Baguazhang: Bear

Baguazhang: Bear

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Gen or the Mountain trigram expresses both the energy and birth order of the youngest son. He is outwardly the least active of the sons. He is often considered introspective and obstinate. His act of defiance is the action of seemingly non-action, holding firm and planting himself in one spot. The youngest son possesses elemental attributes of wet and solid earth. Muddy and heavy, draining the energy out of anyone trying slog past him or thick and impassable, becoming a massive wall which cannot be scaled.

The youngest son has the size and incredible strength of his father the Lion but not Lion’s aggressive manner. While he is unquestionably stronger than his two brothers, he does not have Dragon’s stellar athletism nor Snake’s fluid speed. The youngest son hopes his size and strength will deter attackers. However, when pressed, he is a formidable opponent capable of utilizing his inherent nature with fantastic skill.

In the physical dimension and Chinese cultural context, his traits culminate into the Bear. The Bear is both a resistant and resilient creature who prefers to be left alone, But if need be, Bear roots himself between his enemies and victory. Bear will never budge or giving an inch, no matter what. He is the giant rock all others will eventually break themselves against.

mountain
The mighty mountain.

The Gen or Mountain trigram of the I-Ching is comprised of one yang line supported by two yin lines. Comparing 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, which are loose and soft but also dense and powerful.

The invisible middle pillar of the Mountain trigram is the spine flanked by ribs. Bear trains how to develop a stable and robust backbone, not unlike a central pole holding up a giant circus tent. He teaches us to allow our flesh to hang from our skeleton like a thick heavy leather coat hangs from a rack. Such practice eventually thickens one’s bones increasing health and vitality by packing energy into the body’s deepest hollows and then moving outward. Our outward expanding energy field is linked to our consciousness. Bear can become movable but also so acutely perceptive he boarder lines on pre-cognition.

Bear’s military strategy is consolidation and fortification. He is not a conqueror like his father the Lion or his brother the Dragon is; neither is he a highly maneuverable skirmisher like his brother Snake. Bear is a fortress. He holds his ground and defends, waiting for his opponent to overreach. Bear is like carrying a fly swatter and waiting for the wasp to land. When the window of opportunity presents its self, Bear unleashes devastating, and quality of life-altering, attacks.

Bear enjoys blocking his enemy’s progress as well as their escape. He likes to lean on them, crushing them with his size and stature. Bear exhausts his opponents, wears them down, and breaks them. His attacks jar, and rock his attackers breaking their bones and collapsing their internal cavities. Bear’s strikes have the nasty habit of seizing up the lungs, stopping the heart, rupturing eardrums, or the spleen or the liver and fill the stomach cavity with bile and blood.

Bear’s attacks are sudden, harsh, and stiff. He favors mid and short-range attacks with his hands. Bear relies on swatting, backhanding and thrusting. He is a very good wrestler, mauling his opponent like his father, the Lion. Bear tactics are sealing his enemy’s windpipe with throat grabs which is a step up for hip tossing or bull-rushing (called pancaking in America). Stepping on his opponent’s foot when he knocks them backward causing significant pain and injury to ligaments. In addition “turning the back” methods, a way to generate torque in close quarters fighting but not lose your ground. Bear excels in using hip tosses, body locks, and trips. Bear looks to overcrowd the aggressor while jamming and stuffing their attacks.

Like his father and his brothers, Bear is heavy-handed, but instead of limbs, he like Snake seeks to pulverize the opponent’s body. However Bear, like Dragon, is an adept counter striker and rarely provokes. Bear stomps and stamps on his attacker’s feet and ankles seldom kicking higher than the knee. Bear demonstrates his power in how, like his father the Lion, he violently strikes to collapses the windpipe, temples, orbital bones, chest or stomach cavity of his attacker and then crashing down on them as they lay gasping for air or crippled with pain, to finish them off.

Bear dominates space with frightening efficiency. Using Bear strategies, I control fights with Boxers (Western and Thai), as well as MMA fighters employing superior ring or cage tactics. Bear doesn’t chase his opponent. He either stalks them down or forces them to go on the offensive. Mountain trigram is about stubborn obstinance. Eventually, opponents get tired of running and are forced to advance, or maneuver themselves into a corner, and I give them no way out. When the opponent is stuck, exhausted and frustrated, turning them into hamburger is a very reasonable request. Upon taking an exceeding stiff shot to their solar-plexus, finding themselves cornered with their lungs seizing up and me coming down on them like an avalanche, smart fighters concede rather than risk me ending their careers or worse.

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Really good Bear posture and a snazzy dresser!

Holding the Bear shape, while integrating it with circle walking, creates a robust blood-oxygen mix, circulating blood and energy throughout the major channels but in particular the spleen, giving benefit to the whole body, sending power throughout the limbs, adding color to the face and significantly increasing overall vitality, promoting youthful air and appearance.

In the spiritual dimension, practicing the Bear summons forth greater tranquility and intuition, as well as the beneficial attention of this easy-going but protective creature. The upper body shape is both a specific frequency and transmitter, while the duress in the legs acts as the power to broadcast said particular 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, thereby making it aware of you, and placing yourself in its amazing 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 find themselves enjoying greater stability and inner peace as well as steady increases of health and creature comforts. Lastly, both demons and harmful ghosts will find their path to you fraught with obstacles and unable to reach you unless you invite them first.

-Kevin Wikse

Kevin Wikse is a near 30-year student of the Chinese Daoist martial art known as Baguazhang. Inherited from the Wong family, he has successfully used this fast, fluid and ferocious martial art to protect himself and others from elements of the 1990’s gang culture, from Neo-Conservative nutbags during the Bush-era nightmare while being followed home from 9-11 Truth movements and early 2000s Tea-Party rallies (before the co-opting). Most recently Kevin Wikse has used Dragon, Tiger, Lion, and Hawk body Baguazhang methods to literally mangle the vile idiot left and its agents. Stepping in to put Antifa and Satanic/Nazi-themed paramilitary on the ground, or under it (as the situation dictated), when they attacked the elderly, woman or engaged in terrorist activities against this country.

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