Palm-in or palm-out

Peng can be either palm-in or palm-out.

When it is palm-in, the hand is closer to the body. The palm rotates up and away from the body. The arm spirals outward.
When it is palm-out, the hand is further away from the body. The palm rotates down and away from the body. The arm spirals outward.

Be careful not to lift the elbows or affect the shoulder joint.
Note that in order to maintain open elbow kwa, palm-out is further away from the body than palm-in.


Why is baguazhang difficult to learn?

A beginner lacks coordination and they are usually extremely tense.
Their body is yet to do what they want it to do.
Tension prohibits free movement.

The solution to this is to focus on learning simpler movements.
This is why 
white belt and yellow belt focus upon qigong, and orange belt is mainly about section 1 of the tai chi chuan form.

When your body lacks the basic skills, there is a danger of injury.
You may hurt yourself.
You may harm somebody else.

What would you contemplate?

That is entirely up to you.

The purpose of contemplation is to increase your perception, to use the focussed thought as a means of seeing how you think.
By looking deeply into any subject or problem, you can observe your own mind.

Ultimately your scrutiny may well
reveal more about your character than the subject you are considering.



The Art of War lists the qualities expected of a leader.
One of these is the need to be stern.

Definitions of 'stern':

  1. Serious and unrelenting, especially in the assertion of authority and exercise of discipline
  2. Strict and severe; using extreme measures or terms
  3. Putting someone or something under pressure


What is contemplation?

Contemplation is the intense consideration of a very specific subject.

Rather than gloss over a matter, you commit
time to deliberately think it through thoroughly and completely.

It is easy to live a superficial life.
Yet, often something is missing and for all your possessions, it can feel hollow.

Thinking long and hard about something can provide new insights and unexpected outcomes.


Stop doing

You do not need to look, listen or reach out of yourself to experience the moment.
The information comes to your body unbidden. You see, hear and feel automatically. Involuntarily.
It is not necessary to do anything. Instead you need to stop doing.

Doing is led by the mind, whereas awareness is passive.

This condition of absolute presence will emerge without effort if you allow your mind to stop seeking, forcing and straining.
Just be.
Let your awareness grow. Notice things. Be curious. Be alive. Be alert. Let-go.

Sifu Waller's home training

This has been Sifu Waller's daily routine since 1992:
  1. Strength-building
    - balls & grips
    - self-massage (100+ exercises)
    - 3 circle qigong (15 minutes)
    - ba duan jin (8 exercises)
    - reeling silk (6 exercises)
    - 16 elbows
    - moving qigong (15 exercises)
    - leg stretches: day 1 or 2
  2. Baguazhang
    - 8 palm changes (clockwise & anticlockwise)
    - 8 mother palms
    - 6 direction changes
  3. Drills
    - small san sau
    - silk arms
    - 5 pre-emptive measures
    - pushing peng/double pushing hands/da lu/penetrating defences/reflex drills
    - 3-tier wallbag
  4. Weapons
    - knife drills
    - small stick drills
    - stick drills (Monday - Saturday)
    - broadsword drills (Sunday)
    - sabre form (regular & mirrored)
    - 2 person cane form/drill (regular & mirrored)
    - staff form (regular & mirrored)
    - walking stick form (regular & mirrored)
    - straight sword form (regular & mirrored)
  5. Tai chi chuan
    - pao chui
    - Yang Cheng Fu form (regular & mirrored)
  6. Hard qigong
    - full circle qigong (2 postures)/qigong development (2 postures)/form posture qigong (2 postures)/high circle qigong/qigong on one leg
  7. Cool down
    - stretches & joint work (10 exercises)/psoas exercises (5 exercises)

  8. Meditation
    - constructive rest position
    - guided relaxation
  9. Reading/study


Be honest with yourself

It is good to be honest with yourself about just how serious you are...
Some people are casual students, whilst for others it is simply a hobby.
A few individuals are committed.
Not many people are serious.

There is nothing wrong with approaching the art in the way that best suits you.
Your own level of interest and commitment are your affair.
What you get out of the art will be directly relative to what you put into it.


Taking advantage

It is quite normal for most students to take a class and the teacher for granted.
Sadly, it is a sign of the times.
Our culture has become very selfish and many people genuinely believe that the world revolves around them.

Occasionally, a student chooses to moan/complain/vent their frustration at the teacher.
What can the instructor do about this?
Should they indulge the student?