The Lion System – Baoding Wrestling Connection

[David Chee-Kai Lin/ Combat Shuai Chiao in the pics] 

In modern Baguazhang culture- Cheng Ting Hua is often credited for wrestling and Yin Fu is revered for his penetrating palms.  While this may be a half-truth, Imperial Guards (Yin Fu) are skilled in military wrestling as well… the wrestling is the core foundational training of the elite, and the wrestling in Qing-era contained strikes and locks. To note, the Lion System of the Xie Peiqi/ Men Baozhen branch shares ancestry with the combative Baoding Wrestling schools- including all eight striking methods (from left to right, top to bottom: Sweeping, Cutting, Chopping, Hooking, Shocking, Blocking, Seizing, Grasping).  Baoding is the southern gate of Beijing. There are many troops stationed there. The military academy of Manchu is also located in Baoding. 

Shanpuying – Cheng Ting Hua

The context of Cheng Ting Hua’s Baguazhang is distorted in modern kungfu culture.  Numerous 2019 articles reveal, Cheng was invited by the elites and became a member of the court’s inner guards- likely the Shanpuying (wrestling battalion equivalent to modern special forces). However, Cheng, who had just entered the palace, had not yet settled into the position… and it was during this time, he encountered the news of the invasion of the Eight-Power Allied Forces. The guards, Cheng Tinghua naturally had the obligation to protect the security of the Qing Dynasty royal family.  

William E. Fairbairn – Yin Style Baguazhang/ Feudal Shaolin

irfsFairbairnHISTORY IS FUN!  Fairbairn was a Royal Marine Soldier who is credited as the pioneer of modern close quarters combatives. In 1907, Fairbairn joined the Shanghai Municipal Police and served as the Primary Chief CQC instructor - Shanghai was considered to be the most dangerous city in the world at the time. Fairbairn founded and trained the Shanghai Reserve Unit (the Riot Squad) — which is the first Special Weapons & Tactics Unit in the world, and became the precursor for modern S.W.A.T. and S.R.T. teams. In China, Fairbairn studied and became proficient in Baguazhang under the instruction of Tsai Ching Tung (Cui Zhendong, Bagua student of Yin Fu), who was employed at the Imperial Palace, Beijing, as the instructor to the Retainers of the late Empress Dowager. Fairbairn later made a dedication in his book All In Fighting/The Fairbairn Method (1942) to Cui Zhendong calling him a man of "terrifying prowess." The Yin Style of Bagua is an integrated part of modern martial arts branching from “The Fairbairn Method” of William E. Fairbairn. One of William E. Fairbairn’s students was Ian Fleming who went on to write the James Bond series of books. 

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