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Baguazhang: Theory and Applications Paperback – 1 Sep 2008

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Product details

  • Paperback: 440 pages
  • Publisher: YMAA Publication Center; 3rd edition (1 Sep 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1594391130
  • ISBN-13: 978-1594391132
  • Product Dimensions: 23.9 x 18.8 x 3.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 724,665 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If a teacher brought the contents of this book to life for you / in you.
You would have more than a life times work to do.
Off interest to practitioners of all Internal Arts.
If this was your linage you would be crazy to not get this book.
Written by two living legends of the Martial Arts world.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 21 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
2nd Edition offers little improvement of an otherwise fantastic volume. 9 Feb 2009
By S. Schmidt - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I was astonished to see that the 2nd edition of Baguazhang by Masters Liang, Shou-Yu and Yang, Jwing-Ming is approximately one third larger than the 1st edition. However I was largely disappointed to find that little has changed other than larger photos (not necessarily a bad thing), some minor editing, and dropped "Emei Baguazhang" subtitle. The second edition is advertised on Amazon.com as offering, "new 'user friendly' layout, beautiful chinese calligraphy." I am not sure what this means, as there is the same calligraphy and layout that can be found in the 1st edition. The Emei Baguazhang subtitle should have still been included as the authors present forms that are more aligned to that particular influence than other Bagua lineages.

Included in this volume are three forms, Basic Eight Palms also known as Dragon Shape Baguazhang, Swimming Body Baguazhang, and Deer Hook Sword. While the authors mention that there are many styles and forms that have evolved through hundreds of years of history and go as far to list the "known" forms on pages 56-59, the reader should take to heart that the particular styles presented are truly only a sample of forms still surviving and being practiced. Without the authors giving more attention to this fact, I worry that this book may present or create a bias towards Emei Baguazhang. I would encourage potential readers to also explore publications written by other authors, as presented on page 50. Nonetheless, an experienced Bagua practitioner may be able to find same or similar postures within the presented forms and utilize the movement descriptions and applications to supplement or find better understanding of their own material.

All complaints aside, Baguazhang, Theory and Applications is hands down the most comprehensive volume written on the art of Bagua. The very accomplished and knowledgeable authors present the history of the art, evolution of the art, transmission poetry, theory, training, and some applications. Black and white photos clearly demonstrate postures and movements. Step-by-step descriptions of postures and movements are easy to follow and include posture names, calligraphy, and potential applications. This book is a necessary addition to the martial artist interested in internal Chinese arts or Baqua in particular.
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A Classic! 9 Nov 2008
By Steve E. Condry - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Review of Baguazhang

Baguazhang by Master Liang, Dr. Yang, and Mr. Wu is a classic. It is a standard reference work in this style of the internal arts.

Why? First, this book was written by Chinese experts in the field. Second, it explains the history and the teachings of the old masters. Third, it is over 500 pages of in-depth instruction. Fourth, the book is organized in a logical teaching progression. Fifth, the text is reinforced with clear photos of form movements and applications, laid out in an integrated manner. Sixth, the book has been highly praised and recommended by other experts in the field. Seventh, Baguazhang has gone through editions and reprinting, which attest to its popularity.

Can a person learn Baguazhang from this book? Yes, up to a point---the point of using one's pencil inside the book, along with daily practice. Here are some suggestions for how to get the most out of this great work:
1. Underline the key phrases in each interpretation of the sayings of the old masters.
Come back to those phrases for insights as you practice.
2. Set up checklists:
a. Qigong
b. Conditioning exercises
c. Walking steps
d. Each movement in the forms
3. Set up a daily practice schedule for each of the items above.
4. Work with a partner on each application.
5. Purchase the DVD that goes along with the book. (It is excellent.)
6. Attend seminars held by the authors and their students.

Plan to spend a lifetime with Baguazhang , always keeping the book open on a table, working on one movement a week (Tip: Visualize an application as you practice the movement solo.), and frequently using your pencil to make notes, checklists, and schedules in the book or on a sheet you keep in the book.

You can work with this book in the confidence that your study and practice will not be in vain since this is the best book on the market in this field. Use Baguazhang daily as your lifetime guide to learning authentic Baguazhang.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Extraordinary Detail 18 Feb 2009
By Nicholas Guinn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Baguazhang: Theory and Applications

Baguazhang (Book)
Master Liang, Shou-Yu, Dr. Yang, Jwing-Ming

Skill level: Beginner to Advanced

This is a extraordinarily detailed work on Baguazhang. The authors have assembled a book that can take a martial artist from the very beginning to the more advanced Bagua skills. From a more practical martial arts standpoint there are a many valuable martial skills and concepts. If you are more interested in developing Qi(chi) skills this book is very complete. For the more practical martial artist it would be nearly impossible to seperate the internal from the external in this style but is still worth the read. The authors also provide a great background through the history of the style and an excellent section explaining how Bagua fits into the continuum of Chinese martial arts.

In almost all martial arts it is usually necessary or preferable at least to have an instructor. I know some personalities that just cannot learn from a book or just from video. Bagua, or at least good Bagua instructors are difficult to find where I live. That being the case the only substitute is to learn from this book and/or a video. This books depth at explaining the art is a little dauting at first, however, it was very worth while. The pictures also do a great job to show the postures and movement that might be difficult to understand by text alone. I make one recommendation for anyone interested in Bagua. Buy this book, you will want it in your library to look back on it for reference. Also, buy the Bagua video associated with this art from the same publisher[..]. The book does a great job of giving you the lecture on the art but in order to see it modeled really well get the video to go with the book. This will allow you to attack the material from a couple of different angles allowing for a much better level of understanding.

Finally, the authors do a very good job of showing the applications for self defense to the movements in Bagua. Very practical and real world. I never doubted that Bagua is a wonderful art but have always wondered about it efficacy. This text put all of those concerns to rest. Reading this text has me hooked and I will be working on Bagua for some time. That said studying Bagua is definitely a long term program.

At [..], this single book is more detailed then most I have seen on nearly any art. Whether you know Bugua or want to study it and cannot get to an instructor this book is worth while.

Respectfully submitted,

Nicholas Guinn
3rd Degree Black Belt - Shotokan Karate
5th Degree Black Belt - Aikijutsu
February 9th, 2009
Owasso, Oklahoma, USA
Copyright 2009 by Nicholas Guinn and Guinn Martial Arts
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Excellent work on Baguzhang for beginners to advanced practitioners 29 Dec 2008
By Derek E. McElfresh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
This book is astounding. As a practitioner of Baguazhang for the past several years (a different style of Baguazhang, more on that in a minute), I found this book extremely informative and insightful.

Of the most worth to me were the collected translations of Chinese texts on the Bagua and Baguazhang, but the practical applications and exercises were laid out in a very informative manner.

I feel like if I were a novice to Baguazhang, I could use this book to learn some of the basics. That said, there are some very basic, foundational exercises, which I am surprised to NOT find in this book. For example, I didn't feel that the circle-walking techniques were emphasized enough, given the fact that they are the very foundation upon which the rest of the techniques in Baguazhang are built. Again, though, I study a different style of Baguazhang, and so these might just be stylistic differences.

The individual techniques and partner exercises are laid out in an easy to use format, though some pictures felt a tad out of order just in terms of their layouts on the page. While my own style's techniques vary in differing degrees from the ones presented in this book, this clearly looks and feels like Baguazhang, if perhaps a little foreign based, again, what probably comes down to stylistic differences.

I simply can't emphasize enough how valuable I consider this book. The translated Chinese texts and modern-day rewordings are an absolute treasure to any Baguazhang practitioner who wants to gain a deeper understanding of their art.

I recommend this book wholeheartedly to everyone with even a passing interest in Baguazhang, and also to other internal stylists who would like access to some fascinating commentary on Bagua QiGong. You'd be hard-pressed to find a 500+ page work on ANY martial art that is as information-heavy as this one. Buy and enjoy.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Super Fantastic 26 Dec 2008
By Kurtis Weir - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I've never read another bagua book, so I can't compare this one to others. But this one has everything that I hoped it would. It actually exceeded what I wanted. It not only guides to the practical, but it dives deep into the spiritual as well. Deeper than I expected.
There are countless examples of ancient revealings that I didn't expect, as well. It shows how deep chi philosophy goes. And if the student would take it with their full intent, they will become what they hoped when they bought the book. Guaranteed.
The practical aspect is presented perfectly, in my opinion. The illustrations are easy to follow, and the explanations - both ancient, and modern, for each movement - are awesome. The "vagueness" of spiritual language, is put nicely into the terms of today.
My only thumb-down is that the authors didn't write how to pronounce the many Chinese terms in the book. But it's not a big deal. Their meanings are what is important. (not enough to lose a star)
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