Baguazhang (掌 掌) is one of the best known internal martial arts. Baguazhang literally means the 'palm of the eight trigrams'. This inner martial art is based on the Taoist symbol of Bagua, related to the I Ching (Book of Changes), as a system that explains the different configurations (changes) of cosmos.
The characteristic of the Baguazhang is the way to walk circularly continuously making changes of direction. The feet move light, lively; The steps have to be stable and are performed with a twist of the trunk into the circle, changing and bending as the movements of the body of a dragon.
The purpose of changes and twists in Baguazhang is to develop a spiral energy that involves all parts of the body, including abdominal cavity, internal organs, bone marrow, tendons, ligaments, muscles and the most depth fascia layers. Sometimes external torsion actions are obvious, others occur deep within the body.
Using the classic book 'I Ching' as a guide, the Bagua is a method developed to explore and balance the eight universal energies inside and outside the body. As we develop the experiential ability to delve simultaneously within our body and yet experience directly what is outside the body, we will gain an understanding of the universal energies and how they work.
In Taoism it is believed that the whole universe is represented and present within the body of every human being. The mind is therefore capable of manipulating the energies that exist within the body. With practice, this can take us to the point of resonating intimately with the universal energies outside our body.
One of the main methods that the Taoists developed to update these practices is the Bagua simple palm change. Several postures of the Bagua Qigong serve as preparation for performing the primary exercise itself. While maintaining posture, the goal is to guide the Qi from the belly and spine to the fingertips and stabilize the internal alignments of the upper body.
Once the internal work of the specific Qigong postures of the Bagua has been integrated, simple palm change is sufficient to enable practitioners to develop and manipulate the energies within their body. As they come into play, in an aggregate and synergistic way, they cause all body fluids to circulate in a uniform and powerful way, including both blood and organic fluids and cellular connections.
The Baguazhang style is usually represented by eight special body movements. The term refers to the possibility of moving in all directions of the rose of the winds, and the practitioner occupies each of these directions thanks to a circular displacement. The skills of the Bagua practice pay particular attention to the movements of weaving and interweaving, walking continuously and following the changes, and also paying particular attention to adaptability. Also with special emphasis on continuous and incessant movement with the variety of changes.
This system of practice is fully connected with the Taoist concept "Respecting the Rotating Skies", an internal practice of walking, rolling, circulating and mixing martial arts attack and defense techniques. The idea is to use the concept of "using movement as a foundation, and changes as a technique".