All martial arts are abstract from the real thing. There is no perfect imitation of what is chaos – a violent encounter. At best we try to imitate, to take aspects of the whole and train these.
Many martial arts take a single aspect of the whole and specialize in that. Brazilian jujitsu is reknowned for its ground grappling expertise. Judo, sambo, wrestling, shuai jiao for their skill in standing grappling and throwing. Boxing for its fists. Baguazhang is an attempt to take a look at the whole and what binds the pieces together. At its essence, it provides not only technique and methods of building skill, but an overarching paradigm with which to understand the chaos.
Like I say often in class, there are many aspects wherein Baguazhang tries to take the big look at things, and train not just a part, but the whole. Not just ABC or XYZ, but A through Z. You can see this in the forms wherein the body and mind are taken through a full range of motion and led to open the joints, the tendons, to make strong the bones and muscles, and to make clear, focussed and fully aware the mind/intent.
To train the whole still requires one to take it in pieces. Baguazhang will take different aspects of the whole pie and train them separately as well as together. Furthermore, this is often done to balance the training as well. Sometimes we will train in one direction, only to switch gears at some point and train in the other. There are times when we train for speed, others for power. There are times to train for light, others for heavy. Etc.
Again, these are all things that we hear in class everyday. Is it understood intuitively? Do you emphasize it in your training?