Speaking of Pa Kua Chang, there was a fellow, back in 1899, who gave up his job in the patent office. The reason he gave for quitting his job? Because everything that could be invented had been invented.
Do you get it? There was nothing new to be thought of. We had reached the peak of civilization! No more ideas.
We had printing presses and horseless carriages. We had machines to weave and ways to bottle coca cola. What else could man possibly invent, or even desire?
This, on the cusp of assembly lines and 100 MPH cars for everybody. This just before that silly thing got off the ground at Kitty Hawk, and turned into spaceships and landed on the moon. Oh, and don’t let me forget, there was this unimportant thing that came along called a computer.
So I love it when I run into one of these hard core fellows who say that an art must be done exactly as they have always been done, and there is no room for improvement. The Martial Arts, you see, in their humble opinion, has reached the peak of martial arts possibility, and there is nothing more to be learned. Why, we’re at the top, you see, and there is nothing left but to look down.
I guess that’s why I’m such a villain, and why classical martial artists sometimes curl a lip in my direction, and why this Matrix thing is to be avoided at all costs. I didn’t quit my job, you see. I’m still pushing, I think that new martial arts can be invented.
In the case of Pa Kua Chang, there are only three things to be focused on: walking the circle, twisting the torso, and twisting the limbs. This is the algebra of that fighting style, and the geometry of its motion. After that there is the potential for motions, and this is where the endless art is created, and created and created. How many endless lists of attacks and secondary attacks and counters and hand configurations and energy potentials and so on can you create?
This is where Matrixing begins, and this is where real Pa Kua Chang starts to take off. The place where most arts stop is where the true analysis of that fabulous combat art starts, and never ends. Unless, of course, you believe that everything that could be invented has been invented.