fighting and self defense
Pa Kua Chang is not a sport. We do not attend tournaments, we do not do forms to music, nor do we execute foolishly high kicks. Pa Kua Chang is about fighting.
Its kicks are low lying and are meant to destroy the knee and hip joints without placing you in a precarious position with your leg high in the air and the back leg totally exposed.
It uses three fighting distances; far, middle and close range, but excels in close to middle range. Pa Kua Chang’s uses the elbow as a weapon. The use of elbows is practiced for greater accuracy and speed to many targets such as the opponents elbow, sternum or any number of debilitating acupressure points or nerve concentrations.
The footwork is also quick and fluid and makes the practitioner very hard to catch or hit. The palms of a Pa kua Chang fighter are considered legendary and as such are the favored striking tool in the fighter’s arsenal. Many hours of work go into preparing the body to deliver these palms with the internal force that makes them so devastating. Pa Kua Chang also has its own brand of chin-na. The chin-na relies on quick fluid footwork to help create the speed and power necessary to execute the joint maneuvers. The joint maneuvers are rarely used to lock and hold but are generally used for quick breaks before moving on to the next opponent. The fingers, elbows and knees are prime targets of chin-na.
Since shaking body and footwork are designed to function with internal power, the size and power of the opponent is not usually an issue. Pa Kua Chang has its own weapons and the first taught is the staff followed by the broadsword, straight sword and the spear. The same principles and theories that are used to drive the empty hand are also used to power the weapons. Soft style use of weapons is very interesting. The art of Pa Kua Chang is a principle and theory based, and requires a good mind and lots of patience to learn. It is a very well designed art meant to cripple the attacker and escape harm. The teaching methods and its approach to learning are refreshing and founded in deep Taoist roots.
That said, let me tell you something Master Park has always said. He said that: "there are only two reasons to ever fight; first, if our life is in danger from a physical attack and second, to protect others that are too weak to defend themselves and whose lives are in danger". Neither words nor any material thing is worth the effort of fighting. We believe these words and we try very hard to practice this and present a good example to others.