On July 25th forty Ba Gua Instructors and students gathered in Salem, Virginia for five and half days of intensive Ba Gua Zhang training conducted on the grounds of beautiful Roanoke College. Participants came from Europe, Canada and all over the United States.
The training was hard, beginning with 2 hours of Ba Gua Nei Gong each morning at 6 am. Then training continued throughout the day and into the evening with breaks for meals. In addition to Nei Gong, participants learned and practiced the Old Eight Palms (Lao Ba Zhang), the 64 Linear forms, Qin Na seizing and locking techniques, Ba Gua Broadsword (Dao), the Ba Gua Yin Yang Staff, the 13 Elbows, Daoist meditation, Internal Nei Gong practices like Ba Gua’s Four Energies and Five Finger Secret, Basic Tui Na (Chinese Medical Massage) and more.
It was an exciting and uplifting experience and everyone trained hard, pushing themselves past their limits. Some even elected to do extra practice and review lasting up to 11 pm. Beyond the training, one of the wonderful things about the retreat, was meeting fellow Ba Gua practitioners from different parts of the world, sharing experiences and welcoming newer practitioners into our growing Ba Gua community.
Checkout the video (on the home page) of participants talking about the retreat and about training in Ba Gua Zhang.
The retreat was led by Tom Bisio, and we were blessed to have Senior Instructors Valerie Ghent, Wes Tasker, Nelson Tai, Reggie Hailey, Thad Wong and Adam Wasserman assisting and leading different training segments. Our thanks to instructors Wolfgang Schwalenberg (Germany), Mark Greenfield (NYC), Jonathan Breshin (NYC), Bryan Isacks (Ithaca, NY), Pascal Jauffret (France), Kelly MacDonald (NYC), Svilen Pronev (Toronto), Stephane Turbide (Montreal), Joe Cool (Portland, OR), Steve Cosimano (Albany, NY), Greg Johnston (Salem, VA), Andy Kriger (NYC), Keith Norris (Providence, RI), and John Paul Magenis (Louisville, KY), for being there and helping out.
Much Thanks to Valerie Ghent for the Great Photos!