Internal Martial Arts
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Contents of this page first appeared 09/21/1999.         Updated 07/30/2017
Images and contents on this page copyright 2002-2017 Richard M. Dashnau 

Master Maing Yul Jung also taught me various styles of tai chi and pa kua internal martial arts. 
Tai Chi Chuan (taijiquan) is becoming popular in this country as an alternative exercise.  Unfortunately, as with anything that is not well known, a lot of untrue claims about it
are being made. It IS a very good form of exercise. But "slow moving" does not mean "without effort". As with any exercise, it requires sweat and perseverance to yield any major health benefits.  Tai Chi Chuan was originally an effective martial art, that
is to say, it was used to fight. The original forms of the art were very strenuous, and had combinations of fluid slower movement and explosive quick movement. Over time various students came up with "different" and "simpler" styles of tai chi. Also, certain Chinese physical education organisations tried to develop standardized forms that would make the exercise aspects more accessible to a wider variety of people, further moving away from the practical fighting aspects of this martial art.

-----------------------At Long Point School
                              Master Jung and I                                             figure 17   tai chi chuan                         figure 18   pa kua zhang 
Figure 17 shows me performing the 24 movement simplified Tai Chi form during a test at my school.

Pa Kua Zhang (baguazhang) has been called the last truly unique martial art. It is the youngest, but it is entirely different than other martial arts in movement and technique. The primary offensive weapon is the palm (zhang) and the movements of this art are mostly circular. There are many different variations of this art, however, as in tai chi and  other martial arts. So, there are some styles called "pa kua" that look more similar to other, more traditional Chinese fighting styles.  Figure 18  was taken at the school I attended.

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                               figure 19  pa kua zhang                                              figure 20   pa kua zhang

There are two short examples of one style of pakua here. These are from a series of 8 different changes.  Here is change number  three  (FIG.19 flv video 636 kb) , and this is change number eight. (FIG. 20 flv video 728 kb)  (realplayer G2 required for both files)
During my time at the school. I was shown many different excercises in Pa-Kua, and a few different styles.

Pa Kua, Tai Chi, and Hsing Yi are the 3 major "internal" Chinese martial arts. Sometimes, too much emphasis is placed on what defines "internal" from "external". Sometimes, too much emphasis is placed on what "this" style is compared to "that" style. Currently, in this country (USA), there is a lot of interest in Chinese philosophy, spirituality, medicine, and martial arts. Since the "spiritual" aspects of life are hard to quantify in a hard, scientific manner, these elements can easily be used to mislead or cheat people.  A lot of the foundation for this interest, I believe, is the mistaken belief that one can get something (like good health, or physical strength, or self-defence ability) for nothing, or almost nothing.  For one to reap the spiritual benefits of the legendary masters (or even a portion thereof) , and their fighting prowess, one has to work extremely hard. This is training for hours every day; this is fasting; this is a lifelong  special regimen of diet and training. This is basically leading a life like....a monk, perhaps. It is NOT going to a one and a half hour class 3 times a week and eating pizzas on the weekends.  It is NOT attending a one week seminar, or even a 3 month seminar once--or even once a year.  

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From this point, I'm posting the occasional video or picture as a record of what I can still do. What follows will be in reverse-chronological order, with the newest stuff at the top (or immediately below this sentence.)  It is helpful to remember that I stopped all formal learning in 1996.

Note (5/23/2017) After all this time has passed, I have come down to practicing just 4 tai chi routines. Those are: 1) 24-Movement Simplified (this was developed in 1956, mostly from Yang style by the Chinese Sports Committee
to make tai chi accessible to more people (according to various sources)).  2) 48-Movement Simplified (this was developed in 1976, and was built with techniques taken from various styles of Tai Chi(according to various sources)).
3)  60-movement combination form (this is what I've seen it called...but I can't find any other information on it.)  4) 32-Movement Long Sword Form (this was developed in 1957 by the Chinese Sports Committess (according to 
various sources).   
As far as the Pa Kua goes....I am not sure which styles of Pa Kua I was taught. I know that the walking "breathing" exercise sets pair with the palm change sets, but that's all I know.
It's possible to see some variation over time as I do these exercises...but I've been doing this is for over 20 years. My body doesn't move like it used to.

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July 27  2017--  It was still hot out. This is how I'm doing the 24 Movement Simplified Tai Chi form.. 

                              24 movement simplified tai chi  7/27/17  (wmv)   

July 22  2017--  It's hot out. Here are three pakua changes. On good days I can walk ok and on bad days I can't...walk ok. This was a better day. 

                                     3 palm changes-#3,#7,#8  7/22/17  (wmv)   

April 22  2017--  You do the math...I've gathered a lot of birthdays.. I can't do high crescent kicks any more. Still, this is the 48 movement simplified form again--without high crescent kicks. 

                                     48 Movement simplified 4/22/17  (wmv)   

August 2, 9, 12  2014--  I'm 59 years old, that it. Some clips  I shot today.

                              2st  Pakua  Set change 3  (wmv)   
                              2st  Pakua  Set change 7  (wmv)   
                              2st  Pakua  Set change 8  (wmv)    

August 2, 9, 12  2014--  I'm 58 years old, so I don't move like a youngster. . That just comes with the territory. This week, I've shot these clips. I also shot clips of my internal forms, and
those are on the other page.

                                                                         

                              2st  Pakua  Set counterclockwise  (wmv)    (mp4)
                              2st  Pakua  Set clockwise  (wmv)    (mp4)
                              2st  Pakua breathing set  (wmv)    (mp4)
                              3rd Pakua  Set counterclockwise  (wmv)    (mp4)        
                              3rd  Pakua  Set clockwise  (wmv)   (mp4)
                              3rd  Pakua breathing set  (wmv)   (mp4)
                                      tai chi 60 movement combination form (wmv)     (mp4)
                                      32 movement tai chi sword  (wmv)     (mp4)
                              1st Pakua  Set counterclockwise  (wmv)   (mp4)
                              1st  Pakua  Set clockwise  (wmv)    (mp4)
                              1st  Pakua breathing set  (wmv)    (mp4)

April 13, 2013--  On weekends, or with enough free time, I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.  Here's what I filmed today (with some on the other page).

                                      1st  Pakua  Set video  12.3mb
                                      2nd  Pakua  Set video  15.7mb
                                      3rd  Pakua  Set video  16.7mb
                                      tai chi combination form video  29.4mb
                                      32 movement tai chi sword video  11.7mb

September 03, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can.  Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.  

       

                       3nd  Pakua  Set video  16.3mb                                 48 movement simplified tai chi video 43.9mb

August 08, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can.  Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.  

             

                       2nd  Pakua  Set video  15.3mb                                            Tai Chi Sword  Form video  13.5mb                        Simplified Combination Tai Chi Form video  33mb                              

June 09, 2012-- I'm still doing what I can.  Now I've been running/walking 1/1/2 - 2 miles, then doing pushups, then a number of exercises to straighten my spine. After that, I still do some form work.  Regardless of how they look, I'm still doing these 26 years after I first started learning them. I did these all today after doing the run, etc., and after doing the exercises on the other page. 

             
                  
3 Pakua Sets                                                 Combination Form Tai Chi                           32 movement Tai Chi Sword
                  
1st Set Pakua video  9.6mb                        Combination  Form video  5.6mb                     Sword  Form video 5.5mb
                  2nd  Set Pakua video  14.3mb
                  3rd  Set Pakua video  13.2mb

July 30, 2011-- I guess I've been offically put on notice. I'm not as young as I used to be.  There are some things that folks my age should consider not doing any more.  However, there are still things that I can still do, without stressing certain anatomical structures (such as cerivical disks).  I use my excercises now to maintain range of motion, and I can also evaluate how things are healing.  Today, I've collected together some of the pakua exercises that I still do. 

I was taught these exercises over some years.  With each "style" of pakua, there were two sets of exercises. 

First, there was a set of walking exercises and breathing exercises. These can be performed at whatever pace is suitable at the time.  The idea is to walk with hands in position, then change hands to the next position--walk some more; and continue. One usually doesn't move through all the hand positions  quickly, but I've done so in the clips. Otherwise each clip would have been much longer.

Second, there was a set of palm changes for each "style".. These were more technique-oriented, I use them for balance,  coordination and breathing.  Like any of what I practice, it's mine, and I can use it as I wish.  A set of breathing exercises matches a set of palm changes.  I still cannot be sure of the names of these styles.  Any observed lack of form is entirely my fault. I've also made some changes because certain alterations of my physiology over time have made some types of movement difficult or not advisable.

The first set:

Set 1 breathing                              Set one palm changes

The second set:

Set 2 breathing                              Set two palm changes

The third set:

Set 3 breathing                              Set three palm changes

There was a set of fixed-stance breathing exercises as well.  This can be performed hips lower, or a hips higher, as long as the back is held upright.  Each stance can be held for as long as needed--1 breath, 10 breaths, or more--before changing position.

This is it:    Pakua Stance and Breathing

There was another set of breathing exercises:    Static Breathing Exercise

These are the basic positions I learned for Long Fist Kung Fu.  There are a number of variations for these. I'm doing them slowly here...and like someone over 50.

Here they are:  Long Fist Basic Positions

And that's it for today. That "episode" I had back in May was pretty scary, and now I'm working to try and fix some of those problems...and to avoid making new ones by overstressing parts. Oh...and no more headstands.

June 04, 2011-- Here's the 32-movement Simplified Tai Chi sword.  Sometimes I do it slower, sometimes I do it faster. This is a bit faster. It's hard to place the camera correctly in order to catch the entire form and keep me in frame. So, I missed some in the clip where I move out of frame.  32-movement simplified Tai Chi  sword (partial)  (wmv 13.1 mb) 

May 28, 2011-- I had bit of a scare on May 18th and I didn't feel well until  Friday, May 27th. Besides doing the exercise in general, doing forms can serve as a test of recovering mobility, balance and stamina. Today, I did two weapon forms, and these internal forms.

60-movement combined tai chi (partial)  (wmv 13.6 mb) ;  pakua set 1 change 2  (wmv 1.7 mb) ;  pakua set 2 change 3  (wmv 2.3 mb) ;  pakua set 2 change 8  (wmv 2.9 mb) ;  pakua set 3 change 7 (wmv 3.3 mb) 

December 11, 2010-- I hadn't practiced the 48 Movement Simplified Tai Chi for many years; so I've been refreshing my memory. I've been practicing all the way through for a while, so I thought I'd go through the form quickly. I like the style of the form, and like doing the movements at my own pace. After all, whatever I've learned is mine to use as I want. So, I've filmed the form, so I could see how it looks, and see what to work on. I shot the form starting in opposite directions to try to get at least 2 different views of the positions and movements.

          

48 Movement Simplified Tai Chi(wmv  45.6mb)   

48 Movement Simplified Tai Chi alternate view(wmv 42.8mb)  

November 20, 2010-- I shot these video clip during my practice today. These are each a quick demo of the full series of 8 changes for each type. Normally I would walk more between changes, and also do them from the opposite direction.  It's been 14 about years since I've been in a kung-fu school to learn anything--so all the mistakes are mine..

Pa-Kua set A (wmv 10.3mb)   

Pa-Kua set B (wmv 15.3mb)  

Pa-Kua set C  (wmv 15.4mb)  

November 06, 2010-- I shot these video clip during my practice today.
32 Movement Tai Chi sword (wmv 9.8mb)   This is only a part of the full form.

Pa-Kua set A Change 2  (wmv 1.6mb)   

Pa-Kua set B Change 3  (wmv 2.1mb)  

Pa-Kua set B Change 7  (wmv 2.2mb)  

Pa-Kua set B Change 8  (wmv 2.6mb)  

August 14, 2010-- I shot this video clip during my practice today.
60 Movement combined Tai Chi (wmv 21.5mb) 


August 11, 2010-- I shot these video clips during my practice today.
Pa-Kua set B change 3 (wmv 1.9mb) 

Pa-Kua set B change 5 (wmv 2.1mb)

Pa-Kua set C change 7 (wmv 2.6mb)

August 11, 2008-- I shot this video clip during my practice today. It's the 32-movement Tai Chi Sword form.

          
         32 Movement Tai Chi Sword
   32 Movement Tai Chi Sword VIDEO(wmv 14.5mb) 

March 27, 2008-- The images and clips below were taken on March 24, 2008. As mentioned above, I learned 3 "styles" of palm-change forms, and 4 styles of walking breathing exercises. I've only attended one school for these styles. Each of the pictures below represents one of four breathing styles (which I cannot identify). Below each image is a link to a short video of me walking through a series of 8 changes starting in one direction. I tried to set the camera so that I could fill the frame. So, I tried to stay within frame when I'd change direction. I numbered them in the order I learned them. However, the first set of breathing exercises goes with the second set of palm changes above (March 17 sets); and the second set of breathing exercises goes with the first set of palm changes above.

-----pakua breathing third set------
                   BREATHING SET 1                                                 BREATHING SET 2                                                     BREATHING SET 3
         SET 1 VIDEO(wmv 5.3mb)                               SET 2 VIDEO(wmv 6.4mb)                           SET 3 VIDEO(wmv 5.0mb)

While the palm changes are counted by the movements between changing directions, the breathing positions are counted by the position held while walking between changing directions. The breathing exercises can be performed by holding each position for longer or shorter periods (counting footsteps helps), and using higher or lower positions. The same can be said about the palm changes above. I usually don't string the positions together as shown above. This was done to shorten the length of the video. The palm change exercises can also be performed slowly, or quickly. In any case, I enjoy the exercise.

March 17, 2008--GOOD NEWS!! I've had my hip replaced in 2005. Now, I can do a lot of what I used to. For now, mostly "internal" style. I've been practicing the forms I can remember, and as I've rehabilitated my leg. Details of the hip repair, and then the following healing with exercise can be seen on this page.

The images and clips below were taken on March 15, 2008. Any mistakes or poor form are entirely my fault, as I haven't had any formal training since 1996, when I left my martial arts school after 10 years. That's 12 years of practice on my own, less about 4 for hip and knee problems. Still, I don't think I'm doing badly for someone over 50. 
As mentioned above, I learned 3 "styles" of palm-change forms, and 4 styles of walking breathing exercises. I've only attended one school for these styles. Each of the pictures below represents one of those styles (which I cannot identify). Below each image is a link to a short video of me walking through a series of 8 changes starting in one direction. I tried to set the camera so that I could fill the frame. So, I tried to stay within frame when I'd change direction.

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          STYLE A                                                                                     STYLE B                                                                     STYLE C
   STYLE A VIDEO(wmv 10mb)                                                     STYLE B VIDEO(wmv 18mb)                                     STYLE C VIDEO(wmv 17mb)

Also, I've been practicing some of the tai chi I'd learned. The last tai chi form I'd learned was a 60-movement combination form, based mostly on Yang style. The fact that I can do ANY of this pleases me greatly. The image below (and the link below that) were also taken on March 15, 2008. Since I had the camera on a tripod, I had to move far enough away so I wouldn't move out of frame. I don't have the time to devote to practice that I used to, but I hope to regain more of the movements that I learned so long ago.
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60 Movement Combination Tai Chi
        TAI CHI 60 MOVEMENT COMBINATION FORM
       
TAI CHI 60 MOVEMENT COMBINATION FORM VIDEO

Here are some links to some video clips I shot in 2000 and 2001. There's nothing different about them, except that they were taken some time after my knee surgery. I'd taken links to them off the page, but decided to put them back (it's June 6, 2010), just as a record of how long I've been practicing the same exercises.  I learned three different sets of changes, which I call "A", "B", and "C". I don't know for sure where each originated. By the time these were shot (2000), I'd been practicing on my own for about 5 years (I'd left the school in 1996)--so any lack of technique should be my fault.

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                                               pa kua zhang

                                      Set A                           Set B                      Set C
          change 1 and 2   wmv 1.2mb       change 1 and 2  wmv 1.1mb    change 1 and 2   wmv 1.3mb
          change 3 and 4   wmv 2.2mb       change 3 and 4  wmv 1.5mb    change 3 and 4   wmv 2.5mb
          change 5 and 6   wmv 2.3mb       change 5 and 6  wmv 1.5mb    change 5 and 6   wmv 2.7mb

In July of 1999 I had to get knee surgery due to injuries from a car accident. As a result, I've lost some function of one leg, and so may not be able to do ALL of the exercises I used to do. As of 2004, the knee hasn't improved much, and there has been some damage to the hip as well. That certainly puts a kink on my practice schedule! As time has gone on, I've had to curtail  quite a bit of this activity.

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