Bagua Swimming Body Palms is the second book written by Wang Shujin, one of the world’s foremost exponents of Chinese internal martial arts and a renowned expert of Bagua Zhang. This volume continues the process of bringing Master Wang’s important art to Western readers. More intricate than the Linked Palms form, Swimming Body Palms helps practitioners achieve fluent body mechanics and the ability to connect and flow from one movement to the next with power. Master Wang, who taught Swimming Palms to only a few advanced students, described it as “swim-walking,” or swimming around the body. Bagua Swimming Body Palms offers a thorough grounding in the basics of Bagua principles and practice, and illuminates the connection between the cultural meanings of the I Ching and the physical movements of Bagua Zhang. The photographs from the Chinese book are reprinted, along with hundreds of new photographs of translator Kent Howard demonstrating the exercises in greater detail. Sifu Howard provides extensive commentary on Master Wang’s writings, and Daoist master Huang Jinsheng contributes a thoughtful essay on Master Wang’s spiritual practice with the esoteric Daoist sect Yi Guan Dao. The book’s engaging style, fidelity to the Chinese text, and comprehensiveness make it a welcome addition to any martial arts library.
“Bagua Swimming Body Palms is a rare piece of primary source material that gives us a look into the world of Chinese martial arts as practiced in the early twentieth century. Wang Shujin was a fascinating individual and was well respected in the world of Chinese martial arts. This publication documents the second half of his Bagua system, allowing us to get instruction in the history, theory, and step-by-step practice of this authentic tradition. We are lucky to have this translation made available, so that more practitioners can take advantage of Wang Shujin’s insightful approach to teaching and training Bagua Zhang.” —Jess O’Brien, author of Nei Jia Quan: Internal Martial Arts