Other well known practitioners who are said to have studied with Tung are:
Liang Chen-P'u Shih Chi-Tung Chia Feng-Ming Li Ts'un-I
Among Pa Kua scholars there is constant debate as to whether or not certain students actually studied with Tung himself or with one ofTung's senior students (Ch'engTing-Hua and Yin Fu being recognized as Tung's most senior students). When Tung was in his later years, students most likely received the majority of their instruction from Yin or Ch eng and only spent a short amount of time with Tung himself. Whether or not these students could be considered students of Tung is debatable.
Most references to Tung's teaching method state that Tung required a prospective student to have a background in another martial arts style before he would teach them Pa Kua Chang. Tung would them teach them Pa Kua based on the foundation they already had and thus each student received unique instruction. This is one reason why there are so many diverse styles of Pa Kua Chang, which trace their roots back to Tung, in existence today. The biographies ofTung's students and the characteristics of their different styles will be presented in future issues of the Pa Kua Chang Journal
Although there are numerous other fables and fairy tales about Tung's remarkable martial arts skill, they will not be presented here. Readers interested in reading about the legend ofTung Hai-Ch'uan can turn to any of the books in English that have been written about Pa Kua Chang and find these stories printed for your reading pleasure.
Li Tzu-Ming delivering a speech at the opening cerimonies of the new tomb location. Over two hundred Pa Kua Chang enthusiasts attended the event.
Tung Hai-Ch'uan's Tomb
Tung Hai-Ch'uan's tomb site as it looks today (photos taken in October 1991). The front wall and center structure were added in 1981. The back wall was built to contain the four stones that were located at the original tomb site. The stone on the left hand side of the back wall details the Pa Kua Chang lineage of Tung Hai-Ch'uan in Korea.
Over four hundred Pa Kua Chang practitioners from all over China donated money to restore
Tung's tomb. However, the last decade has proved to be harsh on the monument and it is currently in need of further restoration and maintanence.
As with his life, there are many colorful stories told about Tung Hai-Ch'uan's death. One of the versions found in a number of books and articles printed in English states that when Tung's body was laying in its casket a number of his students tried to lift it, but it would not budge. They tried to lift it numerous times, but had no luck. Suddenly, they heard a voice from within the casket say, "None of you has come close to matching my skill." Tung then passed away and the casket was easily lifted.
Li Tzu-Ming offers another story":
"One of Tung's students, Shih Chi-Tung (also known as Shih Liu) had a lumber yard inside the Chao Yang gate. Shih's wife was Tung's adopted daughter. In his later years, Tung frequently took up residence at the Shih family home. His passing had to do with his adopted daughter. On one occasion, Shih's wife was ill and Tung was concerned. He sent for a doctor who wrote a prescription. Tung personally went to a medicine shop to the western part of the Ti An gate road. Tung gave the prescription to the clerk and then sat by the counter while the prescription was filled. A pregnant woman came by later to buy herbs and sat near him. When she sat down, she unintentionally sat on Tung's pigtail. When Tung discovered this, he became quite upset. The taboos of the eunuchs were numerous and this was considered to be an ill omen. When he returned to the Shih residence. Tung began to sigh incessantly. Despite the efforts of Shih Chi-Tung and his wife to bring him out of it, Tung was inconsolable. Not long after this incident. Tung fell ill. The master of a generation, Tung passed away in the 12th month. 15th day of the Kuang Hsu (1882)."
Although these are interesting stories, Tung's original tombstone simply states that Tung died of a serious disease. The last few days of his life his followers had to support him when he left his bed. Those that supported his arms and legs commented that "it was as if he was built of iron." This comment on the stone probably led to the story about his students not being able to lift his casket.
The Tomb of Tung Hai-Ch'uan
If one were to say that there are almost as many different Pa Kua Chang "styles" being practiced today as there are Pa Kua teachers teaching, the statement would not be too far from the truth. Although almost every Pa Kua instructor seems to teach a different variation of the art. tracing back to the origin of the majority of styles practiced today will lead to one name, Tung Hai-Ch'uan. Whether or not Tung actually "originated" the art is a popular topic of debate among Pa Kua practitioners (see article on page 14), but regardless of where the style actually originated. Tung was definitely the first instructor to propagate the art widely and the person who brought the art into the public eye.
Tung's grave site, and the stone monuments which mark it. have had a colorful history. Tung's original burial site, near the Red Bridge just outside of Beijing's East Gate, was initially marked with one stone monument. Over the years a number of other stone markers were added by Pa Kua practitioners wanting to show their respect. Tung's tomb was a great attraction and was visited by many martial artists and martial arts enthusiasts. However, this original burial site was destroyed during the Cultural Revolution and the stone markers were buried underground. In 1980-81 the stone monuments and Tung's body were unearthed and moved to a new location. Pa Kua practitioners from all over the world donated money for the restoration of Tung's tomb and new monuments were added. Most recently, in 1991, another stone monument was added detailing the lineage of Pa Kua as the art traveled to Korea.
The Original Burial Site
In the ninth year, second month of the Ching Emperor Kuang Hsu (1883 - the year after Tung died) Tung's
Each of the Eight Sides of Tung Hai-Ch'uan's tomb is represented by one of the Eight Trigrams. The Ken Kua is shown here. The first name (top right) is Wang Wen-K'uei a student of Liu Pin. Under his name is the name of Liu Hsing-Han, who was also a student of Liu Pin. Liu Hsing-Han was featured in Vol.1, No.l.
students erected a single stele (stone tablet) at his grave site to ensure that their teacher would not be forgotten. The original grave site was located near the Red Bridge just outside of Beijing's East Gate to the side of Ti Yang Kung common and to the south of Shiao Niu Fang Village.
The original stele erected at Tung's tomb reads as follows:
"The deceased was surnamed Tung. His personal name was Hai-Ch'uan and he lived in Chu Chia Wu township, which is south of Wen An city. As a youth he was fond of playing the hero and paid no attention to farm production. He took to living like a frontiersman, aiding those in distress and peril to the utmost of his ability. By nature he was fond of hunting and he galloped about the forest - the beasts of the forest all avoided him. As he came of age, he traveled about China passing through the mid and western areas of the country. There was no famous mountain or great river which he did not exert himself to the point of peril to see their wonders unfold in order to broaden his horizons. Later he encountered a Taoist priest who taught him martial arts. Tung reached a high level of skill. Unexpectedly, in his middle years, some unscrupulous people tried to defame him. At the end of his rope. Tung dealt with them cunningly and changed his residence to that of the Prince of Su by pretending to be a eunuch. In his refusal to cooperate with these foul people, he showed his heroic nature.
When he became old he began to live outside the palace and those who approached him to study martial arts ranged from officials to merchants and numbered in the thousands. Each student learned a unique art. One one occasion, he went traveling beyond the city to the frontier and was approached by a number of men who attacked him from all sides with weapons. Tung Hai-Ch'uan intercepted them, moving like a hurricane. All observers marveled at his excellence and were awed by his bearing.
Even when he was near death from serious disease, his followers, who supported his arms and legs, said it was as if he was built of iron. Three days later he died sitting cross legged and his expression was transcendent. His students in Beijing, who were dressed as mourners, numbered more than one hundred. Because he was buried outside of the east meridian gate, about one mile from the city, grief was not easily forgotten and it was proposed to erect a monument in order to express our feelings towards him."
As mentioned earlier in this article, there is also a list of 66 names on this stele. Although many of the names are recognizable as Tung's students, it is certainly not a complete list.
Although other steles were added later which give accounts ofTung's life and accomplishments, the majority of martial arts scholars agree that all of the steles added after the first provided exaggerated accounts ofTung's life and his practice.
On the 21st day of March, 1930, two additional steles were placed at Tung's burial site. These monuments were erected by a group of Pa Kua Chang practitioners who were led by Ma Kuei. Ma studied the art with both Tung Hai-Ch'uan and his student Yin Fu. Ma Kuei's name appears on the original stele. These two stones contained accounts of Tung's life and listed the names of many Pa Kua Chang practitioners of the day. What is more important, one of these steles recorded the Pa Kua Chang generation names which were assigned by Tung to indicate disciples of future generations. See page 6 of this issue for details on Pa Kua Chang generation names.
During the 1960's, China found itself in the midst of the "Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution," a contorted political movement which brought to China a rain of terror and chaos. The revolution, which was a result of great conflict within the Chinese Communist Party, was led by Leftist children and students recruited into an organization (the "Red Guard) built up by Mao Tse-Tung.
The mission of the Red Guard was to rid the country of the "Four Olds" (old culture, old customs, old habits, and old ways of thinking) and establish the "Four News" (new ideas, new culture, new customs, and new habits). The definition of "old" and "new" was left up to the Red Guards to decide. Some of the Red Guard activities included: changing all names of streets, schools, stores and persons which were connected with the ideas of feudalism, capitalism, or revisionism, forcing people to change their styles of clothing and hair, destroying anything antique, closing all Catholic schools, destroying temples and places of worship, destroying all Buddhist figures and ancestral altars, hanging Mao Tse-Tung's portraits everywhere, reading Mao's quotations, hanging up "big character" propaganda posters, and making general propaganda on the "Decision" of the "Proletarian Cultural Revolution."
During the Cultural Revolution Tung Hai-Ch'uan's tomb, part of the "old culture," suffered the fate of many other cultural relics, it was destroyed - its stones being knocked down and buried. Tung's tomb lay underground for 17 years. The tomb site was turned into a farmer's field.
Restoration and Relocation of the Tung's Tomb
In the late 1970's the Chinese National Sports Committee put out a directive encouraging martial arts enthusiasts to conduct research and put in order wu shu legacy. In 1980 a group of Pa Kua practitioners and martial arts researchers in Beijing heard that plans were being made to build a housing project on the land where Tung was buried. The group, led by Li Tzu-Ming and K'ang Ko-Wu, unearthed the stone steles and erected them in front of the Beijing Physical Education College's Wu Shu arena.
Because many of the students at the physical education college thought it would bring bad luck to have tomb stones sitting in front of the wu shu arena, the stones, along with Tung's body, were moved to Wan An public cemetery opposite the Reclining Buddha Temple in the Western outskirts of Beijing.
The monument built at Tung's new resting place consisted of three structures. The center structure, which contains Tung's remains, is an eight sided enclosure. On each of the eight sides a plaque is inset into the brick structure which contains the character for one of the eight trigrams. Under each trigram plaque is another plaque which lists current day Pa Kua Chang practitioners who
Pa Kua Chang practitioners Sha Kuo-Chung (left) of
Hunan and Li Tzu-Ming (right) of Beijing visit the new tomb site together. Li is now 92 and Sha passed away on August 7, 1992.
were involved with the reconstruction effort. I do not know if there is any significance to which names appear under which trigram. Nor do I know if the list on each of the eight different name plaques are grouped together for a particular reason. It may be that the names which appear on the same plaque are from the same lineage (see photo on opposite page).
In front of Tung's eight sided tomb there is a wall which contains three inlaid stones on its front and three on its back. The stones on the front of this wall simply introduce the reader to the monument by stating who is buried there and list names of some people who were involved in restoration of the tomb. On the back of the front wall, the center stone gives a short account of Tung's life and states that 442 individuals were involved in moving the tomb to its new location. The stone on the right lists the practitioners of Pa Kua Chang in China who live outside of Beijing and are spreading the art. This list includes Pei Hsi-Jung of Shanghai and Sha Kuo-Chung of Yunnan, among others. The stone on the left of the center stone lists the overseas Chinese who are spreading the art. There are names of Chinese Pa Kua Chang practitioners from Australia, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Central America.
All four of the original stones were set into a single wall which is in back ofTung's tomb. These stones are arranged as depicted in the photo on page 7. All four of these stones have inscriptions on the front and back and thus they are
This stone, which was added to Tung's grave site in June 1991, depicts the lineage as it spread to Korea with Lu Shui-T'ien.
set into this wall so that both sides are exposed.
In June of 1991 a new stele was erected at Tung's burial site which details the Pa Kua Chang lineage as it moved from China to Korea. Pa Kua was brought to Korea by 5th generation practitioner of Tung Hai-Ch'uan's Pa Kua Chang. Lu Shui-Tien. Lu Shui-Tien (1894-1978) brought Pa Kua Chang to Korea when he moved his family there during the Sino-Japanese War. Lu. who was from the city of Ching Tao in Shantung Province, China, was well known in Shantung for his martial arts ability. During the Sino-Japanese war he was a guerrilla fighter and killed many Japanese. Lu ran with a band of Chinese martial arts experts who hid in the mountains during the day and infiltrated Japanese encampments at night. Because their operation had to remain covert, the group executed Japanese soldiers without the aid of firearms. Traditional bare hand and weapons techniques were used to kill the enemy and thus the guerrillas could move in and out of the Japanese camps without being noticed.
Lu Shui-Tien became so well known for his fighting skill that the Japanese put a price on his head. When this occurred, it became too dangerous for Lu to stay in China so he sailed from Ching Tao across the Yellow Sea to a safe haven in Inchon. Korea. When he thought the situation in China was safe for him. Lu would travel back and continue to fight the Japanese. During one of these trips, Lu's wife was killed and he left for Korea once again, never to return to his native land. Lu settled in Inchon's large Chinatown.
When Lu Shui-Tien was young, he learned what he called "farmer style" martial arts. By "farmer style" Lu was referring to any one of the hundreds of "family style" martial arts systems that were practiced by the inhabitants of remote towns and villages. During the Ching Dynasty, police protection was only provided to those people who lived in large cities. Inhabitants of small towns and villages were left to provide their own protection against bandits and thieves. Typically, a village would hire a skilled martial artist to come live in their village for a period of time and teach the young men of the village fighting skills. Once a group was trained, the martial artist would leave town and the group he trained would train others. Over time, the system that was originally taught would change and the village would make it their own. The martial system which was taught in Lu Shui-Tien's home town provided him with his introduction to the combat arts.
After having practiced the "farmer style" for a number of years, Lu wanted to know more. He had heard that the best fighting art in China was Pa Kua Chang and so he sought out a Pa Kua Chang instructor. The first instructor he found was Li Ching-Wu (1864-?). Li did not live in Ching Tao but in a town which was about two days ride by horse from Ching Tao. Lu Shui-Tien would frequently make the two day journey to his teachers town to study. When Lu left his home in Ching Tao to study with his teacher, he was typically gone for as long as two years at a time.
Not much is known about Li Ching-Wu himself. Park's teacher told him that the Pa Kua Chang that Li taught may not have been from Tung Hai-Ch'uan's lineage. It is quite possible that Li's Pa Kua Chang lineage was similar to that taught in Shantung province to Kao I-Sheng by the Taoist Sung I-Jen (See Pa Kua Chang Newsletter. Vol. 2, Number 3). Some of the straight line Pa Kua Chang taught by Park Bok Nam (Lu's senior disciple) is veiy similar to the straight line Pa Kua taught by Kao. Lu Shui-Tien's senior disciple in Korea, Park Bok Nam. does not know who Li Ching-Wu's teacher was. however. Lu did tell him that
Li Ching-Wu only had ten Pa Kua Chang students and thus his art was not widely spread.
After Li Ching-Wu died, Lu Shui-T'ien sought out another Pa Kua Chang instructor and subsequently studied with a forth generation practitioner in Tung's lineage. Thus, in the lineage of Tung Hai-Ch'uan, Lu Shui-T'ien was fifth generation. Lu told Park that he felt his first teacher, Li Ching-Wu, taught a more complete martial arts system than his second teacher because it combined straight line Pa Kua with the circle walking forms and maneuvers. Park does not know the name of Lu's second teacher. He stated that Lu seldom spoke of his own background. Park's teacher did tell him that his second Pa Kua Chang instructor's Pa Kua only contained practice which was based in circle walking. Lu felt that the straight line practice and directional footwork training he received from his first teacher was very beneficial to his development of fighting skill. He felt that his second teacher's system was lacking because this training was not included.
Three generations in Lu's lineage are included on the Korean stele. The first generation, listed as the fifth in Tung's lineage, lists only Lu Shui-T'ien. The sixth generation lists six of Lu's students including his son Lu Shu-Te and Park Bok Nam (see photo on opposite page). Also listed on the stele are students of Park Bok Nam and students of Park's Pa Kua "brothers."
The Tomb's Future
The monument erected to Tung Hai-Ch'uan is a source of pride for most Pa Kua Chang practitioners. Those who have had the opportunity to visit this site hold it as a highlight in their martial arts career. Unfortunately, if a strong effort is not made to help preserve this landmark, it will not be available for future generations of practitioners. Ever since the tomb was unearthed, the Pa Kua Chang community in China has been asking for financial assistance from practitioners in other countries so that they can further preserve and maintain the monument. In China, the money they can raise does not go very far.
When I visited Tung's tomb in 1991 it was evident that time is taking its toll. The dust and grit which blows in from the Gobi desert each Spring is eating away at the old stones and the bricks laid during the 1981 restoration are starting to loosen and fall out.
In the future, we are looking to start a Tung Hai-Ch'uan Tomb restoration fund. I will be making liaison with the group in Beijing who is responsible for the tomb's upkeep when I visit there this Fall. I will let the readers know of new developments towards this goal in future issues.
1) K'ang Ko-Wu. "Studying the Origins of Pa Kua Chang". 1984
2) Marina Wamer, The Dragon Empress. 1972. pg. 31
3) K. Chihmin Wong, History of Chinese Medicine. 1936. p.234
4) Marina Warner, The Dragon Empress. 1972, pg. 32
5) Li Tzu-Ming, "Regarding the Mystery of Tung Hai-Ch'uan's History", China Wu Shu Magazine. December. 1986. pg. 21
6) Marina Warner, The Dragon Empress. 1972. pg. 32
7) Cicil Essentials of Medicine. 1990
8) Lee Ying-Amg, Pa Kua Chang for Self Defense. 1972, pg. 22
9) Li Tzu-Ming. "Regarding the Mystery of Tung Hai-Ch'uan's History"
10) Han You-Shen. "Anecdotes of Tung Hai-Ch'uan and his Students". Wu Lin Magazine. August 1982. pg. 20
11) Li Tzu-Ming. "Regarding the Mystery ofTung Hai-Ch'uan's History"
Pa Kua Chang instructor Lu Shui-T'ien in Korea, 1974
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