Taoist Master Zhuang

saturns_squareMichael Saso has his own Youtube Channel.  Saso is the author of many books on Daoism and Tantric Buddhism.  His early work on Daoist ritual in Taiwan was ground breaking and he remains one of the few people ever to become a Zhengyi Daoshi (Daoist priest).

This video of his teacher and one of his teacher's sons is amazing.  The roots of baguazhang are not totally obvious in this video of pacing the void,  but imagining this ritual done on a national scale and refined over 1700 years, it isn't hard to imagine that baguazhang (the martial art) is just a variation.  In the last part of the series (6 parts) you see the priest alternating between walking the magic square and walking a circle something we also do in baguazhang.

You'll also notice that the shoes do not allow one to press through either the ball of the foot or the heal, creating a walk infused with unexpressed power, shi we call it---potential.  In basic taijiquan for instance, the four powers peng, ji, lu & an, are each executed from either the ball of the foot or the heel.  Eventually emptiness, as ritual action, replaces this type of forceful intention and one paces the void without any agenda.  This weakness, as I've been known to call it, is actually profoundly potent.  Many people over the years (including me) have criticized Aikido for having a "love your enemy, don't hit him" namby pamby approach to martial arts.  But Aikido is correct in describing the potency of emptiness in action as having no intent to harm your enemy.  Does anybody want to argue with me when I say it is quite possible to do harm even when you don't intend to?