Pa Kua Chang (Eight- Trigram Boxing) i s one of the three martial art that comprise the internal system of Chinese boxing (Nei jia). Pa Kua emphasizes displacement of horizontal strength and turning of palms. The name Pa Kua, as well as its rationale, derives from the philosophy growing out of the I Ching (Book of Changes). Pa Kua's philosophy is concerned with continuous change; all is in flux, nothing stands still. Pa Kua Chang is comprised of various circling postures named after and based on the movements of the Snake, Hawk, Dragon, Bear, Chi-Lin, Phoenix, Lion and Ape.

Reputable sources credit the development of Pa Kua Chang to one man, Tung Hai Chuan (1813-1882) a native of Hobei province, Wen-An Country, Chu Chia Wu Township. Tung Hai Chuan was fond of martial arts as a youth. He was poverty stricken and drifted from place to place to eke out a living.

When Tung Hai Chuan came to the Jiuhua Moungtain in the south of An-Hui province he met the Taoist priest by the name of Bi Cheng Xia, who taught him the secrets of the Taoist school of martial arts. Later Tung Hai Chuan learned other skills from from Guo Yuan Ji nicknamed the "Iron Stick Taoist".

Tung Hai Chuan blended aspects of his martial training with meditative and chi training exercises which he practiced as a member of the Taoist sect, Chuan Chen ("Complete Truth") This sect was part of the Lung Men ("Dragon Gate") school of Taoism. As part of their ritualized practice to acquire an altered state of mind, members of the Lung Men chanted while walking in a circle. This practice was called "Rotating in worship of heaven" and involved walking in a circle while chanting one of two different mantras, one in the morning and one in the evening. There can be no doubt that this methodology of using "circle walking" for meditative training had an important developmental influence on Dong's synthesis of his martial skills into a new art.

The new art he developed was a method of combat which employed Taoist philosophical and yogic aspects while circle walking. It harmonized mind and body and due to the nature of its circular method employed a revolutionary method of self-defense.

Tung Hai Chuan came to Peking in about 1870. In 1875 when Emperor Guang Xu ascended the throne Tun worked in Prince Su Wang's mansion, where he began to teach his Pa Kua Chang, which soon became very popular. Tung Hai Chuan had over 100 students but had only 13 main disciples.

One of these disciples was Ma Wei Chi (1851-1880). Ma Came from Peking and had an unusually violent temper. He was known as "Mei Ma" or "Coal Ma" as he worked in a coal shop. He was often a braggart and famously demonstrated the art of the iron spear before the face of prince Su. His specialty was the spherical punch and he was noted for his 10-day delayed fatal injuries on opponents, which kept the authorities away. Ma Wei Chi was considered one of Tung's best students, however he had a poor reputation otherwise and had only a few students. His death was sudden and premature and controversy continues to exist as to what actually happened.

One of Ma's few students and his best one was a man named Yang Nu Lin. Yang Nu Lin taught Master Chaio Chang Hung the art of Pa Kua Chung around 1932. Yang Nu Lin had provided security for Master Chaio's family.


Single Palm Change