Eight top disciples of Dong Haiquan: Yin Fu (1842–1909)

Yin Fu was also known as Te An Shou P'eng and "Shou Yin" ("Little Yin") because of his size. He was born in Zhang Huai Village, Qi district, Jixian county, Hebei province. His father, Yin Lao Shan was a farmer. When he was young, he might have studied the following styles: Mei Hua Quan (Plum Flower Boxing), Lian Huan Tui (Chain Kicking) and / or She Xin Quan (Snake Tongue Boxing). A series of natural disasters (drought followed by floods) drove him out of his home village and he moved to Beijing. He eventually moved to Beijing and worked as an apprentice in a cutlery (scissors) shop. A short time later he gave up the scissor business and began selling pancakes and "fried-dough twists." In his early years in Beijing he picked up the nick name "Fried Dough Twist" Yin. Since he was tall and slim, people also called him 'Thin" Yin.

There are several versions of the story concerning Yin Fu's introduction to Dong Hai Chuan. In the first version, Yin Fu did not know any martial arts. Yang Kun, a third generation Yin style practioner, tells how Yin was extremely diligent about his job. He would arrive very early at the baker's, pick up the first batch of baked and fried goods and then quickly run out to sell them, thus getting a jump on his competition. It is said that Dong took an early morning walk every day and frequently witnessed the young man frantically making his morning rounds near Prince Su's palace. On one morning Yin Fu was robbed while making his rounds. Determined that he would not let this happen again, Yin began to practice martial arts on his own in the woods. Tung saw him practicing one day and was highly impressed with Yin's determination and drive. He approached Yin and asked if Yin would like to study martial arts.

Yet another version of the story, as told by Xie Pei Qi, states when Yin Fu came to Beijing he was already skilled at "Snake's Tongue" Boxing (She Xin Quan), which he had practiced since childhood. Shortly after he arrived in Beijing he heard of Tung Hai Chuan's reputation and went to the palace to challenge him. When Yin met Tung and initiated the challenge, Tung was holding a tobacco pouch in his left hand. Tung stretched out his right hand with the palm facing up (yang palm) and said, "You start first." Yin squared off with Tung and extended his hand in attack. As soon as Yin's hand met Tung's arm, Tung turned his palm over and pressed on Yin's arm. Yin Fu moved to block up and when he did Tung speared straight in and struck him in the mouth with his fingertips, knocking out his two front teeth. Tung never dropped the tobacco pouch. Realizing that he had been outclassed, Yin knelt and asked Tung to be his teacher. Tung refused. Yin said, "If you do not take me as your student, I will kneel here and die in front of you." Prince Su was passing by and observed what was happening. He noticed that Yin was very thin and had a "unique look." The prince told Tung to please accept this young man as his disciple. He said, "I will be the one to make the introduction between teacher and student." At this, Tung accepted as his disciple.

The last version, often found in Chinese marital art books, tells that Yin was experienced in the arts of Mei Hua Quan and Lian Huan Tui before meeting Tung. When he came to Beijing, Yin heard about the great teacher Tung Hai Chuan and was determined to meet him. In an effort to be noticed by Tung, Yin purposely chose his business route near the palace of Prince Su. Yin constantly asked people who worked and lived near the palace about Tung Hai Chuan. Tung received word of this persistent young man and eventually agreed to teach him.

Yin started studying with Dong in the mid 1860’s. Dong first taught Yin Fu Luo Han Quan because this was the style being taught at the palace before training in Bagua. He spent twenty years with Dong. For ten years, he was collecting taxes for the Court in Inner Mongolia. History records that the teacher and student practiced morning, noon, and night, and it was during that time that Yin learned the entire system. He popularized the Tornado Palm and Ox Tongue Palm techniques of the Bagua system. He was Dong’s first and by far his longest serving student.

When Yin Fu became proficient in Bagua, he started a protection and bodyguard agency. His students worked for him, guarding the homes and bodies of the well-to-do and the elite of Beijing. The success of the agency was due to the fact that each and every guard was backed by the reputation of Yin Fu. Each of these guard/students learned Lohan Shaolin, Pao Chui and Kung Li before learning Pa Kua Chang, making each of them effective fighters in their own right. As he became wealthy from his two businesses, Yin Fu began to send food and clothing back to his home village every month. 

In 1900, during the evacuation of the capital due to the Boxer's Rebellion, he was appointed the head bodyguard of the Empress Dowager and the Guang Xu emperor. After government returned to Beijing, Yin continued in the employ as head of the royal guard. When he retired, he was succeeded in his position by Gong Baotian, one of his more accomplished disciples. He died when he was 70 years old. His two sons later moved to Shandong province.

The style and flavour of Bagua that Yin Fu began to teach became known as Yin Style Bagua.

    Cao Zhongsheng, Cui Zhendong,Geng Jishan, Gao Wencheng, Gong Baotian, He Jinkui, Jiu           Qingyuan, Li Yong Qing, Liu Yinliang, Lu Zijian, Ma Gui, Men Baozhen (1870-1957), Rong Shi,          Wan Tongli, Yang Junfeng,Yin Yuzhang (his son), Zeng Zengqi, Zhang Shouheng .

Two of his students, Yin Yu-Zhang and Gong Bao-Tian, both wrote books entitled Baguazhang. These books, which were published in 1932, are valuable contributions to our under¬standing of the art. One of Gong Bao-Tian's students, Liu Yun-Qiao (1909-1992 A.D.), had taught Baguazhang in Taiwan until 1991. In addition, another student of Yin Yu-Zhang, Pei Xi-Rong, contributed great effort in developing Baguazhang in southern China. Yin Yu-Zhang has a student, Jiang Hao-Quan, currently teaching in the United States.

1. Yin Fu
2. Cheng Ting Hua
3. Zhang Chan Kuei
4. Ma Gui
5. Ma Wei Qi
6. Liu Feng Chun
7. Liu De Kuan
8. Song Chang Rong

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