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.
In ancient Chinese sculptures and paintings, most of the Generals were portrayed with a thicker muscular belly- characterized as the waist of a tiger, or ancient military commander’s waist. In modern times, though rare… raw lineages maintain a distinct core muscle control which descends from the Armor dynasties. Under the ancient umbilical is the Dantian, which is regarded as a crucial muscle group for medieval Chinese Knights. A dynamic and thicker waist can provide additional protection of the spine, and auxiliary force to the core muscles. Ancient treatise favors the commander’s waist for generating short-range power and maintaining stability on foot while wearing heavy armor. Armor prevents damage from sabers and polearms, requiring more emphasis on wrestling, balance, and core control for weapons precision. Many conflicts ended with knocking the opponent to the ground and disrupting their Qi with either a blunt weapon (mace), or a short weapon- to penetrate a suit of armor at the seams, or through the visor of the helmet.
HISTORY 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.