Kao ISheng actually first wrote his book in 1927Pa Kua Chang instructor Kao ISheng said his later

re-wrote it in 1932,a nd completed it in 1936. heaven palms were not from Tung.

strike, Kao used "reverse opening palm" and Chou was knocked away. Chou was so impressed with Kao's 64 "later-heaven" palms that he traveled to Shantung to try and find Sung I-Jen, but he could not find any such person.

While teaching his art in Tianjin, one of Kao's senior students was Wu Meng-Hsia. Wu had studied Pa Kua Chang with Han Mu-Hsia prior to studying with Kao. After Wu had studied with Kao, he reported that his teacher Han Mu-Hsia had learned from a Taoist named Ying Wen-T'ien who had studied with, none other than, Pi Ch'eng-Hsia. Wu said that the Pa Kua he learned from Han was the same as what Kao taught as his 64 later-heaven palms. He claimed that since the two men had never met, what Han had learned from Ying Wen-T'ien and what Kao had learned from Sung I-Jen must have come from the same source, namely Pi Ch'eng-Hsia. (For a more detailed account of Kao's story, see Pa Kua Chang Newsletter, Vol. 2, No. 3)

Armed with the information given above, Professor K'ang Ke-Wu conducted an investigation into the veracity of Kao's story. The primary results of his investigation were printed in his forward to Liu Feng-Ts'ai's book, The Kao I-Sheng Style of Ch'eng T'ing-Hua's Pa Kua Chang, published in 1991. Other miscellaneous details of his investigation were given to me by K'ang during an interview conducted in October, 1992, in Beijing.

According to K'ang, who has read and researched literally thousands of books on Chinese martial arts in his capacity as the head martial arts historian of the Wu Shu Research Institute of China, the first mention of a man named Sung I-Jen was in the forward to Kao's book. When K'ang visited Ta Shan village, where Kao was supposed to have learned from Sung, he could not find any villagers who had every seen, nor heard mention, of a man named Sung I-Jen who taught Pa Kua Chang. Although K'ang's visit occurred decades after Kao had supposedly learned from Sung, and thus there are probably no villagers alive who would have been alive when Kao was there, Chou Yu-Hsiang was said to have

In the ten years since his thesis was published, Professor K'ang Ko-Wu has found no evidence to contradict his conclusion that Tung was the originator of Pa Kua Chang visited the area in search of Sung I-Jen a few years after Kao had studied with him and could not find a trace of the man. Another fact that K'ang discovered is that in two different drafts of his forward, Kao had used different characters for the name Sung I-Jen. This discovery leads one to further suspect Kao's story.

While the story told by Wu Meng-Hsia regarding the Hou T'ien Pa Kua that his teacher Han Mu-Hsia learned from Ying Wen-T'ien being the same as what Sung I-Jen taught Kao seems to lend some credibility to Kao's story, Professor K'ang conducted an investigation and found that the story is simply not true. Han Mu-Hsia had studied Hsing-I and Pa Kua from Chang Chao-Tung in Tianjin.

. . . the straight line Hou T'ien Pa Kua was Kao's systemization of the instruction he received from Ch'eng T'ing-Hua and Chou Yu-Hsiang.

When Chang was in Tianjin, he lived with, and was supported by, a wealthy man named Cho. Cho's son, Cho Chih-He, who is presently 88 years old and still lives in Tianjin, told K'ang that after Han Mu-Hsia had become famous for beating up a Russian strongman he became quite arrogant and on one occasion came back to practice with Chang and thought he could embarrass his teacher in a sparring match. As they were practicing, Han kept pressing the attack and backed Chang up to a wall. When Chang detected Han's intentions, he turned his defense into an attack and knocked Han to the floor. After this incident the two were bitter enemies and Han would not admit that he ever learned from Chang. Other than Han saying that he learned from a Taoist named Ying Wen-T'ien, K'ang has not found any reference to such a man and believes that Han Mu-Hsia fabricated the story to spite Chang Chao-Tung.

As far as Wu Meng-Hsia's story about Han's straight line Pa Kua Chang being similar to Kao's, there are two theories. One states that Kao I-Sheng and Han Mu-Hsia actually did know each other and could have shared their Pa Kua. They were both living in Tianjin at the same time and thus it is highly likely that they knew each other. The other theory, which was related to me by a few of the student's in Kao's lineage, says that Wu Meng-Hsia actually fabricated the story in order to support his teacher's claim that he had learned the Hou T'ien Pa Kua from Sung I-Jen.

Regardless of where these stories originated, there are very few Pa Kua practitioners today, even in Kao's lineage, who really believe that the Hou T'ien Pa Kua came from a Taoist named Sung I-Jen. The fact that Liu Feng-Ts'ai, Kao's own student, printed the result of K'ang Ko-Wu's research into Kao's story as the forward to his book proves that he does not buy Kao's story.

So where did Kao's Hou T'ien Pa Kua come from? Most people, including K'ang Ko-Wu and a number of practitioners in Kao's lineage, believe that the straight line Hou Tien Pa Kua was Kao's systemization of the instruction he received from Ch'eng T'ing-Hua and Chou Yu-Hsiang. Kao himself had told his student Liu Feng-Ts'ai that when he first met Chou Yu-Hsiang, Chou had used Tai to knock him down. This technique appears in the 4th line, number 3, of Kao's Hou T'ien palms. It was also well known that Chou's favorite technique was K'ai Chang, which is the first of Kao's sixty-four straight line palms.

In 1966, the book Pa Kua Chang Illustrated written by one of Chou Yu-Hsiang's other students, Yen Ta-Hua, was published . Out of the 34 techniques described in this book, 31 are the same as the techniques which appear in Kao's Hou T'ien Pa Kua. The other three techniques appear in Kao's Hsien T'ien set. Professor K'ang Ko-Wu believes that at least half of the techniques in Kao's Hou T'ien Pa Kua came directly from Chou Yu-Hsiang.

Before learning Pa Kua Chang, Kao had studied and become very proficient in Ta Hung Ch'uan. The eight elbows and eight kicking sets that are practiced in Kao's system are said to have been adapted from his Ta Hung Ch'uan experience. It would seem logical that Kao also used some of his Ta Hung Ch'uan experience when creating some of the Hou T'ien techniques.

Most people now believe that Kao took the essence of Ch'eng's Pa Kua and what Ch'eng and Chou had taught as Pa Kua applications and, borrowing Hsing-I Ch'uan's idea of practicing one technique over and over again on a straight line, he created the 64 straight line changes on his own. He probably worked on developing this set while he was in Shantung between 1912 and 1918. Kao would have been between 45 and 50 years old during those years and certainly had enough martial arts experience to have developed insights into how Pa Kua should be trained for fighting. He most likely fabricated the story about the Taoist Sung I-Jen in order to lend some historic validity to his system. Since he wrote the forward to his book in 1936 and Chiang Jung-Ch'iao's article about Pa Kua being passed down to Tung by the Taoist Pi Ch'eng-Hsia was printed in 1932, it is likely that Kao used this information and said that his teacher Sung I-Jen studied with Pi.

Straight Line Pa Kua Chang

Although it is said that Tung Hai-Ch'uan never taught any straight line Pa Kua Chang, straight line Pa Kua sets are not at all uncommon. While visiting Taiwan and Beijing in September and October 1992, I had the opportunity to interview a number of fourth generation Pa Kua Chang practitioners from the Yin Fu lineage, the Ch'eng T'ing-Hua lineage, and the Liang Chen-P'u lineage. All of these practitioners, without exception, stated that their system included straight line practice sets. Yin Fu's system includes 72 straight line uses the practitioner will practice while stepping in a triangular, or zig-zag pattern. Ch'eng T'ing-Hua's straight line drills involve taking one technique, such as ch'uan chang (piercing palm) and repeating it over and over while stepping in a straight line. Liu Te-Kuan's first straight line Pa Kua was simply the circular palm changes repeated on a straight line. Late in his life, Liu devised another straight line Pa Kua set by combining all of his years of experience in Pa Kua, Hsing-I, and T'ai Chi. This set was designed to train fighting

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