This year happens to be the 40th anniversary of Bruce Lee's death, and there have been a large number of commemorative events and exhibitions across Hong Kong. When Bruce Lee talked of his experience in learning the martial arts, he mentioned that he had ten teachers: he studied Taijiquan from his father Lee Hoi Chuen, he studied Hung Kuen, Choy Lai Fut, studied Judo under 大兵衛 , studied western boxing under his middle school teacher, studied Northern Jing Wu boxing under Xiao Hansheng, and studied internal arts under Liang Zipeng. When he was in America he studied Philippine Escrima and studied Taekwondo under Rhee Jun Goo.
His internal arts teacher was Liang Zi Peng, who is not widely known. Master Liang was one of the foremost people in transmitting Yiquan and Liu He Ba Fa to the South. But what did he teach Bruce Lee, and how long and how much did he study? And what impact did Yiquan have on Jeet Kuen Do and his philosophy? The article seeks to answer these questions.
The Biography of Master Liang Zi Peng
Liang Zi Peng (1900-1974)
Liang Zi Peng born in Canton Provice, Nanhai County. He studied Eagle's claw under master Chen Zi Zheng, and Baguazhang under Jiang Xin Shan, Yiquan under You Peng Xi, and Liu He Ba Fa under Wu Yi [Jun]. He was the first person to transmit Yiquan and Liu He Ba Fa to Hong Kong.
Master Liang grew up learning to fight. The Liang name was historically transmitted from father to single son, and his father hoped that the martial arts could strengthen his body and spirit as a foundation to success, so he hired many martial arts teachers to teach him, and he grew up loving the martial arts.
When he was young he moved to Shanghai and was working as an office clerk in a Western company. He enrolled in the Jing Wu Athletic Association, and first started to learn Tan Tui. Liang learned five sets of Tan Tui in a single night! For a young man who had never studied the northern arts before, one could see how clever and dedicated he was.
He studied the 18 weapons at the Jingwu Association. At this time the Jingwu Association was flourishing, and invited masters from many arts to teach. Whether it was Cha Quan, Shaolin, Taijiquan, Eagle Claw, Mantis, they were all taught by a renown master of that art. At that time the Saint of Eagle Claw - Chen Zi Zheng was in charge of teaching the art. When Liang saw the intricacy of the art, he made a special effort to learn Eagle Claw. Chen Zi Zheng was the face of Jing Wu and was very well known for a time. He had a hat made of iron, and he carried it with him everywhere, and he used it to train his fingers, hence his fingers became extremely strong. Chen was also the referee for many Guoshu competitions, and when the loser did not accept the outcome, he would himself go onto the stage and at that point the loser would happily admit defeat, thus he also had the sobriquet of "King of Eagle's Claw". Liang Zi Peng, Li Pei Xuan and Zhang Jun Ting all studied boxing at the same time, and were the key disciples of Chen Zi Zheng.
After joining the Eagle Claw School, he studied extremely hard, and spend a lot of effort on the sets and sparring. In order to train the Eagle's claw, one could not avoid studying iron fingers. Liang was extremely dedicated to sticking his fingers in the sand, and every time his fingers broke, he resumed his practice as soon as he recovered. That is why Liang's did not have a [fourth finger] on his left hand, as this was due to having been injured too many times. Master Chen doted on his disciple, and often sparred with him without holding back, and sometimes dislocated Liang's wrist upon contact. Chen would immediately put the joint back into place and continue sparring. There was one time where they were both sparring with the staff, Master Liang was a little slow and Master Chen's staff hit him on the little finger, which left a lifelong scar.
Liang was skilled in a hundred arts, and had tried studying Five Elements Tongbei Quan, and studied 30 types of hard boxing. He studied the whip, flying darts, lightness skills, staff and spade, these weapons belonging to the Shaolin external styles, all to an extremely high level. When he went out to fight he won, and due to his knowledge, he could understand each art once he saw it. He was called "The Lark" 百靈鳥 .. He often wore metal shoes to train his lightness skills. From a standing position, he could bend his knees and jump a foot higher than his own height. His high kicks were 3 inches higher than his head. The hollows in his palms were extremely large like, geese eggs, so one could see how strong his wrists were. His palms were also especially big, which were the fruit of eagle claw training.
When he was at Jing Wu, he was called one of the 4 heavenly protectors. One day when he was eating with relatives, there was a famous martial artist from another school on the next table. He did not know that Liang was a student of Eagle claw, and in a drunken state loudly criticized the Eagle Claw's School as impractical. Upon hearing this Liang was not happy, and wanted to demonstrate his skills. Just using the power from backside, the opponent was unable to keep his balance and fell to the ground, knocking his own table over. Have suffered a grave humiliation, he asked Liang what style he studied. Liang laughingly replied that he studied Eagle Claw, and his opponent knew had put his foot in it, and was filled with deeply ashamed.
One of the stories that people liked to share about Liang Zipeng's kung fu was related to when he was living in Shanghai, and the building he was living in caught fire, and started to spread from the top downwards. Fleeing using the stairs was impossible, realizing the situation was dire, and his mother and wife were not strong, Liang was scared momentarily witless. Necessity being the mother of invention, he took a long rope and tied it around his waist, and then carrying his mother he parasailed down the building using the rope. After this mother was safe he went back for his wife and elder daughter, but also had a younger daughter who was still a toddler and had been sleeping on the mat in the middle of the room, due to his agitated mental state he had forgotten about her, only after the rest of the family had reached the street level safely did he realize and went back up on the rope, but the fire was burning brightly now, and he unable go back in and eventually had to sacrifice this valuable life. Afterwards, the newspapers also published this incident and mentioned that he was a disciple of Chen and this incident greatly increased his fame.
He was also associated with Ma Cheng Xin who was a disciple of the Mantis Grandmaster Luo Guang Yu, and they were both hot blooded youths. Ma Cheng Xin became famous in Shanghai because he took part and placed first in the National Sports Guoshu Competition. So when Master Luo Guang Yu later went south to Canton and Hong Kong to spread Mantis, he passed all his teaching responsibilities to Ma, who became head of the Mantis School without intending to do so. However when Chen went South, he had originally planned to hand over his position at Jing Wu to Liang, but due to Liang's flourishing business, and that to him martial arts was an extra-curricular activity, he did not want to advance himself in the world of Guoshu. and humbly declined. He would help out at the Association from time to time, out of duty and would spar with some of the students there. At this time the number of the masters at Jing Wu were as numerous as the clouds, and as a member, Liang was very interested in further researching the internal arts, he was very good friends with Wu Jian Quan and Tian Jiao Lin. He had already begun to study Taijiquan and also studied Baguazhang under Jiang Xin Shan and continued doing so until the Japanese invaded and destroyed the Jing Wu Association in Shanghai.
Ma Cheng Xin would first test applications before studying the art
Ma Cheng Xin was a dentist by profession, tall of stature and immensely strong, having taken Luo Guang Yu as his teacher he studied hard and made his name. He went forth to fight in the ring numerous times, and took the championship each time, earning many honors for the Mantis School. He later heard that the Grandmaster Wang Xiang Zhai was teaching Yiquan, using the Yi to lead the Jin, and did not discuss any fancy movements, and used zhan zhuang as the main training method. His technique was akin to those of the gods. At one time Grandmaster Wang had placed an article in the paper mentioning that he welcomed any challenges. Upon reading this Ma paid him a visit.
Before taking a person as a teacher, one would first test his skills, this was a common practice in the martial world in those days. As soon as Ma saw Master Wang, he attacked him, and using his Jin Master Wang pushed him away. As he did not admit defeat, Master Wang then asked him "What did you eat before coming?" Ma replied "Noodles". They engaged again, and this time Wang used the move half step breaking fist, 半步崩捶 , drilling directly into Ma's stomach, Ma immediately through up all the noodles he had previously eaten. Wang laughed, "At least you are honest." Ma admitted defeat and took him as his teacher.
Ma was extremely diligent, rising early to practice the arts. Returning to his practice, he would draw the curtain and practice zhan zhuang. Unfortunately he came from a poor family, and was unable to look after Master Wang like You Peng Xi and thus did not receive the key instructions in the art.
Ma Xing Huan stated that Ma Cheng Xin was the strongest of all, in push hands with easy one lifting movement he could make the opponent step back. When the Jing Wu Association opened a Taiji class, Ma's reputation was such that no one wanted to teach the class. Eventually Wu Jian Quan oversaw the class with Li Xu Dan and Wu Gong Yi assisting. Ma arrogantly entered the class to issue a challenge but no one dared to take it up. His fellow student Zhao Dao Xin was so angry that he took down the sign and took it away with him.
Ma received the most teachings from You Peng Xi, and changed his status from fellow student to study under him. As You was from a rich family, he did not care about money and taught Ma for free.
Liang Zi Peng Tests You Peng Xi
At that time, Wang Xiang Zhai's disciple You Peng Xi was teaching in Shanghai, and Liang knew that You was a man famous for the internal arts, with a profound knowledge in Xinyi, Bagua and Taiji. Especially with respect to Wang's zhan zhuang method, he had reached a level of mastery. Liang was very interested in Xinyi's zhan zhuang and wanted to study under You.
Liang and Ma were not only famous fighters at Jing Wu but also good friends, and shared their training secrets with each other. Liang had heard of You's prowess and had hoped for an audience with him, although Ma demurred, Liang eventually went to visit him on his own initiative. Upon seeing him he wore white linen with long sleeves, cloth shoes, and was fanning himself, he was the image of a Confucian scholar. Totally unlike a warrior, Liang doubted his ability. Entering his home arrogantly, he saw a hundred or more people standing in zhan zhuang, for it was a holiday and the number of students was greater than usual.
Upon sitting down, Liang stated, "Master You, I have come because I wish to test myself against you." You agreed, and as he knew Liang was strong proponent of Eagle's claw, he rolled up his sleeve and said, "You may use the Eagle's claw to grab my wrist." The favored move of the Eagle's claw is to attack the opponent's wrist, so Liang attacked and immediately found that he lost his grip, attacking again he could not lock on to his target. Each time he tried the result was the same. Even using his oft-trained techniques, he could not grab the opponent's hand, and he admitted defeat.
When Liang first started studying zhan zhuang he found it boring and uninspiring, and began to hate doing it and often fooled around with the other disciples, always using the Eagle's claw, thinking that the external arts were the most useful. Upon seeing this Master You explained, "With your level of Kungfu you have not been able to understand the path of our art, and you are winning due to your greater experience, this an ineffective method for the future." As Liang had studied many years of Shaolin and hard skills, he ordered him to relax as much as possible, to change to a new form of power, and slowly his skills began to appear.
Other incidents involving Liang
After studying Yiquan with You, the number of incidents of interest increased.
When he was young, Liang had been hiking with his seniors, after climbing hundreds of steps he was not out of breath. Upon returning he was still able to run through two fighting sequences, without any change of facial colour.
When he was a certain age, both he and Ma were fond of soccer, watching a match he turned while tracking the trajectory of the ball and bumped into a lady. The lady started crying that Liang had intended to molest her. As Liang did not understand Shanghainese, he could not reason with her. More than a hundred Shanghainese answered her call and the two fellow students had not choice but to fight back to back against more than 10 people. After fighting for a while both sides realized that it was a misunderstanding and stood down.
There was one time when a strongman insulted Guoshu, and Ma getting angry kicked him out of the hall, knocking down the two screen doors at the same time. Master You reprimanded him for being too quick to anger.
There was one time when Liang's house was being renovated, and due to a misunderstanding he started arguing with the carpenter. Due to the argument, the carpenter resorted to violence and took up an axe and attacked Liang. With a twist of his hand Liang disarmed the opponent, and the carpenter admitted defeat.
When Liang was young, and the Japanese had invaded China, he hired some a laborer to carry his luggage, with the intention to leave the city. That man's strength was astonishing, and carried several metal trunks and carried them down the stairs as though it was nothing. Liang greatly admired his strength, but when he completed his job he asked for a very high fee. Liang asked him, "We had already decided on a price, why are you renegotiating the price?" The strong man replied "If you do not pay the full price, why don't you carry the trunks back upstairs?" Liang did not argue with him but angrily jumped on the lorry. The lorry was five feet high, and Liang had leaped on without and effort, impressing the strongman. Liang later visited Master You and inquired after the man, describing his appearance and mannerisms in great detail. You replied that this man was a famous external martial artist whose body was trained as though it were forged from metal, and had Liang fought with him, he would have surely lost.
Master You was skilled at Yiquan and could attack an opponent with his back as well as his front. After Liang received the key teachings from You, he could use his presence to intimidate his opponent, it was like hypnosis. With a shout, he could stun his opponent, what a great ability to have when fighting.
Liang was from Nanhai and was older than You by a year. At that time he was working at the Asia Company as an accountant, and was addicted to Zhan Zhuang. After coming back from work, he would go to his room and close the door and windows and take of his shirt and practice shirtless, stating that he was testing the reactions of his body.
After coming to Hong Kong, he would often practice zhan zhuang at the Botanical Gardens. Once it was raining and placing the books that he was carrying on his head, he continued to practice until the thunder startled him. Zhan Zhuang is the secret training for Xingyiquan, for a beginner it is not advisable to practice in the rain, as one's pores are open when training and it is easy for the damp and cold to enter the body. After one has mastered the art, it is necessary to train in the rain and wind to see if one is able to resist it.
Liang once sparred with Tian Jiao Lin's disciple, Ye Da Mi, and they later became good friends. Liang felt that Tian Jiao Lin's Taiji had the true transmission. He also praised Yang Chen Pu's student Zhang Manqing, that he was sufficiently loose and he had good kungfu.
After the Jing Wu Association started promoting Guoshu, Guoshu had a period of popularity. The Liuhebafa Master Wu Yi [Jun] had just arrived in Shanghai, and was on friendly terms with Wang Xiang Zhai. With the help of Wang, he improved his method of boxing, adding in Xinyi methods. As there were many similarities in his boxing, Liang was interested in his boxing, and thus began to study under him. From the time that Liang started studying with You, he was placed extreme importance on studying the body methods, and learned a set of Liuhebafa.
Liang's body shape was tall and thin, and was very nimble, and had an affinity with the martial arts and was gifted with intelligence. When studying Eagle's claw and Shaolin, he was able to pick them up right away and he had more than 30 years of training. Under the tutelage of You in Xinyi Zhan Zhuang he was able to become an inner disciple in three years. It was Wu who called Liang "The lark" and he was able to learn Liuhebafa in a few months.
When Liang was training Shaolin, he especially looked down at Taiji, as he had doubts about its practicality due to its softness. After studying Yiquan with You, he began to see Taiji in a different light, and appreciate its intricacies, as few people really understood the secrets of Taiji, so few people could actually put it into practice. From looking down at Taiji to earnestly studying Taiji, had a lot to do with his relationship with Tian Jiao Lin, his acquaintance with Wu Jian Quan and the fact that he highly praised Xu Zhiyi's cultivation and ability to explain. Due to the fact that could understand a form by just looking at it, and his study of books, he was able to become proficient in Taiji without having had any teacher. He liked to teach Yang Taiji and disliked Wu Taiji.
Leaving his Teachers come South to Hong Kong
As Liang Zi Peng had garnered a deep understanding of boxing methods, he wanted to promote Yiquan zhan zhuang and Liuhebafa. Due to the nature of the times, as control of the mainland changed hands to the Communists, he bid farewell to You Peng Xi. As Master You was a famous doctor, the mainland did not allow him to leave. You gave Liang six hundred silver dollars to subsidize his journey, but Liang refused his money, saying he could pay for everything himself. As Liang was not rich, You had helped him many times in the past. You stated, "Once you arrive in Hong Kong, you have to make my Yiquan famous." Upon this he took leave of You.
Liang relied on trading as his profession, his wife was originally the daughter of a millionaire. Upon reaching Hong Kong, he did not openly try to attract students. And he took a job as a clerk in the Oriental Cloth Company with a salary of six thousand hong kong dollars. However Liang did not forget You's instruction and intended to demonstrate the power of Yiquan. At that time the Lingnam Group and Taiji Group were the most prominent, and Yiquan zhan zhuang and Liuhebafa had not yet made an appearance. Assessing the situation, Liang made a special effort to seek out masters and make friends, to promote his own reputation.
Once Liang had arrived in Hong Kong he treated every martial arts visitor as a VIP. Everytime he sparred he would immediately throw the opponent backwards, and rarely would he injure his opponents.
Although he had been one of the four heavenly protectors of the Shanghai Jing Wu Association, once he had come to Hong Kong he did not enter the Hong Kong Jing Wu at all. Even when official invitations came in the mail, he respectfully declined.
Even though he had studied martial arts for many years, his hands remained soft and white as a baby's hands, and even during the depths of winter they gave off warmth, and his eyes were like electricity. The pupils and whites of his eyes were clearly delineated without any muddy mixing, and the pupils were small but the eyeballs were clear and brilliant. His body moved like a snake and his feet moved like tornados. When moving and twisting his waist, his stomach was as though it was full of water, emitting a gurgling sound.
Liang Zi Peng Spreads Yiquan to the South
Liang came to Hong Kong in 1964, and was a manager at the Chunyuen Import-Export Company and the Oriental Cloth Company. Zhang Jun Ting with whom he had studied Eagle Claw together in Shanghai and Wu Jian Quan's disciple Zheng Rong Guang were especially close to him, and knowing that he taught Liuhebafa went to study from him as friends and received his true transmission.
Zhang Zhun Ting was a bureaucrat, and worked in the Department of Social Services, and had a high position in the Jing Wu Association. So when he was free he studied Liuhebafa diligently with good results.
After Zheng Rong Guang had been introduced to Liang, he once bumped into him on the tram, Liang mentioned that he would like to try his technique, so they went home together. With one push, the curtains fell down, and one foot of the bed was broken, so for the rest of his life he followed Liang in studying Yiquan. After Zheng Rong Guang had studied Yiquan and combining this with Wu Taiji, he learned the skill of being able to take any punch to the stomach, and was able to use his Qi to heal people.
From this point on the people who especially admired Liuhebafa included Sun Dit, Tang Hong Hoi and Li Ying Arng. Both Sun Dit and Lee Ying Arng were both inheritors of the true transmission in Taijiquan. having studied under Chen Weiming and Dong Ying Jie. Lee Ying Arng was a disciple of the Wudang Sword Grandmaster Guo Qifeng, so both of them had a very profound basis in the internal arts. They both went to study with Liang at the same time, and asked him to transmit the teachings of Liuhebafa. Unfortunately due to work commitments, Liang could not teach during the day, so he invited them to learn in the evenings at his house. They were very dedicated and came up to his house everyday.
In 1953, Chen Chufan, another disciple of of Wu Yi [Jun], also known as Yiren came to Hong Kong with the original intention to go on to Singapore, but remained in Hong Kong for a period of time. He also wanted to learn Liuhebafa and studied under Liang, and other students of Liang would also ask for his advice.
Tang Hong Hoi originally studied under the tutelage of Yang Shou Chung and Dong Ying Jie, and later changed his allegiance to Liang to study Yiquan and Liuhebafa. He lived in a building on Hennesy Road in Wanchai, which was very spacious, and suitable for martial arts, so he would teach Liuhebafa and Yiquan there. Lee Ying Arng, after learning from Liang, also taught many students.
An record of Liang Zi Peng oral stories
After Wang Xiang Zhai, only You Peng Xi had the true transmission, he would arrange to be attacked by three people in a triangular formation, with one attacking his back. Master You would be able to throw the person off using the power of shaking his back.
Every time there was a request to enter into a western boxing competition, it would be Liang or Ma who would take part. Liang would train zhan zhuang diligently, during the winter he would stand in his room and when he had finished the floor would be covered with sweat stains.
Once in Shanghai, Wu Jian Quan was pushing hands with You Peng Xi and You marginally had the upper hand. However Wu declared that he had won. Ma was so angry that he announced that if Wu ever entered Jing Wu again he would personally beat him. At that point, Wu decided to make a trip to the South.
Liang once made a trip to Taiwan and the 300 pound Zhang [Zhi] Fan was teaching Taiji in the park, and dragging Liang over to demonstrate, he was easily lifted up in one movement by Liang. The next day he waited with his disciples at the gate of Liang's residence, seemingly wanting revenge, but actually he and his disciples wanted Liang to take them as his students. Liang hurriedly stated that he was not staying long, and we was happy to give pointers but would be unable to take them as his disciples.
Han Xing Huan was a fervent Christian, but this was inconvenient on the mainland, and moved to Hong Kong, and he contacted Lee Ying Arng, who took him to see Liang. It was Han's first visit to Hong Kong and he had hoped to promote Da Cheng Chuan, but was unable to advertise. Both Liang and Lee conferred together and put together some money for him to open a studio. And it was Lee's student Jiang Qiu who took two pieces of scrap wood and whittled them into two long poles, and ferrying these poles to Han's studio, enabled him to teach the long staff.
Liang said that Han had one vertebrae that had contracted TB and was very weak, if anyone pushed hands with him they had to be very careful so as not to harm his body.
Lau Kum, who was resident in Hong Kong once said that Liang's hands were very thin and easy to snap. Liang gave him his hand and with one twist, caused him so much pain that he collapsed to the ground.
Liang's Three Treasures
The kungfu taught by Liang was called "Southern Yiquan" and his zhang zhuang, dun yao and tuo yao were called "the three treasures". When he taught, both principles and applications were taught at the same time: when students asked questions, he would first demonstrate using his power, so that they could feel the energy, and then he would follow with an explanation. When he was free he also liked to go to the park to watch others practicing kungfu. If there were any aspects that were wrong he would enthusiastically go forth to correct them.
When he taught, he did not ask for fees. When he taught in Shanghai's Xiangyang Park, his students included Li Run, Rong Li Quan, Fang Bo Cheng, and many followed him to Hong Kong to study. His disciples included : Lee Ying Arng, Li Pei Xuan, Xiang Tun Mao, Deng Xiang Hai, Chen Zhen Yi, Zhang Jun Ting, Cheng Rong Guang, Liu Jing Zhi, Sun Dit, Liu Tui, Cheng Jiao Ji, Hu Yuan Huan, Hu Guang Chi, Lu Xiu Dong, Chen Yi Rong, Wei Hua, Zhi Sheng, CS Tang, Cheng Jin Pei, Zhang Jin Zhi, Wong Ming, etc.
The Grandmaster Liang Zi Peng died on May 1st 1974 in Grantham Hospital, at the old age of 78.
Liang Zi Peng's Moving Stance
1. One's eyes must give off electricity
2. The whole body must express peng jin, if there are other pedestrians they will be pushed off the side of the road
3. He often reminded practitioners to tuck in the chin, the throat must not be exposed
4. When moving quickly there also has to be power, this is combined with fierce emission of sound
5. the five fingers must be slightly bent
The Story of Liang Zi Peng and Bruce Lee
When Bruce Lee was in Hong Kong he had studied Choy Lay Fut with Chen Nian Bo and studied the Jing Wu sets and Tan Tui with Xiao Han Sheng, studied Wing Chun with Yip Man and last of all had studied Yiquan with Liang Zi Peng.
At that time Liang would teach in King's Park in Ho Man Tin, walking along the path when he saw one student he would correct them in sequence.
At that time Lee's father Lee Hoi Chuen who was a famous opera singer, was also practicing in the park and studying Taiji under Liang and was familiar with Liang. He knew Liang was good at fighting and one day said to Liang: "My son has just come back from overseas and loves kungfu, please instruct him." Later he took him to the park to see Liang, and Liang thought saw that this young man was eager to learn, and asked him to stand in zhan zhuang while Liang was discussing boxing and fajin with the other students and throwing them into the air. Thus Bruce Lee was able to appreciate the power of Yiquan.
When Liang taught, he did not care about the forms, but was intent on imparting the principles, first one had to have the frame and then have explosive power. He encouraged his students to study the manuals, to understand the principles and improve their cultivation. He told them to avoid the streets, the brawls and fighting, and stressed that boxing was one of the arts of China. Liang taught all sorts, whether you studied Taiji or Southern Styles, he used the principles of Yiquan to correct you, while explaining the applications at the same time and used your own movements to throw you backwards. He was much different from many teachers at the time who only taught the frame and not how to apply the movements.
This enlightened method which encapsulated all forms of boxing, and was able to knock people down like breaking mountains and pouring out the sea, and throw people back several feet, greatly shocked Lee and expanded his horizons.
He stated that he taught according to Wang's principles and was doing away with the feudal relationship between teacher and student.
He stated that when You Peng Xi was learning from Wang in Shanghai, he asked him to call him "Mister Wang", and not "Sifu Wang" for he wanted the martial arts to be popularized, and to enter into modernity. So at that time Master You also asked his students to call him "Mister You." Thus when Liang was in Hong Kong he forbade his students to refer to him as Sifu, saying that in the north "Sifu" was a term that one used for taxi drivers, cooks, contractors. It was polite term for skilled manual labourers. Calling him Mister Liang, removed the distance between student and master and also did away with the embarrassment for those who came to study who were masters in their own right.
As Liang had his own profession, he did not accept fees for his lessons. He came across as a fashionable and upper class person, and always wore a suit with a tie when he went out. When teaching he wore a white long sleeved shirt with gold rimmed glasses, and looked like a scholar. This was for Bruce a world away from the lower class teachers, dressed in their singlets, who were always swearing and never far away from alcohol and cigarettes.
Bruce also often went with other students to Liang's house, which was on number 18, Austin Road in Jordan. Liang loved to move, and before they could make themselves comfortable, Liang would ask them to get up and move and do zhan zhuang. When he fa jin he pushed them onto the sofa. Lee was intoxicated by the speed at which his hands shot out, without being able to settle he was already flying backwards and the sky was full of stars.
Liang told Lee that he had been taught by You in the same way. First he had to give up each movement of the external styles, and begin again from zhan zhuang, converting the muscular resistance into true jin, before he could reach the next level of martial arts. Just like a glass which is full, if you pour more water into it, it will overflow. If you drink it, it is muddly and unclear. It is imperative to pour out the originally polluted water, before one can pour in the clear water. In order to understand the philosophy, one has to study the classics, of which Zhuang Zi and Lao Zi were the best.
When Liang came to Hong Kong, he brought along many martial arts books, he loved to read martial arts manuals, and would correct them using a red pen. He gave two books 《子門真宗》 and 《萇乃周拳譜》to Bruce, telling him to study them diligently. Eventually Bruce returned to the United States and never returned the books.
The Yiquan absorbed by Bruce Lee
Although the time Bruce spent learning Yiquan was short, the philosophy of Yiquan deeply influenced the framework and principles of his Jeet Kuen Do.
1. There is no taolu, any sequence or movement can be used
The core of Yiquan is not to use any set methods, and to overcome the opponent in an instant. Thus the body has to be trained and prepared to a high level of fighting ability, with the ability to utilize explosive power at any time. One can react and counterattack at any time, and one does not waste time on extraneous flowery movements.
2. Search out one's own strengths, train appropriately, and set up one's own system
According to Liuhebafa, one has to be a bee collecting pollen from a hundred flowers, taking the best of other schools and digest them to become one's own.
3. Wu De (Morality)
Do not waste your time being a rascal on the streets, one must have culture and refinement, one must study the ancients, one must become a person with manners and dignity, be humble, self controlled and forgiving, and a master who enthusiastically helps others.
4. Search out one's identity
One must constantly reflect, stand and experience the flow of Qi in the body, and understand the smallest changes in the muscles of the body, the impact of the external weather and environment on one's thoughts and emotions, seek movement in stillness and calmly react to change.
5. Softness can overcome hardness
Only when the muscles are relaxed, can one's movements be fast and react with explosive energy.
6. Throw the opponent several feet away
When Bruce studied martial arts in the past, it was to beat people, Yiquan uses the whole frame of the body to throw the opponent flying. This led Bruce to later try to make the opponent fly in both his movies and his teaching.
7. Utilize the whole body strength
In the past, Bruce would use his attack to cause the opponent pain, but began to understand the importance of full body power through Yiquan, with the whole body framework, even if the opponent resists, the whole body power will rise up to break the opponent, leaving him no way to block or deflect.
8. Jeet Kuen
The principle of Yiquan is that if the opponent moves slightly, I will reach first and catch the opponents movement, rendering him unable to use his strength, covering his entire body. Bruce later developed Jeet Kuen Do which incorporated this principle.
9. Extend your hand
Extend your hands, do not retract, extend the hands fully to your opponent, use one's frame to block the opponent. If you retract, you will lose your ability to defend. 10. Issue sound Master Liang liked to issue sound when he fa jin, whether he was practicing tuo yao or walking step he would also issue sound, and he would use different kinds of sequenced sounds, to throw the opponent away. He would use his sound to augment his presence and intimidate. His disciple Sun Dit was very good at this. Bruce Lee also used his teaching in his movies. 11. Solid and real and not empty Everytime you attack, it needs to be accurate, brutal and effective, it has to be a real attack and not a fake flowery movement, every movement has its use, and has to maintain the balance and frame, using the full power, it is practical and useful. [Finis]