Bagua Zhang – Walking the Circle
Walking the circle is fundamental, and the basis of all training in Bagua. Bagua practitioners should walk the circle with spirit, intent, and power concentrated on a single goal. While Bagua circle walking trains footwork for fighting, it also follows the Taoist goal of creating stillness in motion.
The Taoist practice was to walk with the body natural and relaxed. The movements were to be comfortable. The intention was to gain a sense of balance while moving slowly. In the beginning you learn to walk the circle painstakingly slowly. In time you walk fast.
You walk the circle in one of the three basins. At first lower basin, you should be low so that the thighs move through a position where they are parallel with the ground. This develops great leg strength, stability, and root while moving. You learn this first, and walk slowly. Middle basin is somewhat higher( in the middle between upper and lower basin), with upper basin being the highest at a normal walking height.
As a general rule beginners and the Young should train lower basin, middle aged can train middle basin, and the elderly upper basin. The higher the basin, the faster one should walk. In an actual fighting situation move at upper basin.
Some Taoist walk the circle for meditative purposes. They walk the circle slow and steadily, with the mind calm and focused. Over time a high degree of mobility is developed when walking becomes very fast, and directional changes are frequent. Some practice to develop a balanced chi flow. To do so the movements and breathing must be smooth, and the dan tian stable. This walking method helps full chi circulation from head to toe.