Historical Baguazhang artifact gradually fades into extinction with the modernization of kungfu- the feudal historical context, nuances, and its appreciation disappear with time. Certain Baguazhang systems are underappreciated regardless of history or any reason. The Yin Style Baguazhang Bear system is indeed one often overlooked- the system requires patience and some gladiator back muscles. [He Jinbao back in the dinosaur days, and Li Junfeng- Bear Representative Posture]
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.
Baguazhang is renowned for the Circle Walk strategy- however, it is of great irony very few Baguazhang schools today instruct or preserves the feudal application of the circle, in the correct context. Flanking is important in fighting… everyone knows. Circling prowess around an opponent, a tree, for meditation, for equilibrium, are common reasons the circle is instructed in modern schools. In the feudal era, the circle walk is designed specifically for melee combat- a special precaution for a soldier’s defense against multiple armed opponents. A classic example is illustrated in Costantino Calarone, Italian Fencing Treatise of 1714. The treatise dictates a single fighter against multiple armed opponents- should circle walk, so the body’s movements are more agile. The sole fighter should not deliver thrusts, unless in the reach of just one opponent. The fighter should not stay planted, nor withdraw with backward steps. The optimal strategy is to wheel to the right of the first opponent, away from the multiple opponents at his side- aka Melee Stacking [as in the pic].
[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.