Life of Baji Quan Master Wu XiuFeng (sub Fr – Eng)

Subs : “Once upon a time Mengcun” Since ancient times, Cangzhou is the homeland of martial arts Schools are numerous and the different styles abound, but among these we note that the Baji Quan from Mengcun is the most widely spread, and his practitioners are the most numerous Since BajiQuan appeared at the time of Emperor HongZheng of the Qing, the experts have followed one another unceasingly, sparkling like the milky way… Among them, Wu XiuFeng leader of the 6th generation, not only passed on the family practice, but he also created: the 16 positions of BajiQuan (ShiLiu Dabu), the 10 distinct forces (ShiDa JingBie) the 8 hand forms (Bada ShouXing) and more than 10 taolus, and he had a major contribution to the enrichment and dissemination of Baji Quan… Wu XiuFeng, also named Hai, was a member of the Hui minority, born on the 4th day of the 2nd lunar month of the 34th year of the reign of Emperor GuangXu (1908), originating from the Mengcun city and autonomous county, son of Wu HuiQing, leader of the 5th generation. Due to illness, he was deaf since childhood, and only started talking after the age of 10, but he was very clever without seeming so. In particular, he possessed a remarkabke visual memory for martial arts, and was not formalistic concerning rules and could innovate from what he was learning to produce something unique… From childhood, Wu XiuFeng learned BajiQuan from his father, and assimilated all its mysteries Regularly, he trained very hard with sandbags tied to the legs, and very young, his mastery was already huge… In 1926, Wu XiuFeng then only aged 18, began to teach and take disciples around Mengcun, SongZhuangZi and Jiang GuanTun… In 1929, with the support of his father, the young Wu XiuFeng began a journey to the south… He went through different places such as: Shandong, ShangHai, JiangXi, ZheJiang, GuangDong, Henan, etc. earning a living thanks to his talent and visiting friends practicing martial arts In the JiangXi Soviet, he was recruited as a Martial Arts trainer for the Red Army troops, and led the BajiQuan training for the soldiers of the Red Army… Then, following the intensificaton of the combats, the troops went on their way, and Wu XiuFeng continued his journey… In 1931, on the joint invitation of the famous masters Han HuaChen, Zuo ShuangChen Li GuangJu, etc. Wu XiuFeng went to ZaoZhuang in Shandong to teach BajiQuan… During the time he was teaching in ZaoZhuang, Wu XiuFeng kept no secrets, he passed on everything he knew, and taught his disciples in ZaoZhuang all the Taolus of BajiQuan without any restriction … At the time, when he was teaching in ZaoZhuang he once had to go out to go to the market or for something else he crossed a thick wooded area There were three bandits, who had been in ambush for a long time, All those who passed by, had to give them all their belongings: the clothes: leather or tissue, everything had to be removed The 3 bandits were posted in 3 places… Wu XiuFeng used this story to explain to us how to deal with it: we must fight in inferiority and scatter them to defeat them one by one, There were 3 guys, the 1st held an automatic pistol the 2nd held a rifle, the 3rd had a stick .. These 3 guys who were on his way, he put them out of business… When he saw them, he said nothing, A thief said, “Leave your things!” “Give your clothes!” So Wu XiuFeng put down his things, and when he took off his clothes, he dragged it out a lot, and he looked well at everyone’s position because he was in the middle, and when came the moment to remove his body knit, Wu XiuFeng pretended not to be able to remove it… So he said “Boss, help me a little!”, and approached one of the robbers, the one who held the pistol came to help him, and when he helped him undress, when he pulled on the knitting, he could not see where Wu XiuFeng had his hands So when the other helped him to undress, Wu XiuFeng, all of a sudden, snatched his pistol, and bang! the guys was sent down… Next to him, the one who had the rifle, did not have the time to notice… Wu XiuFeng caught the muzzle and pushed it down, and after, with a rising elbow he sent the other guy to the ground… On the other side; the one who had the stick had not reacted yet, Wu XiuFeng caught the muzzle and suddenly, bang ! the three guys were on the ground… After, Wu XiuFeng tied up the 3 bandits, and surrendered them to the railway brigade… In 1933, Wu XiuFeng went to Tianjin to found a school and accept disciples, his mastery of Baji Quan and the TiLiuDao sword caused a sensation in TianJin Many Martial Arts masters from this time such as Shen JiaLin also nicknamed “Xiao BaWang” became his disciples… I will tell you the story, when Wu XiuFeng arrived the first time in TianJin… At the time, it’s my 3rd uncle Wu ZhaoHai who told me… After arriving in TianJin, they went out the next day to find a place to train… They spread their spears, swords, swords, etc. and started to train, a big fellow about thirty years old arrived on his bike… “Stop training!” they saw this guy dressed to the nines, which looked like an official, so they picked up their things quickly, and returned to the inn… The next day, they went out again to train, they brought their things again, and started to train… They trained for a moment, and the guy came again: “I told you to stop and you train again ?!” So Wu XiuFeng said: “You are an official, is that your job ?! ” The guy replied: “It’s my job: I tell you to stop!” Wu XiuFeng replied: “No way!” So they competed against each other, The guy was great and strong, and at least 10 year older, my 3rd uncle told me, that this guy’s name was Shen JiaLin, he was president of GuoMinDang for the region east of HuangHe We can say that at the time, his Kungfu was unmatched in Tianjin He had published articles in the TianJin Dragon Daily newspaper, he had made an announcement to recruit a teacher, he was very famous in TianJin… They took position, and started to fight, Wu XiuFeng advanced directly and with a ChongQuan punch, boom! He hit him … he surprised him with one blow! the guy fell right on the rack of spears and sabers but the guy took it in, he rolled and got up taking a big spear in his hand, so they fought with weapons… Wu XiuFeng took a sword in hand, the other was ready to attack, Wu XiuFeng was ready to defend Both were motionless a sign to call, then an attack… Shen JiaLin had an aggressive temperament, with each spear blow, he would try to stab you he could pierce you all at once! Wu Xiufeng used the YeCha TanHai technique he raised his leg, he stroke forward, he raised his leg, the spear hit in the void, there behind the waist, he raised his leg and hit it with one hand, at the level of the joint of the hand “If you move, I cut your wrist!” The other did not dare to move, so he released the spear from both hands, and the spear fell down… In fact, that was his job, he knew well what was the martial arts custom : the winner becomes the master, the loser becomes his disciple… He lost, (and said) “You are my master”… Three days later, In a restaurant, they made the BaiShi ceremony… In 1934, Wu XiuFeng lived by odd jobs and taught in 7 places everywhere in TianJin At this time, he founded the “Tianjin BajiQuan National Reconstruction Society” Practitioners attracted by his reputation amounted to several hundreds, which quickly amplified the importance of Baji Quan in TianJin… In 1937, the Japanese troops invaded the North of the country, TianJin became a territory occupied by the enemy… In 1940, the troops fighting the Japanese came to Wu XiuFeng to ask him to help the 8th Army around CangZhou – YanShan to get supplies of emergency medicines… Wu XiuFeng had a patriot heart, he did everything possible to get the medication doses and conveyed them personally to the garrison of the 8th Army… In 1941 he was arrested by the Japanese and taken to forced labor… On the way while escorted, he cut his links discreetly with a knife he had carried on him, and taking them by surprise, he wounded 2 Japanese soldiers escorting him, which allowed 30-40 Chinese workers to escape In the autumn of 1946, Wu XiuFeng carried ammunition for the 8th Army from Tianjin to ChangGuan in Shandong, he was discovered by feleing nationalist troops from YuQiao, he was hanged and beaten for 3 days and had to ask someone to pay his ransom… After the establishment of the People’s Republic of China, under the leadership of the government, martial arts had a flourishing development… In 1953, a festival and a national competition on forms of minority physical cultures was held in TianJin, Wu XiuFeng enrolled and actively participated, and received the 1st prize for his performance… In 1956, Wu XiuFeng was almost 50 years old, and participated to the national competition of martial arts, and won successively seven 1st prizes in individual event, and the 2nd overall price and received a special gold medal, he was interviewed by communist leaders, Liu ShaoQi, Zhou EnLai, and He Long… At the time, Marshal He Long who was director of the National Sports Commission personally went to visit him, and awarded him both a medal and an embroidered flag. In 1958, Wu XiuFeng started to work (in Tianjin), In 1968, he retired from the TianJin JinZhong Paper Factory During the cultural revolution, Wu XiuFeng turned his attention to Martial Arts and Medicine, and more particularly he learned a lot on how to treat bone fractures If some patients would show up, he would treat them with all his efforts, and when he gave consultation, he never got a penny of salary, which attracted the respect of all without exception A story deeply impressed me, It was… hmmmmm, in 1966, this year I was just over 10 years old, my first teacher and me we were living east of the river, I was impatient for my teacher to call me when he would call me, we would go to XiGu to find your grandfather (Wu XiuFeng), and we would go to train, At that time, we went by bike to Xigu On the way, I saw my master who was riding a bike with a twisted neck, “How did this happen ?” “Ah, I have a torticollis since last night!” He was riding a bike like that, to XiGu… When we arrived in Xigu, it was not yet 7 o’clock… Wu XiuFeng was standing under a big tree, he was discussing some aspects of Martial Arts with a few diciples, So when my master arrived with his twisted neck, he said: “Master, I have a torticollis…” Wu XiuFeng was wearing his glasses and did not even look at him… So my master said: “My master did not even pay attention to me!” he wondered what to do, just when he was going to turn his head and go away, he saw Wu XiuFeng raise his hand, and bang! a big slap! He hit his neck where he had his troticolis! He slapped him and said, how are you? My master did: eh eh ! I feel better ! it was amazing! I saw everything with my own eyes! At that time I was small, I was surprised, “This thing is really amazing !” He did not even look at him, and after giving him a slap, it was ok! No more Torticolis problem! Another story I have personally experienced, is that Wu Xiufeng was a good person, He lived in a flat without a floor, there were a lot of neighbors People who came looking for him for a consultation were very numerous, it was a continual come and go In addition to the fact that he asked no commission, I personally experienced an anecdote: when we were training we went to the South Park of Hebei University of Technology… That day, there were plenty of students in the park, at that time, the living conditions were not very good, if there was any way to booze people were happy… A guy we did not know, who knew we were training there, I do not know how he did this, he had drunk a lot and had dislocated his chin… He was looking for someone who knew how to put it back in place… He heard we were training there, so he came .. When he arrived, he could not even speak… With a look, Wu XiuFeng saw that he had a dislocated chin, “Ok, come here!” Take out your handkerchief, Everyone had a handkerchief in the 70s, Wu XiuFeng took the handkerchief and wrapped up his both thumbs with it… He pulled hard on the guy’s chin, Crak! “Go, talk ! ” and it was settled! The guy thanked him a long time, he bowed, he thanked him again and he left… Before the cultural revolution, Wu XiuFeng had moved to the new DingZiGu district He trained every morning in XiGu Park, where he was joined by many disciples The park was particularly lively, the practice of martial arts was very popular… Wu XiuFeng created simple BajiQuan Taolus, to allow everyone to practice Attracted by his reputation, a lot of Baji Quan fans, came from all Tianjin to become his disciples… From then on, every day at dawn, an army of several hundred people was training at the sound of his instructions, this lush picture was admirable, and at that time, it was a unique scenery in Tianjin… On December 30, 1976, Wu XiuFeng died in Tianjin due to a traffic accident… During his long martial career, he made a point of honor to travel far to learn the most, and opposed sectarianism… While perpetuating the traditional BajiQuan, he elaborated many positions, force systems and hand forms he developed 12 Taolus of BajiQuan, and created the “24 linking hands”, to enrich to the maximum the theory and Taolus of BajiQuan… He not only strengthened and perpetuated Baji Quan, but he also enriched its characteristics for the fight… The martial mastery of WuXiuFeng was unique, but his life was simple, he never asked to be an official, nor favored his personal interest… He had more than 3000 disciples, but never accepted a gift, nor let his disciples offer him presents… His simplest disciples were common people, the most prominent ones were senior executives… They were all equally welcomed, and treated on an equal footing… Wu XiuFeng, when it comes to martial arts, had reached a high level of mastery, not only due to his masters and his encounters, he also absorbed the quintessence of different styles and schools, and in addition, he himself developed and innovated… The 16 positions we practice now in our Baji Quan, the 10 different forces (Shi Da JingBie) the 8 hand forms (Ba da ShouXing) have all been developed by Wu XiuFeng it’s useful for the fight, and also for performance, it’s beautiful to watch, and efficient at the same time Regarding this aspect, of the development of Baji Quan, he played a major role… So, Wu XiuFeng not only carry forward the qualities from his father Wu HuiQing, but he also produced a lot of personal achievements, many unique things… It can be considered like a historical Grand Master… With immense fame, and a long history, 300 years have passed since the birth of Baji Quan, During this endless period, the silhouettes of the great masters have gradually disappeared in the course of time, but their art and their spirit that manifest themselves and are transmitted generation after generation through their heirs, allow eternal rebirth and its constant renewal through the passing of time…

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