Martial arts training is by its very definition an abstract of what real violence, a real fight condition is like. What we are attempting to do in training is attempt to take the chaotic whole of combat and dissect it into smaller, more edible pieces of that greater pie. This is where an art such as Baguazhang shines.
One aspect of the art of baguazhang is its cohesive look at the training process itself – the act of modelling parts of the whole. The book from which baguazhang gets its namesake, the Yijing – the book of changes, is also an attempt to look at the chaotic whole of all aspects of the universe and then its distillation into understandable aspects. Baguazhang, the martial art, continues this process. Baguazhang was known since the days of is founder, Dong Haichuan, as an art based primarily in principle. There are principles to training and there are principles to fighting and there are principles of movement. Dong’s early students were taught this look at the essence, or over-arching principles of the art. Since his students all had experience in martial arts and fighting, he didn’t have to have as much of a beginner’s centric set curriculum. He instead could concentrate on the bigger concepts and how they break down. He could see the whole and understand it, therefore he could teach it well in all forms, he could fit it into any vase and expand from there.
If the Dao is the whole and the Yijing is the basis from which to understand its nature, then you could also use the analogy that struggle is alike the Dao and the art of baguazhang is alike the yijing, a basis from which to understand its nature. Yet the nature itself of struggle, the mind, training and movement lends itself as a very unique starting point from which to understand the Dao itself.