Yin Style Baguazhang is a combative “art of striking while moving” with precise theoretical and technical qualities. The fighting theory and usage, technique, and internal development methods all originate from and accord with an ancient Chinese classic of philosophy known as the Book of Changes. It is this philosophy which gives us the rules of the circle and square. Drawn from the symbolism and meaning of the Eight Trigrams in the Book of Changes, Yin Style Bagua has eight distinct systems within the art. Each of these systems, represented by a trigram and particular animal, stands on its own as a complete martial art with unique developmental methods and fighting strategy.
Yin Style Bagua emphasizes developing the mind and body together – it is equal parts mental and physical. Training this art will make you stronger, healthier, and a more skilled fighter.
These animal systems each use a distinct type of strike force developed by power training different parts of the body: Lion uses full body power generated from the waist; Snake uses a binding, constricting force; Bear uses a short force from the upper back; Dragon uses a long force generated from the legs; Phoenix uses the shoulders to swing strikes with a circular force; Rooster uses the elbows to deliver short, crashing strikes; Unicorn uses the waist to remove an opponent’s attack force; and Monkey uses the legs to kick and attack. The developmental methods of this art are divided into four main areas: isometric strength postures which develop muscular strength and improve circulation; circle turning training which improves fighting skill by developing coordination, balance, footwork, and full-body strength; fighting technique which includes striking, kicking, throwing and grappling, and finally changing which encompasses the training of altering force and technique to skillfully manipulate an opponent. During training, Yin Style Bagua places particular emphasis on single and combined strike practice paired with various types of footwork. A practitioner will coordinate all parts of the body when executing attacks, with the use of precise footwork and leg technique being particularly important. Bagua leg techniques are said to be “heavy” — heavy not only in their power, but also in the heavy emphasis placed on their usage. Proper positioning of the feet while moving and attacking is considered essential in being an effective fighter. It allows the practitioner to gain advantageous position on an opponent while at the same time helping to maximize the power and effectiveness of techniques. Yin Style Bagua is well known amongst Bagua styles as the “hard palm,” as its movements are fierce and strong, emphasizing direct force and shocking power while its defining characteristics in fighting are “cold, crisp, and fast.” Training Yin Style Bagua can increase strength and flexibility while improving reaction time and speed of movement. It can also improve musculoskeletal structure, nervous system and internal organ function. It will improve your fighting ability, make you more resistant to attack, and improve your overall state of mind. In all, Yin Style Bagua is beneficial for self-defense, health and athletic performance.