Hsing-yi is a powerful Internal Martial Art that shares the philosophy and principles of its sister art T'ai Chi Ch'uan. However, Hsing-yi uses simple straight line and aggressive techniques to overwhelm and crush the opponent. Because it employs internal energy (chi) and physics, rather than brute force is considered an Internal Martial Art. As an Internal Martial Art, Hsing-yi can also bestow the same long life and health benefits as Tai Chi Chuan.
At Lotus Dragon we practice Hobei Hsing-yi which emphasises devastating punches and powerful palm strikes, and footwork that is always advancing, even while retreating. Hobei Hsing-yi utilizes the Five Element Fist Forms use a Twelve Animal Form in its training and because we are in the lineage of Great Grandmaster Wang Xiang Zhai, Yiquan is the first foundational Hsing-yi form that our students learn. There are also a number of Two Person Sets and Push-Hands drills that are included in Hobei Hsing-yi empty hand system. Hobei Hsing-yi training is usually done at a slow to moderate pace to perfect body mechanics and learn to move as one rather than disconnected movements.
Five Element Fists
Pi Chuan (Splitting Fist) - Metal Element
Tsuan Chuan (Drilling Fist) - Water Element
Peng Chuan (Crushing Fist) - Wood Element
Pao Chuan (Pounding Fist) - Fire Element
Heng Chuan (Crossing Fist) -Earth Element
Phoenix or Mystical Bird
Eagle & Bear
Bagua Chang, a sister art to Tai Chi Chuan and Hsing-Yi, is best known for its practice of “Walking the Circle” in various postures and stances. All styles of Baguawalk the circle as major part of their training. Bagua players change direction within their circle by executing short forms called Palm Changes, which contain a wide variety of throwing (Shuai), joint locking (Na), kicking (Ti), and striking (Da) techniques. Because of this Bagua is considered a well-rounded art using both striking and grappling techniques that employ the whole body in coiling and uncoiling with quick whirlwind movements that draw their energy from the center of the earth and the lower abdomen. Bagua also uses numerous evasive techniques to move behind an attacker, so that a Bagua player can flow easily in and around their opponent(s) who cannot easily harm the player. Bagua is also known for its ability to efficiently defend against multiple attackers
Kuo Lien Ying’s Bagua:
The Bagua style that we practice is often called Old Jiang Style, because our forms look very similar to the original Palm Changes taught by Jiang Rong Jiao. However, it would be more accurate to call our Bagua, Zhang Zhaodong Style, since Grandmaster Kuo Lien Ying and Grandmaster Jiang Rong Jiao were actually kung fu brothers under Zhang Zhaodong.
Grandmaster Kuo Lien Ying studied with the following masters:
(the first spelling below is how the name is spelled in most documentation about Grandmaster Kuo’s lineage, the second spelling is Pin Yin as listed by the historians and scholars)
Chong Ting Hua = Cheng Ting Hua is listed as one of Grandmaster Kuo’s teachers. Cheng Ting Hua died in 1900 seven years before Grandmaster Kuo began practicing martial arts. However, it was the tradition and standard practice in Bagua schools of the time (a tradition began by Cheng Ting Hua himself) to list the founder of a school as the teacher of a prominent martial arts master who came to practice at a school, since the master would have been more of a peer to the head instructor than a student. Additionally, there was often a friendly exchange of techniques and forms as well.
Ch'en Yu Ch'ing = Cheng Youxin (1891-?), the second son of Cheng Ting Hua.
Chang Chao Tung = Zhang Zhaodong (1859-1940), third generation student of Dong Haichuan and first generation student of Cheng Ting Hua teacher of Jiang Rong Jiao, the founder of Jiao Style Bagua.
The Bagua style taught by Zhang Zhaodong, and later by Kuo Lien Ying and Jiang Rong Jiao, was preserved in its simplest form. These Grandmasters maintained the purest essence of Bagua Chang in their forms without complicating their style with elaborate movements and flashy techniques. These simple and direct techniques make Kuo Lien Ying’s Bagua a powerful, devastating and effective method of self-defense. Also, because Grandmaster Kuo was a student of Zhang Zhaodong there is considerable Hsing-Yi and Shuai Chiao influence in his Bagua forms and applications as well.
The Bagua and Hsing-Yi forms, sets and drills taught by Sifu Dug at Lotus Dragon are drawn from his two primary teachers, Grandmaster Henry Look and the late Master Kevin Coogan. While our Hsing-yi and Bagua forms and body mechanics follow closely the curriculum and style taught by Grandmaster Look, many of our Two Person Sets and drills are the same ones that were taught by Master Koogan.