Grand Master Pei Xirong was born in 1913 in Raoyang county in
Hebei province. Pei Xirong’s family had practiced Traditional Chinese
Medicine for 4 generations; Pei’s grandfather, was called ‘Pei
San Tie’ (3 poultice Pei). Pei carried on the family tradition,
learning TCM at the same time as martial arts, build a solid foundation
in the process. In 1929, 16-year old Pei went to the ‘National Leitai
Tournament’ held in Hangzhou,he met the famous of xingyi and bagua
master Fu Jianqiu, then become to his student.
He mainly studied with Fu Jian-Qiu
who specialized in internal martial arts and was a martial arts brother
of Sun Lu-Tang and Shang Yun-Xiang. But master Pei also studied
Baguazhang with Huang Bo-Nian and Jiang Rong-Qiao, and got instructions
from Xinyi master Bao Xian-Ting and master Lu Song-Gao. He was also
introduced by Li Jing-Lin (famous for his Wudang sword skill, general
and director of several martial arts institutes) to the head of Wudang
mountain, Xu Ben-Shan, and became the official disciple of the 17th
generation of Wudang Long Men (Wudang Dragon Gate sect).
After studying in Wudang mountain, Li Jing-Lin recommended the
Central Martial Arts Academy in Nanjing to accept master Pei as a
student. After 1949, he settled down in Shanghai and also became a
martial arts coach in Shanghai Fu Dan University. He founded Shanghai
Wudang Quan Fa Institute, Qigong Study Institute and set up Shanghai
Qigong Scientific Study Institute. He also published more than twenty
books, such as “Wudang Gong Fu”, “Wudang Qigong Study”, “Chinese
Martial Arts Dictionary”, “Series books of Chinese Traditional Martial
Master Pei devoted his entire life to
Chinese Martial Arts and his knowledge was vast and profound. He
mastered Shaolin Wu Xing Quan (Shaolin five animals style–dragon,
tiger, leopard ,crane, chicken); Ying Zhua Quan (eagle claw fist); Mi
Zong Quan (lost track boxing); Ba Ji Quan (eight ultimate fist) and
many weapons. He was a very kind and sincere person, and always very
open to talk with other masters about their styles and genres. He
mainly practiced Wudang Neijia (Wudang internal style) and Xingyi,
Bagua and Taiji.
Master Pei believed Wudang to be the
original source of internal martial arts since it combines gang jin
(hard power) of Xingyi, heng jin (horizontal power) of Bagua and hua
jin (converting power) of Taiji. Wudang martial art is a classical and
very important part of Chinese martial arts.
Pei’s Xingyi was hard but not stiff; his Taiji was soft but not floppy,
just like the orchid leaf—tender but with the leaf spine holding. I
remember when I practiced push-hands with master; you almost couldn’t
bend his arm at all. His body and arms weren’t even slightly stiff, his
force and energy wasn’t as old as his age, you could feel the jin
(power) from his body and no matter how you moved he would suppress you
before you could do anything.
In his late years, he
focused on studying Wudang daoist theory and how meditation and Nei Dan
Gong (internal practice) enhance both the immune system as well as the
spiritual well being. He promoted the idea that a martial artist should
cultivate himself according to daoist ideals, from aspects such as
virtue, mind, character, thoughts and behaviour. That should be the
real and most important part of Chinese martial arts.
Master Pei’s Wudang practice came from the chief of Wudang mountain, Xu
Ben Shan. One part of this is Wudang Taiji Yuan Gong, focusing on
neigong (internal practice) by practicing zhan zhuang (standing static
stances) and qigong. The practitioner exchanges the qi of yin and yang,
and keeps qi continuously running around the body to enhance the
flexibility of inner organs. Another part is Wudang Taijiquan. It
embodies 3-dimensional entwining jin as well as the whole taiji theory.
The movements are also good for self-defence by suppressing hard
attacks using its soft movements.
attractive part of those two styles is that they contain the complete
combination of yin and yang, hard and soft, mobile and still, open and
close, up and down, breathe-in and out, inner-organ practice and body
fitness. They are also very precise on how to use and cooperate jin
(power) and li (strength).
Grand master Pei Xi Rong