On May 29 and 30 of this year, 2020, I was able to participate in the Dalai Lama's Avalokiteshvara Empowerment via YouTube. I have experienced a number of empowerments and attunements in person and via distance methods in the past 3 years. This was an experience unlike anything I've had before. Feeling an embodied emanation of Avalokiteshvara make available this energy and devotion to bodhicitta for the world was heavy, I could barely stay awake. I was nodding off and waking up to read key points of closed captions.
Chinese master Xie Peiqi opened up his extremely complex Yin Fu Baguazhang inherited from Men Baozhen as well as his medicine skills - teaching Andrew Nugent-Head the full transmission of both. He passed in 2003 and the art has gained much interest and respect, largely due to the martial representation of He Jinbao and the DVD series. This system has a step by step method to build various methods of power generation and is arguably 8 different martial arts systems.
Gerald Sharp is tudi to Zou Shuxian in the Jiang Rong Qiao line. Jiang's Baguazhang system, Taiji Changquan, Xingyiquan system, and Yiquan are preserved in full in Southern California. I am quite grateful for the documentation he provides and consider him one of my teachers due to the sheer benefit I have gained from these materials enriching my in person instruction.
The Gong style is a true hidden gem in its foundation and process when taught correctly by someone who understands it fully. I was given permission to teach the foundation of Gong style Xingyiquan and Baguazhang in Spring 2019 and have been largely polishing my own skills and dealing with health issues and subsequent physical therapy. I now feel I have a sufficient grasp of the art to share certain aspects with the world.
The Kenny Gong style of Hebei Xingyiquan may be developed from the 1930s era of Jiang Rong Qiao's art when Jiang was working in curriculum development and publishing at the Central Guoshu Academy. It's said that Gong's teacher was a Guomindang officer that was called only the Anhui General. While hiding out in Guangdong, Kenny Gong trained Xingyiquan with this man who must have communicated through written means as they could not understand each other's Chinese languages. Later, he would further modify his Xingyiquan to be representative of the Goshawk (also called Falcon or Sparrowhawk) shape and the Baguazhang to be representative of Xuanwu or Alligator, Snake, and Turtle Combined.
Regarding some characteristics of Gong style we have a lot of focus on rib power and softness. We also preserve a method of zhan zhuang and neigong that I believe may have influenced Yiquan or perhaps been influenced by it in return. In our line, the Five Elements is presented not in a pentagram but 5 overlapping rings with one in the center and 4 in the cardinal directions like a big 5 circle Venn diagram - simultaneously representing the 5 Elements, 8 Trigrams, and 9 Palaces and their relationships.
Our Xingyiquan partner work mostly consists of Bear and Eagle Fighting Push Hands and 5 Element partner work developing into sets. Zhan zhuang testing is mostly for specific directions. Ba Shi Quan is non-existent except as the 8 Powers Theory but parts of that form are mixed into the Zha Shi Chui. Perhaps there was a parallel or competing development of forms at that time between Hebei lineages. The Shi Er Hong Chui has a very middle dantian focused body method whereas other lines seem to be more lower dantian focused. We preserved no weapons forms.
The Jiang Old 8 Palms probably comes from a Liuhebafa teacher in Hong Kong. It's said Master Gong exchanged Yi Jing theory for the Baguazhang form as he was deeply educated in the classics. The flavor is closest to what Chen Yiren's line preserved. We have some partnered circle walking, multiple opponent palace fighting. various aspects of the postures, and some unique interpretations of intent in walking. At the highest levels one does not even work on form but walks a hexagram's flavor or traverses the two patterns of the 9 Palaces.
Finally, the Anhui General may have known Jiang Rong Qiao's family through Cangzhou and perhaps later, Tianjin links. The Cangzhou Wujiquan Butterfly Palms is the closest publicly recorded form to the Double Butterfly Neigong Form and unavailable to be learned outside of China as far as we know.
In my lineage here in Arizona I noticed an illness. We were losing parts of the curriculum I'd seen demonstrated in video. We were losing the 12 Animals as individual practice methods and were given a form. We were losing the 8 Basic Palms and understanding of how to use Baguazhang. We were losing an understanding of our wider lineage. We were told myths about Yue Fei. Our Baguazhang looked like the Five Elements with turns instead of the flowing, coiling, wrapping art it is supposed to be. The Double Butterfly Form is mostly lost here except for Lloyd Day's instruction.
I decided to go my own way from my foundation for a few years. When my Chen Village lineage Taijiquan teacher was deported I sought out Gong style. After deciding to reach out to the wider world of neijiaquan I have trained some small amount of Han Family Yiquan, Cheng Baguazhang and have some influence from Fu Zhensong's neigong and Yin Fu styles as well as started learning Yang Taijiquan. I feel it's important to seek out other lines and their knowledge to enrich my own.
While I was told I should not video certain aspects I feel they will be lost by my "seniors" who clutch their certificates while knowing no neigong and forgetting more of their forms every day. I feel like these aspects need to be preserved with detail not only for our line to survive but hopefully, to reinvigorate interest and bring seniors with true knowledge to the fore to prove my ass wrong. I am still learning the more advanced aspects of these arts and do not have all the answers. I offer a foundation, hope you build it quickly and go learn from someone better than me.