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Walking the I Ching: The Linear Ba Gua of Gao Yi Sheng Paperback – March 25, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Allen Pittman began his training in Eastern martial arts at the age of 12. The author of Chinese Internal Boxing: Techniques of Hsing-I & Pa-kua; Pa-Kua: Eight-Trigram Boxing; and Hsing-I: Chinese Internal Boxing, he lives in Brittany, France and teaches in Western Europe, South Africa, and the United States.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 240 pages
  • Publisher: Blue Snake Books (March 25, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583942149
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583942147
  • Product Dimensions: 7 x 0.6 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.9 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,051,010 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 25 people found the following review helpful By K. Frankel on April 30, 2008
Format: Paperback
I purchased this book after reading an interesting interview with Allen Pittman in the book "Nei Jia Quan: Internal Martial Arts", edited by Jess O'Brien. While bagua seems best known for it's circular forms, "Walking the I Ching" focuses on one particular form in the Gao style that is composed of linear movements. The form consists of 64 sequences of movements, grouped into 8 "Houses" which correspond to the I Ching. The houses are based on the five elements and other natural features such as mountains, thunder, etc. Each movement is illustrated by line drawings and clear descriptive text. The first part of the book includes sections on the history, philosophy, and basics of bagua. The most interesting part of the book for me was the introductory section to each of the 8 houses, which include cultural connections, anatomical and tactical considerations, primary symbols and totems, with a meditation for each house. The Taoist concepts are compared and contrasted with a wide range of Eastern and Western esoteric systems. Unfortunately these sections were just a few pages long, so I hope the author will expand on these ideas in a future book. A DVD of the form is available on the Physical Training Traditions web site.
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17 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Bernard Kwan on November 8, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While I have the utmost respect for Mr. Pittman and what he is trying to achieve in his integration of east and west, this is not a good book on Gao Bagua.

For one thing the sequencing of the palms and their relation to the hexagrams is not correct, and the comparisons to some of the other esoteric traditions is rather spurious and superficial. Just because there are certain correlation between various traditions, does not mean that there is a deeper connection or correspondance. Chinese culture and daoist thought (especially the I ching) is deep enough to warrant a lifetime of study in itself. Depth is definitely more important than breadth in consideration.

Also the new diagrams of the forms presented in the book are, if you look closely, different from those drawn his own original notes which are shown in the book. The 64 palms are meant to be performed with the body leaning slightly forward and not completely upright. I have no doubt of Mr.Pittman's lineage and the quality of the instruction he received, but the huge body of information in Gao Bagua is impossible to be captured within only 2 years of even intensive study. Even if you were to note everything down carefully on paper, your body needs time to internalize the information, and without years of a teacher correcting your mistakes, the form will naturally change with time, and bad habits get compounded. This was also before the days of cam corders.

What I suspect has happened (and this is reinforced by his DVD) is that Mr. Pittman, after returning from Taiwan and unable to find a teacher, has suplemented his Bagua study with a lot of practice in Taichi, so the dynamism of the Bagua has been lost and has become a soft, marshmallow shadow of the the former practice.

I currently study Gao Bagua in Hong Kong under a 3rd generation lineage holder and beside the branch in Hong Kong have regular correspondence with the two Gao branches in Taiwan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By nunh on April 5, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I wanted to drop as positive review as possible for Mr. Pittman's book - well done! First off, for English speakers, I have not been able to find any linear books/ texts with regard to Ba Gua. Secondly, Mr. Pittman's knowledge is as deep as they come (imho) and many will welcome this book in their permanent library. Such a unique find and a great bargain to boot!

Thank you!

Donald aka
nunh
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Jas Key on December 26, 2008
Format: Paperback
You should know the basics of Bagua or Xing Yi before starting the forms here. The form that is shown in this book is the Gao style's step after the normal Bagua curriculum. It's a great book and it shows very interesting forms, but there is no applications. Of course the author chose not to add applications on purpose, and that should be respected.
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