Pa Kua Palm is a Taoist fighting system that is rooted in the I Ching (or Book of Changes) whose esoteric theories are encoded in the form of sixty-four hexagrams and are amalgamated with those of philosophy.
The practitioner of Pa Kua Palm is no ordinary fighter, he is knowledgeable enough to walk away from a fight by virtue of his excellent art. He understands that he must pass endurance tests before learning to hit others because when setting out to defeat an opponent he must be ready to face defeat himself.
The duty of the Pa Kua teacher is to save his student years of complicated self-experimentation by teaching him fighting techniques that have been proven over time. Using this method, he can transmit an ancient art to his students in just a few short months.
Pa Kua has a metaphysical as well as a physical side. Although fighters are not the only ones to practice Taoist rituals, they lend added significance to the esoteric art by mastering their own Internal Power.
By sitting cross-legged every morning, a student will be able to straighten his back and hone his powers of concentration. After a few years of such practice, he will be able to sit down and fall asleep with his eyes open, giving others the impression that he is awake. He will also be able to see 180 degrees in front without moving his eyes and to shoot at targets while looking in the opposite direction. His sense of hearing will enable him to perceive sounds coming from any direction and even to hear a cat walking.
China's philosophical roots rest in the word "Ren" which means benevolence. This word combines the characters for "man" and the number "two," and indicates that after people began to communicate with each other they developed a need to explain man's place in the universe.
A tree's roots provide it with stability, a house's foundation keeps it from crumbling to the ground. A fighter tries to emulate this stability by increasing the strength of his legs because he knows that speed and movement are born in stillness and that his legs must be pillars of strength if they are to allow him to run, kick, stand firm, and prevent other fighters from throwing him down. He seeks to strengthen his legs by practicing the "horse stance" and obtains the best results by keeping the stance as low as possible and by holding the position for as long as he can, preferably for several hours at a time.
A Pa Kua fighter must study ethics, for without them a man is no different than an animal. By studying these principles, he learns that some people are forced to take the lives of others, people such as soldiers who must defend their countries, or men who must protect their families from intruders. He also learns that man is the highest form of creation and while it is crime to take a human life, it is an even greater crime to let oneself be killed. A fighter must learn how to be prepared to defend his life at all times, even if he becomes somewhat proud in the process. After all, no human being, whether saint or sinner, can ever be completely good or completely bad, thus it is better to be alive and criticized than dead and praised. The winner of a fair fight does not need a coffin nor does he need to apologize for his victory.
Long ago, Taoist sages searching for immortality created secret breathing techniques that could transform base metal (common breathing) into refined gold (increased Chi energy). In Chinese alchemy, this method was known as the "blue-gold blood method," and once a student had mastered its techniques he was able to store his "gold" safely in his mind where no one could steal it and only he could spend it. Pa Kua students are also able to achieve long life and good health by practicing the techniques of Pa Kua and these treasures are more precious than real gold.
Since fights might be waged during the hours of the day when the sun is most brilliant, a Pa Kua fighter must be able to look at bright lights without being blinded. To this end, he first trains in a dark room to avoid damaging his retinas. He then begins to practice outside where he can exercise his eyes by looking directly at the sun. To do these exercises, he goes outside at dawn and chooses a spot that faces east. He then lowers the pace of his breathing and gazes at the early morning sun with unblinking eyes. Soon he will begin to enjoy his solitude and will feel as though his spirit is soaring far beyond the valley into infinity. At this point, his face will be touched by a golden shimmer and his eyes will sparkle in the sunlight as the birds sing to celebrate the dawning of a new day.
A Taoist fighter does not need to belong to an organized religious group in order to become more spiritual. He can do this by learning how to control his mind and curb the thoughts that constantly run through his brain. By keeping his mind unencumbered for a long period of time it will become stronger. In Pa Kua fighting however, neither mind or body should be stronger than the other because the body is the army, and the mind the general that commands it. A person who has a strong body but a weak mind can be compared to a strong army that is commanded by a weak general.Home Page Back to previous Page