September 07/08, 2007: Sacramento:
Inner Circle Tai Chi, a group headed by Sifu Robert Nakashima hosted Plum (that is to say Debbie and Ted) to present information on the arts of Bagua and Xing Yi. Saturday introduced and reiterated the basics of Bagua Zhang practice including Circle Walking, Threading, Bagua Qigong, Partner Practice and all those lovely movements which so challenge the nervous system at first. Everyone put in a valiant effort, practicing hard on the hot day and keeping up the constant movement required for an understanding of Bagua. This was followed by a feast—there’s no other word—where much food, laughter and serious discussion mixed together in an exceptionally welcoming family atmosphere.
Next day a somewhat slower moving (at first) group gathered together to review and improve the Kai Men form, a special Bagua set based on four animals, and the Single and Double Change patterns: essentials of Bagua practice. After this a complete change occurred as everyone learned a series of what could only be called Xing Yi Push Hands derived from Chen Pan Ling’s version of the art. This complex but extremely useful series allows a real feeling of connection with the partner while retaining the taste of Xing Yi itself. Next was general discussion on Xing Yi principles and how to apply them. And then more eating!
Sifu Nakashima’s group is not only a hard working and dedicated community but they exhibit one of the most important traits developed by the martial arts: a sense of comradeship and family. It was an honor and a great pleasure to work with them and we unreservedly recommend the instruction in Tai Chi, Xing Yi and Bagua to any in the are who might be able to avail themselves of this tight knit association.
photos: Debbie Shayne