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BaGuaZhang, Chinese Martial Art

The creation of BaGuaZhang is often credited to Tung Hai Chuan in around the late 17th century, although there is no real historical evidence to support this claim.

As with many things Chinese, the numerous periods of cultural upheaval and the enormous age of the Chinese society has affected the history of BaGuaZhang (pakuachang). Lost manuscripts, books burned and oral traditions have all contributed to an overall and nearly complete denigration of the history of this martial art form. In fact, it was not until this century that an effort was made to retrace its lost history. For this reason, this martial art's history is fairly vague.

BaGuaZhang has become so popular in China since the beginning of this century that it is impossible to trace all of its exponents. The only ones who can be traced (and in some cases, whose pictures can be found) are those who have written books, passed down documents, or who have been mentioned in any of the books. There are probably hundreds more who have mastered the styles, but there is no way of knowing their names.

There are many types of Bagua being practiced across the globe today. An exact count would be difficult but experts say that the number is somewhere between twelve and twenty main styles. The basic theory and foundation of all of these styles remains the same, but it is very interesting to see that each style has the same basic theory and principles but developed its own unique characteristics in both training and application of the art.

Currently, the most popular styles of BaGuaZhang are Wudang, Emei, Yin Family and Yin Yang. Some of the representative old masters of BaGuaZhang that are well known today are Sha Guozheng, Li Ziming (a student of Liang Zheng-Pu), Lu Zijian (who learned from a Taoist, Li Chang-Ye on Emei Mountain) and Tian Hui (Yin Yang BaGuaZhang).

It is not uncommon to find teachers who have studied more than one style of BaGua in an effort to further their own understanding of the common roots that hold all of the different styles together.