The Gao Yi Sheng style of Cheng Ting Hua's Ba Gua Zhang has been addressed in the Pa Kua Chang Journal numerous times. Since the Gao style is one of the most popular styles being taught outside of mainland China today, it is natural that it would be a recurring topic in the Pa Kua Chang Journal. However, in the half dozen articles which have discussed Gao's Ba Gua we have yet to address this system as it is still taught in the place where it originated. In previous issues we have discussed Gao's Ba Gua as it is currently being taught in Hong Kong, Taiwan and the United States. This article will focus on Gao's Ba Gua as it is being taught today in Tianjin, China.. The information for this article was obtained through interviews conducted with Wang Shu Sheng and Liu Shu Hang in April 1993 and September 1993 in Tianjin. Wang and Liu were both students of one of Gao Yi Sheng's loop disciples, Liu Feng Cat
Gao Yi Sheng A who was also known as Gao De Yuan and Gao Shou Shan was born in 1866 in Shandong Province, Wu Di County, Da Shan Township, Da Zhuang Zi Village. Da Shan Township is located in northern Shandong Province near the Shandong/Hebei border about 50 miles from the southern part of Tianjin City. Gao's family was originally wealthy, however, when Gao was still young his family's fortune was swindled away and the family moved northeast about 90 miles to Hebei Province, Wu Qing County, Shao Gao Township. Wu Qing is located between Beijing and Tianjin in Hebei (about 80 miles from Beijing). As a child Gao studied the Da Hong Quan ^ system of martial arts that was taught in his family. He later studied Xing Yi Quan 0 from Li Cun Yi A) and when he was 26 he began to study Ba Gua Zhang from Dong Hai Chuan's (
it M student, Song Chang Rong
After three years of study with Song, Gao Yi Sheng had only learned the Single Palm Change. He begged his teacher to teach him more, however, Song said that he was not ready. Song told Gao that one cannot learn too much and expect to achieve a high level of skill. Gao was disappointed and left Song to find another teacher.
When Gao Yi Sheng was 30 years old he met Cheng Ting Hua's 0- M. % student, Zhou Yu Xiang a native of Wa Fang Village in Wu Qing County. Zhou, who also studied Xing Yi Quan with Li Cun Yi, was well known for his fighting ability. When Gao and Zhou first met they had a friendly challenge match to test each other's skill. After Zhou defeated Gao in three attempts at attack, Gao acknowledged Zhou's superior skill and asked to be Zhou's student. Zhou, who was only five years Gao's senior, said, "Because we are almost the same age, I really cannot be the one that brings you into the system. You should look upon me
Gao Yi Sheng's student Liu Feng Cai (1908 - 1987) studied and taught Ba Gua Zhang in Tianjin for nearly 50 years. He is shown above executing a Dragon Form posture from Gao's pre-heaven Ba Gua (Long Xing Chuan Shou Zhang)
as your elder brother." Gao pleaded with him and so Zhou agreed to take Gao to Beijing and introduce him to Cheng Ting Hua. If Cheng accepted Gao into the system, then Zhou said he could teach him. When Gao Yi Sheng met Cheng Ting Hua and asked to become one of his disciples, he told Cheng that he already had some experience studying under Song Chang Rong. Because Gao had some background in Ba Gua and because Zhou recommended him, Cheng accepted Gao as a student. Upon returning to Wu Qing, Zhou taught Gao his art and Gao periodically made trips to Beijing to study with Cheng. Since Cheng Ting Hua died a few years after Gao met him, Gao received most of his Ba Gua instruction from Zhou Yu Xiang. Gao studied with Zhou for five or six years. He learned the traditional eight palm changes, the broad sword, the straight sword, the spear, the crescent moon swords, the short stick, basic fighting sets and their corresponding developmental training exercises. After spending five
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