Wednesday, April 28, 2010

[Interview] He Jinghan

He Jinghan is the author of Bagua Quan Foundation Training (Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2009) and Bagua Daoyin: A Unique Branch of Daoist Learning, A Secret Skill of the Palace (Singing Dragon, 2008).

A fifth generation practitioner of the BaguaQuan lineage, he was introduced to Master Gong BaoZhai at the age of 23 and began to specialise in Bagua.

He Jinghan is now dedicated to the cultivation and promotion of the Bagua Daoyin.

When did you first become interested in Bagua Quan?

I was interested in the teachings of Gong Bao Zhai, my teacher, before I began to learn the art of Bagua Quan.

I started practicing Bagua Quan because I found it had more depth in comparison to the other Chinese martial arts that I had previously spent some years learning, like Taiji Quan or Xinyi Quan.

As I started to understand the philosophy and theory of Bagua Quan through physical practice, I began to experience the real depth of it. It is since then, that I have been interested in Bagua Quan.

What are the main benefits of practicing Bagua Quan?

There are many different ways that you can benefit from Bagua Quan. The different stages of Bagua Quan, each have there own different benefits.

Firstly, you experience physical and mental improvement, secondly you begin to grow in self-confidence; however the most powerful benefit is the understanding that is gained of the "cause” and “result”. The results tend to be physically visible, and understanding the roots of the cause for this visual difference is truly the greatest benefit.

What would be your advice to anybody considering starting to practice Bagua Quan?

I would recommend that you read my book in order to understand what Bagua Quan is and whether it is for you.

Set your goal and start from the very beginning. The foundation practices won't seem too difficult. However, it is very important to practice with awareness of yourself, your capabilities and ensuring that you don’t think about fighting from the beginning.

Make sure that you feel right and comfortable in every practice. Move to the second practice only once you completely understand and feel comfortable with the first practice.

Have faith that the result will come naturally if the cause is right.

What or who most inspires you?

I was and still am inspired by many Who's and Whats.

We are inspired only if we have a “subject” and a “question” in mind. To me, it is Bagua Quan, that is both a subject and a question on body and mind improvement. The key to this lies in what my Sifu once told me: “ask why about everything, find the roots and understand the connections.”

Therefore, I could be inspired by a phrase in a book, a child’s posture, a mistake made by myself or somebody else, a creature from nature or even an advertisement on TV ...

What was the last book you read?

I read many different kinds of book. I usually read different books in one period of time.

I have just finished reading the speeches of Mr. Nan Hwai-Jin, a Daoist book on Chan Tong Qi and also his speech about a Buddhist book Jing Gong Jin. I was reading these whilst I also finished reading the beginning of heaven and earth a book about Mr. Hu Lan-Chen, a debatable character in the last hundred years in China.

(c) Jessica Kingsley Publishers, 2010

This article was first published in the Singing Dragon Newsletter in June 2009

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