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Curriculum of Gao style Baguazhang as taught in Zong Wu Men

Please note that this is an overview of the curriculum, a reference for students. It is meant to be neither complete nor to be in any sort of order.


Yangshengong - qigong - jibengong

Kai san men - basic qigong for opening the joints and spine

Ba duan jin

Bagua Jibengong

Basic training methods

Miscellaneous Basic Training

Standing practice

  • houtian zhuang
  • xiantian zhuang

Footwork training

  • basic circle walking
  • kou bu / bai bu / shun bu
  • half step (ban bu)
  • full step
  • T step (ding zi bu)
  • seven star step (qi xing bu)
  • spin steps
  • switching steps


Basic hand methods - 10 basic hand techniques for training the movement of the body in coordination with the arms. Drills basic motions later found in the Xiantian and Houtian.

  • Chuan shou

piercing hand

  • Kai kan shou

opening chopping hand (aka: kai guo shou - opening slapping hand)

  • Tui pai zhang

pushing patting palm

  • Zhuang zhang

crashing palm

  • Gai fan chui

covered overturning beating (aka: fan shou - overturning hand)

  • Tiao shou

rising (plucking) hand

  • Shuai shou

whipping palm

  • Nei wai he zhang

inner and outer opening and closing hand

  • Tuo zhang

supporting palm

  • Xie tiao zhang

oblique rising palm

Wuxing quan

Five Elements - Study of the five elements of Xingyiquan fame.

  • Pi quan - splitting fist
  • Zuan quan - drilling fist
  • Beng quan - smashing fist
  • Pao quan - pounding fist
  • Heng quan - crossing fist


10 pairs of exercises that strengthen, stretch, open and reinforce one's structure in movement, mind/body connection and power. They are a type of Gao style Baguazhang-specific neigong training.

  • Ban - to move
  • Kan - to chop
  • Tiao - to lift
  • Zhuang - to crash
  • Beng - to smash into (like an ocean wave)
  • Zhua - to grab
  • Kou - to fasten, detain (hook into something)
  • Ye - to clasp
  • Cuo - to file
  • Song - relax


Xiantianzhang means pre-heaven palms and refers to the circle walking training characteristic of Baguazhang. The circle walking training is the core method of practice for Bagua practitioners and will train the body method central to good Bagua practice.

  1. Single Palm Change (4 major variations)
    • Dan huan zhang - single palm change
    • Fan huan zhang - reverse palm change
    • Chuan zhang - piercing palm
    • Xia shi dan huan zhang - lower form single palm change
  2. Core eight palms (2 variations, first set is Tianjin version, second is the Zhang Zhunfeng/Indoor version)
  3. Black Dragon Swings Tail (Many variations)

Each palm also teaches certain principles, applications, throwing and opening techniques. There are also preliminary training exercises that concentrate on the core movement principle of each palm.


Houtianzhang means post-heaven palms and refers to the straight line short form practice made famous by Gao style Baguazhang. These primarily train whole-body power, extension of power, opening of the body, and the core application practice of the style.

  1. Houtian Zhuang - Houtian posture (seven star stance (qi xing shi) / three bodies stance (san ti shi)) holding
  2. 64 linear palms (w/applications, some have two-person training methods, some work different areas such as kicking, elbows, etc.)
  3. Continuous palms - each set of eight of the Houtians done in a continuous set from one to eight.

These are for training the range of fighting applications that are somewhat less obvious in the circling forms. They will also train to reinforce and strengthen one's structure and mind/body connection while reinforcing good movement principles, etc.


Paired training exercises such as fanzhang, siping tuishou, danshou tuishou, sanchuan, sifangda, sanshou, two person forms, etc.


Various other exercises for training power, footwork, weapons, basic attributes, body movement, etc.

Ding shi ba zhang

Circle walking exercises done while holding static upper body postures.

Rou shen fa

Sun Xikun's Baguazhang