NOTABLE MASTERS OF BAGUAZHANG:
LUO XING WU
Luo Xingu Wu (1881-1969) was a well-known Master in both Xingyi Quan and Bagua Zhang, based out of Hebei province, and a member of the Beijing Athletic Association. During his youth he learned Bagua and was the disciple of Li Wen Biao, who himself was the disciple of the famous Bagua Master, Chen Ting Hua. He later became the disciple of Hao Eng Guang, who was the disciple of Grandmaster Li Cun Yi. Under Hao Eng Guang, Luo Xing Wu learned Xingyi and received the essence of the art.
Luo Xing Wu was brave, high in stature, strongly built and had powerful arm strength. But while learning, he did not rely on his innate gifts and still practiced diligently all year round regardless of the weather. He would wake up at 3 or 4 AM every day to practice Bagua. In the city of Shenyang the freezing weather was at twenty degrees below zero; in order to enhance his internal power, he did not wear any clothing for the upper body when he practiced. At night, when the wind was cold enough to pierce the bone, Master Luo Xing Wu would continuously walk the Bagua circle and constantly alternate from one Bagua palm to another. His back would be drenched with sweat and the sweat would turn to frost but regardless, he did not mind the hardship and continued to practice until the sunrise. However he regarded the summer, under the conditions of the unbearable scorching heat, as being the best opportunity for practice. Besides his perseverance in training, he carried a steel rod with both hands while changing the Bagua palms in order to further strengthen his internal power.
In 1925 there was a Wushu tournament in Dongbei, modern day Shenyang province. The fights that were conducted on the martial stadiums in those days were fierce and highly dangerous. Even if a martial artist were to die in the process, no legal liabilities would be pursued. Luo Xing Wu, with his superior martial skills and courage, consistently won rounds after rounds until he surpassed all that were present and attained high prestige after having obtained the highest award and honor.
Luo Xing Wu was easy going, righteous and heavily emphasized on martial etiquette. At one time a Russian circus passed by Shenyang and because another indigenous circus was performing at the same time, and competed with their business, the Russians sent over twenty strong men to the circus to cause trouble. When the Russians were bullying the Chinese, Luo Xing Wu happened to passed by and when he saw what was happening, he became infuriated and rushed into the crowd. With his fists of steel, he pummeled the Russians causing them to be soundly defeated. The injured audience praised Master Luo for his sense of justice and his nationalistic pride towards his people.
After the beginning of World War II, Luo Xing Wu returned to Beijing. At that time a Japanese officer heard of Luo Xing Wu’s martial prowess and issued a challenge in swordsmanship to Master Luo. Luo Xing Wu at first politely declined the challenge because he stated it would be pointless to cause unnecessary injuries. But the Japanese officer persisted in challenging Master Luo and he set the location at the police department. Several days later, the officer, with a Japanese katana in hand and charged at Master Luo. Luo Xing Wu however, had only a bamboo sword in hand and faced the Japanese officer calmly as he smiled. As the duel commenced, the Japanese officer wielded the katana as he attempted to strike Master Luo from the head; Master Luo simply took a step back and easily evaded the Japanese officer’s sword strike. Master Luo let out a thunderous yell as he thrusted the bamboo sword to the Japanese officer’s chest causing the officer to fly 20 to 30 feet away, landed on the floor and never to rise again. From then on this duel became a folklore amongst the Chinese.
Master Luo devoted his entire life to the pursuit of martial art and trained many disciples and students. In 1962 he became the representative of Beijing Wushu and a member of the Beijing Wushu Athletic Association. He held the position as the team leader of the Xingyi and Bagua Specialist Group. His training emphasized both, on lectures as well as demonstrations. He had high expectations for all his students and as a result, was able to help his country cultivate many outstanding athletes.
Currently many of the renowned Bagua and Xingyi practitioners are of Master Luo’s lineage: such as Liu Jing Ru, Yang Tong, Fu Chi Hu, Wong Shi Xiang, Du Jing Gwo, Lee Keh Ren, Shu Shi Tien, Fu Wei Zhong, and Ma You Ching. Many of these are currently martial artists of high regards. Although Master Luo has passed away, his exemplary character and martial prowess will always be like the flower of spring, blooming everlastingly within the world of martial arts.
LIU JING RU
Liu Jing Ru was born in Hebei province during 1936. He was a core member of Bagua Association and a member of the Wushu Association in Beijing. In 2003 he was awarded the eighth degree in Chinese martial art.
In 1957 he became the disciple of Master Luo Shing Wu; he learned Xingyi and Chen-style Bagua. In 1962 He learned Bagua and the Spiral Fist from Master Chiou Zui He, who was the disciple of Master Zhang Zan Hui. Master Liu Jing Ru learned from the Grandson of Ying Fu, He Zong Chi, Ying-style Bagua. Afterwards he became the disciple of San Shian Ling of Shandong province and learned the Six Harmony Mantis. He received the essence of Xingyi, Bagua, and Six Harmony Mantis from Master Chen Yong Shing, Liu Tan Fung, Wong Long Kui, Wong Long Tung, and Wong Fu.
In 1963 he participated in the Beijing Martial Arts Tournament and received first place in Xingyi, and Bagua. In 1979 he participated in the National Wushu Exchange Tournament and received the gold medal in Bagua. In 1980 he participated in the second National Wushu Exchange Tournament and again received first place in Bagua.
In 1980 Liu Jing Ru, Li Bing Tze, and three others founded the first martial art academy after the Cultural Revolution called Beijing Eastern City Wushu Academy. He taught at the academy for over ten years and brought about many elite Bagua practitioners.
In 1981 his disciple, Fu Chun Mei, received the gold medal in Bagua during the third National Wushu Exchange Tournament. His other disciple Ge Chun Yen received gold medals in the National Wushu Exchange Tournaments five consecutive times. Other disciples, Zhang Hong Mei, Zhuang Hui, San Yu, and amongst others received gold medals in Bagua. Han Yen Ming and Han Yen Wu, Jia Yong An, Hu Yao Wu (USA), Ren Shou Ran, Hong Chen, Liu Hui, Shiang Zen, and amongst others received honorary standings in the Beijing Wushu Tournament. Together they advocated and made the Bagua style well known. In 2006 during the Henan International Martial Art Festival, French student, Ye He Ma received the gold medal in Bagua and Bagua weapons.
For years Master Liu Jing Ru continued to spread the art of Bagua on an international scale: in France, Greece, Italy, Belgium, America, Australia, Japan, and other countries; he had students and disciples all over the world. Master Liu Jing Ru had published Bagua books and VCD in Italy, Greece, France and other countries and as a result made a profound contribution towards the martial discipline of Bagua.
For more information about Grandmaster Liu Jing Ru, please visit his website.