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Ba Gua Circle Walking Nei Gong: The Meridian Opening Palms of Ba Gua Zhang Paperback – July 27, 2012

4.6 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Outskirts Press (July 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1432796895
  • ISBN-13: 978-1432796891
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 10 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #174,368 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By H. Asbury on August 15, 2012
Format: Paperback
Tom Bisio has been writing books about Chinese medicine and martial arts for a while now. The first book "A Tooth From the Tiger's Mouth" and this one are both the result of long term training, learning, pondering and feeling the results of the training and both books say much more than what they might seem to at first glance. Mixing the training experiences and Chinese medicine knowledge with information provided by senior practitioners like famed Ba Gua instructor Zhao Da Yuan, disciple of the late Li Zi Ming, the book addresses the meaning, function, purpose and method of what is called Ding Zhi Ba Zhang- the eight fixed or patterned palm walking method. Many Chinese martial arts include "internal" training as part of their curriculum. The arts that have been called "internal" are those that base the whole training around methods that develop the body from the inside out, and begin with softness. This book explains not only how to practice the 8 patterns that comprise the ding-shi (8 "fixed" palms), but explains the purpose of the training in a level of detail that has not been typically approached in print, but saved for personal disciples.
The exercise is developmental on a number of levels, which require that the student manage their body posture and movements and breath in great detail. How to do this is discussed both on the physical level and that of understanding the major pathways of the qi. Quoting from the Nei Gong Zhen Chuan (the authentic transmission of Nei Gong) Tom reiterates: " 1. Real knowledge of Nei Gong requires a thorough understanding of the vessels and collaterals." Further: "2. Once the vessels and collaterals are understood you must observe the patterns.
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I am 67 and have studied internal martial arts, as well as other Bodymind approaches, all my life. I have read most of what has been published on these topics, though it is rarer and rarer now that I find a book which really gives me something. This book, as well as others by Tom Bisio, is among the ones that do.
I have corresponded with Tom, though I have not yet met him. As well as being extraordinarily knowledgeable and accomplished, Tom is also humble and seems to me pretty much free of the ego trips that unfortunately are so common in the martial arts. He is also unusual in that he genuinely wants to share all he knows, making it as clear and accessible as possible without (it seems to me) holding anything back.
In this book on Bagua walking, he goes into great depth (as is appropriate, and also rare) about the precise details of posture. If you do not know this, I am telling you: that is the million-dollar secret in the internal martial arts. Getting the correct posture, then maintaining this while moving: that's the ticket! (As to the fighting, learning techniques is just to keep you interested while you move with good posture; combat skill comes through intuitively sensing relationship, not by learning techniques.)
Anyway, Tom gives as good instruction as one can get in a book, and this particular walking practice is second to none for health and np meditation, and as a solid foundation for fighting if you are so inclined.
Check out his web site too; good stuff there.
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This is a good book for learning the Bau Gua circle walking techniques. Heaven Upholding Palm helped me release four "stuck" thoracic vertebrae the first time I tried it! My next scan at my chiropractor two weeks later was straighter than it's ever been too.That was worth 10 times the price of the book.
I liked the drawings and straightforward design of the book which made it easy to read and understand.
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Format: Paperback
Many books on Chinese martial arts talk about the relationship between Chinese medicine and Chinese martial arts. Some even say that the best martial artists also understand the medicine as well. This book explains how Chinese medicine links up with the Chinese martial art of ba gua zhang.

As usual, Mr. Bisio is able to explain Chinese medicine in simple, approachable terms, allowing people who have not devoted years of their lives to graduate school to be able to understand the basic foundational concepts of Chinese medicine. What's more, in this book he is able to relate those foundations to the practice of walking the circle found in ba gua zhang.

This book transitions effortlessly from easy to understand theory to practical descriptions of the movements involved. Mr. Bisio explains how each of the postures of the ding shi (a practice of circle walking in ba gua zhang) relates to the various meridians described in Chinese medicine. This discussion allows the practitioner of ba gua zhang to deepen their understanding of the art and its practice. It also allows one to tailor their practice to address specific health concerns, as is talked about by many of the past masters of this art.

This book is invaluable for practitioners of ba gua zhang of any lineage, but it can also be an excellent resource for practitioners of Chinese medicine who seek to further enrich their understanding of the fundamentals.

*In the spirit of full disclosure, it should be noted that I have studied both martial arts and medicine with the author of this book.
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