About This Course

The Baguazhang Basics video course contains in-depth instruction on the fundamentals of Baguazhang.  This course covers pre-heaven and post-heaven meditation exercises, a step-by-step breakdown of the theory and methods of circle walking, and lectures from Sifu which cover the history of Baguazhang, and deeper analysis of this training from a martial and spiritual perspective.

The Baguazhang Basics are an important foundation in our overall curriculum, and serve as an essential building block for further training in Baguazhang or Tao Style.

This course is designed for new students to be able to acquire a thorough education in all of the fundamentals of circle walking, and can also be a useful resource for currently active students, as it contains details on some practices we don't usually cover in class.

The Baguazhang Basics course should be partnered with all of the foundation skills included in the Qigong Foundation Course.  It is highly recommended to include the Qigong course work in your daily practice as you go through this course. 

This course is currently available to purchase as a single course, or via our Online Resource Membership -- which includes our full library of training resources and lectures.  Please see below for more information about all of our enrollment options. 

About Baguazhang Basics

Baguazhang is one of the three main internal family styles of Chinese martial arts.  The full translation of Baguazhang is "8 Trigram Palm."  It is derived from the Taoist Cosmological theory of Bagua (the eight directions), and is said to have been developed from a circle walking practice passed down by Taoist priests.  Circle Walking was originally an alchemical practice for cultivating the Tao -- as it trains non-attachment and cultivates the intuitive mind.  In the practice of Baguazhang, the circle walking practice is the foundation of the flexible and evasive footwork that the style is known for.

Included in this course is a thorough overview of circle walking and the associated meditation work.

8 Trigram Meditation

The 8 Trigram Meditation is a standing meditation practice that is derived from the concept of the 8 Trigrams, or 8 Primal powers, of Taoist cosmology.  This is a pre-heaven training that is meant to strengthen and purify Qi and Shen (spirit).  The concept of the 8 Trigrams is essential to Taoist practices, as well as many other facets of Chinese philosophy and culture at large.

8 Mother Palms

The 8 Mother Palms are the basis for post-heaven training in Baguazhang -- that is, the training of technique and application.  These are the standard palm techniques of Baguazhang and are incorporated into our circle walking practice, and later in the various forms that are offered in our system.

Circle Walking

Circle walking is the essential practice of Baguazhang.  It allows students to build energy, strengthen the legs, develop flexibility in their footwork, and refine Tai Chi principle.  Circle walking is also an excellent stand alone Qigong practice and moving meditation, which strengthens the student's center, and opens their intuitive awareness.

This training is ideally paired with daily practice of the Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong Exercises, Stances & Standing Meditation exercises seen in the Qigong Foundation Course, which is a pre-requisite for this course.

This course contains step-by-step lessons with a full breakdown of movements.  Additional lectures from Sifu on Bagua related topics that help illuminate and deepen understanding and practice are also included.

Benefits of Bagua Circle Walking

  • Smooths out Qi and Blood -- improving circulation and flow
  • Develops coordination & balance
  • Trains flexibility and spontaneity in martial art footwork
  • Builds the body and the energy
  • Increases internal awareness
  • Develops subtle strength and suppleness
  • Balances yin & yang energies in the body, mind & spirit through the application of Tai Chi principle
  • Excellent for health & longevity
  • Strengthens our vital energy and by keeping energy flowing 
  • Nourishes the internal organs
  • Greater calmness in daily life
  • Increased mental clarity, intuition & creativity
  • Deepens relationship with your spirit and the Tao

Pre-Requisite Training

The Qigong Foundation Course, which contains the full sequence of Silk Reeling Spiral Power Qigong exercises, Stance Training & Standing Meditation postures is highly recommended before learning the Baguazhang Basics.  This course contains all of the fundamentals for movement needed to properly learn Baguazhang or any other form in our system.  It is highly recommended that all students continue daily practice of the Qigong Foundation Course material, even as you pursue additional training in our platform.

The Qigong Foundation Course is included in enrollment to the Online Resource Membership program of which this Baguazhang Basics course is a part — so you don’t have to worry about purchasing an additional course if Baguazhang training is your primary interest.  You will have access to all courses on the membership program as long as you are subscribed to the website.

Course curriculum

    1. Welcome to the Course

    1. Sifu Lecture: History of Baguazhang

    2. Lesson 1A: 8 Trigram Standing Meditation

    3. Lesson 1B: 8 Mother Palms

    4. Lesson 1 Walkthrough: 8 Trigram Meditation & 8 Mother Palms

    1. Lesson 2: Introduction to Basic Steps, Changes & Basins

    2. Lesson 3: Steps, Changes, Basins & 8 Mother Palms in Circle Walk

    3. Lesson 4: Inside/Outside Changes

    4. Sifu Lecture: 8 Trigram Meditation, 8 Mother Palms & Circle Walking In-Depth Explanation

    5. Lesson 5: Spontaneous Changes

    6. Lesson 6: Spontaneous 8 Mother Palms

    7. Lesson 7: Full Routine Walkthrough

    8. Lesson 8: 9 Palace Walking

    9. Bonus Lesson: Meditative Circle Walk

    1. Sifu Lecture: Further Review & Reflection on Bagua Basics

    2. Sifu Lecture: Further Review of Circle Walking

    3. Sifu Lecture: Closed Gate, Circle Walking & 8 Mother Palm Changes

    4. Sifu Lecture: Circle Walking Review -- Tai Chi Diagram & 9 Palaces

    5. Sifu Lecture: Free walking

    6. Closed Gate Explanation

About this course

  • $164.00
  • 20 lessons
  • 7 hours of video content

Which option is right for me?

Many of our courses & online resources are available to access either through the Online Resource Membership, or as a single course purchase option.  Here is how this works:

Online Resource Membership:

The Online Resource Membership is a monthly subscription that grants you access to the many resources currently available in our online library.  This library continues to expand and grow as time goes on.  Membership includes early access to courses as well as exclusive content that is not available in the "a la carte" section.  Currently there are two Tier options for membership.  Please visit the Online Resource Membership page to learn more.

Purchasing the Course:

Purchasing a course will give you continuous access to a single course.  There is no monthly fee after the initial purchase.  At this time, all courses are only accessible via our website and are not downloadable.


Sifu Frank J. Paolillo

Founder & Master Instructor

Sifu Frank J. Paolillo is the Founder and Master Instructor of the Tao Institute. With over fifty years of daily dedication and study in the martial arts, Sifu Paolillo brings a wealth of knowledge and depth of experience to his teaching and creative martial art work. Sifu’s focus is on cultivating the Tao as a way of life through internal martial arts, meditation, and qigong, and imparts to his students a true transmission of Tao through the training of form and formless.

Mela Carreira

Assistant Instructor

Mela is a dedicated student and assistant instructor to Sifu Paolillo. A martial arts practitioner since 2001, Mela was called to the internal arts and Asheville area in 2011, where she first began training at Tao Institute. Over the course of her training, Mela has come to understand, live by and deeply respect the philosophies of the martial arts and Tao in every day life. Mela teaches the entry level classes at Tao Institute and is a main assistant under the direct supervision of Sifu Paolillo in classes throughout the curriculum.