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Ba Gua Zhang 48 Methods: Methods 25 to 36

The Thirty-Six Songs discuss and explain clearly how to properly train Shen Fa, footwork (Bu Fa), movement and rotation, the pathways of Qi and walking the circle, the pathways of Jin and the connection with techniques. This can guide students and give them greater access to the mysteries of Ba Gua Zhang.

Guo Gu Min’s disciples say that the “The Forty- Eight Methods” detail the secrets of the hand methods so that future generations can fully understand the keys to application. If students and teachers can learn from each other by exchanging the viewpoints and ponder over the techniques, their abilities will reach a higher level. The Forty-Eight Methods must not be neglected by martial arts students. The principles and mechanisms of the palm can be mastered through comprehensive study. The Forty-Eight Methods are rare and profound keys to thoroughly understand this art.”

For Methods 1-12: CLICK HERE

For Methods 13-24 CLICK HERE

25. Fixed Gaze Method (Ding Yan Fan 定眼法)

Sabers, spears from four sides, chaotic as tangled ropes,

As well as on a dark night without moonlight,

Lower the body and fix the eyes to inspect the path.

Curve every step and move to defeat him..

Commentary 1: 

When surrounded by enemies the mind must be clear. When fighting at night, when you are unable to see clearly, lower the body so you can clearly see the coming attacks by moonlight. In combat, do not go and come in a straight line – use the curved step. When using curved steps, if the opponent comes leftward, go rightward and conquer the opponent by continuous movement. Therefore it is said, “to defeat the enemy, everything depends on the footwork.”

Commentary 2:

When there are many enemies on all sides, and I am trapped in the center, at night with only starlight and moonlight, how can I deal with the enemy in this situation? Lower the body and fix the eyes in order to use moonlight to observe the enemy. Use curved steps to rotate to the right and left rightward in order to resist and control the opponent, taking advantage of his weak points to defeat him.





26. Weapon Greeting Method (Jie Qi Fa 接器法)

Although long, short, single and double weapons are all perfectly skilled,

They cannot compare with the cleverness of the two hands.

Once the iron palm is trained, it is like a weapon,

Bare hands still go find the arm and wrist.

 Commentary 1: 

Even if various kinds of weapons are trained perfectly, they are no better than the skills in the palms. When the enemy attacks with a weapon, I just play with him using piercing, dodging, cutting, and blocking techniques. Iron palm here means training the “iron sand palm.” Extend the palm to strike his wrist and damage the tendons and bones. When the palm is trained well, it is like a weapon. 

Commentary 2:

It is difficult to face a weapon-holding opponent with bare hands, but if you understand the theory of meeting a weapon with bare hands you can resolve the problem. No matter what kind of weapon, long or short, double or single, nothing is more effective than the two hands. If the hands are properly trained it is not difficult. You must know the skills and tactics of combat and not rely on blind courage. Remember to use your hand to seek the opponent’s wrist and revolve, rotate, change and transform and you cannot lose. The hand is called “Iron Palm” and must be understood and trained properl





27. Body Protecting Method (Bao Shen Fa 保身法)

Don’t boast about the strong conquering the weak,

The weak can conquer the strong is the skillful method.

No matter if he is fast and hard like an arrow leaving the bow,

Turning the millstone left and right protects without error.

Commentary 1:

Martial arts are combination of attacking and defending techniques. Not only can the strong conquer the weak, the weak can also conquer the strong. Therefore self-defense skills are necessary. No matter how fast or how strong the opponent is, you can protect yourself and defeat him using the body sticking and body rotating method of Ba Gua Zhang, with twisting (Ning), wrapping (Guo), drilling (Zuan), overturning (Fan) and piling( Dui) methods, as in the techniques of the hawk drilling to the sky and removing the clouds to see the sun.

Commentary 2:         

Weakness cannot match the power of a strong enemy. When the strong defeat the weak, it is nothing to boast about. Weakness defeating strength is the best method. No matter how powerfully and fast the opponent attacks, even if is like an arrow leaving the bowstring to pierce through stone, I employ the simple method of turning leftward and rightward, like pushing millstone, piercing, walking, and rotating. Then his speed and firmness have no place where they can be applied.








28. Person Confusing Method (Luan Ren Fa 乱人法)

Confusion of the Heart-Mind starts with the eyes,

A thousands techniques are inferior to a single piercing palm.

Aim at the bridge of the nose, piercing continuously,

Control the opponent by alternating steps to the left and right.

Commentary 1:

This method is used to confuse and worry the opponent. To confuse him, first confuse his eyes. No techniques are superior to using piercing palms back and forth towards his nose and eyes, making it difficult for him to respond. The piercing palm is the most important technique in Ba Gua Zhang. When using the piercing palm you must change postures by walking leftward and rightward. Therefore it is said, “The most skillful under heaven still fear the three penetrations,” and “A thousand techniques are not as effective as one penetrating palm.” This technique can defeat the opponent.

Commentary 2:

When the Heart-Mind is peaceful, the body follows its orders. The Heart-Mind governs the entire body. In this palm method, to subdue the opponent you must first confuse his Heart-Mind. The primary method of confusing and disordering his mind is to distract his eyes. Therefore 10,000 changes and tricks are not as effective as linked piercing strikes at his nose and eyes, while piercing, stepping, walking and changing left and right. This will cause the opponent’s mind to be confused and disorderly.





29. Opening and Closing Method (Kai He Fa 开合法)

It is common to open first if you wish to close,

When you see him open, prevent closing.

 Faking defeat and pretending failure, he will return like whirling dust,

Anticipate pointing to the east and striking west.

Commentary 1: 

Opening and closing techniques are mentioned in various martial arts. As a general rule, if you want to close, first open. Therefore, when you see that the opponent opens, you must prevent him from closing.  When his attack is defeated and he walks away, you must be careful that he does not come back again and attack you when you are not ready. In attacking and defending, if the enemy does not move, I do not move. If the enemy wants to move, I must move first.

Commentary 2:

The opening and closing method is employed in both the in the civil and military arts. The opening and closing method is also used in the palm or fist techniques. There is no difference between opening and closing. Everything that closes must open, and everything that opens must close. When encountering stepping postures, one must be prepared for counterattacks, feigned attacks, feigned defeat. True and false, empty and full must be carefully distinguished.

Show weakness on the outside while guarding strength inside; do not use conventional tactics. When pointing east and striking west, guard against being drawn into an ambush.





30. South Orientating Method (Ding Nan Fa 定南法)

No matter that the opponent has a thousand fast hands and sharp eyes,

Guard the center and his attacks are futile.

Don’t extend the hand until the right moment,

When you do extend the hand, his hand will pull back.

Commentary 1:

No matter how skillful the opponent is in attacking and defending, and even if his hands and eyes are quick, don’t be afraid. Just maintain the body position, remain calm and observe the movements of the opponent. Do not hurry in using techniques, or use techniques without careful consideration. Once the hand goes out, it must be effective. Make the opponent scared, so that he has to draw his attacking hand back.

Commentary 2:

Although the eyes and hands of the opponent are sharp and quick, and his attacks come one after the other, no matter the speed and number of attacks, I am not afraid. I just hold my position without leaving a gap or loophole. Then his attacks are futile and cannot harm me. I do not extend my hand rashly; I wait for an opportunity. As soon as an opportunity presents itself I extend my hand to attack his vital points. This makes him withdraw his hand before launching another attack.





31. Getting in Close Method (Qiu Jin Fa 求近法)

Sealing and closing is a method of protecting the body,

Dodge the opponent and you are free and unfettered.

Avoid steeping outward more than 12 inches.

Opening the door taking the long way around will not be effective.

Commentary 1:

Blocking and dodging are effective techniques for protecting yourself. Once you avoid the opponent’s attack and protect yourself, you will not fail. When defending and protecting, get close to the opponent. Do not exceed the step of one third of a meter (about a foot). Opening the door and taking the long way around is not an effective method.

Commentary 2:

In fighting, do not adhere to one method. Use a long fist at a distance and when close use short strikes. Blocking and dodging is to avoid the cutting edge of the opponent. Sealing and evading the opponent’s attack so that he cannot get close to you is the best way to defend. Then you are free and unfettered. However, one must remember to avoid stepping more than 1/3 of a meter (about a 12 inches) away. Then it is possible to evade and come back. Otherwise, it is like opening the door and taking a roundabout route, which wastes time and energy and will surely fail.





32. Six Direction Method (Liu Lu Fa 六路法)

For others, the six directions is empty talk,

My palm method observes the six directions.

Moving the step attends to eight directions,

Looking forward and guarding the rear is not difficult.

Commentary 1:

In fighting it is necessary to observe the six directions and listen to the eight directions. This means one must be alerted to every move of the opponent. To ordinary people this method is not easy, but it is easy for the Ba Gua Zhang practitioners because walking circles is the basic requirement in Ba Gua Zhang. Eight directions mean the four cardinal directions and the four diagonal directions (the 8 compass points). Six directions refer to up, down, left, right, front and back. When the attacking and defending, I simply rotate leftward and turn rightward and look forward and look backward. It is not difficult for practitioners of Ba Gua Zhang.

Commentary 2:

Many martial arts speak of watching the six directions, but their fist techniques and footwork are limited. This is not true of Ba Gua Zhang. In Ba Gua Zhang movement emphasizes “four direction steps and four diagonal hands,” thereby attending to the eight directions and not ending with the six directions. As a result, it is not difficult to defend both front and back.





33. One and Only Method (Bu Er Fa 不二法)

If the technique is not precise, don’t use it rashly,

If the attack misses, attack again.

Even if the opponent has supernatural skills,

If you can’t break his spirit, he will still gnash his teeth.

Commentary 1:

You must be stable, accurate, and firm when applying techniques. No technique should miss, and every technique must be purposeful and meaningful. If the first attack misses, keep attacking and don’t give the opponent half a chance to breathe.

Commentary 2:

In this art, the secret of success is to be stable, precise and ruthless. Therefore, technique must be precise and correct. If it is not precise and correct, do not release it. If one’s technique lacks power and accuracy, it will unsuccessful and cause harm. If the technique is not effective use another. No matter the state of the opponent’s spirit and techniques, we continue with our techniques. This will unsettle him so that he is frightened and uncertain.





34. Slip Preventing Method (Fang Hua Fa 防滑法)

On icy snow covered ground, stable steps are difficult,

Remember the front foot must be horizontal and the rear foot is straight.

When turning you must use small opening steps,

By all means avoid straightening up the body to strike high.

Commentary 1:

When fighting, if there is snow or ice on the ground or if the street is slippery after rain, you must know how to avoid having your foot slide or slip. If you slip you will lose. To stand stably, turn the front foot horizontally (sideways) as it step forward, while the back foot walks straight forward. The step should not be too big. Simultaneously, remember to avoid standing up too much when striking high. Squat down (bend the knees) and strike the lower part of the opponent.

Commentary 2:

It is difficult to walk on icy, slippery and snowy roads. Even if one is only slightly unstable there is a risk of falling. In order to avoid falling the front foot should land transversely, while the rear foot is placed straight. In this way one’s footing is strong and stable. If you want to turn the body, you cannot take big steps, and you must also use small steps when opening and closing. Avoid straightening up the body and striking from high above. If you stand up, and strike from the high position, it is easy to fall down. In Ba Gua Zhang this is taboo.





35. Stable Step Method (Wen Bu Hua 稳步法)

If the steps are not stable the body will sway,

Treading solidly on the ground is better than thousands of techniques.

Walk forward with the toes and retreat by lifting the heel.

Don’t turn around or look back without Kou Bu.

Commentary 1:

In fighting, the body should be stable so as to avoid swaying. Your fighting skills will not be proficient, and your skills will not be good if the center of gravity is not stable. Even if you have thousands of techniques and tricks, they are all useless if you cannot stand firmly and with stability. When advancing, the toes must be curved and the soles are empty when stepping down, so the foot can grasp the ground with the toes. When retreating, lift the heel and slide along the ground with the tip of the foot. In Ba Gua Zhang you cannot turn back without Kou Bu.

Commentary 2:

In Chinese boxing the root and foundation is in the foot. To avoid falling down, the foot must tread firmly on the ground. Advancing and retreating must adhere to the method; then the rest is easily achieved. When entering the toes drive forward first. When retreating lift the heel first and then retreat. When turning around you must first use Kou Bu. Advancing and retreating, circling and turning around – all are rooted in the step. Boxers constantly must research and attend to the footwork and stepping methods.





36. Small Step Method (Xiao Bu Fa 小步法)

When turning and rotating the body, the steps must be small,

If the step is big, the body is unstable and lacks agility.

If you want to turn the body around use half-steps,

Then it will difficult for the opponent to grasp my intentions.

Commentary 1:

When fighting, use the small step method. If the step is big, you will not be nimble and it is easy for the enemy to control you. When advancing and retreating you must use half-steps. This is also the basic fighting step in Ba Gua Zhang. This stepping method is not easily noticed by the opponent and makes it easy for you to attack.

Commentary 2:

The steps are an important part of Ba Gua Zhang, and there are many explanations of the hand, eye, foot and body methods. However, whether one is advancing and retreating the steps should not be too big. When moving and rotating, small steps are more effective, quick and agile. If the step is big, advancing and retreating are sluggish and it is not easy to move and rotate, because the feet will not be lively and active. When turning and rotating the proper way is use the half-step. Because half-steps are flexible and quick, it is difficult for the opponent to know what is happening.