Bagua (Baguazhang) translate as Eight Trigram Palm or Eight Trigram Boxing. This style was an unknown martial art until the 19th century when it became famous in Beijing, due to extraordinary fighting skill of Dong Haichuan as a servant at Prince Su's palace. Dong Haichuan was capable of defeating all the body guards, martial art coaches, and famous fighters. Historically, there’s no definitive name for the originator of this style. Dong talked about his teacher and said he traveled through the mountains in Anhui and Jiangxi Provinces and he met a Taoist hermit and study from him for three years.
Baguazhang, originally called "Zhuan Zhang" (Rotating Palms) or "Mo Men" (Milling Style), is known for its strange practice method of walking in a circle, evasive footwork, using palms rather than fists and the principle of twist and turn. The practice of Baguazhang includes many training methods resembling those associated with Shaolin martial arts, while at the same time stressing the significance of extension and contraction, relaxation and nature breathing with harmonized combination of soft and hard power
Since Dong Haichuan only taught students that were already proficient in they own style, the students later they developed their own variations which carry their personal style’s unique characteristics. Dong Haichuan’s top disciples created their own Bagua styles. Some of these popular styles include Cheng Tinghua, Yin Fu and Liang Zhenpu.
The Wing Lam Bagua style comes from the Cheng Tinghua lineage, which trains with the “Mother of Old Eight Trigram Palm” meaning the original Eight Palm before modernization. All the Bagua techniques are derived from this original form. The name of this form is translated as “Swim Body Dragon Form Eight Trigram Palm”, which requires the movement close to the body with the hand shaped like a dragon’s claws.