Gong Baotian/ disciple of Yin Fu is renown as the prototype for “Master Gong Yutian” in the GRANDMASTER Motion Picture- Gong Baotian may be among the most popular Yin Style Baguazhang icons in the Republic of China era. Modern Baguazhang schools generally make no distinction between Yin Fu’s students or provide a factual explanation of why methods of training, weapons, routines- differ so much between branches which exist today. Feudal Academia reveals the difference is simply divisions/ranks in occupation and time. Gong Baotian achieved the Imperial Guard status and General Manager of the Four Products- which is Second Rank Sword Guard. Yin Fu is First Rank Imperial Guard and Commander, selected from Qing Special Forces. The separate divisions of just one rank are substantial in regards to martial style, weapons, footwork, context. General Managers of the Four Products are often restricted from firearms (such as bayonet) and unarmed in close quarters with the Empress. The Spear is often utilized during inner palace duty, in conjunction with the military saber when appropriate. As a Han Chinese First Rank Guard under Manchu Rule, Yin Fu’s standards and military privileges are on a different level from Gong Baotian- unparalleled in Napoleonic Gutterfighting and the Shaolin Square Dance. Yin Fu is the Three Products Commander, therefore Yin Fu’s Chief System contains Spear/Luohan methods of the second rank, as well as techniques reserved for the most elite.
The book, Taiji Yang Luchan’s “Stolen Boxing” by the novelist Gong Baiyu of the Republic of China, is another primary inspiration for modern Baguazhang promotions and instruction. This fantasy novel is the foundation for the renown waiter and teacup story of Dong Haichuan- which contributes to inaccurate documentation of feudal Baguazhang. The story illustrates: Su Wangfu’s banquet on this day are full of wonder and guests -extremely crowded, that the waiter’s [Dong Haichuan] dishes cannot be placed on the table. The Qing officials saw the appearance of marvelous stunts, and the hand-held dishes were twirling between the crowds, flying, and dancing, and entering the unmanned environment- majestically the Waiterbender completed the task!! Everyone in the room was astonished and intrigued, only to realize this person is the top martial arts master Dong Haichuan. When serving teacups, it is the use of superior [Opera-fu] martial arts – the body and footwork of the Eight Trigram Palm.
[Pics from Tong Lin Chuan novel- the Shaolin influence is obvious] The legendary story of Dong Haichuan’s Opera-Fu exploits originated from the martial arts novel “雍正剑侠图” in the early 1920s. This instant classic has the most extensive influence on Baguazhang folk tradition in the Republic of China era. The author Chang Jieyi used Dong Haichuan as a prototype to create the character Tong Lin, which has brought a magical and fantastic context to Dong Haichuan’s life and the origin of the Eight Diagrams Palm. The magical fallacies from this world of FICTION continue to this day in countless Baguazhang schools, including the Deerhorn Knife and an arsenal of Peking Opera weapons… Now back to base reality, Dong Haichuan was originally named Dong Mingkui, a native of Zhujiawu Village, Wen’an County, Hebei Province in the Qing Dynasty. The Factual Dong family lived in Hongdong County in Shanxi Province. The ancestors of Dong Haichuan were the generals of the Yuan Dynasty. They served as the deputy marshal of the general of Long Huwei. Dong’s ancestors moved to the city of Hebei in the early years of the Ming Dynasty. The descendants of their descendants were military commanders for five consecutive generations. According to Wen’an Wenshi data and Xiongxian County records, many people in the Dong Haichuan family are military commanders and FEUDAL SHAOLIN PROFESSIONALS.
The fight between MMA fighter Xu Xiaodong and Tai Chi master Wei Lei sent shockwaves through China. A competition which only lasted 10 seconds- forever changed Chinese Kungfu history in contemporary times. The punch that Xu utilized is the feudal Shaolin fist- iconic in Bajiquan. This straight fist with the expansion of the rear arm is renown for penetrating force, with a continuous second energy upon impact. Beijing Gongfu Jia Taijiquan 83 system also contains this style of boxing technique… Xu has earned the support of the Shaolin Temple in China, in an effort to preserve factual Chinese Kungfu- as there are too many exaggerated Tai Chi or commercial Kungfu promotions nowadays stemming from the 1928 Fitness Reform, detrimental to REAL Taijiquan, Baguazhang, or kungfu reputation. Xu is supportive of authentic Bajiquan (Shaolin), original Taijiquan (feudal Chen Longfist) and Yin Style Baguazhang (feudal Shaolin), he is great friends with some of He Jinbao’s early disciples.
[Uncle Ma, lecturing about short-range elbows again- at the World Armed Forces Association] Feudal Bajiquan and Beijing Chen Taijiquan descend from the same sources in the Ming Dynasty- separated in the early 20th century during the 1928 Fitness Reform. Before the 20th century, the systems are Feudal Military Shaolin. Liu Yun Qiao cross-trained Yin Style Baguazhang (orthodox penetrating palms) with Wutan Bajiquan.
[Brother Hu with He Jinbao in the pic] Feudal wrestling is essential to Yin Style Bagua professionals in the Qing era. The Manchu wrestling before the 20th century contained obvious strikes and joint locks, complementary to the career path, and the Imperial Guard’s armor- worn during circle walking around the tree. The strikes of the wrestling for mounted officers is contained within various Yin Style systems and dominant within the Lion System- contrary to modern Shui Jiao (or popular folk Dragon classification) which has lost much of the cavalry striking. In the Qing era, military wrestling utilized edge of hand and various bone strikes- crucial for taking down an armored opponent. The Manchu style of vest descended from the leather edged portion of the Mongolian style of armor- the most important area of the armor for grasping and qi uprooting practice.
Yin Style Bagua before the Republic of China era is labeled as Feudal Shaolin methods of Qing Cavalry/ Security forces. The civil weapons ban in China has resulted in a bit of amnesia, with the current Yin Baguazhang masters. Late 18th to the early 19th century “Dismounted Saber” of cavalry officers in the Qing era, is influenced by the Napoleonic saber technique. Yin Style Baguazhang Dragon Chopping- is now instructed as empty-hand striking… however the primary feudal Shaolin application is the officer saber methods of Yin Fu.
The fight scene in the first “IP MAN” film between Ip Man and the Northerner, Jin Shan Zhao- is based on Cheng Ting Hua’s patriotic journeys in 1883. The movie pays homage to the teahouse skirmish between Cheng Ting Hua and a Southern Chinese militiaman (who challenged Cheng Ting Hua as he was pouring tea).