payments. Upon acceptance into the program participants will be notified of payment deadlines.

If I Become Certified Will I Be Officially Listed as an Instructor?

Yes. Anyone who completes the Ba Gua Zhang Foundational Level course, and passes the tests and evaluations, will be recognized as a Foundational Level Instructor. He or she will receive a certificate and letter stating that they are a Foundational Level Instructor, and will be listed as a Foundational Level Instructor on the IAI website. 

Attendance: If I Miss I a Class, Is There a Way to Make It Up?

There is no way to make up a class. If you miss a class, we suggest that you take a private lesson with one of the instructors to review what was covered in class. There is an additional hourly fee for this lesson. However, participants cannot miss more than one weekend of classes and they cannot miss the final three-day weekend on February 5-7, 2016.Please note: Missing one weekend will make it harder to meet certification requirements.

As an Instructor What Can I Teach?

People who complete the Instructor Program and receive Certification are qualified to teach the Foundational Level of Liang Style Ba Gua Zhang according to the Internal arts International Ba Gua Zhang Curriculum.


In order to teach the Intermediate and Advanced levels one must teach the Foundational Level to one or more people for at least one year and engage in training, testing and certification for the Intermediate and Advanced Levels of the IAI Ba Gua Zhang curriculum.

The Foundational Level includes:

• Ba Gua Yin Yang Patting Nei Gong • Dao Yin Exercises
• Basic Standing Meditation or “Standing Post” (Zhan Zhuang)
• Ba Gua Qi Cultivation Exercises
• Linear Mud Stepping
• Crane Stepping
• Ba Gua Twelve Standing Posture Nei Gong
• Ba Gua Ji Ben Gong (28 Foundational Exercises)
• Foundational Partner Exercises
• Applications to Self-Defense and Healthb
• Fixed Posture (Ding Shi) Circle Walking Nei Gong
• San Cai Ding Shi (Three Powers Ding Shi)
• Three Posture Standing
• Old Eight Palms (Lao Ba Zhang): Palms 1 & 2
• Eight Linear Hands: 1 & 2

What are Admission Requirements for the 2015-16 Instructor Training Program?

The Ba Gua Zhang Instructor Training Program is open only to those who have learned and trained the Foundational Level Curriculum in one or more of the following ways:

1. Authentic Ba Gua Zhang Online Learning Program - Eligible if you have completed eight or more months of daily Ba Gua training, following the curriculum as outlined in the program.

2. NYIA Ba Gua Intensive 2014 - are currently enrolled in and will complete the 2014 intensive.

3. Ongoing weekly Ba Gua Zhang classes - with one of the IAI/NYAI certified instructors listed on our website, for at least 12 months.

Participants must be willing to train hard, both during and between the five weekend classes, keep a training notebook and complete the required reading.

To register complete the following two steps:

1. Fill out application HERE

2. Upon acceptance of your application, you will receive an email with procedures for registration and payment.

Martial Arts

What Style of Ba Gua Zhang Do You Teach?

Essentially we teach Liang Zhen Pu Ba Gua Zhang, or "Liang Style" Ba Gua Zhang.NYIA founder Tom Bisio first studied with Vince Black and Zhang Hua Sen, both of whom were disciples of the late, great Li Zi Ming, one of the best known students of Liang Zhen Pu.Tom is a disciple of Wang Shi Tong. Wang was a disciple of Li Zi Ming, as well as a disciple of the famous Guo Gu Min, the senior school brother of Li Zi Ming. Guo was one of the most famous teachers of Ba Gua in the 20th century in the Beijing area.Since 2001, Tom Bisio and other instructors at New York Internal Arts have trained with Master Gao Ji Wu and his school brothers, who teach Beijing Gao Family Ba Gua Zhang, which is essentially an off-shoot of Liang Zhen Pu Ba Gua. Gao Ji Wu’s grandfather, Gao Wen Cheng, was a disciple of Liu De Kuan (who purportedly created the 64 Linear Forms) as well as Yin Fu, who created Yin Style Ba Gua. Therefore, there is some Yin Style influence in the lineage. Liu De Kuan and Liang Zhen Pu both taught Guo Ge Min. Gao Ji Wu’s father, Gao Zi Ying, studied with both Gao Wen Chang and Guo Gu Min, as well as many other famous teachers such as Wang Xiang Zhai (Yi Quan and Da Cheng Quan). Gao Ji Wu in turn learned from Gao Zi Ying, and today teaches Beijing Gao Family Ba Gua in Beijing.In 2011, Tom Bisio and members of New York Internal Arts also began to train with Master Zhao Da Yuan. Master Zhao is one of the original group of disciples who trained under Li Zi Ming, as well as the inheritor of a rare family system of Qin Na (Chin Na).Therefore, we teach Liang Style Ba Gua Zhang flavored by the above influences, with the main influence coming through Guo Gu Min, who taught Li Zi Ming, Gao Zi Ying, and Wang Shi Tong.

What is an “Internal Martial Art”?

Nei Jia 內家 literally means “inner family or inner school.” It is a term used to refer to styles of martial arts that in English we call “internal,” particularly if we add the character for “fist” resulting in the term 內家拳 Nei Jia Quan. Today these styles are considered to include Tai Ji Quan, Xing Yi Quan, Ba Gua Zhang, Tong Bei Quan, Yi Quan (Da Cheng Quan) and Liu Ho Ba Fa. Other styles are sometimes called internal including the Japanese art of Aikido.

At first glance, the primary difference between internal and external martial arts seems to be one of method. Speaking generally, the focus of internal arts is on principles rather than specific techniques. Internal arts have techniques, but from the very beginning it is understood that techniques are merely expression of the principles and that the ultimate goal is to create techniques in the moment out of the interaction of one’s energy and intention with the opponent’s energy and intention. Secondly, while generally speaking the external arts focus their training methods on developing muscular strength, speed and athletic prowess, internal arts stress relaxation, mind-intention, stillness and natural movement. Lastly the internal arts use alignment, breath and structural dynamics to actualize the movement of the vital force through the channels and collaterals (Jing Luo) or meridians. This is said to cultivate “whole body power” which does not rely on muscular strength, speed and athleticism. This idea has considerable overlap with the idea of body mechanics - bio-mechanical principles of movement that increase efficiency. However, the two concepts are not identical.

See the article and video series entitled: What is an Internal Martial Art?

Medicine

When making Die Da Jiu (Trauma Liniment) what kind of alcohol should be used?

Whiskey, Vodka and gin all work well. The Chinese traditionally use strong rice wine. We often use vodka simply because it is cheap. Basically, you want something that is 40-60% alcohol. This means that the rest is water - both water and alcohol are needed to extract the herbal substances properly. Do not use grain alcohol (100% alcohol) unless you cut it with water to make it 40-60% alcohol. This is a case where stronger is not better.

Can you make Die Da Jiu (Trauma Liniment) with isopropyl alcohol?

No. Some people make it that way, but in general it is less effective.

Can you store Die Da Jiu (Trauma Liniment) in a plastic container?

No. Although for short periods of time (1-2 weeks) the Die Da Jiu can be stored in plastic container, for example when one is traveling, in general it should not be stored in plastic. The plastic will interact with the liniment, ruining it.

When making San Huang San, what is the proportion of the medium (Vaseline or egg whites) to the powdered herbs?

Have the herbs ground to a fine powder. I suggest paying the herb store to do this for you as it is difficult to grind it fine enough without the proper machinery. There are no exact proportions when making San Huang San into a poultice or gao. It is like cooking, done by eye.When using Vaseline, melt the Vaseline in a pan. When it is liquefied, slowly add the herbal powder, stirring it in thoroughly. Once the mixture is thick like mud you can put it in a container and let it cool. It will keep for at least a year made this way and can simply be scooped out and applied when needed. Spread on the affected area and cover with a bandage to hold it snugly against the skin.Traditionally beeswax an sesame oil were heated and the powder mixed with them to make a gao that could be used later. As it is difficult to make gao this way without them going rancid, we have Kamwo Herb and Tea (www.kamwo.com) make San Huang San with beeswax and sesame oil. Look for the Zheng Gu Tui Na product line on the Kamwo website.With egg whites, the procedure is similar. Mix the egg whites with a small amount of powder and add keep adding powder until the mixture is thick like mud, wet but not runny. Again, spread on the affected area and cover with a bandage to hold it snugly against the skin.Another useful medium that can be used to make San Huang San is green tea (to enhance the cooling effect). Make green tea just as you would if you were going to drink it, and then use the liquid as the medium to mix with the herbal powder.

Qi Gong & Nei Gong

What is Qi?

Many internal martial arts masters don’t like to talk about qi, and rightly so because talking about qi gets in the way of actually training the body and the movements, which in turn are the way we engage with qi. However in not talking about qi, it becomes the “elephant in the room” – this reluctance to talk about qi actually underscores its importance.

The ideogram for qi originally showed vapors rising to form a layer of clouds. This is also part of the character for steam:

Qi 气 The modern form of the character adds grain by using the character mi (rice) which is depicted as: 米. This creates an image of steam or vapor rising from cooking rice. 气  + 米  =  氣  Qi

Various interpretations may be made. It may depict the nurturing energies of  rice reduced to their smallest component, a vapor, or changing states of energy and matter. In early Chinese Texts, qi is used to refer to various phenomena:

  • Air
  • Mists and Fog
  • Moving Clouds
  • Aromas
  • Vapors
  • Smoke
  • Breathing – Inhalation and Exhalation

In common usage, qi can refer to air, gases and vapors, smells, spirit, vigor; morale, attitude, the emotions (particularly anger), as well as tone, atmospheric changes, the weather, breath and respiration. In the body qi is often discerned by its actions, the balanced and orderly regulation of body functions, partly derived from the air we breathe, that cause physical changes and maintain life. We say that someone is healthy because the functioning of the their body (the manifestation of the their qi) is orderly and without dysfunction. Every movement, every thought and emotion, our metabolism, every movement of life and consciousness, is in some measure a manifestation of qi. However, qi also embraces properties that in the West we would refer to as being emotional and spiritual.

To sum up, qi is something that can be felt, internally sensed and understood, but it cannot be seen, measured or quantified. For example in qi gong and nei gong exercises, such as the “stake standing” practiced by practitioners of the internal martial arts, we are sensing qi and we can observe its manifestations and effects, but we cannot easily define it, so words often confuse the issue. Perhaps this is why teachers of the internal arts do not say much about qi.

What is the difference between Qi Gong and Nei Gong?

What we today called qi gong “qi exercises” or nei gong “internal exercises” originally came under the category of nourishing life (yang sheng) techniques. Yang Sheng methods were often collectively referred to as Dao Yin exercises (Guiding/Leading or Guiding/Pulling). Manuscripts known as the Yin Shu (“Pulling Book”) and the Dao Yin Tu (“Guiding-Pulling Chart”) were unearthed in the Zhangjiashan (Hubei) and Mawangdui (Hunan) tombs. These manuscripts date from the Early Han period (160 BC) and pre-date the Huang Ti Nei Jing, the seminal book which forms the basis of much of modern Chinese medicine. These early exercises are considered by some scholars to be truly indigenously Chinese exercises.

The dao yin Exercises originally included an mo (self-massage), tu na (breathing; inspiration-expiration), also called xing qi or yun qi, and moving exercises that imitated animals or pulled on the sinews or the area of pain. Although qi is implied in this guiding and pulling, what was effectively “dredged” or unblocked by these movements were anatomical structures and surfaces, pain and dysfunction.

In the Mawangdui tomb documents, dao yin exercises have names like “Pulling Ham Pain”; “Pulling the Nape”; “Pulling the Warm Ailment”; “Bear Ramble”. The Yi Shu includes seasonal health regimens and regimens for cultivation of the body, as well as exercises for specific illnesses or dysfunctions. Breathing is an integral part of these exercise routines.

Qi gong and nei gong are essentially modern terms for what were originally daoyYin Exercises. Some people make much of the distinction between qi gong and nei gong. In some circles qi gong exercises are considered to be only those that involve leading the qi with the mind while nei gong exercises employ breathing and external movements or subtle internal movements that move the qi in specific ways. In practice there are overlaps, so making too much of this merely causes confusion.

Nei gong is also a term used to distinguish certain exercises associated with the so called “soft,” or “internal” styles from the “hard,” or “external” styles. Qi gong implies breath or vital force and thus can be translated as breath work or “energy work.” It is a term largely re-invented in the modern era. It was used in the 1950’s to differentiate health exercises from similar practices that were considered superstitious.

Look elsewhere on this website for articles and videos which will further clarify the distinction between these terms. 

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