Yin Fu

Yin Fu’s other names were DeAn and Yin ShouPeng. He was born in Chi County, HeBei province in 1841. Early in life he practiced the Shaolin 12 Road Tan Tui which he later brought into the art of Bagua as a series of 12 kicks. He was accepted as a student of Qin FengYi known as Bit Spear.

As Dong Hai Quan’s reputation grew students of Qin would go to Beijing to challenge him. All of them met defeat. Finally it was decided to send Yin Fu to Beijing. He too met defeat but immediately asked to be accepted as Dong’s student. He had realized a different perspective, feeling that Dong was a true master of his Bagua LianHuan Zhang a mysterious art. Yin Fu moved to Beijing and lived near ZhaoYang Gate, outside JiShiKou House #3. He made his living by making MaHua, fried donut crisps and everyone called him MauHua Yin. Yin looked like a poor, thin Confucian scholar so he also gained the nickname Shou Yin or Thin Yin. He was, later in his career, also known as Iron Bracelet Thin Yin for his strong finger skills.

Yin Fu’s learning was not without troubles. At first he was a stubborn student and despite Dong’s urging would only study the Bagua fist and foot arts. He barely practiced the changing palms despite Don’t telling him to practice everything. Yin maddened Dong by making it clear that he was unimpressed by some of Dong’s style. Dong replied, “If you laugh at this practice once more you won’t have front teeth.” When Yin started laughing Dong thrust a two finger strike and broke Yin’s front teeth. This seemed to change Yin’s opinion and he applied himself to all the studies of Bagua from that point on.

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Due to Yin Fu’s previous Tan Tui and LuoHan training Dong decided to teach him the Hard Hand method. Yin made great progress and the relationship was not like a typical teacher student. Yin returned to his ancestral home at time and taught some people an art that was Bagua but grounded in LuoHan. He also developed many teaching methods and techniques of his own which contributed to the growth and maturing of the art. Dong was fond of his student, one of his youngest, and designated him as the senior student of the entire school. Many people wanted to study under Yin such as the Eunuch named Liu, who introduced Yin Fu to the palace guard eunuch Cui YuGui. They matched their fists and Yin Fu not only defeated the guard but engendered a great respect for the art in him.

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Cui became Yin’s student and introduced him to the eunuch Li LianYing. When they met Li looked at Yin and was so unimpressed with his outward manner that Cui had to intervene saying, “What you see is just outward appearance. His unseen abilities are truly deep. No one is equal to his striking. As you look at him kneeling before you don’t think those bricks under his knees were broken before he knelt.” Li looked down as saw that it was so. From that moment on Yin was employed in prestigious manner teaching eunuchs, palace guards and palace men and women. He taught them all Bagua. It even came to the attention of the Empress CiXi and Emperor KuangXu. Bagua was made one of the “secret arts” of the Palace and became a required study for palace staff. Even the Empress wanted instruction and Yin Fu not wanting such a responsibility, created a special manual for her to study.

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During the Boxer Rebellion in 1900 the Empress and KuangXu fled Beijing to Xi’an. Yin Fu returned home and stopped teaching anyone. When CiXI returned to Beijing she ordered Yin Fu to return to teaching. He remained a teacher there teaching palace students and otherwise in retirement until KuangXu was removed.
Yin died in 1909.

Yin Fu is one of the most popular and most complete of Bagua branches. It also has many versions. One of the oldest contains not only the Palm Changes but the 12 Continuous Legs and the 18 Luohan exercises. Each of his students also added to the art. For instance:
Li YongQing (Iron Arms Li) and Men BaoZhen practiced Large Frame with movements very quick, springy, hard and crisp. Very suitable to the young with strong skill coming from the hard and quick motions.

 

Ma Gui (Ma ShiQing) and Gong BaoTian promoted Small Frame school where the approach was quick, small, soft, flexible and cunning. This style combines soft and hard with smooth, precise movements and high skill level. Some versions of Gong BaoTian style divide the art into separate forms for people with martial experience and those who are starting Bagua fresh. The three “pure” Bagua forms are Eight Internal Palms, Eight Changing Palms and LianHuan Continuous Linking Palms. On the other side the three forms for people with previous training are KaiMen Four Animals, Bagua Kicking and Tight Hand Form. This method is said to emphasize Light Body Energy.
Other methods, such as those from Xie PeiQi are much larger with not just eight changing palms but eight entire systems each for one of the animals.

Another sudent of note was Cao Zhong Sheng

In general the Yin style does not emphasize the lower and upper basins. The walk is in the range of the middle basin with comfortable and rather small steps. The attempt is to keep the foot flat to the ground even when stepping. The hand position is known as the Ox Tongue with all fingers, including the thumb, held straight. But the Ox Tongue is not strongly emphasized in all branches of Yin style. The style has its own post standing methods and stance training techniques.

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