This book is not a typical "how-to" martial arts book. It is part philosophical treatise, part health manual, and part self- defence text. Moreover, it is not meant to be comprehensive - it is meant to be a springboard to assist the student by adding to their understanding and way of life. The chapters of this book correspond to the eight houses or guas of ba gua (pronounced ba-gwa) theory. Within each chapter, the meaning of the gua is explored in terms of its philosophical, anatomical, and cross-cultural connections in addition to its physical movements.To the beginner, some of the movements may seem puzzling. As the student learns more of the art, a systematic pattern emerges and the movements are seen in their proper context. Ba gua zhang, baguazhang, ba gua, and pa kwa chang all refer to the same thing - a Chinese health-promoting martial art that can be learned and practiced by most anyone. Ba gua zhang has about five methods. Allen Pittman teaches the "Gao" method of ba gua zhang as a foundation - and includes other methods as appropriate.
Allen Pittman began his training in Eastern martial arts at the age of 12. The author of Chinese Internal Boxing: Techniques of Hsing-I & Pa-kua; Pa-Kua: Eight-Trigram Boxing; and Hsing-I: Chinese Internal Boxing, he lives in Brittany, France and teaches in Western Europe, South Africa, and the United States.