Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Kung Fu - 1900's - Street Performers!

                                       Kung Fu - 1900's - Street Performers!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Kung Fu - Internal Martial Arts - Cheng Bagua Zhang - Sun Xi Kun - Boulder, CO

  Double Bumping Palm

Sun Xi Kun 孫 錫 堃 (1883-1952) was one of the few disciples of Cheng You Long (also called Cheng Hai Ting), the oldest son of Cheng Ting Hua. The palms are excerpted from Sun’s book, Ba Gua Quan Zhen Chuan (Genuine Transmission of Ba Gua Zhang).

Translation by Tom Basio - Found: HERE

The Double Bumping Palm

In this palm, one must extend the two hands, round the back, relax the shoulders, and drop the elbows. The wrist presses outward and the little fingers turn upward. The two elbows are curved. Suck in the Kua and look between the two hands. The body is straight, but it sits down. Turn the waist with the back of the head facing forward – it is like walking sideways.
This posture trains the speed of the body and waist. When changing the posture, walk with Kou Bu and raise the inside hand, hide the head, relax the shoulder, and turn the little finger upward. Press the rear hand downward, with the palm facing outward and out, close to the body. This is called “Picking up the Moon from the Bottom of Sea.” Then suck in the back hand and walk with the Kou Bu, kicking the foot straight out and close to the knee. The upper palm drops down, returning to the original posture.
Bumping palm 1 2 The Double Bumping Palm
In this posture, two hands extend outward. Sit down with the waist and suck in the Kua. The little fingers turn upward, relax and drop the two shoulders, and be empty in the heart and calm in the mind. Take in the chest, spread the back and walk along the circle.

Bumping palm 2 The Double Bumping Palm
To change, walk forward with the right foot in Kou Bu, and simultaneously swing the left foot back. The right hand is close to the body and has a dropping downward energy, while the left hand upholds outward with upholding energy.

Bumping palm 3 The Double Bumping Palm
Then, the left and right hands return, as the right foot kicks out straight. Turn the waist and suck in the Kua smoothly returning to the original posture.

I teach Internal Kung Fu and Sun Xi Kun Bagua Zhang in Boulder Colorado. Check HERE

Monday, February 17, 2014

Kung Fu - Hung Gar - Tiger Crane - Lam Sai Wing


Famed Hung Gar - Tiger Crane Kung Fu Practitioner Lam Sai Wing "Porkey Wang" the Famous student of Wong Fei Hung.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Tai Chi vs Fencing!

Taken from Hunan TV's "Showdown Show". In this clip Tai Chi Master Wang tests his evasion speed by facing off against a professional fencing coach.

Monday, February 10, 2014

Kung Fu - Internal Martial Arts - Seminar - Success!

I want to thank all of you who helped make the first Internal Martial Arts / Matt Autrey Seminar of the year a success!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Kung Fu Seminar - Xingyi & Bagua - Boulder, CO - Starts Tomorrow! - Feb 8th!

Xingyi and Bagua Seminar with
Matt Autrey
*Senior Student of Luo De Xiu of Taiwan*

*Boulder, CO. February 8th & 9th 2014*

Matt Autrey is a senior student of Internal Kung Fu teacher Luo De Xiu. Matt has moved back to the United States after 8 years of training Bagua Zhang, Xingyi Quan, Tai Ji Quan in Taipei, Taiwan including 5 years with Marcus Brinkman as a private student. Matt spent many years teaching and assisting in Teacher Luo’s class in Taiwan, his extensive knowledge and command of the principles, theory and applications of the internal martial arts is an asset to any practitioner.

Boulder, CO. Dates and Curriculum:

Saturday, February 8th - 1st Session 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Xing Yi Animals – Tuo Xing & Xióng Xing – Theory and Application
This will be an excellent introduction to two of the Xing Yi Quan Animal forms, the Alligator and the Bear. Learn the fundamental and advanced training practices, footwork, and applications of the form. This seminar is open to public and beginners are welcome.

Saturday, February 8th - 2nd Session 4:30pm – 7:30pm
Gao Bagua Zhang – Hou Tian – Straight Line Bagua – Form & Theory
In this seminar Matt will teach Hou Tian Bagua. The famous Straight Line Bagua of the Gao system. Matt will cover beginning and advanced Bagua theory, application and training practices. This seminar is a great addition to any Bagua Zhang style. This seminar is open to public, beginners and advanced practitioners are welcome.

Sunday, February 9th - 1st Session 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Xing Yi Quan - Da Fa - Striking Methods
Matt will be teaching Xing Yi Da Fa – Xingyi Hitting Methods. This session will cover the philosophy and methodology of striking strategies used in Xingyi Quan. Students will learn about distance, timing, range of use and how to move between various techniques. This seminar is open to public, beginners and advanced practitioners are welcome.

Sunday, February 9th - 2nd Session 4:00pm – 7:00pm
Chin Na (Joint Locking) in the Yi Zong System
The idea of Chin Na (Joint Locking) is fundamental to all martial arts in general and Yi Zong style Tai Chi, Xingyi and Bagua in particular. This seminar will cover Joint Locking theory and its usage as it relates to the Internal Martial Arts. Using two person training drills, theory and application this class will build reflexes, timing and distance required for the usage of Chin Na in a combat setting. This seminar is open to public and beginners are welcome.

1 $175 for all Four Sessions!
2 Individually, Each Session is $50.
3 Saturday & Sunday $95 each day or $175 for both Days.
4 Preferred payment is cash (please contact if paying by check)
5 Same day registration (call for availability) $180 cash only

Owen Schilling at

AT: PreEminance Hall, 3213 Walnut St, Boulder, CO 80301 (behind the Twisted Pine Brewery)

Or Check
Call 1 720 841 3526

Matt will be offering private lessons while he is in town. I highly recommend them; his knowledge and skill applied at the individual level is a fantastic catalyst for growth. Contact me or Matt at or talk to him at the seminar.

 For more info on Matt check his web site:
- See more at:

Monday, February 3, 2014

Kung Fu - Internal Martial Arts - Gong Baotian Bagua Master - Yin Fu Bagua

                    Research on Gong Baotian

These writings are to be respectfully read aloud on the 64th anniversary of Mr. Gong Baotian’s demise.



Wuhun Magazine 2007.4 # 226


By Huang Zhicheng


Translated and edited by Joseph Crandall

At the end of the reign of Qing Daoguang, Dong Haichuan, the founder of the Bagua Quan system, taught his art to many closed-door students in Beijing. One of those students was Yin Fu, who inherited all of Dong’s teachings on Bagua Quan. When Yin Fu taught students, he also completely transmitted Master Dong’s style. Because people are different and because their abilities are many, therefore the students that became famous are also many, such as Ma Gui, Yang Junfeng, He Jinkui, Yin Yuzhang, Li Yongqing, Jin Liuhui, Cao Zhongsheng, Men Baozhen, Gong Baotian, etc. Later people commemorate the tremendous contributions that Grandmaster Yin Fu made to the art of Bagua Quan by calling his Bagua Quan “Yin Branch Bagua Quan.” And when Master Gong Baotian inherited this art, people called it “Yin Style Gong Branch Bagua Quan.” Afterwards, when Gong Baotian’s “top student”, Sun Ruwen, inherited this martial art, he called it “Qianzi Men”. Its full name is “Yin Style Gong Branch Qian Gua Bagua Quan (Inner Eight Trigrams – Qian Character School).” The author studied with Sun Ruwen for thirty years from June 1953 through February 1984 and deeply got these transmissions. He underwent innumerable hardships, progressing deeper into the art and doing investigative research. Finally we have a clear picture of the development and history of Yin Style Gong Branch Bagua Quan.  

1. Gong Baotian’s Teacher – Yin Fu
Yin Fu (1841 – 1910), styled De’an, and also called Shoupeng. He was commonly called “Shou Yin” [Thin Yin], or “Mahua Yin” [Fired Dough Twist Yin]. He was from Zhangtan village, Ji County, Hebei Province. In his youth he studied Lohan Quan and Tan Tui. He was skilled in the art of jumping vertically, and was very good with the judge’s pens. After he arrived in Beijing, he lived in Jishikou outside the Chaoyang Gate. He had a business selling fried dough twists [mahui], deep fried dough twists [youbing] and deep fired dough cakes [youtiao]. He venerated Dong Gong’s awesome reputation

and asked Master Dong to be his teacher. They were constantly together for over 10 years. Under Dong Gong’s painstaking guidance, he got the essence of these studies. He gradually created his own special style. His specialties were the ox tongue palm, and hard fierce actions with lots of piercing, testing, and dotting. He set great store in straight energy with springing and shaking strength. His outgoing hands were cold, crisp, quick, and hard. When his studies were completed, he became a teacher in the Shanpu Barracks. Later he was brought into the palace of Prince Su. After Dong Gong passed away, he was also assigned to be a teacher in the Inner Palace. Besides teaching the Emperor Guangzhe, he also taught the palace bodyguards, eunuchs, maids, etc. To make it suitable for the Inner Palace personnel to practice, he taught Yin Style Bagua Quan to be soft, small, continuous, light, clever, but still have a real functional nature. Yin Fu also began teaching his art in Beijing outside the Chaoyang Gate area and his Bagua Quan became known as “North City Bagua.” Later he took a post in civil administration as a customs officer and tax collector. Still more, he had for a time a home protection business. According to tradition his finger skills were unparalleled. In the area where he practiced, there was a signboard made up of birch wood five centimeters thick. The rough surface of the board was completely bare. He used his middle finger to dot the board three times leaving three holes in the board about 3 centimeters deep. Therefore he earned the name “Iron Bracelet Thin Yin [Tie Zhuozi Shou Yin].” The author has a book, A Simple Edition on Baguazhang. Inside it states that there were two Yin’s practicing Bagua. Both were named Yin Fu but one was “Thin Yin” and the other was “Fat Yin”. “Thin Yin” was a better martial artist than “Fat Yin”. “Fat Yin” was skilled at writing. He was a better writer than “Thin Yin.” Together they established the 16 characters used in the Yin Style Bagua Quan transmission. These are: “shi, qing, jian, dou …” Yin Style’s martial arts uses “Thin Yin” as its core and “Fat Yin” should not be discussed at the same time. Yin Style Bagua is comprised of the teachings of “Thin Yin”. In 1908 Yin Fu became ill and finally died in 1910.

(Authors note: The above facts about Thin Yin and Fat Yin were written down in accord with the original manuscripts. I hope you can see that it has a bearing on each aspect of advancing historical material.)

2. Concerning all the textual research on Gong Baotian’s life.  

1. Gong Baotian’s names.
Gong Baotian (1870 – 1943) was also called Ziying. The martial arts community called him Gong Houzi [Monkey Gong], Yanyi [Swallow Tail] (“wei” [tail] according to Shandong Yantai regional is pronounced like “Yī”), Xiao Shandong [Little Shandong], etc. He studied with Yin Fu, and was close friends with his classmates Ma Gui, Men Baozhen, etc. In the martial arts world, many people knew who Gong Baotian was, but his name was often transmitted incorrectly, so people know the sound of it, but they do not know how it was written, so they sometimes used an incorrect character for the Bao or the tian parts of his name.

2. Where was Gong Baotian from?
Today a large portion of the material records that Master Gong was from Mouping, Shandong. There are also people who say that he was from Haiyang, Shandong and some who say that he was from Yantai. The author in the 1980’s was a member of the Liaoning Provincial Excavation and Arrangement Group. I received instructions from the great Seven Stars Praying Mantis master, Mr. Chí Xueyuan to gather material in the Qingdao Lao Mountain area to correct the historical record. While I was on the train going to Qingdao, I met and chatted with a fellow traveler (this man was from Rushan.) In our conversations he inadvertently mentioned that his hometown boasted of a famous man named Gong Baotian and offered us the detailed address of Gong Baotian’s family home. It is precisely these sequences of coincidental meetings that caused us to be certain of a definite location of Gong Baotian’s family home.  

We continued our journey and arrived at Qingshan village in Rushan. In the village we asked if there happened to be any old folks who would like to chat. We asked about Gong Baotian. One old person, Ma Shangyou, told us, “I will take you there. He was my teacher.” Thereupon a person called Gong Fulin guided us. We met Gong Baotian’s grandson, Gong Chaoyue and Chaoyue’s mother (Master Gong’s daughter-in-law.) Chaoyue also lead us up the mountain to offer prayers at Master Gong’s tomb – a bare mound without a tombstone. I, as Gong Baotian’s grand student, did not think that this was a good thing. (After I returned to Dalian, I approached my junior classmates Cui Changfa, Yu Shengli, to discuss and agree to launch a project among the classmates in the Dalian and Yantai regions on behalf of Teacher Sun Ruwen and Teacher’s younger brothers etc. to erect a tombstone for Master Gong.) While we were in the village we also asked about Gong Baoshan, Gong Dianchun, Gong Zuo, and other teachers who love good martial arts. After this was resolved, the overseas students of Shanghai teacher Wang Zhuangfei’s son, Wang Hanzhi, also helped out. We stayed in Qingshan village for about ten days. When we left we took with us the only known photograph of Master Gong.  

At the time of our business in Qingshan village, we were forced to give up our previous arguments that Gong Baotian’s birthplace was in Mouping, Haiyang, or Yantai. We interviewed people and checked to confirm the above narration and everything indicates that it is true, only none are exact. According to the March 1988 publication of the Rushan documents and records, Rushan County is situated in the southern end of the Shandong peninsula. To the east is Wendeng. To the west is Haiyang. To the north is Mouping. To the south is the Yellow Sea. From east to west it is 60 km long and from north to south it is 47 km wide. Qingshan village has common boundaries with Weihai, Mouping, and Haiyang.  

According to historical records, the Rushan region’s jurisdiction, from Western Han times until today, has pretty much been in this location without changes. Only from Qing Yongzheng’s 30th year (1735) do records start to speak of this area being divided into Ninghai Prefecture and Haiyang County. In the Republican era, it was changed back to

Mouping County and Haiyang County. In September 1945, it was named Rushan County. In October 1958, it was divided into three sections. One section went to Wendeng, one section went to Haiyang, and one section went to Yantai. In January 1962, it went back to being a county under the jurisdiction of the Yantai Prefectural Commissioner’s Office. In November 1983, it became part of Yantai City. In October 1987, it was made a part of the Weihai City, Xia County. It is currently Shandong Weihai City’s County ranked city - Rushan City. 
Master Gong was born in December 1870 and died in November 1943. Master Gong passed away two years before 1945 when Rushan County was named. When we arrive at the present day, the author believes Gong Baotian’s exact birthplace should be “Shandong Province, Rushan County, Qingshan City.” 

Master Gong was a resident of Qingshan village. How did Qingshan village get its name? At the end of the Jin and beginning of the Yuan dynasties, Gong Wenzhang of Zhuo Village, Laiyang County, moved to this area and established a village. He named it Qingshan after a local mountain. The name for the location of Qingshan village has remained unchanged to the present time.  

3. Gong Baotian’s Early Years
Was Gong Baotian born in 1870 or 1871? When I first got to Qingshan, I asked this of Gong Baotian’s grandson, Gong Chaoyue. He affirmed this and said that his grandfather died the year before he was born. Chaoyue was born in 1944, so the previous year would be 1943. There are people who say that Gong Baotian was 72 years old when he died and there are people who say he was 73. Later I again went to Qingshan. I interviewed two elderly people, Zhang Guoying and Sun Liuying. The first person said 73 years old. The other said that he was born in the year of the horse. This means that both were saying that he was 73 years old when he died. (This is the nominal age – reckoned by the traditional method i.e. considering a person one year old at birth and adding a year each lunar new year.) It looks as if we made an error by one year when we set up his monument. Master Gong must have been born in the 9th year of Tongzhi (1870) and died in the 32nd year of the Republic (1943); that is 73 years.  

3. Gong Baotian leaves Qingshan to study the arts?
In the spring of 1879, Master Gong’s paternal grandaunt came from the capitol city to do some small business with the family. This person saw that Gong Baotian was very clever, his eyes shown with spirit, and he was very happy. Right away she said that she would take the boy to the capitol to learn a trade. Then, just after the 15th day of the New Year, little Baotian followed his grandaunt to the capitol. At that time, the grandaunt was living outside the Chaoyang Gate near Jishikou. After they arrived in the capitol city, Gong Baotian began to attend school. Later he also worked in a nearby grain shop where he worked with the small children helping the adults carrying and distributing grain. After half a year, the grandaunt discovered that every day for half the night Gong Baotian was jumping around and being vivacious inside their small courtyard. When she asked him why he was doing this, he said that as he was carrying grain through the eastern part of the city he passed a martial arts school. By degrees he was watching and studying and was now beginning to train what he saw.  

The teacher at this martial arts school was none other than Yin Fu (Yin Shoupeng). Yin Fu happy with this because even though he had no money for practicing martial arts the boy had natural talent. He forgave the expense and took him on as a student. One day, Yin Fu took Gong Baotian with him to see his teacher, Dong Haichuan. He demonstrated the fist methods and palm methods. When Dong Haichuan saw this he was pleased and said, “This is rare; he truly has the talent to practice martial arts!” Dong Haichuan had Gong Baotian stay with him for several days and then had him return to Yin Fu’s place to train more. Later Gong Baotian frequently went to Dong Haichuan’s place to get pointers. (Ten years later, Gong Baotian’s foundational skills were solid pure and deep. His body was light like a swallow. In the Bagua School, he was the person with the most exquisite light skills. The martial community called him “Swallow tail” and “Monkey Gong”. This will be spoken of later.) Three years later, in the Spring of 1882 (when Gong was 13 years old), the grandaunt took Gong Baotian back to the family for a visit. While he was at his old home, each day, as before, he practiced his skills. The people of the village all knew that he was only 13 or 14 years old when he went to the capitol to haul grain for his grandaunt.  

3. Stories of his life in the Capitol City
After he returned to the capitol, Gong Baotian whole-heartedly followed Teacher Yin and practiced his skills. He never again hauled grain. He spent his time taking care of Yin Fu’s school. At this time there were two schools teaching Bagua in Beijing which were designated by their location. One was in the north, started by Yin Fu and the other was in the south, started by Cheng Tinghua. Therefore people called them North City Bagua and South City Bagua (that is Yin Style Bagua and Cheng Style Bagua.) In 1893, Gong Baotian’s skills were already at their peak, especially his light skills, red sand palm, and walking on a wicker basket. People said that ‘Shandong’ Gong was matchless in these three things. Yin Fu recommended Gong Baotian as a bodyguard to the generals of the Eight Banners. The generals invited Gong to demonstrate his skills. First he took a flying bird. He asked a person to toss a dove into the air, so that the dove would have to open his wings in midair in order to fly. At that time Gong leaped into the air, stretched out his hand and grabbed the dove out of the air. Then he lightly dropped down like a tree leaf. To demonstrate his finger skills, he pulled some green beans from his pocket and held them loosely in his hand. Using his fingers he rubbed and twisted them all down and then tossed them into the air. All that one could see was powder floating all around. Then he also asked someone to take a small stool. He took off his shoes and jumped up bare-foot. Both big toes landed simultaneously on two spots on the stool as he squatted on the top. When they saw all of these skills, the generals were pleased and they asked him to be a bodyguard who was permitted a saber. (That the first class rank was not allowed to Han Chinese is an error.) Ten years later, he took over Yin Fu’s duties and also entered the palace as a “fourth rank saber holding palace guard” and martial arts teacher for the inner palace. In 1900 he followed Cixi and the Emperor Guangzhe as they fled to the Imperial
Palace in Si’an. On the road, his skills as a bodyguard were noted many times. He was granted the right to wear the yellow jacket. In the spring of 1905, he asked for leave to return to his village. Then he responded to a request by Sun Xiangshan of Mouping County (whom the martial arts community called “Iron Arms Sun”) to come to the Sun family and teach his son Sun Ruwen (the author’s teacher.) At the end of 1908, he returned to the capitol.  

When the Qing dynasty ended, Gong Baotian decided to leave Beijing for Jilin. Just before leaving he went to see Yin Fu. At this time Yin Fu was already incurably sick. Gong Baotian made a vow to his teacher. In the future he would definitely return to his old home in Shandong and teach Bagua Quan. With tears in his eyes, he left his beloved teacher. He arrived in Jilin and assumed the alias Zhong Baotian (styled Xiaolan) and taught Shaolin Quan (this really was Lohan Quan.) Two years later he returned to Beijing. He went to live with the family of the author’s Shixiong, Mr. Wang Zhimin. At the time two of Yin Fu’s other disciples, Ma Gui and Men Baozhen, were also living with the Wang family. After about a year, Gong Baotian left the Wang family and returned to his native place, Qingshan village in Rushan, Shandong.

5. Stories about the Great Teacher’s Residence
In 1922, Old Marshall Zhang Zuolin, the head of the Northeastern Army, in order to strengthen the quality of his soldiers, set up a self-defense and martial arts school. Gong Baotian was invited to come in this time of national effort. He decided then to leave the mountain. They saw that his stature was small and slight, only his hands went past his knees. His body was light like a swallow. He turned and changed like a monkey. His skills were extraordinary. At this time he had already fought and beat many famous fighters. He was commonly called, “Jiao dong di yi ba jin jiaoyi” [#1 in the East].  

During the second four months, each locality would gather the fighters together and go to the Old Marshall’s palace in Fengtian [Mukden] to have competitions all day long. Gong Baotian had a well thought out plan. He held a water pipe in his hand and slowly touched his pocket. He strolled around the lake. Suddenly a big burley fellow came up behind him like a cat pouncing on a rat. His hands reached out to grab Master Gong’s waist in order to pick him up and throw him. At that moment, Gong Baotian used Bagua’s Monkey Contracts its Body, Turn Around, Two Snakes Leave the Cave, reverse insertions to the ribs. Immediately the other person’s ribs swelled, and lumps about the size of fists rose up. Standing face to face, both men laughed. The burly guy said, “Gong Laoshi, your body method is very quick, your skills are good, you are worthy to be called a master!” Gong Baotian said, “Jiang Laoshi’s qigong is the best. It is most admirable!” This burly person was none other than the great Praying Mantis master, Jiang Hualong of Yantai. Mr. Jiang also said, “This time Gong Laoshi has it, other people are just not as good.” That night Mr. Jiang Hualong left Fengtian and returned to Yantai.

After several days there was a contest and Gong Baotian was the champion. Zhang Zuolin then named him to be the chief bodyguard. It is said that there are many anecdotes related to this time. According to tradition, there was one time the Japanese consul in Shenyang asked Zhang Zuolin to come by to discuss official business. After he arrived at the consulate, the Japanese courteously asked Old Marshall Zhang to sit down. As soon as Zhang Zuolin started to sit, Gong Baotian stepped up and pulled Old Marshall Zhang back. He kicked over the chair and at the same time cried out, “peng!” He took a dagger and inserted it into the ceiling above. For a long time the Japanese had been plotting to kill Old Marshall Zhang but he was always protected by Imperial bodyguard Gong Baotian. There was another time when Zhang Zuolin wanted to test Gong Baotian’s body method. He suddenly said, “I know that your skills are really good, but you have never had to evade my marksmanship.” Zhang then picked up a gun to fire it. But before it could be fired, Gong was already behind Zhang and had a grip on Zhang’s gun hand. Old Marshall Zhang praised him again and again.  

Several months later, Li Cunyi’s disciple, Fu Jianqiu arrived in Fengtian. In Fengtian Jian defeated a Japanese kendo master named Sheng Dazhen. Gong Baotian heard of this and went to meet him. In getting to know Fu, he found out that Fu was younger than he was by 12 years. (At this time Fu was 44 years old and Gong was 56 years old.) Both of them were born in the year of the horse. (Gong was born in 1870 and Fu was born in 1882.) When he delved into Fu’s martial skills, he discovered that Fu was very good. Thereupon he went to Zhang Zuolin and said, “This man’s martial skills are pretty good, on par with mine. Also I am getting old. Please give him a post in your household.” After Gong Baotian’s gracious recommendation of this worthy person, Fu Jianqiu was taken into the household. After this his reputation spread through the three eastern provinces. At this time the Young Marshall Zhang Xueliang was in Beijing. Zhang Zuolin appointed Gong Baotian to be the Young Marshall Zhang Xueliang’s bodyguard. In June 1928, Zhang Zuolin was killed in Huanggu Village. Gong Baotian was shocked. He felt bad about national affairs, family affairs and the world in general. He decided to leave the capitol and return to his hometown to teach Bagua Quan. He never again returned to Beijing. At this time he was 58 years old.


6. Hometown Anecdotes

When Gong Baotian returned to his home village, he acquired a two story wooden house. The house did not have any stairs. When he needed to move between floors he used a wooden plank. It was five centimeters thick. It was 30 centimeters wide. It was 2.4 meters long. When he wanted to go to the upper floor, he would grab the plank and haul himself up. When he wanted to go down, he would slide down. Around 1913, Gong Baotian was in Mouping. Sun Xiangshan, the father of Gong’s student Sun Ruwen helped to set up halls to teach Bagua Quan in areas around Yantai: Nanwutai, Shinei, Hongkou, etc. and have the Bagua Quan art taught on the eastern peninsula. At that time, people in Mouping, Yantai, Laiyang, Penglai, Qingdao, Jinan, and surrounding areas knew that Gong was in Jiatan, Mouping and many came to study the arts with him. At that time Gong had a lot of famous students such as Hou Tianguo, Ting Shankong, Sun Fuying, Liu Qingfu, Sun Ruwen, Gong Tuzi, etc. (There were famous people in are area at that time that we have no record of.)

People have preserved many anecdotes about Gong Baotian when he was in his hometown (Qingshan village), such as the “Three Big Consumate Skills”. These were:

1. Walking on a wicker basket. Using an empty round wicker basket, with a diameter of about 2 meters. He would jump up on the rim and walk around in a circle without knocking it over. He was incredibly stable.

2. Grabbing a flying bird. A small swallow leaves its nest from below the eaves flying hard. He would leap up and grab the bird, then letting the bird go to fly away again.

3. Using his palm to grind green beans into flour.


Still more has the skill of ‘1000 pounds descending.” (He would use his middle finger to pull a hoe as four or five people opposite him would pull on the hoe. He would use Bagua’s 1000 pounds descending in a squatting horse stance to remain absolutely unmoving.)


Gong Baotian was about 30 years old when he first returned to his village. The second time he started to teach martial arts. Many people came to study with him. A great many students in the course of practicing the art, use the palm to make the core teaching of fighting skills of Bagua Quan. Its objective is application. About this time, there was a popular saying, “There are people who wants it but not accustomed to play.” (This is the idea of starting to work.) Those that were studying the art at this time were: Zhang Jifu, Wang Zhuangfei, Zhang Guoying (his only female student), Liu Yunqiao, Gao Ziying, Sun Liuying, Sun Ruwen, Sha Guozheng (Sha Shimu), Jiang Xingwu, etc. Still more, in Qingshan village, there were Gong Baozhai, Gong Baoshan, Gong Zuo, Gong Dianchun, etc. In addition, Master Gong, in the course of undertaking the transmitting of his art, especially paid attention to martial virtue. In the early stage, there was a student called Ding Shankong. After his studies were completed, he was living in Yantai where he would visit the local martial arts areas (formerly called cai changzi.) Gong Baotian forbade him to do this and he immediately had to give up his martial skills.  

Gong Baotian had three sons and one daughter. The oldest son was called Gong Benyi (Benjie). He had one son, Gong Chaoyue, and one daughter, Gong Chaoying. Chaoyue has two sons, one named Zaiping and one named Zaijun. Zaiping’s birth name is Pengfei. Zaijun’s birth name is Zhenyu. Gong Baotian’s second son was called Gong Luzhai. (His baby name was Little Rock Head.) He died relatively young. He had a talent for martial skill. He was very bright. With martial skills, once he saw it, he could do it. However, Gong Baotian discovered that even though this son’s hands were fierce, he did not study deeply. He was afraid that someday he would stir up trouble. Gong Baotian’s third son was called Gong Jintang. He never married.  

7. The Great Master Passes Away
During the time that Gong Baotian was in the palace, he got into the habit of smoking opium. At the beginning of his thirty years in Shandong, his opium addiction was very heavy. Therefore they quickly sent him to the Sun Family, to teach marital arts to Sun Xiangshan’s grandson, Sun Liuying (Sun Ruwen’s son). At the end of the thirty years, Gong Baotian’s body was not good. Each night he would sit in his chair or perhaps on a heatable brick bed. He seldom ate food. Because of this, he considered returning to his old family in Qingshan. His students Zhang Jifu and Sun Liuying, talked it over, they hired a “shanzi” (two matched horses, one in front and one in back carrying space between.) and Sun Liuying took him back to Qingshan to take care of him. He liked this a lot. So they returned to Jiatan to stay with the Sun family. At that time, the political situation was critical. This was the period of overall resistance to the Japanese. The whole area was turbulent and unstable. Gong Baotian already appeared extremely aged. He lost the vitality that he had had in his former days. He looked as if he could die at any time. Sun Liuying used the “shanzi” to take him to his hometown. That was in the beginning of the summer in 1942. At that time, Gong Baotian’s mind was clear. This time he was with his grand disciple Sun Liuying (also is the last person to study with him.) and was getting ready to bid world farewell. He fervently wished that Bagua would continue to be transmitted. He took all of his martial arts manuals and a sword he received upon leaving the Imperial Palace and gave them to Liuying. Deep in the autumn of 1943, one night one of the local villagers came inside the Gong Baotian family home. He had just come back from Laiyang. He said that there were Japanese soldiers sweeping the area. Gong Baotian’s third son, Gong Jintang, was being held in Laiyang. They tried to help him; but young Jintang had been killed by the Japanese. The old man was deeply saddened and his qi was used up. He died when he was 73 years old.

8. Successors
It has already been 64 years since Great Master Gong Baotian left us. With the passage of time, most of the third generation students are entering into old age. It has been written, “There are no successors to Gong Style Bagua.” The person that wrote those words was not being very responsible. This makes the author very angry because this is not true. According to the author’s knowledge, the successors of “Yin Style Gong Branch” spread throughout the world in order to expand and promote “Yin Style Gong Branch” Bagua Quan. They all use different patterns of progression and diligence. Mr. Sun Ruwen of Dalian, Liaoning Province and his students make one branch. (Dong Haichuan – Yin Fu – Gong Baotian – Sun Ruwen). Uncle Mr. Zhang Jifu of Yantai teaches another branch. (Dong Haichuan – Yin Fu – Gong Baotian – Zhang Jifu) Shishu Mr. Wang Zhuanfei of Shanghai’s son Wang Hanzi teaches students in Singapore, Shanghai, Henan, and other places. He also calls his branch “Imperial Palace Bagua.” (Dong Haichuan – Yin Fu – Gong Baotian – Wang Zhuangfei) Shishu Mr. Liu Yunqiao of Taiwan’s student and inheritor Mr. Xu Ji (Adam Hsu) represents one branch. (Dong Haichuan – Yin Fu – Gong Baotian – Liu Yunqiao) Shishu Mr. Gong Baozhai of America teaches one branch. (Dong Haichuan – Yin Fu – Gong Baotian – Gong Baozhai), etc. Today, our branch in Dalian and Wanghai has established the “Chinese Yin Style Gong Branch Bagua Quan Cultural Exchange Center.” Its purpose is “To expand and promote the art of Gong Style Bagua Quan and to spread excellent quality of Imperial Palace cultivation and fighting.” There truly are successors to “Yin Style Gong Branch Bagua.” They are just presenting a new appearance to the public.  

Translators notes: All translating mistakes are solely mine. Some of the original information may be in error but I did not attempt to change any information that the author is presenting in this article if I suspected that it was in error.

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