Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Kung Fu Bad Ass - Zhang Rong Jiao


Translated by Marcus Brinkman O.M.D.

Zhang Rong-jiao (Jiang Rong-qiao) was born in 1890. He became a top student of two of China’s most famous boxing masters, Zhang Zhao-dong and Li Cun-yi. Though Jiang claimed that Zhang Zhao-dong taught him the majority of movements and training methods of his Bagua and Xingyi practice, it was in fact, Li that influenced him most deeply in regard to the Neijia principles of Xing-yi. Both Zhang and Li’s teachings honed Zhang into one of the nation’s top teachers and experts in sanda (free fighting) and weapons. It should also be noted that Li Cun-yi was a teacher of the famed Sun Lutang.

In 1955, Jiang suffered an accident that injured his optical nerve. This damage became progressively worse and could not be stopped by any medical treatment offered at that time. When Jiang, finally lost his site, his adopted daughter, Zou Shou-xian, helped him conduct classes and write the well known book “ Baguazhang Practice Methods”.

Students of Baguazhang in China continue to admire Jiang for writing this book, because it was the first Bagua text published for the public following the 1949 Nationalist and Communist war. Such a publication took courage from Jiang, in that Maoist at that time denounced such texts and boxing masters. Through the years Jiang lectured and taught at numerous institutions of higher learning so that Bagua and Xingyi would retain notoriety as national treasures. Jiang’s blindness did not detour his personal excellence in performing boxing. In fact, he was known for walking a circle more perfect that those with sight. Sadly in 1974, at the age of 84, Jiang passed away. His following of students is among the most concentrated numbers in China to this day. Perhaps his most famous student was the late Sha Guo-zhen; who promoted Jiang’s teachings to there fullest.

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