Kung Fu: Baguazhang: Bear

Baguazhang: Bear


The Mountain trigram expresses the energy and birth order of the youngest son in the I-Ching. Outwardly he is the least active of the sons. He is considered introspective and obstinate. His act of defiance is the action of non-action. Holding firm and rooting himself in one spot. The youngest son possesses elemental attributes of wet and solid earth. Muddy and heavy. He drains the life out of anyone attempting to slog past him. He is the Bear, a mountain of muscle, teeth, and claws. The foolish find themselves buried beneath him. 

Like his father, the Lion, Bear has the size and incredible strength but lacks his father’s outward aggressiveness. Bear is unquestionably stronger than his two brothers, Dragon and Snake. However, Bear does not possess Dragon’s natural athleticism, nor does he have the fluidic speed of Snake. Bear hopes that his size and robust strength will be enough to deter would-be adversaries. When that fails, he is a highly formidable fighter capable of employing his gifts with fantastic skill.

The Bear is both a resistant and resilient animal. He prefers to be left alone to enjoy a life of semi-solitude. But if need be, Bear becomes a thick and impassable wall full of murder holes and deadfalls. Bear does not budge nor give an inch. Like his father, Lion, he takes up space. More and more space until his adversary is crushed under an avalanche of ponderous, slobber knocker-style swats and stomps. Bear is the rock of Gibraltar, and the stupid will eventually break themselves against him. 

I-Ching’s Gen or the Mountain trigram comprises one yang line supported by two yin lines. Comparing the Mountain trigram to the human body, the upper yang line expresses an exceptionally fixed and uncompromising mind. The two lower yin lines show an upper and lower body, loose and soft but dense and powerful. The invisible middle pillar of the Mountain trigram is the spine encircled by the ribcage. Training in the Bear method develops a robust but flexible backbone, not unlike the central pole holding up a giant circus tent. The bodily flesh is relaxed and hangs off the skeleton like a heavy leather coat on a rack. Over time this practice thickens the bones increasing health and vitality by increasing bone density. 

Bear’s military strategy is consolidation and fortification. He is not the conqueror like his father, Lion. He is not the self-promoting champion like his brother, the Dragon. Nor is he a highly maneuverable duelist like his brother Snake. Bear is a fortress. He stands his ground and defends, waiting for his adversary’s eventual overreach. He is akin to holding a fly swatter and waiting for the fly to land. Bear unleashes devastating and quality-of-life-reducing attacks when the opportunity presents itself.

Being a wall, Bear prevents his adversary’s progress and their escape. He likes to lean and crush them with his size and stature. He exhausts his opponents. Wears them down and breaks them. Bear favors big wide, fingered, and open-handed swats to the sides of his adversary’s head, rupturing eardrums or straight down on the top of the head, collapsing the disks of the upper vertebra. Bear also enjoys stiff-arming shots to the adversary’s solar plexus, liver, spleen, and upper abdominals. This has a nasty habit of seizing, even collapsing the lungs, causing internal bleeding and filling the stomach cavity with bile and blood. 

Bear’s attacks are sudden and jarring at close range like his father, Lion, and brother, Dargon, and as quick and sneaky as his other brother, Snake. Bear utilizes swatting, backhanding, hammer strikes, and thrusting. He favors mid and short-range fighting and smothering his adversary’s force. Like his father, he is an outstanding wrestler. The Bear shape lends itself very well to the Chinese Shuijo, similar to Japanese Judo. Bear mauls his adversaries. He grabs at and rips or grips the windpipe as set up for strikes or bull rushing (often called pancaking). Bear steps on his adversary’s foot as he knocks them backward, causing significant pain in the ankle or even torn tendons. 

Bear uses the “turn the back” shape to generate torque in close quarters without losing ground. He excels in using hip and arm tosses, body locks, and trips. Bear looks to overcrowd his adversary, jamming and stuffing their attacks. In terms of kicking, the Bear is a master front kicker to the mid-section and knees, keeping his adversaries at bay. Bear shares a unique and dangerous upper body defense method with his brother, Dragon. An inward and downward propeller motion (Dragon’s is an upward and outward propeller) acts like a woodchipper for an adversary to feed their limbs into as Bear advances forward. 

 In Daoist belief structure:

Holding the Bear shape while circle walking circulates blood and energy throughout the major channels, particularly the spleen. Benefiting the whole body and sending power to all the limbs. Adding color to the face and significantly increasing overall vitality, promoting a youthful air and appearance.

Practicing the Bear shape brings forth greater tranquility and intuition. The upper body shape is both a specific frequency and transmitter. The duress in the legs acts as the power to broadcast the frequency. Daoist circle walking creates a portal by defining the radius of the wuji or void within the physical world.

Holding the Bear shape and meditating on its qualities while circle waking entices the Bear spirit to draw near, making it aware of you and placing yourself in its beneficial purvey. Those who have found Bear’s favor (through sustained and committed practice) will discover that the progress of their enemies will be halted. They will enjoy greater stability, inner peace, and a steady increase in health. Lastly, demons and harmful ghosts will find their path to you, fraught with obstacles. They will be rendered unable to reach you unless you invite them first.

-Kevin Wikse

Kevin Wikse is a 30+year student of martial arts, specializing in the Chinese Daoist martial art Baguazhang. He has successfully used this fast, fluid, and ferocious martial art to protect himself and others from elements of southern California 1990s gang culture and Neo-Conservative jackoffs during the Bush-era nightmare. Kevin has recently employed Baguazhang to mangle vile idiots and agents of the radical Left. Physically and mentally destroying ANTIFA and BLM as they attacked the elderly and women and engaged in other acts of domestic terrorism against this country. 

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