Courses of Study and Costs - Bagua
We teach five Cheng (*) style Bagua weapons sets: sword, deer horn knives, spear, special bagua
large saber and staff. The first four are in the manner of Sun Zhi Jun and Li Chun Ling, while staff
is in the manner of Ma Lin Cheng. The staff set uses a longer staff - one can choose between
graphite (different colors), red oak, stainless steel, white oak,rattan ...Traditionally, these staffs
should be higher than your crown. They vary a great deal in price - from $20 up. We suggest
visiting a store and trying several. Or briefly borrowing from a classmate. A basic waxwood shafted
78 inch spear with steel spearhead and red tassel is about $40. Bagua uses a double-headed spear so you
would buy an extra spearhead and attach it. An alternative is to buy two spearheads, two tassels
and choose your own material for the shaft. The deerhorn knives (shown below left) and the bagua
big broadsword (shown below middle) cost about $70. Getting a scabbard for the broadsword easily
doubles the price, so many students buy or make a bag. There is a wide variety of swords
available and the choice is really up to the buyer. The LONG sword used for Bagua CANNOT be
used in Shaolin, Tai Chi Chuan and other arts because it is longer and heavier and is a two-handed
sword as is used in Mantis. Note that one need only buy a weapon when it is to be studied. Hauling
any of the four long weapons around is tedious (especially the double-headed spear shown below
right), so usually one practices at home with a personal weapon and uses a borrowed weapon at class.
You would bring your personal weapon to exhibitions. We suggest staffs and spears that disassemble.
No special clothing needed for Bagua classes - a t-shirt and shorts or comfortable pants will suffice.
Socks with Feiyue shoes are recommended. Tai Chi Chuan style silks or satins would be used for
formal events.
* = besides Cheng style, there are the following styles: Gao family, Liang, Yin Fu and Jin. There are
varying amounts of Xing Yi Chuan folded in. Depending on the style and teacher there can be some
crossover with Tai Chi Chuan. For those wishing to study the complete art including the very
elegant unarmed sets finding a teacher can be challenging. See the link below for teachers in the San
Francisco Bay Area. Tom Bisio's six volumes on Bagua NeiGong are recommended. If I can find
two liniments and an elixir I may teach Bagua Iron Palm (more accurately, Iron Arm) in the future.
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