Monday, June 2, 2008

Wu Jin Yuan 吳錦園(My masters Father)

Wu Jin Yuan was born in 1897 in Shan Dong China and died in 1993. The country of Shan Dong was saturated with martial arts in order to combat the many bandits that were often prevalent in the area. Because of this there were many authorities or protectors of the area that were knowledged in different styles of martial arts. These created a general feel that all of the families in the area should study martial arts of some kind. The most popular at the time was Shao Lin, Bagua was not as widely known.
Wu Hui Shan an elder who was familiar with the martial arts world for a long time. It is also said that he had practiced some of the martial arts in his own leisure time. Cause of this he wanted to implement this into his own children's development. He had 5 boys and 1 girl who were all involved in martial arts from a very young age. He then organized the prosperous five which was his attempt to involve his children in something different than Shao Lin and other basic martial arts movements. So he tried to find a way to get his life long friend who had currently developed a reputation in Bagua to come home from Tian Jin and teach his children professionally. His friend was Gao Yi Sheng.

Gao was originally from the Shan Dong Province, he had grown up there since he was young. Because Shan Dong was a country area and it was hard to make a living aside from only farming. Many people like Gao fled the poor area with hopes of something more. Gao from a child was already big into the martial arts but after he left he had reached a new level. This is when Wu Hui Shan was able to use his long term relationship with Gao and hire him to be the family's personal instructor. At the time Wu Jin Yuan was about a seven year old boy. Many writers later described the scene of both Wu Jin Yuan and his sister's training as a sight to see. One minute they were training the Bagua spear, then it was the sticks and the staff, and redirecting energy, two person forms etc. It was this way for the next 8 years for Wu jin Yuan. Because his training was daily with out interruptions or other students he was able to absorb the complete system of Gao. When he was 16 he left the village and was to have reached a level of "perfection."

He left to Tian Jin for both reasons of spreading and enriching our system of Bagua. Where he met with masters who taught him Qing Ping Sword. It has four sets and is said to be called Yang Style Qing Ping sword in China today. In 1949 he travelled with the military from Qing Dao to Ji Long. After a couple months the government sent him to Xin Zhu County, Er Zhong where he was stationed until retirement. There were 52 students that were stationed with him in the vicinity and were also into the martial arts. They asked him to teach them the ways of Bagua. You could say this was his first group of students. Later he had a large number of students the continued to come to Xin Zhu for training. He continued to teach them for over forty years. To show their gratitude of his teachings they honored him by calling the system The XIn Zhu Jin Yuan Bagua Association.

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