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Sun Xi Kun: Ba Gua Zhang Foundational Practices

Ba Gua Zhang – Zhan Zhuang by Master Sun Xi Kun

Sun Xi Kun 孫 錫 堃 (1883-1952) was one of the few disciples of Cheng You Long (also called Cheng Hai Ting), the oldest son of Cheng Ting Hua, who purportedly did not like to teach or demonstrate his art. Sun’s book Ba Gua Quan Zhen Chuan (Genuine Transmission of Ba Gua Zhang) is one of the few records of Chen You Long’s method. In addition to Ba Gua Zhang, Sun Xi Kun also studied Xing Yi Quan and Tai Ji Quan. He was also a student of Daoism, and established the Morality and Martial Arts Society in Tianjin. Sun Xi Kun moved South during WWII, eventually traveling to Hong Kong and later to Taiwan, where he lived and taught until his death.

The below excerpt on Ba Gua Zhang Zhan Zhuang is from “The True Transmission of Ba Gua Zhang”, by Sun Xi Kun.

Read more of Sun Xi Kun’s writings on Ba Gua Zhang HERE.

1. Zhan Zhuang

In practicing the horse-riding posture, the upper body must be straight. Lift up the head; the tongue touches the upper palate; extend the two hands slowly from the ribs; the palms are hollow and Hu Kou (Tiger’s Mouth) is round. Relax the shoulders, sink the elbows, drop the wrists, turn the two fingers backward to point at the body; spread the back and take in the chest. Then Qi naturally descends to the lower body and the mind-intention moves downward smoothly.

After training for a long time the posture will be perfected. Straighten the lower section [of the body]; take in the kua and turn the knees outward. The heart and mind are calm and tranquil. Qi flows smoothly in Du Mai (Governor Vessel) and Ren Mai (Conception Vessel). This is the first stage of Gong Fu.


In standing, one must uplift the head and grasp the ground with the feet. In order to calm the heart and spirit, you must first calm the mind. Once the heart and mind are calm, then everything returns to the origin [root]. The Qi must sink to the sea bottom. No image, no objects and without distractions. This posture can eliminate illness and prolong life.

2.  Heaven and Earth Zhan Zhuang

The fingers of the upper hand wrap overhead, with the small finger rotated inward. The shoulder and elbow rotate and wrap as well. The lateral hand of the standing posture is close to the inside Kua, pointing downward, with the little finger rotating outward. Spread and open the back and take in the chest. The elbows are close to the heart and mouth. It is like twisting a rope. This is also called Pointing to Heaven and Striking the Earth. This form twists the sinews and bones of the body. This is the lower pile-standing posture.


Walk the circle as illustrated in the  picture. When changing palms (changing sides), Kou Bu with the left foot, and pierce the right hand upward closely underneath the left shoulder as you drop the left hand to point downward. [Change again] to go back to the original posture.