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IMPERIAL PALACE BAGUAQUAN
www.imperial-bagua.com


Gong Zhong Xiang
Master Gong Zhong Xiang was born in China in 1924 and began his training in Chinese Martial Arts (Wushu) as a young boy. He was very fortunate to study Taiji & Xingyi under Master Chu Gui Ting, a main Xingyi disciple of the legendary Master Li Cun Yi. Chu was also a top ten disciple of the famous Yang style Taiji master Yang Cheng Fu. Chu's diligent practice took his gong fu to very high levels in both Xingyi and Taiji, impressing even masters of other styles of martial arts. This earned him an appointed teaching position at the Nan Jing Military Academy where he taught officers and civilian government officials.

Under Grandmaster Chu, Gong Zhong Xiang learned Xingyiquan, Xingyi Bagua, Taiji Splashing Hands, Stationary and Dynamic Push Hands, and both long and short range weapons. Gong was Chu's most devoted and talented student. Chu placed complete trust and confidence in Gong, passing on to him secrets that he imparted on no other student. Master Gong also studied under the King of Chinese Pugilism, Wang Zhang Fei, a student for over 15 years of the legendary Imperial Baguaquan master Gong Bao Tien - a personal bodyguard of the Emperor during the last years of the Qing Dynasty. This Imperial style Bagua was taught exclusively to the Imperial guards. It's superior fighting techniques were a closely guarded secret, never being taught to the public to ensure the safety of the emperor.

Under Master Wang, Gong Zhong Xiang received years of rigorous instruction in Imperial Palace Baguaquan, including the 64 intricate styles, combat utilization, Piercing Fist, Black Dragon Quan, Finite and Infinite Nine Palace Foot Movements, Fluid Body Gong, Breathing Gong, Iron Sand Palm, etc. Throughout Master Gong's rigorous training regimen under these renowned masters, he came to achieve a veritable mastery of these martial arts, virtually unparalleled even in China.

Under the support of the Shanghai Martial Arts Council and it's training academy, as well as Dong Ji University, Master Gong has over 30 years of teaching experience, training hundreds of highly skilled martial artists. In China he is well known and respected as an authority of the foregoing styles. He's received countless honors and awards at major international martial arts competitions and has served as a judge on many occasions. On March 2, 1994, at the request of then Mayor of Paris (currently Le President de la Republique FranCaise), Jacques Chirac, Master Gong was invited and warmly received as a judge at the First European Martial Arts Tournament. As a participant at the tournament, Master Gong represented the People's Republic of China, and he distinguished himself and his country by his Nei Jia excellence and being awarded a Gold Medal.

In 1997, Master Gong was invited to serve as judge at the opening ceremony of the Martial Arts for World Peace Organization in Washington D.C. He also competed in the event, finishing with highest honors for his skills. His offical capacities includes: Honorary Chairman of the International Martial Arts Federation, Chairman of the North America Authentic Wudang Martial Arts Council, Executive Secretary of the Chinese Calligraphy Institute of California, Former coach and team leader of the Shanghai Martial Arts Council and is Former executive secretary of the Shanghai Internal Power Martial Arts Federation.


Baguaquan
This style of Bagua was created by Dong Haichuan of Kaishan during the Qing Dynasty, a period of great political decadence. Many martial artists of the time plotted to assassinate the Emperor and Imperial Family, so in an attempt to protect them, Bagua experts were summoned. There are basically three styles of internal martial arts. Of the three, Bagua has the shortest history, albeit the most mystical and most influential. Although there are many forms of the art, Imperial Baguaquan is still virtually unknown to the outside world. Imperial Baguaquan has blossomed out into numerous styles, perhaps the best known being Xingyi Bagua.

Third generation Master of Imperial Baguaquan, Wang Zhuang Fei, while still young, had such an unparalled expertise in Bagua, that he became known as the "King of the Bagua Fist." Master Wang Zhuang Fei's most distinguished student, Master Gong Zhong Xiang, dedicated his life to the perfection of his skills in the internal martial arts of Taijiquan, Baguaquan and Xingyiquan. After many years of practice and devotion to Master Wang's very rigourous instruction, Master Gong achieved his goal of mastery in these most difficult and sophisticated of all martial arts.

The special characteristic of Baguaquan is the finesse of its mystical foot movements, modeled after the Dragon, Phoenix, Tiger, Swallow, Snake, Eagle, Horse and Monkey. Praticed with Yin and Yang, the movements take on the characteristics of the animals, such as stalking like a dragon, vision like a monkey, stance like a tiger and soaring like an eagle. The accomplished practitioner is able to launch attacks and counter-attacks against an opponent which are virtually indefensable. The secret of Imperial Baguaquan lies in the intricate foot and hand movements, and it's marked dissimilarities to those of Xingyi Bagua. Fundamental Bagua, 64 fist styles, Wulong Quan, Black Tiger Fist, Silver Phoenix Quan, Golden Monkey Quan, Lohan Quan, Youshen Gong, Tunei Gong, traditional Chinese weapons, Steel and Sand Palm, etc.

The benefits of Baguaquan are numerous. A practitioner will strengthen his musculature and bones, retard the aging process, prevent corporal infirmities, cephalgia (headaches), vertigo, as well as other health problems. Other benefits include prevention and treatment of arteriosclerosis, strengthening of the internal organs, hypertension, hypotenstion, certain types of depression and weight reduction, all of which can be attained in a relatively amount of training time. And of course the obvious benefits of self-defense and physical conditioning. One of the greatest benfits of Imperial Baguaquan is, unlike "hard" martial arts, which are largely limited to practitioners under 30, the internal systems can be practiced well into old age, enhancing health and physical prowess along the way.

For a case in point, try to find practitioners, even masters of other martial arts who publicly demonstrate their skills after age 40. Practitioners of the internal styles, such as Imperial Baguaquan, not only publicly demonstrate until their advanced years, but they actually are able to achieve even increasingly greater levels of mastery, well past their middle age. This is due to the fact that while the hard external styles deplete the body of energy, the internal styles actually enhance the body's internal energy, which enables one to practice for hours per session, without fatigue.


Xingyiquan
The origin of this amazing and effective martial art is traditionally attributed to the famous general Yue Fei (1103-1141) of the Song Dynasty. For some time before then, the art was practiced in private and not documented, but it resurfaced to the public eye during the Qing Dynasty. Ji Long Feng (also known as Ji Ji Ke) of Shanxi Province was the first to teach the art of Xinyi He Quan (Heart Mind Six Combitions), near the end of the Ming Dynasty (early 1600s). The art has a long and colorful history of many distinguished masters such as Dai Long Bang, Li Luo Neng (also known as Li Neng Ran; nicknamed "Divine Fist Li"), Liu Ji Lan, Guo Yun Shen, Song Shi Rong, Che Yi Zhai, Li Cun Yi, Shang Yun Xiang, Sun Lu Tang, Chu Gui Ting and his foremost student, Master Gong Zhong Xiang.

Xingyiquan is one of the three major Chinese internal martial arts, with Taijiquan and Baguazhang being the other two. All are based upon Chinese philosophical systems. Xingyi in particularly is based around the Five Element Theory. Legendary master Li Cun Yi's personal disciple, master Chu Gui Ting, practiced Xingyi diligently for many years, earning himself both national and international recognition. Master Chu distinguished himself as a talented martial artist, being appointed as a teacher at the Nan Jing Military Academy teaching officers and civilian government officials. Master Gong was Zhou's most devoted and skillful student. He placed complete trust and confidence in him, teaching him secrets he imparted to no other student.

Xingyiquan consists of the "Five Element Fists" or Wu Xing, which are Pi Quan - metal, Beng Quan - wood, Zuan Quan - water, Pao Quan - fire, Heng Quan - earth. Each element has a corresponding characteristic, which, in turn, is used to defeat the others. The creative nature enhances physical prowess, increases power and energy. The destructive nature is for self defense and combat.

After a certain level of proficiency is acquired in the practice of the Five Elements, the student goes on to learn the Twelve Animal and linked forms. The Twelve Animal forms are variations of the Five Elements expressed through the form and spirit of animals in combat, including the Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Chicken, Hawk, Snake Bear, Eagle, Swallow, Tai (a mythical bird) and the Tuo (a type of water lizard). Xingyi Quan is an internal (yin) system which is based upon the five primary elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth and the steady flow of qi (energy).

After a certain level of proficiency is acquired in the practice of the Five Elements, the student goes on to learn the Twelve Animal and linked forms. The Twelve Animal forms are variations of the Five Elements expressed through the form and spirit of animals in combat, including the Dragon, Tiger, Monkey, Horse, Chicken, Hawk, Snake Bear, Eagle, Swallow, Tai (a mythical bird) and the Tuo (a type of water lizard). Xingyi Quan is an internal (yin) system which is based upon the five primary elements of metal, wood, water, fire and earth and the steady flow of qi (energy).


Taijiquan

The Yang Family Style of Taijiquan was created by Great Grand Master Yang Lu Chan near the end of the Qing dynasty, during the first half of the 20th century. Yang Lu Chan's children (Yangyu and Yangjian) and his grandchildren Zhaoxiong and Zhaoqing (Yang Cheng Fu) were all skilled practitioners and respected teachers, who continued the family tradition by further refining the Taiji form. Their efforts helped to make Yang Style Taiji the most popular form of Taiji in the world today.

Yang Style Taijiquan blends external movement with internal breathing to produce a system with martial art applications as well as health enhancing benefits. The relaxed and flowing movements that characterize the form emphasize lightness and suppleness while simultaneously helping to build energy. The continuing ever-circular movements, combined with deep, slow, and long breathing reduces internal tension and stress, strengthen internal organs and can boost immune functions. With continued practice the effects on circulation can be seen in the hands, which may turn red during practice reflecting increased blood flow. For middle age and older persons or those with progressive or chronic disease, regular practice can hold the secret to maintaining and improving health. For young individuals attracted to martial arts practice, Yang Style Taiji has direct real world applications, and the potential to enhance the practice of other styles by allowing practitioners to be more relaxed when performing other forms.

The martial arts utility of Yang Style Taiji is reflected in the success of its most well known practitioners. The founder, Yang Lu Chan was known as Yang Wu Di (Wu Di means no enemy and no rival). In numerous matches he was never beaten. A son, Yangjian, often held a feather duster to practice Taiji while his followers used swords. His grandson, Great Grandmaster Yang Cheng Fu was said to have achieved a level at which he appeared soft as cotton on the outside but had an iron-like firmness on the inside. He taught many students, and was followed by a dedicated disciple - Grandmaster Chu Gui Ting who held a high ranking position in the Chinese Nationalist military as martial arts chief officer for "Bao Tin" the military officer's academy and for the Nan Jing province National People government arm forces. He was also enlisted as a personal bodyguard for Sun Chuan Fang, the Chief General of the Chinese Nationalist Arm Forces for five provinces. Grandmaster Chu was expert in many different martial art systems. He possessed amazing skills in different types of internal martial arts called Nei Gong: such as arms and figures Nei Gong. In 1928, he was the Xingyi fighter who won the first no rules full contact championship of China. He then became the most famous Xingyi Grandmaster in recent history.

In 1930, at the request of Master Li Jing Lin, the king of swordsmanship, Grandmaster Chu became Great Grandmaster Yang Cheng Fu's disciple. With time, because of his great skill, most disputes and challenges from outsiders were allowed to be settled by Grandmaster Chu. Thus Grandmaster Chu became one of Master Yang Cheng Fu's most respected disciples.

In the mid 1940's, Master Gong Zhong Xiang become Grandmaster Chu's disciple and began to study martial arts including: Xingyi, Taiji, Xingyi Baguazhang, Taiji Tui Shou, Taiji San Shou, Ta Li, and short and long weapons. Master Gong followed Master Chu for over thirty years until Master Chu passed away in March of 1977. With devotion and hard training Master Gong became the most beloved and dedicated disciple of Grandmaster Chu. His skills in forms and applications produced many championship awards in competitions.

Master Gong's training in Taiji, Bagua and Xingyi includes direct transmissions regarding philosophy and practical applications of these major forms of Nei Gong or Internal Power. His teachings represent the authentic and traditional elements of these ancient martial arts. Every movement in each form, no matter how small, has a specific application, meaning and power within. Footwork and handwork are also uniquely authentic and they provide superior martial art value by building a solid foundation from which real world applications can be practiced. Advancing, retreating, right and left awareness, keeping centered and stable, all adhere to correct martial arts application principles. Key elements of internal power systems are respected: breathing coordination, external and internal synchronization, complimentary movement of upper and lower extremities, upright head and spine, chest is hollow with rounding of the back.

Master Gong lives and teaches the traditional martial arts with a dedication to education and attention to detail that is rare in today's world.


Teaching
Master Gong Zhong Xiang teaches Imperial Palace Baguaquan, Xingyiquan and Yang style Taijiquan every saturday & sunday at 10 am in a park located in Monterey Park, California. He is also available for weekday private lessons.

If you'd like to learn from a master from the lineage of such notable martial artists of the past like Gong Bao Tien, Li Cun Yi and Yang Cheng Fu, then contact us. Class is informal and lasts several hours. Students can attend as their schedule permits. Master Gong is very kind but traditional in his training. The more he sees you advance in your practice, the more he will teach you.

Contact Shun Quan to arrange an meeting with Master Gong. We are not a so-called "closed door" school, but Master Gong likes to meet each student personally before training him.

email: shun@imperial-bagua.com
phone: 818.321.1338
webmaster: david@emptyflower.com