Tiangan (Heavenly Stems) TAO Stretching Method
The art of Baguazhang uses unique stretching methods, called Tiangan (Heavenly Stems), to systematically train individuals on how to extend their intuition and Chi (life-force) to all parts of their bodies. Tiangans are also dynamic body conditioning exercises that help to develop wholebody power and create a type of functional flexibility that's used for strengthening self-defense skills and building resiliency. Depending on the overall level of the group present, Master Instructor Joseph Zeisky will alternately choose some of the most medicinal Tiangans inspired from the Gao Yi Sheng Baguazhang System to help thoroughly open, repair and strengthen the body.
Usually, the first third of this three part class, is dedicated to the ancient Chinese energy art and science of qigong (the practice of skillfully cultivating lifeforce). Qigong teaches individuals how to slowdown and mindfully harmonize their breath while simultaneously doing gentle movements. Learning and practicing these skills can better facilitate cleansing, attuning, recharging and rejuvenation of the body's bio-electric energy, mostly referred to as Qi or Chi (pronounced Chee). In baguazhang there are a variety of STANDING, MOVING, WALKING, SITTING and LAYING-DOWN Taoist qigong methods that can be practiced in order to help gather, circulate and re-balance this Chi lifeforce. Depending on the overall level of the group present, one or a combination of these five primary qigong methods will be taught to help students better achieve wholebody integration and a calm mind.
Core Baguazhang Training
GATHERING FROM HEAVEN, GATHERING FROM EARTH, SWINGS, RAISE HANDS, FOOT PUMPS, RISE-FALL-OVERTURN, MUD STEPPING, HALF STEPPING, TOE IN TOE OUT, SWIMMING, HEAVENLY STEMS, TEACUPS, PIERCING PALM, CHOPPING PALM, WRAPPING PALM…these are just some of the select group of exercises and drills that are regularly rotated through out the second third of these ongoing classes. These exercises are specially designed to practically develop within the bagua student some of the most important internal martial arts principles: such as maintaining balanced power throughout all parts of the body, equally using both sides of the body and spontaneously changing direction and body position without losing one's center.
ZEIGUA Teaching Style
Joseph’s unique way of blending the various styles and methods of his many teachers and ways of balancing traditional training approaches with the needs of his modern-day students, is the teaching style he now simply refers to as ZEIGUA. This will be his primary teaching approach and method towards helping beginners and advanced students alike, learn the core aspects of the Internal Arts.
It is highly recommended to wear very loose fitting sweat pants and long sleeve shirts made of only natural materials, such 100% organic cotton, raw silk, linen or other natural fibers. This will allow the body greater freedom of movement and maximum comfort and breatheability.
It is also highly recommended to wear flat soled shoes, such as cotton soled taichi shoes, kung-fu shoes, leather, canvas or cotton sneakers with a very thin rubber sole, socks that have thin rubber grippers on the soles or one can simply go barefoot. But, please avoid using street shoes, jogging shoes or regular sneakers that have too much cushioning and elevation, because they prevent your Achilles tendons from being properly exercised and don't fully allow your feet to be opened and strengthened.