Jiang Ba Gua Zhang is a style of Liu He Ba Fa developed by Jiang Rongqiao in China. He developed type of Neijia kung fu, or internal Kung Fu. It is thought to be one of the most widely practiced combined styles of Baguazhang and Xingyiquan in the world today. Jiang Ba Gua Zhang is famous for emphasising efficiency of movement and working left and right sides of the body equally.
Zhang Zhaodong, was a famous Xing Yi master if thought to have been the key influence on this style, but Jiang Rongqiao had many other influences. Jiang started his training as a student of the Shaolin Kung Fu art of Mizongquan with his father, Jiang Fatai. He later studied more formally with his uncle, Chen Yushan. Jiang also studied Chen style Tai Chi Quan and Wudang Sword. After some time, Jiang became a formal student of Zhang Zhaodong, who had studied with both Dong Haichuan, the foudner of Ba Gua Zhang, and Liu Qilan. Jiang Rongqiao also studied with Li Cunyi, a close associate of Zhang Zhaodong. Li Cunyi had been a student of Dong Haichuan and Liu Qilan. While it is said that Zhang and Li were students of Dong Haichuan, they were most likely taught by their friend Cheng Tinghua, who later devloped his own style of Ba Gua Zhang, because Dong Haichuan was so much older. While Jiang did not become a formal disciple of Li, Li Cunyi was clearly a significant influence on Jiang. Also, Jiang studied Liu He Ba Fa with Wu Yihui during his stay in Nanjing. Later when he became friends with Wu’s disciple Chan Yik Yan, he further studied Liu He Ba Fa in exchange for teaching his system to Chan. Jiang wrote about his Liuhebafa study in Chan’s 1969 book entitled Liuhebafa Chuan.
Jiang Ba Gua Zhang keeps things simple. The concept was to focus on developing the essence of Ba Gua Zhang and not overcomplicating it with more forms and movements. His version went through a drastic change though sometime during his life, which most say occurred perhaps when he lost his eyesight. The original system that he taught was simply called Lao Bagua, meaning “old or traditional bagua”. Later on, Jiang changed his concept and revised his whole system to what is generally seen today as Xin Bagua, meaning “new bagua”. The material he taught included:
Bagua Yi Lu ???? (1st form):
Lao Ba Zhang ??? (Old 8 Palms – taught to earlier students)
Xin Ba Zhang ??? (New 8 Palms – a revised version of the former taught to later students)
Bagua Er Lu ?????(2nd form): Bagua Tui ??? (Bagua Leg)
Lao Bagua Tui ???? (Old Bagua Leg – taught to earlier students)
Xin Bagua Tui ???? (New Bagua Leg – a revised version of the former taught to later students)
Zuan Jian ?? (Drilling Sword)
Lian Huan Jian ??? (Continuous Sword)
Jiang Style Bagua Literature
Jiang was a prolific writer of martial arts manuals during his lifetime. Though most often the writings were of other styles he did write a manual on his own art entitled “Baguazhang Lianxifa” (Baguazhang Practice Method).