Bagua is first and foremost about the feet and legs, so any good training starts with learning and developing Circle Walking stepping techniques. In the monastic bagua tradition that I teach (for health, fitness, stress relief and meditation), there are two kinds of stepping:
- Heel-toe walking
- Traditional mud walking
Regardless of which type you choose, you don’t want to bob up and down like you’re on a boat at sea.
Circle Walk through “Mud”
In mud walking, the classic bagua stepping technique, when you put your foot down in front of you (to take a step), you want to ensure it lands flat. Then, it will slowly sink into the ground, allowing the toes to literally grow out of your foot. This growing doesn’t happen because your bodyweight pushes them out, but rather due to intermediate lengthening and pulsing methods that you’ll eventually want to incorproate into your bagua practice. In fact, this lengthening in your toes happens when your bodyweight is still in your back leg/foot.
Banishing the Bagua Bob
In bagua, you want to create a concertina effect, which will prevent you from peeling your foot off the ground (as in normal heel-toe walking) or rising up as you pick up your foot to step forward. You know if you’re doing the bagua bob if your head goes up and down as you shift your weight and step.
In this how-to video, I provide a basic overview of the stepping technique and I’ll give you an exercise you can do with a training partner to ensure you keep your pelvis level while you Walk the Circle.